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Dean Poulsen announces ambitious CAS climate survey response: Next year we’ll pay for some socializing and develop some plans for some mentoring.

Dear colleagues,

Before we close out the spring term, I want to update you on how the college is addressing findings from the CAS Climate Survey.

As a reminder, in Spring 2022 the university partnered with Gallup to conduct a workplace climate survey designed to identify structural, cultural, and institutional factors that affect campus climate. The survey results are being used to improve the climate through targeted action plans at the university, college, and department levels.

In CAS, our Climate Survey Engagement Team (CSET) — a committee of faculty, staff, and students — led the college-level assessment of our results. They summarized their findings and recommendations in a report to me. I would like to sincerely thank the entire team, who embraced this task wholeheartedly and created a comprehensive and constructive report with recommendations that we can all work toward. We hope you will take a moment to review the final report. Its recommendations can be summarized as follows:

  1. Increase recruitment and retention of women faculty, non-binary faculty, faculty of color, and differently abled faculty, as well as other appropriate staff.
  2. Ensure that the implementation of survey action plans does not increase the workloads of faculty/staff.
  3. Address any disproportionate amount of work assigned to faculty and staff who are women, non-binary, and employees of color.
  4. Develop more effective mentoring for instructional faculty at all levels.
  5. Create more opportunities for growth and promotion for faculty and staff.
  6. Increase communication and ensure safety for those who speak up.
  7. Ensure that recommendations are well-documented, publicly available and evaluated for effectiveness.

The issues the CSET report identifies are deeply important. They are also issues that many higher education institutions across the nation have been working to address, and ones that CAS has been addressing for some time. Yet, we can and must do more to create a climate in CAS where all community members feel that they belong and are supported.To this end, CAS is committing to two new initiatives in the coming academic year to foster a climate of belonging and inclusion:

  • First, early in fall term, the college will roll out a program to fund small gatherings of faculty and staff to support networking and cohort building. This initiative is a specific recommendation from the CSET report to create support networks for underrepresented faculty and staff. 
  • Second, throughout the academic year, we will work with faculty to develop recommendations for a college-wide mentoring program that assures faculty have the support they need and that recognizes mentors for their service.

These new initiatives are a part of our ongoing and sustained efforts to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in the college. To build our capacity to move this work forward, and to coordinate efforts across the college, this spring we created a new leadership position in the college — the associate dean for diversity, equity, and inclusion (ADDEI). Nadia Singh, associate professor of Biology, will take on this new role in July.

The climate survey results and the CSET report are reminders that we have much more work yet to do as a college. We are committed to this work and to partnering with you all to make the college a wonderful place to work and learn.

In closing, thank you for your engagement in this process. We appreciate all the work that our faculty, staff, and students did over the past few months to dig into the survey and suggest changes that will make CAS a stronger community. We will keep you updated on our progress.
With appreciation, 

Chris J. Poulsen
Tykeson Dean of Arts and Sciences
Professor of Earth Sciences
College of Arts and Sciences | University of Oregon
1030 E. 13th Avenue | Eugene, OR | 97403
Pronouns: he/his​


  1. honest Uncle Gangsta 06/14/2023

    UO CAS obviously has way too much time and money on their hands, which they choose to devote to more and more bizarre stuff. The statement reads like a woke parody. I’ve also noticed more “administrators” who get hired to waste effort at great expense. It seems that UO could benefit from having state support reduced. That is probably happening, though not for the right reasons.

    • UO Matters Post author | 06/14/2023

      State support for UO has increased substantially over the past 10 or so years, and will increase still more during the coming biennium. That said it’s still very low on a per in-state student basis, relative to other states – though apparently it is high enough to pay the salaries of a plethora of well-compensated diversity administrators, and even a few lunches for the dwindling number of faculty willing to listen to them try to explain what they do, and why it has had so little effect on campus climate. For more see

    • Oldtimer 06/15/2023

      Short game administrators:
      1 penalize faculty for pursuing what might be best for their career and family
      2 scoop up every penny of end of year reserves
      Long game administrators do just the opposite.
      Short run administrators are all too often rewarded with promotions/new jobs, before the damage becomes fully obvious.

  2. Ass Dean 06/15/2023

    How many administrators does it take to buy lunch for faculty?
    Asking because I need to submit my hiring plan for next year.

  3. Anonymous 06/25/2023

    I have a great idea. How about CAS uses their funds to actually diversify. Maybe we could start with a not-another-white-guy in leadership.

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