Innovation Implementation: Next Steps
Over the last few months, a broadly representative Professional Development Group, chaired by Jeanne Christiansen, has been working to develop a systemic approach to professional development for all employees in the university, including education and development topics and the appropriate forum for their delivery. As the Professional Development Task Force meets the essence if its charge this fall, we ask that this group be reshaped and work with both Innovation Implementation teams to integrate their ideas and plans in partnership with the Goal 4 team. To supplement the Education and Development Group’s work to date, we ask that it partner with the Ethics and Justice Innovation Proposal Team, Office of Research, and Ethics Across the Curriculum Blue Ribbon Initiative group to provide the education and development opportunities outlined in the proposal. The Ethics and Justice Innovation Team’s suggestions on additional ethics training for students fits well within the current Ethics Across the Curriculum Initiative, and we ask that they continue to build on the successes to date to further expand that work. The cross-university Professional Development Implementation Team will then work with our existing experts inside the University of Idaho, and those from outside when necessary, to execute the education individuals and groups need to continuously move the university forward.
Cultivating a Respectful Culture
Lead: Jeanne Christiansen, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs
: Three proposals outlined a vision for improving our community and culture. Consistent with Goal 4 of the Strategic Action Plan — to create and sustain an energized community that is adaptable, dynamic, and vital to enable the University to advance strategically and function efficiently — the Continuous Improvement proposal suggested that we need to examine and improve our organizational systems on a regular basis. In the proposal Cultivating a Respectful Community, author Dean Baird et al. recommend we continuously improve the skills of our employees as well as our culture and climate. They identify a number of topical areas that include leadership, conflict resolution, ethics, sexual harassment prevention, key policies and procedures, safety, cultural expectations for civil behavior, capitalizing on diverse backgrounds and perspectives, and communications skills. A number of venues could be employed to educate and develop our faculty, staff, and students around these topics to include: new employee orientation programs, unit safety committees and training, regularly-scheduled education seminars, e-learning tools, training trainers in units across the university, etc. Initial steps have already been taken in this area including a President’s Leadership Retreat held in August.
Last spring’s news coverage raising questions about research ethics points to the critical importance of this issue to our faculty, staff and graduate students and to the reputation of our institution. A portion of the Ethics and Justice in the Age of Globalization proposal, authored by Doug Lind and Larry Forney, provides a concrete approach to ensuring the highest operating standards for our academic enterprise. Specifically, they suggested stronger training on the ethical conduct of research that could be incorporated into this work.