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Survey reveals low job satisfaction

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Academic Senate Chair Paula Selvester, left, presents the results of the campus climate survey to the academic senate members and public. Photo credit: David Mcvicker

Some Chico State employees are unhappy at their jobs here on campus and fear retribution for speaking up to their supervisors and other administrators according to a campus-wide survey.

The Academic Senate released the details Thursday of the questionnaire sent to approximately 2000 administrators, faculty and staff in late May. The questionnaire was answered by 401 employees and asked three questions:

  • How well does the university support your ability to work effectively in your assigned role?
  • How well does the university support your efforts to facilitate student learning and success?
  • How well does the university maintain a satisfactory general work environment?

Individuals who responded to the survey were also able to write statements about how they feel working at Chico State.

The survey outlined 13 themes based on the written responses. The survey highlighted a a severe lack of morale among faculty and staff.

One low rating in the survey was employees feeling unsatisfied in their jobs. The words “dehumanizing,” “hopeless,” disposable” and “stressful” were found throughout many of the responses.

Matt Thomas, political science professor, said there should be concern based on some of the responses of the survey.

“The way that I look at this survey is in that last question, ‘maintaining a satisfactory work environment,’ three-quarters of the people said some what or below,” he said. “All I can think of is, if I asked four of my friends ‘are you doing ok?’ and three of them said ‘somewhat,’ I’d be concerned about it.”

Another concern for many of the employees at Chico State is their ability to communicate openly with their supervisors and other administrators. Many said they have a fear of punishment for speaking up when voicing concerns within their jobs. Words like “bullied,” “bullying,” and “harrassment” were found throughout the responses.

Reid Cross, academic senator, said the senate should keep in mind that the survey just isn’t about numbers or statistics.

“This data represents people who are in trouble,” he said. “They could be in serious trouble. Remember, this isn’t just data. This represents people who deal with retribution on a daily basis and we have to be very conscious about that.”

Authors of the survey recommend that the information be used to create an annual survey with more specific questions for each area of concern.

Academic senate chair Paula Selvester said the survey would be included in the package sent to Chancellor Timothy White as part of the senate resolution last month calling for an independent auditor.

David McVicker can be reached at [email protected] or @DavidPMcVicker on Twitter.

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