Staff Engagement

Goal: Make UC Santa Cruz a place where people enjoy working.

UC Santa Cruz staff embodies the excellence that is at the core of UC Santa Cruz. Through years of budget cuts, with little reduction in work, our focus has remained on sustaining operations—sometimes at the cost of supporting employee development and engagement. Read complete goal statement.

As the projects below are implemented in Spring 2015, pages for each will provide regular updates on project leads, scope, timelines, progress, and metrics.


  • Expand campus-wide and divisional programs that recognize and appreciate staff contributions.
  • Improve staff retention by:
    • Developing programs for connecting new staff to the institution, the community and the natural environment in which the campus sits;
    • Enhancing staff training and development;
    • Exploring rotation systems to enrich staff experience and perspective.
  • Increase employee input into decision-making and sharing of ideas and best practices across division/unit lines.
  • Surface issues before they become critical by:
    • Reinstituting the Campus Welfare Committee;
    • Investing in training for managers and supervisors;
    • Creating a playbook of good management and supervision practices;
    • Promoting a culture of respect for colleagues.


  • Clear recognition of need and desire to positively impact the level of employee engagement.
  • The quality our staff, their resilience, and their resolute commitment to our mission and our students.
  • Commitment to creating a strong sense of community.


  • Isolation within units—few mechanisms for cross-functional work groups, informal networks for staff or supervisors.
  • Work production being valued above career and skill development.
  • Insufficient measures to gauge success.
  • Differences in what organizational health concepts “morale¨ climate¨engagement¨ and communication mean to organizations and individuals.
  • Lack of capacity to launch a centralized effort.
  • Lack of a communication infrastructure.
  • Lack of understanding of the Principles of Community across the campus.