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Dec 12, 2018
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Chair of the Council of Chairs/ Coordinators and Chair of the Department of Anthropology Jim Mullooly discusses the creation of the Principles of Community document at the University Dining Hall, Nov. 15, 2018. (Michael Ford/ The Collegian)

‘Principles of Community’ document moves forward, could publish in January

Fresno State’s effort to improve the workplace environment for employees moved forward on Thursday with a draft presentation of the Principles of Community document.

The presentation at the University Dining Hall, which had the sparse attendance of seven people, focused on the methods used to gather opinions of Fresno State employees on what they would constitute as an ideal work environment.

“[Our goal] is to improve the relationship and culture for employees so that they can best serve the student population,” said Fresno State Director of Organized Excellence Kathleen Scott.

Fresno State faculty and staff submitted over 2,600 responses to an anonymous online survey and 31 focus groups voted in online polls to define the four key principles that the Principles of Community document should be based on. Those principles include: respect, kindness, collaboration and accountability.

From November 2017 to October 2018, the Workplace Quality Task Force, which is made up of representatives from faculty, administration and staff, drafted the Principles of Community document after analyzing the poll and survey responses.

The task force is led by Dr. Matthew Jendian, chair of the sociology department, and Dr. James Mullooly, chair of the anthropology department.

An online tool is available where people can offer anonymous feedback on the document, including highlighting words and phrases that are liked and disliked.

Mullooly said the task force is targeting January for a final draft of the document to be published.

According to Jendian, the project began in late 2016. However, the document has gained relevance in light of controversial remarks posted on social media by a Fresno State professor during the spring semester, as well as several other incidents that have taken place in recent months involving faculty.

Jendian added that this is not the first document of its kind. He said the task force examined and drew inspiration from similar documents that other campuses have instituted. CSU San Marcos has a similar document titled “Working Together,” and UC Merced’s document is also called “Principles of Community.”

Once a final draft is ready, the document will go before the President’s Cabinet and the Associated Students, Inc. Senate to be affirmed.

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