In the spring of 1996 members of the Division of Student Affairs at Oregon State University adopted the Campus Compact, a document in which we describe our aspirations to build a strong sense of community on the OSU campus. The Compact focuses on relationships, attitudes, and behavior we will foster through-out the University campus.
In the Compact we also identify specific initiatives through which we will achieve our desired outcomes. One of the initiatives, under the heading "Professional Development," focuses on enhancing personal growth and development of staff, establishing learning and performance expectations, and setting standards for professional relationships and service delivery. This document describes our goals and expectations.
The thoughts expressed in this document were generated through discussions among members of Student Affairs units, all of whom had the opportunity to be involved. Each work group responded to the following questions:
The answers to these questions form the basis of our Rights and Responsibilities document.
This document does not replace job descriptions, union contracts, or other pre-existing documents. Nor is it meant to diminish our responsibility to meet all legal obligations for accessibility or other workplace standards. This is not a legal document. This is a document rooted in care - how we would like to be cared for, how we will care for our colleagues, and how we will show our care for OSU and its mission. This represents our best thinking about how we will construct our work lives and relationships. The words and ideas expressed are those of the people who are employed in the Division of Student Affairs at Oregon State University. This document will serve as the standard toward which we aspire. Each work group will develop a specific plan for how to achieve this standard. Each will outline a regular process for evaluating their progress and achievements.
Our Basic Rights and Responsibilities
We want a work environment characterized by open and honest communication, where members show respect for the needs, interests, concerns, challenges, and humanity of co-workers. We will accept responsibility for fostering relationships of appreciation, recognition, support, celebration, and commitment to each other's well-being and success. Positive treatment, and commitment and care will be accorded to all because it is our responsibility to acknowledge the dignity of each person, not simply that person's perceived status. We will be committed to doing a good job and acting in good faith on behalf of ourselves, students, our units, our Division, the University, and the taxpayers of the state of Oregon. Above all else, we will practice respect, open communication, and create an enriching work environment for all members.
An individual's ability to grow and develop professionally is influenced by the physical work space, the attitudes shown in that space, and the general atmosphere of the environment. Physical aspects of the environment, such as ergonomically correct and adequate equipment, may enhance or detract from performance and growth. Attention to temperature, lighting, safety, accessibility, and visual displays, and respect for an individual's personal space also will affect the physical and emotional well-being of individuals. A safe emotional environment is built on trust, integrity, and support. It encourages individuals to speak freely, without fear or threat of ridicule, judgment, or retaliation. A trusting atmosphere creates a space for confidentiality and humor and expresses faith in the ability and good intentions of others. Dignity, mutual respect, and integrity serve as the cornerstones of an emotionally supportive and trusting environment and provide a firm foundation from which to promote learning and good work performance.
Each of us is responsible for the physical, emotional, and spiritual condition of our work space. To act on my responsibility to create a positive work environment I will:
In addition to contributing to the creation of a positive work environment, each staff member should expect to receive positive results from the environment they create. As a staff member in the Division of Student Affairs I have a right to:
Honest and open communication between colleagues creates a positive atmosphere. While we all seek open communication, it may be difficult to overcome the barriers that get in the way. We openly acknowledge that we must work hard to rise above any issues that interfere with out ability to share information among colleagues. Lack of honest communication breeds misunderstanding and mistrust and inhibits the growth and productivity of each of us. Communication is the most vital aspect of our work and lives, and it is the mechanism through which we connect with each other. Because good communication is essential to good work, this is a crucial element in our desire to educate, to provide quality service, and to be of value to our University.
To act on my responsibility to create positive communication I will:
In addition to contributing to the development of positive communication, each staff member is entitled to the benefits associated with an organization characterized by good communication. As part of an organization committed to open and honest communication I have the right to:
Each of us needs certain basic resources in order to fulfill his or her responsibilities. We also must acknowledge that we do not have an infinite source of money with which to acquire material and human resources. Therefore, it is imperative that we make the best use of the resources needed to carry out our work. In the area of resource allocation and utilization I have a responsibility to:
Our commitment to the growth and development of staff must be expressed in such a manner as to ensure access to opportunities, offer fair distribution of resources, and strengthen the concept that these opportunities are not to be viewed as investments rather than financial or staffing burdens. In the area of resource allocation and utilization I have a right to:
Professional Development and Learning
The most essential element of a University is a commitment to the advancement of knowledge. As members of a learning organization we are committed to enhancing our knowledge and the knowledge of those with whom we work. Out of professional necessity and ethical responsibility, learning standards have been developed to which members of the Division of Student Affairs will comply. These standards relate to two areas -- professional development and the use of technology. General learning and professional development focus on the way in which we have knowledge and how we use knowledge to increase our effectiveness. Technology development involves full use of available technology and keeping pace with technological advancement. Within Student Affairs, career-long learning is encouraged, expected, and required for each of us. Specifically, as a member and active learner in the Division of Student Affairs, I have a responsibility to:
At the same time, we are a learning organization, where member growth is nurtured, encouraged, and promoted. As a staff member of the Division of Student Affairs. I have a right to:
All members of the division of Student Affairs will be held accountable for and have access to skills development, which includes:
Specific Technology Requirements - All Student Affairs units will comply with the minimum standards found at http://tss.oregonstate.edu/cn/policy/2005/?page=home&type=normal
Each of us will be held accountable. This accountability goes beyond fulfilling the basics of our job description. The accountability we speak of refers to our willingness to state who we are willing to be, what we will give, and what unique contribution we will bring to our work setting. Accountability is the willingness to step forward and be counted. As a member of the Division of Student Affairs I am willing to be held accountable for:
Many of the expectations and concepts listed in this document may be categorized as attitudes or values. However, these concepts translate into specific behaviors. Engaging in the specific behavior described will produce the environment that will create the desired outcomes. In order to implement this set of Rights and Responsibilities:
Rights and Responsibilities submitted by: Curt Black, Edie Blakely, Kristie Deschesne, Jodi Nelson, Larry Roper, Gail Wolcott