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Campus Climate Task Force subcommittee makes recommendations to improve University Professional Development and Departmental Leadership


In 2014, Ohio University Executive Vice President and Provost Pam Benoit established the Campus Climate Task Force to evaluate information resulting from the Modern Think 2014 Great Colleges Survey and formulate actionable recommendations.

The CCTF reviewed the survey results with a Modern Think representative to gain an understanding of the overarching themes. There were 15 core dimensions contained within the survey that upon review revealed several areas where employees as a whole reported favorable results as well as areas of widespread concern.

The CCTF then undertook an in-depth analysis of the data. Goals were established to:

  • Communicate openly and regularly through a variety of vehicles
  • Seek further information and input from the University community to enhance our understanding of the campus climate to guide any recommendations
  • Have a strong orientation towards action.


The CCTF issued their report and three new sub-committees were formed to implement the recommendations noted in three keys areas of University-wide internal communications, senior leadership/strategic direction and professional development/departmental leadership.

Substantial progress has been made by all three subcommittees. The focus of this communication is on recommendations made in the Professional Development and Departmental Leadership area regarding the following recommendations:

  • [Ongoing] Continue to identify and publicize opportunities for leadership, management, and supervisory  training
  • [Consider] Consider linking all training opportunities to a single Ohio University Employees’ Professional Development website


In support of these recommendations, the following initiatives were created and made available to faculty, administrators and classified staff.

Senior Leadership Development Program (SLDP) – The Senior Leadership Development Program is a cohort-based program that has improved leadership awareness and helped to develop key leadership competencies such as visioning, influencing, conflict resolution, building trust, change leadership and talent development for almost 100 senior leaders from Academic, Administrative and Student Affairs positions throughout the University. The fourth cohort graduated from the program in April 2018 with 95 percent indicating that they have “much better relationships with colleagues in other departments” as a result of the program, and 84 percent reporting that they are “more prepared to handle future challenges.” Based on feedback from participants, the program has been revised continually and will be redesigned again this fall to meet the evolving needs of a broad range of current and future leaders.

Orientation for Faculty Chairs and Directors – In summer 2017, the Provost’s office sponsored an orientation event for faculty chairs and directors. This event provided many opportunities for chairs and directors to learn about, and discuss important business processes and priorities associated with their leadership responsibilities. Plans are to provide this opportunity for chairs and directors again this summer.

New Training and Development Initiatives – Over the past two and a half years, University Human Resources has partnered closely with VPFA’s Strategic Change Integration and Training department to conduct needs analyses and build a training and development infrastructure to improve quality, quantity and delivery of training and developmental initiatives. In the past two years, the combined teams have developed and delivered more than 20 new learning experiences to improve systems knowledge, build technical skills and support leadership and professional development. 

Most of these experiences have been face-to-face, interactive experiences encouraging engagement between peers and facilitators to improve understanding and application of course content.

In addition to new classroom learning experiences, e-learning courses on a variety of topics will also be developed to provide interactive self-study opportunities. We will continue to identify and respond to campus-wide training needs through ongoing dialogue and partnerships with the Change Integration and Training team, Training Advisory Council, Administrative Senate, Classified Senate and various Partner Groups and development resources from the campus community

Professional Development Pathways – Earlier this year, Ohio University announced a new comprehensive framework for professional development called Professional Development Pathways. This program will provide tools, guidance, and learning opportunities for employees and supervisors who want to invest in talent development and career growth.

Professional Development Pathways is built upon three significant lines of work:

Competency Training Framework – Competencies represent knowledge, skills, and behaviors that contribute to success in a particular role or job. Based on input from University employees, 56 competencies that contribute to successful performance in six job categories or “primary roles” have been identified. Each primary role has an associated “success profile” indicating which competencies are linked to success for that role. Success profiles were created based on interviews and focus group discussions with university employees and a review of sample competency models from public and private organizations.

Competencies are categorized into nine development categories focusing on interactions with PEOPLE, management of work and TASKS, and characteristics or knowledge associated with SELF. Each competency is defined and documented in a Competency Dictionary, located on the Human Resources/Professional Development website, in order to encourage and support ongoing conversations about competencies and how they can be leveraged and developed. 

Learning Management System - A Learning Management System (LMS) is an integral component of Professional Development Pathways because it provides easy access to on-line learning opportunities and assists in tracking training completion. The LMS keeps a record of employee learning experiences, both those that are instructor-led and those offered in an online interactive format. This allows employees to track and demonstrate their learning history through one primary system.

Badging and Certification - To further promote skill development in targeted areas, Professional Development Pathways offers a badging and certification program that awards virtual “badges” for completing designated learning experiences. Specified collections of badges can lead to certificates. Certificates will be used to encourage and recognize staff for learning and demonstrating new skills effectively. The first two certificates will be launched at the end of May 2018 and a multistep template has been created to guide the development of future certificates using a consistent, repeatable process to ensure ongoing integrity of the program.


Professional Development Website – Information about Professional Development Pathways can be found on the Human Resources/Professional Development webpage. This site will provide access to all professional development courses and certificates within the Professional Development Pathways program.