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   from the issue of February 26, 2004

Survey gives department a clearer mission

This is the first of a regular feature spotlighting the ways that results from the 2002 Gallup survey have been used to make positive changes in departments across campus.


The Department: Agronomy and Horticulture. Ken Cassman, professor and chair of the department, answered our questions about the department’s efforts and results.

The question addressed from the Gallup survey: “The mission or purpose of my organization makes me feel my job is important.”

Why was this question addressed? “Our neighborhood score for this question was equivalent to the UNL and IANR average. However, as an applied science department, our staff believed that we should rank much higher with regard to buy-in for our mission. We also felt a new mission statement was needed because of the merger of Agronomy and Horticulture.”

What was the action taken? “We created a new mission statement by creating an ad hoc faculty committee, which developed a draft mission statement that was shared with faculty and staff for comment and finalized. We also created a new Mission Statement display (pictured on page 1) to highlight our new mission. This display is located at the main entrance to the Plant Science Building.”

How has the survey and its results benefited your department? “I believe the effort to develop a new mission statement has helped morale in the department by creating a mandate that is more inclusive for the broad range of research, teaching, and extension education that reflects the diversity in our recently merged department.”

The 2004 Gallup survey

The follow-up Gallup survey will be available online March 1-14. E-mails will be sent from Gallup to indicate how to access the survey.

More on this year’s survey:

• All questions asked in the initial survey will be in this round, too. New questions have been added in response to concerns from campus minority groups that some issues were not addressed.

And yes, this means the most-talked-about “best friend” question will be on the survey.

• Some of the language in the survey directions has been changed to reflect the university setting. Rather than refer to a “supervisor,” the directions ask you to consider your “supervisor, department chair or head.”

• This round of the survey will cost $120,000, an amount set aside for this purpose in the chancellor’s budget.



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