Thursday, November 6, 2014

Staff Senate: October 16

Guest Speaker: Pat Hogan 

Mr. Pat Hogan spoke to the Senate on numerous topics, but stated that he was more interested in what was on our minds. He spoke at length on the role of leadership and the role of the manager at UVA, the educational initiatives that are currently in place for training, and role clarification. He also shared his thoughts on how the use of creativity and innovation by staff, and faculty will do much to push UVA toward excellence. He asks that we all commit to being innovators, and as senators, we must keep this in mind as we move forward.

Mr. Hogan feels strongly that managers and staff need to be empowered in order to have ideas bubble up to the surface, where they can be considered and acted upon. In his words, he feels that no matter what your job is at UVA, each person has ideas for constructive positive change and we need to have all staff engaged in being creative. We need to change the culture, he suggests, as well as not to settle for complacency or mediocrity.

Mr. Hogan spoke about the fact that we have too many silos at UVA and quite a bit of duplication of effort. He states that he is committed to merit increases every year of his current 7 year plan, however, he asks something of us in return: that we work with him to change the culture to one of innovation and excellence.

We have to modernize the way things are done at UVA. He described his point of view on the organizational structure, which he feels is best compared to a pyramid shape, where information and requests for ideas flow well up and down. However, at UVA, he described what he believes is more complicated: we have not only a pyramid but also an inverted pyramid below, such that the middle layer becomes the place where information sharing can become congested.

  • He suggests that we need to ensure that we have managers who enable people to innovate and that we need to offer training to managers to support these efforts
  • We need to continue to invest in technology (used the new phone system as an example)
  • We need to continue to provide funding for research
  • We need to invest money in getting updated servers
  • He encourages us to all work together to ensure innovation and creativity
  • He is committed to the safety of our students and staff and discussed the work of the new task force on safety

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