Institutional Culture, Athletics Updates Presented at Faculty Senate

Provost Forrest Maltzman also was recognized and President Thomas LeBlanc provided an update on the university’s progress and future.

Professor Marie Price
Professor Marie Price, a member of the Culture Leadership Team and Faculty Senate, told colleagues Friday that work teams are developing recommendations to improve GW's culture. (William Atkins/GW Today)
April 15, 2019

Guided by the recent faculty-staff culture assessment, the George Washington University Culture Leadership Team has developed a common purpose and values as well as work teams to focus on areas needing attention, Professor Marie Price told members of the Faculty Senate on Friday.

“We have developed a common purpose that we feel will be an internal guide, a kind of North Star, for the university … as well as a set of values,” said Dr. Price, a member of the Culture Leadership Team (CLT).

The idea, Dr. Price added, is “if we’re all rowing in the same direction, that might help us achieve excellence.”

The common purpose and values—which will be sent to faculty and staff this week—will inform how faculty and staff approach the “service moment,” encourage going the “extra mile” and guide personal interactions.

Meanwhile, four work teams comprising faculty, staff and leadership from across the university will focus on: Faculty and Staff Care, Faculty and Staff Recognition, Global Orientation and Onboarding and Leadership Behaviors.

By the end of May, the teams will present recommendations to the CLT, which over the summer will evaluate and determine recommendations for implementation as well as develop service standards and expected behaviors for faculty and staff.

All of the new guidance—common purpose, values, service standards and expected behaviors—will become part of orientation and onboarding new employees, training managers and performance management of faculty and staff.

“This process is not a short-lived event, Dr. Price said. “It will probably take several years to get our institutional culture where we’d like it to be. It only works if people are interested and believe that it matters.”

Athletics update
Tanya Vogel, director of athletics and recreation, provided the senate with an overview of GW athletics and its future.

Along with club sports and recreational and other activities, GW has 27 Division I sports and roughly 500 student-athletes who dedicate themselves not only to their sport but also to their academics, with strong grade-point averages and academic recognition, Ms. Vogel said.

“We want to recruit students to GW that want a GW education and can be successful here,” Ms. Vogel said.

Athletics Director Tanya VogelTanya Vogel, director of athletics and recreation, told the Faculty Senate on Friday that athletics pursues excellence in the "classroom, competition and community." (William Atkins/GW Today)

Emphasizing the importance of a “highly visible display of discipline and excellence” in the athletics program, Ms. Vogel also said student-athletes focus on the values-based leadership of determination, commitment and respect.

Now and in the future, Ms. Vogel said athletics would pursue excellence in the “classroom, competition and community.”

Among “continued pursuits,” Ms. Vogel noted building students’ professional competencies and increasing the department’s on-campus and community engagement, sponsorships, contributions and communication efforts.

Provost’s remarks
Provost Forrest Maltzman, who announced Thursday he would step down as provost and remain in the role until a successor is selected, highlighted the importance of shared governance with faculty and the contributions of staff and leadership in moving the university forward.

“The phrase I want to keep using is, ‘We accomplished a lot,’ ” Dr. Maltzman said, referencing higher retention and graduation rates and enhancements to academics, research and the student experience, which he noted in a recent letter. “It's a collective effort.”

President’s remarks
President Thomas LeBlanc lauded Dr. Maltzman as an “institution builder” who just in the past few years has helped lead the university through a presidential transition and a reaccreditation process.

“There has been a number of heavy lifts, and he’s been there with a lever on every one of them,” Dr. LeBlanc said.

Addressing the strategic initiatives, Dr. LeBlanc said one exciting development is the timeline to the renovation that will fully “reimagine” the interior of Thurston Hall with more community space and new rooms. If all goes well, it may be completed by fall 2021, and by fall 2022 at the latest.

Separate from the strategic initiatives, Dr. LeBlanc told the senate the upcoming year would include many discussions with faculty and leadership on the university’s next decade-long strategic plan.

He said: “This is an opportunity to have a conversation … at every layer of the university about how we go about achieving progress on our aspiration over the next 10 years. We can’t do everything. But we can do some things. And we can do some things that will have maximal impact on the kind of place we want to be.”

Dr. LeBlanc said he expects among the many items to be discussed would be: “building in” GW’s campuses to improve or add new infrastructure, rethinking the enrollment strategy and the size of the undergraduate and graduate student populations, finding even more ways to leverage GW’s primary location in D.C. and preparing students in all disciplines for an increasingly technological society.

Other business

  • The senate approved three resolutions to recommend changes to the Faculty Code, including clarifying language about: treatment of regular versus specialized faculty, faculty recusal from personnel decisions and tenure and promotion grievance proceedings. The Board of Trustees will consider proposed changes to the Faculty Code at its May meeting.
  • The senate also elected members of the 2019-2020 Executive Committee, including reelecting Chair Sylvia Marotta-Walters; parliamentarian; and the dispute resolution committee chair.
University News


Provost Maltzman Announces He Will Step Down

April 11, 2019

Dr. Maltzman will remain in the job until a successor is selected, will return to teaching.

GW Accelerating Thurston Hall Renovation

February 19, 2019

Emphasis on student experience for first years a high priority.

Faculty-Staff Culture Assessment Results Announced

January 11, 2019

Survey and interviews identified clear themes for improvement.

Tanya Vogel Named GW Director of Athletics and Recreation

April 09, 2018

Ms. Vogel is a former GW student-athlete, head coach and development officer.