Pomona Builds Action Plan from Survey Results

Cecilia Conrad, Acting President of Pomona College, is in the process of creating an “action plan” in response to last year’s staff survey. Last year for the first time, a survey was sent out to Pomona faculty members asking them to evaluate the college. The survey was executed upon recommendation of the President’s Advisory Committee for Diversity through Mercer, an American global human resource consulting firm. 

Overall, Pomona ranked well when compared to the norms provided by Mercer. According to the survey, the college ranked less favorably in categories such as recognition for excellent performance, support for teamwork and communication about management’s vision of individual departments and the college.

“The first time you do such a survey, what you learn from it is limited because the real value comes from repeating it,” said Richard Fass, Vice President of Planning. “So you get data, and you can’t always know what it means. We have limited comparative data that Mercer the company gave us, but we don’t know who it’s comparing with, so we don’t know what it means.”

However, Pomona ranked favorably in categories such as college pride, optimism about its future and commitment to the college, according to Conrad in an e-mail to TSL.

The findings, which were received over the summer, have already been presented to the faculty during a forum that was held before the start of this school year. About 50 percent of the faculty responded to the optional survey, according to Fass.

Fass expects the college to administer the survey every two to three years, although the administration has not made a decision on when they are next going to give the survey.

In response to the survey, the administration will implement an “action plan” to improve the areas that the survey identified as sub-par. To help with the action plan, a committee will be formed to advise the college on how it can improve.   

“We are going to be working, in conversations with staff, to identify areas that we want to tackle and then develop a plan,” Conrad said. “What are the things we’d like to do to make those outcomes better?”

This action plan is one of four primary tasks that Conrad is assigned to address while President David Oxtoby is on sabbatical in Cambridge, England until January. 

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