Leveraging the DUE Quality of Life Survey Results

Daniel Hastings, Dean for Undergraduate Education

During our recent DUE all-staff, we reviewed some of the DUE results from the MIT Quality of Life Survey, which was administered in early 2012. I encourage you to take a few minutes to review the highlights, which provide a snapshot of staff perceptions on a wide range of topics – satisfaction, access to resources, support, causes of stress, etc. DUE results are compared to those of MIT main campus staff.

While I am pleased that DUE is at the same level or doing better than MIT as a whole, there are certainly areas where there is room for improvement.

For example, 66% of DUE staff agree that they feel recognized for their contributions as compared to 62% of MIT main campus staff. We are doing slightly better than MIT main campus, but this number should be higher. We need to understand what staff mean by “recognition” so we can make appropriate changes. At the same time, some results show discrepancies based on job category or other sub-categories. For example, Instructional Staff are less likely to know what is expected of them in their positions than support or administrative staff. We should understand why this is the case and rectify it.

Sharon Bridburg and I are working with the leadership team to determine where the results highlight the need for action. Initially, this could entail further data gathering or staff discussions to clarify the results. Also, for offices with 10 people of more responding to the survey, office specific results have been shared with the office head. The office heads are reviewing their individual results and working with Sharon to determine how to engage their staff in this process. Let’s all endeavor to make DUE a happy, productive place to work for the benefit of our students.

One final note. The one area that I found somewhat concerning in the Quality of Life results was that “bias, discrimination, or unfairness” was a cause of extensive stress for 7% of both MIT main campus and DUE staff. Other sources of stress, such as stress from managing a group or departmental politics, were more prevalent, but these are expected. Bias, discrimination and unfairness have no place here in DUE. We should all treat each other with fairness and respect and expect that of each other.