Teamwork: Assessing, addressing, and diagnosing inter- and intra-organizational communication issues in academic institutions
As philosopher and organizational expert David Shaner wrote, "...despite how technological and automated organizations have become, at their core they remain a collection of human energies that are merely being applied in an organized environment." Colleges and universities have long dealt with unique brands of organizational miscommunication issues due to lack of understanding among the levels of students, faculty, staff, administration, and Board of Trustees/Curators members. If employees are not all on the same page of prioritizing education to our students, the educational product suffers on many levels. Communication silos all but guarantee that faculty, staff, and administrators will not provide for one another fundamental information that helps professors deliver the highest quality education services. There are myriad possibilities of exploring this subject including, but not limited to:
1. What to do when your team is troubled? - working with difficult co-workers, how to work as a team when not everyone is a team player.
2. What happens when your team members shift "positions" - faculty and staff are taking on more work, new roles in one another's respective domains, and, often, without formal training.
3. How transparent should administration be?
4. Communication with parents.
5. Walking in their shoes: Faculty and staff's (lack of) understanding of each other's roles and how they are interdependent.
6. How are employees evaluated? How is teaching evaluated? How are those who are lagging behind expectations dealt with? How are those exceeding expectations rewarded?
7. Employment protection for staff: While tenure can protect faculty from baseless firings, what is the process for termination of staff members when cause is in dispute?
8. How is upward evaluation handled? Who evaluates administrators and Board members, and how is this done?
9. How to handle faculty votes of no-confidence and their associated outcomes.
10. Inter-level communication issues: students and faculty, faculty and staff; faculty and administration; faculty and Board members. How can these relationships be improved?
11. How do office romance, marriage, and other personal relationships within the organization affect the workplace environment and productivity?
12. How can we best be proactive and reactive to sexual and other forms of workplace harassment?
13. How can we best deal with issues of sexual assault on campus?
14. Community Colleges and 4-year schools - How do they collaborate with articulation agreements and transfer classes, etc. and not be adversarial in competing for students and enrollment? How can we work together and, yet, be separate?
15. Cultural diversity issues in organizational communication.
16. Effective and ineffective communication channels - how is message reception affected by face-to-face communication vs. email vs. texting vs. Twitter and other social media vs. telephone and voice mail, etc.?
17. Individual or departmental conflict in organizations.
18. Team-based classroom learning - benefits, challenges, successes, etc.
We also encourage panel submissions on GIFTS (Great Ideas For Teaching Speech) and on original research in areas outside of the conference theme.