Champlain College is committed to measuring the pulse of our faculty and staff's work experience. One way we stay informed of the pulse is by participating in the The Chronicle of Higher Education's Great Colleges to Work For Program, administered by Modern Think. Champlain participated in the Modern Think survey in 2011, 2012, 2014, 2016, and 2018. Your responses help us work to build upon our strengths and identify areas where we have opportunities to improve.

Since receiving the 2018 results, we have done the following:

Coming Soon - Spring and Fall of 2019

  • Real talk sessions with Cabinet.
  • Meet your Leader in the People Center newsletter.
  • Creation of the change facilitator network.
  • Consider and implement changes related to how best to use the People Center newsletter for communicating new hires, transfers, and exits from the college, and other key employee information. 

Spring 2019

  • Jennifer Archambault, Associate VP For Human Capital presented the executive summary: Great Colleges to Work for Survey: Sharing the Results with Financial Sustainability (which is a Board Committee encompassing finance, people, and IT). The executive summary is linked here
  • Professional Development Day topics were selected based on Great Colleges to Work for Survey results and the community conversation. Topics include: Renewal and Energy, and learning to have conversations that matter. 
  • Departments continue to work with teams to take action based on Great Colleges to Work for Survey results. 
  • Members of the Flourishing Community foundation group for the Champlain 2025 strategic plan include the Great Colleges to Work for Survey results as a key data point.

Fall 2018

  • Starting in the fall, Provost Laurie Quinn is working with the academic leadership team to identify strengths to build on and areas to which we can bring new energy and focus across the academic divisions and departments. In addition, Dr. Quinn has met with Faculty Senate Executive Cabinet and the Welfare Committee to discuss faculty results overall. Over the course of the fall and spring semester, progress on issues related to survey findings continues.
  • Cabinet met with Modern Think Managing Partner on October 1 to review the results.
  • Rich Boyer, Managing Partner and the organizational development expert from ModernThink was on campus October 29-31. During this time, we held two open sessions with approximately 85 attendees to review survey results, held meetings with approximately 30 leaders, 40 managers at Manager's Round Table, 13 members of Faculty Senate Executive Committee, and 14 members of Staff Council leadership. Rich also gave a high level overview at Town Hall and debriefed with Cabinet to identify themes from all of the aforementioned interactions to help inform and finalize next steps. 
  • Please see the email from Jennifer Archambault, Associate Vice President for Human Capital located here.
  • Please see the survey results here.
  • Please see Rich Boyer's video presentation here
  • The People Center facilitated three drop in sessions to support leaders in sharing results with their teams. 
  • Division and department leaders shared department results with teams by the end of the Fall semester.
  • The People Center provided all leaders with a tool kit to help guide them in sharing results with their teams, create space for dialogue, and engage our people in action planning.
  • President Laackman engaged College Council in a dialogue around communication. As a result, President Laackman is providing the community with monthly updates.
  • Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees reviewed survey results and the people engagement strategy moving from results to action. 
  • Leadership Collective was established and has begun monthly meetings. This group is comprised of Cabinet members and a group of their direct reports. A summary of the group is located here
  • Launched a collaborative committee to evaluate the staff performance management structure and system.
  • President Laackman presented an executive summary: Great Colleges to Work For Survey - sharing the results to the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees. The executive summary and survey results presentation by Modern Think was posted to the board portal for all Board members to access and review.
  • Based on survey comments and feedback, President Laackman is engaging with staff and colleagues by reserving time to visit different departments and divisions around campus.

Spring 2018

  • Launched the 2018 Great Colleges to Work for Survey administered by Modern Think and sponsored by the Chronicle of Higher Education.
  • Selected the following custom statements to gather data regarding faculty and staff experiences related to Diversity, Inclusion and Equity: Faculty, staff and students of all racial, ethnic and gender backgrounds are valued and respected; I would be comfortable reporting an incident of bias, discrimination or harassment; We are making progress towards being an inclusive community.
  • 75% total participation in the survey.

Fall of 2017 and Spring 2018

Professional development, learning, and growing was and continues to be an important theme from the Great Colleges to Work for Survey Results. In the Fall of 2017 and Spring of 2018, there were several development opportunities offered for faculty, staff and leaders including the following:


    • Facilitated Dialogue series focused on Global, Domestic and Privilege and Systems;
    • Fostering Supportive Communication Climates;
    • Practicing the Difficult Conversation;
    • Listening: Perhaps the Most Important Skill; and
    • Opportunities to share your thoughts; through the fall semester, staff were invited to participate in monthly sessions and share concerns and opportunities within the realm of diversity & inclusion.
    • Spirituality and Religion on Campus Manager’s engaged in learning via MRT. Areas of learning were Emotional Intelligence and Diversity, Finding your Why, and Strategic Budget Planning.


    • Staff Professional Development Day: Intent versus Impact, Communication across the generations, Engaging in career conversations with your staff or manager.
    • Diversity and Inclusion Book Group: Using works of fiction to engage in meaningful learning. Books included: Homegoing, Salvage the Bones and Men Explain Things to Me.
    • Influence and Leadership Webinar

Summer 2017

  • Created a cross functional book group for "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" by Stephen Covey.   Over the 9 weeks the group did a deep dive into the 7 habits that Covey discusses in his step-by-step pathway for living with fairness, integrity, service, and human dignity.

Spring 2017

  • Held a workshop for all employees on Diversity and Inclusion: Having Effective Change Agent Conversations, led by Shannon Murphy.

Winter 2016-2017

  • Presented and reviewed findings at FAST quarterly meeting in January.
  • Explored statements regarding employee empowerment and manager relations.
  • FAST leadership team reviewed FAST results and discussed in depth areas in Collaboration, Work/Life Balance and Pride.
  • Held workshop for employees titled, "Self-Guided Professional Development: Owning Your Path", to speak about what professional development is and what resources Champlain has to offer.
  • Held workshop for managers titled, "Leading the Way: Employee Professional Development Pathways", for manager to help employees find their own professional development and how to have the conversation, along with what resources are available.
  • Annual Wellbeing and Benefits Fair.

Fall 2016

  • Presented Modern Think findings to Manager's Roundtable. These managers have actively engaged with the data and are in the process of identifying areas where managers can have a greater impact.
  • Held other departmental and team reviews of the data/discussions to do a deep dive into areas of the institutions that are "getting it right" to see how we can translate those into other areas of the institution.
  • Presented Staff data to Staff Welfare and Staff Council.
  • Discussed Modern Think findings with the Diversity Council as they evaluate 15 questions within the survey for comparative purposes related to gender and ethnicity.
  • Presented overall results to the Board of Trustees.
  • Presented Board of Trustees results and discussion at Town Hall.

Summer 2016

  • President's Cabinet met with external consulting partner from Modern Think to review and discuss institutional results. This continues to be a front-and-center topic on areas in which the Cabinet can have an impact, including leadership, communication, and transparency.
  • Academic leadership held a call with the Modern Think consultant to focus on faculty results, and discuss potential areas of focus for the next year.
  • Cabinet took steps to clarify mission, vision, and strategy.
  • Distributed findings to roughly 20 managers whose groups had results in their respective areas (i.e. academic divisions, IT, Student Life, etc). Each manager had the opportunity to have a discussion with the Modern Think consultant about their own group.
  • Managers held discussions with their departments to develop individual and/or departmental action plans.

During the last two years between the 2014 and 2016 survey, we have seen changes in leadership with a new President and Provost, changes in roles among all Cabinet members, our NEASC self-study, a crowd sourced inaugural address and the Champlain Futures Initiative. Each of these activities or initiatives represented opportunities for significant staff and faculty engagement and input.

While we don't always create action, initiatives or programs for the "sake of Modern Think," it is a reference for thinking, progress and action. Your responses helped guide the way in which we engaged and led the Champlain College community. The following list summarizes some of the actions and initiatives that took place after the 2014 survey results, and prior to the 2016 survey:

Winter 2016

  • Restructured the annual All Campus Update to enhance collaboration, communication and information transfer.
  • Improved the staff performance management system to better support the Futures Initiative and to respond to staff and manager feedback.
  • Implemented the staff Workplace Flexibility Policy to support our changing work and personal needs.
  • Reimagined Town Hall to foster communication and transparency.
  • Provided DARE U Google This! for additional learning with everyday productivity tools.
  • Sent the second annual Total Compensation Statement to all full-time employees.
  • Kicked off a campus wide initiative focused on traditional student retention and persistence.
  • Presented the feedback from the Spyglass sessions and outlining the next steps for the Champlain Futures Initiative.

Fall 2015

  • Continued our commitment to creating  a culture of Wellbeing with offerings that included family hikes, parenting programs and an enhanced partnership with Body Resolution.
  • Continued the Futures Initiative Spyglass sessions.
  • Launched the Safety and Respect For All website and our partnering with United Educators for required training for staff and faculty to reinforce our commitment to providing a healthy, safe and respectful learning and work environment for all individuals.
  • Held manager discussions with the People Center on their progress and engagement with the Modern Think survey results from their respective areas.  
  • Held a FAST (made up of Advancement, Campus Planning, Event Center and Auxiliary Services, Finance, Information Systems, People Center, Physical Plant, and Student Accounts) trade show in the Champlain Room for the campus to learn more about what each department does and how the institution can best be served. This event was an effort to increase collaboration within the the FAST team and institutionally.
  • Created a Strategic Communications and External Affairs department with an emphasis on improving the quality and value of internal and external communications.
  • Created a People Center blog to enhance communication of employee related information.
  • In order to create greater communication from Cabinet to the division of Student Life, Student Life created a weekly update for all staff in the division to learn what their VP and Cabinet is working on. Staff can attend in person, call in to the meeting or read the weekly notes.

Summer 2015

  • Restructured Managers Round Table to create learning leadership labs and to foster institutional and departmental cross collaboration, input and projects.
  • Synthesized and analyzed the results from the Spring 2015 Spyglass sessions.
  • Offered Dare U courses on budget management, employee recognition, giving and receiving feedback and bias and stereotypes in recruiting.These courses have been designed to improve communication, transparency and employee and manager competencies.

Spring 2015

  • Launched the Champlain Futures Initiative and holding over 35 sessions to engage faculty, staff, students trustees and external stakeholders in inventing the future of Champlain College.
  • Enhanced the Recognition and Awards webpage to bring greater level of visibility and recognition to recipients.
  • Rebranded Human Resources and Organizational Development to the People Center to better reflect the strategic focus and priorities or our people.  

Winter 2015

  • Posted and shared Board of Trustee Executive Summaries to increase transparency and communication.
  • Posted PowerPoint presentations from Town Hall meetings to allow for access to those unable to attend in person.
  • Created and disseminated our Total Compensation statement for staff and faculty to increase communication and understanding of our overall compensation and benefits.
  • Created the Passport to Wellbeing to enhance employee ownership of their own wellbeing through biometrics, health assessment and a step challenge.

Fall 2014

  • Held a meeting with Modern Think Consultants to review institutional results. This continues to be a front and center topic on areas which the Cabinet can have an impact, including areas such as leadership, communication and transparency.
  • Distributed Modern Think findings to 20 +/- managers who had groups large enough (ex. each academic division, IT, Student Life, etc.) for results in their respective areas. Each of these managers had the opportunity to have a discussion with our ModernThink Consultant specifically on their own group. Many managers held discussions with their own departments and developed individual and/or departmental action plans.
  • Presented Modern Think findings to Manager's Roundtable. These managers have actively engaged with the data and identified areas where managers can have an impact. The primary focus has been on communication and collaboration.
  • Held other departmental and team review of the data and discussions (ex. FAST leadership discussed the findings and have put in place action plans for progress on a quarterly basis).
  • Presented Staff Welfare and Staff Council a subset of the data focused on recognition and rewards.
  • Discussed Modern Think findings with the Diversity Council as they evaluate 15 questions within the Modern Think survey for comparative purposes related to gender and ethnicity.
  • Held discussions with Academic leadership to identify opportunities.
  • Developed and delivered ongoing staff compensation workshops for employees and managers to educate and bring transparency to the process.