A Thriving Community

The health and well-being of our employees is essential to being a thriving community that is fully engaged and interconnected. Great universities are built upon a foundation of academic and operational excellence. The Roger Williams community will be distinguished by a commitment to excellence, integrity, equity, collaboration, and belonging for our faculty and staff. It is through fostering a deeper shared sense of mission and pride that RWU will attract and retain a talented, diverse workforce that will deliver the high-quality educational experiences our students deserve.


RWU must recruit, develop, and retain a world-class faculty and staff who all work together towards the greater good in an environment that supports well-being for all our community members. RWU will be an employer of choice for talented individuals who embrace the institution’s ambitious diversity, equity and inclusion goals and objectives. And we will ensure all new employees are welcomed, trained, and feel a sense of belonging from day one.

Professional Growth and Development

For every employee to reach their highest potential, it takes investment in professional development and ongoing training to hone talents and skills. We are committed to making employees feel like they belong, are valued, and can grow in their role and career path in an environment where their personal and professional goals are in alignment. RWU must provide the resources, mentoring, and training to help nurture success and guide skill and career development. Supervisors and managers will participate in leadership development training to lead highly productive and satisfied teams and provide them with the tools and environments they need to thrive.

Recognizing Excellence

RWU is known for our commitment to our students and the personalized environment we deliver: from instruction to student research to athletics and academic support, we go the extra mile for our students. There are many small but impactful actions that many employees instinctively take every day, many that go unseen or unnoticed. Creating a more formalized culture of appreciation, accolades, and awards, is essential to an employee’s growth and satisfaction. We will revamp and revitalize how we recognize contributions, not just from direct supervisors but also from senior leadership of the university.

Vibrant Places and Spaces

The physical settings we navigate affect us in positive ways; space can inspire, comfort, and welcome us. Conversely, spaces can be a barrier, affecting how we learn, work, and interact. We especially appreciate the role that the spaces and design of our campuses must create a sense of belonging, inclusion, and comfort. As RWU has grown over the years, now is the time for us to consider our entire master space footprint and redevelop the places and spaces that our community members need to be successful and thrive. We will refresh our campus master plan and revise our place-based strategies to become a vibrant year-round community that meets the needs for all working and learning in our community.

Select 2021-2022 Initiatives

  • Become a thriving community of faculty and staff by being recognized for our commitment to the development of all employees in personal and professional lives
  • Pilot a new, comprehensive institutional onboarding program with a launch in January 2022 for all new hires 
  • Expand internal and external professional development, trainings, and other talent development opportunities
  • Establish a data-informed culture that improves decision making and measures progress of campus efforts and initiatives
  • Improve shared governance across campus including fostering more collaborative relationships with Faculty Senate and the administration
  • Grow the university’s reputation and recognition for our flagship programs and areas of excellence locally, regionally, nationally and internationally 
  • Improve organizational and institutional communications, including better utilization of email sends and listservs and adopting more inclusive meeting structures 
  • Establish a spaces committee to review and revise our processes for class schedule development, room utilization processes, centralized process for the allocation of space; and design of spaces that facilitate collaboration across disciplines, hands-on and active-learning pedagogies
  • Invest in and continue to use technology to enhance remote work capabilities and increase connections and engagement across the university and with our alumni

Embedded Equity

We cannot build a strong foundation for student success without first ensuring that those who are serving our students feel valued and supported. As a community of life-long learners, RWU administrators, faculty and staff must make a collective commitment to strengthen our intercultural fluency. Our leadership practices, institutional decision-making and classroom policies must reflect our commitment to creating an institutional culture of belonging.

While we will provide ongoing professional development that grows our employees’ skillsets and competencies to enable career advancement, we also commit to offering training in equitable and inclusive practices, including implicit bias and inclusive classroom practices, that will help bring social justice to our classrooms, offices, student recruiting and employee hiring. We are also dedicated to developing an inclusive design of our campus spaces that create an atmosphere of belonging and comfort for both our employees and students.

Measuring Our Progress

Surveys and research must help us understand the factors and influences to increase employee engagement and make RWU one of the great workplaces in the region. To drive culture change, RWU will re-administer our Campus Climate Survey for faculty and staff in Fall 2021 (last done in Fall 2016). In Spring 2022, we will participate in the ModernThink Higher Education Insight Survey's Great Colleges to Work For survey. This survey will capture faculty and staff satisfaction across themes, including Collaboration; Communication; Confidence in Senior Leadership; Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging; Faculty & Staff Well-being; Mission & Pride; and Performance Management. The results will be shared in a community forum and help shape employee initiative priorities for 2022-2023.