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L&S Climate Committee - How to address climate concerns

Principles of Community for the College of Letters and Science

To foster the best possible working and learning environment, the College of Letters and Science at the University of Wisconsin–Madison strives to maintain a climate of fairness, cooperation, and professionalism. These principles of community are vital to the success of the College and the well‐being of its constituents. Letters and Science community members (faculty, staff, and students) are expected to practice these basic principles as individuals and as participants in groups. 

The L&S Academic Planning Committee has endorsed Principles of Community for the College of Letters and Science.

If you are experiencing a difficult workplace environment, the L&S Climate Committee and L&S have outlined resources below to help address those concerns.

What should I do if I am experiencing a negative work environment?

1.) First, discuss the issue with someone you trust. Getting another perspective from someone you trust can help you determine if the situation comes from various behaviors that are bound to happen at work from time to time, or if this is an ongoing climate issue that needs to be addressed. Often it’s difficult to gain this outside perspective on your own, so asking for another opinion may help.

2.) Discuss with your supervisor or department chair. Your supervisor or chair of the department may not be aware of what’s going on, or your concerns. Talking to them about your concerns will give you both the chance to discuss the problem and potential ways to address concerns. If you do not feel comfortable discussing the issue with your supervisor or department chair (for example, if the issue involves him or her), you could proceed to one of the L&S Administration contacts below or request assistance from one of the other offices listed below as campus resources.

3.) If, after discussing with your supervisor or department chair, you need additional resources or assistance, L&S Administration contacts are available to help. 

  • If you are University staff, or you have questions or concerns about university staff or student hourly employee issues, contact your HR Manager.

  • If you are academic staff, or employees-in-training, or if you have questions regarding academic staff issues, contact your HR Manager.

  • If you are a graduate student, or you have questions or concerns regarding graduate assistant issues, contact Laura Fisk ( or Lynne Prost ( 

  • If you are faculty, or you have questions or concerns regarding faculty issues: contact Ben Weisse (, 890-3494)

  • Finally, the L&S Divisional Associate Deans may be a resource (See the L&S Administrative Gateway page L&S Departments, Programs, Centers & Institutes by Divisional Associate Dean). Typically, you should not start addressing your concerns by contacting L&S Divisional Associate Deans. However, with serious climate issues, or if your supervisor or department chair needs help addressing the issue, a Divisional Associate Dean may become involved.    

What are campus resources that can help?

  • Employee Assistance Office (EAO). This office is a resource for supervisors and employees. They offer services to promote emotional well-being, as well as respectful and productive work environments.  They offer assistance to faculty and staff with maintaining and enhancing both their personal and professional lives.  They also offer referrals to university and community resources to assist with mental health issues, substance abuse, financial hardship, anger management, or other issues that might have an effect on work relationships. (

  • Office for Equity and Diversity. This office is a resource for individuals with concerns regarding discrimination, sexual harassment or the need for disability accommodations. (

  • Ombuds Office for Faculty and Staff. Ombuds are emeritus (retired) faculty and staff that have volunteered to serve as informal and confidential resource for employees that would like expertise or advice with a concern or difficulty they are experiencing. They listen to concerns, clarify procedures, discuss options and, if requested and appropriate, serve as an intermediary in resolving disputes or concerns. (

  • Office of Human Resources  This office can be a resource for permanent, project and limited term university and academic staff with questions or concerns on a variety of human resource issues including employment relations issues. (

  • Campus labor representatives are advocates for all employees, not soley represented staff. The representatives have a wealth of experiences and contacts to assist staff. For blue collar and technical employees, see, for administrative support employees, see,and for fiscal and staff services, see
Suggestions or Comments for the Climate Committee
Please click here to send your comments and suggestions to the L&S Climate Committee. All submissions through this link are anonymous and will not receive a reply. If you would like to contact the committee and receive a reply, please send an email to lsc<at>ls<dot>wisc<dot>edu


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Keywords:community, climate, positive, workplace, conflict, conflicts, discrimination, discriminate, civility, bully, bullying, diversity, tolerance, tolerant, resolving, resolution, resolve, abusive, understanding, environment,resources, resource, employee   Doc ID:36073
Owner:Laura D.Group:L&S KB
Created:2013-12-17 09:43 CSTUpdated:2022-05-11 10:35 CST
Sites:L&S KB
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