Employee Relations and Communications

Maintaining effective communications with employees is a high priority of the University and the Office of Human Resources. Internal communication is important to maintain positive employee morale and to provide feedback to the highest levels of management, and for the University leadership to provide direction and guidance to all staff as they work toward the goals and mission of the University. Th Employee Handbook is one means of helping to inform employees of University policies and procedures. Department heads are encouraged to conduct regular staff meetings to further facilitate communications. The executive director of Human Resources periodically meets with employee groups on a wide variety of subjects to keep employees informed of changes in policies and benefits.

The president of the University holds periodic meetings for faculty and staff to provide updates on topics of interest, including important initiatives and priorities. The Office of Human Resources also sponsors informational seminars for employees. All employees have access to e-mail and are encouraged to check messages regularly, as e-mail is the quickest way to disseminate information.

Employees may also wish to follow the University on Facebook or Twitter.

Newsletter-Campus Connection

Human Resources publishes a weekly e-newsletter, Campus Connection, designed to update faculty and staff about strategic priorities and initiatives and to keep the community informed about issues of interest to faculty and staff.

Newsletter - Manager's Connection

This e-newsletter is produced periodically by Human Resources and distributed by e-mail to managers and supervisors.

Broadcast E-Mails

Important information is disseminated through a campus-wide e-mail distribution, called broadcast e-mail. These e-mails can come from senior University administrators or from the Office of Communications and Public Affairs and contain urgent or official information about Washington and Lee.

Campus Notices

Campus Notices are distributed daily and are a means of communicating with groups of e-mail recipients at Washington and Lee. It allows senders to target those students, faculty or staff for whom a message is relevant, without bothering others. To minimize e-mail traffic, it consolidates messages for delivery in one e-mail, sent in the early morning each day.

Generals Alert System

This important service is available free of charge to all students, faculty and staff. Please register a text-capable cell phone number so you will get these messages. You may also register an additional text-capable cell phone number and e-mail addresses so that family members may receive text alerts.

All users of the General Alerts System will receive campus emergency alerts. You may also sign up to receive notifications sent to smaller groups determined by campus population or residence. 

HR Partners

HR Partners, a group of about 50 non-faculty employees, was formed to create an on-going and productive dialogue around HR issues and to bring together a diverse group of non-faculty employees (administrative, operations and office staff) to provide feedback on HR programs and help drive HR and campus strategic initiatives.

HR Partners are nominated by their department head, dean or vice president to represent their department/division. Meetings are held about four times a year and serve as forums for discussion on a variety of human resource issues. HR Partners assist HR by helping to share information from the meetings with their coworkers, encourage participation in HR programs and solicit feedback to share with HR.

Employee Committees

The administration has created a number of committees to advise and assist it in discharging certain of its responsibilities.

Employee Benefits Committee

The committee periodically reviews programs relating to faculty and staff benefits and acts as an advisory committee to the President. The committee composition:

Four faculty members, including one from the Law School and one from the Williams School, one retired faculty member, and three staff members, all appointed by the President for four-year terms. Three ex-officio members: Provost, Vice President for Finance and Administration, and Executive Director of Human Resources.

University Committee on Inclusiveness and Campus Climate (UCICC)

UCICC provides guidance to the President and other members of the University on building a supportive and inclusive community and creating a climate that is open and welcoming to persons of diverse backgrounds. The committee represents the views of students, staff, administration and faculty.

University Safety Committee

The University Safety Committee promotes a safe and secure living and working environment for the students, faculty, staff and visitors of Washington and Lee University. The committee is chaired by the University's Director of Environmental Health and Safety, and acts in an advisory capacity to the University President. It reviews, analyzes and plans for the implementation of safety and health policies and procedures to be recommended for adoption. Membership includes certain ex officio appointments, along with representatives of the faculty, clerical-support staff and students. Other committee responsibilities include:

  • Discussing and analyzing hazards identified by the Director of Environmental Health and Safety or submitted by members of the campus community, suggesting appropriate action to eliminate or minimize the hazards.
  • Reviewing inspections of work areas and buildings, prioritizing safety discrepancies discovered, and recommending corrective measures.
  • Reviewing all accident reports and selected accident investigations, analyzing the reports for trends, and formulating recommendations to eliminate or control specific problems.
  • Encouraging feedback from all employees regarding safety, including soliciting possible solutions to identified hazards, ideas for better safety awareness and safer practices, and identification of possible safety hazards.
  • Communicating safety policies, training programs, and other safety-related matters to employees.

Wellness Committee

The Wellness Committee coordinates wellness activities on campus and guides the Live Well program. It is comprised of members of the campus community whose positions have responsibility for activities related to wellness. Additionally, the Wellness Committee has a sub-committee of Live Well Ambassadors that promotes healthy living on campus and advises the Wellness Committee about current and future programs. Live Well Ambassadors volunteer, are approved by the Wellness Committee and serve a one-year term.