Wellbeing: Strategic Priorities

Therapy goats 2016At the UF College of Veterinary Medicine, we understand that the mental, emotional and physical wellbeing of our employees and students are essential to our success and sustainability. We commit to examining our practices and to develop programs aimed at supporting the wellbeing of our faculty, house officers, staff and students in creative and meaningful ways. These initiatives will be complementary to current resources available to our DVM students.

A healthy and nurturing environment: There is no more important investment than that we make in cultivating a healthy working and learning environment for everyone. To this end, we will form a team to coordinate a comprehensive wellbeing program for both our college and our hospital. The team will work with stakeholders to generate wellbeing strategies from within the College of Veterinary Medicine, which will be combined with benchmark methodologies from peer wellbeing programs to create a comprehensive approach to health and fulfillment that will permeate every aspect of our College. We will identify robust metrics that we will evaluate annually to gauge our progress.

  • A team we assembled to coordinate our wellbeing program has met and Erica Cuneo, our UV Veterinary Hospital social worker, was named as the director of wellbeing programs for faculty and staff.
  • We have created an inventory of current wellbeing efforts and activities across all areas of the college and have benchmarked our programs by comparing to wellbeing initiatives at peer veterinary colleges.

Programs: Communications and leadership training are key aspects of equipping our people for workplace satisfaction. We will be creating communications tools customized to UFCVM for addressing conflict, fostering leadership and enhancing personal wellbeing across our enterprise.

  • Members of our wellbeing team met with representatives of the American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges and spoke on the group’s wellbeing task force.
  • We developed a climate survey that will be administered through our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion team and are waiting on assessments of wellbeing until a program director can be hired.

Organizational changes: Among the organizational changes we have identified to enhance wellbeing are improving promotion and tenure guidelines, reducing faculty committee workload.

  • We updated and smoothly rolled out improved tenure and promotion guidelines, which resulted in several faculty deciding to submit packets.
  • We have developed a mentoring plan for faculty that was rolled out in spring 2022. The program was completed by 52 faculty, which is the highest participation rate of any college on campus.
  • To reduce faculty committee workload, administration worked with Faculty Council to review committees that could be eliminated, resulting in the elimination of one committee and reduction in the number of required faculty representatives from smaller departments on other college committees.

Outcomes: We will measure progress in our initiatives in a variety of ways that include examining turnover rates, use of vacation/sick leave, hours worked/overtime, medical errors, results from wellbeing surveys, exit interviews and participation in wellbeing activities.