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KNOXVILLE — Most employees say the University of Tennessee is a good place to work and that they have opportunities to learn and grow, a recent survey found.

UT asked its more than 13,000 employees statewide to participate in the poll and 28 percent responded. The survey was conducted in September 2003, when “the university had just undergone a change in top management,” the survey report says.

“This confirms what I’ve believed about our faculty and staff for a long time: ‘They are very loyal and dedicated to our university,'” UT President Joe Johnson said.

Sixty eight percent of the respondents said they strongly agreed or agreed with the statement that they were satisfied with the university as a place to work. Some 90 percent said they know what is expected of them in their jobs.

More than 70 percent agreed they had opportunities in the previous year to learn and grow, and 77 percent agreed that their supervisors someone at the university cares about them as a person.

“We found a lot of very positive things in the survey. We found some things we need to work on, and we’re working on them,” Johnson said.

More than two-thirds said they believe their opinions about their work count, but only 31 percent said they feel they can speak out without fear of reprisal, the survey found. Forty percent said they had thought about leaving their UT job in the previous six months.

Questions about compensation generated some of the most negative responses, the report says. UT’s benefits are viewed as strength.

“Employee feedback is important,” Sylvia Davis, UT vice president for administration and finance, said. “We plan to do this survey every two years or so to see how the work environment changes over time.”

The survey found that nearly 60 percent believe job performance is evaluated fairly, and that 72 percent said their co-workers are committed to quality work.

Approximately 60 percent of those questioned said the purpose and mission of the university makes them feel their job is important. About half said UT does an excellent job keeping employees informed about matters that affect them.

“Our next step is to form focus groups on each campus to help us better understand the survey numbers,” Davis said. “These findings will help set the direction for any workplace changes.”

View the survey results here.