How the Staff Conversations Sessions Work

Session Leaders


photo Mary Opperman

photo Craig Wiggers


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Mary Opperman

Vice President and
Chief Human Resources Officer

Craig Wiggers

Director of Administration, Physics
and Chair of the Employee Assembly

Reginald White

Senior Director,
Human Resource Strategy

The Approach

Staff Conversations are a series of one-hour, group forums to be held at locations across the Ithaca and Geneva campuses during October, November and early December, 2018. The sessions are designed to be informal to encourage participants to share their insights and experiences of belonging as we work to enhance the workplace climate for Cornell staff.

Session are scheduled to include those who work outside business hours and beyond the Ithaca campus.

We are interested in understanding where our efforts are having an impact and where we need to improve. We’ll utilize interactive technology (i-clickers) to poll participants for on-the-spot feedback and engage as many people as possible in the conversations. Openness, respect, and a willingness to engage in healthy communication will be critical.

Conversation will include sharing of current HR/EA initiatives, as well as dialogue with staff around four focused questions:

  • What helps or hinders your sense of connectedness on campus?
  • What systems or processes are currently in place to help you feel connected to Cornell?
  • What have you done or might you do to create a sense of connected community at Cornell?
  • What advice or recommendations do you have for HR / EA?

The small-group forums will not be recorded. However, staff who cannot attend are invited to submit questions via the RSVP form. 

Following the visits, we will analyze the conversations to identify areas of mutual interest for staff across campus, and develop a list of action items. 


RSVP or submit a question or feedback

Please RSVP via this form. Your response will be anonymous, but will assist us with our planning.  If you are unable to attend but would like to submit a question or feedback, please select "I am unable to attend any of these dates and times."