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Communication & Problem-Solving

At PSU, we recognize that people with different backgrounds, interests, and friendship groups must get along with each other. In fact, we have a Professional Standards of Conduct policy that outlines the University expectations related to how we interact with one another. We also know that our work environment is very dynamic, covering many overarching priorities and programs in teaching and research. Like most organizations our priorities shift, goals are added and/or modified, and we experience change as we continue our efforts toward fulfilling our mission to enhance the intellectual, social, cultural and economic qualities of urban life. These changes often cause performance expectations to shift and/or be redefined.

Because of this, we know that employees will experience legitimate disagreements, conflicts, and performance concerns in our workplace. When these happen, we are committed to open discussions done in a respectful and productive manner to support the success of PSU and our staff, faculty, and administrators. We are guided in these interactions by employee performance evaluation standards, the University Professional Standards of Conduct, Collective Bargaining Agreements, and specific guidelines and expectations established by each department. The Communication & Problem-Solving for Employees Page can direct you to many other available resources.

Whether an employee is experiencing workplace conflict or performance concerns, you will find that the HR staff encourage direct communication between an employee and their supervisor as the first step to solving the concerns. We believe this is likely to enhance understanding and create the best opportunity for resolution. If an employee would like guidance or coaching to prepare for a conversation, the staff in the Office of Human Resources are available to provide assistance.

To that end, part of what we can aid in is sharing communication techniques and strategies that result in more effective interactions between our staff, faculty and administrators. In addition, we can provide facilitative services and/or simply be of assistance in guiding employees to available resources and/or clarifying University procedures, policies, and programs. In addition, our represented employees may include a union representative in meetings when the employee believes the discussion is investigatory and/or likely to lead to a disciplinary step taken by the University.

To schedule an appointment or speak confidentially with an employee relations representative, you can call our front desk staff at 503.725.4926. They will direct you to an appropriate HR staff member.

If your concerns are related to what you consider to be a potentially unlawful behavior related to sexual harassment or discrimination, our Affirmative Action Equal Opportunity Office is available to help. Other departments that offer assistance in resolving workplace concerns are:

  • Office of Human Resources - Contact 503.725.4926 and ask for an Employee Relations Representative.
  • Office of the President's Diversity Initiative - Provides a resource for recruiting and retaining staff diversity and learning and facilitation around differences.
  • Employee Assistance Program (EAP)- Provides access for benefits-eligible employees to trained counselors to aid in problem-solving, whether issues are at work or outside of work.
  • The C.A.R.E. Team assists students exhibiting distressed or disruptive behaviors, or experiencing trauma. If you are concerned about a student's well being, you can file a report or contact a representative at 503-725-4492.