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Workplace civility requires courage, says provost at CARE kickoff event

Mar. 28, 2014, 2:58 PM

Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Richard McCarty spoke at the CARE kickoff event March 25. (John Russell/Vanderbilt)

Staff and faculty from across the university and medical center convened March 25 for a discussion about civility in the workplace. The event in Light Hall was the kickoff for a new campus committee called CARE (Civility, Appreciation and Respectful Environments).

CARE is sponsored by the Faculty Senate, Vanderbilt Human Resources, the Medical Center Staff Advisory Council and the University Staff Advisory Council.

“I have a very simple view of what it means to be a part of Vanderbilt. … In many ways, we are an extended family,” said Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Richard McCarty in his opening remarks. “Families go through difficult times, and certainly our family has been challenged over the past year. But we have to accept that all members of the family are entitled to be treated with respect and civility every day.

“One of the things I would like to encourage everyone here today to have is courage,” he continued. “When you see an act of incivility, I hope you’ll have the courage to go up quietly to the person who maybe wasn’t his or her best self that day and say, ‘You really said something that was hurtful. We have a team in our workplace, and that is not conducive to good teamwork.’ That is, in my mind, a very courageous act. It’s an especially courageous act if you’re saying that to a supervisor. And I believe we have the kind of workplace where that can be done, and we should all encourage it.”

McCarty praised the CARE initiative for embodying the “One Vanderbilt” spirit.

Margie Gale, a nurse wellness specialist with Work/Life Connections-EAP, spoke at the CARE kickoff in Light Hall. (John Russell/Vanderbilt)

Additional speakers included Margie Gale, a nurse wellness specialist with Work/Life Connections-EAP; Jeff Palmucci, director of Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital Radiology; and
 Tammy Key, an Organizational Effectiveness Team consultant for Human Resources, who offered strategies for managing stress and encouraged staff and faculty to be proactive in promoting civility in the workplace.

Andy Richter, a USAC representative and VUIT system administrator for the School of Engineering, served as moderator.

To watch video from the event or for more resources, visit the CARE website at

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