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Staff News & Announcements

New UCAR Interim President announced

July 09, 2015

BOULDER—The Board of Trustees of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research is pleased to announce that it has appointed Michael Thompson to the position of interim UCAR President, beginning July 11.

Michael Thompson
Michael Thompson. (©UCAR. Photo by Carlye Calvin. This image is freely available for media & nonprofit use.)

Thompson has served as deputy director and chief operating officer of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) since October 2013. UCAR manages NCAR through a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation.

“Michael Thompson is extremely well placed to lead UCAR forward, promoting our science, strengthening our relationships with our university community and federal funding agencies, and assuring operational excellence,” said Eric Betterton, chair of the UCAR board. “He is highly knowledgeable about the organization and our university community and has gained tremendous respect for his leadership.”

Thompson will be interim president for the next 6 to 12 months while an international search takes place for a permanent president. Thompson follows Thomas Bogdan, who is departing the organization after three and a half years as UCAR president. Thompson’s selection allows NCAR Director James Hurrell to continue providing strong leadership for NCAR (full story).

Employee Engagement Project

staff photo

Employee engagement is a measure of whether employees are energetic, dedicated and absorbed and excited by their work.  Engaged employees are motivated to stay, perform, and contribute to organization success.  Research shows that high employee engagement has an enormous impact on the success of an organization.  So we would like to learn more about our own employee engagement –how are we doing and what can we do to improve it? 

The Employee Engagement Project is a result of discussions between the President's Council, the UMC Working Group 6 on the Workplace, the Ombuds, and UMC members.  We’ve commissioned organizational development experts Newmeasures partner with us in developing a survey and action plan to measure and work to increase employee engagement throughout our organization. 

The Employee Engagement Project has three phases:

  1. Ask - survey our employees (completed with 62% response rate, 893 staff participating)
  2. Analyze – listen to and learn from staff (reports from Newmeasures and collaborative review)
  3. Act - together, develop and implement action plans to meet our strategic priority goals

We want to learn what employees need to improve our recruiting, development, engagement and retention of staff.  We also want to learn how staff connect with and meet the strategic objectives identified by the President’s Council:

  • Adaptability and Entrepreneurialism – how do we thrive in a changing funding environment?
  • Excellence and Innovation – how do we deliver cutting-edge research and services?
  • Brand differentiation – what unique added value do we give to our stakeholders?

For more information please see

Also see: Newmeasures Inc. and their Employee Engagement Survey