Organizational Culture

we care booklet image

Housing, Dining & Auxiliary Enterprises (HDAE) strives for excellence in the provision of our services and in creating a sense of community among students, faculty and staff. This is accomplished through our values and our annual goals, as well as a variety of events and programs that help create a productive, collegial, inclusive and collaborative environment.

image of we care booklet

WE CARE Values

When HDAE came together in 2015 and blended cultures from across a variety of departments, we saw the need for a unified set of values that could serve as guideposts for our work. A committee was formed to identify both who we are as an organization and what we represent to those we serve. It was from here that WE CARE was born. We are Welcoming, Ethical, Collaborative, Agile, Respectful, and Excellent, which is colorfully captured in our WE CARE booklet.


staff members by ocean

WE CARE Welcomes

The WE CARE Welcome onboarding program incorporates our values and shares with new employees, during one of their first experiences as an HDAE team member, how our organization brings them to life. The Welcome takes place over two half-day sessions and includes getting to know each other and the units that make up HDAE, tours to demonstrate our values in action, and a meal in the Dining Commons. The goal of the program is to expose everyone to areas of the organization they wouldn’t normally visit and show fellow team members at work living out our values.


staff members in corwin pavillion

Town Hall Meetings

HDAE holds quarterly town hall meetings for all staff where we share stories, renew our commitment to UCSB, and celebrate achievements. It gives our employees the opportunity to interact and exchange information, and reacquaint ourselves with all the people who bring our values to life. An important part of the meeting is the WE CARE Thank You Note prize drawing. This peer-to-peer recognition program allows staff members the opportunity to appreciate the work of a fellow employee by giving them a WE CARE Thank You Note that indicates which value they embodied during a specific task, project, or encounter. The recipient then brings the Thank You Note to a Town Hall meeting where they are placed in boxes to be used for a prize drawing.


staff members at the deepening understanding conference

Learning & Development

In HDAE we operate under the premises that people are what makes a place successful, happy people make happy employees, and that learning and development are lifelong processes and can apply to both work life and personal life. We offer a variety of programs for our employees to continue to grow and thrive at this world-class educational institution. For more information, please visit our Learning & Development web page.


staff members receiving service awards

Service Awards Ceremony

Each year HDAE hosts a reception to recognize the contributions of staff members who have completed ten, fifteen, twenty, twenty-five, thirty, thirty-five, and forty years of service. A ceremony and presentation is held in Corwin Pavilion to honor the recipients of the awards. The reception provides a great opportunity to celebrate fellow HDAE staff members who have reached extraordinary milestones, learn more about them through their biographies, and connect over delicious appetizers.


Staff Newsletter

The Compass, HDAE’s staff e-newsletter, is one of the communication channels we use to share updates and celebrate achievements. From new staff and buildings to innovative programs and initiatives that help HDAE offer a great experience to UC Santa Barbara students, we cover it all in a fun, informative way while reinforcing our culture. All HDAE staff members and department heads across campus receive this newsletter.

computer graphic of campus

Strategic Plan

HDAE has a long history of strategic planning. We use this plan within all of our units and in collaboration with students to focus on and build upon our strengths as an organization. Prior to the beginning of the fiscal year, staff and students gather to participate in our annual Strategic Planning think tank. We work together to best calibrate goals for the upcoming year based upon our strategic visions, and align them with our current realities. After much discussion and running potential outcomes through various filters, we craft our annual vision outcomes that will be worked on throughout the year in teams composed of staff throughout the division.


computer graphic of annual report cover

Annual Report

Our annual report serves as a historical record that aligns our message across the division, as well as creates a deeper understanding of what we do, why we do it, and how we are committed to taking actions that benefit students, staff, the campus community, and the environment. As an integral part of one of the nation’s top public institutions, the annual report allows us to share our role as a stakeholder in the success of UC Santa Barbara. It is distributed every year to all HDAE staff members and department heads across campus.