Staff Council Minutes

May 10, 2011

Attendees: Dina Bevivino, Cappie Glica, Gail Holt, Cindy Legare, Stephen Locklin, James Moynihan, Brenda Payette, Sue Rusiecki, Heather Tetrault, Lori Widmer-Hinckley, and Tanya Williams

Updates

Strategic Planning Committee Progress Report – We reviewed the February Progress Report and the four areas represented by the Presidential Strategic Task Forces.  Council members questioned how the administrative missions of the college are being represented and how staff were selected for the task forces.

Senior Staff Searches – Various candidates have been scheduled for campus interviews for both positions and Council members are encouraging staff within their divisions to attend the open meetings. The hope is to wrap up both searches soon.

Staff Council Elections – Elections will close on Friday May 13.  Council members will call the winners to confirm their acceptance and will also notify those candidates who did not get elected.  The names of the new members will be announced by email and will also be posted to the website.  New council members will meet with the current council on June 7, 2011.

Website changes – A new section, Staff Spotlight, will be added to the Staff Council website.  This area will be used to highlight the awards and honors received by staff throughout the year.

Benefits Fair Staff Council will host a table at the Benefits Fair on May 12.  Steve will provide laptops for on-line voting and we will have raffle prizes along with pencils and lapel pins to give out.  We need to think about buying some new items for future events.

Truman Scholarship One application was received from Kaitlyn Baranowski, daughter of Dianne Baranowski.  Council decided to award Kaitlyn a $500 scholarship.


April 12, 2011

Attendees:  Dina Bevivino, Gail Holt, Cindy Legare, Stephen Locklin, James Moynihan, Brenda Payette, Sue Rusiecki, Heather Tetrault, and Tanya Williams

Updates
Strategic Planning Committee Progress Report – Staff Council will read over the current draft and be prepared to discuss the report at the May council meeting.

Senior Staff Searches – Candidates for the Dean of the College position and the Vice President for Finance and Administration position are being screened by the search committees. Staff will be notified about forums and opportunities to meet with candidates as they are scheduled.

President’s Annual Luncheon with Staff will be on Monday, April 25th from noon-1:30 pm. The luncheon provides an opportunity for staff to bring questions and/or concerns before President Pasquerella and her officers. An electronic invitation to the lunch will be sent to all staff and information will be included in the April/May Staff News email.

Budget Forum – Mary Jo Maydew, Vice President for Finance & Administration, will lead a forum on the fiscal year 2012 budget on April 21, 1:30pm-3:00pm in Hooker Auditorium.

Website changes – Gail Holt will be reviewing and updating the Staff Council web pages.

Staff Coffee Break – Thursday April 21 8:30 am-10 am in the Blanchard Great Room with Nancy Apple and the Environmental Committee as guests.

Elections Planning – call for nominations will be sent out via email instead of using the on-line web site. The election web site will be used for voting and will be open May 6 through May 13.

Truman Scholarship – applications are due on May 9. The web site and application form have been updated.

Benefits Fair – Thursday May 12 in Chapin Hall from 10:30 am-3:30 pm. The theme this year will be “Wellness”. Staff Council will have laptops available to assist staff who want to vote for open council seats during the Benefits Fair.

Employee Service Awards – Breakfast invitations for the May 13 event will be sent out. Canvas tote bags will be given to all five-year award recipients. Employees with 10, 15 and 20 years of service will receive one additional vacation day. Employees with 25, 30, 35 and 40 years of service will be honored at a dinner on June 24 and will receive 5 additional vacation days. Retirees in each of the anniversary categories will also be invited to attend either the breakfast (less than 25 years of service) or dinner (25 years or more of service).

Benefit Committees Updates – Health and dental insurance rates will be going up slightly. Lincoln Financial was chosen to provide life insurance and long term care following an RFP (request for proposal). ING will be replacing TIAA/CREFF. Human Resources will send out more information in the coming weeks and there will also be information available at the Benefits Fair.

Farewell to Lauren Turner – April 18 from 1-3 pm in Willits Hallowell. April 30 will be Lauren’s last official day.


March 8, 2011

Attendees: Dina Bevivino, Cappie Glica, Gail Holt, Cindy Legare, Christopher Letourneau, Stephen Locklin, Brenda Payette, Heather Tetrault, Lori Widmer-Hinckley, and Tanya Williams

Discussion with Ruby Maddox-Fisher on Progress Report from Strategic Planning Committee

General comments:

  • People felt report was long, not enough time to read and fully understand. Perhaps a summary page could be added to the end. 
  • Not a lot of mention towards staff. Raises concern for the value of staff.
  • MHC 2037 doesn’t look much different from MHC now.
  • The report has many steps. How is this different from how we are doing things today?
  • Would like to see definition given to words such as “inclusive”, “community”, and “diversity”.
  • Staff expressed their passion for MHC. They want to be a part of the college community with faculty and students.
  • Ruby Maddox-Fisher will compile some notes and distribute to Staff Council for review. 
Adverse Weather Policy

After the February staff council meeting, Cindy Legare sent out via email a copy of the current policy and a copy of a draft revised policy to review. She also sent other college’s adverse weather policies to review. If there are any modifications we wish to make, we can discuss them at the next meeting.

FCC and Staff Council meeting update from February

Meeting was very helpful and useful. Both groups are looking forward to working together and moving forward. This hopefully will work on closing the gaps between staff and faculty concerns. Tanya Williams will keep us updated on future meetings. 


February 8, 2011

Attendees:  Cappie Glica, Cindy Legare, Christopher Letourneau, Stephen Locklin, James Moynihan, Brenda Payette, Paula Pierce, Sue Rusiecki, Heather Tetrault, Lori Widmer-Hinckley, and Tanya Williams

Adverse Weather

Lauren Turner was unable to meet with Staff Council to talk about current adverse weather policies.  In her absence, Cindy Legare explained the current policies and notification systems.

Notifications the college announces delays and closings in three ways:

  • Email
  • Web
  • Weather line X2330

There was discussion about using other announcement methods.  Staff Council asked if delay and closing notices could be made through television or radio (WFCR).  Since these systems require brief, specific announcements, the closing or delay information would be too general and might be confusing.  The Message One system had been suggested for weather related closings/delays but Council felt that it should be reserved for more serious announcements.

Cindy asked for questions and feedback that she could bring back to Lauren.

The Council expressed concern that the current policy is not clear and that it seems to create inequities for hourly staff (more so than for exempt staff) and favors staff who live closer to campus.  Cindy will ask that the current policy be reviewed and clearly communicated.

Positive feedback was given on the recent closing and delays.  Some divisions have asked is announcements can be made earlier, especially for units that have early shifts.

Service Award Update

The committee is meeting with Event Services on Friday, February 11 to discuss this year’s program.

Staff Council Spring Coffee Break

April 21 8:30 a.m. Nancy Apple, representing the Environmental Stewardship groups will be the guest for a “Green” Spring Coffee Break.

FCC

Council has been invited to attend a meeting with the FCC.  Tanya will confirm our attendance at their February 17 meeting.

Strategic Planning Committee - Update

Paula reported that the vision statement has been drafted.  The Planning Committee is hoping to get community feedback.  Sally Sutherland sent out an invitation and information on February 8. 

Staff Council Spring Calendar – Coming Events

Staff Council Elections – call for nominations will go out at the beginning of April.  Elections will be held during the week of May 15.

David B. Truman Scholarship – an email announcing the 2011 scholarship will go out to staff in March.  Application deadline will be Monday May 2.


January 11, 2011

Attendees:  Dina Bevivino, Cappie Glica, Gail Holt, Cindy Legare, Christopher Letourneau, Stephen Locklin, James Moynihan, Brenda Payette, Paula Pierce, Sue Rusiecki, and Heather Tetrault

Future Staff Council Representation Selection

Gail distributed a proposal of a selection process for choosing staff to fill campus roles and serve on college committees.  The most recent request is to nominate three staff to fill one position on the search committee to replace Mary Jo Maydew, Vice President for Finance and Administration.  An email will be sent to staff requesting a statement of interest.  Council will hold a separate meeting, tentatively scheduled for January 19 to choose candidates. 

Suggestion – Community Service Project

Staff Council received a suggestion to consider organizing a voluntary community service day for staff in late May or early June.  Chris Letourneau, a member of the President’s Family

Status of the College Report from the Strategic Planning Committee - Staff Perspective

Paula gave an update and presented the following questions for discussion:

  • What do you think is the most important issue for staff on campus?
  • What do you think needs to be done with this/these particular issue(s)?
  • What do you think will be one of the most pressing issues to tackle in the coming years for the college to position themselves as a competitive and responsive employer?

A brief discussion followed.

Service Award Update

Cindy reported on the recommendations to change the awards program for 2011-12.  These proposed changes were presented to the OPC and accepted.  A formal announcement will be sent to staff.  The Service Awards Committee will be meeting soon to work on dates and agendas.

Staff Council Spring Coffee Break

Nancy Apple has expressed interest in presenting information from the Environmental Stewardship working groups at an upcoming Staff Council Coffee Break.  Another suggestion was to feature updates from the HR Focus groups and Day of Dialogue groups. 

Updates from Human Resources

  • Wellness Challenge – watch for more information in January.
  • Winterfest – staff missed the pictorial slide show but thought the event was a wonderful success.
  • Retirement plans – legislation now requires that we take a fiduciary responsibility in helping select funds that we invest in.  An investment policy committee has been formed.  More information will be coming.

December 14, 2010

Attendees:  Dina Bevivino, Gail Holt, Cindy Legare, James Moynihan, Brenda Payette, Heather Tetrault, Tanya Williams, Paula Pierce, Christopher Letourneau, Lori Widmer-Hinckley.

Review/Discuss Staff Representation Policy
Gail Holt passed out a memo outlining the selection process for staff representation to fill campus roles. Staff Council discussed, made some changes and agreed on the policy moving forward.

Winterfest
December 21, 2010. Staff Council and the Winterfest Committee will set a schedule of times for people to be at the tables greeting people as they enter and collecting any donations.

Staff Appreciation Awards
Cindy Legare shared with Staff Council a handout with proposed changes to the employee service awards. She said that Lauren Turner met with President Pasquerella to present the proposed changes. They are still in the process of finalizing the details.

Some Proposed changes:

  • Annual breakfast for those who have completed a milestone year of service.
  • Employees with 5 years of service would receive a gift.
  • Employees with 10, 15, 20 years would receive 1 additional vacation day.
  • Employees with 25 or more years of service earn membership in the “25 year club” honored with a dinner. Retirees’ would be invited.
  • Employees with 25, 30, 35, etc. years would receive 5 additional vacation days.

Staff Council Newsletter: Cindy Legare is doing a great job. We received great feedback from people on campus, very nice to have this information. People like the comings and goings section.

January newsletter-hopefully out within second week of January.


November 9, 2010

Atendees: Dina Bevivino, Cappie Glica, Gail Holt, Cindy Legare, Christopher Letourneau, Stephen Locklin, James Moynihan, Brenda Payette, Paula Pierce, Sue Rusiecki, Heather Tetrault, and Lori M. Widmer-Hinckley

Strategic Planning

Paula Pierce reported on her meeting with the Strategic Planning group. The group is hoping to have a first draft ready early spring with a revised draft, incorporating feedback, before the end of the school year. For the initial year, their goals are very broad. They will focus on looking at the college?s mission and values. More detailed goals and planning will develop during the second year. The group is seeking input from faculty and staff.

Staff Representation Selection Process

Staff Council was recently asked by the strategic planning committee to assist in selecting staff members to serve on their committee. Since council is often asked to help select staff representatives, it was proposed that we draft and present a set of guidelines to help with this process. A brief discussion followed. Council will revisit this topic at a future meeting.

Carol Stewart - Guest Visitor

Carol was invited to speak to Staff Council about her role as Ombudsperson. For a good description of what her role is, please see:
http://www.mtholyoke.edu/ombuds/.
The Ombuds office serves all members of the community including faculty, staff, and students.   Carol would like to do some workshops and has been working on an outline of possible topics. She asked that we help by suggesting areas that would be of special interest to staff. She also shared some demographics and examples of how her office has helped the community during the past year.

Winterfest - December 21

Members of the Winterfest Committee gave a brief overview. As in the past the President?s Office and Staff Council will host the community celebration scheduled for December 21, in Chapin Auditorium, from 11:30 to 1:30.

Employee Service Awards

Cindy Legare gave a brief update on proposed changes to the Employee Service Awards. After reviewing award programs at a number of other colleges and businesses, the committee met with Lauren Turner and President Pasquerella to present their suggestions. A draft of their suggestions was then presented to the administration for approval. Information about the changes will hopefully be available early January.

Staff Council Annual Priorities

Following the Staff Council retreat with Lauren Turner, a number of staff issues were identified. These are listed below in order of priority based on votes by council members:

  • Communications
  • Management & Staff Relations
  • Training
  • Service Awards

October 5, 2010

Attendees: Gail Holt, Stephen Locklin, James Moynihan, Sue Rusiecki, Heather Tetrault, Tanya Williams, and Lori M. Widmer-Hinckle

Institutional Planning Committee Update
Tanya reported that a general announcement about the Institutional Planning Committee would be going out to all staff. The committee is looking for two staff to serve on the committee. Sally Sutherland will include information about how to submit an expression of interest for staff that want to be considered for one of the seats. Staff Council will also include information about the Institutional Planning in the October email blast to staff.

Staff Council Retreat

Staff Council met with Lauren Turner for a half-day retreat on September 28 to discuss areas where Human Resources and Staff Council can partner. Topics that were discussed include:

Benefits and Policy Reviews:

  • Retirement Plan
  • Health Insurance
  • Maternity Leave
  • Vacation Carry Over
  • Flexible Work Schedules

Service Awards and Community Recognition
Communications
Management and Staff Relationships

  • Work/Life -Wellness Initiative
  • Staff Engagement in Diversity and inclusion
  • Staff moral

Training

Tracking Inquiries to Staff Council
Council discussed best practices for replying to questions that are submitted to the Staff Council. In addition to setting a process for responses, the council felt that it was also important to capture and archive the questions as part of our record keeping. Following discussion, it was decided that a file would be created and maintained by the Staff Council secretary, which will include a log of questions and answers.

Staff Council Coffee Break
Staff Council is going to break from tradition and schedule an afternoon event for our first coffee break. The date proposed is October 26, from 2:30 - 4. The topic will be the Institutional Planning Process. We have invited President Pasquerella to give opening remarks and Sally Sutherland to give an overview of the process and committee formation. After opening remarks and the introduction, we will break out into small groups to discuss the goals, the mission and the values of the planning process, using questions that were discussed at OPC.

Complementary Program Development
Guest visitors Jess Lytle and Gail Parker presented a draft statement of the principles of the Complementary Program Development. The Mission of the CPD is to identify, launch, and oversee new programmatic offerings that are aligned with the educational mission in order to produce new revenue streams to support the institutions core. More information will be sent to the community in the near future.


September 14, 2010

Attendees: Dina Bevivino, Cappie Glica, Gail Holt, Cindy Legare, Christopher Letourneau, Stephen Locklin, James Moynihan, Brenda Payette , Paula Pierce, Sue Rusiecki, Heather Tetrault, Tanya Williams, and Lori M. Widmer-Hinckley

Institutional Planning Process Review – Sally Sutherland
Guest Sally Sutherland spoke about the Institutional Planning Process that has been drafted under President Pasquerella with the assistance of her two Senior Advisors, Steve Herman and Sally Sutherland, and vetted by her administrative team and the Board of Trustees. The process is now being presented to members of the OPC, to the Staff Council, and to the faculty. First steps will include the forming of a Strategic Planning Committee and collecting information from all areas of the college community. More information will be coming in the next few months.

Inaugural Staff Event – September 23, 2010
The Staff Reception for President Pasquerella will be on Thursday, September 23 from 9:00- 10:30 a.m. in the Great Room, Blanchard Campus Center. Stephen Locklin will welcome and introduce President Pasquerella and Cindy Legare will present a gift to the President on behalf of the Staff. Staff are encouraged to attend both the staff reception and the Inauguration on Friday September 24 at 2 p.m. The Inauguration will be simulcast for community members who cannot attend.

Staff Council Retreat
Tanya suggested three dates to consider for the Staff Council Retreat with Lauren Turner, Director of Human Resources. Tanya will confirm a final date with Lauren.

Mountain Day
For the past few years, Staff Council has shown appreciate to the staff that work on Mountain by serving pie and ice cream during lunchtime. Suggestions were made and considered for different ways that staff could be recognized for their service. After a brief discussion, the Council decided to keep with the pie tradition this year. Pies, baked by our own Dining Services, and ice cream will be served on Mountain Day from 11:30 to 1:30 outside of Blanchard.

Staff Council Coffee Break
We are hoping to schedule the first coffee break for the end of October or early November. A possible theme and date will be set at our October meeting.