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Wright State University

Unclassified Staff Advisory Council


Minutes

January 23, 2003

The meeting was held in Room 158 University Hall.  USAC Chair Carol Vuckovich called the meeting to order at 2:33.  Carol welcomed 3 attendees from Lake Campus who participated in the meeting via teleconferencing equipment.  She also welcomed Mendy Beverly who will complete Sharon Powell's term on USAC as an Academic Support representative and Kevin Watson who will serve as our representative to the Parking Services committee.

Attendees included:

Mendy Beverly, CaTS
Paula K. Bryan, Teacher Education Program Officer, Lake Campus
Lura Clapper, Budget Planning/Res. Analysis
Solomon Cooper, Disability Services
Kathi Herick, University Libraries
Sheila Hollenbaugh, College of Engineering and Computer Science
Tamara Jones, Human Resources
Gregory F. Kremer, Computer Lab, Lake Campus
Cheryl Lauricella, University Libraries
Michelle Martin, Affirmative Action
Liane Muhlenkamp, Program Officer Assistant, Teacher Education, Lake Campus
Angel Murphy, Human Resources
Nancy Pestian, CaTS
Donna Totten, VP Business and Fiscal Affairs
Carol Vuckovich, Business and Fiscal Affairs
Kevin Watson, College of Education and Human Services
Susan Wehmeyer, University Libraries
Rick Zech, Budget Planning and Resource Allocation

14 additional attendees who did not sign in joined the meeting at 3:30 for the presentation by Robert Sweeney on the Strategic Plan.

APPROVAL of MINUTES

The minutes of the USAC meeting of November 21, 2002 were approved as posted on the web site.

COMMITTEE REPORTS

Rick Zech, Athletic Council, Wellness and Recreation
A meeting of the council was held December 6th.  Herb Foster, Men's and Women's Tennis Coach was the featured speaker for the Coaches' Corner.  He spoke about his recruiting efforts and the current players.

Homecoming activities were discussed.  Discussion included moving Homecoming to earlier in the Fall (September or early October) due to the weather conditions the past several years.  Discussion also included better collaboration between Alumni Affairs and Athletics to schedule home men's and women's soccer and volleyball games if possible on Homecoming weekend.

Wright State is in the process of conducting the NCAA certification self-study of the athletics program.  The certification program's purpose is to help ensure integrity in the institution's athletics operations.  As part of the NCAA Self-Study Instrument (SSI), the Athletic Council has established an ad-hoc committee for Student Welfare.  This committee will consider several issues which includes evidence that the student-athlete welfare is monitored and evaluated, the institution's process for conducing exit interviews, grievance and appeals procedures, and ensuring the health and safety of the student-athletes.

The 5th Year Career Development Plans for the student-athletes were distributed and discussed.

Kevin Watson, Parking Services
The fall meeting was held December 4th.  During the summer, Parking Services moved the commuter student pay lot booth to the Rike Hall lot because the pay lot concept didn't work out.  Parkers must use a card to get in and out of the new lot.  Additional lighting will be added.

Students who achieved grade point averages of 4.0 during fall quarter will have the opportunity to receive free parking for winter quarter in lot #112 (Creative Arts).  Fifty students will be selected through a drawing and given access to the lot.

Parking Services is still having trouble getting students to use the K lot.  They are looking for incentives that will encourage students to use it.  Currently there are about 5900 spots on the main campus and 10,000 including the Nutter Center.  "A" spots are being eliminated by attrition because they are not an efficient use of parking space.  The appeals committee took a tour of campus and reported the problems they noticed to Parking Services.  The committee recommended signs that explained that students may park between white lines only.

Solomon Cooper, University Dining Services

Solomonís report on the Dining Services Meeting of 1/16/03  is appended to these minutes.

OLD BUSINESS

Survey Question Development
Gary Moyer, Interim Head of Human Resources offered a number of suggestions for improvement of our survey, such as expanding the section on benefits, compensation and merit, since plans for an unclassified staff compensation study are already under development.  The members expressed general agreement that these ideas should be pursued.  Human Resources will work with us to enhance the questionnaire.  During discussion of revising the section on the role of USAC, Gary also encouraged us to look on the council as an opportunity for partnership, to share information, to test reactions, to raise new ideas, and to facilitate understanding and communication across the organization.  He said USAC can be very effective as a focus point for constructive engagement and building trust and that increased communication and input reduces mistrust.  The key will be how we identify and prioritize ideas to the leadership of the university.

Subcommittees
At the last USAC meeting it was suggested that we consider creating USAC subcommittees, modeled after the very powerful and effective committees of CSAC.  Carol suggested that we will revisit this issue after we receive information from our surveys.  General agreement was expressed.

University Staff Council
Carol Vuckovich announced appointments to the University Staff Council from each USAC constituency:

  • Student Affairs:  Mike O'Neal
  • Business and Advancement: Donna Totten
  • Academic Support:  Jeff Bowman
  • Academics:  Susan Wehmeyer

The Chair of USAC is also a member of the committee.  An agenda has not yet been set for a January meeting.

Human Resources Issues

Above and Beyond Program

The latest issue of Dialog  lists more than 60 employees who were recommended for "Above and Beyond" awards.  In more than one case an entire department gathered in Human Resources to celebrate the recognition.  It was suggested that HR consider moving the site of the award presentations to a lower-traffic area than the lobby of Human Resources.  

Unclassified Handbook
Buddy Berry will release a draft of the handbook on January 27th for review by USAC.  The final version is expected March 11th.  Human Resources will also review the handbook and apply "parental decontamination" (they will remove parental language such as "you will" and "there shall be").  

Fee Remission for Part Time Staff

Gary Moyer reported that this is not a priority issue for the Provost's office because only a small group of staff are affected.  This is probably a dead issue unless compelling information is brought forward for further discussion.  The Provost feels that departmental budgets have the flexibility to deal with the fee payments as needed and that it would be an expensive benefit to budget for remission across the university as a whole.

REMAINING BUSINESS / NEW BUSINESS
Carol asked that we agree to table the remaining old business and all new business until the next meeting due to the arrival of Robert Sweeney who was invited to talk about the WSU strategic plan.  General agreement was expressed.

UNIVERSITY STRATEGIC PLAN

Presentation by Dr. Robert Sweeney, Professor, Finance And Financial Services and Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee

Dr. Sweeney expressed his appreciation to Carol for her service on the strategic planning committee and the provost's search committee.  Attendees from main and Lake campus introduced themselves. Dr.Matthew V. Filipic, Vice President For Business And Fiscal Affairs and Jacci McMillan, Executive Assistant To The President And Secretary to The Board Of Trustees also attended the meeting.

Selected highlights from Dr. Sweeney's presentation:

In the fall President Goldenberg gave the strategic planning committee a starting point for reaction.  Units were asked to react and supply objectives.  Focus groups were conducted with staff, students, faculty and the community.  The committee has tried to communicate about the process every step of the way.  Every issue of Dialog includes an article which reviews the progress.

Currently the committee has been broken into subcommittees for Teaching, Service and Scholarship.  The subcommittees are trying to craft strategies around the goals.  They are trying to determine the common themes; whether there are compelling issues the university should embrace; whether anything has been missed in the broad perspective.  They will bring the plan back to the university community for review.  Every member of the committee will have input on each section of the plan.  Units will revise the plans they submitted in the fall in reaction to the information submitted by other units.  The committee expects to complete their work by spring break.  

Dr. Sweeney acknowledged that everyone who needs to "be at the table" to offer input may not have been included yet, but said that there will be additional opportunities for input.  The plan is the itinerary for a trip.  Over the next 5 years, things may change as we go on the journey and the plan must be dynamic to allow for the changes.  He distributed an "umbrella vision" of the university:  Each department is under the umbrella of a college or division and each college or division is under the umbrella of the university as a whole.  We are all part of the larger picture.

Dr. Sweeney asked the attendees:  What is it about the way we do our jobs that makes it possible for the university to function?  Some of the responses included:

  • We are well-trained
  • We are collaborative
  • We believe in the university
  • We are organized

He asked:  How do you maintain focus on students when you don't interact with them?  Some of the responses included:

  • We listen to student workers
  • We understand that what we do is for the students
  • We have a strong service attitude
  • We know that without the students we don't exist
  • The entire campus has become more customer-focused in recent years

He asked:  What can we do to improve?  Some of the responses included:

  • We need to use technology to make interaction easier for students and reduce the steps they need to go through
  • Keep focused on the non-traditional students with extended access to services
  • Provide specialized help like tutoring and mentoring
  • More outreach to the community: release time for staff to volunteer at schools and other community services
  • More things to bring people to campus
  • More / better media coverage
  • Key in on marketing strategies and improve the perception of WSU in the Miami Valley
  • Marketing, marketing, marketing
  • Student to student marketing
  • Formalize process improvement strategies so that we don't apply new technologies to outdated processes
  • Find out what students want and what got them here
  • Promote our research opportunities and connections to the community for applied research
  • Tap into rural markets
  • Get a football team
  • Start a grass roots effort to improve the friendliness of the campus atmosphere

He asked:  What do you tell people when they ask what's good about WSU?

  • I'm proud that my children went to school here
  • This is a good place to work
  • WSU is constantly looking for ways to improve
  • WSU is new and clean
  • The tunnels are a real asset

Jacci McMillan said that the committee has observed that responses from the focus groups are very similar.  Many people are saying the same things we said in this session.

Dr. Sweeney said that a draft of the plan will be ready in the next few weeks and will be posted to the university website for all to read.

Adjournment

The meeting was adjourned at 4:30 p.m.

 NEXT MEETING

The next meeting of USAC will be held Thursday, February 20, 2003, 2:30 pm -- Room 158 University Hall.

 Minutes submitted by Susan Wehmeyer, USAC Secretary, 1/24/03


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Revised: 28 January 2003
with changes to Athletic Council Report