Wright State University Staff Council Minutes
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
The WSU Staff Council met on Wednesday, January 12, 2011, at 2:30 pm, in Room 267 University Hall.
Present: Council Members: Kary Brigger, David Bringhurst, George Collins, Mary Healea, Joanie Hendricks, Fran Keeley, Liane Muhlenkamp (on speaker phone), Jacqueline Neal, Curt Pederson, Vickie Slone, and Rebecca Traxler
Convener: Albert Bondurant
Guests: Henry Limouze, Associate Provost for Faculty and Staff Affairs
Gary LeRoy, Vice President for Multicultural Affairs and Community Engagement
and Associate Professor of Family Medicine
1. Cultural Awareness Survey
Gary LeRoy spoke about the Cultural Awareness Survey. The university contracted with Integrity Development Corporation (IDC) to do an objective look at all we do in the area of cultural diversity and inclusion issues. To mention a few, there is the University Diversity Advocacy Council (UDAC), the Quest Conference, and the Horizons in Medicine Program.
This is the first time the company has done a survey in an academic setting. It was done over the Summer 2010, when there are fewer people on campus. To date, there has been only one focus group (consisting of ~20 key individuals) interviewed. IDC will look at the differences between responses from classified and unclassified staff, and also the responses from different ranks of faculty. The survey results are still in raw data, and the university is still awaiting the final results.
Dr. LeRoy said that students seem to be happy with the various programs. Faculty and staff are more critical of the things we do. WSU needs to be seen as a welcoming environment for all kinds of people. The next phase, beginning this month, is to benchmark our progress against other Ohio universities. Dr. LeRoy stated that the timeline for this survey could be affected by the new budget; however, their goal is to schedule more focus groups and listening sessions in the near future.
Jacqui Neal asked what percentage of the WSU community responded to the survey. Dr. LeRoy said that there were 2,000 responses, which included 1,000 students, 700 staff members, and 300 faculty members. He said we will be getting more information in the next few weeks from President Hopkins to further explain the process.
2. Budgetary Questions
Matt Filipic, Keith Ralston, and Jeff Ulliman were unable to attend this Staff Council meeting. Agenda
Item 2, questions a-d about the overall effects on the budget of the early separation program will have to be addressed at a future meeting.
Albert Bondurant said that Matt is open to having a budget seminar for staff. Jacqui recommended a general presentation of how the WSU budget is divided, resources are allocated, etc. She will send suggestions for a basic outline for the seminar to Albert and/or Matt Filipic.
Several Staff Council members commented on the open forums about Future Challenges that President Hopkins and Provost Angle presented. They said that staff members asked very good questions, the forums were very informative, and Drs. Hopkins and Angle did a great job.
Henry Limouze asked Staff Council members to let everyone know that both faculty and staff should attend these open forums. President Hopkins and Provost Angle did a good job of speaking about a challenging fiscal environment while remaining supportive and reassuring.
3. Performance Management Process/Annual Appraisal/Evaluation
Currently, submitting a Performance Appraisal Form for each employee is an elective process for supervisors. In addition, there is no ‘universal’ form that the university is using. Instead, for appraisals being conducted and submitted, they range from being narratives to cryptic messages.
Henry said there should be a universal form, ultimately with electronic submission capability, to be filled out using the existing Workflow system. David Bringhurst added we have the mechanics to do this. Why is it not mandatory for supervisors to submit appraisals for their employees? How do we create the cultural shift that needs to take place? Albert added that if they’re not required, it will be difficult for a cultural shift to occur – however, a ‘universal’ form with urging from upper administration to complete it for each staff member, would be a start.
Evaluations are needed as a protection for the staff and the university for documentation purposes. Albert said that most organizations don’t tie pay to evaluations. He also stated that a low number of evaluations are received by HR each year compared to the number of staff at WSU. Henry suggested that evaluations could be tied to pay every third year. The important thing would be to establish a ‘universal’ form and then work on improving/tweaking it – ultimately making it an electronic submission (i.e., workflow system). The form can be improved and then become required for all employees.
Henry is seeking input during this process; Albert is going to provide Henry with a draft of a ‘universal’ appraisal form by February 28, and it will be provided at the next Staff Council meeting in March to get Staff Council’s input.
4. Staff Development Day (SDD)
Joanie Hendricks said that about 100 staff members attended the last Staff Development Day on November 30, 2010, though there had been 600 hits on the website. Eighty-six people completed the survey (including some people who did not attend the last SDD). She distributed the survey results, which need to be reviewed before planning the next SDD.
Joanie suggested that SDD needs a home department to oversee the whole event because it’s too much for volunteer staff members to coordinate and oversee without some departmental assistance. Henry asked if a subcommittee should be formed to discuss this. David asked if the Organizational Development and Learning office should handle it and posed the question: Is it necessary to continue with Staff Development Day anymore since OD and Learning is in existence? Jacqui Neal asked if the funds would go to the new overseeing department. She suggested that maybe we could have one instead of two SDDs a year. Joanie Hendricks asked if it would have the same budget as two separate SDD’s ($7,000/annual budget for two SDD’s – currently coming out of the OD and Learning’s Budget).
Council members commented:
- This SDD was the first one that staff members exclusively coordinated and oversaw.
- It had a service theme, which many attendees liked.
- There was a suggestion that we may want to look at having the same offerings twice a year to possibly increase participation.
5. Structure of Staff Council
Jacqui Neal spoke about Staff Council’s structure and compared it to Faculty Senate. She distributed an outline of suggested changes that could be made to structure Staff Council more like Faculty Senate and suggested it be renamed Staff Senate. Suggested changes listed on the handout included:
“Informational meetings would be for CSAC and USAC combined and would meet quarterly, or more often, if necessary. These would include two representatives each, External Representatives, and Guest Speakers and would be held in larger meeting rooms open to all. These info meetings could start in 2011-12.
This topic will be discussed at the USAC meeting on January 13.
David asked when CSAC and USAC reps can meet to discuss items together to take to the administration. Henry suggested having an executive committee of Staff Council to discuss issues to take to the administration or to Staff Council meetings.
The OSCHE Winter Conference will be held on January 28, 2011, at Miami University Middletown campus. Curt Pederson and Vickie Slone will attend.
Henry apologized for the announcement from Communications and Marketing about the snow closure of the university on January 11, 2011. A general template for emergencies was used for the evacuation wording.
The meeting was adjourned at 4:00 pm. The next meeting of the WSU Staff Council will be held on Wednesday, March 9, 2011, at 2:30-4:00 pm, in Room 267 UH.