Smith College Staff Council
October 3, 2001 (Approved at the November 7, 2001 meeting)
A meeting of the full Staff Council was held on October 3, 2001 at 2:00 p.m. in the Mary Maples Dunn Room at Pierce Hall.
Attending: Cristen Abrams, Stacey Anasazi, Jack Begleiter, Sandy Bycenski, Cyndee Button, Lisa Dwinell, Serena Harris, Patty Hayes, Patty Kimura, Anne-Marie LaFosse, Mimi Lempart, Merrilyn Lewis, Ann Mayo, Steve Monteiro, Patty Rist, Stephanie Schoen and Bill Sheehan.
Excused: Carla Coffey, Patrick Diggins, Alicia Guidotti, Chris Carr Hill, Bob Lesko, Honey Gillman, Janice McDowell, Sam Rush, Joe Stoddart and Mike Washut.
Patty Kimura called the meeting to order at 2:10 p.m.
Minutes of the September 2001 meeting were approved as amended, correcting the date of Denim Day to October 5.
Lisa Dwinell reported that there was nothing new to report at this time.
Cristen Abrams reported that Jo Cannon Carlson, a non-staff Council member, has set up five Lunch and Learn sessions for the upcoming year:
October 24, 1-2pm, Khalilah Karim-Rushdan will share her experience as a Muslim
November 12, 12-1pm, Susan Barker and Amy Holich (Staff Visions participants) will present their works of art
February 12, 1-2pm, various craft demonstrations
March 13, 12-1pm, Gallery Talk by participants in the Staff Visions art show
April 16, 1-2pm, Alicia Guidotti will present "Vieques: What is all the fuss about?"
The committee is continuing to work on the van tour informational sheet, "Did You Know?"
In order to update Staff Council representation on the liaison list, Cristen asked that Staff Council members sign their names by the departments they frequently are in contact with to improve access to communication.
The next meeting is Wednesday, October 17, 2-3 pm, Garrison Hall.
Patty Hayes announced that the next Council Chronicle will be distributed the first week of November. The feature article will be about John Connolly. Articles also to be included in the issue: commentary on September 11- coordinated with the "Cut From the Same Cloth" project, Leroy Truehart, Cheryl Donaldson-Davis, Staff Art Show, Lunch and Learn series, and an article about the Activities Committee.
Nominatins and Elections
Serena Harris reported that the committee has a new member, Pat Rist. Since Joe Stoddart has resigned with great regret, the committee will work on his replacement.
Personnel Policy Committee
Sandy Bycenski reported that the committee met with Lianne Sullivan-Crowley on September 21.
For Smith employees taking courses at other Colleges/Universities: the three year waiting period was reduced to one year, and the total amount reimbursed was increased from a maximum amount of up to $300 per semester to a maximum amount of up to $1500 per academic year. The tuition policy change was approved and will be effective for those individuals taking classes this fall.
The workload focus group letters will be going out at the end of October, later than expected due to the confusion whether Human Resources or Staff Council were sending the letters.
HR encourages exit interviews by supervisors before employees leave. HR monitors offices that have a high level of turnover. Lianne Sullivan-Crowley promotes contacting the ombudsperson or Patty Kimura when office difficulties are encountered.
A tiered dental plan cannot be offered at this time because there are not enough employees to support a non-loss situation for the provider, but HR is looking into the possibility of merging plans with other Five College dental programs. Note: Mt. Holyoke and Hampshire College do not offer any dental plans.
The Childcare Committee is focusing on how to make campus childcare costs less prohibitive and to increase the hours that are offered.
HR is working on generic job descriptions to make job descriptions more understandable, better allow movement within Smith, and expand options for hiring.
The next meeting is October 16, 2-3pm.
NEW / OLD BUSINESS
Dr. Adrianne Andrews :
Patty Kimura introduced Smith College's new ombudsperson, Dr. Adrianne Andrews, whose office is at 8 College Lane (across from the Admissions' office). A description of the ombudsperson's role and responsibilities was handed out noting that an updated version will be distributed on campus soon. Adrianne said that it was good to be back on campus, having left 8 years ago. She is a resource person for listening and facilitating change in behavior, who is experienced in anthropology and establishing good rapport with people. She is currently involved in formal mediation training through the Educational Collaborative Mediation Training program in Greenfield.
A staff member suggested the possibility of not holding the staff winter party this year, thereby donating the saved money to charity. The council decided that the event is an important opportunity for employees to gather together. It was decided that a fundraiser at the party would be a great idea to pursue.
Art on the
Merrilyn Lewis, Stacey Anaszi, Ann Mayo and Jack Begleiter reported that they are moving along quickly on the Art on Fence project, "Cut From the Same Cloth." The goal of the project is to give everyone the opportunity to be heard and to express their feelings and emotions about the tragic events of September 11. The committee has received strong feedback in support of the idea to create this visual representation of emotions created through interactive art. Staff Council discussed the need to add another topic such as "anger," and the importance of project documentation through videotaping or photographs. The committee hopes to provide additional feedback to the campus community after the artwork is removed from the display fence. The project will run from Thursday, October 11 through Monday, October 22, 2001. Volunteers are needed for cloth ripping, setting up boxes of supplies at the various campus locations, and monitoring supplies during the installation.
The next Staff Council meeting will be Wednesday, November 7, 2001, 2:30 p.m. (note: change in time from 2:00 p.m.) in the Mary Maples Dunn Room, Pierce Hall. The Staff Council meeting was adjourned at 3:23 p.m.
Cyndee Button, Co-Secretary