Smith College Staff Council
A meeting of the full Staff Council was held on December 12th at 2:15 p.m. in the Mary Maples Dunn Room in Pierce Hall.
Attending: Stacey Anasazi, Cristen Abrams, Cyndee Button, Sandy Bycenski, Lakisha Coppedge Patrick Diggins, Lisa Dwinell, Serena Harris, Chris Carr Hill, Patty Kimura, Anne-Marie LaFosse, Mimi Lempart, Bob Lesko, Merrilyn Lewis, Ann Mayo, Janice McDowell, Steve Monteiro, and Bill Sheehan
Excused: Jack Begleiter, Carla Coffey, Honey Gillman, Alicia Guidotti, Patty Hayes, Patricia Rist, Sam Rush, Stephanie Schoen and Michael Washut
Guest: Jane Sommer, Staff Council nominated staff representative on ACRA. (Lianne Sullivan-Crowley was unable to attend.)
Patty Kimura opened the meeting at 2:15 p.m. and asked for everyone to review the November 7th minutes before the council moved for approval. The minutes were approved without change.
II. COMMITTEE REPORTS
1. Lisa Dwinell reported that the December 1st bus trip to New York City went well and a profit was made. The bus trip to Bright Nights has 18 seats still available.
2. Continuing business is a discussion about using wheelchair-accessible buses for the trips. One member spoke to Laura Rauscher, Disability Services Director, about the legalities and she suggested putting some language on the bottom of the flyers. They will ask her to review language when it's drafted. They've talked to both Strong and Peter Pan about prices and availability and have found that Peter Pan has wheelchair-accessible buses, are comparable in price (if not cheaper), and only require a 24-hour cancellation notice which is better than Strong.
3. The Summer Picnic committee has met and there is a budget issue. Patty Kimura felt she needed to attend one of their meetings to discuss the budget.
4. Cheryl Donaldson and a few other members will be meeting with Bill Sheehan soon to discuss the budget for all of the activities.
5. February 12th starts the Have A Heart food drive.
6. Judi Marksbury met with Brian from Six Flags and has moved the responsibility for the ticket sales from the activities committee to the staff discount program.
1. Cristen reported that the Lunch and Learn series is going well. Eighteen people attended the November 12th session. The committee has sent personalized thank you cards to all of the presenters. The next one is set for February 12th at the Gamut showcasing crafters demonstrating their skills.
2. Sam Rush was not present but he had sent Cristen the latest version of the Did You Know sheet that is being put together for new staff and for the van tours. Cristen will send it out to all of staff council for their review and input.
3. Cristen has received a request from the Activities Committee to help publicize their events and the committee is confused about the request. It was decided Cristen should meet with the Activities Committee and then meet with the Communications Committee. A lingering question among the committee is what their role is. They need some sort of mission statement for clarification. Patty encouraged and stressed the importance of committees working together as much as possible.
4. A suggestion came up at the last meeting that it would be a good idea for staff council to do a survey to find out if the council is meeting the needs of staff.
Nominations and Elections:
1. Serena has scheduled two meetings and one was postponed until January. She will be asking for volunteers for outreach to RADS and Physical Plant.
D. Personnel Policy:
1. Sandy Bycenski reported that the PPC was expecting to meet with Lianne Sullivan-Crowley, but she had to cancel last minute, so they will reschedule a meeting with her.
2. Workload issue: The facilitator was on campus December 4, 5, and 6. Computers randomly selected 200 people and it was designed so that groups were to stay together in their group areas, but managers and their staff were not supposed to be in the same session. However, some managers and their staff ended up in the same meetings and Patty Kimura explained that when people needed to change groups, they called Romney Associates directly and that's how managers and staff ended up together. Those that attended Workload Focus Groups commented how interesting the discussion was. Each group had very similar complaints and comments. Participants were impressed with the process and how open people were within the focus groups. The consultant will put an aggregate report together after the meetings and is hopeful that Smith will receive a report in January. The report will be sent to Staff Council and the Institutional Diversity office. Patty Kimura added that it was not too late for people to e-mail thoughts to Romney Associates.
3. 360 Supervisory Review: Committee was asked to review the materials provided by Mary Clayton. The Admission Office support staff asked and were allowed to review their office manager and reported that the process went well and they all benefited. PPC still wants to discuss with HR the possibility of making this available at Smith.
4. Childcare Committee: Sandy will contact Lianne about the Childcare Committee since she's not sure if they've met yet.
5. Classification and Compensation Task Force: PPC had a discussion about job classification and how confusing the process of re-evaluating job descriptions is. The benefits do not outweigh the process of filling out the forms. Comment from PPC on how unfair it is to not include the level of responsibility a staff needs to supervise student workers.
III. NEW/OLD BUSINESS
1. Jane Sommer, Associate Director, Programs and Services, Career Development Office, acts as the Staff Council nominated staff representative on ACRA (Advisory Committee on Resource Allocation). She gave us a report of what ACRA does, which is look at budgets and money. They meet every month and the first couple of months are about what money Smith has to work with and the effects on it by the stock market. She said senior staff is hearing all the time from their staff about what they'd like to see on the agenda and ACRA is given a pre-prioritized, but inclusive, list and they decide which departments and projects will receive funds. Decisions tend to be made in March or April for the following fiscal year. I've attached a copy of Jane's notes to these minutes.
2. Smith's new president, Carol T. Christ, will be on campus part of the last week of January and Staff Council has been invited to have lunch with her on January 28th at noon, most likely at the College Club, but that will be confirmed at a later date. I will send a Save the Date e-mail to all Staff Council members.
3. Winter Party. The planning committee decided to save money on decorations to donate that money to a September 11th relief fund. Staff Council and the Faculty Council will decide which relief fund the donation goes to.
4. Art on the Fence/Archives @ Stacey reported, on behalf of the ad hoc committee, that she had met with Martin Antonetti, Curator of Rare Books, and he had some suggestions about how to archive the Cut From The Same Cloth strips. They were:
Relinquish the materials to students and have them work them into a book, but this means completely giving up control of the strips.
Spend money on an expensive box to house the strips.
Martin's assistant, Barbara Blumenthal suggested sewing the pieces together, quilt-style , since they are "cut from the same cloth". This echoed ideas that the ad hoc committee had had early in the project. Maybe students or others on campus that have sewing machines could be involved? Stacey will contact the Theatre department regarding use of sewing machines.
Martin recommended that we work toward a display of project materials on the anniversary next fall. He offered the display area outside the Rare Book Room as a viable space. Patty said we don't have a lot of funds so it would have to be staff volunteers that work on the project, whether it be through an event such as a lunch and learn, or a quilting bee. Anyone with ideas should send them to Stacey Anasazi. Merrilyn Lewis supported the idea of an anniversary display.
The next Staff Council meeting is on Wednesday, January 9th at 2:15 p.m. in the MMD Conference Room.
Respectfully submitted by Chris Carr Hill, Co-Secretary
By Jane Sommer
1. Figuring out how much money there is to work with beyond what is already committed to covering the budget:
a. income - depends on quarterly earnings, which are down
b. inflation rate, which may increase
2. Figuring out routine commitments:
a. salary - what % is possible - what are others doing?
a. student financial aid @ more need next year?
b. special factors, e.g. fuel
3. Priority list
a. assembled by senior staff with input from all over college
b. prioritized by senior staff
c. entire list submitted to ACRA, not just top priorities
a. items requiring major policy decisions will be postponed
until next year for new president to consider.