Smith College Staff Council
June 19, 2002 (Approved at the August 7, 2002 meeting)
(Approved at the August 7, 2002 meeting - Quorum not present at the July 10, 2002 meeting)
A special meeting of Staff Council and President Carol T. Christ was held on Wednesday, June 19, 2002 at 2:15 p.m. in the Mary Maples Dunn Room at Pierce Hall. Incoming and outgoing members of Staff Council were invited to this meeting.
Attending: Cristen Abrams, Kim Allen, Stacey Anasazi, Cyndee Button, Lakisha Coppedge, Alicia Guidotti, Serena Harris, Chris Carr Hill, Susan Hollingsworth, Patty Kimura, Anne-Marie LaFosse, Mimi Lempart, Bob Lesko, Merrilyn Lewis, Laura Matta, Ann Mayo, Janice McDowell, Steve Monteiro, Angela Musiak, Janine Nye, Stephanie Schoen, Bill Sheehan, Patricia Swan, Michael Washut, and Tara Zidonik.
Excused: Connie Dragon, Gary Duffy, Karen LeHouiller, Dianne Mikucki and Sam Rush
Patty Kimura called the meeting to order at 2:10 p.m. Patty welcomed President Christ, who said she finds it important to hear staff voices. Everyone present introduced themselves.
Proposal on Diversity
Patty brought President Christ up to date on the types of diversity training that Staff Council members have been involved in to date, and explained that all committees attempt to utilize their learned skills. On June 14, 2002, Patty sent President Christ a document that outlines Staff Council's suggestions and recommendations about diversity training. An ad-hoc committee, anxious to move forward with long-range strategies, prepared this document on behalf of the entire Staff Council. All of Staff Council recommends mandatory diversity training as a benefit for all staff. It is suggested that this training needs to be approached in a variety of ways to meet the learning abilities, levels of interest, and release-time needs of all staff.
President Christ said she is very supportive of diversity training for all college members, not just staff. She has some questions about our ideas for implementation.
It was further explained that the ad hoc committee planned to meet with a summit of experienced trainers to develop strategies. Staff Council members want to offer our energy and experience, and we want co-workers to know that we believe this training is beneficial to our staff and our community. We are looking to President Christ for initial recommendation on how we can move forward.
President Christ felt it was important to put together an ad-hoc committee that would consist of Brenda Allen, Assistant to the President and Director of Institutional Diversity, Maureen Mahoney, Dean of the College, staff from Human Resources and Staff Council. It was pointed out that Adrianne Andrews, Ombudsperson, could be a valuable resource.
President Christ said that she could quickly think of three things that she would want from us:
1. An account of college experience about what's worked best to date.
2. A proposal from the ad-hoc committee listed above.
3. An implementation plan.
President Christ agreed to take the initiative and bring this up at a senior staff meeting.
President Christ strongly supported the organization of a staff skills bank, where, for example, a person with mentoring skills might be able to help a staff member in need of these skills.
President Christ briefly mentioned that she was in favor of this and explained the way it worked at UC-Berkeley: if a unit had a need for someone with a certain skill, staff would be released from another area to fill that need.
Patty pointed out that two members of Staff Council are presidential appointees. Appointed last year were Steve Monteiro and Bob Lesko. President Christ should think about whether she wants to reappoint Steve and Bob.
The next regular Staff Council meeting is set for Wednesday, July 10, 2002, 2:15-3:15 p.m. in the MMD Conference Room.
The Staff Council meeting adjourned at 3:15 p.m.
Chris Carr Hill, Co-Secretary