September 3, 2003
1 p.m., Campus Center
Attending: Cristen Abrams, Kim Allen,
Adrianne Andrews, Adrian Beaulieu, Nancy Brady, Chris Carr Hill,
Janice Cole, Serena Harris, Karen Hebert, Marti Hobbes, Susan Hollingsworth,
Linda LaFlam, Karen LeHouiller, Merrilyn Lewis, Janice Mason, Laura
Matta, Janice McDowell, Steve Montiero, Janine Nye, Linda Rainville,
Laura Rauscher, Barbara Spalding, Patricia Swan, Tara Zidonik
Excused: Dianne Mikucki, Angela Musiak, Mike Washut
Guests: Stacey Anasazi, Sandy Bycenski
Merrilyn called the meeting to order at 1:05 and asked that we begin
again by introducing ourselves.
I. REVIEW OF PREVIOUS MEETING MINUTES
Minutes of August 6 meeting were approved with 3 corrections:
1. reporting that the Activities committee did meet on 7/23
2. correcting Karen Hebert's name wherever it occurred in those
3. change the acronym SC to say Staff Council to clarify the reference
II. Guest Dawn Mays-Floyd, Director of the Campus Center.
Merrilyn introduced Dawn who spoke for about ten minutes to introduce
herself and her facility to the Council. This included telling us
a little of her background and what particularly attracted her to
the position of first director of the new Smith College Campus Center.
She also talked about the mission of the Center which she distributed
to members and how she hopes it will function. She said much of
this is based on extensive queries she posed to a variety of Smith
community members asking them what they hoped the Campus Center
would be and how it could function. She stressed that "intentional
action" is needed in addition to a building for the Center
to succeed. She said the openness of the building, including the
glass walled rooms like the one we were in, is important to the
function of the building and the openness it is supposed to convey.
She said the programming they are focusing on targets mid-sized
audiences and is not intended to compete with house functions or
Rec Council activities but rather to complement them. They
are currently sponsoring a week of introductory welcoming activities.
A "coffee talk" plan with free coffee tokens is being
designed to encourage students to interact with faculty at the Campus
Center. Dawn sees the space as providing a neutral and comfortable
place for interactions campus-wide. She also complimented the efforts
of many people in achieving the goal of creating this center from
the contractors, Daniel O'Connell, the Smith construction managers,
physical plant and her staff, Matt Gawran and Tamra Bates and the
many custodians who worked long hours the Sunday before the opening.
The Campus Center website includes a list of current activities
and also a suggestion box: www.smith.edu/campuscenter.
Chris Carr Hill talked to a non-Smith person who thought she'd read
that there would be an outdoor café. Dawn said this is not
true; however, there will be tables and chairs set up outside.
Someone asked about whether there would be bike racks and smoking
receptacles. Dawn said the bike racks were on order and that she'd
talk to Diane Benoit about the cigarette receptacles.
III. COMMITTEE REPORTS
Nominations and Elections
Merrilyn reported that Mentha Hynes will serve as a staff representative
on the Committee on Mission and Priorities (CMP).
Serena Harris reported that the Council on Community Policy (CCP)
still needs 2 members from the Staff Council steering committee
and 2 from the general Council membership. It is a 2-year term and
the committee meets on Friday at 3:30. Please email her if you are
Personnel Policy - no report
Activities - minutes of the July 23rd meeting,
Communications - minutes of the Aug. 7th meeting, received
Marti and Cristen spoke about the upcoming community forum, which
will be held on Sept. 24th at 1:30 (note: the actual starting time
was later changed to 2:00). The forum will include Carol Christ
and Ruth Constantine as speakers and the topic will be the budget
and issues and questions staff have regarding the budget. The Council
was asked to recommend which space the event should be held in.
After some discussion it was agreed that Sweeney would be the best
location: bigger than the Campus Center and Theater 14 and more
intimate than John M. Greene. They also asked Council members to
solicit questions from the staff they represent in advance of the
forum. Though we are co-sponsoring the forum and doing the publicity
for the forum, it was agreed that the invitation to attend should
come from President Christ.
Ad Hoc Study Circles - minutes of the Aug. 19th meeting,
IV. Featured speaker: Lianne Sullivan, Executive Director
of Human Resources and Administrative Services
Lianne covered a number of topics during her presentation. These
1) a review of the Internal Mobility program which was
begun in March or April. She said it was started to create career
development opportunities for staff and also as a way to rethink
positions when they were unoccupied due to the movement this program
would create. This second component is seen as a means of lowering
costs and reaching budgetary goals. This program is only available
to permanent employees. Those in limited term positions must apply
as external candidates. Ginny Mason said there was a problem with
accepting a limited term position because you put yourself out of
the applicant pool for the internal program. Of the 26 recent open
positions, 7 have been filled internally and 16 have gone on to
external searches, 5 of which have been filled. She said that many
of the positions that become open and are maintained will become
limited term rather than permanent positions even if they were previously
permanent ones. Doing so allows greater flexibility in the budget
as the commitment to the position and the employee is more provisional.
Members asked a number of questions most of which were answered
but the topic is complicated enough that some answers are still
2) Managers and Supervisors. Lianne spoke about
the Leadership Training Program for managers and supervisors, a
pilot of which will start with senior staff Sept. 8. The program
is designed to encourage broader thinking among managers and supervisors
about "how we do what we do." It will reflect Carol Christ's
philosophy for managers and staff of "leadership, learning
and growth." Starting this training for managers is vital to
ensure that all managers understand these concepts and theirimportance.
The program is based on case studies and will also focus on the
"Ten Competencies" as well as creating uniform expectations
of all managers across campus. Some staff asked why only managers
were involved. Lianne said it was a start and by doing so they will
hopefully model this for other employees
3) Training for other employees. Lianne said that
HR is dedicated to providing training opportunities for staff. In
additional to training classes given here at Smith, this year staff
will be able to take courses offered through the UMass employee-training
program. Several hundred courses are available and HR will pay the
cost. She also mentioned that the CDO and HR are both available
to help staff considering making moves internally and externally.
Council members seemed to have varying knowledge of these options,
some of which have been in place for some time. It was agreed that
creating a master list of these resources would really help staff
both feel more confident and knowledgeable. Lianne stressed that
she feels Smith is dedicated to extending themselves to support
staff employment both while employed and when leaving the college.
Questions and discussion followed:
One member asked how long after termination you could be considered
an "internal candidate." Lianne wasn't sure and SerenaHarris
said it varies.
Someone suggested that the CDO could link to the Staff Council website.
Someone asked how the College can encourage managers to promote
the internal mobility idea if it means they will likely lose an
FTE as a result. In response, Lianne said managers will have to
be reminded that it's not just their area they're managing
Lianne said Human Resources will be trying to get a Resources page
online by January.
V. NEW BUSINESS
Council member Barbara Spalding reported that her position in physical
plant will be terminated on Sept. 26 and so she will no longer be
a member of Staff Council. She emphasized the need to replace her
on the Council and to try to counter what she perceives as the tendency
to under-recognize physical plant staff and their importance to
Merrilyn reminded everyone that the next meeting will be held on
Wednesday, October 1, from 1-2 in the Mary Maples Dunn room. Georgia
Yuan, the new general counsel, will be our guest speaker.
The meeting was adjourned at 2:15.
Nancy Brady, Co-Secretary