Attending: Kim Allen, Suzanne Beaumier, Joseph Bialek, Nancy Brady, Terrilyn Calloway, Janice Cole, Gayle Fitzgerald, Karen Hebert, Chris Carr Hill, Marti Hobbes, Patty Kimura, Merrilyn Lewis, Jinny Mason, Laura Matta, Steve Montiero, Linda Rainville, Patricia Rist, Bill Sheehan, and Tara Zidonik.
Excused: Adrianne Andrews, Adrian Beaulieu, Linda LaFlam, Karen LeHouiller, Sam Rush, Xinh Spangler, and Mike Washut
Guests: Stacey Anasazi, Sandy Bycenski
I. Minutes - deferred to the next meeting for approval
II. Reports from standing sub-committees and ad hoc committees:
Nominations and Elections - an election update was given. Merrilyn also reported that both Pres. Christ and General Counsel Georgia Yuan have approved our proposed modifications to the Staff Council Charter. This is the final step in approving the changes voted on by the whole Council at our March 2005 meeting.
Activities Committee - no report
Communications Committee - the report will be given later in the meeting (see Community Forum)
Personnel Policy (PPC) Committee -
No discussion of their report. The main topics discussed previously at their meeting include:
• "morale boosters" for individual employees to consider,
• morale building activities at the departmental level such as lunch buffets, email recognitions, etc.,
• staff complaints such as the lack of a paper directory,
• problems with e-digest,
• promotion of available Smith resources that might improve staff morale such as the holiday break, a safe campus with inexpensive parking, etc.
Ad Hoc Diversity Committee -
Their group is on hold until the end of May. Naomi Miller, Director of Institutional Diversity, has agreed to be a liaison to this committee.
SAMS Ad Hoc Committee update -
Merrilyn reported on this meeting. She said that Pres. Christ is enthusiastic about encouraging career and development opportunities for staff. She proposes 3 ways of achieving this: career ladders, internships and by the creation of a management academy. There is a model for such an academy at U.C. Berkeley. Pres. Christ wants to encourage all managers to take staff development seriously. At the SAMS meeting another topic that was discussed was encouraging managers to be generous about letting and encouraging their staff to move on to other departments even if it is a sacrifice to their own department. Overall managers are being encouraged to "see the big picture" and look for what's best for the college and the employee as well as what works for their own department. Discussion also included encouraging a willingness to review and renew structures and processes to improve the effectiveness at the departmental level. It was also suggested that Smith has a culture of "perfectionism" which makes risk-taking more difficult. Also, dealing with conflict within departments was discussed.
It was announced that a committee will be formed to try to determine core competencies for managers. Training and development will then create opportunities to improve in areas of deficiency when found. The membership of this committee has not yet been determined. Chris Carr Hill asked if these standards would become part of the performance reviews for managers. In conclusion SAMS also acknowledged that managers needed to be viewed "holistically" - managing may be only one part of a manager’s job.
III. Old Business
Meeting with Brown University Staff Advisory Committee -
Merrilyn explained the agenda for the Brown visit which will begin with a campus tour before the lunch meeting at the Campus Center. A Gold Key guide may help with the college tour. Steve will drive if it is rainy. She mentioned that the Brown SAC is interested in discussing morale issues and our employee discount program but will make a presentation about their activities as well. Merrilyn handed out materials for us to read before the visit.
Staff Community Forum - 4/22/05
Pres. Christ and Lianne Sullivan-Crowley (or Patti Kimura) will speak at the forum. Stacey reported that to date only 2 employees are willing to speak about their internal mobility. In addition to internal mobility, it was suggested that it would be nice to have numbers relating to voluntary separation as well. It was reported that HR agreed to extend the deadline for the employee excellence nominations to April 29th. That change will be announced at the forum. The SAMS report-out will also be part of the forum. Merrilyn will speak about the value of a positive attitude for all. Steve Monteiro reported that the Bay State Works program which is a 6 week long program includes 15 Smith physical plant employees including him. This type of program creates a good experience and morale booster for those participating.
Stacey said the last Chronicle of the year will come out in late May. The prevailing focus will be on events already in place that make Smith a better place to work and spend time.
IV. New Business
Ad Hoc Parking Committee
Chris Carr Hill and Karen LeHouiller reported that they have been meeting with this committee. Topics of discussion have included student cars, students not buying decals for their cars, and snow removal from lots. They reported that many new changes are coming. The committee is chaired by Paul Ominsky from Public Safety.
The next meeting, which is the "cross-over" meeting for new and old Council members, will be held on Thursday, May 5th from 12:15-1:45 in the Neilson Browsing Room. The Steering committee will meet one week before that on April 28th.