Meeting Minutes for April 8, 2020

April 8, 2020

Guest Attendance: Eleven staff members attending as observers.

Introduction /Welcome/Acknowledgment of Group Norms

Leadership Team Report 

  • Clarification of roles: Michelle Clements (Cabinet Liaison) & Mary Dawson (HR Liaison)
    • The role of the Vice President for Human Resources, Michelle Clements, is SU Staff Council’s Cabinet Liaison.  The role of Mary Dawson, the ex-officio HR member of SUSC, is the SUSC-Human Resources Liaison. 
    • The Leadership Team will continue monthly meetings with Michelle and will begin weekly meetings with Mary.
  • Campus Leadership Group for Planned Parenthood Appointment
    • Kirsten Schumacher has been appointed as a representative from SUSC. 
  • New Staff Orientation
    • Because hiring is on hold, the HR “Culture and Community” on-boarding and new staff orientation program is also on hold.
  • Megan Otis resignation from Staff Council
    • Megan Otis has resigned from Staff Council. Because this resignation falls near the end of the council term, the open position will be filled in the upcoming election.

Academic Assembly Meeting Update

Angie Jenkins, AcA liaison

  • COVID-19 has had a massive impact across all areas and on many individuals.
  • Discussions continue regarding Test-Optional admissions and regarding the New & Continuing Studies program.
  • A new centralized webpage called “Student Support Center” has been launched to assist students as they navigate the transition to remote, online learning. 

Committee Reports

  • Communication Committee 
    • SUSC will move to use Microsoft Teams and SharePoint for internal communications and file sharing/storage, respectively. 
    • Each SUSC committee has a separate channel in Teams.
    • Files that were previously on Canvas have been moved to SharePoint.
    • Rosie and Luke are the current owners of the SUSC Team.
  • Bylaws Committee
    • The committee continues working with General Counsel to complete revisions and bring the bylaws to the council for a final vote.

Closed Session

Cabinet Report

Michelle Clements, Vice President of Human Resources

Michelle Clements expressed appreciation to Staff Council and the Leadership Team for efforts to keep moving forward in the new reality.

  • Primary concerns for Cabinet are:
    • Retaining students for Spring and bring in needed enrollment for the Fall for all students, FTIC, Continuing, Transfers, and Grad.
    • Responding to the operations of SU related to COVID-19, not just for the immediate time period but looking to the Fall as well.  
      • What will social distancing look like in Fall?
      • How might we build in working from home?
    • Continuing to move forward with Strategic Directions, while incorporating adjustments to address realities of COVID-19.
  • Other items:
    • Leann, SUSC President, is invited to the April 29-30 Board of Trustees meeting where the Board will work on budget approval and COVID-19 contingency plans.
    • Human Resources is working with university leaders to arrange pay for student employees and to determine other types of financial assistance for students who cannot work at this time.
    • The Leadership Team has contacted Michelle regarding potential difficulties for holding SUSC elections during Spring 2020. The Cabinet supports waiting until Fall 2020 if needed. 

Committee Reports continued

  • Recognition and Appreciation Committee 
    • Because of COVID-19, plans for the May staff-faculty appreciation event are in flux; Katie will continue to update the council with developments.
    • Kudos For Colleagues online platform is still operational and the Recognition and Appreciation Committee welcomes entries from all staff.

Human Resources Update

Mary Dawson, Human Resources liaison

  • Performance Review Process
    • HR has been made aware of feedback regarding issues involved with the current review and merit pay process, including questions around timing.
    • The Review, Benefits, & Compensation Committee is engaged in regular meetings with Mary Dawson and Dana Frankenburg regarding potential updates/revisions to the performance review process. 

COVID-19 Communication Discussion

Kristen Kirst from Marketing and Communications was unable to join the meeting. We will see if she can join SUSC for our May meeting.

Burning Issues

Are there any issues you are hearing about or that you’d like to share with the Staff Council? 

  • Topics discussed:
    • Staff are concerned about COVID-19 budget impacts, including employment security and departmental budgets.
    • It is problematic when university communications are sent out before alerting impacted departments/individuals.
    • Staff are experiencing excessive workloads when open positions are not filled.

Staff Council Election Discussion

  • Several members spoke in favor of postponing elections until Fall 2020 as nominations may be more difficult to conduct when staff members are distanced and staff have many other concerns this spring.
  • Orientation and on-boarding of new SUSC members may also be made more difficult when members can only meet remotely.
  • Some one-year members may face time pressures if their term is extended through Fall Quarter.
  • The Nominations & Elections Committee will meet soon to draft a proposal for SUSC elections.