Meeting Minutes for August 12, 2020

August 12, 2020

Introduction /Group Norms

University Financial Update/Reopen Discussion:

Tim Leary, Executive Vice President

  • Reopening task force meets three times a week and includes groups focusing specifically in the following areas: academic, student experience, infrastructure, workforce, health and safety
  • State COVID numbers have been varying and 90-95% of Seattle University classes will be taught virtually
  • It will be necessary to have some essential staff on campus such as Public Safety, Grounds, etc.
  • Student Housing – single occupancy only but students will only be charged double-occupancy rates

Wilson Garone, CFO

  • Board presented with on-campus plan in July, but a new plan has been developed which reflects the current situation
  • Revenue losses for FY21 will include tuition, residence halls, and other auxiliary revenue streams but this projection will not be finalized until November.
  • Spending has increased in the following areas:
    • PPE, signage, facility enhancements, health screenings, and technology
    • Technology upgrades
    • Summer faculty trainings required stipends
  • Peer Jesuit institutions are undertaking the following strategies to reduce costs/spending:
    • No salary increases
    • Hiring freezes
    • Travel restrictions
    • Reduction in retirement contributions
    • Furloughs, pay reductions, layoffs
  • Seattle University is exploring all options.

 Q & A – Tim & Wilson

  • The goal is to have 950 students living in residence on campus (not including Vi Hilbert and the Douglas Apartments)
  • No timeline right now for any future furloughs
  • Diversity and inclusion remain strong priorities
  • We lag behind peer institutions in terms of retention and this must be prioritized
  • In-person student programming will be minimized for safety.  However, there continues to be a significant lack of clarity about what is expected of staff who are serving the 950 students living on campus.
  • Without specific guidance from leadership or the Reopening Taskforce, some offices in Student Development will begin the quarter completely virtual and then revisit incrementally, based on announced official phases
  • Chardin identified for quarantine
  • Revision of supervision “tool-kit” due to problematic interpretations of verbiage on work-from-home form
  • UREC is referring to fitness facilities guidelines but there is still uncertainty re. how to maintain distancing and safety protocols
    • refer to Alvin Sturdivant, VP of Student Development, for guidance and decisions (not Cabinet)
  •  Most recent undergraduate first time in college numbers are around 840-850, lower than projected 900’s

 Leadership Team Update

  • Arsenio Roddy-Little has resigned the staff council.  We are very grateful for his service to the university.
  • Cabinet Presentation/Update – July 21
    • Priorities presented:
    • Racial equity and inclusion, smooth elections, assisting with reopen efforts
    • Staff Representation on Campus Committees
      • Invitation to campus for staff representation on Trustee committees
  • Email Update (Katie) – monitoring the SU Staff Council email inbox and forwarding as appropriate

 Committee Updates

  • Nominations/Elections Committee will meet to spearhead call for nominations
  • Encourage staff excellence nominations
  • Review, Benefits, and Compensation Committee will reach out to HR to see if they need additional input into the revised annual review process being implemented in Jan 2021. Will follow up with individuals in CAS in an effort to centralize and coordinate both conversations about staff stipends and annual review process
  • Communications – All relevant documents to be stored in Teams or SharePoint

 Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (Continued discussion)

  • Matt Burton met with some HR staff
  • Looking to implement a holistic approach - not just for Office of Diversity and HR. HR cannot be responsible for requiring diversity training as HR only administers those trainings required by law
  • HR seeking input
  • How does the university recruit for diversity? New employee orientations do include module on diversity
  • POC and LGBT listservs exist and Staff Council needs to work on pushing these resources out more widely
  • Career Services recently held a workshop on inclusion. It would be interesting to consult with them on best practices
  • Staff Council can be a catalyst for these “pockets” of efforts

Diversity and inclusion steps for next meeting:

  • Invite Natasha Martin
    • Suggested that the Community and Inclusion Committee meet with Natasha first
  • Possibility of a Staff Council diversity retreat and/or approach Mary Dawson for ideas on anti-bias trainings