Meeting Minutes for June 10th, 2020

June 10, 2020

7 staff guests in attendance


Warm welcome to SUSC members and visitors. Visitors are welcome to the open session and will be in an observational capacity. Opening remarks regarding turbulent times, which are not new for many. Leann and SUSC stand with and will do our part to support our Black colleagues. 

Leadership Team Update

Reopening Task Force

  • Leann is attending these meetings as a representative of Staff Council in order to advocate for staff interests. 

Leadership Team Meeting with Michelle Clements, SUSC Cabinet Liasion

  • Covered university process to plan reopening
  • Adjustments to performance review process
  • Annual staff/faculty appreciation event and awards ceremony
  • LT continues to push for more proactive communication from university leadership
  • The university is continuing to work on the implementation of strategic plan
  • There is another taskforce working on adjusting the academic year to begin September 9.

Email Update 

VP Katie Bowler continues to manage the SUSC inbox. 

  • Monitoring on a daily basis
  • Katie is forwarding on particular issues to more appropriate entities with permission from those sending the email
  • Many current emails relate to Seattle Police Department using university property as well as questions about university response to upcoming statewide Black Lives Matter strike

Academic Assembly Update

Angie Jenkins reports on the latest items from recent AcA meetings.

  • Plan for fall early return to campus
  • New Title IX rules per updated federal guidelines. (Andrea Katahira will attend July SUSC meeting to discuss)
  • Enrollment is 100 students below our goal. There are still some enrollment gaps and some families need more time to decide
  • Big concern regarding the university’s adjustment of finals on account of nationwide protests related to Black Lives Matter/police brutality.
    • University wanted to avoid placing burden on students to negotiate their own accommodations
  • Issues with SPD on campus, statewide strike on Friday

Bylaws Approval- Action Item 

With final go-ahead from General Council, the Seattle University Staff Council Bylaws were approved unanimously by Council members present 

Vacation Rollover Extension

  • Concerns from a number of staff that it will be difficult to use their extra vacation time by September 1 due to additional workload from furloughs and university’s decision to move start of Fall Quarter up two weeks to September 9.
  • Proposal to extend this deadline further to December 31, 2020, and several SUSC members agree with this proposal
  • Leadership Team will draft a recommendation and send to Cabinet liaison, Michelle Clements, and Human Resources for their consideration

Committee Updates/End of Year Reports

Communication Committee

  • Looking at web analytics to determine where people are coming from and where we can continue to invest our time
    • Campus announcements are driving more SUSC site traffic
  • Thank you to everyone who worked on getting the Affirming Black Lives statement out to campus community
  • Spring quarterly update coming out soon
  • Continuing to refine communication processes
  • Microsoft Teams has allowed SUSC to be a little more nimble
  • All members are retained through summer and new election cycle

Inclusion and Community Committee

  • This committee is losing a number of members as of June 30, invitation for other Council members to join
  • Current priorities: Affinity groups, supporting campus partners, exploring possibility of Staff Ombudsperson, per suggestion from Staff Voices Survey
  • Some priorities are at a slight standstill
  • Matt Burton will step in as Interim Chair of this committee after Alexa steps down

Nominations/Elections Committee

  • Message from President's Office came out on Monday, June 8, notifying the campus community about SUSC election delay
  • Nominations slated to begin on August 24, 2020, with new Staff Council members joining on November 1.

Professional Development Committee

  • Connected with Financial Aid Office to determine what resources they have re. supervisor training and found that they have a comprehensive guide on SFS website. How can this information be effectively communicated to staff?
  • Professional Development opportunities for staff vary greatly across campus
  • How might we identify what is available and communicate this information to campus community?
  • Still determining the best ways to partner with HR. There are some no-cost opportunities for expanding professional development, like LinkedIn Learning.

Recognition and Appreciation Committee

  • Kudos for Colleagues online platform was a big accomplishment, please continue to use this and encourage others to do so, as well.
  • The committee proposed three new awards to create opportunities for more staff recognition. The new awards were accepted but still need to refine one.

Review, Compensation, and Benefits Committee

  • Will need additional members with some members’ one-year terms ending in November
  • Contacted by the College of Arts and Sciences regarding their Staff Supplemental Review Form
  • Form designed to define competencies and facilitate skill growth which could be helpful in professional development rating system
  • Not intended to replace current Human Resources self-evaluation form, but to be complimentary to it
  • Joint subcommittee worked on the form over last 14 months; they included all shared governance bodies in College of Arts and Sciences in its development
  • Extensive research collected from peer 11 schools
  • Goal is to present/share their research with HR and collaborate with SUSC RCB Committee in an ongoing way

Staff Council Transition

Due to many extenuating circumstances, SUSC elections postponed to fall. Many members have agreed to extend their terms to October 31, some are unable to continue. Thank you to those who are ending their term on June 30, 2020. 

Closed Session

Michelle Clements, VP of Human Resources, Mary Petersen, VP & General Counsel and Tim Leary, Executive Vice President joined Staff Council to discuss campus reopening efforts. This discussion was paused to instead discuss current events around Affirming Black Lives. The university’s reopening will be discussed at a special meeting later in June.