Minutes of HCSC Meeting: April 4, 2006

Present: Bill Beyer (presiding), Accordino, Avery, Brunetta, Carvin, Falduto, Gaynor, Georgia, Huneke, Miller, E., Moriarty, and Wycoff

1. The meeting was called to order at 9:06 am.

2. Chair Beyer introduced Ellen Falduto who has joined us to provide an update and overview  of The Campus-wide Assessment Plan.

Ellen F. started the discussion by saying that the Campus-wide Assessment Committee has been working on the plan for a little over a year.  The acronym for the committee is CWAC (fondly called quack); pun intended.

  • The CWAC committee composition is derived from faculty, staff and students.
  • The committee is charged with assessing the state of assessment at Hartwick. The college-wide plan intends for all programs, offices and activities to have some form of assessment.  In some cases, it is a matter of introducing the concept of assessment for the first time.
  • Various forms of assessment will be needed, e.g., a different form will be needed for non-academic areas.  Individual vice presidents will work respectively with their direct reports on these.
  • The current version of the Campus-Wide Assessment Plan (draft 3-12-06) has been distributed widely (Department Chairs, Cabinet, Student Senate and to the leadership of the Board of Trustees).  The plan is to have everyone review the document, discuss it and ask questions.
  • Nadine Carvin shared some information on the work of the sub-committee working on  Co-Curricular Programs.  She stated that because they couldn’t individually review all of the programs, that the committee selected a sampling of programs to review.  Each program was requested to present a mission statement, if they had one, and program recommendations were developed from these responses.
  • Ellen F. will ask Cabinet members to speak with their directors about opening discussion in their areas.
  • Departmental faculty and classroom plans are working in tandem with each other.
  • The Board of Trustees Governance Committee has requested Individual committees of the Board to prepare or update respective charters.  The committees will conduct periodic assessments, and the Board is in the process of implementing assessment for individual trustees.
  • The Board of Trustees has the ultimate responsibility for Assessment.
  • Planned goals need assessment on their progress.
  • Progress on Student Success is our First Priority has been updated and Cabinet and Board leadership are reviewing.
  • CWAC and its sub-committees are encouraging everyone to keep assessment simple—do not make it a complex process.  The ultimate plan is to create a uniform framework that most everything can fit into.  Like everything, there will be a few exceptions to the rule.
  • Questions/Comments/Answers
    • How does assessment fit with the work of the Enrollment Management Task Force?   Ideally, the work of the EMTF should be integrated into the campus-wide assessment effort, and if assessment is occurring as it should, area assessment efforts should (ultimately) drive improvements in retention as well as other desired institutional outcomes.
    • How do staff get their attention shifted solely from retention to campus-wide
          assessment?  Discussion resulted in consensus that it would be wise to put      additional resources into developing a culture of assessment among staff      (including learning more about assessment as well as student retention).
    • What is the college strategy for helping staff embrace this plan and its concept?   Ellen F.  said the plan is to use senior level administrators and members of  CWAC who possess expertise in assessment to assist in helping developing plans  for all  areas.
    • An example might be Human Resources could make programmatic goals that could clearly be assessed.
    • Ellen F. states that we want to protect against “scatter shot” goal setting and assessment.
    • It was noted that because of outsourcing, the Facilities staff might not possess the same love and loyalty for Hartwick that a regular Hartwick employee does.  At times it appears that their interest is more in cutting dollars.  How will this be dealt with?
    • Are student surveys a big input?  Satisfaction surveys are not considered direct  input.
    • It was noted that everyone is enrolled in the Blackboard CWAC course and  should be able to have access to it.

3. The minutes of March 7, 2006 were approved as previously distributed after incorporating a change in #7 that states that the Professional Development Committee will prepare a “draft” memo for review by Staff Council.

4. Nancy Wycoff provided updates of recent at-large Staff Council elections and one exempt divisional election:

  • Non-exempt
    • Eric (2-year appointment)
    • Sara Pickett (2-year appointment)
    • Jaime Jones (1-year appointment)
  • Exempt Divisional Election
    • Dawn Marullo (2-year appointment)

5. It was noted that Staff Council by-laws need to reviewed and discussed for next year, and
 one thing that needs attention is defining who is eligible to vote.  It was agreed upon that this discussion should await the arrival of newly elected members.

6. Discussion then turned to individuals that will be leaving the leadership ranks of Staff Council.  They are Bill Beyer, Gladys Freeland, Dorian Huneke and Nancy Wycoff.  Although no longer serving in elected leadership capacity, it was unanimously agreed that they, along with other staff members, should be encouraged to attend SC meetings and to continue to volunteer their service on various sub-committees.

7. Shirley Georgia provided a treasurer’s report.  Upon investigation, she discovered that an ARA charge billed to SC (that she had mentioned at a previous meeting) was discovered to be a billing error and has been corrected.

8. The Professional Development Committee reminded all that Professor Larry Malone will be presenting a workshop on Critical Critique in the Workplace at noon on April 12th in Eaton Lounge.  Debbie Warren is tentatively scheduled to present a Leadership Workshop in May and Mike Haehnel is planning on presenting a workshop on Conflict Management in June.

9. Searches were the next topic of discussion and the committee addressed the importance of having Hartwick employees use the handouts provided by the Office of Human Resources in these efforts.  Amongst other things, these handouts address questions that you may and may not ask in an interview   A suggestion was made that perhaps a policy would be helpful in identifying particular types of searches that should be required to hold “open meetings.”  There seems to have been some variance in this respect pertinent to some recent high ranking administrative searches.  Ellen Miller noted that after she received inquiries relative to a particular recent search that had not provided time for open meetings, she queried the vice president in charge and was told it was not determined necessary and that the committee was comfortable with the way the search was conducted.  Once something like this is brought to the attention of those in the search leadership capacity, there really isn’t anything else that can be done.

Ellen M. also stated that she didn’t necessarily believe that all searches need to be opened to the entire campus, nor did she believe that all searches need to be conducted in a uniform way.  There are various search differences, dependent in part, on the particular position being searched.

The committee agreed that since the Office of Human Resources is the first to become aware of an impending search, that it would be very useful to have them prepare an announcement for distribution to all faculty and staff that reminds each department/office to share available search information from HR with all search committee chairs at the beginning of the process.

10. Attention then turned to the subject of documenting and recognizing staff for committee and community service and involvement.  Tracking and inputting this information into a useful database or Datatel was discussed.  It was decided that this topic should be a future committee agenda item.

11. The meeting was adjourned at 10:15 am.

Respectfully submitted,

Donna Avery