Minutes of HCSC Meeting: May 1, 2007

Present: Suzanne Gaynor, Presiding, Stephanie Brunetta, Graig Eichler, Colmin Gajadar, Shirley Georgia, Lynn Greenwood, Mike Haehnel, Carla Kinser, Barbara Konze, Dawn Marullo, Eric Nichols, Sara Pickett, Matt Sanford, Judy Walsh
Guests: President Dick Miller

1. The meeting was called to order at 9:05 a.m.

2. New members Mike Haehnel, Barb Konze, Judy Walsh and Matt Sanford were welcomed to Council.

2. President Dick Miller spoke to us, first acknowledging that the College, more and more, turns to us as an advisory board. He wanted to let us know several things that will be discussed at the upcoming Board meetings.

  • The possible replacement of ARAMARK as vendor for our Facilities Department
  • The lack of competitiveness of the College’s compensation levels, and the fact that this must be corrected soon.
  • Borrowing will be a necessity for some required facility projects.

On a positive note, incoming Freshman numbers are "on track" with last year so good tuition revenue is anticipated. Another future change will be the need for an alternative to Blue Cross/Blue Shield Health Insurance Coverage. Our employees currently pay a greater percentage than other employee groups. Lynn Greenwood is doing marketplace research. Like Staff Council, Faculty Salary & Budget Committee has questions about this and there will be campus wide informational meetings.

3. The minutes of the April 3, 2006 HCSC meeting were approved as written.

3. Treasurer’s Report – Today’s balance is $955.25. Garage sale balance is $2,226.10.

Initially, Council was told we had $1,200.00. We actually have $1500.00, so the extra provides us with a "cushion" for spending for future events.

4. Request from Professional Development Committee – Graig announced that PDC would like to invite Karen Sheesley, professional organizer, to present a seminar on organization in the workplace on June 20. A motion was made, seconded and approved to grant $200.00 to the committee for her fee.

5. Elections Results – New members were again congratulated and welcomed to Council.

6. Job analysis questionnaire – Lynn Greenwood explained that this is a tool for writing our own job descriptions, including consultation with our supervisor(s) and Vice-President. Eventually the new job descriptions will be used for correcting exempt and non-exempt status and reclassifying job levels. She also noted that a draft Employee Handbook for Faculty and Staff will soon be released for review.

7. Student Senate – New President, Josh Gardner, has invited HCSC to designate a representative to Student Senate. A nomination for this position will be included with other Staff Council nominations during the coming month. Carla, as Vice-Chair, will oversee elections at June’s meeting.

8. Professional Development Committee’s Ice Cream Social will be May 9, from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. at Shineman Chapel. Attendees must complete a survey about future PDC programs before receiving ice cream.

9. Planning and Events Committee is planning a Plant Trade for Friday May 25 (before Memorial Day) from 12:00 to 2:00 p.m. A volunteer in each building will oversee a table for dropping off and picking up plants and related socializing.

10. Self-Appraisal as requested by President Miller. A 5-page document, Development of Staff Council, was previously provided to Council members. Suzanne stated that it would be expanded to include what has worked and what has not, over the course of our existence, and solicited comments. Members felt that Council has provided a place for staff to bring ideas and improved communication and our relationship with the President.  Suggestions for future included a special meeting or retreat for goal setting, and implementation of an effective, consistent method of communication with all staff members. Current Self Appraisal Committee members (Suzanne, Stephanie, and Colmin) expressed a willingness to finalize this document for submission to Council and then President Miller.

11. Planning and Events – Shirley announced that Barnes and Noble and ARAMARK have each consented to sponsor one of the Summer Coffeehours (July or August).

12. By-Laws – A motion was made, seconded and approved, to accept the most recent draft of the By-laws; identifying them as the "May 1, 2007" version. Stephanie suggested preserving the original version of the By-laws. This met with approval, and the acknowledgment that our documentation should eventually be sent to Archives for storage.

13. Several items were mentioned and will be on the agenda for our May meeting:

A. Further discussion and possible approval of our Budget.

B. Recognition Awards

C. Staff Council Scholarship.

It was suggested that the Garage Sale funds could be used for Recognition Awards and for the proposed Scholarship. Short discussion included approval of the idea, but recognition that the awards would need to be one-time, or the funds would need to be replenished. Dawn M. noted that there are several other fund raising efforts that appeal to staff and expressed concern about the creation of another need for staff fundraising. Further discussion and decision was tabled until next meeting.

15. The next meeting of the Hartwick College Staff Council will be Tuesday, June 5, 2006 at 9:00 a.m.

16. This meeting was adjourned at 10:12 a.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Sara Pickett
Recorder