Staff Council Self Assessment 2007

Development of Staff Council

In December of 2003, President Miller asked the previous Human Resources Advisory committee to join with a group of new appointees to design a Staff Council for the College. Names of potential members were solicited from each of the reporting areas of the College. Eleven individuals agreed to serve, with two staff from the Office of Human Resources supporting the committee's work.

The kick-off meeting for the group was held on February 10, 2004. The forming committee had 14 members, two of which were ex-officio. President Miller charged the group to develop a proposed structure for a Staff Council, the purpose of which is to be an advisory body to the President. Co-chairs were elected. After review of several other college and university staff organizations, the committee established the Hartwick College Staff Council.

On August 2, 2004, the HCSC was approved by President Miller's Cabinet. Upon the recommendation of the committee, President Miller and the Cabinet agreed that five members of the Development Committee would be appointed to serve on the initial Council along with seven newly elected members per the terms of the outlined Council.

The initial Council outlined the HCSC mission, purpose and by-laws.

Hartwick College Staff Council
The organization that represents all Hartwick College staff shall be named the Hartwick College Staff Council, commonly known as HCSC.

The Hartwick College Staff Council's mission is to serve in an advisory capacity to the President and Cabinet in matters pertaining to the interests and needs of the staff with regard to their daily activities and work conditions as they strive to support the College's goal of quality liberal arts education.

The HCSC purpose is to:

  • Facilitate communication between staff and the campus community.
  • Participate, assist, and advise in decision making processes that affect the staff's relationship with the larger College community, e.g. select staff representatives to serve on institutional task forces and committees when appropriate.
  • Present ideas that originate from the staff to the College President.
  • Foster a sense of community among our diverse population.
  • Make Hartwick College's educational community an efficient, fulfilling and attractive work environment.
  • Promote and advocate staff professionalism and support opportunities for the leadership development of its members.

History of Activities/Events


December: President Miller forms Staff Council Development Committee from members of the previous Human Resources Advisory Committee and new appointees to design a staff council for the College.


February: President Miller meets with and charges Staff Council Development Committee with responsibility for creating the first ever Hartwick College Staff Council.

Spring: Staff Council Development Committee posts 'Proposed Framework for HCSC', feedback sought form campus community

Summer: President Miller and Cabinet approve Development Committee's Plan for establishing Hartwick College Staff Council.

November: ·HCSC announced by President Miller.

First "official" meeting, Executive Committee elected: Frank Werdann, chair, Bill Beyer, vice chair, Donna Avery, secretary/treasurer (although the treasurer portion was unbeknownst to Donna)

HCSC website established

December: Staff Councilasked by HR to weigh in on the draft proposal produced by the Committee on Faculty Salaries & Budget going before the February 2005 meeting of the BOT concerning employee benefits


January: Open meetings with staff on HR benefits proposals: Tuition benefits, vacation, Group Life & AD&D Insurance, Long Term Care, TIAA/CREF & Fidelity Plan

March: Committee web pages established

May: HR meeting with Staff Council to seek Council's opinion about medical health insurance premium increases and possible options for consideration

June: Garage Sale

July & August: 2 summer coffee hours


January: Marketing and Enrollment presentation for all staff

June: Budget established

Summer: 2 Summer Coffee Hours hosted (one sponsored by B&N)

July: Ad-Hoc By-Laws committee established

November: 20/20 Meeting

December: Morale document


February: Mardi Gras lunch

March: First "Executive Board" meeting

April: First budget plan for coming year and revised by-laws approved

Professional Development Programs


February: First staff survey by the Professional Development Committee
April: Leadership - Manny Pelligra (20 participants)
May: Fitness: Mark Van Laeys (18 participants)
June: Conflict Resolution - Mike Haehnel (14 participants)
September: Time Management - Diane Paige (17 participants)
October: Meyers-Briggs Profiles - Shannon Forbes (17 participants)
November: Communication Skills - Rich Brown (11 participants)
December: 1st De-Stress Fair held in Shineman Chapel (50 participants)

February: Second staff survey by PDC
March: Employment Interviewing Skills - Suzanne Janitz (17 participants)
April: Getting and Giving Criticism - Larry Malone (15 participants)
May:Conflict Management - part 2 - Mike Haehnel (12 participants)
June: Living Life on Purpose - Debbie Warren (20 participants)
September: Resources & Services at the Stevens-German Library- Beth Orgeron and April Reed (13 participants)
October: Professional Development Committee Forum- Share what's new in your area (11 participants) |
December: 2nd De-Stress Fair held in Shineman Chapel (40 participants)

February: Time Mastery- #10; John Clemens and Scott Dalrymple (10 participants)

March: Personal Safety On & Off the Job- Suzanne Gaynor (13 participants)

April: Overview of Financial Services Office- Staff of Financial Services (20 participants)

May: Ice Cream Social and Third Staff Survey

318 participants through May 2007. Average participants per program is 18.

Recommendations to Administration

Quinquennial recipients should have option to donate vale of gift to United Way (approved)
HR should hold an open meeting for staff to participate in discussion of the issues and recommendations concerning employee benefits 'draft' of proposed program changes

HR benefits plan recommendations made
Extend benefit plan to domestic partners (no action)
Extend Alcohol Advisory Board, include reps from staff, faculty and ARA (approved)
Council recommended including EPO Plan G as an offering and to leave prescription co-pays as is
Summer hours policy should be clarified (done)
Marketing should share their strategy with all staff (done in Jan 06)

Morale issues shared with Pres. Miller
Snow concerns shared with Pres. Miller
Recommendations made to HR and Pres. Miller regarding proposed change in health and dental insurance plans (open meetings held for all staff and faculty)


Fall: E-mail elections held for divisional and at-large members
November: first elections held for chair, co-chair, secretary, and subcommittees formed.

January: Process reviewed for Divisional Appointments
February: Created separate Treasurer position
March: At-large and divisional elections done. Elections conducted via e-mail, process created by Davis Conley.
June: new officers elected
June: issue with officer nomination process. Process repeated with paper ballots. In future, elections committee will have oversight. All ballots will be paper.

February: Divisional appointments extended for 3 appointees so 3 expire each year instead of all at once
March: At-large elections held, using Blackboard for the first time.

Committee and Search Appointments

January: 3 staff appointed for campus wide assessment committee
September: 3 staff selected for Talloires Committee
September: staff selected for Alcohol and Drug Committee

January: staff selected for Scholarship Awards Committee
June :15 staff selected for 20/20 committee

March: 2 staff selected for VP Finance Search Committee


SC Development Committee: 2003-2004
Nadine Carvin, co-chair, Academic Affairs
Frank Werdann, co-chair, Finance
Bill Beyer, Information Systems
Stephanie Brunetta, Information Systems, Web Services
Susan Fitch, Institutional Advancement
Gladys Freeland, Academic Affairs
Shirley Georgia, Finance
Karen Ingles, Enrollment Management
Ryan Lovell, Student Life
Elizabeth Morley, Student Life
Daphne Thompson, Student Life
Nancy Wycoff, Enrollment Management
Loree Allen (ex. officio), Human Resources
Ellen Miller (ex. officio), Human Resources

HCSC Members for 2004-2007
Bill Beyer (Technology) Divisional appointment - term ended May 2006
Stephanie Brunetta (Communications)- at-large election - term ends May 2007
Donna Cahill (Academic Affairs) - at large election - term ends May 2007
Graig Eichler (Student Life) - Divisional appointment - term ends May 2008
Gladys Freeland (Career Services) - term ended May 2006
Colmin Gajadar (Technology) - Divisional appointment - term ends May 200
Suzanne Gaynor (Technology) - at-large election - term ends May 2007
Shirley Georgia (Finance)- Divisional Appointment, continued from SC Development
Tammy Hammon-Card - Divisional Appointee - left Hartwick College
Dorian Huneke - Divisional Appointee - term ended May 2006
Jamie Jones (Athletics) - at-large election, term ends May 2007
Connie Losie (Library) - at large election, left council May 2006
Dawn Marullo (IA) - Divisional appointment - term ends May 2008
Eric Nichols (Athletics) - at-large election - term ends May 2008
Manny Pelligra (Admissions) - At large election - left Hartwick College 2006
Sara Pickett (Business Office) - at-large election - term ends May 2008
Matt Stever (Enrollment Mgmt) - Divisional appointment - term ends May 2008
Carla Tenace (Academic Affairs) - Divisional appointee - term ends May 2009
Frank Werdann (B&N) - continued from SC Development Committee - became ex-officio
Nancy Wycoff - continued from SC Development Committee - term ended May 2006

Rick Accordino (ARA - Food Services)
Ellen Miller, left Hartwick College 2006
Wes Kraemer (Student Senate), past member
Larry Malone (Faculty Council), past member
Anne Moriarty (ARA - Facilities) Ex-Officio
Dorienne Rosenberg (Student Senate), past member
Andrew Seligsohn (Faculty Council)
Chuck Thienpont (ARA- Food Services) - Ex-Officio, past member
Frank Werdann (B&N)

Staff Council Efforts & Looking Forward

Since its formation, Staff Council has had tremendous support from President Miller. He clearly saw a need for such a body to become the voice for staff on campus. Council continues to have a good working relationship with President Miller. Council's input and feedback on issues is heard and its members have been encouraged to continue to promote our work in more organized, campus-wide efforts.

Council's committees continue to offer staff and faculty opportunities to come together for social and professional development interaction. The Professional Development Committee Workshops have engaged an average of 18 participants per month from September through June for past three years. Social events sponsored by Council through the efforts of the Planning & Events Committee have included: Campus Garage Sale, Summer Coffee Breaks, Mardi Gras Luncheon, and Spring Plant Swap. Our Nominating & Elections Committee continues to improve Council's election process by seeking out the most efficient means/technology available; and, by endeavoring to encourage participation from all staff across campus either as nominees and/or candidates.

The development of a recognition program for staff has been an item on Council's agenda for a long while. This past year, 2006-2007, the Recognition Committee submitted its proposal to Council and the President for a program to begin in the 2007-2008 academic year. Council stands behind this effort with full knowledge that historically, the College has disappointed some with attempts at such programs. Members hope that since the program is designed to become a tradition with ceremony, celebration and funding support that the College community will embrace the effort in the spirit in which it is intended- to honor hard working, dedicated staff who believe deeply in the mission of this College.

An Ad hoc By Laws Committee conducted a complete review and update of Council's By Laws during 2006-2007. This effort resulted in more complete and concise By Laws to govern the work of the Council and its committees.

Over the years since Council was established, individuals have brought concerns forward for the body to discuss and determine if a recommendation to the Administration was necessary to address a specific issue. This mechanism to channel staff concerns has worked well and staff who participate in this process appreciate it. Council members agree that as a group of staff representatives, we should do more to communicate with colleagues in our areas to facilitate a dialogue on a regular basis; and, always leave the door open for others to bring issues to members as individuals and/or before the full Council.

This mechanism has also worked well with the Office of Human Resources. Council's role in reviewing proposed changes in benefits packages has been honored and valued to be equal to that of the Faculty Salary and Budget Committee. The fact that Council and its committees work closely with staff from HR can only continue to enhance and refine the quality of programs and opportunities for staff; and, thereby move the College forward.

For the future, members of Council have a strong desire to set specific goals and initiatives as a leadership body on the campus. Council should conduct an annual budget review process which will help guide planning for events that, if continued, will surely become staff traditions. This was done for the first time in 2006-2007.
Council members held a half-day retreat in August 2007 to address long-term planning. The role of individual members as staff representatives to the staff at-large is one that Council plans to discuss and outline in more detail. The goal of this process is to help guide members in their service by providing them with a type of in-service job description.

Efforts to communicate Council business and programs are routinely discussed and will continue to be reviewed. Communication tools such as system distribution list e-mails, the Council's Web site, E-TowerTimes, BlackBoard Community for elections and discussions, etc. will continue to be used to assist and encourage staff to become engaged in Council's efforts and work.