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Update from Staff Senate President

Melissa Brotherton



I am encouraged by the tremendous progress we have made on our goals this year. The Staff Senate is now better positioned to represent our staff community through a more equitable representation on the University Budget Council (UBC), a new task force investigating ways to provide affordable housing solutions to staff, and continuing to advance the goals of the Staff Senate through a more functional and productive governance structure. I invite you to read about some of our recent work below.

I am also excited to announce our new Staff Senate leadership for the 2018-19 academic year. Congratulations to our new President Carly Koebel (School of Law) and President-Elect Andrew Chai (Mission Church)!

Approval of the proposal to gain equal “Staff Representation on the University Budget Council”

  • The objective of this proposal is to adjust the number of staff representatives on the University Budget Council (UBC) to better reflect our current employee (faculty and staff) population.
  • The proposal asks to add "one benefits-eligible, full-time staff member with at least two consecutive years of employment at SCU; serving a three-year term, renewable once."
  • The proposal was reviewed, voted on, and approved by the University Coordinating Committee (UCC), University Budget Council (UBC), Faculty Senate Council, and Staff Senate.

New Administrative Assistant Position for the Staff Senate (Pending Approval)

  • The Staff Senate has drafted a proposal to hire a part-time paid administrative position to support the Staff Senate. This position will allow more time to focus on strategic planning, advancing the goals of the Staff Senate, and providing a consistent member to share historical data and resources.
  • The proposal was approved by Human Resources and is pending budget approval.

University Coordinating Committee Updates

  • 2018-19 University Committee appointments are almost complete!
  • Staff Housing Task Force - All but one person accepted their nominations to be on the Staff Housing Task Force. The final list of members will be announced once it's finalized. 
  • Charter Amendment Approval Process - Academic Affairs committee has some concerns and edits, which are now being discussed. The Trustees will review and vote on the amendments next. 

Liaison Update: Workplace Sustainability

  • The annual Sustainability Celebration & Champion Awards will take place on Wednesday, May 16 from 4-6 p.m. in The Forge Garden.



Speaker: Dennis Jacobs

Provost on Civil Discourse
  • SCU is committed to being a diverse and inclusive community, but at the same time, we must also believe in the pursuit of truth.
  • We must allow students to freely convey their ideas, while discussing how to create a space where students can explore ideas without vilifying anyone.

*Please see the Staff Senate Meeting Minutes for the insightful Q&A portion of the presentation

Speaker: Jennifer Gayle, Katie Rohrer

Comprehensive Campaign
  • Campaigns are multi-year efforts to secure private support from individual donors, foundations, and corporations for specific University initiatives.
  • The Comprehensive Campaign goal is to raise $1 Billion over 8 years.
  • We are currently approaching the end of the fourth year and have raised nearly $500 million.

Campaign Timeline

  • Phase I: Quiet – Readiness | July 2014 – January 2015
  • Phase II: Quiet – Leadership | January 2015 – January 2019
  • Phase III: Public | January 2019 – June 2022

There are 44 critical components derived from the University's Integrated Strategic Plan (see six goals below) that inform the fundraising goals for this campaign.

Goal 1: Transform students' lives through a personalized Jesuit education that integrates rigorous study with high-impact experiential learning.

Goal 2: Cultivate within its students the knowledge, skills, ethical reasoning, global perspective, and desire to help fashion a more humane, just, and sustainable world.

Goal 3: Build on our academic programs and linkages within Silicon Valley to become one of the top educational institutions advancing an entrepreneurial mindset, scientific discovery, and technological innovation in greater service of humanity.

Goal 4: Become one of the nation's leading universities advancing Catholic theological studies, education, and ministry.

Goal 5: Recruit and graduate a broadly diverse community of highly talented students while striving to make a Santa Clara education more affordable.

Goal 6: Grow in national reputation as an outstanding university with distinctive programs of excellence inspired by Jesuit educational values.

*You may find additional information in the April 19 PowerPoint presentation and the meeting minutes.

Staff Senate Committee Updates

Elections & Bylaws Committee
Co-Chairs: Maureen Muscat, Brian Moon 
  • Congratulations to the incoming 2018/2019 Staff Senate President -Carly Koebel and President-Elect - Andrew Chai
  • General elections will take place in May. For senators ending their two-year term, please nominate at least one staff member from your area; and to those of you continuing next year, please think about volunteering for committee chairs!

Service & Events Committee
Chair: Samantha Kibbish
  • Ice Cream Social – coming in August
  • #IAmStaffSenate winners can be viewed online at: #DREAMTEAM and #SCUIsHome

Staff Senate Working Groups Updates

Staff Benefits 
Chair: Helene LaFrance
  • The Staff Benefits Committee is drafting a proposal that will allow staff to be paid while participating in volunteer programs. Currently, programs led by the Ignatian Center are the only programs that staff can receive pay for volunteering.
All Staff Brown Bag Lunch
Mission Garden (In front of the Adobe Lodge), 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM



All SCU Staff are invited to bring your own lunch, mingle with new staff, enjoy old staff, and nibble on dessert, provided by SCU Staff Senate. 

Please RSVP to Susan Babbel at

In an effort to get to know each other better and to identify areas of collaboration, senators take turns during every meeting to share three personal facts about themselves, and a highlight and challenge in their area or department. Here are this month's featured senators: 


Susan Babbel, Senior Administrative Assistant, Sociology Department, Anthropology Department

Senator (Arts & Sciences)

Three Things about Me

  • I am a middle child, I have 2 daughters, both married, and 2 grandsons (Auggie who is 2, and Henry who is turning 1) all who live close by.
  • I grew up in Thousand Oaks, CA. I was on “Where the Action Is,” and Paul Revere from Paul Revere and the Raiders pulled me from the audience and sang “Little Red Riding Hood” to me, and I felt so beautiful and grown up in my paisley bell bottoms and white go-go boots.
  • I am an award-winning artist selling/showing my art for 30 years.

Area Highlight

  • Anthropology - Sponsoring the Undergraduate Conference this weekend with 37 presenters from various universities throughout California.
  • Sociology - Has a new Chair, Enrique Pumar, a sociologist who happens to be Cuban!

Area Challenge

  • Being Sr. Administrative Assistant for two departments means double the pleasure! I can’t do either job 100%?

Lisa Fabiny, International Student Advisor, Global Engagement Office

Senator (Global Engagement Office/International Programs)

Three Things about Me

  • I love to sing! People often point out that I am humming or singing when I don’t even realize that I am.
  • I enjoy dancing, not competitively, just for fun. Right now, my favorite styles are salsa, bachata, and I'm attempting hip-hop.
  • I am getting back into gardening and planted some herbs, radish, lettuce, and kale on a window sill inside my home after attending a winter Forge Garden workshop about gardening for small spaces. I love having this mini edible garden at my fingertips!

Area Highlight

  • With over 1,500 international students, Santa Clara University ranks 11th in the nation among top Master's Colleges and Universities hosting international students, and despite the national rhetoric, SCU continues to see growth in our international student enrollments.
  • We often hear from faculty and staff that they want a way to meet and engage with international students at SCU. We are excited to introduce a new buddy program which will match international students with volunteer faculty and staff members.
  • Santa Clara University ranks 10th in the nation among top universities sending students abroad on semester-long programs. Nationally, only 15 percent of students study abroad; at SCU that rate is more than double the national rate - just under 40 percent.
  • Global Engagement, through the Travel Policy Advisory Committee, supports approximately 1,000 SCU students, faculty and staff traveling abroad on University-sponsored programs and initiatives each year. 
  • The University continues to expand and deepen our global partnerships with overseas universities.

Area Challenge

  • Everything we do is about encouraging students, faculty and staff to encounter and embrace people from other cultures and backgrounds who are different from themselves and about expanding connections across the globe. In the current political climate, this is increasingly challenging. 
  • With the current political climate and immigration rhetoric in the U.S., we face new challenges in advising students who have significant anxiety and uncertainty for their future.
  • The institutional goal of increasing study abroad participation to 50 percent of students is still aspirational, as the University’s budget currently does not allow all of the qualified and interested students to study abroad.

Tanisha Sparks, Assistant Director of Housing and Building Operations, JST - Berkeley Campus 

Senator (Jesuit School of Theology)

Three Things about Me

  • In addition to student housing, I oversee Facilities, Campus Safety, Parking, IT, Events, and the Front Desk at the Jesuit School of Theology (JST). I also work with each of those groups along with legal counsel on the main campus.
  • I am currently a doctoral student at the Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta, GA where I am pursuing a degree in biblical interpretation and proclamation.
  • I am a 3rd-degree black-brown belt in karate.

Area Highlight

  • Due to the quality, maintenance, and management of our student housing, our housing facilities are in high demand by students from across the Graduate Theological Union.

Area Challenge

  • Our main challenge is building/growing relationships between the Berkeley campus and the main campus.
Staff Senate Meeting
Monthly Staff Senate Meeting
10:30 a.m. - noon | Graham Commons
  • Speaker: Charlie Ambelang, Staff Compensation and Kids on Campus
  • Speaker: Jill Rovaris, Health and Counseling 

  *All staff members are invited to attend Staff Senate meetings


Questions? Please contact your area senator or email

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