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Next week the Sustaining Excellence Project will release data reports on 30 key ideas, which will include a SWOT analysis, impact on personnel timeline, cost, and additional notes on each idea.

Call to Action

SCU Staff have three ways to provide feedback:

  1. Starting Nov. 6, an online survey will be available on the Sustaining Excellence website. The survey will close on Nov. 29. 
  2. public town hall on Wednesday, Nov. 15 at 4 p.m.
  3. The Staff Senate meeting on Nov. 16 at 11 a.m.

Please take the time to provide important feedback on these ideas.

Our sincere thanks to Michael Nuttall, Project Manager for Sustaining Excellence, for updating the Staff Senate during its Oct. 19 meeting.  

Update from the Staff Senate President 

  • University Coordinating Committee (UCC)
    • Currently rewriting the charter amendment process
      • A Staff Senate charge involves advocating for equal staff representation on the UCC and UBC
      • In the pursuit of this charge, it was discovered that there isn't an official amendment process to change the charter itself
      • A formal process is being drafted
      • Once the process is established, our charge will be discussed
    • Aldo Billingslea is the chair of UCC and will be going on sabbatical
      • Frank Ferris has been appointed Chair-Elect for fall 2017 and Catherine Murphy has been appointedChair-Elect winter/spring 2018
  • University Budget Council (UBC)
    • For the next 3-4 years, budgets will remain tight
      • Bond ratings are in good standing
      • The University will continue to be budget-conscious
    • CA minimum wage will increase to $15/hour by 2023, causing a significant impact on our student workforce and our operating budget, so the UBC will be looking at how to cover that extra expense

Staff Affairs Update 

  • Staff Affairs reviews changes to staff policies and makes recommendations to the administrator overseeing Human Resources

  • In a recent meeting, Staff Affairs identified the following ideas for further consideration:
    • Donation of vacation hours
    • Sliding Scale Fees (based on payscale. Parking, as an example)
    • Staff Sabbatical/ Emergency volunteer opportunities
    • Formal student intern program
    • Rental Deposit Assistance for New Employees
    • Promotion Track
  • The Staff Senate will disseminate these ideas to its working groups to assess feasibility

Speaker: Mike Nuttall (Sustaining Excellence Update)

  • The focus during this meeting is the process; Mike will be coming back on Nov. 16 to share further information on content

  • Project Goals
    • Generate, assess, and implement ideas for long-term fiscal health of the University
    • Develop systematic ways to build on the culture of innovative thinking
    • Implement culture change - how do we adjust and remain open to change as an institution?
  • High-level Project Overview
    • Initial project development (June 2016 – November 2016)
    • Phase 1: Idea generation (December 2016 – June 2017)
    • Phase 2: Prioritization (July 2017 – February 2018)
    • Phase 3: Implementation Planning (March 2018 – September 2018)
  • Phase 2 (current phase) 
    • Component 1: Planning Action Council (PAC)
      • Goal: Advise the President in service of generating a short list of core high impact initiative possibilities
      • Five meetings in Fall 2017 all focused on the Sustaining Excellence Project
    • Component 2: University Policy Committees (UPCs) with University Coordinating Committee (UCC) direction
      • President with UCC determines appropriate UPC for review of ideas impacting policy
      • UPC generates a report back to President with its considerations
    • Component 3: University feedback
      • Town Hall (Nov. 15 @ 4 – 5 p.m. Williman Room, Benson)
      • Faculty Senate, Staff Senate, ASG Senate (targeted groups)
      • Feedback Survey (public)

Staff Feedback: Alcoholic Beverage Policy Amendment

The SCU Athletics Department proposed an amendment to the University’s Alcoholic Beverage Policy the student handbook. Student Affairs will be the official voting policy committee. While Staff Senate will not officially vote on the matter, we were asked to share our feedback since this potential change has a broad reach to the campus community.

An online survey was conducted to solicit staff feedback.

Here are the survey results »

*Oct. 19, 2017, meeting minutes are saved on the Staff Senate Google Drive

Coffee for a Cause
Enjoy coffee when you donate to Second Harvest Food Bank
Adobe Lodge

On Monday, Nov. 6 and Friday, Nov. 10, please enjoy a complimentary coffee bar from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. when you drop off canned goods.

Find out what foods are needed »

Open Enrollment Begins
Make changes to your benefits during open enrollment


Update your staff benefits between Nov. 7 - 28. Find out what's changed for 2018

Staff Senate Meeting
Monthy Staff Senate Meeting
11 a.m. - noon, Graham Commons


Guest speaker: Michael Nuttall will provide a follow-up on the Sustaining Excellence Phase 2 efforts

*All staff members are welcome to attend Staff Senate meeting


Medical Benefits Overview for 2018
Hear from HR about what's new for 2018
Noon - 1 p.m. | Manresa Learning Center (Human Resources)

What medical benefits will SCU offer employees in 2018? Do I need to re-enroll in my benefits? How much will our rates increase?

In an effort to get to know each other better and to identify areas of collaboration, senators will 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: 


David Harrison, Associate Director, Development (Miller Center)

Senator (Development)

Three Things about Me

  • I was born and raised in Los Angeles thus I am a huge Dodger fan ... like Fr. Engh.
  • My first job was working at Disneyland on the World-Famous Jungle Cruise and my most recent job was working in HR for Fujitsu.
  • After I graduated from Cal-Poly Pomona, I served in the U.S. Peace Corps for two years in Uganda and another 6 months in the Republic of Georgia.

Area Highlight

  • We have some lofty goals and our team and I'm excited about how those goals will positively impact areas like scholarships and how students learn on campus.
  • I am personally the proudest of how we are building relationships with people who are outside of the SCU alumni circle and are passionate about the mission of the University. 

Area Challenge

  • Like most organizations: Hiring and Retention – we need to hire and keep great development professionals who care about SCU’s mission.

Marissa Pimentel, Project Engineer, Planning & Projects

Senator (University Operations)

Three Things about Me

  • I am a double Super Bronco.
  • I have lived in 5 different States (VA, AL, CO, MT, CA).
  • I have been on tours of the White House over 20 times.

Area Highlight

  • The highlight in our area right now is the development of STEM and other associated projects. STEM is slated to begin in October 2018 and we are working on that design as well as renovations to several other buildings to accommodate the School of Engineering during the construction of the Sobrato Campus for Discovery and Innovation.

Area Challenge

  • How can we get information out to the campus? With all the construction coming up, we want to work on how we can get pertinent information out to the campus effectively. 

Sonia Wymiarkiewicz, Executive Assistant, Finance & Administration

Senator (Finance & Administration)

Three Things about Me

  • My summers growing up were spent training with the Polish National gymnastics team in Europe.
  • I went to the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (and watched my friend from the Polish National team compete in gymnastics).
  • I am headed to Nadi, Fiji in November with Habitat for Humanity. I will help Habitat Fiji build in an effort to improve local access to basic services and better living conditions.

Sonia's last day at Santa Clara was Oct. 30, 2017.We wish her the best in her next endeavor!


Questions? Please contact your area senator or email

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