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State of the Staff Senate

Introduction

In January of this year, the Staff Senate delivered to the staff community the State of the Staff Senate Progress Report, which covered the period from September to December 2016. The figure below provides an approximate timeline of events during the January-May period, while this report describes the totality of the work performed by the Staff Senate during FY 2016-17.

 

 

I. Accomplishments of the Staff Senate Working Groups

A. Introduction and Formulation of the Working Groups

To help prioritize the Staff Senate’s goals for the 2016-17 fiscal year, the executive team (along with feedback from the staff senators) created the FY17 Staff Senate Priorities Survey and sent it to the entire staff community in late September 2016. The anonymous feedback revealed these general interest areas:

  1. Staff Compensation Review
  2. Staff Retiree Benefits
  3. SCU Financial Status
  4. Family and Childcare Benefits
  5. Staff Housing Assistance
  6. Transportation Assistance and Alternatives
  7. Integrated Strategic Plan
  8. Diversity in the Workplace

On Oct. 20, 2016 during its monthly meeting, the Staff Senate assessed the survey results. To address the top four areas of interest and concern, the Senate formed four working groups:

  1. Staff Benefits
  2. Staff Compensation
  3. University Financial Status
  4. Diversity in the Workplace

The Senate determined that these would be the goals of the working groups:

  1. Assess the current status of each of the determined areas
  2. Gather additional information, when necessary
  3. Present any relevant findings to the staff community
  4. Make recommendations to the appropriate governance bodies on campus when necessary

B. Objectives and Accomplishments

  1. Staff Benefits Working Group
    1. Group Members: Rusty Weekes, Susan Babbel, Gabrielle Groener, Emily Wilcox, Harold Gutmann, Michelle Salmiery, Cara K. Uy
    2. Objectives: The goal of this group is to better understand the benefits offered to staff and how we might influence them to better suit the needs of SCU staff.
    3. Accomplishments:
      • Presented two recommendations to the Senate Leadership that were approved by the entire Senate and sent to the next level in the University governance structure. The recommendations involved Development of Staff Housing Options and Child Care Alternative Opportunities - see the Summary of Resolutions (Charges) section below for additional information.
      • Studied several other comparable educational institutions to learn about their benefits packages.
      • Met with Charlie Ambelang, Assistant Vice President for Human Resources, to discuss existing efforts and potential partnerships within the SCU community regarding shared benefits interests (e.g. affordable staff housing).

  2. Staff Compensation Working Group
    1. Group Members: Delilah Montoya, Mariela Rodriguez, Denise Ho, Marissa Pimentel, Trish Kalbas-Schmidt, Sergio Lopez
    2. Objectives: The goal of this group is to gather and disseminate information in regards to staff compensation to campus staff, and to work collaboratively with University groups and offices to address the concerns of the staff community.
    3. Accomplishments:
      • Met with Human Resources officers to better understand the staff compensation components and processes
      • Served as a focus group to review and provide feedback to Human Resources on its Total Compensation Report initiative -- an individualized benefits report made available to all SCU personnel via eCampus (estimated to launch in Summer 2017)
    4. Guest speakers:
      • Invited Human Resources representatives Joan Torne and Charlie Ambelang to the Dec. 15, 2016 Staff Senate meeting to address some of the concerns that emerged from the FY17 Staff Senate Priorities Survey. The meeting’s minutes reflect the discussion.
      • Invited Human Resources representative Tes Ilio on April 20, 2017 to share with the Staff Senate a demonstration of the Total Compensation Report, which incorporated the feedback previously provided by the Staff Compensation Working Group.

  3. University Financial Status Working Group
    1. Group Members: Matt Hendricks, Melissa Brotherton, Billie Knepper, Jonathan Clough, John Hyde, Sonia Wymiarkiewicz
    2. Objectives: The Financial Status Working Group was established to collect and share information on SCU's financial status. The group collaborated with a variety of campus offices and committees to disseminate budgetary updates, process changes, and key decisions that impact the finances of the University.
    3. Accomplishments:
      • Collected official University communication regarding the University’s financial status and budget (see Relevant Resources in the Working Groups webpage.)
      • Drafted a new proposal and motion that would request a mid-year financial update from the University Finance Office
    4. Guest speakers:
      • Invited Chris Shay, Interim Vice President for Finance & Administration, to provide an update to the Staff Senate on May 18, 2017

  4. Diversity in the Workplace Working Group
    1. Group Members: Tanisha Sparks, Amy Peterson, Patrick Coutermarsh, Luis Lecanda
    2. Objectives: The Staff Senate established the Diversity in the Workplace Working Group to discuss and support SCU's objectives on Diversity and Inclusion.
    3. Accomplishments:
      • In February 2017, discussion with the Office for Diversity and Inclusion on how the Staff Senate can support its objectives. Shortly after the meeting, the Office of the President released the Blue Ribbon survey results.
      • The Office of the President made a call to action to establish a task force regarding diversity issues on campus. The Diversity in the Workplace Working Group is looking forward to reviewing the recommendations from the task force and identifying opportunities to support its recommendations.

 
II. Accomplishments of the Staff Senate Committees

  1. Communications Committee
    1. Members: Sergio Lopez (Chair), Melissa Brotherton, Cara K. Uy
    2. 2016-17 Staff Senate Progress Report | January 2017
      • In late January 2017, this committee, along with members of the Staff Senate Executive Board, published the 2016-17 Staff Senate Progress Report, summarizing the accomplishments of the Senate’s Working Groups. Additionally, the report was distributed to the University staff and shared with the Office of the President.
    3. 2016-17 Staff Senate End of Year Report | June 2017
      • This committee, along with members of the Staff Senate Executive Board, published this end-of-year report.
    4. Staff Senate Website Redesign
      • In an effort to fully reflect the work accomplished by the Staff Senate and its various working groups and committees, this committee reorganized and updated the Staff Senate’s website.

  2. Events & Service Committee
    1. Members: Annemarie Scott (Chair), Marissa Pimentel, Patrick Coutermarsh, Trish Kalbas-Schmidt, Delilah Montoya, Ann Bucher, Amy Peterson, Sonia Wymiarkiewicz
    2. Staff Faire: On Sept.13,2016 the Staff Senate hosted the Staff Faire, drawing over 500 SCU staff members to the St. Ignatius Lawn. The event featured:
      • A complete taco bar and soft drinks
      • A musical performance by Akoma Arts, a local Afro-American group that drew enthusiastic ovations
      • Free shoulder and back massages by local spa establishments
      • A drawing featuring gift cards to massage treatments, prizes donated by various SCU departments, and other exciting gifts

  3. Elections and Bylaws Committee
    1. Members: Michelle Salmiery (Co-Chair), Denise Ho (Co-Chair), Cara K. Uy, Luis Lecanda
    2. Bylaws Updates
      1. Article VII - Committees
        • During the May 18, 2017 Staff Senate Meeting, the Events Committee and the Service Committee were combined into a single committee bearing the joint name.
        • The charge of the Events and Service Committee was also updated.
        • It now reflects a community service component that engages the Staff Senate to organize and participate in activities that benefit communities and individuals in need.
      2. Article X - Reporting
        • Updated the charge of the Communications Committee during the May 18, 2017 Staff Senate Meeting
        • It now requires the Communications Chair and her/his committee members to coordinate the production of the Staff Senate Progress Report at the midpoint of the academic year. The report shall include the actions taken by the Staff Senate up to that point, as well as follow-up items that need to be addressed during the second half of the Senate’s term.
    3. Streamlined Elections Process
      1. The Elections and Bylaws Committee made a comprehensive update to the electronic voting system. The entire system was exported to a Google Forms-based platform that now provides greater ease of use for voters and administrators.
      2. The Committee worked with Human Resources to extend nominations to Senators based by Department/Division and successfully received acceptances of 12 new Senators.
    4. Other
      1. During theMay18,2017 Senate meeting, the Faculty and Staff Senates were compared side-by-side in a presentation, leading to possible future modifications to the organizational structure of the Staff Senate. Two possibilities emerged that will need tobediscussedfurther, voted on and then changed in the bylaws:
        • Changing the title of ‘Vice President’ to ‘President-elect’
        • Possibly extending a staff senator’s term from 2 years to 3 years to match that of the Faculty Senate’s.


III. A Visit from SCU President Michael E. Engh, S.J.

  1. On Feb. 16, 2017 Fr. Engh joined the monthly Staff Senate meeting and answered many questions that were submitted by the staff body. Topics included: the value of the Staff Senate, current University challenges, the Sustaining Excellence Committee, the economic state of the University, staff compensation, the Blue Ribbon Commission and the 2020 plan. For his responses and the specific questions see the summary of his Q&A session and the February 2017 minutes.


IV. Summary of Resolutions (Charges)

The following motions and resolutions (charges) were reached through consensus and a majority vote of the Staff Senate. They reflect the collective work of the various work groups and the plurality of the Senate, and thus they are listed here as accomplishments of the Staff Senate as a whole.

  1. SS.M.20162017.01 | Review Staff Representation on University Committees
    Motion for the formation of a task force to ensure equitable staff representation in all SCU governance committees and groups and to ensure staff is from a diverse set of campus offices.
    1. The Staff Senate recommends that UCC review and propose an increase and diversification of staff representation in all University Governance Committees, and
    2. The Staff Senate recommends that the final proposal is communicated to the University Coordinating Committee (through Staff Affairs).

  2. SS.R.20162017.2 | Market Equity Adjustments to Staff Compensation
    The Staff Senate recommends the University Budget Council use the full implementation of Market Equity on the compensation figures of Santa Clara University Staff.

  3. SS.M.20162017.3 | Development of Staff Housing Options
    The Staff Senate recommends that UCC creates a task force to develop Staff Housing assistance options.

  4. SS.M.20162017.4 | Child Care Alternative Opportunities
    The Staff Senate recommends that UCC creates a task force to identify alternative opportunities for child care and after school benefits.

 
V. Staff Senate Members, 2016-17

Download the full report »

Introduction

The purpose of the Staff Senate is to contribute to the success of Santa Clara University, to the growth and welfare of its staff employees, and to the promotion of a positive and supportive work environment. As a constituent organization, along with the Faculty Senate and Associated Students, the Staff Senate 1) operates as a recognized part of the University governance system and 2) provides a forum for open communication and ongoing dialogue among staff and between staff and administration.

The Staff Senate is also a consultative and deliberative body with authority to make recommendations on all matters which have a significant bearing on the working environment of the staff.

It is within this structure and spirit that the 2016‐2017 Staff Senate has sought to survey, assess and act on the ideas and concerns gathered through the FY17 Staff Senate Priorities Survey, administered in September 2016. The figure below summarizes the work of the Staff Senate from September to December, 2016. For additional information on each specific item, please refer to their corresponding sections below.

Infographic - State of Staff Senate - Progress Report - January 2017 - 700x550

 

Survey

FY17 Staff Senate Priorities Survey was sent online to the entire staff community in late September, 2016.

The responses were collected anonymously on these areas:

  • Integrated Strategic Plan
  • Staff Compensation Review
  • SCU Financial Status
  • Staff Housing Assistance
  • Transportation Assistance and Alternatives
  • Staff Retiree Benefits
  • Family and Childcare Benefits
  • Diversity in the Workplace

For each area, individuals were asked to select one of these four options:

  • I'd love to increase my knowledge on this matter.
  • I'd like to pose a question before we move further on this.
  • I have a concern.
  • I'm satisfied with my knowledge on the topic.

For each area, individuals were also asked to elaborate on their particular answer through this secondary question “Please tell us more about your selection above.”

The Staff Senate received 296 completed surveys after the two‐week reply period. The feedback suggested these priority rankings, based on various degrees of interest:

  1. Staff Compensation Review
  2. Staff Retiree Benefits
  3. SCU Financial Status
  4. Family and Childcare Benefits
  5. Staff Housing Assistance
  6. Transportation Assistance and Alternatives
  7. Integrated Strategic Plan
  8. Diversity in the Workplace

 

Analysis & Organization

On October 20, 2016 during its monthly meeting, the Staff Senate convened to assess the survey results. To address four major areas of interest and concern that emerged from the
survey, the Senate formed four working groups:

  1. Staff Benefits
  2. Staff Compensation
  3. University Financial Status
  4. Diversity in the Workplace

The Senate determined that the goals of the work groups would be these:

  1. Assess the current status of each of the determined areas
  2. Gather additional information when necessary
  3. Present any relevant findings to the staff community
  4. Make recommendations to the appropriate governance bodies on campus when necessary

 

Actions

Fall 2016 Actions

  • The Staff Compensation work group recommended a review of the findings and status of the recent Compensation Review Project.
  • During the December 15, 2016, Staff Senate Meeting, Charlie Ambelang and Joan Torne, from Human Resources, addressed several questions voiced by members of the SCU Staff through the survey.
  • Among other things, Charlie and Joan announced that SCU will implement a new salary structure starting in January 2017. This information was also expressed in an email sent by Charlie Ambelang to the Staff on December 13, 2016, titled Staff Compensation Review Project Update.
  • The latest Compensation Review Project status information is accessible via HR’s Google Project Drive.
  • Also, starting in January, 2017 HR will provide additional information on Compensation Philosophy, Policy and Guidelines; Leveling Guidelines used in grading positions, Strategic Position Identification Process and List and other information.
  • HR will host Town Hall Meetings during the 2017 Winter Quarter.
  • The Staff Senate is delighted to collaborate with HR to ensure that the Staff is aware of the upcoming informational opportunities.
  • Recommendations from the Staff Senate to follow.

Winter 2017 Actions

  • Fr. Engh will attend the February 16th, 2017 Senate meeting to discuss how the Staff Senate, in collaboration with his office and SCU governance groups, can help address the challenges currently faced by the University.
  • The Benefits Work Group will invite an HR representative to discuss selected topics on Benefits, as determined by the most prevalent comments expressed in the FY17 Staff Senate Priorities Survey. The date and location of this presentation are to be determined.

Other Actions

  • The Staff Senate may determine to take other actions whose form may vary depending on the subject and matter at hand. Should this be the case, the Staff Senate will inform the SCU Staff Community as to maximize transparency and participation.

 

Long‐term Collaboration

From January 2017 and until the end of the academic year, the Staff Senate…

  • Will continue to assess, investigate and potentially make recommendations to the appropriate University governance bodies.
  • Will continue to communicate with the University’s governance groups to optimize collaboration across campus
    • This includes the work groups formed by the Office of the President, announced by Fr. Engh on Nov 29 in his email titled Fiscal Review Process Update.
  • Will determine which efforts will be carried over to the next academic term

Santa Clara University

2015-2016 Staff Senate Year-End Recap

Executive Committee Officers:

President:
Jenny Sullivan, Alumni Relations

Vice President:
Kim Gilkey-Wall, Office of Student Life

Secretary:
Liz Urie, Finance & Administration

Bylaws & Elections Committee Chair:
Liz Urie, Finance & Administration

Communications Committee Chair:
Kristin Perrin, Leavey School of Business

Community Service Committee Chair:
Matthew Cox, Law School

Events Committee Chair:
Annemarie Scott, Law School

Guest Speakers:


September:
John Ottoboni, General Counsel

October:
David Burns, Emergency Planning Director, Campus Safety Services

November:
Charlie Ambelang, Assistant Vice President for Human Resources: Kids on Campus Update
Mike Hindery, Vice President for Finance & Administration

January:
General Counsel Office Overview: John Ottoboni & Bridget Colbert
Unity 4 Update/Conversation: Lester Deanes & Alana Hinkston ’16

February:
Ed Ryan, Vice Provost for Planning and Institutional Effectiveness: Commencement Update
Charlie Ambelang, Assistant Vice President for Human Resources: Staff Compensation Project Update

April:
Matthew Duncan, Associate Dean for Student Life & Fr. Jeffrey Baerwald, Assistant Dean for Student Life: SCU CARE (Compassionate And Responsive Educator) Program Overview

May:
Renee Baumgartner, Athletic Director

Committee Events and Initiatives:

Events Committee:

  • The Staff Senate Events Committee coordinated all aspects of the annual Staff Faire for all SCU staff on St. Ignatius lawn. Staff Faire ran from 11:30am-1:30pm. It included a lunch, department vendor faire and raffle celebration. 23 departments/organizations were represented. They highlighted activities and programs planned for the upcoming year. During lunch music was provided by fellow Staff Senator, John Hyde. The opportunity raffle included over 30 donated prizes from SCU departments and local businesses. 
  • The Events Committee also hosted the first Coffee and Croissants for a Cause event – a Blanket Drive, benefiting our local homeless population. Over 175 blankets were donated to Cathedral of Faith in San Jose. A second Coffee and Croissants for a Cause is being planned for June 2nd, to benefit the Humane Society of Silicon Valley.
  • The Communications Committee was tasked with moving the Staff Senate website to our new Terminal4 platform. We used this as an opportunity to update our website content and add new areas of interest, like a listing of departments and Staff Senate representatives, as well as a calendar module displaying upcoming events and meetings (through LiveWhale).
  • The Winter quarter Staff Senate newsletter highlighted the first annual “Coffee and Croissants for a Cause” event in early March, the Unity 4 movement on campus and the Annual Community Day of Service.
    - The Spring quarter Staff Senate newsletter (set to go out in early June) will highlight the changes in the Staff Senate representative areas and introduce our newly elected Staff Senators.

Communications Committee:

  • 2015-2016: The Communications Committee was tasked with moving the Senate website to t4 platform. Because of the change and the glitches that came out of the campus-wide move there was less time allotted to newsletters. The Winter newsletter highlighted the first annual “Croissants for a Cause” in early March, the Unity 4 movement on campus and the Day of Service. The Spring newsletter set to go out in early June will highlight the changes in the Senate and introduce the new senators. The committee added the LiveWhale calendar to the website this year as well.
  • 2014-2015: The Fall/November Newsletter featured updates on: Staff Senate Membership, a recap of the Staff Faire, a feature on the Holiday Gift Drive, a bio on Mike Hindery, and a bio on Bob Owen. The Spring/April Newsletter featured updates on: Staff Senate Elections, the Library first floor remodel, the Community Day of Service, and the June Staff Recognition Event. Website updates included: current senate membership roster and events updates with future meetings.

Community Service Committee:

  • The Staff Senate Community Service Committee worked with Alumni Office and Ignatian Center staff to coordinate our annual Community Day of Service for SCU faculty, staff, students and alumni.
  • Four projects were available for volunteer participants: 1) the SCU Thriving Neighbors Initiative at Washington School, where volunteers read literature with K-5 students, 2) site beautification projects including cleaning and weeding at Community United of San Jose, 3) sorting donations for those in need at Sacred Heart Community Services, and 4) organic gardening projects at our Bronco Urban Garden (BUG).

Elections & Bylaws Committee:

  • Working with Human Resources, the Elections Committee evaluated the representation of staff by departmental group to comply with the Senate’s Bylaws. The departmental groups were revised to follow the organizational structure of the University by division area, increasing the total number of Staff Senators from 33 to 39. The Staff Senate approved this change at its March 2016 meeting (groups are listed below).
  • Worked closely with Information Services to implement the changes within the election system to ensure a fully representative Senate is elected for the 2016-17 year.
  • Proposed and passed revisions to the Bylaws to create a more functional Senate, including relocating the election of the executive officers from June to May. The June meeting will be used as a transition and orientation meeting for the new Senators. The Staff Assembly approved these revisions at its April 2017 meeting.

The areas of representation approved by the Senate in March are as follows:

  • Alumni Relations
  • Athletics
  • Auxiliary Services
  • Campus Ministry
  • College of Arts & Sciences
  • Development
  • Enrollment Management
  • Finance & Administration
  • Financial Aid
  • Human Resources/KOC
  • Ignatian Center
  • Information Services
  • Jesuit School of Theology
  • Leavey School of Business
  • Markkula Center
  • Miller Center
  • Office of Marketing & Communication
  • President’s Office/Event Planning
  • Provost’s Office
  • School of Education & Counseling Psychology
  • School of Engineering
  • Student Life
  • Undergraduate Admissions
  • University Finance Office
  • University Operations

External Committee Representation:

  • Dining Services Committee: Annemarie Scott, Law School
  • Parking Committee: Cara Uy, Office of Sustainability
  • Staff Affairs Committee:  Kim Gilkey-Wall, Office of Student Life
  • University Coordinating Committee: Jenny Sullivan, Alumni Relations
  • University Budget Council: Jenny Sullivan, Alumni Relations
  • Technology Advisory Committee: Marta Murchison, Finance Aid Office
  • Workplace Sustainability Committee: Cara Uy, Office of Sustainability; Luis Lecanda, Finance Aid Office; Patrick Coutemarsh, Markkula Center