Staff Advisory Team Meeting Notes April 3, 2009

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Staff Advisory Team Meeting Notes April 3, 2009

Part I Turnover Ad Hoc Team to New Staff Team

Present: Lynn McDonald, Devin Lueddeke, Amy McGill, Kenley Butler, Susan Wolfe, Erika Johnson, Edy Rhodes, Gail Lu, Trinidad Gomez, Rachel Christopherson, Toni Thomas Absent: Raphael Ochoa, Karen Weiss, Priscilla Lorenzo

  • Amy's role: We can come to Amy with questions about how to interface with administration or if we have a proposal that needs President's staff consideration. Amy will convey our results to the President's staff. We are a team of peers, expected to follow protocol, but there is a tremendous amount of leeway. There will be funds in a budget for the advisory team ($2K for this fiscal year, $5K for next year). Thereafter assumption is that we would be sufficiently organized to be able to form our own budget.
  • Amy noted that very few of us said much about specific issues in our letter of interest. We are open to being the people who aggregate interests of staff. A common theme is helping to foster better communication on campus.
  • Susan reviewed Middlebury task force development. Theirs started with HR issues (benefits, child care issues). Susan noted that HR is holding professional development seminars (teambuilding and communications). May want to consider additional professional development activities.
  • Lynn noted four of the new team members participated in last week's teambuilding exercise. Difference between team and group; hope in the proposal is that we will work as a team. Suggests we look into differences of team and group. Teams have distributed leadership (shared, rotated) and are not hierarchical. We are a team to facilitate larger staff team beginning with a goal setting, priority setting session. Be deliberate in how we facilitate staff (breaking into small groups, as in first staff meeting chaired by Amy). Get to know each other as a team; then get to know staff and staff needs; and then goal setting and roles/strengths within the team. Lynn talked to other schools about their staff councils and found model from alma mater (diverse advisory group).
  • Toni suggests we get a current staff list from HR and develop a way to represent all staff members. Around 130 staff members. Noted recent opportunities to engage staff (retreats) have made her and others feel more valued on campus.
  • Erika helped develop three options for advisory team organization.
  • Devin asked about communication and results of surveys. Lynn reported that 53 staff members participated in survey. Core MIIS staff is about 80; remainder are CNS. No one learns/communicates the same way, so we should consider communicating in different ways. We've used an all-staff contact list through Outlook (in universal address book); and Amy has incorporated notes into MIIS@work blog. And items posted to FirstClass folders.
  • If anyone would like to receive postings for MIIS@work, Amy would be happy to pass the baton. She will retain moderator status.
  • Lynn posted materials on a media wiki. Set objectives/create organization appropriate for MIIS. Staff have begun to feel more included, so we're on an upward trajectory; we are not being formed in the context of conflict.
  • Susan cautioned that we not set us up for failure; manage expectations; have three terrific successes this year.

Part II New Team's First Meeting

Present: Devin Lueddeke, Kenley Butler, Edy Rhodes, Gail Lu, Trinidad Gomez, Rachel Christopherson Absent: Raphael Ochoa

  • Gail suggested we take MIIS@work blog and MIISFocus to staff; explain how they use it.
  • Rachel suggested community surrounding staff is weak. Little social interaction. Would like to see reinstatement of staff event such as the May BBQ. Would also like to see bi-monthly or tri-monthly face-to-face communication, where we share what each department is doing. Would like to get to know everyone; we have gold in our departments that we aren't aware of.
  • Trinidad would like to see better communications and morale. Staff events would facilitate this.
  • Gail would like to facilitate communication. Suggested there are staff needs that go uncommunicated (cash machine in Samson building).

Solve problems, including small ones. Curious to know of staff concerns.

  • Edy is new here. Feels strongly about us being a vehicle for staff

to be heard and have a voice. Face-to-face contact to have increased personal connection is important for community building.

  • Kenley would like to engage CNS staff.
  • Devin would like to create channel of communication. He and Lynn held staff meetings each month; refreshments; a presentation from each department each time on goals for the year; at least one rep from each department; a 50-50 raffle that went towards a staff scholarship.
  • Go door-to-door, with chocolate? Perhaps split up department meetings and talk about advisory teams. Staff is more comfortable within own departments. Perhaps a three-pronged approach: departmental staff meetings, person to person, staff meetings. Invitations with chocolate for each person to come to goal setting meeting.
  • Staff meeting after end of semester. Semester ends May 16. Hawaiian shirts, tiki things. Kenley will get food quotes. Rachel will provide beverage costs. Edy will ask Amy about liquor.
  • Gail will get departmental list. Then we'll divide and conquer.
  • Trinidad will post notes to MIIS@work and explore creation of wiki.
  • Kenley will send poll and notes. Week of April 13.
  • MIIS shirt day? Have staff dress in MIIS shirt.
  • Devin will brief Raphael.

Staff Advisory Team set second meeting for April 15th.