Staff Council  (“SC”)

November 15, 2006

MEETING SUMMARY

 


Action Items Completed…

 

ü       The SC minutes of October 18, 2006 were unanimously approved and entered into record.  These minutes are available online.

 

 

                                                       

Information Items Presented…

o        SC President Susan Martin—whom the SC would like to warmly welcome back after her recent medical leave—reported the following:

§         The SC Executive Committee would like to thank long-time member, chair, and web coordinator Lena Woods for her invaluable contribution to the SC.  The online elections are only one legacy she leaves the Council.  Woods will be moving on from the university soon.  We all wish her the very best!

 

§         SC officers learned of another departure after the meeting and would like to thank long-time member, chair, and 2nd Vice President Delana Gifford for her invaluable contribution to the SC.  Among her accomplishments are the reinvention and revitalization of SC Awareness Month as well as dozens of vacancies filled.  Time constraints and family commitments require that Gifford take a break from the Council.  She will be missed!

 

§         The SC Executive Committee would also like to recognize Representative Heather Kemp for her outstanding work on behalf of the Staff Affairs Committee.  Kemp has compiled a valuable knowledge base of issues explored by the committee in recent years and was also responsible for organizing constituent feedback on campus food services into a concise, informative report.

 

§         Welcome to Representative Jennifer Fleming, who attended her first meeting in November.

 

§         Please urge your colleagues to share their good news:  the SC “Applause Page” is always seeking announcements regarding staff members’ professional transitions within the university or community awards or honors.  Contact the SC Office for details.

 

 

o        SC Committee Chairs then made the following reports:

      • Communication Committee Co-Chair Michelle Hurst reported that she and Co-Chair Troy Barnes met October 24th to further strategize about venues for SC publicity.   They also recently reviewed the holiday program flyer for the Special Events Committee and established an OnCourse virtual meeting site for their own committee.

 

      • Membership Committee Chair Delana Gifford could not attend, but Molly Martin made an announced in her stead. Two vacancies have arisen on the SC: a sixth representative for the Academic Support RC (through June 2008) and a Member-at-Large of the SC Executive Committee (through June 2007).  Interested staff members or current SC members (current SC membership is required to run for Member-at-Large) should e-mail the SC office.  After the meeting, the SC office also learned that the position of 2nd Vice President & Membership Chair (through June 2007) is now vacant, as well.  Please notify the SC office if you are interested.

 

      • Rewards & Recognition Co-Chair Lorna Griffin reported that her Co-Chair Mike Oakley is still active in the committee but that shifts in his workplace responsibilities have precluded his attendance of recent SC meetings.

 

      • Staff Affairs Co-Chair Becky Thacker reported that her committee continues to receive and address concerns, especially about pedestrian safety.  One of the committee members is exploring

 

      • Special Events Committee Chair Karen Best reported that the December SC meeting and annual holiday program will be held on December 6th at 3:00pm at the Center for Young Children.  The afternoon will feature an abbreviate SC business meeting followed by holiday music, snacks, and door prizes.  The committee continues to collect donations for the event.  Please RSVP for this special meeting.  Many thanks to the Special Events Committee for their hard work!

 

 

 

 

    • Chartwell’s Senior Director of Dining Services Jim Clemons, introduced himself, Retail Director Steve Serr, and Chartwell’s Regional Nutritionist Laura ConwayAssistant Vice Chancellor for Auxiliary Services John Short was also present.  Clemons, who started at IUPUI in June, explained his fundamental management principles for campus dining: customer service and quality products.  He understands that some of Chartwell’s past practices, not well-regarded by customers, will require renewed commitment and increased community outreach.  He urged staff to contact him personally at 4.7735 when concerns arise.  He also urged staff to stop by the comment table at University College or to submit their comments online.  Speaking of University College, Clemons noted that it will serve as the debut venue for new dining concepts and offerings, offering diners a sample of what is to come at the Campus Center.  The SC urged Clemons to work with the Council and other campus groups to better publicize menus and new offerings.

 

      Prior to the meeting, the SC shared feedback, negative and positive, on food service on campus via a report compiled by the Staff Affairs Committee.  Clemons noted that he had carefully read the feedback and promised a written response to the comments in December 2006. He did respond, however, to some initial questions posed by the Council:

 

§         Q:  Are the catering services, processes, and terms set?          

§         A: No, they will be up for review in the coming months and are subject to change.

 

§         Q: Once the Campus Center and its dining options are open, what other campus dining options will remain?

§         A: The food courts in the Conference Center, University College, and Cavanaugh Hall will close, but the Inlow Hall facility will remain open.  The future of food service in the Union Building is still under review.

 

§         Q: What is the nature of Chartwell’s contract with the campus?

§         A: A new contract is being drafted and will soon be signed.  The term is for seven years with an option to renew and, as recent contracts with Chartwell’s, was developed in the interest of necessary investments for the Campus Center and the campus in general.

 

§         Q: Does the talk of possibly outsourcing IU Bookstores have any connection or bear any similarities to negotiations with Chartwell’s (re: the need for investment on campus)?

§         A: No.  President Herbert has mentioned the possibility of exploring bookstore outsourcing; unlike dining, it would be a university—as opposed to campus—decision.

 

§         Q: What is the status of vending (Canteen and Coca-Cola) contracts on campus?

§         A: Canteen is managed by Chartwell’s and is, therefore, governed by its contract.  The contract with Coca-Cola was negotiated at the university—not campus—level and has recently been renewed.

 

 

In closing, the SC thanked Clemons for his time and he thanked the Council for engaging in these important conversations.  Staff Affairs Co-Chair Becky Thacker reminded Clemons that staff spend a great deal of time on campus and that nutrition, access (including class and workday-friendly hours), and affordability must be among Chartwell’s chief priorities as they move forward.  Representative Leslie Kidwell closed by noting that, while she appreciates Clemons’ time, the extension of Chartwell’s contract may be initially viewed with skepticism, as many staff view Chartwell’s past performance as inconsistent.  More information on campus dining is available online.

 

 

    • Vice Chancellor for Administration & Finance Bob Martin briefed the SC on the following:

§         The Campus Center is on-time and on-budget, slated for a “soft opening” in Fall 2007 and a “hard opening” in Spring 2008.

 

§         The Cancer Center is still slated to open in late 2007.  A connector between the center and the Vermont Street Garage is also being constructed.

 

§         The addition to Riley Hospital is slated for completion in early 2009.  There will also be a parking structure built to its north.

 

§         Research III, among the most expensive single building projects in IU history, is slated to begin construction in 2008.

 

§         A January 2007 opening is planned for the Medical Information Sciences Building at the head of the Canal.  Representative Chris Walthers raised concerns about the lack of on-site parking and the reliability of the PeopleMover for staff at the new building; the Staff Affairs Committee will follow-up to express their concerns in more depth.

 

§         Increased classroom space on campus will likely become the chief priority in the 2009-2011 budget year. 

 

§         Research IV is also likely to be proposed in the near future.

 

§         The university has submitted its budget request.  The request will now undergo review by the Commission on Higher Education and Governor, respectively, who will then issue their recommendations.  The upcoming legislative session is a “long session,” meaning the budget is being set for the biennium. Among the highlights of the proposed budget:  maintenance dollars and funding for the Life Science Initiative.  When asked by Representative Lester Cook about possible reductions in force in said budget proposal, Martin noted that reductions are not planned and will be avoided if possible, but reminded the SC that state appropriations continue to diminish, meaning that the university is more reliant on revenue with each passing year.  Amidst social concerns about raising tuition, it can be tricky to strike a balance.

 

§         When asked by Representative Alicia Gahimer if Counseling & Psychological Services (“CAPS”) would move, if not to the Campus Center, then to a more central location, Martin noted that, while CAPS is not currently moving to the Campus Center, they are exploring other options for possible relocation.

 

§         Martin responded to questions about campus expansion by theorizing that “North Campus” (the area by Stadium Drive) would grow in the future.

 

§         In response to questions about the potential future use of the Board of Health Building and LaRue Carter Hospital, Martin noted that eventual demolition was planned when the properties were reacquired from the state but that the funding to pursue demolition (nearly $10 million) was not available at this time.

 

 

    • Assistant Vice Chancellor for Human Resources (“HRA”) Ellen Poffenberger briefed the SC on the following:

§         Thank you to Chartwell’s for attending today’s meeting and recognizing that quality of life issues such as food services do affect productivity.

 

§         She is currently serving on Dean Sukhatme’s Academic Plan’s Process Review Team, a committee that will explore ways to review and streamline day-to-day business processes (billing, HR-related tasks, etc.).  She encouraged SC members to offer their feedback:  "How can we do things better?"

 

§         Thank you for all of the support and assistance provided by staff as the campus has transitioned to a tobacco-free environment.  As weather turns colder, she notes, non-compliance may spike.  Information cards explaining the campus policy and available resources for smoking cessation are available from HRA.  If you are approaching a smoker for the first time, please simply explain the policy and politely ask that the person to extinguish their cigarette.  If you notice someone with a pattern of non-compliance, it is perfectly acceptable to ask for their name and contact their unit of employment or--in the case of a student you see daily but who may not provide a name—to alert the Dean of Students Office.

 

As always, information and registration forms for professional and personal development workshops can be found online at http://www.hra.iupui.edu/signup.asp.

 

 

o        Academic Designee Paul Galanti could not attend but, as always, updates on the activities of the IUPUI Faculty Council are available by clicking here.

 

 

o        SC President Martin led the SC through Campus Committee Reports and items of New Business:

      • Secretary Amy Jones reported that the IUPUI Office for Women is currently identifying goals for an effort to engage more women at IUPUI in professional development opportunities.

 

      • Parliamentarian Avis Frieson reported that a committee to review the campus mission for diversity, convened in early Fall, has met twice so far.  The task force will meet twice more to identify the salient messages of IUPUI’s mission and clarify goals and practices for campus diversity initiatives.  The community has reviewed campus mission statements and explored the history of the IUPUI campus (one largely tied culturally and geographically to largely African American neighborhoods in and around which the campus was built) in preparation for its work.  Jones also represents staff on the committee.

 

      • The SC then discussed recent concerns raised about inequitable treatment and racism on campus.  The Black Student Initiative, a collective of representatives of campus organizations and some individual African American students, whose report “Through Our Eyes” raised said concerns has since held an open town hall meeting and requested a formal university response.  Secretary Amy Jones, present at a number of meetings on the subject, urged that staff remember that respect and civility are due to all community members, noting that she and others were disappointed and disturbed by the testimonials of mistreatment given by some students of color.  SC members were also urged to learn more about recent events from documents available on the Diversity website and via student testimonials, which the SC Office will try to obtain per the request of some SC members. Media coverage on recent events has not, some SC members noted, been entirely even-handed and may not accurately represent the concerns raised by students.  Other SC members expressed an interest in learning more so as to “see what they’re not seeing” as those who have, perhaps, not witnessed these incidences of inequitable treatment on campus. 

 

Representative Gary Curto suggested that the SC explore proactive steps it can take in response to concerns, including, perhaps, diversity and sensitivity training.  Meeting guest Dan Maxwell urged SC members to engage students and colleagues on this issue as open discourse will be vital to moving forward.   President Susan Martin noted that this is a critically important issue that will require further discussion by the Council. The SC is also exploring the option of connecting on a monthly basis with fellow staff organizations like the Black Faculty & Staff Council, which has some overlapping membership with the SC and IUPUI Faculty Council.  Feedback and comments should be submitted via the “Hot Topics” form on the SC website.

 

 

o        SC President Martin adjourned the meeting at 5:05pm.

 

 

 

THE NEXT MEETING OF THE STAFF COUNCIL WILL BE HELD ON WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 6, 2006 FROM 3:00-5:00pm @ THE IUPUI CENTER FOR YOUNG CHILDREN.