Staff Assembly Minutes

January 10, 2013
Blue Creek/Echo Bay Room

Call to Order:  Noon

Approval of Minutes
A motion was made and seconded to approve the December 13, 2012 minutes.  Motion passed unanimously.

Introduction of New Staff
New communications instructor Tracy Struble was introduced to the group.  Welcome, Tracy.

Guest Speaker: Lita Burns, Vice President for Instruction
Lita shared that she was very excited to be serving in her new role as Vice President for Instruction and she was completely honored by being chosen for this position.  Lita said it reinforces that those of us who have been here a long time have the knowledge and skills for new positions, and she hoped she started a trend of mid-level managers moving up.  She has had a wonderful transition working with the excellent staff in the office for Instruction.  Lita said she likes to develop good, solid professional relationships and work closely with people because the NIC community is very important to her and it works for the good of the whole institution. 

Lita said she looks forward to this transition being an opportunity for growth, and one focus will be on outreach and dual enrollment.   Lita said we would be hearing a lot more about our many new grants.  We have an excellent support staff for grants with Sara Fladeland, Josh Gittel and Jessica Grantham.  Our new aerospace and outreach director is on board, Kassie Silvas; Kassie started Monday and is in office space out at Workforce Training.  We have a lot of work to do with our aerospace grant; right now we are deciding where it will live, with several buildings out by the airport under consideration. 

Lita’s philosophy is that faculty and staff all work hand-in-hand.  Lita said that if there are staff initiatives to support, please call on us and we will be happy to do what we can.

Senate/RIF Policy (Jon Totten)
Jon Totten spoke regarding the status of the Reduction in Force policy.  After several years of working on this policy, we finally took the policy to the Board last month, however it was tabled.  Ken Howard was gracious enough to come to a senate meeting to put it in perspective.  While the Board embraces our efforts, they would like to integrate all the RIF policies.  Another factor in this policy being tabled is the leadership change that has taken place at NIC over the several years that this policy was being addressed.  The Board will respond to us by the end of the school year with their recommendations on the RIF policy.

Jon also shared that he was just out of a meeting with Dr. Dunlap regarding committee structure involving both Faculty and Staff Assembly.  Dr. Dunlap wants to look at committee policy in general, including the expectations of committee administrators, chairs and members.  Dr. Dunlap plans to go to PC with this, but would like feedback from both assemblies regarding your thoughts on committee structure.  We will be sending out an email, so please respond; nothing is off the table; we are looking at your thoughts on committee structure in its entirety.

Board Meeting (Garry Stark)
Other than the RIF policy that Jon mentioned, we also had a report from RGU Architects on our planning for a PTE building.  The report is due to be completed in the next week, with six sites under consideration.  Garry also shared his impression that our new chair, Ken Howard, really cares about the college and cares about what we are doing here.

Meet & Confer Update (Matt Sebby)
We have met with both Ron Dorn and Laura Hill and shared our three recommendations:

  1.  Maintain the current salary schedule and funding of steps and columns
  2. Based off the consumer price index which is approximately 2%, we have recommended an increase in the base salary schedule of 2%.
  3. Maintain and enhance the professional development program through both the PIP funds and the new Professional Development Funds.

Feel free to contact Matt Sebby if you have any questions.

Staff Sabbatical Update (Nancy Edwards)
Our soft deadline was December 14th and we only have one application; our new firm deadline is Friday, January 17th.  The committee will be meeting on the 23rd to review applications.

Employee Day (Erin Norvell)
Employee day is Tuesday, February 19th.  We have solidified our presenters, which can be viewed from the Employee Day website.

Activities start at 9:30 in Boswell Hall; our normal workday resumes at 3:50 pm.

Pip Funds/Professional Development Funds
Pip funds are dwindling rapidly, so please submit requests ASAP.  Professional Development funds were well utilized this year; in total, $50,000 was awarded to both faculty and staff  for fall 2012 and spring 2013. 

Business Office Workshops (Sandra Jacquot)
Jessica Grantham is spearheading a series of Business Office workshops; our first workshop last month on Accounts Payable and Purchasing was very well attended, and we plan an upcoming workshop on travel.  Our next workshop in February will be on Payroll and the dates will be announced in NIC Now.   We’ll be putting the workshop PowerPoints on the portal.

Employee Giving Campaign
Katie Elwell gave us an overview of the Employee Giving Campaign slated to start February 1st.  Kudos for your past support--last year we raised over $50,000 and had an employee participation rate of 59%.  We hope to increase our employee participation rate this year to demonstrate our commitment as employees to the mission of the college.  Of note—CSI had a 90% employee participation rate on their campaign, so that might spur you on to bring up NIC’s participation rate.

New this year—you can access the giving campaign through the portal by clicking on the “Employee Giving” bookmark.   Remember, you don’t have to donate money to participate; simply by going to the site you are participating.   Register by February 7th if you want to be eligible for all the prize drawings.  Please be an advocate in your area to help increase participation. 

To the Grounds snow removal crew
and physical plant for making the parking lines visible in the lot at the side of Lee Hall.  You always make sure we can see the space lines as a guide to park.

Good of the Order:
Bill McElver wanted to remind everyone to wear appropriate clothing and shoes for the cold weather, and to please report any slippery areas you notice to the Physical Plant at x3413 so we can be proactive and prevent slips and falls.

Erin Norvell announced that on April 23rd the Employee Education Committee, a sub-committee of Diversity Events, will be hosting a poverty simulation, which is an interactive training simulation.  It is an amazing experience and I would encourage you to go if you can.

Door Prize Winners:

  • Robin McLeod won the gift certificate to the Fort Ground Grill.
  • Lyudmila Melnikova won the on-campus use of Garry’s golf cart for a day.

Meeting Adjourned at 12:50 pm

Next Meeting:  Thursday, March 14th at 2:00 in the Blue Creek/Echo Bay Room, SUB