Staff Advisory Council

November 2011

November minutes
Staff Council Meeting Location: Faculty House, New Private Dining Room
Tuesday, November 8, 2011 Time: 10:00 – 11:00 a.m.

In Attendance: Martha Tetrault, ex officio, Danielle Gonzalez, ex officio, Colleen Bethoney, ex officio, Justin Adkins, Angela Copeland, Dawn Dellea, Gisela Demant, Sue Galli, Mark Kimball, Sheila Mason, Bette Phelps, Michele Rech, Tony Sinico, Roberta Sweet, Kim Tremblay, Teresa Waryjasz

Absent: Bilal Ansari, Michele Migdal, Derrick Robertson


1. Welcome new members and introductions
2. Role of Staff Advisory Council and committee norms (confidentiality, minutes, website, etc)
3. Past work: policies reviewed, approved and implemented.
* Telecommuting
* Additional pay for exempt staff
* Performance development
* benefit issues
* enhancing communications on campus: daily messages effectiveness, HR newsletter, others
4. The year ahead
* Background records checks
* Retirement plan – recommendation from governance committee and communication strategy
5. Role of Organizational Resource (ORT) Team
6. Position Review Policy
7. Inclement weather memo coming out — just a reminder
8. Feedback on open enrollment
9. Other items


After welcoming the group and going around the table making introductions, Martha described the history of the Staff Advisory Council, how it evolved as a result of combining the former Personnel Advisory Group and the Administrative Council. She explained the role of the committee and its importance to the College senior administration. She encouraged everyone to read previous minutes and spoke of the group’s accomplishments, especially during the last year.
* Telecommuting policy
* Additional pay for exempt staff policy
* Performance development
* Benefit issues
* Enhancing communications on campus: daily messages effectiveness, HR newsletter

Performance Development Workshops
Goal Setting – November 18th – open to all staff
Coaching and Counseling Workshop – November 29th – email invitation to go out – Supervisors
Giving and Receiving Feedback – December 15th – open to all staff

The group was asked if they felt receiving the open enrollment memo was effective by email and what if any feedback was received. Most feedback received was positive, but some expressed concern on behalf of departments with limited access to email. The fear was that only 50% of those staff members actually read it. Those departments should be posting the memo on a board in a common area. Since co payments for well visits will be going away, it was suggested to direct any questions related to co-payments to the Benefits staff.

The Benefits Committee will be looking for four new members. The next year they will be working on retirement, long-term care insurance and a behavioral health and wellness program. At the December meeting Martha will be soliciting new members.

The Communications Advisory Group (CAG) has been revived under the new Communications Office. CAG brings together individuals from across campus with varying responsibilities for marketing and communications in their department. CAG serves as a consultative body on campus-wide communication strategies, cross functional outsourcing, and the website redesign initiate.

Background Record Check Policy
Senior Staff has approved a policy to conducted background records checks on all new staff hires beginning in January 2012. Background checks will also be done for faculty later this year after review by the Faculty Steering Committee.

Organizational Resource Team (ORT) – ORT is a newly formed group at Williams. The group was formed to provide support and functional expertise to administrative departments as they work to identify, analyze, develop, and sustain new ways of working in an evolving environment. They will work with employees and managers in administrative departments analyze their operations, find efficiencies, implement new ways of working, and incorporate technology.

ORT Members: Maggie Koperniak, OIT
Suzanne Silitch, Communications
Jill Strawbridge, HR
Martha Tetrault, HR
Chris Winters, Provost Office
Bob Wright, HR

Vacancy Review Policy
The updated policy is in the employee handbook. Fred Puddester, Will Dudley and Martha are the members of the Vacancy Review Committee.

The inclement Weather memo will be distributed soon.

New staff committee approved
Senior Staff has accepted the recommendation of the Committee on Diversity and Community for form what will be called the Williams Staff Committee. As an elected body the Williams Staff Committee will seek to increase the visibility of staff on campus and to advance their role in the life of the college. WSC will provide suggestions and input to the senior administration and the broader college community, will contribute to the richness of our community and to the college’s mission of providing the finest possible liberal arts education. A taskforce is being formed to outline the election process for the new committee.
This role and the importance of the Staff Advisory Council remains an important one for staff working as a consultative body on issues of importance to staff including issues associated with institutional policies, practices and general work/life issues.
Two Staff Forums are scheduled for December
Monday, December 12th @ 2:00 p.m. Griffin 3
Wednesday, December 14th @ 9:000 a.m. Griffin3

Please submit any agenda items to Martha prior to the next scheduled meeting

Next scheduled meeting: December 13th @ 10:00 a.m., Faculty House Lounge

Reported by C. Bethoney

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