August 7, 2013

Summary of the committee's regular monthly meeting

Wednesday, August 7, 2013
2:00-3:00 p.m. – 331 Ag Administration Building

Present:  Heike Betz, Colleen Bloom, Joyce Brungart, Joyce Cingel, Keith Diehl, Wendy Harter, Elizabeth Matthiesen, Renee Miller, Diane Yoder

Absent:  Bruce Grinder, Heather Read

Welcome New Members
Four academic unit members had terms expire in 2013.  Some new members elected to fill those terms were introduced:

  • Joyce Cingel – Food Science (for Kim Ripka)
  • Wendy Harter – Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences (for Tiffany Rainey)

Volunteer representatives for the non-academic units were also introduced:

  • Joyce Brungart – Human Resources (Group 2)
  • Elizabeth Matthiesen – Penn State Extension (Group 3)

Joyce and Elizabeth represent two of the four non-academic areas which were created by the committee last year in order to get more representation for all staff in the college.  The committee reviewed the bylaws concerning the election, appointment, or soliciting of volunteers for new members. They did not feel any changes need to be made at this time.

Review of Meeting Dates
The schedule of the committee’s upcoming meeting dates was distributed.  The committee discussed the number of meetings and felt that meeting with the Dean twice a year in October and April (prior to the college-wide meetings) would be sufficient to cover material brought before the committee. 

The committee will also combine their scheduled monthly meetings in October and April, meeting the first half hour for discussion and then meeting with the Dean the second half hour.  This will eliminate the need to have a third meeting those months.  A special meeting could be scheduled with the Dean at any other time, if needed.  Colleen will update the meeting schedule and send to all members.

Fall College-wide Staff Meeting
The fall college-wide staff meeting will be on Monday, October 21, from 2:15-3:35 p.m. in 101 ASI building.  The 2013 Ella Reagle Staff Assistant Award will be presented. Colleen, Keith and Heather will serve as the SACD representatives on the selection committee for the award.  The call for nominations has gone out by the Office of Human Resources, and Joyce reminded everyone to get their nominations in to the human resource office prior to the deadline of August 30, 2013.

The committee discussed guest speaker ideas for the college-wide meeting and will discuss again at the September meeting.  Some suggested items for the Dean to address at the meeting were:

  • New health insurance initiative
  • New Dean status update
  • Budget and carryover
  • Retirement bill pending
  • Workflow consulting project presently occurring

Other Items for Discussion
The committee is still waiting for the report from the staff retreat back in January.  This was requested at a previous meeting and no one was able to attend.  Melissa Bard has agreed to attend one of our meetings this year.

Colleen passed around copies of the petition that is circulating regarding the wellness program and its surcharges.  Members were familiar with this petition and have read the comments online.

Employees are complaining about getting their fixed-term letters at the last minute.  Isn’t there a policy where you have to get the letter 30 days prior to the termination date?  It was suggested that HR be contacted for clarification.  Joyce reminded the committee that each employee in the HR office has a primary function, so the correct person will need to be contacted.  (Colleen will try and get updated information for the next meeting.)

Employees need clarification on the job policy when there is an increase in pay.  Does it need to be posted and interviews conducted?  Does this apply to fixed-term jobs only?  It was suggested that HR be contacted for clarification on the policy. (Colleen will try and get updated information for the next meeting.)

Access to the listserv and website will be transferred to Colleen so that new members can be added and updates can be made.  The website can be found under the faculty/staff resources button on the main page and on the Office of Human Resources website.  Suggestions were made to make it easier to find the SACD website and to spell out SACD so employees would know what it meant.  Members were encouraged to inform the staff in their units to visit the SACD website.  Reminders should be made to employees to use the website survey form for comments and suggestion and that let them know that they can remain anonymous.

With no further discussion, the meeting adjourned at 3:00 p.m.

(Meeting summary reviewed and accepted at the September 4, 2013 meeting.)