SAC Meeting Minutes October 2019

January 13, 2020

SAC Monthly Meeting Minutes

October 2nd, 2019

3 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Natural Resources


  1. CANR faculty/staff open forum with President Stanley
    1. Impressions – Colin expressed frustration with responses, no real take a way; Sharon only 60 days in, I didn’t expect anything different, Richie: nice to have him speak with us and be able to ask questions. Kathryn; no cookies or water; concerns that this forum did not provide opportunity for anyone who is introverted, non-tenured, shy, not able to ask a potentially controversial question, note cards would have been nice.  Colin: non answer answers, did not like the closed search response.
  2. Review Topics from September meeting with Dean Hendrick
    1. Goals of SAC
      1. Unchanged from bylaws
        1. Advise the Dean on issues important to CANR staff
      2. Improve effectiveness of staff advocacy
        1. Communication
        2. Engagement
      3. Restructuring SAC to mirror CAC
        1. From 5 zones with two representatives each (10 total) to one representative from each departmental/school (12-15 total)
        2. Sub-committees to focus on specific issues
      4. Revisiting staff awards program
      5. Communication between SAC and Dean’s office
        1. Renee
        2. Richie
  • Directly with Ron
  1. September meeting minutes accepted/approved
  2. Committee vacancies
    1. DEI Committee Extension staff vacancy filled by Aba Holmes 2019 – 2022 3 yr. term (only nominee we had, approved through Patrick Cutney) – Guidelines indicate staff from DEI should be reporting to SAC 2x year.
    2. SAC vacancies – We should look at filling the zone positions now, so we have some staggered appointments. Restructure is going to take some time, with limited people now.  3 openings now.  We need to develop a plan for restructure, update bylaws/guidelines, get approval, this is going to be a lengthy process.  If we fill the zone positions now, that gives us more people to help with the process.  One idea, look at having an executive committee in addition to department reps.  See item 6 below.  **need to be using sub-groups to move things forward throughout the months.  Sub-committees to move things forward throughout the month, we must find a way to be more effective NOW.  We have to make the commitment to get things done during the month between meetings:  Potential sub committees: Reorganization of committee, communication/outreach, awards.
    3. Terms – Jan, Sarah and Katherine are in their second term, Sharon is done at the end of June 2020. Colin on until 2022, Rebecca has till 2021, Kevin first term end 2020, Chair should ask at the end of the term if member is willing to serve another term
  3. Website update?
    1. Work with Eileen Gianiodis and Dennis Bond
      1. Support/training – Jan and Katheryn are trained to update website. Big question is where our website will live.  Richie suggest work with Dennis Bond to move our website to the governance section CANR.  Jan will take the lead in getting our site moved and make changes.  Katheryn backup.  Sharon will update the term document.
    2. Restructuring SAC
      1. May require changes to bylaws
        1. SAC has authority to change our own bylaws
      2. Mirror structure of CAC – staff makeup different than faculty. CAC faculty serve 2-year terms, unit rotation 6 on/6 off.  Can we get a count of staff in each department?  Richie will provide. (DONE) All agree we want to move away from Zone system.  What will the structure look like? How does each department select representation? (Flexible term limits, provide guidelines and let units decide who represents, expectation of commitment, representation without burnout.)  How do we communicate to let staff know who we are, we are restructuring, finalize unit representation, and ask for volunteers?  Questions related to current structure, term limits, executive roles, not able to answer as we do not have the historical makeup of committee, really, we just have been following the guidelines that have been in place.  Term limits are best practice, to keep fresh ideas, new faces to committee.
        1. Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics
        2. Animal Science
  • Biosystems & Agricultural Engineering
  1. Community Sustainability
  2. Entomology
  3. Fisheries and Wildlife
  • Food Science and Human Nutrition
  • Forestry
  1. Horticulture
  2. Plant, Soil, and Microbial Sciences
  3. School of Packaging
  • School of Planning, Design, and Construction
  • Extension?
  • Farms?
  1. Off-campus?
  • CANR communications, budgeting, Dean’s staff
  • Cross rep of non-union vs union
  1. Re-evaluate officer positions and terms
    1. Any additional needed? Guidance may develop after or part of re-structure
  2. Questions for Department/School leadership
    1. Do you have recurring staff meetings? How do we make a connection with units, to increase the importance of this committee, participation, and getting Chair support especially for research staff?  This may need to come from Ron to percolate down to Chair’s to help them understand the importance.  Hard to get participation from research staff, bosses don’t care, and most likely Chair is not supportive.  Ron is supportive that this is important.  How can we get him to communicate that out?  Richie suggest the committee send a draft to Ron to communicate out to the chairs.  Part of your 40 hours, as we initiate a call to expand the committee. 
    2. How many staff are in your unit? Richie will get us the numbers. 
  • Point of contact to help with selection of representative for each unit. CAC is elected within each department/school. 
  1. Subcommittees? Form committees, so we can be ready before the next meeting
  2. Representatives chosen at the Department/School level
    1. Will require Department-level organization of staff
    2. Recurring staff meetings
  3. Revisiting staff awards program – Colin advocate to put this on hold until we define our committee. Did not want to join an awards committee, but rather an advocate committee.  Jan concern that folks don’t know who we are, yet we are tabling the one thing people know about us.  We need to communicate out to the staff what we are doing.  Sarah agrees with Jan, build sub-committee, so we can look at the program and who do we restructure.  Colin; okay that we have awards, but don’t want this to be all staff know us for, we can be a committee that also gives out awards but that is not our purpose.   Richie; if you are going to table it may be worthwhile to hold back until restructure.  Prevent from distracting form larger mission of restructure. 
    1. Monthly?
    2. Annual individual/team? Richie asked what the numbers of nominees were last few years; 1 team last year but 5-6 individual, past years average have been 2-3 team and 5-6 individual.  Sharon asked has anyone inquire about awards since we put on hold. No, Renee suggested that in our communication that this topic can be addressed in restructure.
  4. CANR all staff meeting – Communicate to staff our restructure in advance of the meeting. Hold listening sessions.  Use Qualtrics, to solicit suggestions.  At annual meeting we can update where we are and what our new committee will look like.  Broader scope, larger representation, with sub-committees, one of those will be an awards committee…give examples of what our sub-committees will be.  This will help generate interest in building our committee.
    1. Planned/run by SAC
    2. What is the message/goal of this meeting?
      1. Opportunity for staff to ask questions of Leadership
      2. Communicate and organize efforts to implement department/school level representation on SAC
  • Richie provided a synopsis of what happens during the annual all faculty meeting. Associate Deans provide an overview of what is going on, sub-committees also report out.  Colin suggest inviting Quentin/DEI committee.

Colin ask, do we want to have this meeting earlier and use it as an opportunity to solicit input…Jan does not agree, we need to be organized and show a pretty good front as to who and what we are if we are going to invite all staff.  Sharon – where we are going vs who and what we are.  Colin – how do we get from here to there.  Jan suggest we need to set some short-term and long-term goals; with roll-out dates of specific action items.  Colin; we want a fully staffed committee, good first goal, still stuck on how do we fill those positions?   Goes back to direct communication to staff (we have an all staff listserv) to send communication to, this is what we are doing, this is what we are purposing, our timeline follows….follow up with solicitation to the Dean to reach out to Department Chairs, this is where we are going, this is our timeline, what we need….request point of contact within a department/school, potentially an elevated staff person, Business Manager, HR Person or Associate Chair, etc..  Ask people to join within the communication we send out.  Sharon – realistically we cannot expect to have our restructure in place by the time we have our all staff meeting, we may not have our plan fully developed by then, but we should be able to have an outline of what we expect this to look like.  Renee ask, how we each got our position?  Asked by someone already on the team who was ready to step out.  No vote.  In initial communication, can you finalize the list of those units you want represented and put a call of nomination or volunteers; we are looking for representatives from each of these areas, send to us by a specific date.  May or may not get people from all areas but if we can get a few, that gives us a start to grow the committee from people who are truly interested in being a part of the committee.  Communication should focus on the governance piece.  Offer up listening sessions before all staff meeting, can also do the Qualtrics if they cannot attend.

  1. Could be a reception, that migrates into meeting
  2. Date? February/March 2020 may be best month before field work starts.
  3. Suggested that SAC solicit questions in advance via Qualtrics, giving staff the chance to ask questions and raise concerns in an anonymous environment.
  1. Operational/personnel issues at University research facilities, on and off main campus
    1. Underfunded
    2. Understaffed
    3. Low morale/employee burnout

**brought to Colin’s attention about one facility but common with other off campus facilities.  Facilities that had 5 people now have 2.  Employees breaking down in tears, no support, Admin acknowledges it, but no end results.  What can we do?  Institutional knowledge will be lost at research facilities.  Can’t get help they need, operation budget low.  (Jan, is this a union issue?)  Issues with incompetent leadership, management problems being ignored, burnout is biggest issue.  (Kathryn: hit hard in this college, feelings are across campus, last 18 months has been hard and not gotten easier, a lot of needs for mental health, staff expected to keep going and do more, where Admin. is protecting their time but staff are working their tails off.)  People in this college working 80 hours a week, to get their jobs done.  Colin; leadership problem, not enough money to run a facility; both faculty and staff, failure at every level at least two levels of management.  (Rene: we have good college leadership with the Dean, he does not shy away from addressing the issues. Dean’s level is aware, burnout at research facilities, oversite committees underway to look at management structures, align better the work to the staff we have, bring crops and animals to the numbers of staff we have.) (Kathryn; how do we message this to the staff to get them to hang on?)  (Renee; lack of communication is the biggest problem)  (Richie; we need to increase staff engagement)  Renee and Richie see staff engagement as a serious issue – CANR comes to you, include SAC with ANR HR and Budget at these sessions)

  1. Other business

Basketball tickets – Yes

Safe place campaign – good charity, could do a crowd power campaign (give towards your passion)

Action item: 

Colin draft a communication outline broad view of what we are working towards, call for nominations.

When can we do listening sessions/Qualtrics what are you looking for from SAC, structure?

Kathryn is happy to work with Jan to put together a survey. 

Sarah – mentioned barriers we had from our previous survey to attend events especially from our off-campus staff.

Invite DEI Staff members to report to SAC 2x year, could be a standing meeting same time each year.

Jan to work with Denis Bond to move website to CANR governance section.

Sharon – update member term document

Safe place campaign – good charity, could do a crowd power campaign (give towards your passion)

Jan – communication issues

Jan and Kathryn – Qualtrics

Colin and Sharon – restructure sub-committee

Tags: staff advisory committee

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