May 2007 meeting minutes

Minutes of the Westchester

Administrative Staff Council

 

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

 

Butcher Suite, Kessel Campus Center, PLV

 

Announcements

  • The new Westchester Dean for Students, Dr. Lisa Bardill Moscaritolo, will be starting on Monday, May 7, 2007. Her office will be located in the Kessel Campus Center on the Pleasantville campus.
  • Betsy Garti, the new Employee Relations Manager, for the Westchester campuses, was introduced. Her office is located in Costello House on the Pleasantville campus.
  • The Open Enrollment period, for the new medical plan options, will take place from May 7, 2007 through June 2, 2007. Materials will be sent home shortly. The process, for active full-time staff and faculty, will be online through the Portal. Please attend the information session on May 9, from 1:30pm – 3:00pm, in Butcher Suite. There are also webinar sessions scheduled on May 2, May 8, and May 10. If you have specific questions about the plan design options, please contact Oxford at the special telephone number that has been established for Pace employees: (800)760-4566. This number will be operational through June 30, 2007. The information is also listed in the HR News section of the Human Resources web page (www.pace.edu/hr).
  • There will be a blood drive today, May 2, from 11:30am – 4:30pm, in the Gottesman Room.
  • The United Way/Earth Share auction, which was held on May 1, 2007, was a great success. Many thanks to the Committee members: Karen Buckwald, Susan Deigan, Anna Fishman, Whitley Humes, Janice Russo, and Alba Shane. Thank you, also, to those who contributed. Update: The University raised $8,222.75 for United Way and $5,868.33 for Earth Share, for a combined total of $14,091.08. Of that total, $8,225.50 was raised at the auction.

   

Treasurer’s Report

 

The cost of the Picnic (see “New Business”) will be $3,125.00, which is based on a count of 250 people. Heather will submit an updated total based upon a count of 300.

The expense for Daffodil Days was $119.25, which was the printing cost.

 

 

Committee Reports

 

Benefits Committee – No report.

 

Communications Committee – No report.

 

Faculty Council Representative – The Faculty Council meeting on May 4 is an open meeting, so more information will follow.

 

Karen Desantis also reported on the progress of the Middle States Self Study Report:

  • The Middle States Self Study is in the data collecting phase.  There are eight Working Groups collecting data to answer the self study questions for the fourteen Middle States Standards.  The Standards cover Mission & Goals; Integrity; Institutional Resources; Planning, Resource Allocation & Institutional Renewal; Leadership & Governance; Administration; Student Admissions & Retention; Student Support Services; Faculty; Educational Offerings; General Education; Related Educational Activities; Assessment of Student Learning; and Institutional Assessment. 
  • The complete Middle States Characteristics of Excellence document can be found online at http://www.msche.org/publications/CHX06060320124919.pdf. 
  • As each group collects evidence, they will be contacting specific people within the University for feedback on specific topics.  To reduce the number of surveys sent to the same individuals, Barbara Pennipede’s office is collecting questions and will try to eliminate duplicate questionnaires and surveys. 
  • Once each group has completed their data collection and analysis, they will write draft reports to answer their self study questions.  These draft reports are then sent to the Steering Committee chairs who will compile one complete report over the summer.  This report will be shared with the University community in the fall for additional feedback
  • The purpose of the self study is to identify what is going on at the University, which includes both the best practices as well as those areas that are not following best practices.  It is better to include failures with suggestions for change within the self study than to have the Middle States visiting committee find the challenges when they come in Fall 2008.
  • If you would like further information about the questions in the Self Study document, please contact Karen at kdesantis@pace.edu. 

 

Service Committee – The summer is almost upon us. The Centennial Volunteer Program, which permits staff (full time and part time) to have up to 8 hours of released time (4 hours paid time for part-time staff) every six months to volunteer in a community service project, has been permanently approved by President Caputo. If anyone is interested in participating in an individual or group service project over the summer, please contact Dan Botting, at dbotting@pace.edu.

 

 

Guest Speaker: Paula Bacon, Administrative/Staff Council Representative to the Global Centers Committee and the Student Handbook Committee

 

Global Centers Committee:

  • I was the Council rep to the newly established Global Centers Committee in 2005.  The purpose of this Committee was to investigate and recommend to Dr. Caputo what areas of the world Pace should have a presence (Global Center).  Last year I reported to the Council that Italy, Brazil and China were recommended and that no Pace funding had been expended for any travel or other expenses.  Dr. Kahn had written and gotten approval for a grant.  However, at this juncture of the financial crisis at Pace, the Global Centers are on hold.
  • Through our committee discussions, it was also realized that a “critical element of the mission of Pace University is to promote international education.”  As a result, Pace became a member of the American Council on Education’s Internationalization Collaborative and was invited to join the “ACE Internationalization Laboratory” in 2005.    Through this affiliation, Pace has “received invaluable assistance in assessing and strengthening international programs.”
  • As you may have noticed, Dr. Kahn’s office has become the ‘umbrella’ for organizing and coordinating all international activities.  Likewise, she has worked diligently with the ACE team in Washington D.C. and, as a result, prepared an extensive and detailed report on the Committee’s accomplishments that was reviewed by ACE in April, 2007.  A copy of the report is available in paper form in my office.  However, Dr. Kahn also created a web site that is accessible from the Pace Home page by clicking on the ‘I’ letter (International Opportunities) in the alpha list located at the top of the Home Page. You will find complete information about the activities of the committee as well as a database created from an ‘interest survey.’  Select a country and you will find the resources available on campus such as a faculty or staff member with specific expertise, background, language skills, etc. 
  • The report that was presented and reviewed by the ACE team in April, 2007, focused on six areas:  assessment of student learning; advising; recruitment of international students; faculty; curriculum and program development; study abroad and travel courses.  The ACE team will present a written report on their evaluation of our progress; however, they did give a brief oral presentation at the close of the review—to wit:
  • All six areas seemed to be developing and/or progressing in good order.  Their major concern was the fact that Pace did not have a designated Admissions counselor for recruiting international students.  They were impressed at the amount of students we were able to attract to Pace via ‘word of mouth,’ friends, and alumni.  Therefore, with a more formal recruiting agenda, we should be able to increase this particular population.  We need to be reminded that international students are full paying students because they must verify their funding before entering the country and Pace.  The ACE team also suggested that when hiring new faculty, to keep in mind any international link such as background, travel experience, language, etc.  Lastly, they noted with interest our increased stats on study abroad and travel courses over the past two years.
  • However, the new web site, developed by Dr. Kahn just prior to the April meeting, was most impressive and I urge everyone to access the site and review all the material. 
  • Most important to all members of the Pace community is the issue of funding.  Dr. Kahn is very cognizant of the ‘grapevine’ talk about how much all these activities must be costing the University.  However, Dr. Kahn in addition to her report writing skills, and web design, has captured the art of grant writing.   Therefore, let me end with some additional direct quotes from the report.
  •   “In 2005, Pace created a category of funding in its internal Presidential Grants competition for “internationalization.”  Such awards (maximum $5,000) have supported faculty in going abroad for research, in traveling abroad for purposes of  making plans to lead a subsequent “travel course” of Pace students…” etc.,   “Furthermore, the VP for International Opportunities has authored several institutional grants that support international efforts.  She has been able to use grant funding to support 12 faculty members to travel abroad for conferences and meetings and 2 faculty members to engage in language study.  Grant funds have also supported student members of the PLV and NYC Model United National teams to participate in conferences in Brazil…”
  • As an aside, Dr. Kahn also addressed the recent issue of hate crimes with a proposal to the UNV101 Advisory Board.  As a result, there are tentative plans to hold a freshman convocation on a particular subject of diversity during Welcome Week.  In addition, there will be another seminar open to all students on November 12 to help ‘kick off’ International Week at Pace.

 

Student Handbook Committee:

  • As a result of the protests and student arrests on the NYC campus last fall, students decided that some revisions to the Student Handbook were necessary to ensure a clear understanding of policies at Pace.
  • Dr. Caputo requested that Dr. Killian lead a committee to review the 26 Guiding Principles listed in the Student Handbook.  There were NYC students, faculty and staff as well as PLV students, faculty and staff on the committee.  We met a few times via video conferencing but soon realized that scheduling a convenient time for all concerned was not feasible.  Therefore, we tried phone conferences from 7:30am to 9:30am, which were quite successful and productive.
  • The committee diligently reviewed each principle for content as well as wording and meaning, etc.,--for example, freedom of speech vs. academic freedom.  Once the initial review and revisions were made, the committee did one more overhaul of the 26 Guiding Principles.  The major concern expressed by a faculty member was that some of the wording included “staff, faculty, and students.”  The faculty objected to being noted in the policies of a Student Handbook since they had their own Faculty Handbook.  Likewise, I referred to the last copy I had on hand of the Staff Handbook that was dated 2000 and then reviewed the Staff Handbook that is posted on the HR web site.  However, the cover letter has no date and so I do not know who or when the Staff Handbook was last updated.  Regardless, on page 23 are listed the Guiding Principles of Conduct.  What has been discovered is that the Guiding Principles are to be universal for all handbooks.  Therefore, I believe additional conversations will have to ensue again to be more clear on how and what pertains to the “Pace community”—staff, faculty and students.
  • The Committee was charged with just revising the Principles and not to get involved with the legal wording and House (Legal) Counsel.  Dr. Caputo received our draft recommendations by April 20, 2007.  Meantime, the revised copy had been posted on the Home Page for review by the entire Pace community for feedback and had been distributed on the Council’s listserv.  Dr. Caputo will now review the revisions with Counsel and the Board of Trustees.  It is the Committee’s understanding that the material will be returned with Counsel’s suggestions and/or additional requirements according to legal needs for the protection of the University as well as the Pace Community and for any additional discussions by the Committee.
  • As a result of this Committee’s actions, may I suggest that the Administrative/Staff Council form a subcommittee next year to review the Staff Handbook for any updating or clarification of policies.  I would be pleased to participate and assist in this endeavor. Update: In 2006, representatives from the Administrative/Staff Council were involved in the most recent update of the Handbook, in coordination with Eden Albano and Pat Kelly of Human Resources, which resulted in a draft document. Betsy Garti, the new Employee Relations Manager for the Westchester campuses, will be working with that draft going forward.

New Business:

 

Congratulations to the 2007 – 2008 Administrative/Staff Council Board:

 

Peggy Caraccio – Co-chair

Elaine Scanlon – Co-chair

Heather Novak – Secretary

Christina Conte – Treasurer

 

Administrative/Staff Council Picnic – June 15, 2007

  • We have reserved Dining Room A and the Gottesman Room.
  • Invitations will be sent out and an announcement will be posted in the Pace Pulse.
  • Everyone is asked to bring a dessert and/or a salad, which can be dropped off in the Gottesman Room that morning. No whole melons, please!
  • If a department would like to contribute something, please e-mail Heather ahead of time.
  • A suggestion was made to notify the OneSource employees also. Anna Fishman will translate into Spanish.