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Staff Council's 2019-20 End-of-Year Highlights

This term of Staff Council ended in a way none of us could have predicted, the past three months have been tumultuous to say the least. Before I review the year in Staff Council accomplishments, I would like to express my sincerest thanks and deepest appreciation to all our RIT community members and the steadfast dedication you've shown to the success of staff, faculty, and students. The outpouring of compassion since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic has been so heartening. 

In the past few weeks, Staff Council wrapped up the end of the year with final reports, we said goodbye to representatives whose terms were ending, and have welcomed new members and elected new leadership for the upcoming year. Reflecting on the past year, we've made a lot of progress on some of our key initiatives, and some unexpected goals as well. I'm so proud of our members this year and the hard work they have contributed to advancing staff at RIT. Please join me in celebrating our devoted representatives and review Staff Council's accomplishments from the 2019-20 academic year!

Starting with the work of Staff Council's six sub-committees, here is what they've been working on:

  • The Budget Allocation & Resource Committee, co-chaired by Renee Milliken and Shawn Thomas, focused on learning more about the budget and resource allocation process at RIT. The co-chairs, together with members Jennie Liedkie, Carol Reed, and Laura Kleiman, gathered information and solicited input to guide the committee's work going forward. After conducting several information sharing meetings with various decision makers at RIT, the committee presented their findings to Staff Council. Staff Council just recently passed a motion to amend our bylaws and added the committee as a full standing committee.
  • The Communications Committee is chaired by Communications Officer Joanna Prescott and supported by members Karen Palmer, Marge Ryan, and Dave Ziebarth. Karen continued managing SC's social media presence and increased Facebook followers by 29%. (By the way, if you don't already, please follow us on both Facebook and Twitter platforms!) The Staff Council blog featured 10 interviews with staff members. The committee also develops the email templates that representatives send to constituents (6 this year). 
  • The Elections Committee is made up of chair Becky Kiely, co-chair Rebecca Ziebarth, and members Tarra DeFelice and Jennifer Taylor. The committee coordinated the regular elections for Block 2, Block 4, and Block 6. They also conducted special elections in Block 3 and 5. 
  • The Events Committee is led by Events Officer Gail Quartieri and co-chair Susan Lindsay. Along with members Gina Reeder, Emily Heyman, Neveen Botros, and Jessie Mallon, this committee kicked off their year of event planning with the Presidential Awards for Outstanding Staff in October. The retirement celebration for Staff Council's former coordinator, Peg Meyers, was a high point of the fall. They coordinated the donation drive to benefit the RIT FoodShare Center and arranged a table at the RIT Benefits Fair. Unfortunately, the Staff Appreciation Day and Community Picnic was canceled this year due to COVID-19.  
  • The University Issues & Policies Committee is led by chair Holly Stiner, co-chair Gina Coyne, and supported by members Barb Fagenbaum, Beth Lockwood, Laurie Conrad, Janelle Aimi, and Lindsey Cohen. This year, the committtee focused their energy on policies and procedures up for review. In the fall, the UIP committee analyzed the results of a Staff Parking Survey, which nearly 1,000 of you responded to! Throughout the year, this committee worked closely with the Office of Legal Affairs, Human Resources and Staff Council's Executive Committee. 
  • Members of Executive Committee are Chair Cathy Clarke, Vice Chair Lindsay Vallone, Communications Officer Joanna Prescott, Events Officer Gail Quartieri, and at-large members Becky Kiely, Renee Milliken, Shawn Thomas, and Holly Stiner. Our chief concern this year was to address the negative consequences of salary increases and benefit deduction tier changes. We are happy to say that this goal was achieved – HR has developed new training for Human Resource Managers (HRM’s) and supervisors to avoid this situation from occurring. Another charge for EC was to improve internal communication and encourage transparency. Actions taken towards this goal include: regular communication with RIT service providers about improving communication and transparency; holding “Focus and Feedback” sessions during SC meetings and encouraging all staff to participate; revising the SC agenda on March 12, 2020 to host a panel of RIT experts and leadership to address concerns about COVID-19; moving SC meetings online using Zoom, which are open to all RIT community members and resulted in record attendance numbers; and hosted a discussion with RIT President Munson on April 23, 2020, with 425 concurrent users in attendance via Zoom. Finally, EC explored encouraging promoting from within to fully engage staff and increase morale. EC began gathering information in the fall. However, after it was announced that the AVP HR would be retiring in spring 2020, EC decided that it would best to explore this topic in-depth after the new leadership is hired.

THANK YOU to all of Staff Council's committees for their dedicated work this year!

As one of RIT's three governance groups, Staff Council plays a key role in developing initiatives to advance and inform staff, as well as providing input and endorsement of governance policies and procedures. We welcomed a long list of guests and presenters at our meetings this year, and participated in several events and activities. Staff Council members also serve on many external committees and task forces. Take a look at all we've done this year, and please consider joining us at future meetings or serving as a Staff Council member!

External Initiatives

  • Customer Service Initiative

    • Focus & Feedback sessions held during fall semester about important topics concerning staff

      • Compensation Update: Judy Bender, AVP Human Resources

      • Parking & Transportation Updates: Kate Mason, Director, Parking & Transportation Services

        • staff parking survey: 969 responses

  • Fall FoodShare Donation Drive

    • Third annual drive held this fall

    • $154 donated 

    • 1st place: Block 6 with 884 total points 

  • Salary increases and benefit tier changes

    • Worked with Human Resources to ensure that employees who move to a higher tier for medical benefits deductions due to a salary increase are not negatively impacted by the increased deduction.

      • New training for Human Resource Managers (HRM’s) and supervisors

Internal Initiatives

  • Transitioned to a new Staff Council Coordinator, Denise Acton replaced Peg Meyers after her retirement in Fall 2019

  • Edited Staff Council bylaws 

    • to include Coordinator’s Performance Appraisal to responsibilities of Chair

    • to add Budget and Resource Allocation Committee as a full standing committee of Staff Council

  • Revised Staff Grievance Procedures to shorten the initial term for grievance pool members

Policy Endorsements

  • C08.2 Code of Conduct for Computer Use

  • C00.0 Compliance Policy and Code of Ethical Conduct

  • C04.0 Individual Conflict of Interest and Commitment Policy

  • C06.0 Policy Prohibiting Discrimination and Harassment (interim approval granted pending further revisions)

  • C07.0 Privacy Policy

  • D19.0 Title IX

  • C20.0 Vending Policy (decommissioned and reclassified as administrative policy)

Guests and Presentations to Staff Council

  • Joe Johnston, Ombuds and Ashley Meyer, Associate Ombuds: Staff Council Retreat 2019 Keynote Speakers

  • Kate Mason, Director, Parking & Transportation Services

    • 3 Parking & Transportation Updates

  • Marisa Psaila, Executive Director of Annual Giving, Development & Alumni Relations and Heidi Baumer, Director of Donor Relations & Stewardship, Development & Alumni Relations: ROAR Day, TAG Day

  • Lynn Rowoth, AVP Community Relations & Special Events, Government & Community Relations

    • Brick City Weekend

    • Imagine RIT

  • Kelly Redder, Executive Director of Alumni House, Development & Alumni Relations: Joseph M. Lobozzo Alumni House

  • Renee Brownstein, Associate Director for Benefits, Human Resources and Judy DeCourcey, Senior Benefits Specialist, Human Resources: HR Benefits/Salary Level Update

  • Omar Phillips, IT Manager Technical Support, ITS Enterprise Support: C08.2 Code of Conduct for Computer Use

  • Aldwin Maloto, Information Security Officer: C08.1 Information Security Policy

  • Renee Milliken and Shawn Thomas, SC Budget and Resource Allocation Committee Co-chairs

    • Update on committee discussions with RIT administration

    • Proposal to edit SC bylaws

  • Corinna Schlombs, Associate Professor of History, COLA: C02.0 Misconduct in Research and Scholarship

  • Chris Hinesley, Assistant Director for Campus Life – The Q Center, Co-director, Women’s and Gender Studies: SafeZone Special Topic: What’s the big deal with pronouns and all-gender restrooms?

  • David A. Armanini, Director of Environmental Health & Safety: Active Transportation Safety

  • Holly Stiner, Chair of University Issues & Policies Committee: Parking survey results

  • Sharon Kompalla-Porter, Associate Director Center for Residence Life: Fall FoodShare Donation Drive Results

  • Michelle Lezette, Director of Technology Management & Business Strategies: RIT Events/EMS System

  • James Yarrington, Director of Campus Planning, Design & Construction Services: That light in the tunnel – RIT’s major capital planning initiatives

  • Lindsay Vallone, Staff Council Vice Chair: Google Drive Constituent List Reminders and Tutorial

  • Dave Baldwin, Transportation Services Manager: The Future of RIT/RTS Transportation 2020

  • Judy Bender, AVP Human Resources

    • 2019 Compensation Update

    • C06.0 Policy Prohibiting Discrimination & Harassment

  • Jacqueline Jameson, Assistant Director of Compliance and Ethics

    • C00.0 Compliance Policy and Code of Ethical Conduct

    • C04.0 Individual Conflict of Interest and Commitment Policy

  • Coronavirus Update

    • Judy Bender, Associate Vice President Human Resources

    • Wendy Gelbard, Associate Vice President Wellness

    • Ellen Granberg, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost

    • John Zink, Associate Vice President Global Risk Management

  • Evan Thompson, Interim Privacy Officer: C7.0 Privacy Policy

  • Carol Reed, Senior Associate Director for Building & Operational Services, Student Affairs and Don LaFlam, Senior Director of Operations - Culinary and Retail, RIT Dining: C20.0 Vending Policy (decommissioned and reclassified as administrative policy)

  • Stacy DeRooy, Director of Title IX and Clery Compliance, Compliance & Ethics: D19.0 Student Gender-Based and Sexual Misconduct Policy - Title IX

  • Kelly McLaughlin, Director of Enterprise Support, ITS Enterprise Support and Lisa Koch, Associate Chief Information Officer, Office of the CIO: Coronavirus Call Center

  • Dr. David C. Munson Jr., President: Staff Council Dialogue with Dr. Munson

  • Carla Pennello Quackenbush, Talent Development Manager – Employee Development, Center for Professional Development, Susan Chin, Account Manager, ComPsych Corporation, Keith O’Connor, Health Fitness Coordinator, Better Me Wellness, Sharon Kompalla-Porter, Associate Director, Center for Residence Life: Employee Resources

Guests to Executive Committee

  • Renee Brownstein, Associate Director Human Resources - Benefits Human Resources and Judy DeCourcey, Senior Benefits Specialist - Human Resources: Benefits Update and Salary Increase/Tier Change Data

  • Michelle Lezette, EMS Administrator, GCR and Lynn Rowoth, AVP Community Relations & Special Events, GCR: EMS – Small Meeting Rooms

  • Ellen Granberg, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost and Judy Bender, AVP Human Resources: Merit Pay and Market Adjustment

  • Judy Bender, AVP Human Resources

    • Grievance Pool Selection and Discussion with AVP Human Resources

    • Coronavirus and staffing update

    • Constituent Questions for HR

  • Dr. David C. Munson Jr., President: Discussion

  • Susan Provenzano, Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs: Policy Creation

Events and Activities

  • Staff Council Summer Planning Retreat

  • Presidential Awards for Outstanding Staff

  • RIT Benefits Fair – SC table

  • Focus & Feedback Sessions

  • Retirement celebration for Peg Meyers

  • Staff Council Open House

  • Staff Council’s presentation to RIT Board of Trustees

  • Staff Council elections for Blocks 2,4, and 6; special elections for Blocks 3 and 5

Constituent Communication: Emails

  1. Welcome to a new year/intro

  2. FoodShare Donation Drive

  3. Staff Council Parking Survey

  4. Staff Council Open House

  5. Staff Council Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

  6. Staff Council Dialogue with President Munson

University Committee Participation

  • Diversity Committee of the Board of Trustees: Cathy Clarke

  • Individual Conflict of Interest / Commitment Committee - 3 year term: Jake Griffin – 2017/18 - 2019/20, Emily Heyman - 2018/19 - 2020/21, Renee Milliken - 2019/20 - 2021/22

  • Innovation Center Visioning Committee: Jessica Mallon

  • Intellectual Property Policy Committee – 3 year term: Jennie Liedkie – 2019/20 - 2021/22

  • Isaac L. Jordan Sr. Pluralism Award Selection Committee – 1 year term: Carol Reed

  • Ombuds Advisory Committee – 2 year term: Becky Kiely – 2018/19-2019/20, Joanna Prescott – 2019/20 - 2020/21

  • Outstanding Teaching Award for Non-Tenure-Track Faculty Selection Committee – 1 year term: Renee Milliken
    Oversight Committee for Sponsored Projects – 3 year term: Autumn Madden – 2017/18 - 2019/20

  • Parking Advisory Group – 2 year term: Beth Lockwood – 2017/18-2018/19, Emily Heyman – 2018/19-2019/20

  • Parking Appeals Board – 2 year term: Gail Quartieri – 2018/19-2019/20, Gina Reeder – 2019/20-2020/21

  • C07.0 Privacy Policy Review Committee: Gina Coyne, Shawn Thomas

  • Staff Recognition Awards Selection Committee - 1 year term: Beth Lockwood

  • Suggestion Program Committee: Donna Black, Holly Stiner, Dave Ziebarth

  • University Budget Hearings – 1 year term: Cathy Clarke, Renee Milliken

  • University Council – 1 year term: Janelle Aimi, Cathy Clarke, Becky Kiely, Susan Lindsay, Jessica Mallon, Renee Milliken, Joanna Prescott, Gail Quartieri, Holly Stiner, Shawn Thomas, Lindsay Vallone
    University Council Alternates – 1 year term: Lindsay Cohen, Barb Fagenbaum, Emily Heyman, Laura Kleiman, Carol Reed, Jennifer Taylor

  • Commencement Task Force – Emily Heyman

  • Community Readiness Committee – Joe Johnston (Liaison to Staff Council)

What a year this has been! Surely one that we will all remember. As outgoing Chair, it has been my honor to serve staff in this way for the past two years. As has been announced, Staff Council elected a new Chair, Lindsay Vallone, for the 2020-21 year. I have no doubt that Lindsay will be a dedicated leader for all staff at RIT, especially during this difficult and uncertain time.

As always, thank you for all that you do at RIT. Staff Council is here for you, so please do not hesitate to reach out to your Staff Council representative or the Staff Council office with your feedback and questions!

Staff Council meetings are held every other Thursday from 2-4pm during the academic year. All members of the RIT community are welcome! At this time, our meetings are conducted virtually, so please check your email for our agendas and a link to the Zoom meeting. Our meeting schedule and agendas can be found here.