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Fall 2020 Update

See UHart’s reopening plans for Fall 2020 and additional information about our response to COVID-19.

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Staff Council

The University of Hartford's Staff Council represents the rights, needs, interests, and goodwill of all non-union staff at the University of Hartford.

The Staff Council seeks to work collaboratively with other members of the University community to foster a greater sense of shared community. As an advocate and contributor, the Staff Council collaborates with colleagues in the campus community to co-create a greater sense of shared purpose and respect. This commitment to a shared learning community at the University serves to inform and guide our work.

The Staff Council serves as an advocate for University staff members and is committed to a culture of respect in an environment that fosters professional success in accordance with the mission of the University.

Contact us at staff@hartford.edu

Upcoming Meetings

Staff Council general meetings for FY20-21 will be held on the second Wednesday of every month from 1-2 p.m. Meetings will be held virtually via WebEx and registration will be sent on a monthly basis via UNotes. All staff is invited to join us!

August 12, 2020
September 9, 2020, with guest speaker President Woodward
October 14, 2020
November 11, 2020
December 9, 2020, with guest speaker President Woodward
January 13, 2021
February 10, 2021
March 10, 2021, with guest speaker President Woodward
April 14, 2021
May 12, 2021
June 9, 2021, with guest speaker President Woodward
July 14, 2021

Staff Spotlight Awards

The Staff Council, in conjunction with the Human Resources Development, has kicked off a new initiative this year to recognize staff. One of the most important things the Chair of the Staff Council does is to help select the annual recipients of the Outstanding Staff Member Awards, but we can all agree we have coworkers who deserve this level of recognition, and we can do it more than just once a year. We are excited to announce our new Staff Spotlight Award that will recognize a hard-working, dedicated, and exceptional employee each month.

Zhihong Di | April 2020 Staff Spotlight Recipient

women

The first recipient of the Staff Spotlight Award is Zhihong Di, senior technical support specialist in Information Technology Services (ITS). She supports all of the departments/schools on and off-campus (with the exception of the College of Engineering, Technology, and Architecture).

Di has been working for the University for over 15 years. In her current role, she acts as the primary resource to maintain and service technology diagnosis on campus. Her role involves problem resolving needs and troubleshooting software and hardware issues for faculty, staff as well as students. 

When asked what she likes most about working here, in summary, it was the people.  “The University work environment matched so well with my personal work ethic, enthusiasm, and even my interests and personality. From individuals within the different schools and Colleges, to the library, HRD, Public Safety, Administration, and Admissions, everyone I have worked with or met is extremely friendly, supportive, and professional,” says Di. Working with individuals who show appreciation makes Di not only enjoy doing her job, but also help her complete her jobs successfully, making her feel like a dedicated contributor to the University. Di is extremely grateful for the number of “thank you” e-mails she’s received, phone calls, thank you cards, and more that she has experienced over the past 15 years.

When asked what we do not know about Di, she shared some fun facts, including her outstanding memory. She admitted to knowing about seventy percent of people based on their computer models on campus. “This means if you give me a username, I will tell you about if she/he has a laptop, desktop, surface, MacBook pro or iMac,” says Di. Di also enjoys helping our international students in any needs beyond tech support on and off-campus. She even worked as an interrupter when Chinese delegations visited on campus a few years ago and spent seven years instructing Chinese Classic Literature.

Please join the Staff Council, Human Resources Development, and entire University community in congratulating Di on this tremendous recognition. Her above and beyond work ethic and the impact she’s made on many individuals here on campus has not gone unnoticed, and we are thrilled to recognize her with the Staff Spotlight Award for April 2020.

Meeting Minutes

February 12, 2020

UNIVERSITY OF HARTFORD

STAFF COUNCIL GENERAL MEETING

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Attendance: Ben Ide, Lauren Goldman, Laura D’Angelo-Gohn, Kelly Anderson, Allison Poulin, Meaghan Murphy-Rennie, Lisa Wollenberg, Rebecca Lee, Rachel Yacouby, Miguel Otero, Victoria Sandoval, Diane Purcell, Randi Ashton-Pritting, Laura Heemskerk, Amy Kopec, Tina Berrien, Brian Verderosa, Cindy Oppenheimer, Anthony Williams, Anthony Oudorn, Stacie Wentz, Brian Nwafor, Donna Clarke, Margaret Reynolds, Bonnie Taylor.

Minutes

  • Approved minutes from December 8, 2019, as amended.
  • Reviewed and approved minutes from January 8, 2020.

University Committee Reports

  • Benefits Taskforce – Cindy Oppenheimer/Lynn Galvin (no report)
  • Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Task Force – Christina Lapierre (no report)
  • Resource Planning & Priorities Committee (previously known as BAT) – Randi Ashton-Pritting/Laura Heemskerk

Staff Council Reports

  • Faculty Senate – Ben Ide

President Woodward reported that we had the highest returning percentage of 2nd semester freshmen in 5 years: 93%. The cutoff point for registration has been raised; previously, if a student still owed $2,500 they wouldn’t be allowed to register and now it is $5,000. Meanwhile, Financial Aid and other offices have been aggressively calling to get students registered.

The construction tape will be going up soon for the new academic building, but the students are expressing concerns about the creation of a new building when the dorms are in bad shape. President Woodward is trying to get the message out that the University is spending $6 million on residence hall renovations, with $2 million already spent, so students will see improvements soon if they haven’t already.

Molly Polk, the Vice President for Marketing and Enrollment Administration, gave an overview of marketing and enrollment strategies. We are seeing stats that we are taking our competitors’ market share.

After eight years, Ben is stepping down as Staff Council delegate to the Faculty Senate. Christina Lapierre will take over starting in February 2020. 

  • Treasurer’s Report – Linda Zigmont: Balance is $1,422.98.
  • Fundraising Committee (no report)
  • Human Resources Development – Lynn Thibodeau (no report)

New Business

  • Announced town hall meetings with President Woodward to discuss Strategic Plan
  • $6 million have been allocated to renovating the residence halls
  • Emphasis on the rule of not bringing pets to work
  • Service animals do not qualify as pets and are allowed
  • Announced plans for Staff Spotlight
  • 3 questions that will be asked in an interview with winners:
  1. What is your role at the university?
  2. What do you like about working here?
  3. What’s something that people don’t know about you?
  • Will be written up in UNotes
  • Winners will receive a certificate of recognition from HRD and names will go into a drawing for one of two free parking permits for next academic year
  • Ben will collect the names for nominations
  • Announcement about Provost’s Academic Staff Award nominations posted in UNotes
  • Ways & Means proposed changes of electing SC Delegates
  • Currently have elections every 2 years
  • Proposed change would be elections for delegates to committees such as Faculty Senate
  • Presented information on proposed changes as a “first read”
  • Use the same nominating committee procedure as for e-board election
  • Change “and” to “or” for section 2 paragraph a (at large representatives OR delegates) for revision to proposed changes
  • Executive officers can also be a delegate, but should be encouraged to take only one delegate position at most
  • Vote on proposed changes at next general meeting in March
  • Will get revised document out to Community Reps by Friday 2/28, giving E-Board time to go over it at their meeting beforehand, and giving communities 2 weeks to review before the vote
  • Ben has been delegate to Faculty Senate for 8 years
  • Effective this month, Ben will be stepping down, and Christina will be taking on the role
  • Ben will write up report on information collected for vacation updates
  • E-board will send email to HRD with suggestions to add into the staff manual regarding the ability to borrow vacation time from next fiscal year in extenuating circumstances
  • Updates from community reps
  • Athletics: of all the fall sports, 87% of all student athletes had 3.0 or higher, 5th highest GPA in the country for D1 sports with a cumulative GPA of 3.65. all faculty and staff can now go to athletic events for free. Men’s basketball team has a game tonight at Albany, trying to get into 2nd place spot for conferences.
  • Hartt: Hartt collage this weekend, created for prospective students but community members invited to come. Music, dance, and performance. Friday and Saturday at 7:30 in Lincoln. Buy tickets through box office.
  • CETA: Laura Heemskerk is now the assistant dean of administration in CETA.
  • Student International Center: hosting 34th international festival on 2/29. All you can eat international buffet and students and professional performances. Open for faculty, staff, students, and community members. Doors open at 5.
  • Hartford Art School: upcoming opening in the Silky Gallery, 35 prospective transfer students showing their art. Goldfarb annual exhibition is currently going on at Joseloff Gallery, current student artwork.
  • Residential Life: renovations in basements A-D, fire pit outside across from the commons.

Next General Meeting: Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Minutes submitted by Lauren Goldman, Recording Secretary.

January 8, 2020

UNIVERSITY OF HARTFORD

STAFF COUNCIL GENERAL MEETING – DRAFT

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Attendance: Ben Ide, Christina Lapierre, Lauren Goldman, Linda Zigmont, Stephanie Fengler, Laura D’Angelo-Gohn, Pam Masi, Kelly Anderson, Allison Poulin, Meaghan Murphy-Rennie, Lisa Wollenberg, Rebecca Lee, Rachel Yacouby, Jackie Orlowski, Miguel Otero, Trevor Anderson, Anthony Williams, Laura Heemskerk.

Minutes:

  • Reviewed minutes from December 11 meeting. Change “perspective” to “prospective”.
  • Did not meet quorum so could not approve minutes, will review December minutes again for approval during the February meeting.

University Committee Reports:

  • Benefits Taskforce – Cindy Oppenheimer/Lynn Galvin (no report)
  • Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Task Force - Christina Lapierre (no report)
  • Resource Planning & Priorities Committee (previously known as BAT) – Randi Ashton/Pritting/Laura Heemskerk
    • Resource Priorities and Planning Committee (formerly BAT) met on Dec. 21, 2019. The committee reviewed the final FY19 budget to actuals. We also reviewed the FY20 budget compared with actuals to date and compared with actuals of this time last year. We are tracking closely to budget. The sale of bonds and restructuring of debt has been completed which gives the University a line of credit that will be used for campus projects such as beautification and buildings. The University has successfully centralized many functions; however, there are still efficiencies to be realized. The next RPPC meeting is January 9, 2020.

Staff Council Reports:

  • Faculty Senate – Ben Ide (no report)
  • Treasurer’s Report – Linda Zigmont: Balance is $1,422.98.
  • Fundraising Committee (no report)
  • Human Resources Development – Lynn Thibodeau (no report) 

New Business:

  • Goals for 2020 relating to Staff Council
  • Improve HRD on-boarding process for new staff, as well as training across departments
  • Improve communication about budgeting process
  • Staff Council Representatives share announcements about anything going on within their areas
  • Inviting upper level administrators to our meetings more often
  • How do we empower staff to advocate for themselves?
  • Focus on updating/amending the reporting structure of employees
  • Reviewed where we stand with the Vacation Rollover Survey
  • Executive Board is meeting with President Woodward, Laura Whitney, and Jen Conley tomorrow and will wrap this up, get a final say of what we are or are not going to change
  • Reminder about Employee Resource Groups/Affinity Groups
  • There is a section in UNotes about the different groups
  • Checked in with Community Reps
  • 1/30-2/2 – Hartt Opera Theater production of Die Fledermaus
  • President is scheduled to come and talk at staff council meeting on March 11

Campus News/Updates:

Register today for How to Move from Awareness to Action Against Unconscious Bias, the Spring 2020 Diversity and Inclusion professional training for staff and faculty. This training takes place on Wednesday, January 15, 2020, 8:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. in Gengras Student Union. It is presented as part of the University’s strategic direction and commitment to building a culturally competent and inclusive campus community by the President’s Office for Diversity and Community Engagement and Human Resources Development. All staff and faculty are strongly encouraged to attend this Professional Development training. Attendance at the fall training is not a prerequisite for attending in January. Light refreshments will be available. Please plan to join us! https://www.hartford.edu/about/offices-divisions/human-resourcesdevelopment/professional-day-training.aspx

The second Diversity Speaks program of the academic year will be held on March 31, 2020 from noon to 1 p.m. in Millard Auditorium. Belonging and Being Seen is again the program focus with an emphasis on the experiences of international and immigrants. Complete details about a compelling program will be published in the new year so mark your calendar today and plan to attend. The year-long Diversity Speaks project is presented thanks to a partnership between Travelers and a committee of faculty, staff, and students.

Next Staff Council Meeting: Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Minutes submitted by Lauren Goldman, Recording Secretary.

December 11, 2019

UNIVERSITY OF HARTFORD

STAFF COUNCIL GENERAL MEETING – DRAFT

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Attendance: Christina Lapierre, Lauren Goldman, Laura D’Angelo-Gohn, Rachel Yacouby, Laura Heemskerk, Allison Poulin, Meaghan Murphy-Rennie, Kelly Anderson, Bettina Viereck, Donna Fleischer, Donna Clarke, Sean Parke, Lisa Wollenberg, Diane Purcell, Victoria Sandoval, Stacie Wentz, Marsha Gaulin, Ann Brown, Cindy Oppenheimer, Ben Ide.

Minutes

  • Approved minutes from November 13 meeting.

University Committee Reports

  • Benefits Taskforce – Cindy Oppenheimer/Lynn Galvin (no report)
  • Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Task Force: Christina Lapierre (no report)
  • Resource Planning & Priorities Committee (previously known as BAT) – Randi Ashton-Pritting/Laura Heemskerk

November 7th meeting was canceled. Next scheduled meeting is December 12th. 

Staff Council Reports

  • Faculty Senate – Ben Ide

President Woodward; Provost Fred Sweitzer; and Jessica Nicklin, Mike Ormsby, Katie Kitchens of the Center for Student Success spoke, giving general updates on the University and their initiatives. President Woodward talked about University finances and the Strategic Action Plan. Fred Sweitzer has been crunching numbers from the Campus Climate Survey and the National Survey on Student Engagement. CSS is not just for freshmen, they will help anyone who needs assistance. CSS’ future plans include working on the sophomore experience, academic recovery, and help for transfer students. They have had 3,700 student visits so far this semester. I asked Faculty Senate to start sending a liaison to Staff Council again, a practice that fell by the wayside several years ago.

  • Treasurer’s Report – Linda Zigmont: Balance is $1,422.98.
  • Fundraising Committee (no report)
  • Human Resources Development – Lynn Thibodeau

HRD is just about done processing Open Enrollment and everyone will be able to see a benefit summary in the next few weeks.

New Business: Guest Speaker, David Gordon, Board of Regent Chair

  • Talked about his background with the University of Hartford, this is his 12th year on the Board of Regents
  • Explained the role of the Board of Regents - delegates broad responsibilities on a day to day basis to the President, doesn’t have day to day decision making powers, broad oversight powers, doesn’t have responsibility for day-to-day running of university, makes sure that president/administration/officers of university are adhering to the mission, strategy, and laws of the university
  • New board member can only be brought on if voted by the board of regents
  • Want to make sure there is diversity of gender, race, backgrounds - want to make sure there are people on the board who understand the various industries that the schools and majors serve
  • Need to work on making the board more diverse
  • Currently 29 members, 60% male, 40% female, majority white
  • Creating a board matrix - maps out the criteria they are looking for in board members, to ensure that they have as close as possible equal male and female, growing population of diverse races
  • Bylaws allow up to 31 individuals on the board (originally 60), went from a dozen committees to 8 standing committees, of which 7 meet on a regular basis
  • Explained that it is a hard time for higher education right now
  • Number of high school graduates going down
  • Especially difficult in Northeast because there are so many colleges/universities to compete with, for a smaller population
  • #1 priority is to bring new students in, and keep them (attract and retain) - increase enrollment and retain students
  • Mentioned 6 goals within Strategic Action Plan that the President has asked people to look at
  1. Realizing our core academic mission for all students - make sure we provide to all students the skills and competencies they will need to be successful in the future
  2. Commit ourselves to a high quality experience and the success of all students
  3. Promote a vibrant, safe, diverse, and inclusive community
  4. Become efficient and maintain profitability
  5. Revitalize and continue to invest in the physical plant (furniture, buildings, technology)
  6. Evaluate brand identity and position strategy - we have to continue to invest in our story and how we tell our story across the country to prospective students
  • New academic programs coming to the university
  • Identifying new programs that bring in new types of students
  • Some new programs include: Nursing, digital media and journalism, business analytics, physical therapy, occupational therapy
  • Looking at programs such as athletics training, nurse practitioner programs
  • Graduate enrollment is going up
  • Building relationships with businesses
  • MBA program with Cigna
  • Working on creating an engineering program with companies such as Stanley Black & Decker
  • Online programs
  • Question from staff member: How can we get enough faculty to successfully run our programs for growing enrollment? (MBA grown 84% in the last year, not enough faculty to run it successfully as it continues to grow)
  • Board is talking about this issue
  • President Woodward is working with the dean to figure out how we can bring in more full time faculty and balance financials
  • Question from staff member: What impact will tuition-free colleges potentially have on the university?
  • Tuition free colleges have not been as successful as hoped because there are certain caveats that go with it - in NY, you get the tuition free if you commit to working in the state of NY for 5-7 years after college
  • Likely that tuition free colleges will be largely community colleges – we should focus on how we can attract 3rd and 4th year students after those programs
  • We have the advantage of small student to professor ratio, that is something that draws our students in
  • Have to continue thinking about how we will differentiate ourselves in the future
  • Question from staff member about salary increases
  • The president has had conversations with the Board about his desire and priority to get the university to a point where we can start to have regular increases, and have increments again
  • Trying to find that balance of ensuring profitability of the university and the need to make sure all employees of the university are well compensated
  • Objective is to get every employee to the median salary level as it relates to our competitive colleges and universities
  • President is doing everything in his power to make sure there are salary increases this year, but he doesn’t know yet. Goal is to determine salary increases in early January.
  • Explained how the budget process works: on an annual basis the president and CFO present a budget to the board, goes through many iterations, look at prospective number of students coming in, student retention, look at estimate number of students who will stay on campus, overhead costs, lock down on assumptions and bottom line. Then the board holds the president accountable for meeting that budget, regardless of unforeseen changes that may occur. Have to figure out what is affordable and not affordable based on enrollment.
  • Concern from staff member: there is a faculty member who sits at the table of board of regents, but not a staff member
  • 2 faculty individuals that sit on the board
  • At this point looking to fill the seats they have to people outside the university
  • First priority has to be getting people who have an understanding/experience in the industries that the students study
  • David Gordon suggested that he could come to more of these meetings to give staff more of a channel of communication, meet on a more regular basis
  • Recommended that there needs to be more communication with the president/other members of the cabinet of what they are thinking, decisions they are making, because the information that people feel they are not getting is not the subject of the board, more high level

Campus News/Updates

  • TIAA Monthly Enrollment Meetings & Individual Consultations: TIAA Consultant Rick O’Brien will be on campus to provide individual consultations. This meeting includes a thorough review of the plan and investment options as well as assistance in completing the appropriate enrollment forms. Rick is available for individual counseling with current TIAA plan participants and will be on campus on December 19 from 9:00 am-4:00 pm.
  • The Women NESTS is looking for interested individuals to be a part of the group. The group is in the process of renaming the group, working on a calendar of events for 2020 as well as looking for those to sit on the leadership board. If you are interested, please email Christina Lapierre at clapierre@hartford.edu for more information.
  • The Department of Public Safety invites faculty and staff applications for the University of Hartford Advisory Committee for Public Safety. Members of this committee partner with the Department of Public Safety, providing input and recommending strategies to enhance the University’s security policies, practices, and programs. The Advisory Committee also represents the UHart community, voicing concerns of safety and security directly to the Department of Public Safety. Any faculty or staff member interested in becoming a committee member should email Chief Michael Kaselouskas at kaselousk@hartford.edu.

Next General Meeting: Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Minutes submitted by Lauren Goldman, Recording Secretary.

November 13, 2019

UNIVERSITY OF HARTFORD

STAFF COUNCIL GENERAL MEETING

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Attendance: Ben Ide, Christina Lapierre, Lauren Goldman, Linda Zigmont, Stephanie Fengler, Stacie Wentz, Pam Masi, Kelly Anderson, Allison Poulin, Sally Henowitz, Meagan Murphy, Lisa Wollenberg, Rachel Yacouby, Cindy Oppenheimer, Amy Kopec, Miguel Otero, Carla Fuller, Brian Nwafor, Donna Clarke, Dina Morri, Brian Verderosa, Margaret Reynolds.

Minutes

  • Reviewed September minutes. Change “Diversity, Inclusion & Equity” to “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion” on university committee reports. Approved minutes with amendment.
  • Reviewed October minutes. Approved minutes.

University Committee Reports

  • Budget Advisory Team – Randi Ashton-Pritting/Laura Heemskerk

BAT met on August 28 to begin the budget process for 2019-2020 year. Hartford Health Care will be taking over the student health care provision (does not include CAPS) taking over from ProHealth. Hartford Health Care will provide students with 24/7 virtual nurses. BAT will take the fall semester to review the University’s strategic plan (or equivalent); discuss the priorities. Then in the spring semester be sure that the budget that is put forward is consistent with the priorities. BAT is discussing a name change to reflect the University priorities.

  • Benefits Taskforce – Cindy Oppenheimer/Lynn Galvin

The committee met to discuss upcoming open enrollment. there will be changes to the processes this year and much of the paperwork that was required in previous years will be eliminated. Watch UNotes for more information. There will be a slight rate increase this year. It is not huge and it will result in a few dollars less in your paycheck. The increase is a result of claims incurred. Although our contract with Aetna has a 3 year rate guarantee this is only for the fee for administering the plan. The University of Hartford is self-insured and pays for all claims for an individual up to a set amount then a reinsurance policy takes over. Reinsurance is an additional policy that the University of Hartford takes out to cover excess claims caused by an individual with cancer, organ transplants or other illness you would never want to wish on anyone. Overall employees should be paying 20% of the premium while the University of Hartford pays 80%. This is not the current split. The University of Hartford is paying more than 80% and is adversely affecting the bottom line. Depending on which plan you are in will depend on the amount of your increase. Take this time to review your materials and the plans available and make sure you are in the correct plan for you and your family. Members of HRD are here to help you and there will be several Town Hall meetings. If you have any questions or concerns please e-mail or call me. oppenheim@hartford.edu or 860-768-5391.

  • Diversity, Inclusion, & Equity Task Force: Christina Lapierre (no report)

Staff Council Reports

  • Faculty Senate – Ben Ide

President Greg Woodward, Provost Fred Sweitzer, and Vice President for Finance and Operations Laura Whitney spoke to the Faculty Senate and answered questions from Senators. Nearly all of this information was presented recently in Staff Council sessions. Fred Sweitzer presented demographics figures on new faculty hires and talked about exploring the category of “teaching faculty” versus traditional tenure track

  • Treasurer’s Report – Linda Zigmont: Balance is $1,422.98. A profit of $333.08 was made from the recent fundraiser.
  • Fundraising Committee – Amy Kopec

This year’s fundraiser sold 6 more products than last year for a total profit of $333.08.

  • Human Resource Dept: Lynn Thibodeau

NEW 2020 Open Enrollment: For the first time, the University will operate a passive open enrollment that will roll over 2019 benefit election of medical, dental, vision, and/or life-insurance and/or waivers into calendar year 2020. To initiate the open enrollment process, all employees must access their self-service portal and complete the Open Enrollment Survey. This rollover does not apply to annual elections made in pre-tax savings accounts including HAS/HRA and/or FSA accounts, which will still require annual elections to be made during open enrollment. If changes in benefit elections and/or covered dependents is intended for calendar year 2020, elections MUST be made no later than 4:30 pm on Friday, Nov. 22, 2019. If changes in benefit elections and/or covered dependents are intended for calendar year 2020, elections MUST be submitted to HRD no later than 4:30 pm on Friday, Nov. 22, 2019. For more details, please visit: https://www.hartford.edu/about/offices-divisions/human-resources-development/open-enrollment.aspx

New Business

  • Jen Connelly gave updates regarding vacation and personal time
  • Short term disability - university now pays the first 5 days of short term disability up to 2 times in a fiscal year
  • Short term disability covers you after you’ve been here for one year
  • Employees get 100% pay for a specified period of time then 50/50 carrier and university, then 50% pay (timing depends on how long you’ve worked here)
  • One of the only schools that provides 100% salary continuation for any amount of time, very generous benefit
  • Question was asked why we can’t change the start of vacation time on January- December
  • People would still save it the same way with that time frame
  • When the university used to do it January-December, people were waiting until the end of December and Christmas break, storing up all their hours, and then leaving January first with full vacation bank
  • If you leave the university, you only get paid out 80% of vacation time
  • If you get to the end of the year and you have run out of vacation days, HR can work with payroll to borrow vacation time from the next year to work with you
  • Reminder about open enrollment survey, due by November 22nd, accessible through self-service portal

Strategic Action Plan

  • President Woodward asked Ben to bring it to Staff Council for approval, in addition to other people who are looking at it, going to be revised next semester
  • Goal is for recommendations to be sent in by December
  • Ben suggested that a smaller group looks at the suggestions and thoughts from members of Staff Council and pass on thoughts to President Woodward (can be e-board or a new committee formed with volunteers)
  • Issue raised that faculty and staff salaries should be in there
  • Ask for section on giving employees tools they need to be successful
  • Issue raised about the section contradicting division one sports
  • Address managerial structure
  • Staff member brought up issue of staff members who aren’t first language English speakers or computer literate (mostly with custodial staff) who don’t have sufficient support in using deduction plans and how to operate it (maybe a resource center for employees, ESL courses offered with remission?)
  • People can email Ben (by December 15) with suggestions and E-Board will put feedback together to give back to President Woodward

Staff Council Community Reps and Proxies

  • Ben is going to send an email about the importance of showing up to meetings if you are a community rep or sending a proxy if you can’t come and informing e-board of your proxy

Ways & Means Committee: Election of Staff Council Delegates

  • Want to start having elections for the delegate positions
  • Ben will send out language of the proposed amendments to bylaws

David Gordon (Board of Regents) will be the guest speaker at December meeting

  • Will talk about the direction of the university, can answer questions about role of staff in the governance of the university
  • E-Board will collect questions and comments from staff

Next General Meeting: Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Minutes submitted by Lauren Goldman, Recording Secretary.

October 9, 2019

UNIVERSITY OF HARTFORD

STAFF COUNCIL GENERAL MEETING

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Attendance: Christina Lapierre, Ben Ide, Lauren Goldman, Brian Nwafor, Tracey Rudnick, Karen Peters, Ann Brown, Rachel Yacouby, Laura D’Angelo-Gohn, Amber Connelly, Debi Cap, Shelli McMillen Soto, Dawn Zumbroski, Kelly Anderson, Leonard Bretton, Bettina Viereck, Lisa Wollenberg, Donna Fleischer, Carla Fuller, Marsha Gaulin, Ellen Levasseur, Lisa Cote, Dianne Silliman, Denise Limberger, Jamie Harlow, Dameris Kates, Lindsay McKeegan, Brian Verderosa, Fallon Roberson Roby, Jasmine Lopez, Jedda Decker, Brittany Meservey, Lindsay Stack, Christina Hilliard, Lorelle Wilson, Bevin Rainwater, Randi Ashton-Pritting, Sean Parke, Lynn Galvin, Dave Stender, Amy Kopec, Meaghan Murphy, Margaret Reynolds, Diane Purcell, Stephanie Fengler, Linda Zigmont, Lawrence Rosado, Celena Whitmore, Cindy Oppenheimer.

Minutes

  • Didn’t meet quorum so were not able to approve minutes from September 11 meeting, will have to do so at next meeting.

University Committee Reports

  • Budget Advisory Team – Randi Ashton-Pritting/Laura Heemskerk

BAT met on August 28 to begin the budget process for the 2019-2020 year. Hartford Health Care will be taking over the student health care provision (does not include CAPS) taking over from ProHealth. Hartford Health Care will provide the students with 24/7 virtual nurses. BAT will take the fall semester to review the University’s strategic plan (or equivalent); discuss the priorities. BAT is discussing a name change to reflect the University priorities and the next meeting is October 3, 2019.

  • Benefits Taskforce – Cindy Oppenheimer/Lynn Galvin

BTF met on 9/19 and 10/3 to discuss renewal of benefits. Dental will remain the same. Still waiting for September claim information to determine rate adjustment. Pet insurance will be offered as of 1/1/20. More details to follow.

  • Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Task Force – Christina Lapierre (no report)

Staff Council Reports

  • Faculty Senate – Ben Ide

President Woodward spoke to the Faculty Senate and talked about changes at the Career Studio (formerly the Career Services Center), which will become more central and unavoidable for students, though he is still keen on emphasizing the humanities, and making students more well-rounded – something that makes graduates more desirable to employers. Relatedly, he said it is time to take the Pathways project off hold. Projected costs on the Dana addition keep going up, but we should still be able to cover it. 48% of our new freshman class self-identified as students of color, 38% as first generation, and we have a higher level of Pell Grant eligible students. Since the Provost wasn’t available to speak, President Woodward spent the rest of the time answering questions about increasing and expanding graduate programs, the strategic plan, making the University more visible, and green initiatives with new construction.

  • Treasurer’s Report – Linda Zigmont: Balance is $1,089.90 (no change)

  • Fundraising Committee – Amy Kopec

Fundraiser has started and details have been sent out via Community Reps and UNotes. Start date for the fundraiser is October 9 and closing on October 23. Everything can be done electronically for ordering.

Amy is stepping down as chair of the Fundraising Committee after this last fundraiser. Please Let Ben know if you or someone you know might be interested in an opportunity to lead this important group.

  • Human Resources Department – Lynn Thibodeau (no report)

  • Hospitality Committee – Rachel Yacouby/Laura D’Angelo-Gohn/Ben Ide

Met on September 27. Highlights:

Discussed logistics of monthly staff recognition award. Community Reps ask for nominations, E-Board and HRD review submissions and select recipient. UNotes would feature a “spotlight” interview from the award recipient.

Partner with different organizations/departments within University (IA, HRD, etc.) to host events sponsored by SC. Organize a SC team for Trivia Night at Hawk’s Next. Plan “After 5” events to celebrate staff birthdays, paint nights, board game nights, therapy dog visits.

  • Ways & Means Committee – Ben Ide/Rachel Yacouby/Cindy Oppenheimer

Had its first meeting September 12, and its first recommendation will be discussed at the November 13 SC meeting.

New Business

Guest Speaker: President Woodward

  • Discussed the current situation for the University and enrollment

  • 1423 first year students this year, above the most likely scenario by about 50, about 50 below the best case scenario.

  • Expect new academic building, i.e. ENHP & CETA to bring in over 600 new students in the areas of athletic training, exercise science, expanding PT & Engineering.

  • The new nursing program enrolled 103 new students with over 1200 applicants to the program.

  • 48% of incoming students identified as students of color, highest number in UHart history

  • GPA average of incoming students is highest in history.

  • 41% of incoming students are first generation college students, which is a great thing for the university’s mission and vision; however, this also means it will be harder to retain/graduate this class than those in the past.

    • The discount rate to the incoming freshman class is 62% or $23,000 charged per student on average.  As a University we will not go past the 62% discount rate, this would devalue the education. Would rather be a little smaller as an institution with higher quality, than huge with lower quality students and education.

  • Trying to come up with good financial aid/upper class financial aid, more in student’s dean’s office (learning communities in dorms, student success center, etc) to help with retention

  • About 4,430 undergraduate students currently, if we get to $5,000 the budget will be in great shape. In order to obtain this the University needs to recruit 500 more undergraduates which would bring in $12mm in net revenue.

  • This year, we are negative in budget by about $3.5 million, last year we were at $8 million

  • Borrowing $50 million, refinanced $40 million

  • Going to offer to the public $90mm in bonds at 3.5%

  • The University took out a $10 million line of credit, using right now on campus to upgrade classrooms, residence halls, building entrance, fix the bridge, planting, landscaping.

  • The cost to build the new ENHP & CETA buildings will be $58 million.

  • It will cost $30 million to build the new wellness/recreation center.

  • The senior class is the largest class to graduate at 1700 students. It is unlikely we will see a large class like this for a while.

Answered questions from staff:

Q: Morale is low among the employees at the University (both faculty & staff).  We realize raises are difficult but have you and your staff thought of other ways to increase morale?  For example, giving staff additional time off such as extending the holiday break to include Christmas Eve, add the Wednesday before Thanksgiving or making a long weekend during Spring Break.  Also giving gift cards and/ or reorganization to individuals supervisors about going above and beyond.

A: We are going to close the school at 3:00 Wednesday before Thanksgiving, have people only come in half day on Monday the 23rd, have Christmas Eve off, and not come back until the 2nd.

  • Noted that he has been seeing that morale is low, but wants to know what that is based on. What are the drivers of morale? Based on the questions, it seems that the drivers are money based.

Q:  With the recent outside consulting group hired to review the HR Department, what if anything at this time can you tell us?

A: We are working on creating efficient, structural plans on campus, work harder at being developmental, rather than just administrative support.

Q: What if any, are the plans for salary increases for job performance and cost of living?  In some cases, staff were given a 1% increase which does not constitute an excellent service rating or a cost of living increase. How are the Dean’s even determining the worth of their staff if they don’t even know what the staff do to determine salary increases?

A: Half a million dollars will be added to people’s salaries to try to create equity adjustments, look at bands, amount of time working here, where has it not been equitable or fair.

Q: President Woodward has made the statement on several occasions that there would be a retirement for Faculty and Staff but during Laura Whitney’s talk where she stated it would be for Faculty.  When questioned she said maybe for Staff. Why would staff not be included?  Are they worried they could not fill the positions because of the low wages they pay staff?

A: This is for staff and faculty, this was a misunderstanding

Q: About how long does it take to reach the midpoint in the band?

A It should take about 7 years in the band to move from the midpoint to the high point. Strongly encouraged taking initiative if you want a raise, partly up to you to make that happen, can’t automatically double everyone’s salaries if that isn’t what the university values the job at.

Q: What are you doing to help staff promote within the University?  Very few positions have posted to staff only, yet there are positions which staff could be qualified for which are being advertised to the outside.  In many cases staff are being passed over for outside candidates.

A: Expressed that there have been many internal searches and no one has applies, wants people to take more initiative and inquire more, apply when there are opportunities, though we also have to find better pathways for people to move.

Q: What are your thoughts on staff employee salaries that are significantly below the minimum salary of their pay grade? For example, the minimum salary for the Resident Director (RD), G salary grade is $40,611. Currently our salaries are $30,000 which is $10k below the minimum salary grade.

A: They consider room and board to be part of the compensation, maybe overall value has to be rethought but can’t change how every job is valued.

Q: Any thought about student loan forgiveness programs?

A: Encouraged staff member to look into it and they can look at it.

Campus News/Updates

  • A retirement/medicare workshop will be held as follows for all employees who are considering retirement in the future. October 15 from 12:00-1:00 pm in the Konover Great Room and October 31 from 3:00-4:00 pm in GSU 339. The guest speaker is from the North Central Area Agency on Aging (NCAAA).

  • The new Wellness Workshop series will begin on Wednesday, October 2, 2019. The 12 week series will last through Wednesday, December 18, 2019. All workshops will be held on Wednesdays at 9 a.m. in GSU 331/333. HRD has received generous support from Aetna, so we will be able to continue to provide a reimbursement to the regular full-time and regular part-time faculty and staff who participate in this Wellness Workshop series. For this new series, the employee reimbursement schedule is as follows: 100% reimbursement of the monthly fee if the employee attends, at minimum, 10 out of 12 meetings on campus; 50% reimbursement of the monthly fee if the employee attends, at minimum, 6 out of 12 meetings on campus. At the conclusion of the 12-week series, the employee will be notified directly if they have met participation requirements and are eligible for the reimbursement. For more information or if you are participating in the Wellness Workshop series, please contact Lindsay McKeegan, HR Manager, Services & Programs, at 860.768.4667 or lmckeegan@hartford.edu.

  • Diversity Speaks: Come to Small Conversations About Belonging & Being Seen. Each panelist has agreed to continue their conversation in a smaller group setting on campus in the coming weeks. Please mark your calendar to attend the smaller conversations on the following date: Friday, Oct. 4, noon to 1 with Jay Williams in the Commons Private Dining Room; Wednesday, Oct. 9 noon to 1 p.m. with Jayden Rameikas ’22, location to be announced; Monday, Oct. 14, 1 to 2 p.m. with Fred Colon in the Commons Private Dining Room; Wednesday, Oct. 23, noon to 1 p.m. with Mildred McNeill, location to be announced; Friday, Nov. 1, noon to 1 p.m. with Robin McHaelen in the Commons Private Dining Room.

  • Faculty/Staff vs Student Kickball Game: Thursday, October 10th from 12:00-1:00 pm at GSU front lawn (in front of the main GSU entrance). Faculty/Staff RSVP to stconduct@hartford.edu

  • TIAA Monthly Enrollment Meetings & Individual Consultations: TIAA Consultant Rick O’Brien visits the University of Hartford monthly to provide individual consultations. Additionally, Rick helps conduct monthly enrollment meetings for all employees eligible to begin participation in the TIAA retirement annuities. This meeting includes a thorough review of the plan and investment options as well as assistance in completing the appropriate enrollment forms. Rick is available for individual counseling with current TIAA plan participants and will be on campus from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. on the following dates to conduct individual counseling sessions on Oct 10, Oct 29, Nov 12, Nov 21, Dec 4 & Dec 19.

Next General Meeting: Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Minutes submitted by Lauren Goldman, Recording Secretary.

September 11, 2019

UNIVERSITY OF HARTFORD

STAFF COUNCIL GENERAL MEETING

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Attendance: Ben Ide, Christina Lapierre, Lauren Goldman, Linda Zigmont, Stephanie Fengler, Laura D’Angelo-Gohn, Pam Masi, Kelly Anderson, Allison Poulin, Meaghan Murphy, Rebecca Lee, Rachel Yacouby, Laurie Fasciano, Lawrence Rosado, Cindy Oppenheimer, Jackie Orlowski, Lynn Stanley, Lindsay McKeegan, Donna Galin, Carla Fuller, Sharron Dillon, Bettina Viereck, Angel Mcniel, Lydia Chiapetti, Ellen Levasseur, Margaret Reynolds, Anthony Williams, Amber Connelly, Dameris Kates, Dianne Silliman, Laura Heemskerk, Lisa Wollenberg, Glandina Morris.

Minutes

  • The minutes from August 14, 2019 were approved.

University Committee Reports

  • Budget Advisory Team – Randi Ashton-Pritting/Laura Heemskerk

BAT met on August 28 to begin the budget process for the 2019-2020 year. Hartford Health Care will be taking over the student health care provision (does not include CAPS) taking over from ProHealth. Hartford Health Care will provide the students with 24/7 virtual nurses. BAT will take the fall semester to review the University’s strategic plan (or equivalent); discuss the priorities. Then in the spring semester be sure that the budget that is put forward is consistent with the priorities. BAT is discussing a name change to reflect the University priorities and the next meeting is October 3, 2019.

  • Benefits Taskforce – Cindy Oppenheimer/Lynn Galvin

  • Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Task Force: Christina Lapierre (no report) off for the summer, return in Sept.

Staff Council Reports

  • Faculty Senate – Ben Ide (no report). Next meeting is September 17, 2019.

  • Treasurer’s Report – Linda Zigmont: Balance is $1,089.90 (no change)

  • Fundraising Committee – Amy Kopec

    • We are signed up for the MCM Fundraiser for the fall. Start date for the fundraiser will be October 9 and end on Oct 23. We will be selling Butter Braid Pastries and Joyful Traditions Cake Rolls. Delivery date is November 12. Order forms to come.

  • Human Resources Department – Lynn Thibodeau (no report) 

New Business

Guest Speaker: Chris Monroe, USI Insurance Services

  • Question about CVS and Aetna, epipen costs: advantage with getting scripts through CVS but not required; individual drugs have discrepancies but usually not $200, you can go to another drugstore for lower prices as long as your doctor calls it in, maintenance only is supposed to be through CVS and you can still opt out by calling Aetna

  • Q: health savings account and Soc Security means couldn't switch to PayFlex HSA; there are several qualifiers for HSA, can have HRA and FSA instead, can't just keep the money there either

  • Q: CPAP supplier Lincare (sp?) only sending one supply, are there other suppliers?; Chris can look into other suppliers and can advocate for Univ employees on this and other matters

  • Q: can spouse join our healthcare during the gap between two jobs, what's the level of affordability?; gov't says health costs can only be 9.68% of monthly income, gets blurry when you consider spouse and children, depends on how long they have to wait until the next employer covers health care costs, play the COBRA game where you wait 60 days (from when you get the letter) to see what the expenses/claims are before paying premiums retroactively, even then you have 45 days to pay afterwards

  • Q: why do you have to re-input the address in Payflex?; "Payflex is deficient" compared to Optum and people know it

  • Comment: pay outs are so late you can go into collection, just calling doctor and giving them payment; We have told Aetna that Payflex is terrible (though customer service is nice), don't know when (if) it's getting better, will talk to Aetna Monday

  • Q: Aetna is sending out too many qualifications for PT, need to get reauthorized more frequently

  • Q: Delta Dental is better, could we look at that for the University, or can we get it individually and get reimbursed?; Reimbursed = no, Dental DMO has great benefits but the network of dentists is very small (Dr. Gish), Dental PPO means you can see anyone but get a break on costs in network but the benefits aren't good, recently waive costs for preventative, rates aren't going up in 2020, you can also jump back and forth between DMO and PPO month to month (change on the 15th but whole family will also move)

  • Q: What's the split for plan type enrollment?; 125 employees use Point of Service, 625 are split between the two deductible plans, 110-120 are using the high deductible.

We are getting close to locking down the costs for next year and it's based on this year's usage. The average of enrollee is 51. There's a standard projected increase annually of 8% medical and 13% RX.

  • Q: Got a specific spam call, data breach?; HRD passed it on so they could look into it, also could have been legit

  • Encouraged staff to reach out to him if they have any other questions or concerns, emphasized his role as an advocate

 Old Business

  • Reminder for community reps to submit names of represented staff

  • Update on vacation rollover survey - continued into September, should have more solid results by October - 121 responses so far, Steph will email link to community reps and put it in UNotes again

  • Ben still needs to schedule meeting with Laura Whitney

  • David Gordon, Chair of board of regents, agreed to come speak at Staff Council meeting

  • Collect questions in advance to ask him

  • Christina and Ben met with Chris Grant about several affinity groups about diversity and inclusion on campus

  • Chris wants staff council to be part of the effort to continue it

  • waiting on climate survey data

  • Diversity Speaks: Belonging and Being Seen.- Tuesday, September 24, 12-1 pm

UHart’s campus community is enriched by its diversity, but does diversity equate to inclusion? Join us for the first in a series of campus-wide dialogues to foster diversity, equity, and inclusion and fashion a welcoming environment where all can thrive and succeed. This year-long Diversity Speaks project is present through a partnership between Travelers and the President’s Office, Division for Diversity and Community Engagement.

  • New faculty senate roles announced on UNotes

Next General Meeting: Wednesday, October 9, 2019

August 14, 2019

UNIVERSITY OF HARTFORD

STAFF COUNCIL

Minutes

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Discussion and approval of minutes from July 10, 2019 general meeting were approved.

Attendance: Christina Lapierre, Stacie Wentz, Amy Kopec, Donna Clarke, Carla Fuller, Kelly Anderson, Linda Zigmont, Lawrence Rosado, Lisa Wollenberg, Sean Parke, Sally Henowitz, Rachel Yacouby, Cindy Oppenheimer, Victoria Sandoval, Tom Nyman, Rebecca Lee, Robert Califiore, Laura Heemskerk, Laura D’Angelo-Gohn, Debi Cap, Donna Fleischer, Betti Viereck, Bonny Taylor, Margaret Reynolds, Lydia Chiappetti, Angel McNiel, Ben Ide.

University Committee Reports

  • Budget Advisory Team – Randi Ashton-Pritting / Laura Heemskerk: Next meeting is August 29, 2019.

  • Benefits Taskforce – Cindy Oppenheimer / Lynn Galvin: No report

  • Diversity, Inclusion & Equity: Christina Lapierre (no report) off for the summer, return in Sept.

 Staff Council Reports

  • Faculty Senate – Ben Ide (no report)

  • Treasurer’s Report – Linda Zigmont: Balance is $1,089.90 (no change)

  • Fundraising Committee – Amy Kopec

  • We are signed up for the MCM Fundraiser for the fall. Start date for the fundraiser will be October 9 and end on the Oct 23. We will be selling Butter Braid Pastries and Joyful Traditions Cake Rolls. Delivery date is November 12. Order forms to come.

  • Human Resources Department – Lynn Thibodeau

Building upon the highly successful first Diversity Staff Professional Day last April, the President’s Office on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, in partnership with the Office of Human Resources Development, is pleased to invite you to attend a half-day training at our next Diversity Staff Professional Day on Thursday, Aug. 22.  The theme for this day will be Unconscious Bias, Blind Spots, and Inclusivity: Aligning Behavior with Intention.  The workshops and keynote address will assist to deepen and increase participants’ awareness of implicit bias and reduce its impact at the University—thereby creating an inclusive community. The sessions are designed to allow employees to attend either in the morning or in the afternoon, either before or after the keynote address.

Aug 22, 2019 Schedule:

9:30 a.m. Morning participants check in—location to be announced

10–11:30 a.m. Interactive workshop

Noon—1:30 p.m. Keynote address: Wilde Auditorium - All are encouraged to attend.

1:45 p.m. Afternoon participants check in—location to be announced

2:00–3:30 p.m. Interactive workshop (repeat of morning workshop)

Attendees are invited to bring lunch to either session and to eat in the half hour break before or after the keynote address. The interactive keynote address will be delivered in Wilde Auditorium by Wanda Heading-Grant, EdD, Vice-president for human resources, diversity, and multicultural affairs at the University of Vermont (UVM). Her three-decade career spans a broad range of academic and administrative roles including executive director, associate dean, associate provost, chief diversity officer, and vice president. In a state (Vermont) that is not known for its diversity, she has been successful in bringing topics of diversity, inclusion, and access into everyday conversation at UVM.

The training workshops will be conducted by Jamal Jimerson and Esther Jean-Marie ’15, co-owners of Thought Partner Solutions, a diversity, equity, and inclusion consulting and coaching company based in Manchester, Connecticut. A highly sought-after speaker and trainer, Jimerson combines research, personal stories, and professional experience in his presentations and trainings. Jean-Marie earned her undergraduate degree in international studies at UHart. She has a passion for charitable work, social justice, racial justice, and gender equity.

Read more about Heading-Grant, Jimerson, and Jean-Marie: https://www.hartford.edu/about/offices-divisions/human-resources-development/professional-dev-bios.aspx

Register for the Aug. 22 training: https://www.hartford.edu/about/offices-divisions/human-resources-development/professional-day-training.aspx

Old Business:

  • Reminder to Community Reps to submit names of their represented staff to the Chair so we are able to maintain an active list of staff for purposes of survey’s & email communication.

  • Vacation Rollover Survey – Ben provided some prelim data on the survey.

    • At this time, 112 staff have responded with 51 being non-exempt and 58 exempt.

    • Non-exempt average days of unused time = 1 day

    • Exempt average days of unused time = 2

    • Discussion by staff was can we rely on this information being accurate? It was responded by eboard members that we have nothing else to base numbers off of and we have to hope that staff are being truthful.

    • The Vice-Chair will email Public Safety & Facilities the vacation survey for their staff to complete.

    • The survey will remain open until the end of September since some staff are 10-month employees.

  • Continued discussion on Staff Council committees:

    • Ad hoc for academic office personnel

      • Discussion of the creation of this new exploratory committee was brought up by the Chair.

      • Staff who are office personnel stated that the committee should be “office coordinators” not personnel since this is a very specific group of people within job classifications.

      • The only colleges that have these specifics job classes are ENHP and A&S.

      • Further discussion of this topic was stated that there is a “lack of structure within colleges as it relates to these positions”, “lack of accountability”, “each college runs separately”, “lack of chain of command”.

      • The purpose of this committee would be to find “commonality of issues” that can be addressed at staff council with solutions that can be provided to leadership.

      • A motion was moved to create a new committee called “Office Coordinators” and was second. Motion was approved.

    • Join/create University Environmental & Sustainability Committee – tabled for further exploration by Chair.

    • A new Ways & Means committee was created and will be led by Ben Ide, Cindy Oppenheimer, and Rachel Yacouby.

    • A new Hospitality Committee was created and will be led by Laura D’Angelo-Gohn and Rachel Yacouby.

New Business:

  • The Chair welcomed new Community Reps Margaret Reynolds from Res Life & Victoria Sandoval from Institutional Advancement, and Betti Viereck At-Large Rep for Non-Exempt Staff.

  • Are there any updates from Community Reps as it relates to their community and/or that needs to be addressed in the general meeting?

    • This will be moved to “old business” going forward for Community Reps to update staff as needed.

    • From Rachel Yacouby (Hartt):

    • Garmany series individual tickets plus all Hartt collegiate Music and Dance performance tickets are available now.

    • Brigadoon tickets will be available on Tuesday, September 10

    • Lincoln Vaudeville (10/3-10/6) in McCray reservations will not be accepted prior to Thursday, September 12 at 10 a.m.

    • Cloud 9 (10/10 – 10/13) in Roberts reservations will not be accepted prior to Tuesday, September 17 at 10 a.m.

    • Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime (11/7 – 11/10) in McCray reservations will not be accepted prior to Tuesday, October 8 at 10 a.m.

    • Anyone can whistle (12/12 – 12/15) in Roberts reservations will not be accepted prior to Tuesday, November 12 at 10 a.m.

    • For paid ticketed events, each University of Hartford faculty/staff/student get one free ticket per run of the show.

    • Contact the Box office at 860-768-4228 with any questions or to get your tickets. You can also go online 24/7 at http://www.hartford.edu/boxoffice or stop by the box office located in Lincoln Theater during business hours.

  • Staff Council Commission on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. The Chair announced that he was approached by Christine Grant for the creation of committee to review and act on DEI issues. Christine Grant will be advisor to the committee. The Chair appointed Christina Lapierre, Vice Chair, to lead these efforts in collaboration with Christine Grant.

    • Staff brought up mention of other committees that have the same change so the question has become how are any of these committees different?

    • The Chair responded that he will speak with Christine Grant to understand the difference in these committees so groups are no doubling up on work.

    • One staff member responded that she is on a task force for the President relating to DEI and this group has been stopped by the President at this time.

  • The Chair announced that a meeting with Laura Whitney, Interim CFO and staff is being scheduled.

    • Staff mentioned that it would be best to get her schedule and we can work around her time and schedule accordingly.

    • The purpose of this meeting is to understand the budgets and areas of concern, particularly salaries.

  • The topic of change and how are things going to be different was discussed.

    • It was stated that if leadership is not willing to change, then how are we going to make this change?

    • It was stated that a pattern of no change has been consistent for 18 years.

    • It was stated that we, as staff, need to invite someone from the Board of Regents or meet with them to ask questions. They are essentially the gatekeepers of all financial matters.

  • As a reminder for the September 11 meeting that the Broker for the University will be the guest speaker from 1:00-1:30 so if there are concerns regarding health care coverage, please bring your questions. 

NEXT GENERAL MEETING: Wednesday, September 11, 2019 at 1:00p.m. GSU 335

Respectfully submitted by Christina Lapierre, Vice Chair on behalf of the Recording Secretary.

July 10, 2019

UNIVERSITY OF HARTFORD

STAFF COUNCIL GENERAL MEETING MINUTES

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Attendance: Ben Ide, Christina Lapierre, Lauren Goldman, Linda Zigmont, Stephanie Fengler, Shelli McMillen, Laura D’Angelo-Gohn, Pam Masi, Kelly Anderson, Allison Poulin, Meaghan Murphy, Lisa Wollenberg, Tom Nyman, Lawrence Rosado, Amy Kopec, Sue Fitzgerald, Christine Grant, Laura Heemskerk, Dawn Zumbroski, Lindsay McKeegan, Joseph Van Gilder, Carol Courtney, Kate Darcy Hohenthal, Nicole Kurker-Stewart, Kate Marusa, Ellen Levasseur, Betti Viereck, Donna Fleischer, Donna Clarke, Sean Parke.

Discussion of Minutes from June 12, 2019 general meeting.

  • The minutes from June 12, 2019 were approved.

University Committee Reports

  • Budget Advisory Team – Randi Ashton-Pritting / Laura Heemskerk (no report) Off for the summer, returning Sept.
  • Wellness Committee – HRD, Lindsay McKeegan (no report)
  • Benefits Taskforce – Cindy Oppenheimer / Lynn Galvin
  • Presidential Commission on the Status of Women - Donna Clarke (no report0
  • Diversity, Inclusion & Equity Task Force – Christina Lapierre (no report) off for the summer, return in Sept.

Staff Council Reports

  • Faculty Senate – Ben Ide (no report)
  • Treasurer’s Report – Linda Zigmont: Balance is $1,089.90 (no change)
  • Fundraising Committee – Amy Kopec
  • We are signed up for the MCM Fundraiser in the fall. Start date for the fundraiser will be October 9 and end on Oct 23. We will be selling Butter Braid Pastries and Joyful Traditions Cake Rolls. Delivery date is November 12. Order forms to come.
  • Human Resources Department – Lynn Thibodeau (no report)

Agenda Items for Discussion

  • Still have one more position open for non-exempt member at large
  • Ben working with human resources to try to recognize staff on a monthly basis rather than just once a year
  • Role of Community Representatives
  • Community reps help draw attention to staff in their departments
  • Still need community reps for a few areas
  • Collect all names of staff in each department, try and create a way of contacting all staff for surveys, polls, mass mailings
  • Clarified role of community rep: represents the constituents within their group, come to the meetings, bring whatever concerns your group has and voice them at the meeting or to the e-board, and bring information back from meetings to communities, making sure there is communication across the university, create feeling of community amongst groups
  • Want to start focus on issue of rollover of sick/vacation time, need to collect information across university of how this inability has affected staff members
  • Community reps to collect that data and submit to Ben / Christina by August 14th to bring information to President Woodward
  • Could use a poll so that the data is uniform across communities
  • Discussion of committees
  • Strike wellness committee line for now, until we get a better idea of what wellness initiative the university wants. Some of the stuff can be folded into HRD’s report. Motion approved to suspend this line in future agendas and minutes.
  • Let presidential committee on status of women run till September and see if there is a meeting before we consider taking it off
  • Discussion of new committees:
  • Something generated by staff council on status of women, what are the things that need to be followed up on from what has been discussed in the presidential committee on status of women? Anything that specifically applies to staff as opposed to faculty? Donna going to communicate these thoughts to the presidential committee and ask permission to disseminate staff information back to general meeting. Executive board to reach out to head of presidential committee of status of women (Jane Horvath)
  • Talked about Women’s Nest, both faculty and staff.
  • Ways and means committee - evaluate the way the new staff council operates, look at constitution and bylaws and see if there are things that can be improved. Motion to establish ways and means committee, motion approved.
  • Continue discussion of committees for next meeting
  • Guest speaker: Christine Grant
  • Encouraged people to reach out if they have any ideas or suggestions for improving diversity and inclusion
  • Want to layer the idea of diversity, equity, and inclusion across the campus, interconnect between the groups, build a more inclusive community. How can we continue to create more inclusive campus on all fronts?
  • Larger committee able to make systemic changes in the university, want to ensure that decision makers are helping on behalf of all people on campus, staff members will be on committee
  • Professional days two times per year, taking time out to train and discuss issues related to diversity, equity, and inclusion - will be August and January going forward
  • -Lunch ‘n learn series during the year, discuss topics that need to be addressed
  • Web training for staff and faculty, in the process of seeing how they can do that effectively and efficiently, ongoing training on these subject matters
  • This year’s professional day will be august 22nd, two time slots in morning and afternoon to accommodate employees
  • will be putting UNotes announcements about upcoming NESTs
  • Work intentionally on underrepresented groups, create relationship with smaller non profit organizations around us, bringing about 12 organizations and HR leaders to campus, have hiring managers to check with these organizations when there are positions available to keep it balanced

Minutes are submitted by Lauren Goldman, Recording Secretary.