Staff Senate met on Monday, March 9 in the CTR Building on the Health Sciences Campus.
Amber Peter, director of Web in the Office of Communications & Marketing, presented on a three-year plan for a re-haul of the university’s website.
“The goal is to unify the university. A web experience that is audience-centered and an authentic representation of our brand,” she stated during her opening slides.
Currently there are about 255,000 different webpages that live on the website and very few follow a consistent format. Peter has been working with a steering committee to consider the many ways in which to make the site more intuitive so that resources can be found faster.
An ITS staff member asked how this project will affect their work. Peter responded that it will eventually replace Plone. Another staff member asked about the timeline and if training is being planned. Peter assured senators that there will be numerous opportunities for training and that it will take a minimum of 2 months to kick off, followed by a series of implementation phases which will take a total of three years. Peter closed with an invitation to any staff members who have questions about the project to contact her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jason Beare, Staff Grievance committee chair, reported that the health benefits design group met earlier this month. He presented a roadmap that is being used to plan out the next 3 years of the Strategic Plan. No decision has been made yet on 2020-2021 benefits yet. Decisions will be made by this June.
Carcyle Barrett reported on several bylaw revisions, outlined here.
They also reported that the executive committee voted to go back to having one of their meetings in the fall and the other meeting in the spring, with the requirement that every meeting be posted at the beginning of the academic year.
John Smith, Staff Senate chair, reported that the Board of Trustees and the Foundation Board both met recently, and that the S&P issued an A+ rating to the Foundation which is a high level of distinction for a foundation. Additionally, the Provost search committee submitted their top eight names. There were over 50 applicants. Glenn Gittings and John Smith are representing the Staff Senate on the Provost Search committee.
Groundbreaking for the new Miller Hall, “Dorm 1,” is scheduled for April 21. Additionally, there is an RFP out for a new, 120 occupancy resident hall that would be constructed on Floyd Street across from the Kueber Center. The project would be spearheaded by Athletics and not involve any University funds. It would become the residence of teams that utilize the Kueber Center for their practices, such as men’s and women’s basketball, field hockey, and lacrosse. Per NCAA rules, however, a minimum of 51% of the beds available must be for students who are not athletic team members.
A motion was brought to the floor to make Staff Senate meetings available via teleconference. A lengthy discussion followed, weighing the pros and cons. An amendment was added to the motion that in-person attendance at least be required for the election meeting. Senators requested more information about the logistics of this teleconferencing and suggested a test run of the system. A vote was held to table the discussion until the next meeting, when more officers and senators are present.
The next Staff Senate meeting is April 13 via teleconference.