Welcome to the latest edition of the Staff Council Newsletter. The goal of this newsletter is to enhance communication with staff members across campus. If you have questions, comments, or suggestions regarding the content of the newsletter, please use our web form. Physical Plant staff can also obtain a paper form from Mary Anderson.
Staff Council would like to thank the outgoing members of the Council, Robyn Walter and Kelly Lawton.
The Council welcomes its new members, Trevor Sierra, Ann Harding, and Julie Lappin.
Staff Council would like to make you aware of several changes across the University. Please be advised:
Q. Is anyone monitoring the overall number of mailings and total contacts our constituents receive in a given period? In Advancement, we try to inundate the same alumni, parent, friend population with multiple mailings at once, but we can only control our own operation. I think someone (perhaps University Communications) needs to look into how many pieces of mail are out every day from different departments to the same recipients. At the very least we could be saving postage by bundling some of those mailings together. More importantly, we must be mindful not to alienate recipients or desensitize them to our mailings.
A. The Advancement Office and University Communications are always looking for ways to improve our communications and have placed emphasis on improving coordination, quality and cost effectiveness over the past few years.
Currently we estimate that 95 percent of our mailings are coordinated within Advancement and University Communications, well received by alumni and donors, and for the most part cost effective. We attribute this to:
1.) The creation of the Advancement Working Group (AWG), which has as its primary purpose gathering input and ideas from the key departments to help improve communications, events and programs. The AWG, which includes the president, Development, Alumni, Public Relations and Admissions, meets monthly to discuss and coordinate major mailings, events and promotions directed to our main constituencies. At the beginning of the year a master calendar is created by Public Relations and discussed with the AWG to get input and help to better coordinate the mailing of major pieces. This calendar is used for preliminary planning and coordination for the year ahead.
2.) Besides these planning and coordination efforts, Advancement Services (AS) is working with the School of Music to share alumni/donor
information and lists, so that information is updated and accurate. In addition, AS will be working with the School of Nursing to do the same with their lists as they prepare for their 50th anniversary. Both of these areas of the University communicate freely with their alumni and we have no plans to prohibit them from doing so. The timing of their communications is dictated by their needs, e.g. announcement of Theatre's new season schedule or Nursing's anniversary celebration activities.
3.) With respect to the suggestion that we may be communicating too frequently or irritating alumni with multiple mailings, we have no evidence that that is the case. In fact, based on the alumni survey that was part of the Identity Research, we are given high marks for our communications by IWU alumni.
4.) Regarding the suggestion that we "bundle" mailings, this would have little if any cost savings, since postage is paid by weight and multiple mailings in a single envelope could also result in additional costs for stuffing at an outside mail house. Bundling mailings could also complicate or delay delivery. In addition, group mailings could diminish the impact of individual pieces, which would not be advisable. We carefully evaluate all mailings on the basis of cost and urgency and do our best to use the best delivery options.
Q. Any movement on staff professional development or continuing education funding available to all staff?
A. Because of the tight University budget, we are not currently in a position to allocate funding for staff professional development or continuing education to be available to all staff. The Human Resource Office continues to offer staff professional development/training as time permits. Recently offered opportunities have been: performance review training, payroll and timekeeping training, and a general employment supervisory training session.
For the 2009-2010 year, the University will be collaborating with ISU to offer a leadership program. The details have yet to be determined.
Q. It appears there are several sources for student addresses: Business Office, Registrar’s Office, Financial Aid & ORL. Can’t we have centralized address data?
A. We have met on this issue and the answer is complicated. All permanent address changes should go through the Registrar's office and we all agreed to send students there for these changes. Some of our data systems, however, do not communicate with each other (i.e. ORL's Filemaker Pro and Banner), so manual entries are needed. We have requested and continue to request that we update and upgrade our systems so that there is simple sharing of data. This is constrained by budget. For now, all address changes will go through the Registrar's Office.
Q. To the Bookstore: Could we get more timely billing statements, and a receipt showing the actual cost when we make purchases?
A. The Bookstore sends out monthly billings by the 10th of the month following the charge. Occasionally, this deadline is missed due to either workload demands or when improper or incomplete budget codes are given at the time of the charge. In order to expedite the monthly billing, it is helpful for faculty and staff to have the appropriate budget code when making the charge purchase. Currently, if a person making a departmental charge requests it, they will be given the total dollar amount for the charge. Beginning in FY10, the Bookstore will order departmental charge forms in triplicate, rather than in duplicate. When using the triplicate form, the purchaser will be given a copy at the time of purchase. Any questions about the Bookstore should be addressed to Thad Sutter, Bookstore Manager.
Q. Has the University considered going to a four-day work week in the summer (longer hours Mon.-Thurs.). This should allow for energy/cost savings, as well as be a benefit to employees.
A. The Illinois Wesleyan University administration is pleased to have suggestions concerning the management, allocation and conservation of budgetary expenditures (e.g., a four-day workweek). Proposals will be forwarded to the appropriate office or committee (e.g., Strategic Planning & Budgeting Committee) for further consideration.
Q. I was speaking with a colleague about recycling and he mentioned that the bag colors used for recycling have changed. He thought they had been brown but now are clear, just like the garbage. He was wondering if what we place in recycling is actually being recycled and what kind of program or procedures physical plant has in place for recycling. For instance, where is our recycling taken and does anyone sort the recycling to make sure it is all compliant? Does the university make any effort to purchase material in packages that can be recycled? This is not always possible, but it would be a good policy for the university to adopt if not practicing already.
A. Yes, the bag colors were changed. The labor crew said it would be better for them to keep an eye on what was in the recycle bags if they were clear. As for the procedures, the bags are emptied into a recycle dumpster that the town of Normal picks up and they monitor the level of contamination. No sorting is needed. Now for purchasing, I can only speak for the custodial supplies. I do purchase several green products. Currently the toilet paper, roll and fold towels, hand soap, glass cleaner, carpet extraction cleaner are green seal approved or recycle compliant. I continually watch and try new products and switch where I can. I hope this helps.
Staff Council plans to host the second annual All-Staff Meeting in January. While the date is not yet set, we hope you will be able to attend this informational meeting which will include presentations from President Wilson and members of the cabinet.
Cathy Spitz, Pat Wilson, Kelly Lawton, and Stephanie Davis-Kahl participated in the request for proposal process, in which BroMenn Hospital, Illinois State University, and Illinois Wesleyan selected a provider for the new childcare facility slated to open in fall of 2010. After interviews and site visits, we are happy to announce that Rogy’s was selected as the provider. The facility is to be built at the corner of Main and Harris Streets (entrance on Harris).
There are several upcoming hearings regarding the property and construction.
Town of Normal Planning Commission site plan and rezoning hearing - September 10, 5:00 pm, Normal City Hall, Council Chamber
Town Council review/action on Planning Commission recommendation - September 21, 7:00 pm, Normal City Hall, Council Chamber
We are also awaiting final approval from FEMA regarding water/flood concerns for the site. Pending a positive outcome from the Town of Normal and FEMA, we anticipate that the groundbreaking will occur in October.
The Child Care Committee will continue to determine our role as the process continues. We anticipate the development of sub-committees to give input in regards to the building, programming, and quality feedback. We will continue to update the campus community and hope to share more information about Rogy’s and the building design later this semester.
Rachel Hatch, Staff Writer
"Incredible" is the word that passes my lips most often when people ask about the journey to Morocco through the Morocco Initiative. Whether it was meeting fascinating people, taking in breath-taking sites or just being part of the everyday world of a culture completely foreign to me, it was an unforgettable experience that has forever changed how I view the world.
The Initiative surpassed any and all expectations I had when we started at the beginning of last semester. Not only was I inspired by our weekly seminar conversations, but I felt truly engaged and welcomed by each member of the group – a feeling that carried on as we traveled.
One member of our group put it magnificently when she noted that we spent an entire semester studying Morocco – the economics, women’s roles, the food – yet as soon as we touched down, I felt I learned more walking the street to our hotel than we could have learned in a dozen semesters. To travel is to learn.
While there, I gained a fantastic appreciation of the entire group and our work there, making ties with universities that we hope will form strong bonds in the future. And I had the wonderful realization that I work in a place that gives me the opportunity to be inspired every day.
Robyn Walter, Career Consultant
After spending many weeks through the spring semester discussing the education, economics, environmental issues, women and cultural issues, and food of Morocco, I was excited to make this 11-day trip with my faculty and staff colleagues. In addition to sightseeing in Casablanca, Fez, Azemmour, and El Jadida, Professor Saloua Aboutadjine (the Fulbright faculty member coming from Morocco to teach at IWU this fall) successfully arranged for us to meet with administrators and faculty from University of Rabat, a public university. I had also been in email contact with my counterpart at AUI, the private university we’d planned to visit, and very much looked forward to meeting her. I expected new food, sights, smells, and experiences. What I didn’t expect was:
This was one of the most worthwhile professional experiences I have enjoyed during my tenure at IWU.
On Monday, September 28, the Morocco Faculty/Staff Seminar participants will host a Non-Org in the Davidson Room at 12 pm. Participants will describe the seminar, the immediate benefits to staff and faculty, and how IWU is moving forward with this work. The presentation will include a slide show. We hope you will be able to attend!