Published: July 12, 2020

CLAS Staff Council Interim Officer Meeting #1

Next CLAS Staff Council Meeting - Wednesday, July 8th 11:30am
via Zoom:

In attendance:

  1. Angie Beale
  2. Elly Lewis
  3. Kelly Stritzinger
  4. Sandra Quinn
  5. Sulastri Carr
  6. Carri Boothe
  7. Sarah Thompson
  8. Kathleen Bollard – guest


Agenda items

  1. It was decided to record this meeting – which is available upon request as it is a large file that would be time/data consuming to upload/download


  1. Announcements
    1. Subcommittee activity paused until new staff council is established.
    2. COVID-19 has dramatically impacted lives across the world, and we recognize that an increase in workloads, financial worries, or other unforeseen COVID-related stressors may make it difficult for individuals to serve in the CLAS Staff Council (CSC) at this time. Please know that we welcome everyone to continue serving if you wish, but also understand if these conditions affect the amount of time or energy you can dedicate in this unique moment. If you do find that your circumstances have changed and need to reduce your workload with Council Activities or step away – completely or for any amount of time - please email any of the officers from the Staff Council.

      *Please note that you do NOT need to offer an explanation unless you are comfortable doing so – simply share what would be most helpful for you, and that we will try to make any accommodations that we can. This also does NOT preclude future involvement with the CLAS Staff Council via a future election.

      These are extraordinary times and we know that now more than ever we need to support one another as best we can.

      1. - Chair
      2. – Vice-Chair
      3. - Treasurer
      4. – Secretary
  2. Welcome to Kathleen Bollard and thank you for her help with the bylaws
  3. Thanks to JoAnn Porter for her assistance and guidance in growing and establishing the CLAS Stafff Council
  4. Thanks to Dean’s Office for support


  1. Meeting Guidelines
    1. Safe space, open discussion & questions encouraged
      1. There will be many discussions because of the amount of work we need to do. We want everybody’s participation. Please be respectful of each other, try not to talk over one another. We do schedule time for discussion so please take advantage of that time to engage respectfully with one another.
    2. Officer responsibilities – (As defined by 6.5.2020 meeting)
      1. Chair -Position of objectivity that allows for dissenting views. Chair sets the guidelines for the discussion – time limit for comments, guidelines for people to speak multiple times to allow for people to speak up. Comments are directed to Chair, and if comments begin to go off track or personal, the Chair will repeat the matter at hand to stay on track. Chair also serves as a tiebreaker in a vote. Chair ensures discussion items are added to the agendas; and makes sure that the discussion revolves around that item, without changing to another subject. If another issue comes up, the Chair has the power to add the new item to the current or future agenda.
      2. Vice-Chair – Backup; sits in for Chair when Chair is unable to do so.
      3. Treasurer – Maintains and updates fiscal transactions for the Council. Gives updates at meetings.
      4. Secretary – Maintains minutes, updates website, handles communications, sends out agenda, meeting dates & times. If sees that someone is trying to get attention – step in and say acknowledge


  1. Regular Meeting Times
    1. Email your preferred days and times to by Friday – Sarah


  1. Returning council to all staff
    1. We need more input from the staff. How do we do that? What does that look like?
      1. Post meeting dates & times and send out the Zoom Link
      2. Potentially post Zoom link on website
        1. Could add a password and/or waiting room
      3. General email to everybody/all staff – “Welcome back” email
        1. What the interim is
        2. Who is on the interim CLAS Staff Council – perhaps with slight intros
        3. What to expect – when you’ll hear from us again
        4. When it is being delivered back so that there are expectations
        5. Emphasize Interim – what our goals are
        6. Introduce idea of “Listening Sessions”


  1.  “Listening sessions” via Zoom
    1. For the next 3 weeks, have sessions twice a week with 2 people (1 executive and 1 general councilmember) from the Council could host with one person taking notes and one person answering questions – send notes to Sarah for compilation
    2. What are the “targeted” groups? * but note that this is for all staff
      1. 5 or fewer email groups:
        1. Advisors
        2. PA/AA’s
        3. PRA’s
        4. Lab Staff
        5. Other – Dean’s Office, HR, IT
      2. Who will send? Written from Angie’s perspective, but Elly will be the one to send it out.
    3. How to get the word out:
      1. Targeted emails (via job classification in messaging) and open, small sessions to all kinds of classifications with hopes to get input from groups of staff whose voices we haven’t heard from as much
      2. Questions – Give opportunity for staff to send questions to us prior so that we could answer those questions across the board. We will create a list of questions together, distribute via email and they have opportunity to respond beforehand, as well as allow for questions on the fly
      3. Perhaps add folks via Eventbrite to prevent overload – email out
      4. 10 attendees per group – 12 total
    4. Benefits: Way to recruit more staff council members; also can set the foundation for the goals of the Council moving forward
    5. Sign up to make sure work is evenly distributed and participating – Sarah will work on dates – perhaps one Executive Officer paired with council member for each session.


  1. Questions
    1. Will future meetings be recorded?
      1. Yes, the more transparency, the better – perhaps would need to add in bylaws about recording
      2. Allow for privacy? Yes, but take minutes
      3. Have a 15-minute Executive session if there is a need for privacy, but include written account
      4. Perhaps allow for executive session for just the officers
    2. Do staff know results of the survey?
      1. Not sure – some of the results may have been shared with the PA list. Unsure if was shared with the dean. Had discussed posting on website.
        1. A: the survey has not been distributed with anybody – not deans – not discussed with
  2. Feedback from previous year
    1. Angie will send out some of the feedback from last year via email today


  1. Election Timeline
    1. Frame urgency – Discussion about whether the end of August would be too early to hold elections.
    2. Because of the complications with the coming semester and how busy it already is for staff during August, it was decided to send out an announcement in early Spring – after census date (September 2nd)
      1. Elections to be held @ end of September and will be mentioned in welcome back email
  2. Communication
    1. Goal to improve communication with and for all staff
      1. Commit to periodically getting information out via email and holding listening sessions before election
      2. Ensure that communications are sent to all staff classifications
  3. Bylaws & Diversity & Inclusion
    1. Are bylaws necessary before elections? Or is this something for newly elected council?
      1. Because we are interim and need to focus on elections, get the council to the point of elections – increases buy-in
      2. Concern about whether that leaves the new council hanging because they don’t have framework to operate within
      3. Previous council bylaws were never formally adopted, although they were approved by council members
      4. Add a link to the bylaws – Yes/No – have staff vote
    2. Incorporate into bylaws – Discussion
    3. Amend the repercussions on participation
    4. Post on website for comment
    5. Add language to allow for virtual participation due to COVID
    6. Add language about recordings and how they will be used
      1. In the future, we won’t record meetings because Minutes will suffice and recordings take up lots of data storage
    7. Tweak current bylaws to what we want them to be
  4. Recordings
    1. Recording
      1. Unanimously voted that Meeting Minutes are sufficient and we will no longer record
  5.  Next meeting
    1. Touch base before the listening sessions start


Action Items:

  1. Create welcome back email – announcing Listening Sessions – Aim to distribute July 17th
    1. Introduce who & what we are
    2. Based on survey results, we have decided to open listening sessions
    3. Here’s what you can expect
    4. Stay tuned for more from staff council
  2. Prep work for Listening Sessions
    1. Send out first email the week of July 21
    2. Create sign up for different dates between July 27-31 & August 3-7 - Sarah
    3. Start question lists – by Friday, July 17th – to Sarah
      1. Potential question: What are staff’s preferred communication method and how frequently would you like to see us sending communications?
    4. Carri will create lists
      1. Send to Elly & the rest of staff
  3. Kelly will send out Eventbrite to test July 8th, - Please Fill out
  4. Send Sarah days & times for meetings moving forward
  5. Angie will send out email with feedback from last spring
  6. Elections will happen in September – announcement will go out in early September, but we will mention it in our welcome email
  7. Bylaw edits – make tweaks and then have future council revise them immediately