Staff Council Meeting Minutes – November 2016

Staff Council met on November 16, 2016 in the Perry Presentation Room. Below are the meeting minutes (approved on December 21) . A PDF version can also be found on the K: Drive at K:\Staff Council\Staff Council – Meeting Minutes\June 2016 – May 2017.

I.  Welcome – Call meeting to order (Regina Farrell, Facilitator)

II.  Approval of the October meeting minutes (see in K:drive/Staff Council Meeting Minutes),

  • A motion was made to approve, motion was seconded, and the October Meeting minutes were unanimously approved

III.  Approval of Amended Bylaws – Christina Erickson

  • A motion was made to approve the amended bylaws, that motion was seconded, and the amendments were unanimously approved
    • Revision to Staff Welfare committee description and name change to Staff Welfare & Advocacy Committee 

IV.  Meet the Event Center Team

  • Members of the Champlain College Conference & Event Center team were invited to introduce themselves and provide some information regarding each of their roles.
    • Linda Wheeler – Senior Director of Auxiliary Services
    • Susan Lindberg – Conferences Sales Manager
    • Corin Porter – Senior Operations Coordinator
    • Emily Bergeron – Senior Operations Coordinator for Auxiliary Services
    • Kelsey Fitzgerald – Special Events Coordinator
    • Peter Straube – Strategic Events Producer
    • Michael Mansfield-Marcoux – Facilities Coordinator
  • The Event Center holds a number of external events through any given year, generating revenue for the College. The individuals listed above, as well as a number of work-study students, support all aspects of event planning, consultation, and logistics for groups/organizations renting space on campus.
  • Susan noted the revenue goal for this fiscal year is $1.1M, up from $695k the previous year. Events that are held on campus include corporate meetings, conferences, celebrations, and weddings. Peter went into detail regarding the strategic use of events held on campus as opportunities to connect with the community and tell the Champlain College story.
  • Michael shared a time lapse video of the gymnasium being transformed in preparation for an event. This is a great example of the work that he and his team do from a facilities standpoint for event setup/breakdown. The question was asked about how many times this occurs in a given year. Michael noted that the gymnasium goes through this transition about 20 times per year. It takes roughly 2.5 hours each time with 7 staff and student workers.
  • Some further examples of events that the team has supported include Entrepreneurship for Good, the Game Senior Show, and 5 pre-college events held for high school students.

V.  Faculty Senate Overview – Kathy Seiler, Faculty Senate President

  • Similar to Staff council, Faculty Senate meets once per month. Senate Officers include Kathy (President), Miriam Horne (Vice President) and Alan Carberry (Secretary). Michael Kelly is the Immediate Past President.
  • Kathy went into detail regarding the committees of Faculty Senate:
    • Executive Committee – comprised of chairs from each of the other committees and senate officers. Primary role is to set agenda for senate meetings.
    • Academic Affairs Committee – work closely with the Provost and contribute to the planning, development and maintenance of the academic mission of the college.
    • Curriculum Committee – vets all course proposals, program changes, addition and deletion of programs, degree requirements, and general policies with impact on instruction and learning. Kathy noted that the committee recently implemented use of a new software, Curriculog, to help streamline processes.
    • Welfare Committee – dedicated to maintaining morale and quality of work life among faculty. The committee also oversees all matters pertaining to pay raises, benefits, etc.
    • Faculty Evaluation Committee – charged with reviewing effectiveness of the faculty evaluation process. Kathy noted that the committee is currently focused on exploring more peer-based methods for evaluation.
    • Multicultural Affairs Committee – explore multicultural issues of concern to faculty as they relate to hiring, curriculum, pedagogy, classroom environment, and program development.
    • Library & Academic Resources Committee
    • Promotion & Sabbatical Committee – review proposals regarding faculty promotions and the granting of sabbatical leave. Kathy noted that faculty can only be promoted twice during their career and the application to be considered is often over 300 pages in length. The question was asked whether there is a limit to how many faculty members are granted sabbatical. In the past, there have not been limits, however, due to large clusters of recent hires, it may be something to consider moving forward.
    • Bylaws Committee – Kathy noted that this committee has been in hiatus in recent years, however, will be more active moving forward and will be charged with updating the Senate Bylaws.
  • Kathy noted some of the challenges facing faculty, one being the limited amount of space available for extra student meetings (i.e. outside of class). She also referred to a rapidly and consistently changing student body, and the challenge of developing systems/procedures in order to adapt. In response to a question, Kathy elaborated that incoming freshman, in general, seem to be less prepared and perhaps exhibit a more reserved behavior than previous classes. This provides a challenge for faculty to re-evaluate their approach.
  • Attendance was a topic of conversation. Kathy explained that of 119 full-time faculty, senate meetings usually see attendance of anywhere from 50-80%. The quorum is 35 voting members. In an effort to increase participation and inclusion, Kathy noted that meetings are being recorded and can be attended remotely using Google Hangouts.
  • The question was asked regarding faculty members at Champlain’s Dublin and Montreal campuses, as well as Adjunct participation. While faculty members from the Dublin/Montreal campuses are invited to attend meetings remotely, Kathy was unsure whether or not they have. Adjunct representatives have been assigned for each division and participation has increased significantly since previous years.
  • The topic of shared governance was discussed. Kathy explained the faculty role of participating and providing suggestions to College administrators regarding what is best for the College and its students. One example that Kathy provided was the senate’s role in deciding the criteria/ratings in which faculty members are to be evaluated.

VI.  Introduction to ChampFunder & Champ Legacy – Roland Palmer


  • ChampFunder is Champlain’s own crowdfunding campaign platform. The platform serves as an opportunity for members of the Champlain community to raise funds for initiatives that are not included in the annual budget and align with the College’s vision, values, and strategic mission.
  • Roland noted that the implementation of ChampFunder allows fundraisers to avoid challenges that arise when using 3rd party platforms such as GoFundMe or Kickstarter. Often with such 3rd party sites, causes will not receive funding if initial goals are not reached. Additionally, it is not always clear for funders that the cause is associated with an official non-profit organization. With ChampFunder, these variables can controlled. That is, initiatives will receive all funds donated regardless of whether or not the goal was reached and donors will receive a charitable contribution receipt for tax purposes.
  • Proposed initiatives do go through an approval process, which is done through the platform provider. The process includes filling out a simple online form, complete with a brief description of the cause and list of team members. Champlain advancement staff have final approval. Upon approval, a SKYPE interview is held with the team and coaching/training is provided. The primary criteria for any given initiative is whether or not it is a Champlain College project. Roland provided that example of support for Haiti. Students raising funds for Haiti relief is not necessarily a Champlain project, however, funding to send Champlain students to Haiti to help recovery efforts would be.
  • Roland was asked to distinguish how this would differ from student initiatives supported by the SGA. He emphasized that this fundraising avenue is additive and aimed at supporting causes outside of the organizations budgeted funding abilities.
  • There was a question asked regarding communication plans for active projects. Roland expressed that the website, as well as the Champlain Explorer, will be available for communicating current initiatives. He added that, ultimately, it is up to the project team to decide how they wish to communicate, projects may not always be inward facing.
  • Roland noted some of the projects currently in the ChampFunder pipeline – including support of an Emergent Media Center 10 year Anniversary celebration, Duane Dunston’s “You Have a Voice” campaign, and senior class gift. In response to a question, Roland noted that the tool will also be utilized when necessary by the Advancement team, including launching fundraising efforts for the Angel Fund.

Champ Legacy:

  • ChampLegacy is the College’s online portal for individuals to find information regarding planned giving and estate planning. Users can create an account to gain access to a number of useful tools and guides, including planned giving calculators and planners. The site is a great resource for those planning for themselves or for others.
  • For more information and instructions on how to create an account, please visit the Advancement Planned Giving website:

VII.  Committee Updates

  • Networking & Recreation – Jared Cadrette
    • The Annual Halloween Lunch was a success, with about 70 people attending and/or participating by dressing up in costume.
  • Communication & Engagement – Roland Palmer
    • It was decided by the committee that monthly meeting minutes will now be posted to the Staff Council blog, rather than sent via email. The minutes will still be archived on the K: drive, however, in order for staff to receive notifications when minutes are posted, they will need to subscribe to the blog. The Staff Council blog can be found here:
  • Staff Welfare & Advocacy – Karen Dusini
    • The committee has an upcoming meeting and, as a result of Modern Think results, will focus on expanding professional development opportunities.

VIII.  Announcements

  • Shaylea reminded attendees of a recent email sent to staff regarding holiday volunteer opportunities through United Way.
  • Champlain College ranks 12th on the Open Doors Report published by the International and Educational Exchange. 53% of students participate in study abroad opportunities.
  • Thank you to those who attended the recent Nations United event. The event had about 100 attendees, including staff, faculty, and students. Lastly, because of its success, the event is slated to be held annually moving forward.

IX.  Closing – if you have questions, feedback, ideas – please speak to me or one of our Executive Committee members