Staff Council Meeting Minutes – April 2017

Staff Council met on Wednesday, April 12 at 9:00AM in Perry Presentation Room. Below are the meeting minutes (to be approved on May 25, 2017) for your review. These minutes can also be found on the K: Drive, located at K:\Staff Council\Staff Council – Meeting Minutes\June 2016 – May 2017. Please send any recommended revisions to cbostock@champlain.edu prior to the May 25 Annual meeting.


I.  Welcome – Call meeting to order (Shaylea Scribner, Facilitator)

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

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

III.  Updates from Advancement – Regina Farrell, Annual Giving Director

  • Regina introduced new Vice President of Institutional Advancement, Robert Caldwell. Robert comes to Champlain with many years of advancement experience, most recently serving as Assistant Head of School and Chief Advancement Officer at The Holderness School in NH. He has also served in the Canadian Coast Guard as an inshore search and rescue officer. Since starting in January, Robert’s focus has been on getting to know Vermont, the Champlain community and its donors.
  • Regina gave a brief update on employee giving. So far in 2017, employees have donated roughly $30k and approximately 30% of full time employees have participated. Regina noted that 2017 is a non-campaign year. In comparison, 2016 (which was a campaign year) saw $66k raised from employees with 52% full time employee participation.
  • The most common funds to which employees have donated include the general operating fund, the Angel fund, named scholarships, and Dean’s Funds.

IV.  Enrollment Update – Lisa Bunders, Vice President of Enrollment Management

  • Lisa described the current enrollment cycle as unusual, mainly due to changes to the national landscape. The College has met its goals related to number of completed applications (5,000) and accepts (3,700), which means the funnel is in a healthy state. However, we are behind where we were last year with respect to deposits received (goal of 620). Lisa anticipates the numbers to increase as we approach the May 1 deadline for deposits.
  • The question was asked whether or not a student making a deposit means they are fully committed to attend Champlain. Lisa noted that that is not necessarily the case. While Champlain’s deposit is considerably more than other schools, at $800, there is opportunity to receive a partial refund if withdrawn before the May 1 deadline.
  • The College recently held its first Admitted Students Day. The event was highly attended despite inclement weather. The next admitted students day is being held next week. 1,000 people have registered, which includes roughly 350 prospective students.
  • A question was asked regarding the law passed in New York that allows students to attend state schools for free. Lisa noted that enrollment is down significantly for 2018 in the mid-Atlantic region, and the new law could be a contributing factor.
  • One influencer that Lisa mentioned which may affect enrollment patterns is competitor panic. That is, competitors are responding to lower enrollment numbers by offering additional monetary incentives to potential students. While this may have impact on Champlain’s enrollment numbers, there is no plan follow the trend of such competitors. Another likely influencer is shift of student profiles and demographics. Lisa noted that more Latino students are applying and, in general, current prospective students tend to be needier and/or not as willing to relocate for college.
  • Lisa was asked to describe which majors are a concern and which are bright spots for enrollment. The bright spots include Cyber and Data Analytics, primarily due to the high level of Faculty and Dean interaction with prospective students/families throughout the admissions process. While number of students is not a concern for the ITS division, there is opportunity to build upon resources and tactics in order to attract more students who identify as female. EHS is a concern, mainly due to the higher price point in comparison to competitors. There are conversations happening to expand EHS programs to include an entrepreneurial aspect.
  • The question was asked whether or not the requirement to pick a major may affect enrollment. Lisa responded that many admitted student events are heavily focused on the specific majors, therefore may not be as relevant or attractive for undecided students. The College is working to build programs to help students decide their major. For example, there is opportunity to expand current summer programs to include a focus on career exploration and create parent programs that focus on their child’s transition to college.
  • Lisa ended by noting the Veteran Services Office has seen a 58% increase over last year. Additionally, the Office of International Education is hoping to have 10 international students in the coming year.

V.  Academic Affairs Update – Laurie Quinn, Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs

  • Laurie began by giving a brief update on the Freedom of Expression project. Since its launch in February, the group has held a number of sessions and conversations with campus groups to gain input from faculty, staff, and students. Laurie noted that the group is hoping to have a final draft ready to present to the Board in May.
  • Laurie expressed that the goal of the institution is to create an environment that promotes student wellbeing. Part of that wellbeing is students’ academic success. Laurie noted that her office has been working on targeting strategies aimed at decreasing the number of unsuccessful students. While much of these strategies are driven by retention data, there is much to learn from student stories and conversations.
  • Laurie provided an update on faculty. Faculty are currently focused on current and future program development. Many have been heavily involved in recent admitted student events. Laurie reiterated that their interactions with prospective students and their families is a crucial component of such events.
  • With the academic year coming to a close, the Faculty will begin end of year assessment activities, the largest of which is Faculty Collaborative in May. Laurie noted that the structure has shifted from being heavily focused on administrative updates to now providing more time for peer collaboration and reflection.
  • Faculty promotions have been approved by the Board of Trustees. Laurie provided a brief overview of the faculty promotion process. Individual faculty members are eligible for 2 promotions throughout their careers, with a minimum 6 year gap between promotion applications. The process requires professors to compile a substantial portfolio for review which includes reflections on teaching, student feedback from all courses, a letter from their respective Dean, sample syllabi, CV, and peer testimonies.
  • Laurie was asked to describe the faculty search process. Faculty prospects visit campus on three separate occasions throughout the interview process. The process runs from January through May and each prospective faculty member is required to hold a teaching demo which is open to members of the Champlain community. Laurie noted that the search process has been praised in faculty reflection. Currently, offers have been made to individuals to fill 2/3 open faculty positions.
  • The 2020 strategic plan describes an ideal mix of 75% of classes being taught by full-time faculty (FTF) and 25% taught by Adjuncts. Currently, roughly 50% of classes at the College are taught by FTF. Stiller School of Business has the highest number of courses being taught by FTF (74%) and CCM has the lowest (48%). Laurie noted that there are conversations happening among each division as well as faculty senate to gauge whether or not the 2020 vision describes the best use of resources with respect to Faculty/Adjuncts. While it is typically viewed through a retention/academic success lens, Laurie’s office is exploring student performance data to determine what effect Part-time/Adjuncts may have and whether or not student access to FTF has a significant positive impact on success.

VI.  Committee Updates

Staff Welfare – Dan Selicaro

  • The committee remains focused on working with the People Center to expose opportunities related to professional/career development available to all staff.

Communication & Engagement – Roland Palmer

  • With Staff Council Executive Board 2017/2018 elections approaching in May, Roland noted that the slate of candidates will be communicated by the end of April. As a reminder, the open positions for the 2017/2018 Staff Council Executive Board are: Vice President, Secretary, and Board Member (3)

Networking & Recreation – Jared Cadrette

  • Details are to be shared shortly regarding the summer “Staff Social” event slated for June 2 as well as upcoming pop-up events.

Manager’s Roundtable – Roland Palmer

  • The last MRT meeting focused on performance management processes

College Council – Christina Erickson

  • The group met on March 24 and is focused on revising the College Council bylaws. Christina noted that there is opportunity for the bylaws to more accurately define the purpose and focus on community.

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

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