Staff Council Meeting Minutes – October 2017

Staff Council met on Thursday, October 19 at 8:30AM in Lakeside 101/102. Below are the meeting minutes (approved on November 15, 2017) for your review. These minutes can also be found on the K: Drive, located at K:\Staff Council\Staff Council – Meeting Minutes\June 2017 – May 2018. Please send any recommended revisions to prior to the November 2017 meeting.

I.   Welcome – Call meeting to order (Nic Anderson, Facilitator) 

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

  • A motion was made to approve, motion was seconded, and the September meeting minutes were unanimously approved

III.   CATMA Update – Katie Martin

  • Champlain College, along with UVM and UVM Medical Center, is a founding member of the Chittenden Area Transportation Management Association (CATMA). CATMA began 25 years ago and seeks to provide transportation programs and incentives for area organizations in an effort to minimize the number single capacity vehicles.
  • Katie emphasized that all Champlain employees are eligible to receive benefits and participate in a variety of commuter programs offered through CATMA. Among these programs is the bike/walk to work reward program, which allows employees to earn rewards based on how frequently they commute using alternative methods of transportation.
  • Katie went into detail regarding Champlain’s impact. 112 employees have created their online CATMA profile. Currently, over 244,000 miles vehicle miles have been avoided, resulting in over $6,000 saved and almost 57,000 lbs. of CO2 Since CATMA started tracking modes of transportation in 2000 until now. Champlain employees have decreased how often they commute in alone by 20%. However, over the last 2-3 years there has not been any meaningful shift.
  • Carpooling was the topic of some conversation as well. Katie noted that the rewards/incentives offered through CATMA are very similar to those detailed in the bike/walk to work program. Additionally, CATMA has an internal database that they manage which allows them to match individuals who commute to/from the same areas. The question was asked whether or not there are tools available for employees to seek carpool matches on their own. Katie responded that CATMA’s database is managed internally, however, the State has a tool which may provide such options, called Zimride. Katie also encouraged individuals to seek carpool partners among their peers at Champlain.
  • A question was asked whether or not there is a cap on the amount covered by the Guaranteed Ride Home program. Katie mentioned that there used to be a $50 limit, however, based on trends of use, the cap has since been removed. The Guaranteed Ride Home program grants eligible employees a free cab ride home in case an emergency arises on a day that they use an alternate mode of transportation to work and you need to get home.
  • For more information regarding CATMA programs and incentives, as well as the process for enrolling, visit Also, Katie’s full presentation can be found HERE. 

IV.   2020 Strategic Plan Updates – Jen Sweeney

  • The 2020 Strategic Plan was created in 2010 and later revised in 2012, primarily to make the section regarding Diversity & Inclusion initiatives/goals more robust. In 2016, President Laackman asked Jen and her team to take a deep dive into the 2020 Plan and explore relevance of stated objectives and report to cabinet the progress toward metrics. As a result, it was determined that, overall, the objectives stated in the Plan are still relevant, however there were areas that needed to be refined and/or reconsidered based on progress. In June 2017, those refinements and revisions were approved.
  • 85% of the 2020 Strategic Plan consists of measurable objects (i.e. metrics). Currently, the College is at 86% progress toward such metrics. Jen noted that the updates to the Plan, approved in June, impacted 17% (45 individual metrics) of measurable objectives.
  • A breakdown of the updates made to each section of the Plan can be found within Jen’s presentation slides, HERE. Also, to view the entire updated 2020 Strategic Plan, please visit the Futures Initiative website at
  • A question was asked regarding the level to which departments will be held accountable in regards to the updated metrics. Jen mentioned that stakeholders from all departments were involved in formulating the June updates and any changes made to institutional goals/metrics were informed/influenced by current departmental goals.
  • The question was asked whether or not discussions of a future strategic plan, 2025 for example, have occurred. Jen noted that conversations have started among the cabinet about planning for a follow up to the 2020 Strategic Plan.

V.   Consortium Technology Initiative – Shelley Navari and Andrew Dubuque

  • The Green Mountain Higher Education Consortium (GMHEC) is comprised of Saint Michael’s College, Champlain, and Middlebury College. The technology initiative began approximately 18 months ago and is aimed at seeking systems solutions which address various institutional business processes (e.g. HR, Finance, Advancement, etc.). By doing so collectively, the GMHEC increases its buying power, likely resulting in reduced costs for member institutions. The end goal of this initiative is to find a system which increases efficiencies across each institution’s business processes while also maintaining their unique identities, demonstrating innovation and changing the higher education paradigm.
  • Shelley noted that a similar collective process was previously used to identify a benefits provider for GMHEC members, resulting in improved costs for disability coverage, etc.
  • As of now, GMHEC has signed Blackbaud as the system for Advancement processes. Shelley explained that there will be 3 instances and 1 implementation, with Blackbaud being the implementation partner. Advancement system implementation will begin 1/2/2018.
  • Oracle has been identified as the platform for human resources management as well as finance functions. Oracle’s student product is on price hold as they continue to monitor the technology roadmap and develop systems that are best suited to GMHEC’s needs. There will be one instance of Oracle and GMHEC is currently evaluating implementation partners.
  • Shelley mentioned that a crucial part of the planning process among GMHEC institutions is to review various business processes in all areas. The GMHEC is not operating under the assumption that any one institution has the best process for any given area.
  • For a detailed look at the timeline and governance structure specific to this initiative, you can view Shelley and Andrew’s presentation slides HERE.

VI.   Announcements

College Council

  • CC is shifting focus of meetings to be discussion based, focusing on campus-wide themes/topics of interest to advise President Laackman. Suggestions of themes/topics can go to Christina

Communications continuing to go out detailing the new budgeting process for FY18-19

Blood Drive

  • Thank you to everyone for donating/helping. Our unofficial numbers are 107 pints donated yesterday, which is a record!


  • Zen of Knitting stress relief program is being held through October and November. This year, the program is slightly different in that the College is participating in the Warm up America program. In this program, you will knit a 7×9 inch square and we will put the squares together to make an afghan for a family at COTS. Champlain will supply the yarn and needles for you to complete your square(s)!
  • Check out the People Center weekly communications for all upcoming wellbeing opportunities

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