Welcome to the start of another academic year! I am very excited to represent the incredible staff at The College of New Jersey as your new Senate President. This is my 20th year at The College (if you count my four years of undergrad), and I’ve had the distinct pleasure of working with phenomenal individuals across every aspect of the campus community.
Before diving in to the year ahead, I want to offer a heartfelt thank-you to my three-term predecessor, Antonio Scarpati. Nino did an incredible job over the past six years advocating for staff. He tirelessly insisted that staff have a voice in all matters pertinent to the campus community, whether it was through a search committee for a new Provost or in preparing the Middle States report. Nino has been a mentor to me as I’ve learned the ropes of governance, and I know the entire campus appreciates his service as Senate President.
I also want to take a moment to recognize my Executive Board, who volunteer their time and energy to making the Senate a stronger, more assertive and more visible organization. On behalf of the Senate, I offer my sincere thanks to Vice President Monica Jacobe, Joe O’Brien, Devon Dibella, and new Exec Board members Karen Paterson, Rachel Lichtenberg and Carol Wells.
The 2014-2015 governance year was highlighted by a successful visit from the Middle States Reaccreditation Team, which provided The College with a very strong endorsement of our institutional labors and some sound recommendations that can help move TCNJ forward. This dovetailed nicely with the start of a new strategic planning process that will require input from the entire campus community in the months to come.
As usual, the Staff Senate welcomed several guests to our monthly meetings. We welcomed our new Dean of Nursing, Health and Exercise Science; learned about exciting new professional development opportunities from Human Resources; and offered testimony on a range of governance issues. We also continued our tradition of recognizing exceptional staff at our end-of-year luncheon. Jamal Johnson was named Senator of the Year, Tiffany Youngblood was named New Senator of the Year, and special recognition was given to Carol Wells, Deanna Harkel and Ivonne Cruz.
The year ahead will focus on the work of the SPARC committee and the next iteration of our strategic plan. I urge all staff members to participate in reviewing and commenting on the plan when it is released for testimony, as it will shape TCNJ’s direction for the rest of the decade. As always, we welcome comments and suggestions from all members of the TCNJ community.
All the best,
President, TCNJ Staff Senate