As I begin my second year as President, I wanted to take a moment to thank all the staff who work so hard to make TCNJ a vibrant, dynamic institution. As our student population grows and our state support dwindles, it is heartening to see and hear how so many staff go above-and-beyond their job descriptions to ensure the best possible experience for our students. Being surrounded by such a dedicated group is one of the many reasons that I’m excited to come to work each morning (which must be true for many of us, since TCNJ was again named a “Great College to Work for” by the Chronicle for Higher Education!).
This past year the Senate focused our attention on two critical issues: the new Strategic Plan and the review of TCNJ’s governance system. Many staff members worked tirelessly on crafting these documents and advocating for measures that would keep staff issues and concerns at the forefront. The Board of Trustees formally accepted the new Strategic Plan (TCNJ 2021: Bolder, Better, Brighter) in February, and the governance review document will go out for testimony at the start of the 2016-2017 academic year.
The Senate benefited from many guest presenters last year who kept our membership informed on topics crucial to both TCNJ and higher education as a whole. We were briefed on the Capital Campaign, supporting Students of Concern, Human Resources restructuring and programming, Title IX, and budget forecasting for the coming year.
The Senate actively promoted two very special events on campus last year. First, many of our members participated in a Day of Service in September in honor of Pat Donohue. Then, in November, many Senators supported TCNJ’s first-ever Day of Giving, which raised money and awareness for the Capital Campaign. We also recognized outstanding contributions to governance by naming Nino Scarpati our Joint Governance Award recipient and Chris Larthey as our Senator the Year.
The coming year is an important one, as the future of governance (and our role in it as staff) will be decided. I urge all staff to be actively engaged in this conversation so that our voices remain heard. I am sure that the governance landscape will look somewhat different in 2017-2018, but I know with your support and counsel, we will continue to have a vital presence.
President, TCNJ Staff Senate