Staff Senate presentation to the Board of Trustees
I am here representing my Staff Senate colleagues and all TCNJ Staff. I would like to thank the Board and President Foster for allowing me this time to share a brief update on the work of the Staff Senate.
The Senate currently maintains a roster of 73 members: 45 full-time members and 28 associate members from across campus. This past year, our members filled over 80 seats on Senate and college-wide committees and councils across TCNJ’s governance structure.
Just recently, we held elections to fill 12 seats for next year’s Senate and for the third year in a row, these elections were seriously competitive, evidencing our staff’s sense of engagement and desire to be part of Shared Governance. As a result, we filled those 12 seats with 5 reelected and 7 newly elected senators and gained several new associate members. Staff Senators come from almost every division of the College and represent a vast array of position types, lengths of service, and professional skills. We continue to be proud of our diversity and the active engagement of staff in governance.
Across this past year at our monthly meetings, we were fortunate to host President Foster (3 times!!!). She initially met with the Senate in September, again in April to outline her Budget Framework and TCNJ institutional Priorities, and once more in May alongside Treasurer Ricketts to outline the FY20 budget. We also had the pleasure of hosting 3 Cabinet officers, as well as AVPs and one academic Dean who all brought key campus announcements and concerns forward for discussion and input by staff. Staff Senators provided feedback on all of the policies that were reviewed and approved today by Board committees and several that have not yet made it out of governance. The Senate also took an active role in the Inauguration Ceremony for President Foster with Senators Jim Spencer and Chelsea Watson representing staff on the Inauguration Committee.
In working to help give back to our community, the Staff Senate sponsored a shoe drive for Soles for Souls (spell it out for understanding) and with the help of Staff and Faculty, donated over 600 pairs of shoes to those in need. In May, the Senate sponsored “Dress for Success” where donations of professional clothing were collected and donated to TCNJ graduates as they prepared for hiring interviews. The Senate also hosted social events on and off campus, most recently “TCNJ Staff Senate night at the Trenton Thunder.” We oversaw the awards process for the Helen Shaw Staff Excellence & Special Achievement Awards, which were awarded to Mark Forest, Health and Wellness – Student Affairs, Maura Moore, Record and Registration and Meghan Sellet, Disability Support Services.
The Staff Senate also took on three new initiatives during the 2018-2019 academic cycle:
First, under the guidance of President Foster and in conjunction with Dr. Pogue, we sponsored TCNJ’s first Annual Staff Recognition Awards program.
- 2019 Staff Recognition Awardees were:
- Outstanding New Employee
- Chelsea Jacoby, Title IX / Student Conduct Investigator, Student Affairs
- Lifetime Achievement Award
- Joan Pageau, Professional Services Specialist, Student Financial Assistance
- Unsung Hero Award
- Amy LoPrinzi, Professional Services Specialist, CELR Center
- Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Award
- Jamal Johnson, Senior Assistant Director of Mentoring and Retention, Center for Student Success
- Staff Member of the Year as nominated by Faculty
- Rachel Lichtenberg, Program Assistant, Interactive Multimedia
- Staff Member of the Year as nominated by Staff
- Gem Perkins, Assistant to the Provost, Academic Affairs
- Staff Member of the Year as nominated by Students
- Scott Leusner, Sergeant, Campus Police
- Outstanding New Employee
- Another new program, in the fall of 2018 we held a ceremony for the first annual award for Shared Governance contributions, named in honor of President Emerita R. Barbara Gitenstein. Joe O’Brien and Chris Larthy received the award in its first year. This is a peer elected award from amongst active Staff Senators to recognize those individuals each that best embody the shared governance values of former President R Barbara Gitenstein. In her own words “I believe shared governance is an embedded value in our community.” The R. Barbara Gitenstein Staff Senate Governance Award seeks to acknowledge the Staff Senators who are recognized by their peers as having put in the time and effort to make our governance process a success. The award nomination timeline was updated for 2019, and on June 5th Devon Manfredo became our second Shared Governance awardee.
- Finally, the Staff Senate Executive Board is currently in the process of soliciting feedback from Senators (Full and Associate) and will outline four talking points that will be included in a State of the Campus document that will be submitted to President Foster in the future.
The Staff remains collectively excited for the future of TCNJ under the leadership of President Foster, and are looking forward to continuing our partnership in the collective leadership and stewardship of this institution.
Thank you for your time this afternoon.