President's Advisory Team Meeting
November 14, 2000
Unofficial Notes by Linda Abresch
Dr. Jerry Miller, Chair of the Forum's Committee on Multi-Ethnic Concerns, spoke about the lack of sustained commitment to a particular course of action in this area over the years. It seems impractical for a Forum Committee to try to run a program. There was general discussion on the best course of action for the future - e.g. re-engineering a current position, creating a new position, designating release time to a faculty member. Before making a decision on this, we should pinpoint the positions that have already been created to address diversity issues on campus and assess the progress that has been made. It is clear that there needs to be a definite course of action in this area as SSU has already been cited for its lack of diversity in the student body. The President made it clear that she sees 4 major areas of concern regarding diversity: 1) Recruitment and retention of minority students; 2) Recruitment and retention of a diverse faculty and staff; 3) Curriculum and "climate" that support diversity; and 4) Helping to build a local community that supports diversity. The President also indicated that her Vice Presidents will have a goal of expanding diversity as part of their evaluation.
Dr. Jerry Miller will meet with Jane Dane, Dean of Enrollment Management, to review her list of suggestions to increase diversity. He will report back at the next President's Advisory Team Meeting.
Linda Abresch, Staff Senate President, addressed changing the campus culture. To encourage better communication on campus, the Staff Senate is encouraging all staff to sign up for e-mail accounts. This leads to a need for computers to check e-mail in areas like Dining Services and the Physical Plant. Jerry Waldron told the President that he would look into this. Then, of course, we need supervisors to recognize the need for employees to have the time to check their e-mail. Next, we discussed whether SSU could donate or sell (for a very small amount) old computers to staff members. Our current practice is to send them to public agencies or destroy them. Once again, Jerry Waldron indicated that he would check into this. Dr. Carol Williamson made a request that we see if we could work out a way so that our SSU/UMES students could use their meal cards at either campus. Richard Pusey indicated that he would follow up on this. Another area of discussion was uniforms that provide only the first name of our employees. This is, of course, perceived differently by different people. Discussions about this topic ran from class structure to racism. Thus, this related directly back to our discussion of diversity. Perhaps we could encourage our employees to consider that there might be a better way to represent themselves to the campus and outside community than with their first name only on their uniform. Richard Pusey indicated that we could address this when new uniforms are ordered.
When prospective students, staff, faculty, and just plain visitors come to campus, how do we appear?