In December of 2019, the Staff Initiatives Group (SIG) invited staff members to lend their voices to working groups focused on helping Colgate meet the needs of staff. Our working group is the SIG Staff Representation and Voice Working Group. We were charged with developing a structure that could represent the voices of staff and bring staff perspectives to the University Cabinet for consideration in campus processes and University affairs.
The SAC is the culmination of more than a year of work together in which we reviewed the history of staff voice at Colgate, researched models for staff affairs councils at other institutions, and met with representatives of staff councils from Hamilton College and Cornell University. We also sought feedback from various groups at Colgate, including the Staff Initiatives Group Steering Committee, Staff Affirmative Action Oversight Committee (SAAOC), the Office of Equity and Diversity, and the Department of Human Resources.
The objectives of the Staff Affairs Council are to:
- Increase the sense of belonging, recognition, and value of staff members in their relationship to the University.
- Identify staff concerns and propose recommendations.
- Promote the development of inclusive policies aimed at retaining current staff members and attracting talented new staff members.
- Integrate staff members more fully into University affairs while fostering a culture of mutual support, respect, and professionalism.
The Staff Affairs Council will be an elected body composed of officers, division representatives, affinity representatives, non-voting liaisons, and at-large members. The council will seek representation across positional authority and employment category (exempt and non-exempt; part-time and full-time; supervisory and non-supervisory), and social identity. Elections will be held in June with the goal of launching the council on July 1.
In addition to the mandates laid out in the draft charter and bylaws, we envision the Staff Affairs Council working closely with human resources and with the other SIG working groups to implement the remaining 13 approved SIG recommendations.
Nominations and Elections
Nominations are open from May 14–May 31. If you would like to nominate yourself or someone else (with their permission) to serve on the Staff Affairs Council you may do so using the Staff Affairs Council nomination form. Council members will meet monthly at a time decided upon by the council once it is formed.
- Colgate shall allow regular full-time and regular part-time employees to use a reasonable amount of paid work time (not overtime) to attend council meetings and participate in council activities.
- Paid work time relating to the council should not exceed 25 hours in a year. Normally no more than three hours should be spent in any given week (though council officers may be able to exceed the weekly limit with permission of their supervisors.)
- When using work time to participate in council activities, employees shall request prior approval from their supervisor in order to allow departments to ensure adequate staff coverage.
- Supervisors shall approve employee requested time for council participation unless the operational needs of the department cannot be readily met without the employee’s attendance during the requested time.
You may submit any questions about the charter and bylaws or the nomination process here. You may also reach out individually to any of the Staff Representation and Voice Group members via email.