October agenda and minutes

WSC Meeting: October 2019

Date: October 24, 2019, 10:30 am – 12:00 pm (Paresky 201 – oval room)

Participants: Krista Birch, Nate Cook, CJ Hazell, Shaun Howland, Dawn Jamros, David Keiser-Clark, Madeline Polidoro

Absent: Justine Beringer, John Carvalho, Dave Dewey, Laini Sporbert
Agenda Topics 


  • KUDOS (10:30 – 10:40 AM)
    • No KUDOS to discuss
  • Joint SAC/WSC meeting
    • How can the WSC better represent all voices to the strategic committees? Are we speaking as single voices or as staff representatives
    • Who speaks for staff? (Governance strategic committee)
    • How does searching for diverse pools impact staff? (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion)
  • Suggestion Boxes (10:40 – 10:45 AM)
  • WSC Newsletter Development, Logo (10:45 – 10:55 AM)
    • Try to avoid having too many fluffy items 
    • Have a mission, vision, and goals first before deployment
    • Decided to table this until we know better what the WSC’s intentions and goals are (i.e. first complete the mission statement).
  • 8.5% increase in health care costs (10:55 – 11:05 AM)

    • In the past, the college has mitigated the upfront costs, what are they doing this time?
    • Claims and premiums both went up as well as new add-ons (e.g. orthodontics)
    • Who is the benefits committee? How can people reach them? We will reach out to HR
  • Election updates (11:05 – 11:10 AM)
    • 6 accepted nominations
    • 322 votes- very encouraging
      • What sorts of metrics can we track? For an off cycle election is this number high or low?
  • Strategic Planning (WSC) (11:10 – 11:30 AM)
    • David leading a discussion on developing a mission statement
      • What have other Colleges done?
      • What about hosting people from other Colleges?
      • David and Krista can lend ideas on how to reach out
    • We represent around 900 staff 
    • Create a brand identity
    • Amherst mission statement example
    • We have not received very many comments or feedback
      • Why is that? Are people aware of what we do?
      • Can the staff survey inform the direction of the mission statement
        • Such as pay equity and how are decisions made
    • Develop a sub group for a mission statement
          • David, Krista, Dawn, and CJ. Added Laini (10/28).
  • Williams in the World: Strategic Planning Working Group (11:30 AM – 12:00 PM)
    • Jackson Ennis (student) and Colin Ovitsky (CLiA) here as a reps for Williams in the World
    • How do we engage with committees near and far?
    • 1) How could you imagine staff, faculty, and students becoming more fully and effectively engaged in the community? Farther afield?
      • College housing equity for staff and faculty
      • College does a good job in Williamstown for reaching out to local schools, but what about schools farther abroad? There are many positive interactions with Williams students.
      • How are student athletes interacting with the local community?
      • What does the College do with old computers (e,g, repurpose them as chromebooks)?
      • CLiA has a report on its activities
      • Staff outreach is not currently tracked. How can staff be intentionally brought in outreach efforts? Is this something that is supported by College? For example, dining services have a hard time participating on Mountain Day (last minute notice, long days, etc)
      • Paid volunteer day, utilize staff skills beyond their typical work
      • Where do staff live compared where faculty live to inform decision making?
    • 2) How could you imagine the college as an institution becoming more fully and effectively engaged in the community? Farther afield?
  • Other business
    • Nov 6th and 7th HR is hosting workshops to discuss performance development 

Next Meeting: Thursday, November 21st, at 10:30 am in Paresky 201 (oval room).