Classified Staff Council
February 19, 2004
309 Education Building
PRESENT: Jennifer Weist, Ann Lester, Beverly Jones, Barbara Phillips, Stephanie Bragg, Heidi Mahaney, Francine Jurosko, Steve Leach and President Bradley.
No revisions were made from the Minutes of the January meeting.
BOARD OF GOVERNORS: A presentation to the Board of Governors has been rescheduled for March. Jennifer Weist, new Vice President for Classified Staff, will do an informational presentation.
ONE-STOP SHOP: President Bradley gave an update. The Advising Center will be moving to the Fireside Room. The Business Office will be moving into the Advising Center and two faculty will be moving. The President will be meeting soon with Mike Burns, Michael Belmear and Rick Porto regarding these moves.
The plan is that the only new staffing will be the secretaries who will be released from the academic departments in the summer. All the secretaries will be notified this week from Dr. Fidura. This should lesson the anxiety of not-knowing who will be released. There will be lots of meetings and lots of training.
The President plans to meet with the secretaries from the academic departments as soon as he knows who they will be. Their skills will be improved, their abilities to apply for new jobs will improve. This is not a statement as to how hard someone is or is not working, but it is a statement that all of us will be doing things differently because of the budget cuts. Their pay grades will be adjusted by their summer work, but no one will be paid lower.
The Legislative Budget office has said we have six more years of bad budgets to look forward to. This means either budget cuts every year or not pays raises or both. Everyone will be doing things differently and becoming more flexible. Faculty is complaining of doing administrative work and classified staff work. Classified staff is complaining of doing the work of administrators and faculty. The President feels this means we all are doing things differently than we used to do and this probably will not change. We will probably have fewer specialists and more generalists – or maybe a specialist in some thing and a generalist in several things – in order to meet the needs that our students have.
The idea for this is that students have poorly-defined questions and don’t know who to go talk to. The One-Stop Shop should have people trained enough to answer 75 percent of their questions and probably take care of most things at this point. People not at the desk at this time can be doing the paper-work part of their jobs. This should help the productivity of individuals as well as the students.
We also need to keep offices open longer, probably 7:30 until 7 pm – and come up with some equitable way of sharing this burden.
The plan is not finalized yet because Mike Burns and Doug Dobbins planned for a Tiosc in the middle of the hallway and the fire marshal will not allow this. This would be near Admissions. Some of the Admissions and Registrar’s office personnel will go into where the Business Office is now located.
Steve Leach asked about the selection to release the secretaries in the summer and if this came from the School Chairs. The President said the School Chairs were asked to identify who these would be. At least three have been identified so far. We all need to become more knowledgeable – particularly the secretaries.
The President plans to meet with these secretaries to discuss any concerns they may have.
The President stated that a concern now from the chairs is how much release time can be given to these secretaries for training before summer. They will be trained during the spring and some dates have been set.
There are real telephone issues in Hard way in the summer which a solution has not yet been found. The President said we are looking at companies that will do this. They are given access to Banner and will answer student’s questions, such as financial aid. Every phone call that goes unanswered is a potential student who is either successful at FSC or never comes here.
The issue of telephone banks is that it is a tough job where the supervision is almost military-style, supervisors are listening in on phone conversations, and it would be very difficult for us to do a good telephone bank with state employees. Because of the precision of talking on the phone the President wants to look at outsourcing a telephone bank. Mike Burns has talked with different companies about the telephone banks, one company thought we may be too small. The President feels the three areas needed most are Admissions, Financial Aid and the Registrar’s Office. The pone calls are usually for fairly simple things, such as a transcript or why the hold up on their financial aid check, where someone can go on to Banner and answer their question. We are getting more off-campus students who cannot come to campus.
These issues are still being addressed and are a part of the recruiting and retention efforts to solve this. The One-Stop itself will not do this. We do need to find a way to get the phones answered. A phone bank in offices was considered but unlikely, WVU had 19 people doing this off-campus last summer.
Financial Aid may be the easiest because the rules are usually uniform from school to school. If a company is helping with federal financial aid for ten different schools, then the rules are pretty much the same.
When Dr. Bradley was asked about the cost of hiring a company to answer hones, he said that we are actually putting $50,000 into Hardway to solve this problem, $10,000 will come from reassigning each of the secretaries, although this is probably not enough to fix the problem.
As the needs of our students are changing, we have to change also. As people expect service, we need to change to give them service or someone else will.
Jennifer asked the President about the copy of the initial plan of the One-Stop Shop which was recently submitted by Doug Dobbins. The territory issues have been resolved. Those involved in this plan are Mike Burs, Rick Porto (Ruth & Regina), Michael Belmear (Housing), and Marion Rose (Advising). This involves an overlap of functions that expand over the campus, other than the two Provosts. There has been one staff meeting of all those offices involved. There is no grad detailed plan but this will be something we will have to feel our way through. We will need to make decisions as we go.
Those involved in this will be pretty much everyone. But everyone needs to be up front to cycle employees through to keep their skills up, to answer questions for financial aid to admission, etc. A binder will be made to have answers to frequently asked questions.
The One-Stop should cover most everything except for enrolling in classes. The President said this should also prevent lost students from wandering up and down the hall and unsure where to go. The old way was one day of registration, line up and wait to take care of everything there. People don’t want this treatment anymore, they want it at their convenience.
The location for the One-Stop Shop may stay in Hardway or could be moved later to the Turley Center.
Four new advisors will be hired also for advising. Space for next year will be tighter. The back side of Colebank will be gone. New students in the resident hall will total 200 so the cafeteria will be tighter but we will have 940 more parking spaces.
Barbara Phillips asked about the new positions for Enrollment Services, they will be rotated in and out, what they will be doing when they are not pulled from enrollment services for the half day. Steve Leach explained that the duties for the One-Stop are widespread. While in Enrollment Services they will still have a specialty and several generalities. There would be a One-Stop area and they will still have a home office. Two new people started about two weeks ago, one in the Registrar’s area and one in Financial Aid. They will be working towards this with the One-Stop with the four-hour shift people.
President Bradley said that in a year from now Steve will be looking at everyone’s PIQ, their pay grade level and evaluating those. They will be looked at through the process. The Program Assistant Position is there for this.
The President feels we will be successful by the number of student s who are helped quickly and efficiently when the leave the desk, as opposed to how many students will need to see someone else to meet their needs. The plan is to have four people working the One-Stop Shop at a time. At busy times, phone calls coming in will be forwarded elsewhere. Hopefully, with Banner, everyone can answer general student questions. We will also try to have most services available on weekends.
We should also have pay-on-line available by summer or fall, where you can pay by check or credit card on-line. People want to be empowered to be able to do things themselves as it is more efficient.
The goal of the One-Stop employees is to give better service to students and to empower employees to better help the students, not to make them work harder or to make them feel they are not doing their jobs.