The final staff forum of the Fall 2016 semester was held on November 2. President Pelton gave a brief welcome and then turned it over to emcee Erik Muurisepp (Housing and Residence Life). He invited departmental representatives to announce any new hires in their departments. Next, Rhea Becker led an icebreaker activity, asking everyone to share with another person the idea of their perfect day.
Robert Amelio (Diversity and Inclusion) and Peter Owens (Human Resources) introduced a proposal for a staff appreciation and recognition program. Amelio explained that a committee of staff members convened earlier this year to work on the draft proposal. This proposal was a result of low scores on the Emerson 360: Campus Climate Survey regarding staff recognition. Owens went over the key principles of the program, which included: recognizing both individuals and teams, having a tiered system of awards, and targeting non-manager populations.
Owens then talked about the four tiers. Tier 1 would be non-monetary, Tier 2 would be a $50 award, Tier 3 would be $100, and Tier 4 would be $500. All staff members would be able to nominate their colleagues whose salary grades fall below a particular director level. Attendees were invited to talk with others at their tables and give feedback to the group. Additional feedback can be shared through this form on the website.
Owens wrapped up the conversation by sharing next steps in the process. The feedback will be taken back to the Appreciation and Recognition Committee and a conversation with IT will continue about developing a platform in house. Lastly, a campaign for communicating the program details will be launched before the program begins in 2017.
Next, Anna Feder (Visual and Media Arts) showed a trailer of upcoming films being screened as part of the Bright Lights Series, which takes place Tuesday and Thursday nights in the Bright Family Screening Room. She reminded staff that a row of seats is reserved for staff and faculty at each screening up until 15 minutes before the film starts.
Five lucky staff members were given Boloco gift cards during a drawing presented by Melanie Matson (Violence Prevention and Response).
In his closing remarks, President Pelton provided details of the College’s proposal to lease space at 12 Hemenway Street for temporary student housing while the Little Building is being renovated. The College has submitted an amendment to its Institutional Master Plan to include this leased space, which is under review at the Boston Planning and Development Agency.
The forum ended with an invitation to announce community events and ask questions. Staff were reminded of the Emerson Social on November 7 and it was announced that the Staff and Faculty Holiday Party will be held on December 7. An official invitation is forthcoming.
Nancy Howell (Communications)