The responses to the survey conducted by the PLU Staff Council in Fall 2018 affirmed that the most important role we play is in making sure that our voices, as PLU staff, are heard by our leadership.
To that end, the staff council arranged two opportunities for members of the staff to have a group conversation with President Belton. Any staff (exempt or non-exempt) were welcome to attend to ask questions or provide feedback directly to the president.
Below is the follow up email that was sent out to all staff after the meetings:
A big “Thank You” to President Belton and all of you who were able to attend the PLUSC-hosted conversations with the president. In case you missed it, here were some highlights:
- Communication: Getting word out across campus in a consistent and timely fashion is a struggle. Discussion on how to better do this, both for employees and students, is ongoing (and feedback welcome).
- An initial solution is to change the format of program leaders and instead do a University Assembly after each meeting of the Board of Regents.
- Compensation: Increase in minimum wage, cost of living, and compression continue to be areas of concern.
- There will be a 2% across-the-board increase taking effect in September, and an additional $300k invested in equity adjustments and promotions. Additionally, the majority of the medical benefit increase cost will be covered by PLU. This $1.6 million investment is a step in an ongoing effort to improve compensation.
- Community: Staff are interested in a variety of topics surrounding diversity, wellness, and investing in the PLU community.
- Change and transition have created anxiety additional to the normal pressures of working in higher ed. We are not alone in the challenges we’re facing as a higher ed institution. The Wellness Team is working to provide and highlight opportunities for self-care, including some support groups. (Contact HR for more info.)
- PLU is making significant investments to improve the Lute experience as well as remain competitive among our peers. This includes maintaining our commitment to the Liberal Arts, and also investing in key growth areas such as Nursing.
- Diversity continues to be an area of focus and progress includes the appointment of Jennifer Smith as Dean of Inclusive Excellence and the Board of Regents and Presidential Search Committee participating in implicit bias training. Work in this area must continue and conversations around that are ongoing.
We hope that those of you able to attend a session found it useful and will help in communicating what you learned with your peers. Should you have any additional questions or suggestions, please reach out to us (firstname.lastname@example.org) or to President Belton (email@example.com).