Staff Resources

Staff Empowerment Council

The Staff Empowerment Council (SEC) helps build bridges and encourages connections among members of the MICA community.

The purpose of the Staff Empowerment Council (SEC) is to advocate for the best interests of staff members across all divisions. We aim to foster an environment of respect and equity in line with MICA's mission and vision and especially the commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and globalization. We serve as a forum for discussion and to keep staff informed on matters of interest. We provide feedback to Human Resources and Senior Administration on policies, procedures, and programs that impact staff, while also planning and organizing professional development opportunities.

The SEC fosters transparency among divisions and across levels of administration, striving to enhance the quality of the work environment and fostering the personal growth and development of MICA employees in partnership with Human Resources.

Staff Empowerment Bylaws (Approved December 2021)

Spring 2022 SEC Zoom Meetings

  • Wednesday, January 12 , 1:00-2:00pm (Minutes)
  • Wednesday, February 9 , 1:00-2:00pm, (Minutes)
  • Wednesday, February 23 , 1:00-2:00pm, (Minutes
  • Wednesday, March 16 , 1:00-2:00pm, (Minutes
  • Wednesday, April 13 , 1:00-2:00pm, (Minutes)
  • Wednesday, May 11 , 1:00-2:00pm, Zoom Link

Past AY 2022 SEC Zoom Meetings

SEC Accomplishments (2018-Present)

  • Governance-related

    • Updated Bylaws, with a push towards creating a voting, representative body for all staff.

    • Established an Executive Committee made up of organizational officers and subcommittee chairs.

    • Formalized Governance: Between 2018 and 2021 the Staff Engagement Committee renamed itself the Staff Empowerment Council and made significant changes to its structure and governance.

    • Great Colleges: Between 2018 and 2020 was involved in coordinating the Great Colleges survey and response with the Human Resources Department. Now this work falls under the auspices of the Great Colleges Steering Committee.

      • There was a 67% survey response.

      • Held an SEC-specific focus group with representatives from Great Colleges to provide more granular feedback.

    • Shared Governance Workgroup: This group was established in response to a collective call coordinated in Summer ‘20 by SEC, SVA, and FEC after lack of community involvement in institutional COVID-19 response. 

      • Creates a forum to discuss the lack of Staff representation in institutional governance and advocate for the empowerment of staff within new structures. 

      • Collaborate with peer constituencies, the President, Provost, and the Board of Trustees on horizontal power structures to move the institution forward.

    • Established an Outreach Committee: in Fall ‘20, SEC established an Outreach Committee to work on building the community that participates in SEC and attends meetings.

      • Coordinated a group of 16 volunteers to create 509 hand made, personalized Holiday Cards for MICA staff and faculty and facilitated their mailing (replacing SEC’s previous involvement in the Festivus holiday party).

      • Facilitated two trivia events for a total of 39 participants.

      • Created and disseminated information flyer to invite staff to SEC meetings.

      • Created the Kudos Corner for staff to publicly recognize and congratulate one another. 

      • Targeted 12 departments on campus that have low SEC participation and executed one-on-one outreach to department heads to invite staff and share information.

    • Independent Budget Administration

      • Prior to AY 2020-2021 SEC’s budget was administered through a complex relationship with other departments including HR and Events. The Executive Committee worked over two budget cycles to disentangle its expenses from other areas of the college and take full fiscal responsibility for its annual operating budget.

      • Created a separate program in the HR Cost Center in order to plan and implement a budget

      • Consulted with the Finance Office (Brigette Sullivan and Jim Zablosky) in August of 2020 to determine if the SEC budget could be it’s own Cost Center. Finance indicated that the SEC budget is too small and must remain a Program within the HR Cost Center. Finance Workday does not allow Program Managers to have approval authority. Leanne, SEC Treasurer, and Janine (due to Leanne’s extensive furlough) were made program analysts to monitor the budget.

      • Plan to revisit after the new VPPB&C will be in place. There is agreement with HR staff that the SEC budget needs to be reviewed.

  • Staff Support

    • Awarded to 2 staff in 2020 

    • Awarded to 4 staff in 2021

    • Staff Professional and Creative Practice Grants: SEC launched a grant program in 2019 to provide professional development and/or creative practice support to staff who do not have access to these things through their departments and to mirror the types of grant support afforded Full- and Part-Time Faculty.

    • Professional Development Day: In 2020, SEC relaunched a Professional Development Day for all staff in need of professional development. Sessions have included work on professional and life skills, design and art making and cultural awareness.

      • Over 100 employees attended the 2020 event

      • 100+ staff responded to participate in the virtual 2021 series 

    • MICA COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund: 

      • Formally established June ‘20 in response to multiple months of SEC advocacy and a formal letter submitted to Sammy and President's Council May ‘20. Now under the auspices of Community of Care.

    • Town Halls: In response to a lack of campus-wide spaces for communication and discussion, SEC established Town Halls in 2018.

      • Facilitated questions on behalf of staff at the new school wide town halls on topics such as the compensation study, budget, and more.

      • Coordinated with HR and Administration to have presentations from epidemiologists Anthony D. Harris & Jonathan D. Baghdadi.

      • Coordinated with HR and Administration to facilitate a presentation to all staff on 2021’s HR Relaunch.

    • Established MICA Parents and Caregivers: In Fall ‘20 a group of faculty and staff coordinated to support MICA’s parents and caregivers.  

      • Their ongoing work includes planning, recommending fostering “Speedy Meetings” policy language on meal breaks and new video camera policy (coordinated with Community of Care) 

      • Facilitated and coordinated monthly Caregiving During Corona gatherings.

    • Community Driven Conversations: In collaboration with FEC, SEC established a series of staff and faculty-driven open conversations around issues of reopening, relaunching HR, and more.

  • Annual Reports

 

Follow-Up to SEC Staff Professional Development Day

Recordings and resources/handouts from the sessions are now available!

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