ERAC November 14, 2012 Minutes
Executive Summary of Minutes

Committee updates:

  1. Awards – nothing yet.  Have not yet met regarding the brain storming session ideas.  Plan to meet prior to next meeting.
  2. Bylaws – Bylaws was tasked with reviewing ERAC’s charge and trying to bring it up to date and deciding if changes are needed.  The bylaws committee is looking forward to meeting prior to the next ERAC meeting.
  3. Communications – The communications committee met and talked about how we could create a bigger and better awareness regarding ERAC.  Also, how do we make sure we get on the radar screen of Senior Officers so they communicate with us and ask questions that we can bounce off the ERAC committee earlier in the process?  There is a lot coming up in regards to re-branding, 150th campaign, campus planning, etc.  There are a lot of things on the horizon that ERAC can weigh in a little more strategically on and be more vocal on. 
    Tom Yencho sits on the 150th planning committee and will broach the subject of having an ERAC member on this committee with co-chairs Vince Munley and Joe Kender this Friday, 12/14/12.   The communications committee will also reach out to Van Dobson, John Welty, Fred McGrail and Deb Protchko regarding the other events mentioned above.
    Is there a better way that we can recognize the staff?  Make sure ERAC is out there among campus.  Looking for ways that we can recognize employees that are separate from the traditional awards programs – they could be a little more frequent, a little more casual.  Have people take pictures with their smart phones and send to ERAC with why the employee should be recognized.  Would like to engage the campus community and design communications around that.
    Human Resources is looking into a Lehigh Facebook page.  People could go there for a wealth of information.  Whereas going to a specific department Facebook page will give you information only pertaining to that department.   Duke University does this successfully with it’s Working@Duke facebook page.
  4. Events – 27 tickets have been purchased for the Iron Pigs game in June.  Tickets are $10 each.  They are loaded tickets meaning you get $2 off food or merchandise.  ERAC purchased 160 tickets. 
    Brown Bag on Technology was pretty much a sold out ssession.  Over 84 people rsvp’d.  75 attended.  This session has been requested to be done again.  People want more information on technology, social media, etc. 
    For future Brown Bags, Denise Blew has contacted ERAC regarding a presentation on the Stabler Land Development.  Admissions has also been contacted regarding its annual brown bag session on the admissions application process for Lehigh employee children.  The events committee should be having another Brown Bag session in January.
  5. Faculty/Staff Relations – The committee met two weeks ago.  The committee was formed to actively address faculty/staff relations.  The committee met with Provost Council last December.  Provost Council suggested meeting with each college.  The committee met with each of the deans.  For the College of Education, Gary Sasso spoke with his faculty and staff.  For the other colleges, the committee members were invited to the respective academic department chair meetings.  In January, the committee will be meeting with the Provost Council again to discuss what has been done to date and to have each dean report out to the Provost Council how things went within their college.  Have changes been noticed? 
    The committee will ask for examples of faculty and staff pairs who work effectively together.  Susan Christy will interview them by phone to discover why they work so well together.  What is really helpful in their relationship?  Susan Christy will compile that research.  The idea is that we would invite Susan Christy back to campus, have a luncheon and invite the faculty and staff pairs who participated in the research.  Susan would report her findings.  We would also have additional sessions.  This is an effective way to show best practices that emphasize positively the ways faculty and staff are working well together.
  6. REACH – The coherts have had two sessions so far.  One of the sessions was with Career Services.  They are looking to lock in speakers for remaining sessions.  There are six sessions total.

Exempt/Non-Exempt Relations Discussion – Would like to explore relations between exempt and non-exempt staff.  People are not always aware of what the distinction is between the two.  What the implications are for how people work with each other and some of the benefits that are provided to each group – whether it’s in terms of work schedule flexibility for exempt staff or more defined hours for non-exempt staff.  Possibly launching a conversation within ERAC regarding distinctions between the two or what are the different ways we work and more importantly, how do we work together.  Eventually perhaps having this as a more public conversation but try it out within ERAC first. 

For offices with not many staff, is there a “coverage” pool so that people could attend Brown Bag lunches or training sessions and still have office coverage?

What are different departments doing to connect employees and build teams – perhaps gather and post “best practices.”

ERAC committee members should reach out to people to see if there is an interest in exploring this initiative further.  Committee members should compile findings and forward to the board prior to the next meeting.

ERAC could have a Brown Bag lunch to make people aware of the differences between exempt and non-exempt staff.  See what questions arise from that session.

Meeting was adjourned at 11:08 am.  Glenn Strause made the motion to adjourn the meeting and Tom Yencho seconded the motion.

Respectfully submitted,

Brenda K. Bachman

NEXT ERAC MEETING will be January 9 in Linderman 300


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