ERAC November 13, 2013 Minutes
Executive Summary of Minutes

Leadership Changes – Denise Strangl submitted her resignation on Monday, November 11, 2013.  She asked that we accept her resignation not only from the ERAC board but entirely from ERAC.  We are now down to 15 people with Denise having officially resigned.  Pursuant to the by-laws, the vice chair becomes the chair.  Tom Yencho has assumed that position.  Tom Yencho and Brenda Bachman as ‘The Board’ asked Carla Kologie to become vice chair and finish what would have been Tom’s term – ending in June.  Carla has accepted.  Carla will bring a lot to the leadership committee.  Everyone who knows and has worked with Carla for the past year, knows that she is talented, she’s very creative, very personable and would be a great asset to the team.  We were thrilled when she accepted the offer.  In accordance with the by-laws, we need to open the nomination to the entire board for approval.  Glenn Strause made a motion to accept the nomination and Jeanne Kassis seconded the motion.  All were in favor – no opposition.

With Denise’s resignation, we now have an open position on the ERAC committee.  There are two options that we can take.  The first is to leave that position open until next election or the other is to elect or appoint someone to the end of Denise’s term – June 2014.  The election membership committee has been asked to meet before the next ERAC meeting which is December 11.  We could tap into the nominees from this past election.  By the December meeting, we can then discuss our plan of action.  Also during the election membership meeting, we need to discuss who will be rolling off in June and how many nominees we will need.  The question was asked if we could ask a person that has recently rolled off to come back on for the remainder of the term.  It might be easier than having another new person trying to figure out what’s going on within the group.  We will need to look into the by-laws to see if that is permissible.  We can function with just 15 members.  The election membership committee will decide how to proceed

Tom Yencho, as Chair, will meet with new members to introduce them to ERAC.  Tom is planning to meet with all new members before the end of the year to discuss expectations, ideas and what ERAC can contribute to the community.

Committee Realignment – A spreadsheet was passed out to everyone.  Previously we had 10 to 12 different committees.  Membership and responsibilities varied significantly.  We are trying to streamline the process and make things more intuitive and a little more collaborative.  We want to build a climate within ERAC of engagement working closely with each other on important priorities and projects.  We wanted a vehicle to generate some good ideas and, just as important, make sure we are able to follow through and act on those ideas.  We want to establish a working structure.  We came up with 4 key higher priority committees.  These committees will meet more frequently because of the types of projects that they are taking on.  We expect some good debates and conversations going on within the committees.  The committees will be:

  • Communications – not just rebranding ERAC and building our visibility across campus    but also how we communicate internally among members, and create a framework to build    off of. 
  • Events – typically ERAC is known for putting together events – Iron Pigs, Brown Bag    lunches, etc.  What else can we do to leverage our visibility around campus?  Are there    programs, visits and professional development opportunities we can sponsor?
  • REACH – very highly successful but takes a lot of time, coordination and effort
  • Campus Liaison program – we’ve talked about it for the past 9 months and feel we are in    a position to aggressively move forward.

We want every member to be on at least one committee.  We looked at who’s on what committee, and how to move some people around.  Everyone, for the most part, is on either 1 or 2 committees and is on 1 or 2 working groups.  The working groups typically meet once or twice a year.  We want to restructure it so we have these working groups that we can call into action when necessary but should not be required or expected to meet more than a few times a year.  We also combined committees that were previous by themselves.  For example, the Spotlight/Public Relations committee and the website committee have been rolled into communications.

We also have ERAC representation that sit on other campus committees.  ERAC has been able to appoint members to serve on these committees and will continue to explore additional volunteer service opportunities. 

This seemed like the best approach but we want to hear opinions and suggestions from everyone.  Where do you stand on this?  Do you think this approach will work for ERAC for this upcoming year?   The overall consensus is that this restructure is good.  It will enable more members to be involved.  Tom asked that everyone please take the time after the meeting to look at the proposed structure.  Let Tom, Carla, Judy and Brenda know if you’re OK with this structure and if you’re OK with the committees that you are assigned to.  We tried not to stray too far from what you were originally assigned to.  Membership within the Events committee has not changed.  We have added Carla and Yatin to the Communications committee.  The Campus Liaison Committee is brand new so that is where we are focusing our attention.  If you’ve been added to a committee and prefer not to be there, just let Tom, Carla, Judy and Brenda know.  We are flexible with appointments.  We just wanted to make sure we got something in front of you so we can start working towards this.  By Friday, November 15th, email Brenda Bachman if you want to switch any assignments.  If we do not hear from you, we will assume that you are OK with your assignments. 

Yatin provided the following comments on the committee restructure:

  1. I think new members should not be "Chair" of Committees/Groups because they are still trying to figure things out.  Second year members (or third year, if none from second year are available in that group) should be Chair. In the Awards Group, Vicki should be the Chair.
  2. For By-Laws, I think Janice should be the Chair in the same vein. Also, it is important to have someone from the "Exec Comm" to be part of this committee. So I would recommend that you add yourself to the group, in which case it would be good to have you as the Chair, since By-Laws is a bit of a delicate committee.
  3. In case of Campus Liaison Committee, since nothing of that sort was available last year, having Travis be the Chair is not a problem. It is a new undertaking. 

We are looking for chair assignments for each committee.  We would like the committees to nominate the chairs themselves.   Before December 11, we are asking that each committee meet as a team.  Using the ERAC Committee 2-year Plan, we would like to assign some strategies, goals and action items for each committee to deliver on.  We want to change the committee culture so that when we meet we are being productive, pursuing strategic action items, assigning responsibility and are routinely following-up. 

When you meet, we would like the following to happen:
    1.    Vote on a chair for the committee
    2.    Spend time reviewing the two-year planning document.  What we would like to see is essentially a two year plan that identifies your charge/mission/vision, an overview of what you think the committee should accomplish or focus its energy on, two to four goals along with actions that are assigned to each, measurement – how you will measure whether or not the goal was successful, responsibility within the committee, opportunities for partnership and collaboration across committees or outside of ERAC, timeframe and any addition resources that you may need.

It does not have to be concrete by December 11.  We would like to come together on the 11th with an action plan to move forward.  It is our hope that the information provided by each committee will enable us to reaffirm our mission statement and develop a cohesive and comprehensive strategic plan for ERAC. 

Absences from ERAC and participation policy – In the by-laws, it says that members are not to miss two consecutive meetings without having an “adequate response.”  Another task for the Membership committee is to define what adequate means.  We have tended to be very liberal with ERAC participation in the past.  We should be proud of our volunteer service and what we accomplish and recognize the talent that we have as a team.  We need to have all on-board and fully committed to ERAC and its goals.  The Membership committee will define what is adequate – what is excused, what isn’t excused and start holding people to those rules.  The expectations when you joined ERAC was that you would be a full-fledged participating member and that should be expected of everyone. 

When Brenda communicates to the team that the minutes are posted, when the next meeting is, etc., members must respond, letting the executive team know if you are not coming and why.  This reply needs to come when the agenda is issued, at the latest.  (As we’ve stated prior, we respect everyone’s schedule and understand there may be conflicts.)    Not responding and not showing up to the meeting will not be tolerated from this point forward.  We cannot rely on the response within Google calendar.

Visibility – the communications committee (Bob, Glenn, Tom, Brenda and newly appointed Carla) has met in the past and started reviewing what is outlined in front of you.  Our goal is to improve communications both internally and outside of ERAC: - How do we rebrand and promote ERAC outside of the board?
    Mentor program (Robert Bruneio) – We would like to assign senior ERAC leaders with newer members to make sure the transition into ERAC is relatively smooth and that the charge of ERAC has been communicated .  We would like to focus a lot of our energy on that and build it out.  When new members come on board we want them to have a sense of belonging.   They will have someone to guide them so they can hit the ground running. 
    Orientation kit (Robert Bruneio/Tom Yencho) – We want to establish a rapport between the members of the board and the new people coming onto the board.  We want to offer an orientation kit that explains exactly what ERAC is, why we are excited to have you on board, a list of project the new people will likely be working on, a list of contacts for ERAC members.  The goal is to have this completed by March, to the best of our ability (given what we know regarding project development at that time).
    New employee brochure (Glenn Strause) – Glenn created a new employee brochure template that outlines what ERAC is.  We want this brochure to be included in the new hire folders distributed by Human Resources.  We would like to have this brochure done for the spring
    Submission form (Brenda Bachman) – A form has been created to encourage the campus to submit questions, ideas, concerns that ERAC can be involved in.  There are some areas (ex:  salaries) that ERAC will not consider, due to the sensitive nature and the overarching responsibility of Human Resources.  This has been stated on the form.  Are there events or opportunities that ERAC can be involved in?  All ERAC members are asked to vocally promote the form – let people know that we are here to listen and represent the campus community. 
    Liaison Program (Tom Yencho) – All members are being encouraged to be proactive to meet with your assigned liaison contact.  A form was passed out last month that consisted of talking points.  Between now and the end of the calendar year, please reach out to your contact and get a meeting on your calendar. 

An email will be sent with the liaison assignments and the talking points.

Brown Bag Update – the following Brown Bags have been scheduled:
    11/14/2013 – Campus Safety – 75 responses have been received
    12/13/2013 – Social Media
    1/9/2014 – Technology – iPad/iPhone
    2/13/2014 – TBD
    3/13/2014 -TBD
    4/10/2014 – Sustainability
    5/8/2014 – Admissions
    6/7/2014 – Iron Pigs

The Events Committee will be exploring possible options that were suggested during the meeting.

Meeting was adjourned at 11:16 am.  Yatin Karpe made the motion to adjourn the meeting and Jeanne Kassis seconded the motion.                           

Respectfully Submitted,

Brenda K. Bachman

NEXT ERAC MEETING will be December 11 in STEPS 102


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