P&S Council discusses priority planning

Next P&S seminar: Sept. 12 (2 p.m., MU Pioneer Room), "Personal Leadership: Life Skills for Everyday Self Care," Stephanie Downs, ISU WellBeing coordinator

Next P&S Council meeting: Oct. 5 (2:10-4 p.m., Memorial Union Gallery)

A discussion about priority planning, first addressed in July, was the focus of the Professional and Scientific Council's Sept. 7 agenda.

Prior to the meeting, the executive committee compiled a lengthy list of action items brought to council members by constituents earlier this summer. The committee grouped the items into the council's six priority areas:

  • Human resources
  • Supervisory training
  • Workplace environment/nonfinancial benefits (formerly called perks)
  • Inclusion
  • Salary
  • Family leave

Council president Jessica Bell said the executive committee will comb through the list and assign action items to committees. She made no promises about how much the council could tackle this year, though.

"I will tell you that we will not accomplish everything on this list," Bell said. "This is a large list with a lot to do, so don't expect for us to get all this done. But we are going to try to get as much done as possible and make an impact."

Several council members said the priority list may need to be cut back to make it more manageable, perhaps identifying and addressing a top issue.

"Which is our highest priority? I’m not comfortable answering that mostly because these issues came from our constituents, the people we represent. These are all high priorities for them," Bell said.

Tera Lawson, past president and chair of the professional development committee, said she opposed reducing the number of priorities.

"I have a concern about narrowing it down even further because it's literally chopping off something someone wants the council to address, that was a concern of theirs, and we're saying, 'Nope, sorry, not this year,'" Lawson said.

Following discussion, Bell said the committees should be responsible for determining which priorities move forward this year.

"We're trying really hard to not make this an executive committee decision," she said. "You are the representatives of all P&S employees."

Councilors will continue to address priority planning next month.

Other business:

  • Due to employee resignations, three councilors in the division of academic affairs were nominated and seated on the council:
    • Jason Follett, College of Engineering
    • Barry McCroskey, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS)
    • Casey Smith, CALS
  • Jacob Cummings was nominated and approved to continue as secretary/treasurer following his resignation from the post, which he rescinded
  • Teresa Albertson, vice president of university community relations, reported that a P&S Council representative will continue to speak at monthly new employee orientation sessions. Last month, Albertson said P&S Council may no longer be able to speak at the sessions due to an effort to streamline the meetings.