Ms. May asked what "sensitivity to work-life concerns" means in the statement.
President Todd explained that the University now has a Work-Life Committee,
and that Committee recommended the adoption policy. It is sensitivity to the fact that
you have more than just work. There are other policy changes that the Committee would
like to implement, such as supporting elderly parents. A report from the Committee has
been submitted, and the sensitivity of the administration is to implement some of their
recommendations. While the administration makes promotion and tenure decisions on
work, it is sensitive to the work-life issues. One of the policies that received a very good
response is giving the birth father time off when a new child comes to the family. These
same privileges apply to adoptive parents as well. This had not been done before. He
mentioned that flexibility in work schedules is another one and noted that there are places
within the University where individual departments will be more relaxed about things
whereas some other departments may not be. The Committee is trying to make proposals
across the board so everyone can be treated equally.
Ms. Sparks asked how this statement differs from the previous statement.
President Todd said that adding the "Top 20" to the statement was clearly one of
the differences in the statement. He reviewed other items in the previous statement and
noted new items in this statement. He explained that they tried to reduce it to a shorter
list and encapsulate some of the past ones into this one. They did add specific
responsibilities pertaining to out-reach and work-life.
President Todd reported that Dr. Retia Walker started her Outreach Committee,
and that Committee is now in place. He said that he had asked Dr. Walker and Dr. Jeff
Dembo, Chairperson of the Senate Council, to start looking at ways to incorporate some
of the service and outreach functions that faculty may perform into the promotion and
tenure process. That has not been done that effectively, and the administration is trying
to get serious about that.
Mr. Williams said that he thinks everyone understands the importance of what
they are about to do, but he wanted to emphasize the importance of what they are about to
do. In the establishment of the new Vision, Mission, Values Statement for the
University, the Board looks at the document that is being presented to them and approves
it as a Board. By doing this, the Board is saying to the administration, "yes," we agree
with how this has evolved within the administration, and we agree that these are the
values that we embrace. We agree that this is indeed the mission and the vision. He said
that these, in his mind, are marching orders. These form the foundation for the Strategic
Plan that will be brought to the Board, probably next month, for final approval. He said
that he just wanted to spotlight this because it is just not something that the Board
routinely is doing. The Board does not do this often. It has not done this in five years. It
is probably one of the most significant statements as a Board that they can make.
President Todd said that a lot of faculty and staff have been involved in this
through the "Top 20" Commission and the Futures Task Force. The Strategic Plan is