Three groups gave special orders presentations to the Faculty Senate at the October 8 meeting.
1. Michelle Piekutowski announced some new requirements for tracking graduate assistant time. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requires tracking of hours for anyone working less than 30 per week, since employers are required to provide health insurance to anyone working over 30 hours a week. Starting October 4, graduate students who are Clemson employees are required to record their work hours, and they may not work more than 28 hours each week. HR will be sending an email to all graduate assistants and faculty and staff who supervise graduate assistants informing them of the new requirement to record hours.
2. A panel consisting of Leon Wiles, Chief Diversity Officer, Abel Bartley, Chair for Commission on the Status of Black Faculty and Staff, Jerry Knighton, Director of Office of Access & Equity, and Brett Dalton, Vice President for Operations & Finance, presented several ongoing diversity initiatives to the Senate.
Leon Wiles explained that he was working to craft accessible and inclusive policies, procedures and practices and to ensure diversity in student enrollment and faculty employment. The Campus Climate Task Force is reviewing the results of the 2012 Campus Climate survey and will be making suggesting ways to improve campus climate. The President’s LGBTQ Task Force was recently approved by the Board of Trustees; this group will be examining policies and procedures that adversely affect the LGBTQ community at Clemson.
Jerry Knighton stated that he was working with Institutional Research to identify underrepresented demographic groups. While Clemson has been successful in implementing policies to ensure diversity, the university failed to meet some of its goals related to faculty diversity. Knighton explained that the Office of Access and Equity was working with departments to promote inclusive hiring practices.
Abel Bartley explained to the Faculty Senate the role of the President’s Commission on the Status of Black Faculty and Staff. The Commission makes recommendations to improve campus climate for African Americans. Currently, the Commission is working to provide more open forums to allow members of the African American community to have direct access to the President and ask questions. Bartley highlighted the literacy program for staff and recognized Karon Donald’s leadership in this program.
3. Megan Che and Julia Brumaghim from the President’s Commission on the Status of Women gave the Senate an update on childcare for Clemson faculty. The President’s Commission of the Status of Women wants to continue the conversation on childcare during the presidential transition. The Commission will administer a survey to determine the percentage of faculty and staff that currently need or will need childcare in the future. Clemson University is a top-ranked university, but it still does not have childcare. The Commission has worked with the Provost, and the Board of Trustees was willing to hear from outside vendors for a business plan for a childcare center to see if childcare was feasible. The Commission will continue to dialogue with the Board of Trustees on the possibility of childcare at Clemson.
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