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SUNY Oneonta Institutional Planning

Posts: 26
Darren Chase 2022-03-21T18:04:03-04:00

3/16 Dialogue Session Notes, President's Office

March 16, 2022 Dialogue Session – Classified Staff

  • Looking at repairs needed around campus and making those happen could positively impact students’ lives at college.  There are several residence halls in need of repair – can we modify them to allow for accommodations students are looking for now? More single rooms, kitchenettes, suites, etc?  This would encourage students to pick us over other colleges  - could also get them to stay on campus instead of moving off campus.
  • How can we work with students instead of always policing and disciplining them? For example: Some students smoke and vape in the buildings – can we provide them with a comfortable spot to do so outside?
  • There are a lot of students who take AP and college classes in high school. Can we work with them to help them take classes here – they would be more likely to come here for their degree and graduate early – saving them money, etc.
  • We need to reinforce courtesy and collaboration across the board.  Information for employees about importance of each and every job would help people know no one is more important than others.
  • Everyone on campus is an educator and impacts the college’s success. How can we best be a student-ready college?
  • Insights on inequities related to telecommuting – making this more transparent and equal would help morale. Information about the processes and procedures around current telecommuting information could help.
  • There used to be more opportunity to “move up the ladder” from grade to grade for classified staff.  A reduction in classified positions across campus has impacted this. More barriers to advancement.
  • The staff members who have been here for a long time are an untapped asset. There is a lot of institutional knowledge across campus and sometimes when someone leaves, so does all of their knowledge and that makes it difficult for the person stepping into their shoes – how can we help bridge that gap?
  • Can we provide opportunities for colleagues to get together and learn from each other – or get some training together or from one another?  Sometimes people start and have little or no training and feel left on their own and then wind up leaving. We need to support them and offer tools for success.
  • Filling vacant positions would help morale and burn out. We are losing people in positions that affect how the whole campus operates behind the scenes.  Not always enough people to pick up the slack. Some people get extra pay or over time, and others don’t – this feels inequitable.  When there are new initiatives that impact the work of classified staff – it is hard to accommodate new things when we have positions that have been vacant for prolonged periods of time.
  • Can we look at how and why the process to get searches and positions reviewed and filled takes so long? What budget considerations come into play with staffing issues?
  • Employee retention – we need good people who will stay to get to know the campus, the buildings, the community in order to take care of things long-term.
  • Big picture campus things– listen to student feedback.  Some students order food and don’t walk to dining halls because they are too far from some residence halls. Students feel like they are struggling academically and socially and perceive that things are better at other schools – how can we help with this?
  • Can we require training for everyone who helps students with advising? Some gaps in knowledge identified by staff in academic programs.
  • Can we provide knowledge or training to supervisors and hiring managers about CSEA tests and employment requirements. Eg: new rule for grade 11 positions that require a traineeship for a period of time, this happens in their new position, but at their old pay rate. Pay increase doesn’t happen until traineeship and certain educational requirements are met and supervisors don’t always know this and are asking people to do the work that is supposed to happen after the traineeship.
  • Can we evaluate guidelines for hiring custodial staff? The process dates back to when we were getting hundreds of applications, but now we are getting a dozen or less. The timeline is also long and candidates are finding other jobs in the time they are waiting to hear from us.
  • Staffing problems and concerns are compounded right now – happening across the board.
  • Custodial and other classified staff could offer insights to departments on student questions and needs. Students and families sometimes expect things that we don’t offer or can’t accommodate.
  • There is a good opportunity to have more voices heard by increasing the number of classified staff represented on college committees.


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