What is Staff Forum?
The Staff Forum’s general purpose is to provide an organized means of communication and participation for staff in the shared governance system of the College. The specific purposes of the Staff Forum are:
- To strengthen the institution and its staff by recognizing, encouraging, and supporting a high level of professionalism in its workers and policies/protocols/practices.
- To create a collective voice for staff and the issues/concerns brought forth by staff members.
- To create more transparency across the institution regarding decision-making.
- To educate and seek understanding regarding issues and opportunities facing the College and its staff.
- To help create a culture of civility, equity, productivity, wellness, and high morale for all who work and study at the College.
The Staff Forum provides an opportunity for staff to identify and address issues relevant to staff and to be involved in, and informed of, discussions of major issues shaping the College’s future. The Forum uses a robust system to seek out agenda issues/concerns, interests, and ideas from its members, and promotes active participation of its membership within Berea’s integrated continuous learning community. A robust system for agenda setting provides for the regular, anonymous, and thoughtful solicitation of concerns, issues, and ideas from the staff members. It also regularly seeks direction about what kinds of educational or communication opportunities in which the staff would like to engage. Issues of significance to the entire campus community are engaged in the Staff Forum as well as other venues of the shared campus governance structure. The Staff Forum offers advice and helps shape issues that will be decided in other venues of the governance structure. It may articulate and bring policy proposals forward for consideration by such groups as the Administrative Committee, the General Faculty Assembly, and/or other key offices or departments. Staff Forum co-chairs seek to meet regularly with the Administrative Committee as issues of mutual concern arise. In this regard, it serves in an advisory capacity to administrators and other decision-making bodies.
The Staff Forum seeks to improve the quality of life at Berea College for its students, faculty, and staff by fostering an open and positive environment throughout the College community and through mutual understanding, recognition of contributions, and respect for the worth of the individual. The Staff Forum supports the achievement of the College’s mission as identified in the Great Commitments.
The membership of the Staff Forum consists of all non-student employees except those who are members of the College Faculty. It is led by two co-chairs elected for staggered three-year terms from its constituency, one exempt worker and one non-exempt worker. By vote of the body, one of the elected co-chairs will represent the Staff Forum on the Executive Council. The body elects from its membership an advisory group to solicit agenda items and create special working groups.
Staff Forum Meetings
Meeting time and place is set when the academic year begins. Meetings are called by the co-chairs at these designated times. Additional meetings may be called by the co-chairs as necessary. The agendas for the meetings are set by the co-chairs in consultation with the advisory group. Attendance at Staff Forum meetings, although voluntary, is encouraged and considered work time. While essential services need to be considered, supervisors should notify employees of Staff Forum meetings and encourage participation. All employees, both faculty and staff, are welcome at staff forum meetings.
Presenting at the Staff Forum
Do you or your area have a topic you would like to present at the Staff Forum as part of a future meeting? Have you seen a great presentation around campus or at another meeting that you would like to see presented to all staff? If so, simply contact any member of the Advisory Committee or the Staff Forum Co-Chairs and let them know. We can then determine with the group when/if your topic seems like a good one for us to feature on an upcoming agenda. Be sure to have a look at our Staff Forum Presentation Guidelines while putting together any presentations!