Office of the Chancellor

2007-08 Annual Report

Section 1

2007-08 Annual Report

Nov. 17, 2008
TO: Chancellor Michael Drake
RE: Chancellor's Advisory Committee on the Status of Staff

The Chancellor's Advisory Committee on the Status of Staff completed its seventh year. Established in 2001 to monitor the implementation of the recommendations of the Task Force Report on the staff, CACSS advises the chancellor about both working conditions and the campus culture that affect the welfare of staff at UC Irvine. During 2007-08, CACSS continued its established activities while reviewing its principal functions. These include membership criteria and recruitment, continuing and new programming, and coordinating local activities with systemwide initiatives.

Membership Application and Recruitment

CACSS will forward to you for approval revisions to the membership application form. These revisions include moving from a nomination process to an application process, where membership interest will be solicited from the greater campus community; soliciting involvement from staff affinity groups such as Academic & Professional Women and the Asian American Faculty & Staff Association; and, expanding the makeup of the committee to reflect a greater diversity in title and years of service. These changes are designed to expand participation to a broad representation of employees on the main campus and at UC Irvine Medical Center.

CACSS also is reaching out to the staff at the medical center in an effort to bridge the cultural and distance divide. Staff at the medical center are interested in learning more about CACSS and participating in program offerings; however, work schedules and the distance make participation more challenging.

New Program Development

  • Good to Great Recognition
    The purpose of the program is to encourage and reward units that enable positive workplace environments for excellence. After consulting with Chancellor Drake, CACSS revised the award from an open competition to a recognition certificate program for units that complete staff programs or activities under three categories – Learning, Work Culture and Community Involvement. The Good to Great certificate recognition program is tiered – Silver, Gold and Platinum – rewarding units who continue to improve their work place environments for excellence. During 2008-09, CACSS will seek to finalize the proposal for the chancellor's review. To this end, CACSS representatives from throughout the campus will be solicited to suggest activities and programs and a method to monitor their completion. A proposed budget and outline of the operational logistics should be drafted during spring quarter.
  • Staff Development Strategy Initiative
    Last year, CACSS lent its support towards a Human Resources initiative to create a strategic plan for professional and career development for staff on campus. On Feb. 26, 2008, 160 people from across UCI convened to discuss the future of professional and career development. This Strategic Summit on People Development included individuals from many areas of campus and the medical center. Although the assistant vice chancellor of human resources left UCI, work on this initiative continues, and a draft strategic plan is expected later this academic year.

Alignment with Systemwide Staff Initiatives

The University of California Office of the President is coordinating efforts to address staff recruitment, retention and promotion systemwide. In spring 2008, President Dynes established the Advisory Committee on the Status of Women (Staff & Faculty). UC Irvine appointed two representatives who have participated in planning meetings. CACSS has agreed to serve as a coordinating point for communication between the campus and the advisory committee. This initiative is likely to be an excellent vehicle to raise awareness about gender equity as it relates to staff women. The coordinating campus role of CACSS also extends to the UC Staff Diversity Council, which completed the first annual report on staff diversity in spring 2008. CACSS plans to invite the Irvine campus representatives from each of these advisory committees to its regular meeting for an update and will feature them in future town hall meetings in 2008-09.

Campus Inquiries

  • Bike Safety

    CACSS was asked to lend its support to a student-led initiative to promote bike safety on campus by examining current campus policies. CACSS encouraged discussions between the student group and Parking & Transportation Services to find mutually agreeable resolutions to the issue.

  • Family-Friendly Accommodation Policies
    CACSS received an inquiry regarding family accommodation policies as they relate to staff who adopt. The staff member pointed out that there are no accommodations for parents who adopt. Under the Family & Medical Leave Act, qualifying birth mothers and non-birthing parents as well as adopting parents may take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave without fear of losing their job. Qualifying birth mothers may supplement or substitute paid maternity leave with their accumulated sick leave. (UC Irvine funds maternity leave through disability as provided for by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act.) Beyond unpaid leave under the FMLA, adopting parents are prohibited from these other resources. CACSS recommends that Human Resources investigate how other campuses address family accommodation for staff who are adopting children.

We have welcomed the opportunity to serve on this important committee. We believe that staff are critical to the success of our university, and we appreciate your commitment to making UCI a stimulating and rewarding place to work.

Sincerely,

Douglas M. Haynes
CACSS Faculty Co-Chair
Associate Professor of History
Director, ADVANCE Program

Ramona H. Agrela
CACSS Staff Co-Chair
Associate Chancellor / Chief of Staff