November 8 2007
Participants noted that professors and university administrators often attend conferences, but there have not been any for the staff supporting them.
â€œAbout three years ago the executive committee thought it would be a great idea to get together with other councils and see if the issues were the same,â€ said ISU Support Staff Council Chair Kelly Hall. With ISU having the oldest council in Indiana â€" it was started in 1955 â€" Hall said it was natural that ISU should host the event.
Attending were 16 representatives from: Ball State, Butler, and Eastern Illinois universities; Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, and University of Southern Indiana.
Andy Ryan, interim police chief at Butler and chair of the support council, came with five other council members from his university.
â€œIt shows the support weâ€™re getting from our university,â€ he said about the number being able to attend the conference.
When he took over as chair two months ago, he wondered what other schools were doing. Then he received an e-mail about the round table discussion.
â€œWeâ€™re looking for ideas, what works, what doesnâ€™t,â€ he said.
Sylvia Ewert, president of Ball Stateâ€™s support council, said the conference allows for a â€œgood exchange of ideas.â€
â€œWe also get to network, meet other people from around the state,â€ she said. â€œWhen there are questions or issues we deal with, sometimes itâ€™s easier knowing others at universities to gather information.â€
After a meet and greet session in the morning, attendees from other universities observed ISUâ€™s staff council meeting. During the afternoon, attendees participated in a roundtable discussion in which topics included: compensation, benefits, retirement, history, leadership, administration representation and accreditation.
â€œFor myself and other council members it is nice to know other councils have the same issues,â€ Hall said. â€œOne just got a new president. One went through accreditation. We are able to see what role they had in it as staff.â€
â€œItâ€™s interesting that all the staff councils deal with the same things from benefits, compensation and parking,â€ Ewert added.
Hall said the councils plan to have a statewide council once a year with each university taking turns hosting the event.
Contact: Kelly Hall, Indiana State University Support Staff Council chair, at (812) 237-7829 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Writer: Jennifer Sicking, Indiana State University assistant director of media relations, at (812) 237-7972 or at email@example.com
In the first meeting of its kind in Indiana, members of six Indiana and Illinois support staff councils gathered at Indiana State University to discuss issues related to their jobs.