On the work of the WSC and issues faced by staff
An elected body, the Williams Staff Committee (WSC) provides suggestions and input to the senior administration and the broader college community, proposes initiatives that improve staff thriving on campus, contributes to the richness of our community and enhances the college’s mission of providing the finest possible liberal arts education. The committee seeks to increase the visibility of staff on campus by:
- addressing ideas and concerns brought to the committee,
- advancing their role in the life of the college by assessing staff roles on campus and advocating as needed
- and by fostering inclusion and participation in the College community.
- Brings ideas from the staff to senior administrators and in return, serves as a group that the senior administration may consult for staff input on college issues, excluding terms and conditions of staff employment.
- Provides open and direct communication within the staff community.
- Makes recommendations for staff representation on campus committees, including standing and ad hoc groups, and working groups.
- Advises, as appropriate, staff members who sit on other standing and ad hoc committees that address issues concerning— or of interest to— staff.
- Advises staff on individual needs or concerns.
- Identifies other ways for staff to engage with each other, students, and faculty in an effort to promote community and to make staff a more visible, involved and recognized part of the wider college community.
Broadly speaking, there is a morale issue among staff on campus; that is, morale is quite low despite many employees reporting pride in their work and a high level of collegiality in their office/department. A number of factors impact this issue, the most pertinent perhaps being staff compensation and a lack of staff representation and staff voice on campus. Many staff express concern over the college’s current pay structure and the lack of transparency surrounding staff compensation. On a similar note, the format for performance evaluations is cumbersome, not directly linked to merit raises, and inconsistent in its implementation across staff departments. The place of staff in campus decision-making processes at a faculty-governed institution is also something that the WSC has been trying to navigate. The committee is not challenging the principal of faculty governance; however, we are hopeful that staff will begin to have a place in decision making processes that directly impact staff job responsibilities and the staff community more broadly.