Faculty and Staff
The employees of the College make educating students possible, whether through teaching in the classroom or lab, providing student support services, supervising student workers, or working behind the scenes making the campus run smoothly. Carleton is blessed with faculty and staff who are extremely loyal to the institution. They take seriously the responsibilities of working here and take great pride in their own work as well. But just as our buildings and infrastructure require maintenance expenditures, our employees must receive adequate support to maintain their professional skills and to grow with the changing demands of their jobs. This need has become especially great in recent years as financial pressures have challenged us to strive for greater efficiencies and to stay abreast of the constantly changing technology skills required to carry out our work.
An important part of developing a stronger faculty and staff will be increasing diversity. Just as we are committed to increasing our efforts to attract students who more accurately reflect the growing diversity within society, we believe it is equally important to intensify our efforts to attract more faculty and staff of color. Success in one area will feed back positively on and promote success in the other.
Recommendation 1: Adopt new strategies to increase and strengthen the College community of faculty and staff of color
While Carleton has a strong commitment to achieving meaningful racial diversity, and has significantly increased the number of faculty and staff of color over the past decade, we have not been as successful as we would like. Although we do not fully understand the factors contributing to the recruitment and retention of people of color, we should explore new strategies. Possibilities include: encouraging departments to search for minority candidates who are beyond the entry level, tailoring positions to take advantage of identified and promising multicultural candidates, increasing the number of minority pre-doctoral fellowships, and promoting additional diversity programming by all faculty and staff, not just by those of color. We might also explore the possibility of engaging an employment firm experienced in recruiting people of color and be open to "fast track" recruitment of persons of color for middle- and upper-level administrative posts.
Recommendation 2: Intensify our commitment to staff and faculty development
Carleton is fortunate to have biweekly and exempt staff members who are dedicated to the work of the College, actively interested in the lives of the students and each other, and highly motivated towards their own professional development. These qualities will continue to be critical to our success. The nature of the work of the College's staff is likely to continue to evolve over the next decade along with changes in programs and technology. Although we have an active professional development program, the College should take even stronger steps to ensure the continued professional growth of biweekly and exempt staff. The time spent on such activities should be considered an integral part of the work of the College.
The College should encourage the regular use of the appropriate sections in the exempt and biweekly staff appraisal forms for employees and their supervisors to devise and carry out personal professional development plans. Suggestions made to the committee for achieving a greater level of staff development include: providing more encouragement of staff to apply for internal positions leading to upward mobility; budgeting adequate resources and time for workshops, courses, and conferences, both off-and on-campus; promoting and expanding the exempt staff program of sabbaticals; building on the examples of the job classification committee and the redesign committees to seek ways of involving employees in processes and decisions; looking for ways to provide increased job flexibility to biweekly employees; providing opportunities for training of staff who will supervise students in order to optimize the relationship between student workers and their supervisors; and seeking ways to achieve better communication between biweekly employees and the Human Resources Office.
Faculty development has been a high priority of the College for many years. It was one of the three main areas of focus on Navigating the Nineties and we have made considerable progress in providing ways to sustain our faculty as teachers and scholars. The Faculty Development Endowment, the Professional Development Account, and the Learning and Teaching Center are examples of initiatives for faculty development that have been created in the past ten years. Additional efforts to further faculty development and address workload questions have been going on for more than a year through discussions involving members of the faculty, the Dean of the College, and the President. Because these discussions currently are moving ahead in a Faculty Affairs Committee (FAC) subcommittee, we will not address them here other than to say we believe additional development opportunities are important.
Recommendation 3: Reaffirm our commitment to fair and competitive compensation for all employees
Attracting and maintaining the highest quality employees requires a competitive and fair compensation policy. We suggest that the most current wage and salary scales for our various employee groups and geographic markets be reported regularly to the Budget Committee. Such monitoring is particularly important at present because the low unemployment levels in this part of Minnesota may be adversely affecting our competitiveness in some biweekly and exempt staff areas. The Benefits Committee and the Faculty Compensation Committee should work closely with the Human Resources Office and the Dean for Budget and Planning in assessing current compensation levels. Requests for additional benefits, such as creation of a uniform tuition benefit, should be given careful consideration by the appropriate committees.