Inside Iowa State
January 22, 1999
Council promotes family leave policy
by Anne Dolan
At its January meeting, the Professional and Scientific Council voted to provide $200 to the planning committee of an upcoming workshop, "Family-Friendly Workplaces: Strategies for Academic and Business Communities." The event will be held April 7 on campus and is being planned by an ad hoc group of faculty and P&S staff. The goal of the workshop is to reach central Iowa policy-makers and promote flexible family leave rules that work for both families and employers.
In other activity, vice president for student affairs Tom Hill presented an overview of the student affairs division. Some of the highlights he identified are the Student Answer Center being piloted on the ground floor of Beardshear; the growth of learning communities and plans to expand them beyond academics (for example, a learning team based on interest in wellness); stronger minority student recruitment efforts; the residence department's $105 million master plan to diversify and upgrade student housing; and an all- community effort to preserve the Veishea celebration.
"Iowa State did what lots of schools haven't been able to do," he said. "We had success controlling the drinking without eliminating the event."
Hill also said he plans to hold an ISU conference on race and ethnicity, patterned on a national one hosted by the University of Oklahoma and regarded as one of the most comprehensive in higher education. Iowa State will send a student and faculty contingent to the national conference.
During the noon open forum, employee wellness coordinator Lauri Dusselier explained the wellness program. She said her preference is that employees using the program start by completing a personal wellness assessment. An optional fitness test may be included. The wellness assessment is tallied by computer, and a wellness program staff member reviews the results with the employee.
Dusselier said 600 employees -- more than she had hoped -- have requested a wellness assessment in the first four months of the program.
Employees may receive a copy of the personal wellness assessment through campus mail by requesting one from the program office, 4-3240.
In other business:
The next council meeting begins at 2 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 4, in the Memorial Union Gold Room. The noon open forum will include a discussion on sexual harassment, led by Espinoza.
- Assistant provost Ellen Rasmussen reported she is the new liaison to the council from the Provost Office and will handle P&S personnel issues in the office.
- Assistant vice president for human resource services Carla Espinoza said she and Rasmussen have begun discussions on developing a policy that addresses long-term vacancies created when department leaders opt to not fill vacated positions immediately. Policy considerations include compensation for colleagues whose workloads increase due to the vacancy.
- Dorothy Sally, manager of the P&S classification system, reported that the current edition of the P&S Handbook (including the updated sexual harassment policy) will be available online after legal services staff complete a review with minor revisions. The updated edition of the handbook is in a separate review process.
- The council tabled until the February meeting a motion that all council members sign a pledge honoring an alcohol- free Veishea this spring and encouraging other P&S staff to do the same as a way to support the event.
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