Fall 2011 Convocation Speech

Dolores Bainter
Staff Representative to the Academic Senate

Fall 2011 Speakers
August 22, 2011

Ruben Armiñana
President

Andrew Rogerson
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

Ben Ford
Chair of the Faculty

Alex Boyar
Associated Students President

Dolores Bainter
Staff Representative to the Academic Senate

Dolores Bainter

Good Morning.

Welcome to another year of change, austerity, and increased workload. Certainly nothing new for us staff members of SSU. We are masters at making do with diminishing resources. Each year, we face greater and deadlier budget cuts, increased student population and heavier workload. Yet we continue to serve our students, incorporate more work into our routines and embrace change.

How do we cope? We all have our mechanisms for negotiating the evolving aspects of our work here at SSU. Some of us write, or read, or walk, or work out, or just commiserate with each other. Some draw a line of protection between themselves and their work environment. You would be amazed at the variety of skills and talents SSU staff have utilized to cope with the difficulties of our jobs.

SSU offers some institutional services to help the staff. The Staff Development Grant has afforded us with a variety of workshop opportunities from Life Coaching to Tai Chi. I want to take a moment to recognize the committee members who have put in the extra work to make these workshops happen: Vicki Irey - Work Control System Analyst, Janet Henker - Administrative Coordinator, Psychology Department, Janet Hankes - Administrative Coordinator, University Development and Lee Brewster - Information Technology Consultant, Extended Education. Thank you for your efforts on our behalf! Donations to Staff Development are cheerfully accepted!

SSU Employee Services offers staff occasional staff development opportunities, including two excellent workshops this summer. The timely topics of these workshops were dealing with change, and managing emotions in the workplace.  Both underscored the effects of change on us emotionally and physiologically and offered not only coping mechanisms, but also opportunities for transcendence.

Staff Appreciation Day is an important day of recognition for SSU staff members. I want to congratulate our two Staff Excellence Award winners; Sue Bennett - Administrative Information Systems Analyst Programmer, and Ed Liddell - Building Service Engineer for Darwin, the Art Building, and the Recreation Center. I want to thank Kathleen Spitzer and the Employee Services staff, and the amazing Dining Services staff for their efforts to create this special day!

Personally, here are a few of “My Favorite Things” about working at SSU. 

  • The students who lift me up every day.
  • My fellow staff members who share selflessly and work tirelessly
  • The work we do to accomplish SSU’s mission of preparing students to be learned men and women.
  • The beautiful environment created by the dedicated gardening and landscaping staff
  • The constant hope of true collegiality between staff and faculty
  • The challenge of learning new skills, solving problems and discovering insights
  • Participation in  enhancing SSU’s image to the public
  • Doing work that brings me joy

As I enter my final year as staff representative to the Academic Senate, I want to acknowledge the important work done by our faculty senators in the areas of curriculum, faculty rights and responsibilities, and dedication to the SSU academic mission.  It has been an enlightening experience to see Robert’s Rules of Order in action! I look forward to this senatorial year with a mixture of anticipation and sadness.   Anticipation for the issues and challenges faced by the Senate and sadness that this is my last year to be a part of this intellectual stew called faculty governance. I encourage staff members to run for this position. By participating in the Senate, staff members gain greater visibility and strength.

Thank you