January 28, 2014

Summary: Director of Athletics Ron Wellman provided an update on improvements to the Lawrence Joel Veterans Coliseum, SAC President Jennifer Killingsworth summarized results of a survey focused on SAC meeting attendance, committee reports were presented, and more.

-Director of Athletics Ron Wellman presented an update on various initiatives within Athletics and the University. Highlights:

  • As expected by the administration, the Lawrence Joel Veterans Coliseum was in need of substantial renovations and updating when the University acquired it from the City of Winston-Salem last summer.  The City did not have the resources to maintain it properly for several years leading up to the sale.
  • The coliseum, purchased for $8 million, may need up to $20 million in renovations, improvements in the years ahead.  The University has a detailed engineering report on the building.
  • Structurally, the coliseum is sound.  Numerous systems, though, require improvement, including technology, HVAC, electrical and more.
  • The University is developing a strategic plan for making improvements, which are expected to occur in stages.  Some work was necessary as soon as the sale occurred.
  • The University launched into an immediate effort to improve the coliseum, starting with rebuilding the facility’s numerous concession areas, which required extensive work in order to meet local building codes.  Several steps have been taken to bolster security at the coliseum, including changes in security staffing for events and the addition of many security cameras inside and outside the facility.  Handrails have been added to stairs in the lower-level seating area, already.
  • Consideration is being given to how many seats should be in the coliseum and how should some of that seating be presented.  Might there be family zone seating?  Clubs rather than suites?  Many options are being carefully examined.
  • The University is considering potential uses for the coliseum, as part of long-range planning activities.
  • The University has established a relationship with the Greensboro Coliseum to book non-University events in the University’s coliseum and other nearby Athletics facilities.

More about the Meeting:

  • SAC President Jennifer Killingsworth summarized the results of a survey regarding SAC meeting schedules and potential speakers.  Some results:  Respondents favored Wednesday and Thursday morning meetings as well as a set date and time for all monthly meetings.  When asked why they missed meetings, 41 percent replied they were too busy, while 38 percent had a problem with time/day of meetings and 28 percent were unaware of meetings.  Speaker and topic suggestions: Football coach Dave Clawson, Dr. Anthony Atala of the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, SRI update, HR/benefits, updates from various major campus departments, climate survey update.
  • Killingsworth provided an update on the Integration Collaboration Committee, which was developed last year.  The joint SAC/Faculty Senate Committee was approved last August by Wake Forest/WFBMC senior administration.  The activities of the committee stalled in the fall for a number of reasons, but effort is underway now to move the committee toward various achievements before June. View the presentation here.
  • The SAC voted to move its May meeting to June 3 (9:30 to 11 a.m.).  Location to be determined.

Standing Committees

  • Communications Committee: Kevin Cox reported that the Communications Committee produced its first electronic newsletter and is planning monthly newsletters in the future.  It is unlikely to be produced in at least two summer months.  Cox also mentioned that the newsletter features the SAC’s new logo, introduced in 2013.  He explained that staff members may go to the SAC web site and quickly register to receive the newsletter.
  • Elections Committee:  A nomination/election schedule is being developed and will be presented at an upcoming meeting, according to SAC Vice President Karen Frekko.  She also presented a proposal to change the name of the Elections Committee to the Membership Committee.  The SAC voted its approval. An actual change of SAC bylaws to reflect the name change will be submitted to SAC for a vote by e-mail an electronic survey.
  • Events Committee: Greg Keener reported that the Events Committee is planning an SAC event for the summer, most likely in June, that would be open to staff and families during working hours at Reynolda House.  The event would be held outdoors, weather permitting.  More details are being settled, but the event is likely to offer food, music and games.  The committee decided against organizing an event that would allow for some staff to receive free basketball tickets, which had been done in recent years.
  • Fringe Benefits Committee:  Members of the Fringe Benefits Committee joined with a Faculty Senate committee in a Jan. 28 meeting to discuss potential benefits changes with administrators.  Projections for the fiscal year 2015 budget were presented.  The combined group plans to make a recommendation regarding benefits that would keep the budget flat.  Anyone with questions or concerns about the process is encouraged to contact members of the SAC benefits committee, including Badgett, Doug Bland, Matt Clifford, Jeff Gaither, Ted Johnson of IS, Ted Johnson of University Police and Artanzia Yates.
  • Professional Development: Angie Jones reported that she and Sherry Ratliff met with John Champlin (Human Resources/Professional Development Center) to further discuss SAC-proposed changes for how PDC operates.  Jones said they reviewed previous points made in a meeting last April and made more recommendations.   Short term suggestions included Champlin receiving a list of new University hires quarterly and his sending a personalized email to each recommending the benefits of the PDC, as well as setting up a PDC booth at the annual HR benefits fair.  For the long term, Ratliff offered to assist Champlin with tracking and reporting solutions to keep better records on employee participation in PDC classes, especially with CORE.  They also recommended that PDC create learning paths for new hires, with suggested classes for the first several months of employment.
  • Work/Life Balance—Lori Sykes reported that the committee is pulling together a list of resources that Wake Forest and affiliates offer for staff.  Such resources may be available at no cost or at discounted costs.  For instance, staff may take advantage of services offered by the Z. Smith Reynolds Library, as well as events at Graylyn and Reynolda House.  The committee intends to use various ways to inform staff of the numerous resources available.  The new SAC newsletter can be helpful with that process.

Outside Committees

  • Capital Projects:  Artanzia Yates reported on projects underway, in design and under consideration.  She mentioned ongoing work at Joel Coliseum, design and planning for such projects as a Scales Center renovation, recent major improvements to a Campus Recreation field next to Reynolda Village (sometimes called waterfall field), and continuing consideration of an extensive renovation to residence halls on Hearn Plaza.
  • Kevin Cox, SAC representative on the Faculty Senate, reported that the Senate discussed at length the size of the University’ endowment per student.  Senate President Hank Kennedy announced that the endowment per student is around $150,000.  That contrasts with President Hatch’s recent report to the Senate that the number is around $100,000 per student.  Kennedy said that the endowment will be the focus of more Senate discussions in the future.  A Senate committee was set to meet with Vice President Jim Dunn soon to discuss the endowment.  Much of the meeting focused on potential benefits changes for faculty and staff in the new year.  Senate Peter Siavelis reported on plans for a faculty/staff committee to meet with University administrators to learn more about potential changes. In addition, Kennedy announced a new ad hoc committee called the Faculty Senate Committee on Administrative, Faculty and Staff Compensation.
  • Finance Advisory Committee: Karen Frekko reported the committee met in December to discuss the current financial state of the University. It is a group comprised of student leaders, faculty leaders, representatives from the SAC and administrative leadership.  A financial review and facilities condition report was shared with the committee.  The unrestricted operating and capital budget planning for fiscal year 2014-2015 was also discussed.

The next meeting of the SAC will be at 9:30 a.m. Feb. 25 in Benson University Center, room 401 C/D.  Lib Edwards of the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) will be the speaker.

Category: Minutes