Administrative Faculty Committee hosts lunchtime event with senior administrators

Faculty engaged in transparent conversation about growth, resources and the future; ‘full-court press' situation in timeline of Campus Climate Survey

Diversity and Inclusion Associate Dean Melanie Duckworth talks to attendees at the Administrative Faculty Committee's 2019 Spring Brown Bag event.


3/7/2019 | By: Natalie Fry |

The Faculty Senate's Administrative Faculty Committee hosted its annual brown bag event Wednesday, March 6, 2019. In the Harry Reid Engineering Laboratory, nearly 40 attendees engaged in "a transparent conversation about the University of Nevada, Reno's growth, resources and future," which also served as the event's theme.

Panelists included University President Marc Johnson, Executive Vice President and Provost Kevin Carman, Vice President of Information Technology Jim McKinney, and Diversity and Inclusion Associate Dean Melanie Duckworth. Faculty Senate Chair Terina Caserto moderated the event.

Questions and topics posed to the panel included faculty salary issues, the current climate on campus, IT wages and positions, accessibility resources, administrative space and more.

The best way to improve life on campus is to Speak your truth. Campus Climate Survey 2019. Take your survey Feb. 19-Mar.15! unr.edu/truth

President Johnson opened the discussion with a positive remark about what he commonly hears from students and parents.

"Our campus is known to be a friendly place when compared to other institutions by visiting students and parents from out of state," he said.

McKinney then provided an update regarding reports to and requirements from the Office of Civil Rights. He said the Office of Marketing and Communications is addressing and helping update websites, software review and testing processes are being addressed, and other accessibility guidelines and resources are being made available.

"We're in a much better place now than we were a year ago," McKinney said.

Executive Director of Marketing and Communications Thomas White provided more background and answered questions regarding website accessibility.

"This is a challenge and will require many hands to remediate," he said. "We have to have our entire website - internal and external - accessible by March 2020."

White further explained that the corrective action plan due to the Office of Civil Rights next spring will require all content be accessible by December 2019 in order to make the 2020 deadline.

Vice Provost of Academic Affairs Jill Heaton was in attendance and talked about space allocation and administrative office needs on and around campus. It was mentioned that the Nevada Historical Society building and the Nevada Judicial College space are areas for potential expansion.

"The currently proposed moves will not relieve all pressure, but it is a systematic way to begin relieving that pressure campuswide," she said. "And, when we build a building, we turn it over to the architect to work with the unit to see what needs to be included."

Heaton said space issues should first be addressed to college deans who then need to report to the vice provost's office. Her office is also considering using an enterprise space management software program for future space management.

Duckworth closed the last part of the hour-and-a-half program with a presentation about the 2019 Campus Climate Survey.

"It has been said that we are at that moment of a full-court press," Duckworth said. "The biggest push needs to happen within our inner circles; we have to be willing to take the time to express our concerns in order for change to occur."

Duckworth said that she has heard by many that the University of Nevada, Reno wants to become a campus where we live and work with a level of satisfaction, connectedness, inclusiveness and belonging.

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Lastly, it was noted that transportation could be improved with an online bus tracker.

"Coming in fall 2019," President Johnson assured.

For the second year, Faculty Senate is accepting Administrative Faculty Award nominations for three University Foundation sponsored awards, which include University Foundation Administrative Faculty of the Year, University Foundation Innovative Impact Award and University Foundation Outstanding Leadership/Supervisor. Award nominations are due by 5 p.m., Monday, March 11.

The Administrative Faculty Committee - this year chaired by Asta Ratliff, division operations coordinator for the Vice President of Research and Innovation - conducts studies and makes recommendations on personnel policies, procedures and practices that affect the welfare and employment status of administrative faculty.

The committee is open to recommendations for future speakers and topics, and will accept any observations, comments or suggestions for improving future events. Contact Ratliff at astar@unr.edu. The next Brown Bag event is planned for next spring.

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