March 1, 2004

PCSM discusses staff survey, travel grants

By Stephanie Stinn

The future of its staff diversity climate survey topped the discussion at the Feb. 24 meeting of the President's Commission on the Status of Minorities (PCSM).

John Hammond, chair of the staff concerns committee, said he received an e-mail from President Jim Wagner, which said the President's Cabinet had reviewed the survey and suggested representatives from Human Resources (HR) help with the study before it is distributed to staff. According to Hammond, HR will be charged with establishing a benchmark from other institutions that have conducted similar surveys and will have results to Wagner and PCSM by the end of the semester.

The survey--which has been in the works since last year--was slated to be administered this month through Survey Monkey, a web-based survey application. Additionally, the results will be analyzed by a team of researchers from the School of Public Health. Staff concerns members had fine-tuned the survey with HR representatives last semester and based it on one conducted at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Hammond called the news "disappointing" and hoped it wouldn't delay the project, since information gleaned from the survey will be key to the group's staff concerns agenda. The group agreed to take the survey in its current form to other president's commission chairs to seek support, and it will send a letter voicing its concerns to Wagner.

In other business, Chris Grey updated members on the annual travel grant awards. Preference will be given to junior, tenure-track faculty, and the money must be used to attend a professional conference. Grey said he will send information to departments both electronically and through campus mail. Deadline to apply is March 15, and all applicants will be notified of their status by April 1.

Chair Nagueyalti Warren asked members for chair and chair-elect nominations, and Hammond and Donna Wong were nominated, respectively. Officer elections will be held at next month's meeting. Warren said she will send an e-mail to members to seek nominations for general membership within the month.

PCSM will meet again on Monday, March 22, at 3 p.m. in 400 Administration.

If you have a question or concern for PCSM, e-mail chair Nagueyalti Warren at