Our History: Celebrating 30 Years
In May 1982, a group of contract staff met informally to explore the possibility of forming a representative group to “assess and express the needs and concerns of all contract staff members here at BGSU.” Staff members present at the meeting unanimously passed a motion to form an ad hoc steering committee to investigate and propose an ongoing, permanent organizational structure. Members of the founding group communicated the motion on June 24, 1982, in a letter to Dr. Paul Olscamp, President:
Recognizing the need to establish a representative group to serve as an advocate of contract staff interests and concerns, we move that an ad hoc committee be established to explore and propose an ongoing organizational structure through which this purpose can be fulfilled.
All contract staff received a charter for voting in October 1982, and by November, the first elections were held. Communication continued throughout this process between contract staff and President Olscamp, still president at Western Washington University.
By the beginning of the following year, the group organized as the Administrative Staff Council (ASC), developed a charter (found in the Administrative Staff Handbook as Appendix B), initiated bylaws (listed in the Administrative Staff Handbook as Appendix A), and convened a special meeting on February 1, 1983 to discuss, unexpectedly, an issue regarding a PERS pick-up proposal. The standard was set in March 1983 for meetings to take place on the first Thursday of every month, from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. The Ferrari Award Committee, Merit Committee, Bylaws Committee, Professional Development Committee, and Handbook Revision Committee, (later changed to Personnel Welfare Committee) were established at this meeting. Executive Committee meetings were set for the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month during the lunch hour, although, by committee consensus, any alternate-Tuesday meeting schedule may be followed. The first guest speaker was Dr. Paul Olscamp at the May 1983 meeting, a tradition that has continued each year in the fall.
In August 1983, ASC held its first opening day reception. Monies remaining from contributions to fund the reception were used to create an ASC foundation account. The Professional Development Committee began to sponsor workshops during the first year and later added a luncheon workshop series. Funds for professional development were added to the ASC budget in the 1989-90 year.
Dr. Suzanne Crawford received the first Ferrari Award, established in the name of Dr. Michael Ferrari, which recognizes outstanding university leadership. A BGSU faculty member presented the award to Dr. Crawford in the form of an original work of art. Funding for the Ferrari Award was appropriated from the ASC operating budget until 1991, when the Council campaigned to endow the award. During fall semester 1992, the award was changed from an original artwork to a cash award of $1,000, to be funded subsequently through the Vice President of Academic Affairs area.
In September 1983, Council passed a resolution requesting that discussion be initiated with President Olscamp regarding ASC representation on the University Board of Trustees. ASC Chair Gregg DeCrane, serving his second term, began attending the Board committee meetings and full Board meetings as an ASC representative in the fall of 1990.
Enthusiastic Council members generated strong interest in establishing an Administrative Staff Scholarship late in 1984. The initial goal was to establish a pledge program and award a student scholarship in 1986, from the endowment of $5,000 at that time. The scholarship/pledge program was the first of its kind on campus. Other groups have since borrowed this concept. The goal of $5,000 was reached, and the first scholarship was awarded during the 1985-86 year. Currently, this growing endowment exceeds $89,000. The Foundation periodically announces that it will match up to $5,000 in funds raised for the scholarship.
ASC recognized the importance of providing more opportunities for administrative staff members to socialize with each other. In January 1990, ASC held its first winter reception. GASP (Gathering of Administrative Staff Personnel) meetings were held during the evenings of the ASC meetings. These gatherings discontinued because attendance gradually declined. Council members are investigating other opportunities for social interaction.
Since 1982, ASC has dealt with many issues, hosted interesting guest speakers, and gained representation on all university standing committees. In the first ten years, ASC grew into an effective and well respected constituent group.
Several issues, however, remain unaddressed. In the spring of 1993, the Executive Committee developed a long range plan for approaching these issues in the Council’s second decade. If the past is a prologue to the future, the next ten years will be even more challenging and exciting for the ASC.
Since 1982, ASC has assessed the needs of its constituents; acted on their concerns; encountered challenges from all levels of the University and community; and successfully developed a list of accomplishments of which it can be proud. Most notably, ASC has:
- Produced a professional development day, “Invest in Yourself,” that included attendees from administrative and classified staff, students, and faculty.
- Assisted Human Resources in the preliminary work of the President’s Compensation Plan for Administrative Staff.
- Implemented a new design for the ASC web page.
- Passed a resolution in support of a Wellness Plan for university staff and faculty, to be followed up in successive years.
- In concert with Human Resources, worked to ensure that all units on campus have “merit” award documents and processes in place.
- Raised the number of vacation days from 20 to 22.
- Achieved representation on the Board of Trustees.
- Sent resolutions to the State regarding funding inequities in higher education
- Encouraged and implemented representation from the Firelands campus
- Successfully lobbied for two days personal leave for administrative staff members
- Lowered the waiting period for dependent fee waivers from five to three years of employment
- Served on constituent committees, such as the Health Care Task Force, to ensure adequate representation of administrative staff concerns on critical issues
- Participated in the development of an administrative staff performance evaluation instrument to be used consistently across all campus areas
- Reorganized the ASC election process
- Established Saturday course offerings for BGSU staff, created the Professional Connection Program, and expanded staff recognition opportunities
- Achieved removal of the one-year waiting period for access to accrued vacation.
- Established, maintained, and added to an ASC web site: http://www.bgsu.edu/organizations/asc
While this list is far from exhaustive, it reflects the efforts of a conscientious organization dedicated to meeting the needs of administrators, and, ultimately, all members of the Bowling Green State University community.