Nominations being taken for Vitalization Project

Cassie Buchman, News Editor

Nominations to be in nine task force workgroups for the Vitalization Project are being accepted through Wednesday.

Eastern President David Glassman announced the Vitalization Project during his State of the University Address.

The workgroups will analyze programs and services on campus and recommend how the administration should allocate future resources to them.

Workgroup members can recommend a program or service deletion, continue with increased resources, or for changes to be made to enhance its marketability.

The president and other administrators will then review these recommendations.

Glassman requested nominations from shared governance organizations such as the Council on University Planning and Budgeting, the Faculty Senate, Staff Senate, Student Senate, Civil Service Council, Council of Chairs, Dean’s Council, and the vice presidents.

People are also encouraged to nominate themselves by emailing [email protected]

Staff Senate President Joann Daugherty said information on the Vitalization Project was given at the latest staff senate meeting.

“They are going to take it back and make decisions,” Daugherty said.

One of the problems Daugherty sees with the project is the scheduling of the task force workgroups.

With the layoffs that occurred recently, many staff members cannot afford to leave their work area during the day because some areas are short staffed.

“One of the girls on Staff Senate is doing four people’s jobs,” Daugherty said. “If the phone’s ringing all day, she’s working with students all day. There’s no way she can get away.”

Daugherty said this is the case for many departments, which could be a problem when trying to get enough representation on these workgroups from staff members on campus.

Paul McCann, vice president for business affairs, was present at the Staff Senate meeting and emphasized a need for the workgroups to be representative of all areas on campus.

“They don’t want all faculty on there or (Administrative and Professional employees) they want a cross-section of everybody,” Daugherty said.

Despite their busy schedules, Daugherty said there was interest in joining these groups with many people asking questions, though no concrete decisions on nominations had been made.

“They’re going to have to look at their responsibilities with their families and their job, of course, with some of them working split schedules,” she said.

Blair Lord, vice president for academic affairs, said he thought of a few people to nominate but the person he chose decided to nominate himself or herself already.

When choosing whom to nominate, Lord said he considered the person’s wisdom, creativity and problem solving ability.

“(Someone who will have) creative solutions for helping the university move forward,” Lord said.

He did not comment on what changes he would want to see the workgroups make.

“The provost isn’t going to try to interfere intentionally or accidentally,” Lord said.

McCann said he has been asking staff from his department to provide suggestions of people to nominate.

He said as of yet, there are a few people asking questions, but nothing set in stone.

McCann also declined to comment on what changes he wants to see come from the Vitalization Project or what he wants them to focus on.

“That’s not for me to decide,” he said. “That’s for the committees to decide.”

Student Body President Catie Witt sent an email out to student senators detailing aspects of the Vitalization Project.

Though she has not heard anything back from senators regarding nominations, she wrote in an email that she would love to see a variety of students taking part, including student leaders not in the senate.

“This is a position that will require time, but we also want students that are willing and able to attend these meetings and work diligently in order for this to be successful,” she said.

Witt added that the student should be available and dedicated.

“Critical thinking and creativity will definitely be used,” she said.

Cassie Buchman can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]