Monday, January 13, 2014

Professional Staff Cabinet Representation

Considering that dozens of Vol State employees are designated as “Professional Staff” it may seem odd that they have not had representation on the President’s Cabinet. The situation seemed odd to Vol State Professional Staff member Clarence Dobbins, as well. The now-deceased Dobbins took up the issue with Dr. Faulkner and last semester the President decided to move forward with a plan.  The President asked for initial nominations for the fledgling Professional Staff Council to come from Vice Presidents. That group of Professional Staff then selected Kenny Yarbrough from Student Life as the first chair and Lori Cutrell from Human Resources as vice-chair. Yarbrough has been representing Professional Staff recently at Cabinet meetings.

“It brings parity for Professional Staff, since we do have a Faculty Senate and a Classified Staff Council,” said Yarbrough. “They now have someone to express concerns at Cabinet.”

The other appointed Professional Staff Council members are: Louise Kelly, Academic Affairs; Ken Hanson, Student Services; Jeff McDaniel, Business and Finance; Anne-Marie Calderon, IERPA; and Saranne Winfield, Resource Development. In the future, elections will be held to fill those roles. There will also be at-large positions to represent offices not included in the rather broad categories.

Yarbrough says increased communication will be one big benefit from having a Cabinet rep.

“This is an opportunity for those who don’t get information from the Cabinet to get that information. I will send out cabinet minutes on a bi-weekly basis in an email.”

While prioritization may be one of the primary topics for the new Professional Staff Council, Yarbrough says this is not a temporary change, just for prioritization. He stressed that the Professional Staff Council is here to stay.

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