Topic: How do staff members contribute to decision making and problem solving at WSU?
Challenge/opportunity: The Administrative Professional Advisory Council (APAC) is an 18-member council which provides institutional-level advocacy in support of administrative professional staff. APAC has been able to move forward on several initiatives as a result of several years of advocacy: Increased professional development offerings, a salary compensation study, and the creation of an online scholarship to cover the gap when administrative professionals utilize the state of Washington’s tuition waiver benefit.
- APAC was part of a charter group of higher education institutions (WSU, Western Washington University, University of Idaho, and University of Washington) who formed the Northwest Coalition of Professional Staff in Higher Education (NCPS) alliance among higher education professional staff organizations to foster cooperation and collaboration among professional staff at all higher education institutions in the Pacific Northwest. NCPS’s primary activity is the planning and implementation of the biennial regional conference and is in its fourth year of planning the conference.
- APAC’s professional development committee has increased significantly professional development offerings system-wide. Working on AP feedback received from campus forums conducted in 2016-2017, and with the support from the Office of the President, the committee has provided professional development opportunities. The “Professional Development Series” consists of nine professional development presentations and events by University and community staff.
- APAC for the past two years has advocated for a salary compensation study to be conducted to ensure equitable pay among administrative professionals. APAC partnered with the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), the Association ofFaculty Women (AFW), and the Faculty Senate to combine respective efforts to obtain and study salary data for WSU Employees. The Office of the Provost is leading this initiative and preliminary data is currently being analyzed.
- APAC has advocated for the creation of an online scholarship to cover the gap of utilization of the state of Washington’s tuition waiver benefit. Historically the tuition waiver program has only been accessible for in-person courses. Beginning with the 2018-2019 academic year, WSU will be allocating a special scholarship to staff for online courses.
Current/future emphasis or next steps:
- Anticipated next steps on the salary study initiative consist of a collaborative partnership with leadership from the vested organizations (APAC, CSW, AFW, Faculty Senate, IR, HRS, OEO, and Office of the Provost) analyzing extracted data in a pilot study providing preliminary/benchmark data for future comparisons, as well as aid in developing the policies and procures for an annual system-wide salary study.
- Anticipated next steps on the online scholarship include establishing the criteria for allocating the scholarship and then posting a call for applications.
- Anticipated next steps for increased professional development offerings are to maintain the number of offerings specifically from the Professional Development Series for 2018-2019, and seek out partnerships with other organization’s professional development committees for an increase of system-wide opportunities.
For more information at WSU:
- Northwest Coalition of Professional Staff in Higher Education
- APAC contact form (for more information on the salary study and/or the staff scholarship for online courses)
NWCCU Standards Reference: 2.A.1, 2.B.3, 2.D.12