Union notes from Union / Management Meeting

Present – Michael Abraham, Prince Charles Alexander,Peter Cokkinias, Helen Lewis, Margaret McAllister, Jeff Perry, Denise Pons-Leone, Stephanie Reich, Wendy Rolfe, Jackson Schultz, David Scott, Elizabeth Seitz, Andrew Shryock, Will Silvio, and Jeri Sykes. Guest: Chi Kim

Management – Larry Simpson, Chris Kandus-Fischer, Liz Tomlin, Andrew Murphy, Betsy Newman, Carin Nuernberg, Michael Shinn, Scott Trach, Jen Burke, Lori Johnson, Jeff Klug, Darla Hanley, Joy Allen

  1. Jackson opened the meeting. We are talking about support for our diverse student populations with disabilities. Professor Chi Kim has prepared a short presentation on the AMT lab for visually impaired students. Four work stations with a recent change that has reduced a support position from 40 hours down to 19 due to a lack of funding.

    Disability services should be more visible on campus, there should also be more faculty support in terms of training and notifications of when the students sign up for class. Faculty could get notification that next semester there will be a student in your class. There is also an element of confidentiality with each student. Part-time faculty are not paid for all the additional time that they are providing for these students.

    Lori Johnson – we would welcome more training. We have had faculty learning committees and they have been very low attended, most faculty look for “just in time” training – you just found out you have a student in your class, now how can you help them. There is an effort being made to have a testing center for students with extended time and special accommodations.

    Scott Trach – we are at the beginning of the process, just now getting a sense of what students needs are. We are looking at the entire process of notification, decision making, etc. more details will follow throughout the spring as we get a total sense. We have approximately 300-350 students with various accommodations. In the spirit of being clear around the policies and procedures, we need clear methodologies about fundamentally changing a course to meet the accommodation – hand written music as a course requirement for visually impaired students can be an issue.

    Larry Simpson – What we are seeing at Berklee, faculty are being expected to do more than they have ever done – many different needs for students – and many that do not identify and we are trying to catch up. We as an administration are dealing with a lot more parents than we ever have. We hear what you are saying, we know you are working hard and go the extra mile. And recording classes is very serious – we are very conscious of the issue and are looking into all the options. We will set up a follow up meeting to continue this discussion.

Union notes from Union / Management Meeting

Present – Michael Abraham, Prince Charles Alexander,Peggy Codding, Peter Cokkinias, Marti Epstein, Helen Lewis, Margaret McAllister, Jeff Perry, Stephanie Reich, Wendy Rolfe, Jackson Schultz, David Scott, Elizabeth Seitz, Andrew Shryock, Will Silvio, and Jeri Sykes. Guests: Michael Johnson and Ani Johnson.

Management – Larry Simpson, Jay Kennedy, Matthew Nicholl, Bill Whitney, Jeff Klug, Chris Kandus-Fischer, Stephen Riggs, Lori Johnson, Scott Trach, Kevin Anderson, Joe Bennett, Liz Tomlin, Andrew Murphy, Dave Ransom.

  1. Larry opened the meeting. We introduced ourselves.

  2. Jackson brought up accessibility issues for some of our buildings. Mac – some buildings are grandfathered and therefore in compliance even though they are not in compliance – ADA, etc. Berklee takes this very seriously overall, the college has invested millions for the 150 conversion for accessibility.

  3. Bill Whitney went over the history of compliance and Berklee’s response over time. 30% upgrades to buildings require updated compliance. Vision for 2025.

  4. We are specifically talking about the Counseling Center and the Health and Wellness Center. Can we look at alternatives for location?

    Mac: we want to take this away and ponder and come back with solutions. Many issues to cover going forward. We always bring in an outside consultant to make sure we are compliant – we take this very seriously.

    We discussed a bullet list of issues and locations, ramp accessibility, Professional Music Dept., accessible ID card readers at building entrances, updates to Braille signage, loss of handicapped parking spaces.

    Jackson: as we discuss relocation one thought would be to bring them to a more central location. We are looking for a resolution before the end of the semester.

    The diversity statements by the college don’t always include people with disabilities.

    Larry: just want to underscore that the executive committee, the faculty, and the college share the same values to make this institution accessible on every level. We agreed to have four meetings in a row to go over these very important issues and are hoping to come to a resolution as soon as possible.

Minutes from Union Executive Committee Meeting

Present – Michael Abraham, Prince Charles Alexander,Dennis Cecere, Peggy Codding, Peter Cokkinias, Marti Epstein, Danny Harrington, Helen Lewis, Margaret McAllister, Jeff Perry, Denise Pons, Stephanie Reich, Wendy Rolfe, Tom Stein, Jackson Schultz, David Scott, Elizabeth Seitz, Andrew Shryock, Will Silvio, and Jeri Sykes.

  1. Danny made a motion to accept the minutes from the previous meeting. Peggy seconded and the vote was unanimous to accept the minutes.

  2. Jeff presented a revised budget. David made a presentation regarding faculty outreach and organizing meetings with food for all faculty and additional faculty outreach. We discussed the budget at length. We are adding another line item for faculty outreach for $7500. Wendy made a motion to accept the amended budget, Stephanie seconded, and the motion passed.

  3. Union/Management meetings for the next four weeks: ADA compliance, discontinued learning support for diverse populations, delayed response to psychological assistance, and the early alert system.

  4. We discussed the evaluation of promotion dossiers by the Union.

  5. Board of Trustees meeting on Monday 1/28 in Davis Room with Jackson, Will, Wendy, Andrew, and Prince Charles addressing the Board. BoCo office space is number one on the list.

  6. We discussed student evaluations of faculty. We want very clear parameters for faculty evaluations by students and by their chairs.