PACT asked that the College subsidize a discount for staff/administrators that send their children to the Gambier Child Care Facility. We did not propose that the Head Start Program reduce their price, the quality of care or the quality of staff. PACT's suggestion is something quite a few employers and other colleges offer their staff/administrators in Ohio. Our primary goal is to make this a "benefit" that everyone has the opportunity to use for their families regardless of their position within the Kenyon community.
Many of the questions received by PACT are submitted to Sr. Staff members or Human Resources for response. The question and response are posted to the website once the response is received by a PACT representative. If there is a particular question being referred to in this question, please let us know and we will research it further. As far as the communications team, a formal written report is not submitted, but rather the group updates the members during the regular meeting.
The Communications Subcommittee included in their Annual Report a goal for next year would be to send out more PACT Facts.
A: One, I don't publish my correspondence with staff members, faculty, or students. Two, I responded very quickly to Alice. She wrote and thanked me for the quick response. Three, a part of my response to Alice was the commitment to come to the PACT luncheon, to address the questions raised in an open forum, which was publicly announced by PACT and which anyone who cared to was welcome to attend. In that public forum, I presented the issues and also took questions. Alice wrote to me after that meeting, saying that she felt I had addressed the questions she raised. I'm not sure how much more one could "publish" a response to a staff member's correspondence.
Answered by S. Georgia Nugent, President
A: Thanks for your question - it is a good one.
First, it's important to note that Public Affairs is not adding two salary lines, just one. We have repurposed, at the same cost, an existing position (computer programmer) to become one of the positions (videographer) that is currently being searched. I'm really happy to report that Rebecca Mazur, our previous computer programmer, has just accepted a position at Harvard.
A key responsibility of Public Affairs is marketing to produce revenue. Unlike many institutions, we do almost all our marketing in-house for admissions and for fundraising. It's less expensive, more responsive, and often of better quality. At another institution, you might have seen the investment in social media Kenyon is making being expensively outsourced to an agency.
So -- why are we making this investment in social media? Today, it is essential. Our prospective students and our young alumni, whom we want to begin on a lifetime of giving to Kenyon, have radically changed how they receive information and how they are willing to be contacted. Most young people have email addresses they are using with less frequency. They do not open mail, and, if they have graduated, they move at least several times before establishing a permanent address, so mail is often lost. Increasingly, they receive and interact with the world via mobile media -- through their phones, on YouTube, and, overwhelmingly, on Facebook.
At the same time, Kenyon's alumni constituency -- people our age -- still live in the world of mail. Our largest contributors and long-standing alumni population still write a check and mail it in. Similarly, parents -- an essential constituency in admissions marketing -- still read those Kenyon publications. So -- Kenyon must do well in both the print and electronic arenas.
So -- how do we respond? We hired a social media director, who can plan and implement programs that will reach prospective students and alumni donors with an immediate improvement to the bottom line. The position we repurposed -- an entry-level videographer -- will give the entire Kenyon campus, and these marketing efforts the potential we have never had, which is to add video content to our marketing and curriculum. This individual will also supervise students to give them increasing fluency in this important media. Ultimately, as the demand for video grows, Kenyon will save money by avoiding outsourcing.
The Board of Trustees felt so strongly that we were lacking in this area that they mandated the creation of a social media plan and budget, which we were happy to do, because we believe in it, too. They know in their own businesses that revenue is lost and won on this new platform, and they wanted Kenyon to remain competitive.
Answered by Sarah Kahrl, Vice President for College Relations
A. PACT Lunch Schedule:
Answered by the Co-Chairs of PACT
A: Thank you for the question. We certainly believe that our policy is family-friendly as it allows either the father or the mother to take advantage of paid parental leave for the birth or adoption of a child. If both parents work for the College, they can split the paid time, or as you noted, one of them may take the paid leave. This method of splitting the leave mirrors the unpaid FMLA leave policy (parental leave is also classified as and counted against available FMLA leave) excerpted here: "Eligible spouses and/or domestic partners employed by the College are jointly entitled to a combined total of twelve weeks of family leave for the birth or placement of a child...."
You may not be aware that many employers do not provide paid parental leave for the father including about half of our peers in higher education. We are pleased to be in a position to offer a generous paid parental leave to our employees.
Answered by: Jennifer Cabral - Director of Human Resources
A: The suggestion that "college experts" can do training for others is certainly true, but the question must be asked "at what cost?" Kenyon does not have staff dedicated to training. The computing staff are experts in their fields, not in pedagogy, so the work to develop an organized class, to create course materials, and to practice teaching techniques is not easy for them. One staff member reported to me that it takes ten hours to develop a good one hour course.
If you consider the wages of the expert, the cost to the college for those hours is more than $100. If you consider the work not done during those ten hours--the computers not repaired, the software not installed, etc.--then the cost to the college for that course is a lot more than $100. So, the external course, taught by people who do it every day, is really a bargain!
Practically speaking, computing courses that LBIS has offered in the past have had few takers, and very low enrollment. The demand for training is simply not there. So we focus our efforts on training for major new software only, such as the six-month long training sequence we developed for the transition to Google mail and calendars.
There are also many self-paced training materials available for free to anyone at Kenyon. I refer you to the Atomic Learning tutorial website:http://www.atomiclearning.com/highed/home. As an institution that strives to create life long learners, we can be an example to our students.
Answered by: Ron Griggs, Vice-President for Library and Information Services