New council represents faculty

Kinsey Gustafson

Kinsey GustafsonReporter

ouncil of 10 non-faculty exempt employees, otherwise known as NFEs, to represent the 500-plus NFEs on the SDSU campus.

They are now known as the Professional Staff Advisory Council and their job is comparable to that of the Students’ Association.

“Overall PSAC is committed to representing the professional staff on campus and working toward the continual growth and improvement of the workplace environment for all professional staff,” said James Manley, Jr., assistant director of University Housing and council co-chair.

They are the representatives for each of the five major groups being accounted for in the council. These are Academic, Business/Administration and Facilities, Extension/Outreach, Athletics, Research and Student Affairs.

“I believe this is a step in the right direction for shared governance at SDSU. Faculty and Career Service employees currently have their own governing bodies, so the creation of this council allows all SDSU employees that same outlet,” said Suzanne Stluka, FCS extension co-chair of the council.

Provost Laurie Nichols was the person in charge of bringing together a group of members to represent the NFEs as a whole. She decided it was time for the NFEs to be given recognition and have a governing body to get their voices heard across campus.

The 10 council members are: Susan Rosen, Jeff Siekman, Suzanne Stluka, Tracey Renelt, Jenna Friedrich, Mary O’Neil, Gabriela Chilom, Neal Foster, Mark Ekeland and James Manley, Jr.

Each of the members represents one of the five groups mentioned previously. Certain groups received more members than others, according to how many NFEs were in each group.

The members were each selected by Nichols and other academic professionals who went through a process to find the people to serve on the council.

“First we printed all of the non-faculty exempt employees’ names and what they did. We started classifying them down into categories,” Nichols said. “When we finished we had come up with five categories. Then went back and invited deans and vice presidents and department heads to nominate individuals to be appointed into the council and probably got back 30 nominations. Then it was just sitting down and picking people through those nominees.”

The council then needed to draft a constitution and by-laws and begin meeting once a month. The council has just finished their constitution and by doing so, they have become recognized as an official council. Their constitution consists of 12 different articles and seven sections of by-laws.

Elections will be held on a staggered three-year term. One third of the council will be up for election each year so there will always be someone from the previous term on the council. This spring semester will be the first elections they will hold. New NFEs can run, as well as current council members.

“The council is preparing for its first nomination and general election, which will see three new PSAC representatives elected in the areas of business, Student Affairs and research,” Stluka said. “We will also be busy preparing for our first annual PSAC general membership meeting, which will take place during Spring Break on the SDSU campus.”

Nichols said she hopes the NFEs will be an active voice on campus.

“We can look forward to real leadership for the NFE employees and hopefully a really active voice and what they’re thinking and what they would like to see,” Nichols said. “That’s been a void on this campus so that would be a really big change. I’m looking forward to them being a really active participant in the working of this university.”