October 2017

Message from the Chair

Christopher Maier, Staff Senate. Photo by Creative Services/George Mason University

Dear Fellow Colleagues,

One of the primary roles of your Staff Senate is to focus on issues that affect the more than 3,200 staff members at Mason.  We ask questions to find answers, and we work diligently to have a voice in key University initiatives.

For this reason, we invited President Ángel Cabrera and Vice President for Communications & Marketing, Frank Neville, to address the Staff Senate and field questions at our Oct. 4th general meeting.  We greatly appreciate their time and acknowledgment of the critical role that staff play at Mason.

An hour-long discussion with Dr. Cabrera covered a variety of topics of interest to staff, including compensation. Salary competitiveness for Mason faculty and staff – who he noted live and work in the most expensive region in the state – remains a top priority when he meets with state lawmakers and explains to them the challenges of hiring and retaining faculty and staff at George Mason University.  Dr. Cabrera also answered staff questions about a variety of other topics, including the relative lack of diversity among faculty and staff to match that of the student body, initiatives to eradicate campus sexual assault, dialogue about the idea of staff evaluations for supervisors, and how your Staff Senate can help find feasible approaches to boost staff satisfaction and well-being.

Mr. Neville, who also continues to serve as Dr. Cabrera’s chief of staff, talked about the challenges to better define Mason’s strategic plan, and branding both within the University and externally. We plan to continue this discussion and provide additional feedback after our next general meeting.

Something new is on the horizon.  To engage more staff members, we recorded our October general meeting live on the Staff Senate’s Facebook page (you can still watch it there) and solicited questions beforehand, to present to Dr. Cabrera.  Our goal is to engage more directly with Mason staff members at meetings, reviving our use of Facebook and Twitter. You can contact us here anytime.  Soon, we will be moving over to the new WebX platform, as it becomes readily available.

Better yet, as a staff member, you are always welcome to attend a meeting in person.  You can even ask questions and bring issues to our attention.  Our next meeting is at 10:30 AM, Nov. 1 in Merten Hall 1201.  I’m pleased to say that we had several constituents at the October session.  We’re more than happy to pull out additional chairs!

Very Respectfully,

Christopher Maier – Chair, Staff Senate