March 2019

Message from the Chair

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

At the Staff Senate General Meeting on February 6, Assistant Chief of Police Brian Cozby presented information about the array of services offered by our Police Department. Check out the presentation here.

At our March meeting, we hosted two guest speakers. First, Shernita Rochelle Parker, acting vice president, HR/ Payroll and Faculty/Staff Life, presented the results of last year’s Quality of Work Life (QWL) survey. Click here for a video of her presentation.

Next, Ashley Ludwig, store manager, talked about the process for departmental purchases through Patriot Tech. She also shared that faculty and staff can now use payroll deduction for personal purchases of certain items at Patriot Tech. If you are interested in making work or personal purchases at Patriot Tech, read through the PowerPoint presentation.

The following guest speakers are scheduled for our upcoming General Meetings:

  • April 3: Cathy Pinskey, program director, Facilities, will share updates on the Core Campus Project
  • May 1: President Ángel Cabrera
  • June 5: Mark Smith, executive director, State Government Relations

Stay tuned for more details about our upcoming meetings.

Last week, we all received an email from the Office of the Provost about upcoming Campus Conversations on Online Learning. If you have questions concerning your employee tuition exemption benefits, please consider attending one or more of these sessions. Now is the time to attend and ask. The Staff Senate has received questions on these topics, which we will ask on behalf of our constituents. However, we may not have your specific question in mind. Either sign up to attend or fill out an anonymous contact form on our website so that we can ask your very important questions regarding online education, new ventures, and other innovation-related topics. includes work options such as compressing your work week, flextime, job sharing, remote work, and telework. The process for setting up a Flexible Work Agreement has been streamlined through a new online form. If you are interested in any of these options, check it out and discuss it with your supervisor. Employees can complete the new form online and have it automatically sent to supervisors and department heads for signatures. More details are available on the website.

The Faculty Senate has asked the Staff Senate to look into a modified holiday schedule. In cooperation with the Faculty Senate, we have reached out to the James Madison University Employee Advisory Committee, as they have been on this schedule for over 15 years. We wanted to know what they think. This measure consists of giving up a day off (coming to work) on Labor Day, in exchange for a full week off during the week of Thanksgiving. The Student Government has also completed research on this measure and have concluded reasons for considering this change. We will discuss this measure at our April General Meeting for all those interested. A motion may be put to vote to include this measure in our July voting as an amendment, for all staff to weigh-in on. The Staff Senate will not be making a final decision on this measure without first hearing from our colleagues. Even then, we will only present the voting results to University Leadership, the Faculty Senate, and Student Government for further consideration.

Thank you!

Very Respectfully,

Christopher J. Maier
Chair, Staff Senate