Professional Advisory Council
Minutes September 12, 2007
Agenda items for the November 7, 2007 meeting need to be
submitted to Gerald Hendricks
The meeting convened at 2:35 p.m. by Paul Pusecker.
PAC members present were:
Members Excused: Derek Dolby #11
The July, 2007 minutes were approved as written.
A constituent of Ms. Miklitz’s expressed a concern about the Early Learning Center. Many of us are working parents. One great way that the University has supported working parents is by having an Early Learning Center on campus where up to 50 out of 228 spaces are distributed to children of University of Delaware employees. This is a quality care center and many more employees are interested than there are spaces. Where my concern comes in is with paying a $75 non-refundable fee to be on the waiting list and then being on that list for years, not knowing if you will ever have your child in the Center. I have been on the waiting list since I was 5 months pregnant with my son, who is now 27 months old. I am now pregnant with my second son and am hesitant to pay another $75 non-refundable fee. I think that the fee becomes a source of revenue for the Center if the waiting list is this large. The upkeep of the list involves an Excel sheet and Center staff calling parents once a year to see if they want to remain on the list.
My second related concern is knowing 3 first-hand stories of 2 different professor’s children and 1 professional staff member’s child getting a slot in the Early Learning Center due to, in the case of the first, being new professors, and, in the case of the second, working on the staff computers in the Center. For example, the professional staff person admitted to me when he got on the list (after me), that his son, who is my son’s age, doesn’t meet the other criteria and that he thinks that working on the computers is how his child got into the Center. If the criteria and priorities on the waiting list aren’t followed for each person, I find the non-refundable fee to be on a list even more difficult to swallow.
What I propose, since I understand that there will always be politics involved with getting into the Center, is that as an additional “benefit” for University of Delaware employees, we pay a highly discounted fee or no fee at all to be placed on a waiting list for the Early Learning Center. The larger wish would be for the University to fund an expansion of the Early Learning Center with the purpose of accommodating more children of employees, especially infant rooms since it is very difficult to find infant care in the Newark area.
Richie Holland contacted Peggy Bradley, Director of the Early Learning Center whose response follows.
The UD Early Learning Center has been in operation for a little more than three years providing quality child care to children from 6 weeks to 12 years of age. The Center has enjoyed a tremendous response from the community and many families have registered their children from both inside and outside the University community. Our mission includes a commitment to providing infant, toddler, preschool and kindergarten care to a diverse population of approximately 180 children, specifically targeting children with risk factors including poverty (40% Purchase of Care), foster care (10%) and disabilities (20%). A model before- and after-school program serves an additional 60 children. We are committed to serving this population while still offering spots to UD families and the community beyond.
The Center has recently undergone a change in administration. Developing clear and consistent policies for management of the waitlist is a priority of the new administration. To that end, each child on the waitlist will be placed in order of when they are registered. Priority will be given to children who qualify in one of the previously listed risk categories as well as siblings of children already enrolled in the program. Priority may also be granted to a limited number of new faculty and staff in order to support the recruitment efforts of the University. The number of UD employee placements will not be arbitrarily limited. Changes to the fee structure for the ELC, including the registration fee require the scrutiny and approval of the Dean of CHEP, the Provost and the University Board of Directors.
Any family who would like to know where their child is on the waitlist may contact Ann Draper, the Associate Director for Finance and Administration, at firstname.lastname@example.org at 831-6233.
A constituent of Mr. Dexter’s expressed a concern regarding the paved walking path located near the parking lot at the Studio Arts Building. Vehicles are using this as a cut through and endangering staff and students. Constituent is requesting a sign to be posted prohibiting vehicles. Mr. Shipman will check with Public Safety.
A constituent of Mr. Pusecker’s was inquiring as to what steps the University has taken towards the crimes, robberies, and student violence in conjunction with the Newark Police Department.
Dr. Colm responded that the University has a multi-faceted approach to alerting the campus about extreme emergencies. This includes two-way phones in class rooms, the ability to flash messages across TV screens in many of the class rooms, the ability to send email messages to all registered students and staff, as well as text messages to cell phones. She noted that the University is taking a proactive approach to emergency preparedness and will increase the number of University Police Officers across the year. Mr. Shipman responded that the University Police Department has stepped up patrolling on campus and is working with students to ensure that they become stakeholders in their own safety. The UD police department offers an escort program and has increased their bike patrol. Mr. Shipman also stated that the City of Newark Police Department has increased their patrolling as well.
The Diversity Commission Meeting report for September 10, 2007 was presented by Dr. Miller.
The commission met on Monday, September 10th from 2 – 3:30. Dr. Dan Rich, Provost, attended the meeting and addressed the group. He outlined the current efforts to improve diversity on campus and also provided some insight to the challenges and opportunities we have.
Dr. Rich stated that the current status of the university is more diverse than it has ever been before. He also stated that the incoming class is the most diverse class UD has ever had. We still need to do much better.
The focus for the academic year will be recruitment of graduate students. We currently have a very international (23%) graduate population but not very diverse domestically. The undergraduate population has some domestic but very little international diversity. Institutions with a long history of graduate programs have clearly shown an improvement in diversity.
Currently undergraduate recruiting can be fairly centralized in the approach and process and we are improving in this area. Graduate student recruitment is much more of a challenge due to the needs of each department or unit. Each has unique needs and pipelines that make a centralized approach very difficult, if not impossible. To combat this problem the best remedy is to convince and put administrative pressure on those units to actively recruit diverse populations as it is truly in the best interest of the educational mission.
The current recruitment process for graduate students is generally based on reputation or “pipelined”. It is not active. We need a presence – “Graduate Ambassadors” program and develop feeder institutions with diverse populations (e.g. City College of NY).
Some major opportunities exist: the graduate programs of UD have grown by 70% over the last 10 years and will continue to do so. More importantly is the expected turnover (40%) of the faculty in the next 10 -12 years due to retirements. This magnitude of opportunity will not occur again for another 35 years or so. We’re also in a great geographical location with NY and DC being only 2 – 3 hours away while Philadelphia and Baltimore being just an hour or so.
Meeting adjourned at 3:10 p.m.
Respectfully submitted by,