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Academic Affairs

AACDC


About Us


The Academic Affairs Climate and Diversity Committee (AACDC), formed in Summer 2011, has responsibility for division-wide diversity and climate initiatives in the Division of Academic Affairs. AACDC is composed of a steering committee and several standing and short term subcommittees. The steering committee consists of members that have been appointed by the academic affairs leadership team. For more information about the roles and terms of service of this group, see the membership guidelines. Together, these dedicated volunteers work on a variety of projects to implement the division’s Diversity Plan. If you have suggestions for projects that AACDC should consider or wish to participate in implementing efforts, please share your ideas or interest with any steering committee member.

The committee is currently co-chaired by Ms. Annette Shenkir and Dr. Arthur Watson. The committee’s liaison to the Office of the Provost is Mr. Joe Pettibon, vice president for enrollment and academic services.

 

Division Units

 


Provost and Executive Vice President

  • Faculty Senate Office
  • George Bush Presidential Library Foundation Office
  • Office of the Provost

Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Strategic Initiatives

  • Aggie Honor System Office
  • Office for Academic Innovation
  • Office for Student Success
  • Office of Institutional Effectiveness & Evaluation
  • Office of the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Strategic Initiatives
  • Undergraduate Studies
  • Provost Communications Office

Vice Provost & Chief International Officer

  • Institute for Quantum Science and Engineering
  • Office of the Vice Provost & Chief International Officer
  • Private Enterprise Research Center
  • Texas A&M Institute for Neuroscience


Vice President and Associate Provost for Diversity

  • Office of the Vice President and Associate Provost for Diversity

Vice President for Enrollment and Academic Services

  • Academic Affairs Business Services
  • Admissions
    • International Student Services
    • Prospective Student Centers
  • Appelt Aggieland Visitor Center
  • Career Center
    • Professional School Advising
  • Enrollment & Academic Services Marketing
  • Enterprise Information Systems
  • Office of the Vice President for Enrollment and Academic Services
  • Provost's IT Office
    • Data and Research Services
    • Instructional Media Services
    • Open Access Labs
  • Registrar
  • Scholarships & Financial Aid

Vice President for Research

  • Commercialization and Corporate Relations
  • Comparative Medicine Program
  • Conflict of Interest and Responsible Conduct of Research
  • Hagler Institute for Advanced Study
  • High Performance Research Computing
  • MAESTRO
  • Microscopy and Imaging Center
  • Office of the Vice President
  • Research Administration
  • Research Communications and Public Relations
  • Research Compliance and Biosafety Programs
  • Research Development Services
  • Research Enterprise Business Services
  • Research Technology Services
  • Sponsored Research Services
  • Texas A&M Energy Institute
  • Texas A&M Technology Commercialization
  • Texas A&M Institute of Data Science
  • Texas A&M Institute for Genome Sciences and Society

Associate Provost for Graduate and Professional Studies

  • Office of Graduate and Professional Studies (includes the Thesis Office)

Associate Provost for Undergraduate Studies

  • Academic Success Center
  • Education Abroad Programs Office
  • LAUNCH
  • Math Learning Center
  • McAllen Higher Education Center
  • Office of the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Studies
  • Public Policy Internship Programs
  • Transition Academic Programs
  • University Writing Center

Dean of Faculties and Associate Provost

  • Academy for the Visual and Performing Arts
  • ADVANCE Center
  • Center for Teaching Excellence
  • Immigration Services for Faculty and Scholars
  • Office of the Dean of Faculties

Associate Vice President for External Affairs

  • Office of the Associate Vice President for External Affairs
  • Provost Development Office
  • Public Partnership and Outreach
  • Texas Target Communities

Steering Committee Roster

Name Department/Unit Title Location Phone
Ms. Patricia Alexander Academic Services (liaison 2) Associate Directory - Career Center 209 Koldus
1233 TAMU
(o) 845-5139
Dr. George B. Cunningham Office of Graduate and Professional Studies Sr. Assistant Provost for Graduate and Professional Studies Suite 112 J. K. Williams Building
1113 TAMU
(o) 845-2871
  Public Partnership and Outreach     (o) 
(f) 
Mr. Tom Owen Vice President for Research (liaison 2) Sr. Organizational Development Consultant SRS Valley Park Center Rm. 120
3578 TAMU
(o) 458-4956
(m) 574-1075
Ms. Dea Polk Office of the Dean of Faculties and Associate Provost Dual Career Program Coordinator II Suite 108 YMCA
1126 TAMU
(o) 458-2583
(f) 845-1822
Ms. Annette Shenkir
Co-Chair
Vice President for Research (liaison 1) Associate Vice President Rm. 312 Jack K. Williams Building
1112 TAMU
(o) 862-5635
Mr. Austin Stoker Academic Services (liaison 3) I.T. Manager, Open Access Labs - Blocker Computer Lab Student Computing Center
1161 TAMU
(o) 845-6620
Ms. Mofie Thomas Academic Services (liaison 1 - AABS) Academic Affairs Business Services Business Coordinator III Rm. 118A Eastmark Building
4255 TAMU
(o) 458-4904
(f) 862-2696
Dr. Arthur Watson
Co-Chair
Associate Provost for Undergraduate Studies Executive Director, Transition Academic Programs Rm. 300 Hotard Hall
4247 TAMU
(o) 845-5916
Ms. Amy Williamson Aggie Honor System Office Academic Integrity Administrator Rudder Tower Rm. 607
1132 TAMU
(o) 458-3378

Membership Guidelines

Academic Affairs Climate and Diversity Committee (AACDC) Committee Structure and Membership

Updated January 2020

Rationale for Structure and Membership

 

The 2012 Climate Survey provided valuable information about the climate for diversity in the Division of Academic Affairs (DAA). Review of the survey data also generated thoughtful discussion in the Division’s Climate and Diversity Committee (AACDC) regarding the composition of the committee itself.

The committee membership was originally composed of representatives from each of the major units in the DAA, with additional membership from Academic Services to include resource persons from Academic Affairs Business Services and Data and Research Services. Each unit selected their own representative. In Spring 2013, after completing the 2012 Climate Survey report, AACDC members requested a revision of the committee structure and members so that it would better reflect the diversity of the DAA and engage more DAA colleagues in the important conversations related to developing reports and action plans. The existing structure was endorsed by the Office of the Provost in July 2013. Updates reflect organizational and other changes in Academic Affairs.

 

Steering Committee Composition, Appointment, and Terms of Service

Members of the AACDC Steering Committee shall be comprised of ten representatives of non-academic units reporting to the Provost and are appointed by the leaders of each unit other than the Vice President and Associate Provost for Diversity (VPD). As of September 15, 2015, the VPD excused itself from the AACDC Steering Committee because of the challenges for staff who are instrumental in the Diversity Operations Committee, the Council on Climate and Diversity, and the Accountability Report processes. Staff from the VPD may serve on sub-committees of the AACDC.

Those units with appointed representation on AACDC include:

  • Associate Provost for Graduate and Professional Studies
  • Associate Provost for Undergraduate Studies
  • Associate Vice President for Academic Services (3)*
  • Associate Vice President for External Relations
  • Dean of Faculties and Associate Provost
  • Vice President for the Research Office (2)
  • Vice Provost +,(consists of Vice Provost, Associate Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, and Associate Vice President for Administration and Academic Affairs)

*Due to the size and diversity of this unit, two representatives are necessary, and one member should always represent Business Services because of expertise in human resource and other related issues.

 

Representatives will have three year terms that are staggered such that one-third of the committee member’s terms will expire every year to allow for both continuity and for the inclusion of new members. Unanticipated vacancies shall be filled in the same manner as an original appointment and the replacement will complete the initial term.

Committee chair(s) shall be appointed by and will report to the Provost’s designated committee liaison. The Provost’s liaison will also be responsible for monitoring term limits. The Provost’s liaison shall have a three year term, but, to promote continuity, the terms of the Provost’s liaison and the committee chair(s) should not end during the same year. Furthermore, the past committee chair(s) will serve as mentor(s) to the new committee chair(s) for one year, also to promote continuity.

New Member PD language for 3-5% of their time:

The following language was approved by ALT for use with this subcommittee:

Serves as the Academic Affairs Climate and Diversity Committee (AACDC) Steering Committee member representing XX unit. Attends monthly meetings, obtains feedback from unit leaders on issues under discussion, reviews AACDC subcommittee reports, helps craft recommendations for the Provost, serves a liaison to or chair/member of a subcommittee and/or in other occasional capacities for division level events and programs. Researches and compiles information related to unit diversity strategies, facilitates conversation about these with the unit leadership team, and drafts the annual unit diversity accountability report.

Rotation Schedule for Unit Representatives

Approximately one-third of the members will be scheduled for rotation off the committee every year. As per the random selection of offices represented on the AACDC made at the August 6, 2013 meeting, following is the rotation schedule.

Members will consult with their unit leaders about recommended representatives to serve on the committee, and diversity in level of responsibility and ethnicity/gender are highly encouraged for their replacements. Current members may be reappointed.

  • 1st rotation - January 2020, 2023, 2026
    • Associate Provost for Graduate and Professional Studies
    • Vice President for Research (liaison 1)
    • Associate Vice President for External Affairs
    • Associate Vice President for Academic Services (liaison 3)
  • 2nd rotation - January 2021, 2024, 2027
    • Associate Vice President for Academic Services (1 - AABS)
    • Dean of Faculties and Associate Provost
    • Associate Provost for Undergraduate Studies
  • 3rd rotation - January 2022, 2025, 2028
    • Associate Vice President for Academic Services (2)
    • Vice Provost +
    • Vice President for Research (liaison 2)

 

Subcommittees

To facilitate engagement by staff members within the DAA, it is important to develop a subcommittee structure that will help the AACDC to complete its mission. There are two types of subcommittees, standing and occasional. At least one member of the AACDC will serve on each subcommittee to facilitate communication with AACDC. Additional subcommittees may be created as needed by the AACDC.

  1. Standing -
    • Recruitment and Retention Subcommittee -explore issues within the division related to recruitment, hiring, selection, retention, and promotion for all staff, with special emphasis on those identified in the Diversity Plan; two year staggered terms
    • Climate Survey Subcommittee - create and implement the survey; draft the report and recommendations; assess past report and best practice for possible changes in next iteration of the survey; two year term to begin 1 year prior to the report due date.
    • Benchmarking Subcommittee -create and implement benchmarking survey; draft the report; assess past report and best practice for possible changes in the next iteration of the survey; 9 month term to begin 6 months prior to the report due date.
    • Mini-Grant - This subcommittee awards mini-grants for individual and group projects that enhance diversity efforts and professional development in the division. They also monitor impact of these awards and create reports related to this. Members have two year terms.
    • Idea Contest Subcommittee - The 2016 Climate Survey recommendations approved the establishment of a contest for the division to select for implementation at least one innovative program idea submitted in a contest that could improve climate, efficiency or effectiveness. This subcommittee will run the contest and recommend to AACDC and the Provost winners in each category. The subcommittee convenes every two years.
  2. Occasional -
    • Various others related to implementation of the committee’s charge, official committee report recommendations, Office of the Provost requests, or other projects. This could be a group asked to facilitate a division-wide meeting, focus groups, etc.

 

Download Membership Guidelines

Subcommittees


There are several AACDC standing subcommittees. Membership is open to any staff member in Academic Affairs. If you have an interest in serving on a subcommittee, please complete a subcommittee interest form and return it to any AACDC member. There are also occasional subcommittees created to focus on a specific issue and these are created through e-mails sent out to the entire division.

  • Recruitment and Retention Subcommittee

    Explore issues within the Division related to recruitment, hiring, selection, retention, and promotion for all staff, with special emphasis on those identified in the Diversity Plan. The membership has a two-year staggered term.

    Roster

    Name Department Title Phone
    Kathleen Speed Academic Success Center Assistant Director 979-458-0698
    Angela Allensworth Office of Registrar Assistant Registrar 979-845-6184
    Liaquat Ali Open Access Labs IT Manager I 979-862-1159
    Tom Owen Vice President for Research Senior Organizational Consultant 979-458-4956
    Chris Reed Office of Admissions Director, (ORP Eligible) 979-458-8626

    Climate Survey Subcommittee

    Create and implement the climate survey; draft the report and recommendations; assess past report and best practices for possible changes in next iteration of the climate survey. This is a two-year term to begin 1 year prior to the report due date. The next survey will be administered in Fall 2020, with the report, (written by a hired faculty member) and recommendations due by May 2021. Therefore, the subcommittee will form in Spring 2020.

  • Benchmarking

    Create and implement the Division-level diversity benchmarking survey; draft the report; assess past report and best practices for possible changes in the next iteration of the benchmarking survey. This is a 9-month term to begin 6 months prior to the report due date.

  • Mini-Grant

    Award mini-grants for individual and group projects that enhance diversity efforts and professional development in the division. Monitor impact of these awards and create reports related to this. Members have two year terms.

    Roster

    Name Department Title Location Phone
    Melissa Easley Office of Admissions Senior Administrative Coordinator Koldus 2nd Floor 458-0952
    Heather Fountain Scholarships and Financial Aid Associate Director Pavilion 2nd Floor 458-5347
    Kristin Harper, Chair Undergraduate Studies Executive Director Rudder Tower 10th Floor 845-3210
    Jonathan Kotinek Honors & Undergraduate Research Associate Director Henderson Hall 845-1957
    Arthur Watson, AACDC Liaison Transition Academic Programs Executive Director Hotard Hall 3rd Floor 845-5916
  • Idea Contest Subcommittee

    The 2016 Climate Survey recommendations approved the establishment of a contest for the division to select for implementation at least one innovative program idea submitted in a contest that could improve climate, efficiency or effectiveness. The first awards were made in fall 2018. This subcommittee runs the contest and recommends to AACDC and the Provost winners in each category. This subcommittee forms in the fall of a contest year and runs for about nine months. Contests are run every two years.

    Roster

    Name Department Title Location Phone
    Stephanie Matlock Office of the Registrar Assistant Registrar MS 0100 979-862-3855
    Amanda Booth Associate Provost for Undergraduate Studies Program Coordinator I MS 1125 979-845-3210
    Cynthia Burdick Open Access Labs - Student Computing Center I.T. Manager MS 1161 979-845-1369
    LaRhesa Johnson Office of Graduate and Professional Studies Senior Graduate Student Specialist I 1113 979-845-3631
    Leah Morales Scholarships & Financial Aid - Veterans Services Office Financial Aid Advisor IV MS 1252 979-458-5317
    Catherine Roueche-Herdman Office of Admissions Associate Director, Admissions MS 0200 979-458-5124
    Amanda Ryan Data & Research Services Sr. I.T. Professional III MS 1244 979-458-9316
    Amy Williamson Aggie Honor System Office Administrative Coordinator I MS 1132 979-845-3378

Minutes for the Current Academic Year

 


Minutes for past years may be requested from the committee chair(s).

 

Accountability Reports

The Academic Affairs Climate and Diversity Committee (AACDC) has implemented many projects related to recruitment, retention, climate and equity. Progress is captured annually through accountability reports. 20182017Archived Annual Accountability Reports

Copies of unit level accountability reports are also available. Archived Unit Level Reports

 

Projects

Climate Survey


A division-wide climate survey is conducted every three years. Recommendations approved are tracked to ensure that they are implemented.

Equity Plan


An Equity Plan has been adopted for the division by the division leadership based on feedback from the 2012 division climate survey, focus groups and supervisors, and research on equity issues.

Equity Matrix and Status of Plan

Applicable groups from the Historically Underrepresented Groups: gender, ethnicity, and age.
Dimension Issue Question Possible Measure Comments Target Timeframes/status (subject to change)
Advancement and Promotion Access Are there gaps in use of existing career ladders/paths that leave employees from historically underrepresented groups with fewer opportunities for advancement? Review of the existing career ladders/paths applicable to division employees to determine whether there are some groups (gender, age, and ethnicity) not using these to a greater degree than other groups. Recruitment and Retention Subcommittee examined this and recommendations were approved by the leadership in November 2015. However, the Fall 2016 implementation of the System Pay Plan’s ladders and career paths has caused this effort to be put on hold. The leadership in October 2018 asked for the concept of career ladders to be explored for potential inclusion in a promotion report to be created in Fall 2019.
Advancement and Promotion Performance evaluations Are there historically underrepresented groups who are disproportionately blocked from advancement despite good performance? Review performance evaluations for a random sample of Academic Affairs employees at all levels over a 5-year period. What is the correlation between advancement/promotion and age, gender, race/ethnicity for employees receiving the various rating categories on performance evaluations (e.g. Exemplary, Exceeds Expectations, Achieves, etc.)? AACDC was unable to obtain performance evaluation data for the division from Human Resources; therefore a division level review will not be done at this time. Individual units within the division can opt to review their areas since they have access to this information within their work areas. Not Applicable (see comments)
Advancement and Promotion Performance Evaluations Are members of historically underrepresented groups disproportionately represented in any of the performance evaluation rating categories? Review performance evaluations for a random sample of Academic Affairs employees at all levels over a 5 year period. Is there a negative correlation between performance and age, gender, or race/ethnicity? AACDC was unable to obtain performance evaluation data for the division from Human Resources; therefore a division level review will not be done at this time.Individual units within the division can opt to review their areas since they have access to this information within their work areas. Not Applicable (see comments)
Hiring Practices Attracting applicants from diverse groups Do NOVs use language that encourages diverse candidates to apply? Review a representative sample of NOVs for analysis. Fall 2013 results were reported at the Supervisor’s meeting in Summer 2014. A follow-up review was conducted in Fall 2016 to compare results. 2016 Hiring Process Report submitted to leadership in May 2017; recommendations approved in October 2018. Implementation of recommendations is in progress. Progress will be revisited in November 2019 diversity report
Hiring Practices Access How diverse are our applicant pools before interviews begin? Review EEO data from a representative sample of NOVs from the division. Examine the length of time the NOV is posted. Fall 2013 results were reported at the Supervisor’s meeting in Summer 2014. A follow-up review was conducted in Fall 2016 to compare results. 2016 Hiring Process Report submitted to leadership in May 2017; recommendations approved in October 2018. Implementation of recommendations is in progress. Progress will be revisited in November 2019 diversity report
Hiring Practices Awareness, Climate, Attracting applicants from Diverse Groups Do hiring processes utilize nationally endorsed human resources practices to address diversity experience or issues? Review a representative sample of division hiring files to determine whether the interview questions, hiring matrices, and reference check questions address diversity issues Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), Women in IT, and Texas A&M Human Resources were consulted about these issues. Fall 2013 results were reported at the Supervisor’s meeting in Summer 2014. A follow-up review was conducted in Fall 2016 to compare results. 2016 Hiring Process Report submitted to leadership in May 2017; recommendations approved in October 2018. Implementation of recommendations is in progress. Progress will be revisited in November 2019 diversity report.
Hiring Practices Barriers What barriers, real or perceived, do supervisors see related to increasing diversity in applicant pools? The planned AACDC supervisor survey will address this Supervisor survey wasconducted in May 2014. Results were shared in the Supervisor Meeting in Summer 2014. Recommendations for action were made by supervisors and shared broadly among them.  
Hiring Practices Barriers Are there division practices or processes that may create perceived or real inequities in the hiring process? Add questions in the next iteration of the division climate survey related to these issues. These may be related to satisfaction levels, in addition to other factors. Climate Survey with this question was conducted in Fall 2014; results show that there is a perception of barriers. Summer supervisors meeting shared climate survey data and the Provost asked each unit to have discussions with their staff by September 1, 2016; this was accomplished. Recruitment and Retention Subcommittee made recommendations to track red flags because of these perceptions in their November 2015 report. The first red flag report was provided in to the leadership in February 2017 Update of information from the first Red Flag Repot is being prepared for leadership; other recommendations are in progress of being implemented. Progress will be revisited in November 2019 diversity report
Advancement and Promotion Barriers Are there division practices or processes that may create perceived or real inequities in advancement and promotion? Add questions in the next iteration of the division climate survey related to these issues. These may be related to satisfaction levels, in addition to other factors. Climate Survey with this question was conducted in Fall 2014; results show that there is a perception of barriers. Recruitment and Retention Subcommittee made recommendations to track red flags because of these perceptions in their November 2015 report. The first red flag report was provided to the leadership in February 2017. AABS and REBS are working on implementing recommendations approved to create a new management report for department heads in Fall 2019, using updated data. Survey of division supervisors in summer of 2016 found that a majority of supervisors felt processes in their units were not equitable for advancement, promotion, merit, and awarding of administrative leave. A pilot with AS was initiated in Fall 2016 to address the issues. AS transparency project pilot was successful, resulting in a 2018 increased understanding among supervisors in AS on these issues. Progress will be revisited in November 2019 diversity report.

Download Equity Matrix and Status of PlanArchived Equity Plan Documents

 

Recruitment


AACDC subcommittees have reviewed various aspects of recruitment and hiring processes, creating recommendations and tracking their implementation. Recommendations were also implemented posting of positions in Diverse Issues was implemented in Fall 2019 for all positions. An annual report documenting trends in promotions and career ladder usage is now provided to division leadership starting in spring 2020 as a result of these efforts.

Hiring Process Review Report

Hiring Process Review Report Recommendations Fall 2016, submitted May 2017

(Updated March 7, 2019)
Recommendations made by Report Leadership Approval (Oct. 2018), Status Completion Date
1. These results should be shared by the Academic Leadership Team for the division, who should provide copies to their unit leaders for discussion and consideration of next steps within each unit.  
  • J. Pettibon will resend the report to ALT members and ask them to discuss at their management level
 
2. AACDC should provide opportunities to share broadly these results and approved recommendations with division supervisors. Approved to share results at 2018 Summer Supervisor meeting
  • Results shared at the 2018 Summer Supervisor meeting by committee member Dr. Candace Hastings (only about 50% of division supervisors were present)
  • Dr. Arthur Watson will send e-mail to all division supervisors following the Partners in Progress meeting to share the results of the review and describing the individual department or group meetings that will follow-up to help offices prepare for their postings after Sept. 1, 2019.
  • Droleskey will facilitate report getting on the AACDC website
 
3. To ensure accountability for improvement, a third hiring process review should be conducted using FY2019 data in Fall 2020. This comparison should only be focused on the full fiscal year data vs. doing a 6-month review. Approved – using FY2019 data to be completed in Fall 2020
  • AACDC will request data for this and establish a new subcommittee. Droleskey will offer a past subcommittee member the chair position.
 
4. Because EEO data is trending toward an increased number of applicants not disclosing their gender and/or race and ethnicity, and supervisors are not currently using all hiring processes shown by research to attract individuals with diversity skills and experience (regardless of their race/ethnicity/gender) all hiring supervisors should:
  1. Review their NOVs to identify job duties that require skills and/or experience related to the diversity goals of the hiring department and articulate these within these documents.
  2. Review their hiring matrices to include a review component for those diversity skills or experiences that align with their departmental diversity goals.
  3. Review their interview questions to include question(s) that address the diversity skills or experiences that align with their departmental diversity goals.
  4. Review their reference check questions to include the standard HR diversity question or develop their own question(s) to align with their departmental diversity goals.
AABS/REBS will work with individual departments to include diversity related job responsibilities in Job Requisitions, hiring matrices, interview questions, and reference check questions posted starting Sept. 1, 2019. AABS/REBS should be tasked with screening Job Requisitions before they are posted/used to ensure appropriate diversity information is included. After the hiring process is complete, AABS/REBS should review the hiring matrices, interview question and reference check questions and counsel hiring supervisors about whether future hiring processes can be better aligned with the division’s goal to include diversity elements in hiring processes. Where possible, AACDC and AABS/REBS should work on a bank of appropriate questions for inclusion in interviews and references and they should be shared with supervisors and department heads.
  • AABS/REBS and AACDC will co-host a supervisor gathering (Partners in Progress) sessions in JanMarch to review the Hiring Process results and allow for discussions about how to include these elements in the hiring process, facilitated by HR’s Scott Bauer
  • Samples from HR and possibly from the report (from the Appendix), will be shared with supervisors during these meetings.
  • The meeting will be livestreamed to ensure broad participation.
  • AABS/REBS will follow up from the general meeting with individual departments/managers to have dialogues about how they may be able to include diversity related job responsibilities in Job Requisitions, hiring matrices, interview questions, and reference check questions for positions posted starting Sept. 1, 2019.
  • Ms. Mofie Thomas and Mr. Tom Owen will serve as AACDC liaisons to their areas for these efforts.
 
5. Because Position Descriptions (PDs) drive the language ultimately populating an NOV, all PDs should be reviewed prior to September 1, 2017 (ideally as part of the annual performance review process starting in April), to identify and articulate the job-related diversity skills required by each position. When AABS/REBS sends notices to supervisors and department heads regarding the annual evaluation process, we recommend the inclusion of the need to update Position Descriptions to include any appropriate job-related diversity skills required for the position. AABS/REBS should have their liaisons to units make possible suggestions to department heads of how this could be done.
  • Droleskey will draft a reminder e-mail segment. This can be sent by AABS and REBS to their respective supervisors as part of the normal reminder information.
 
6. Including diversity components in all phases of the hiring process ensures that supervisors consider the diversity skills and experience of applicants, but does not necessarily result in the hiring of those with such skills or experience. In some cases, office needs dictate hiring of candidates with certain critical job skills, with the hiring supervisor planning to teach other skills on the job. Following this logic, hiring supervisors who value diversity skills and experience should invest training time in a new hire who may have developmental needs related to diversity skills or experience. Hiring supervisors should identify training plans for such new hires, just as they would for any other job skill needed.  
  • The Partner in Progress session in March will include this information
  • Ms. Mofie Thomas and Mr. Tom Owen will serve as AACDC liaisons to their areas for these efforts.
 
7. In the review of Notices of Vacancy (NOVs), subcommittee members noted another element that was included by some hiring supervisors and which is recommended to all supervisors for their consideration: the use of supplemental questions. NOV supplemental questions can be added to help discern applicant interest in and/or experience working with people from diverse backgrounds that may be useful for screening purposes. Units should include supplemental questions on diversity when posting the job notice. A sample question was included in the report, but others could be developed.
  • AABS/REBS will provide to leadership specific examples of problems using supplemental questions to raise with HR to ensure that this process is working properly in Workday
  • The Partner in Progress session in March will include this information and how to make it work outside Workday, if needed.
  • Ms. Mofie Thomas and Mr. Tom Owen will serve as AACDC liaisons to their areas for these efforts.
 

Retention

AACDC subcommittees have reviewed various aspects of recruitment and hiring processes, creating recommendations and tracking their implementation. Recommendations were also implemented for creating an exit survey which will be done by Human Resources for all staff.
Recognition & Appreciation Subcommittee Report

Recognition & Appreciation Subcommittee Recommendations

Recommendation Decision by Leadership Implementation Status Completion Date
1. AACDC could host a division supervisor gathering (similar to the one held in Summer 2014) that 1) provides the results of this subcommittee’s findings, 2) invites opportunities for supervisors to provide input on any recommendations that need supervisor input, and provides training and testing on the 5 Languages of Appreciation for all division supervisors. AACDC is approved to proceed with a Supervisor Gathering annually. It is up to AACDC to determine the content of this. A budget for the program has been provided. Bledsoe and Roueche-Herdman agreed to head up the Supervisor meeting for 2016; Droleskey will assist July 2016
2. Provide opportunities for seed funding to supervisors who are interested in having their staff members tested on the 5 Languages of Appreciation Not specifically endorsed by leadership. However, continued funding for AACDC mini-grants was approved, and can be used for this purpose if offices wish to apply for it.
  • If AACDC decides to include this in the supervisor meeting in 2015, supervisors may be told that mini-grants can be applied for to do this.
July 2016
3. AACDC should provide information to Division of Academic Affairs supervisors about the number of awards available to staff in the Division and its findings about the number of past awardees. The goal should be to ensure awareness of opportunities to nominate division staff for a broad range of recognition programs. AACDC is approved to proceed with a Supervisor Gathering annually. It is up to AACDC to determine the content of this. A budget for the program has been provided.
  • This was a topic at the supervisor meeting in 2016; also a round table was held related to how to do this
  • A new chart was created with listings and dates and is posted on the AABS website
October 2016
4. Student employees within the Division of Academic Affairs are important team members and should have opportunities within the division for formal recognition of their work contributions. Leadership agrees, but because no specific recommendation came forward will leave this in hands of supervisors unless AACDC makes a specific recommendation in future.    
5. Those responsible for managing the Tradition of Excellence program should maintain summary demographic information about nominees to include key diversity characteristics (gender, age, ethnicity, etc.) as well as name, title, office, and years of service to the institution. This will be important for program managers to monitor potential equity issues and facilitate awareness about where there may be future needs related to this program. Approved January 12, 2016 – Brandy Kosh confirmed that AACDC will maintain these data. January 2016
6. Establish a set month (for example, April or May) to hold the Tradition of Excellence presentation ceremony. This will help establish anticipation for award nominations that will occur in or about the February timeframe. This will also avoid gaps in awardee announcements and actual presentation date; such gaps make overall planning for families and friends as well as logistics for the ceremony difficult. Approved Leadership asked AABS in November 2015 to schedule a regular timeframe being after commencement in May and before the start of the summer semester. November 2015

7. Create two categories and four specific Tradition of Excellence Awards: In order to ensure an equitable distribution of awards throughout Academic Affairs, a ratio of 1:5:1 (Director Series: Professional Staff: Support Staff) is based on the anticipated number of employees in those three categories assigned to the Division of Academic Affairs on September 1, 2015. The anticipated numbers, in order, are roughly 100:500:100. A selection of 2 Director Series employee, 10 Professional Staff employees and 2 Support Staff employee will approximate recognition of 2% of our employees in each category, and preclude clumping of the awardees at the highest staff title levels. This is an equitable distribution across the categories, aligns better with similar awards by other on campus divisions, and positions the division to address expectations for increased award opportunities by our growing millennial workforce. In addition, continue to pay the withholding amount so that employees receive the entire award amount.
Individual Awards

  • Director Series job title (any title with Director in it, e.g., Director, Associate Director, Assistant Director, et al) – two awards of $800 + framed certificate
  • Monthly/Professional/Exempt/Non-classified (titles other than “director”) – ten awards of $800 each + framed certificates Hourly/Support Staff/Non-Exempt/Classified – two awards of $800 + framed certificate

Team (Team of the Year) - one team award
Each team member receives a plaque and team awardees split $6,000 (maximum award of $400 each) This team may either be an organization team or a project team comprised of employees from more than one organization

 

Approved with changes:

  • The Provost has approved 14 total individual awards and 1 team award.
  • The 14 individual awards will be $600 each after taxes. The amount of the taxes that are being paid on that (employer and employee) pull the amount being budgeted for each award up to a little over $800.
  • The 14 individual awards will be broken down into 10 Director/Professional level awards, 2 Support Staff, and 2 Specific Excellence Awards – Tradition of Excellence in Leadership and Traditional of Excellence in Climate (or Diversity or Inclusion).
  • The team award will consist of $25-50 gift cards to each team member, capped at $600 total with a small event for the team (lunch, ice cream social, etc.).
  • AACDC should create criteria for two new awards (leadership and diversity) and submit those by January 15, 2016

 

  • December 2015 -- Mark Dawson chaired a subcommittee that recommended create new award criteria in January 2016
  • AABS has been informed about the new award amounts and number of awards. (AABS has responsibility for logistics of this award ceremony and selection process)
  • New recommendations approved March 2016
March 2016
8. Given the importance of 1) including remote staff in recognition activities, 2) encouraging access to employees on campus who cannot be physically present, and 3) ensuring that family members unable to travel to the Tradition of Excellence Award program can participate virtually, video streaming should be continued for this program. Organizers should also ensure that a taped version be added to the website after the program has concluded. Approved January 12, 2016 – Brandy Kosh confirmed that AACDC will implement this for the program in 2016. January 2016
9. Budget sufficient funding to facilitate the additional and increased awards being recommended for the Tradition of Excellence award program as well as future video streaming. Approved – additional funding has already been budgeted. January 12, 2016 – Brandy Kosh confirmed that AACDC will implement this for the program in 2016. January 2016
10. If the changes above are accepted, a committee of past awardees should re-examine the criteria for the Tradition of Excellence award program and recommend revisions that ensure the criteria are appropriate for each new award category. Approved
  • December 2015 -- Mark Dawson chaired a subcommittee that recommended create new award criteria in January 2016
  • New recommendations approved March 2016
March 2016
11. Travel to and from College Station for staff at remote sites who receive awards should be considered University business travel for an awardee. Approved January 12, 2016 – Brandy Kosh confirmed that AACDC will implement this for the program in 2016. January 2016
12. Tradition of Excellence Award organizers should track the number of remote site employees nominated and awarded as part of their data tracking process. Approved January 12, 2016 – Brandy Kosh confirmed that AACDC will implement this for the program in 2016. January 2016
13. Share departmental recognition and appreciation information broadly with supervisors in the Division so they can see what their peers are doing to facilitate these activities. AACDC is approved to proceed with a Supervisor Gathering annually. It is up to AACDC to determine the content of this. A budget for the program has been provided. This was discussed at the supervisor meeting in 2016 and posted as a resource on the AABS website. July 2016

Recognition & Appreciation Subcommittee Summary Observations

Because the subcommittee’s charge was related to recognition and appreciation activities impacting division staff, the award programs reviewed ultimately extended beyond that managed by the Division of Academic Affairs, exploring other university award programs for which Academic Affairs staff are eligible and how those programs compare to state and Vision 2020 comparators. Some findings about these programs are compelling and could have broader climate impacts on campus. Because the Division of Academic Affairs is a service unit for the colleges and departments, the decision was made to include these findings so they may be shared with division leadership for potential broader discussion. Because non-Division of Academic Affairs activities fall outside AACDC’s scope of authority, “Summary Observations” are made instead of “Recommendations” in these cases.
Observation Action Taken
1. Anniversary dates at which Years of Service Awards are made may need to be re-examined so they align better with Texas public institutions and Vision 2020 peers as well as meet national standards related to generational research and average turnover times. (A detailed sample of what may be possible is provided in Appendix J)
  • Included in teh final report so that Provost's leadership team would be aware of this
  • Information shared with University Staff Council in January 2016
  • Information shared with Leadership of Human Resources in February 2016 at request of Provost’s Office.
  • AACDC presented a Poster on this subject at the Campus Climate Conference March 2016
2. Consider creating a University Recognition for Years of Service website with staff member names listed for each anniversary date.
  • Included in the final report so that Provost’s leadership team would be aware of this
  • Information shared with University Staff Council in January 2016
  • Information shared with Leadership of Human Resources in February 2016 at request of Provost’s Office.
3. For historic documentation as well as to ensure appropriate recognition on par with other awardees, award programs that provide team awards should consider listing names of team members in all venues where names of individual winners are listed.
  • Included in the final report so that Provost’s leadership team would be aware of this
  • Information shared with University Staff Council in January 2016
  • Information shared with Leadership of Human Resources in February 2016 at request of Provost’s Office.
  • Information shared with AABS who facilitate Tradition of Excellence Awards so the Academic Affairs awards can be handled this way
4. University level award websites would provide a higher standard of recognition if they list name, title, and office of employment for all award winners as part of the recognition process. It may also help to flag potential equity issues across awardees.
  • Included in the final report so that Provost’s leadership team would be aware of this
  • Information shared with University Staff Council in January 2016
  • Information shared with Leadership of Human Resources in February 2016 at request of Provost’s Office.
  • Information shared with AABS who facilitate Tradition of Excellence Awards so the Academic Affairs awards can be handled this way
5. It would be useful to have a webpage on the university’s Human Resources website that lists all of the awards for which faculty and staff are eligible.
  1. Link to established sites for existing award programs (e.g. Tradition of Excellence, Distinguished Achievement, President’s Meritorious Service, etc.)
  2. Create entries for awards that do not have a web presence. Name the award and the Office of Responsibility. Work with Offices of Responsibility to post information about the awards online.
  3. Encourage award coordinators to keep their sites and its links up to date.
  4. Include a “news” section that aggregates news stories for awards presented over a finite period (e.g. 6 months or a year).
  • Information shared with University Staff Council in January 2016
  • Information shared with Leadership of Human Resources in February 2016 at request of Provost’s Office.

Tradition of Excellence Recommendations

Committee Members:

  • Mark Dawson (Chair)
  • David Tofel
  • Sandra Chavarria
  • Adelia Humme
  • Mosadi Porter

 

The subcommittee was tasked with the development of the criteria for several newly created Tradition of Excellence Awards. The newly created awards are listed below:

  • Tradition of Excellence Team Award
  • Tradition of Excellence Support Staff Award
  • Tradition of Excellence Leadership Award
  • Tradition of Excellence Diversity and Inclusion Award

 

The committee approached this task in an efficient manner, attempting to utilize the established guidelines for eligibility and rating criteria in order to create a simple and streamlined process. We have proposed the addition of two new rating criteria. First, we propose the creation of Collaboration as a new rating category to reflect the collaborative nature that working within such a large University system requires. Our employees serve a customer base that is large and wide spread, working with entities across the campus, state, and globe. Because of this, we believe that the addition of the Collaboration category will allow us to take this important factor into consideration, enabling us to showcase our collaborative talents across the division, University, and Texas A&M University System.

Second, we propse the creation of Diversity & Inclusion as a new rating category to reflect the commitment to diversity and inclusion initiatives within the division. This rating category will only be utilized for those individuals that are nominated for the Diversity and Inclusion Award. Adding this category allows us to keep all nominees in the same pool, and will allow someone who is nominated for the Diversity and Inclusion award to be considered for a standard Tradition of Excellence award if they are not selected to receive the Diversity and Inclusion Award.

Our main goal was to integrate the new awards in a simple and efficient manner. We did not want to create any drastic changes to the established processes or create any new complicated processes that would make the award process more cumbersome. I suggest that annually, AABS should send to AACDC a report about the demographics of awardees and applicants, comparing the current year to the past 3 years, so the results may be reviewed for equity. In the following pages you will see the recommended adjustments we have made in order to account for the newly created awards.

Guidelines
Academic Affairs
Tradition of Excellence Staff Awards
2015 Call for Nominations

The Academic Affairs Tradition of Excellence Staff Awards program was established in 1997 through the generous support of The Association of Former Students to recognize and reward superior service in the Division of Academic Affairs. Awardees are those who have made distinguished contributions to Texas A&M University through their dedication, initiative, outstanding achievements, enthusiasm, and attitude in their work. Awards are made annually and include cash gifts and other recognition. Candidates may self-nominate or be nominated by individuals or groups within the University or The Texas A&M University System.

Award Categories

  • Team (1 award)
  • Support Staff (2 awards)
  • Director/Professional (10 awards)
  • Leadership (1 award)
  • Diversity and Inclusion (1 award)

 

Eligibility

  • With the exception of those applying for a team award, nominees must be staff who are employed at least 50-percent time and have a minimum of two years of service within the Division of Academic Affairs. For Team Award nominees, all members should be currently employed with the Division of Academic Affairs and have a minimum of two years of service with Texas A&M University
  • Employees with job designations of director or its variants (assistant director, associate director, etc.) and below are eligible to be nominated for all Tradition of Excellence Awards except the Support Staff award.
    • Support Staff Award: Employees that support units/departments with administrative functions (i.e. Administrative Assistant, Administrative Coordinator, Business Associate, Customer Service Associate, etc.).
  • Tradition of Excellence Award recipients are eligible to be nominated for the award five years after receiving a previous Tradition of Excellence Award.
  • Personnel holding faculty designation are not eligible for nomination.

 

Nomination Materials

  • Nomination packets must include the completed nomination form and a Statement of Qualifications (two pages or less) that describes why the nominee should be considered for this award. A resume is not sufficient. Please comment on each of the following criteria and any other contributions you may with to address. Include specific examples of activities and service.
    • A check box will be added to the nomination form to allow nominator(s) to select with award(s) they are nominating for. Any individual nomminated for the leadership or diversity and inclusion awards will be considered for the support staff and director/professional awards if they are not chosen for their specific award.
    • Leadership/Diversity and Inclusion Awards: Nominator(s) for these awards will be allowed to add up to (1) extra page to their Statement of Qualifications (Three pages or less in total) if needed.
  • In addition, the nomination packet may include no more than two, one-page letters of endorsement/support for the nominee. Individuals submitting recommendations should be knowledgeable of the nominee's contributions to Texas A&M University and indicate their association with the candidate.

 

Texas A&M University
Academic Affairs
Tradition of Excellence Awards
Rating Instructions

Criteria
In assigning a score for each nominee, please consider specific examples of the following criteria as well as other contributions.

  1. Commitment to Job Excellence. Demonstrates performance and commitment to the job that is consistently outstanding and frequently outside the normal scope of prescribed duties.
  2. Leadership. Exhibits leadership qualities within the context of his/her position responsibilities. Effectively makes decisions and uses resources wisely. Exhibits other demonstrated skills that exceed work expectations.
  3. Innovation and Initiative. Shows independent action and resourcefulness. Encourages new ideas and creativity. Facilitates, supports, and/or leads continuous improvement initiatives.
  4. Support for Quality of Worklife. Creates a supportive work environment by encouraging professional development, teamwork, appropriate delegation, problem-solving, and opportunities for others. Encourages co-workers and customers to contribute to discussion and decision making.
  5. Collaboration. Effectively collaborates within and/or across workgroups, offices, departments, divisions, and/or system members, within the context of his/her position responsibilities.
  6. Diversity and Inclusion. Demonstrates commitment to diversity initiatives within the division that strive to create a more inclusive environment for staff, students, and faculty at Texas A&M University. (This rating category will only applyl to those that have been nominated for the Diversity and Inclusion award)

Scoring (1-25/30 points)
Each nominee may receive a total of 25/30 points, 5 points for each of 5/6 criteria. The scale runs from 0 (poor) to 5 (excellent); so a perfect score would be 25/30. Please record the ratings for each nominee on the attached matrix. Be sure to record the point total in the column at the far right of the matrix. Do not use fractions.

Training Programs

Supervisor Programs

Mini-Grants

The Academic Affairs Climate and Diversity Committee's Mini-Grant Subcommittee was formed to create guidelines for and to award one-time funding for mini-grants for division staff member diversity development.  This one-time funding was awarded to the Division of Academic Affairs in FY 2014 to recognize the progress made in advancing division diversity initiatives.  Below are the call for proposals, the evaluation rubric that will be used to make awards, and links to the two types of online mini-grant applications.

Call for Proposals
Evaluation Rubric 
Mini-Grant Application

Idea Contest

The Academic Affairs Climate and Diversity Committee's biennial Idea Contest (run in even numbered fiscal years) is managed by a standing subcommittee. The contest awards one-time funding for ideas that could benefit Texas A&M staff to promote climate, efficiency and/or effectiveness in our workgroups, offices, departments within the groups for whom AACDC is responsible or impact Texas A&M as a whole. This was developed as a result of a climate survey recommendation from the division level climate survey. Ideas are considered separately for partial or complete implementation funding from AACDC. Groups or individuals submitting the winning ideas will be recognized with monetary awards and recognition at the Division Spring Social/Tradition of Excellence Awards Program. For more details and contest guidelines, see the links below for the Contest Rules and a flier you can share with others. Questions should be directed to aacdcideascontest@tamu.edu.

Download Flyer

Call for Proposals

 

History

The Ideas Contest subcommittee was formed in response to an item in the 2016 Academic Affairs Climate Survey. The charge was to establish a contest allowing any level of division staff to submit innovative ideas that will improve diversity, work/life balance, and/or innovation. As a result of the first contest held in fiscal year 2018, two of the winning proposals were selected to receive additional funding from the Provost's Office and were implemented division wide.

 

Statement of Purpose

Contest submissions should inherently embody the Aggie Core Values of Excellence, Integrity, Leadership, Loyalty, Respect, and Selfless Service while demonstrating an idea for improving diversity, work/life balance, or innovation. Our goal is to identify initiatives that will positively impact a working group, office, section, department, the division, or even the university as a whole.

 

Idea Submission Categories

  • Diversity
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Innovation
  • Focus Areas within Each Category (Contestants may focus on any of the following)
    • Staff Recruitment
    • Staff Retention
    • Team Building
    • Workplace Climate
    • Office Efficiencies
    • Office Effectiveness
    • Professional Development
 

Eligibility

  • The contest is open to any budgeted full-time, part-time employee or student worker within the Division of Academic Affairs.
  • An eligible staff member may submit multiple submissions (individual or team).
  • Ideas must be in line with Texas A&M University Rules and Standard Administrative Policies (SAPs), and support Texas A&M University's mission and core values.
  • Submissions must fit in at least one of the categories mentioned in the categories section.
  • Submissions must be completed by the posted timelines along with all supporting documents using only the methods posted by the subcommittee.
  • A submission can only win one award.
  • If multiple entries are received for a similar idea/concept, the subcommittee may recommend the creation of a group team from individual entries in order to advance the idea into the second round for additional consideration. This is intended to help initiate collaboration on ideas which hold merit that, alone, may not be developed enough initially to compete with other similar ideas submitted. However, individuals will have the choice whether to join a group team or remain in the contest as an individual entry.
  • Any subcommittee member who enters a submission, individually or as part of a team, will be recused from that category for voting purposes.
  • For ideas advancing to Round Two, the subcommittee will contact supervisors to discuss feasibility of idea.
 

Proposal Submission Method

Please submit proposals online at https://tx.ag/AACDC2020Contest.

Round 1

Submissions will be made online through a Qualtrics survey.

Round Two

Contestants are asked to sell their ideas through a short presentation, video, or written proposal submitted electronically to the subcommittee. Contestants will submit 2nd round proposals electronically. Entries may, but are not required to, leverage YouTube, or other electronic media mediums to showcase their strengths.

 

Rubrics

 

Timeline

  • Round 1
    • Nov 1: Open for Idea Proposals
    • Dec 6: Deadline
  • Round 2
    • Jan 13: Open for Advanced Presentation Submissions
    • Feb 28: Deadline
 

Awards

  • Overall Awards
    • Best Overall Idea (Individual) -- $350 cash award and certificate
    • Best Overall Idea (Group) -- $500 cash award (to be shared between group/team members) and certificates
  • Category Awards
    • Best Diversity Idea -- $200 cash award and certificate
    • Best Work/Life Balance Idea -- $200 cash award and certificate
    • Best Innovation Idea -- $200 cash award and certificate
 

Announcements

Winners of the Ideas Contest will be announced at the 2020 Academic Affairs Fall Kickoff Event.

 

Contact

If you have questions, please contact the subcommittee at aacdcideascontest@tamu.edu. Information for this year's contest is located on the Provost's website https://provost.tamu.edu/Initiatives/Councils-Committees. Details will be located at the bottom of that webpage.

Past Winners

 

2018 Best Workload Innovation:

Nick Kilmer, Assistant Director of the Money Education Center, Scholarships and Financial Aid Office

Nick’s Big Idea was “for the University to purchase a virtual waitlist system and allow offices providing significant lobby assistance the opportunity to choose to use it to improve their customers’ experience. Students could check-in online for walk-in assistance using this system and could wait anywhere they please. When it is nearly their turn to be assisted, the students would be notified via app (which shows real-time wait time information) or text, allowing them to arrive just in time to be assisted. This should improve our students’ experience with the office, and in turn the job satisfaction of the staff who serve them.”

This idea was partially funded and implementation started in Fall 2019 with other offices joining into using this waitlist system.

 

2018 Best Work/Life Balance:

Suresh Krishna Kagga, student employee in International Student Services

Suresh’s big idea was to create a virtual reality relaxation space for staff. “The idea is an attempt to utilize the potential of Virtual Reality to reduce work related stress, thus ensuring a better work life balance and optimizing the efficiency of the workforce at TAMU.”The idea here is to create an integrated Virtual space for staff to use throughout the day to help relax and reduce stress.

 

2018 Team Award for Overall Best Idea:

TEAM SRS

TEAM SRS, is a volunteer-based group made up of Sponsored Research Services employees. Ann Savell is the team lead. Other members of TEAMSRS who participated in the Idea Contest are Lyndal Arceneaux, Rene Contreras, Carolyn Franklin, Vicki Hegemeyer, Rebecca Hernandez, Elizabeth Johnston-Vasquez, Chad Kacir, Jonathan Klippel, Jessica Love, Andrea McLean, Sara Poremski, Pattie Sims, and Martha Tackett.

TEAM SRS’ idea was to share more broadly how teams and workgroups can use the Google Team Drive (available through TAMU’s Google Suite package). This tool allows staff to publish and share information and provide a place to share processes/approaches that work the best for them and which could be used or adapted by other departments to suit their needs.

 

2018 Individual Award for Overall Best Idea:

Melissa Bohnsack, Assistant Director, overseeing the phone queue customer service team, Scholarships & Financial Aid

Melissa’s idea was to purchase and implement an artificial intelligence chatbot for at least the Financial Aid website and possibly other offices on campus. An artificial intelligence chatbot could help departments provide a “customer service agent that can triage customer service requests, extend hours of operations, and improve the overall quality of services [provided].” “The [chatbot] would be custom-trained to serve specificknowledge domains; this means it can live in chat form on a website, at an email address, text message, Facebook messenger, and in a live agent chat window to answer [department] specific questions.”

This idea was partially funded and implementation started in Fall 2019, with other offices joining in to use the chatbot.