It was discovered that there were Employee Councils at other colleges in the State and that there was formally established Statewide Liaison Council of Higher Education, consisting of individual school councils who meet three times a year. There is a membership of approximately 25 schools, including Fort Lewis College.
There was a survey done to determine an interest in forming an employee council at Fort Lewis College. Since there was interest a delegate from the University of Colorado Employee Council met with our classified staff about the mechanics of establishing Employee Council. A Constitution and By-Laws committee was created to formally institute the council. Their first meeting of the Fort Lewis College Employee Council Advisory Board was held in February 1994. It was originally formed for the classified staff so they would have representation at the college and state level. An ex-officio from Human Resources and one from Campus Dining were added later. At the inception of the council there were several issues affecting employees: A hiring freeze, a new computer system affecting how jobs were accomplished, the campus-wide rewriting of classified staff job descriptions, and a low employee morale resulting from these issues.
Some of the goals set for the first year were: Morale (Personnel management for supervisors, mandatory employer/employee workshops); exempt staff involvement; continuous education (to include communication, information, and training in conjunction with Human Resources); employee crisis fund (ultimately dropped due to the consensus that the council should not be involved in fund raising at this time); picnic tables to be placed around desirable places around campus. Five committees were then formed to accomplish these goals.
- Morale - Employee Handbook “FLC Survival Guide” completed fall 1996
- Staff Recognition - Skyhawk Employee Spotlight in FLC Messenger, Employee Appreciation Week, Governor’s Award, Birthday cards sent to all faculty and staff, Fli-Hi Awards used to recognize employees
- Exempt Staff Involvement - 4 exempt staff added to the Advisory Board
- Staff Education - Brown Bag lunches and staff development seminars via Human Resources
- State Issues - FLC Advisory Board representation on State Liaison Council of Higher Education
hosted meetings in Durango in 1995, 1997, and 2002
- Picnic Tables - Placed in 1995 at Berndt Hall, Native American Center and Hesperus Hall
Other programs were added later:
- Skyhawk Angels program - Designed to assist our co-workers by volunteering time in personal emergency situations. The needs were as simple as getting mail, cutting the grass or delivering meals. More than 80 people (faculty and staff) signed up as volunteers.
- All-employee Talent Show - Held during lunch hour in the College Union Building
The following programs are now active:
- New Employee Welcome Packets
- Summer Picnic - Previous three years held on the Kroeger lawn. The 2005 BBQ was held in the Memorial Student Lounge due to rain.
- Chili Cook Off - Held the Friday of Homecoming.
- Holiday Bazaar - Held in November or early December for employees to sell their homemade arts, crafts and food.
- Ice Cream Social - Held in March during spring break in the Memorial Student Lounge.
- Employee Appreciation Lunch - Held at the end of the academic year. Lunch is provided to all college employees and state awards are presented.
- Staff Education - Brown Bag lunches and staff development seminars via Human Resources.
- Staff Recognition
- S.T.A.R. (State Top Achievement Recognition) - These employee awards are presented at the end of the academic year at the Employee Appreciation Lunch.
- Birthday Cards - Sent to all faculty and staff.
- Gift Certificates - Drawings are held once a month from the Fli-Hi Awards for $10 gift certificates to the Bookstore.
The Fort Lewis College Employee Council Advisory Board continues to be a vehicle for communication between offices, programs and employees. Throughout the years some original committees have remained, some have been added and some have gone as short-term goals were accomplished. The term length was increased from two to three years, to allow for continuity and stability. Each year the council’s roots grow deeper, commitments stronger and it is finding itself to be a visible asset to the Fort Lewis College Community.