The 2014-15 members of the Staff Senate Executive Committee are, left to right, Penney Doughtie, Lisa Ormond, Arlene Bowling and Mary Schiller. Each was elected to a one-year term. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)
SENATE LEADERSHIP Four staff members elected to executive committee
Four East Carolina University staff members began one-year terms as officers of the Staff Senate Executive Committee on June 1.
The new officers are Mary Schiller, chair; Lisa Ormond, chair-elect; Penney Doughtie, secretary; and Arlene Bowling, treasurer.
Schiller began working for ECU in 2001 as Contact Center manager for the Brody School of Medicine. This is her second year as a senator.
During her term as chair, Schiller said she will work to promote and enhance the status of staff to ensure that their expertise is included in university goals. She would like to see more collaboration between the Faculty and Staff Senates and hopes to offer awards from two growing scholarship funds managed by the Staff Senate.
Schiller presented goals for the coming year during the first-ever Staff Senate report to the ECU Board of Trustees in July 2014.
“Speaking at the board meeting was an honor,” Schiller said. “ECU is facing some serious challenges, and as the old saying goes, ‘many hands make light work.’ The Staff Senate is willing to do everything we can to enable ECU to thrive today and in the future. Being included on the agenda at each meeting sends a strong message that staff input is valued by the board as well as the university.”
Another first for the Staff Senate is having an all-female Executive Committee. This is the first time anyone can remember or determine from records that it has happened, Schiller said.
Lisa Ormond is an accountant with the College of Nursing and will reach 26 years of total service at ECU this September. She is serving as chair-elect in year two of her second term as a senator, positioning her to become chair for 2015-16.
Ormond aims to build a closer relationship between staff and Human Resources, working collaboratively to make the best possible decisions for staff. She would also like for staff to have a louder voice within the ECU community.
“So many of our colleagues are unaware of the Staff Senate and its purpose and goals,” Ormond said.
She hopes to see the university regain some of its past stability in the job market, along with competitive salaries and benefits.
Penney Doughtie, a technology support analyst in Financial Services, has been with ECU for 19 years. She believes the Staff Senate is a strong voice for campus and hopes to continue to grow the professional relationship between staff and administration.
Doughtie is also committed to service, and said, “I am honored to be a seven-year member of the ECU Servire Society for community service. The Latin word servire is the University’s motto, and means ‘to serve.’ I personally think it is everyone’s duty to volunteer and I would like to see more staff members volunteer during campus events and in the community.”
Bowling is a personnel coordinator in the Department of Radiation Oncology and has worked at ECU since 2004. She is serving her second year in the Staff Senate. As treasurer, Bowling strives to promote fiscal accountability and good stewardship of university revenues and resources.
“I would like to see all employees at ECU engaged in preserving our heritage and actively making a personal commitment to resolving our current financial crisis,” Bowling said.
Bowling also hopes to serve as a model for and encourage active participation in ECU’s servire motto.
All four agree that one of the biggest challenges facing staff is low morale due to insecurities about their positions. This has been brought on by budget cuts that have caused increased workloads with no compensation increases, combined with promotion restraints and an overall uncertainty about the financial environment.
The Staff Senate comprises 52 delegates representing 4,000 ECU staff members. The Executive Committee is elected by a majority vote of senators and alternates at the May meeting each year.