The Staff Advisory Team (SAT) at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey was created in the spring of 2009 to help address MIIS staff member concerns. SAT strives to improve workplace culture in a cooperative, collaborative and open environment. Our aim is to do this by encouraging interoffice communication, opportunities for community building, and career development.
Selecting New Members
SAT is voluntary and accepts nominations for new members from across campus departments on a yearly basis. Current SAT members will evaluate the pool of volunteers and select new members to increase team diversity, and replace outgoing members.
Eligibility: Any regular staff member is eligible to volunteer except for senior administration (members of the Senior Staff, Research Center Directors).
The process for selecting new members is as follows:
- SAT sends out a staff-wide email soliciting submissions for volunteers.
- Nominations are open during the first week of May and conclude on a due date specified by current SAT members.
- Each volunteer will express his or her interest by submitting a personal statement that describes the issues that s/he would hope to address as a member of the team and what they will contribute to the group dynamic.
- New members will be announced at the end of the month.
- Each year SAT will, ideally, be comprised of at least 5-7 members.
- All interested staff will be considered for membership.
- Previous SAT members are eligible to serve additional terms.
Terms of Membership
As SAT is a voluntary group of staff, the term of membership is flexible to meet the often-changing needs and schedules of members. Preferably, voluntary team members will serve up to two years but not less than one. Any SAT member can volunteer for additional years of service provided all current SAT members agree. Members are responsible for attending the bi-weekly SAT meetings, and helping coordinate various events.
The SAT members will collectively decide how often the group will meet per month. Members will be charged with facilitating a goal-setting meeting each year and carry out the objectives of the staff as identified at that meeting. During monthly meetings, decisions will be made as to what events to hold during the year, decide on new directions and initiatives, and discuss new opportunities to improve community amongst staff. These objectives and decisions are driven by emerging issues, changing circumstances, and the forging of a consensus on priorities as identified in the bi-annual survey.
SAT’s annual agenda, depending on its complexity, may call for the formation of additional ad hoc working groups to tackle specific issues within the overall purview of the team. Since the goal is to amplify the individual voices of each staff member, the team will need to be deliberate in its facilitation of the staff and communication with the senior administration.
SAT meets once monthly with the VPAA/Dean of the Institute in an effort to communicate staff needs to the upper administration and coordinate on new projects that will enhance campus community and increase SAT effectiveness.
For the purposes of continuity, SAT will also coordinate with the VPAA/Dean of the Institute Executive Assistant regarding questions related to institutional guidelines.
Operating Procedures for SAT:
SAT is allocated an annual budget from the Office of the VPAA/Dean of the Institute. The yearly budget may be used for staff enrichment and development opportunities that fall underneath SAT’s purview. Use of the budget is at the discretion of SAT. These opportunities include, but are not explicitly limited to:
- Community building events
- Professional development/training
- Wellness workshops
- Collaborative events with other departments
- Once every two years, SAT will conduct an Institute wide survey for the purpose of establishing a working plan for two years.
- SAT, in coordination with the Office of the VPAA/Dean and Human Resources, will host the yearly staff and faculty length of service recognition program each fall.
- SAT will host the monthly mandatory administration meetings.