Western Carolina University Staff Senate
No Images? Click here

August 2016 Newsletter


New Chair's Welcome Address

Greetings from Staff Senate! I first want to thank our Past-Chair, Pam DeGraffenreid, for her dedication and service this past year. As outlined in our last newsletter, she helped to champion many different initiatives this past year and thanks to her commitment we saw many solutions come forward this past year.

As the new Chair for Staff Senate, I wanted to take a moment to introduce myself and also to outline some of our goals and initiatives for this year. I have worked in the Office of Admission since 2005 and got involved in higher education because of my interest in helping students during their college transition. During my time here I have continually been impressed with the work and effort of staff on our campus. The commitment to our students is something that has made me so proud to call myself a member of Western Carolina and is something which motivates me in my year of service, as Staff Senate Chair, to our campus community. I am also highly encouraged by the enactment of shared governance on our campus, which allows everyone to have a strong voice in the direction and mission of our institution.

As we move forward this year, we will deal with many of the ongoing areas of concern we’ve identified already. This includes topics such as salary, awards, and recognition for staff. We will also see many new issues and topics arise. Some of these are already on our radar, such as NC Promise, and I am sure that we can come together to reach creative solutions as we investigate the impact and move forward to implement this new law on our campus.

Lastly, I want to welcome you to share your opinions and concerns. Staff Senate is a representative body which welcomes input and collaboration. If you have any concern or issue on your mind, I will make myself available to hear your thoughts. You can also reach out to your elected representatives who may be easier for you to contact, either physically or organizationally. Again, thank you for the privilege to represent staff this year and I look forward to another year of making WCU great!

Legislative Salary Increase

Last month the 2016 General Assembly ratified and Governor Pat McCrory signed into law HB 1030 (2016 Appropriations Act). The Appropriations Act provides for a 1.5% legislative salary increase (LSI) for eligible employees effective July 1, 2016. The increase will be reflected in the August 2016 payroll and will be retroactive to July 1. Permanent full-time, part-time and time-limited employees are eligible for the increase without regard to performance rating or active disciplinary action. The increase does not apply to employees separated from state service prior to July 1, 2016, nor those hired effective July 1, 2016, or later.  Included in the law was also an additional one-time 0.5% bonus payment to permanent employees. We do not yet know when the bonus payment will be processed. For more information about the increase, please see campus email communications from Cory Causby, the Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources.


Emergency Services Active Shooter Training

Each year the Emergency Services Department conducts exercises to evaluate the preparedness of the University to respond in a large scale emergency. These include table top exercises, functional exercises, and full scale exercises. On May 17, 2016, a modified full scale exercise was conducted. A primary purpose of this exercise was to test the response capabilities of public safety but also to include a wide range of University Departments who would play a role in the aftermath of a significant event. Literally all University departments would have a role in the response and recovery. Medical, counseling, housing,  academics, and facilities, to name a few, would all be heavily engaged in providing services to students and their families in the aftermath. This was a primary objective of this exercise and a review is under way on lessons learned, what we do well, and what we need to improve upon.


Move-In Weekend: August 19-21

Move-In Day for freshmen is FRIDAY, AUGUST 19, at 7AM. Move-in for upperclassmen is Saturday and Sunday,  August 20-21, beginning at 7AM.

You will find plenty of support campus-wide on Move-In Day, from WCU police and parking staff, to volunteers and facilities management workers. Faculty, staff, and students are all encouraged to assist and help welcome WCU’s newest Catamounts. 

Safety During Move-In
Everyone knows that move-in is one of the most hectic times in Cullowhee. Not only are there more cars on campus, but many of those people may not be familiar with where they are going. Now take all of that, and then throw some construction into the pot. We are oftentimes praised on how smooth move-in is here at WCU compared to other colleges or universities and we want to keep that praise coming.

One of the main things that people should remember when coming to campus on Move-In Day is to be aware of your surroundings. This message goes to both drivers and pedestrians. With all of the construction going on and people new to campus, it is very likely for someone to unintentionally walk out in front of a moving vehicle and we want to prevent that from happening. Be sure to use the crosswalks and pay attention to traffic signals. Try to refrain from looking down at your cell phone as you enter an intersection. 

Maps for move-in can be found here.

Move-In Welcome Team
We are looking for volunteers that can help during freshmen move-in on Friday, August 19, 2016 between 7am and 5pm. If you can work part or all of a shift or even more, please consider signing up to help. In exchange for your assistance, you will receive a Western Carolina shirt (given only to Welcome Team volunteers!) and water and snacks to keep you fed and hydrated! If you are interested in being a part of the team, please fill out your pertinent information in the provided Qualtrics Link below:


Thank you for your consideration and time!  We hope you can help us welcome our largest incoming freshmen class ever!


Senator Spotlight Ann Green

What is your Job title and Department? 
I am a Budget Analyst with the Budget Office within the Division of Administration and Finance.

Where are you from?
I grew up in Central Florida, but I have spent most of my life in three NC towns; Asheville, Charlotte and Sylva.

How long have you worked at WCU?
I have been at WCU for seven years. I started in May, 2009 working in the Provost Office within the Division of Academic Affairs and moved to the Budget Office in the Division of Administration and Finance in May, 2015.

What is your academic background?
I am a graduate of WCU with a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration, Finance.

What is your favorite thing about working at WCU? The people. Sometimes it is the challenge of the task or project at hand, but mostly I find work inspiring because of the people around me.


Senator Spotlight John Nickel

What is your Job title and Department?  I work in IT and am the Team Lead for the Instructional Computing team.


Where are you from? 
I was born in Naples FL and moved to Franklin NC when I was 7. I've been in the mountains ever since.

How long have you worked at WCU?  I've worked at WCU since I was a student in 2006. I moved to an hourly position after I graduated in 2010, and have been full-time since 2011.

What is your academic background? 
I earned a BSBA in Computer Information Systems here at WCU.

What is your favorite thing about working at WCU?  My favorite thing is knowing that the technology we support and the services we provide have a direct impact on classes that are taught at Western. We take a lot of pride in our work, and our whole team strives to give faculty and students the best possible learning environment.


Upcoming Events


Opening Assembly
August 17
Bardo Arts Center

Move-In Weekend
August 19-21

Employee Appreciation Day
September 1
Ramsey Center

Mountain Heritage Day
September 24