by Robin Deutsch, PhD & Michael Donner, PhD, President—elect
As you know, we recently implemented a plan asking faculty, program and committee chairs to open and close the building in the evenings and weekends. We would like to apologize to the SFCP Community for the concern and dismay this decision and its implementation provoked. We are taking immediate steps to address the situation.
As many of you know, since we moved into the building, Jeff and the staff have had the responsibility for opening and closing the building before and after meetings. We believe that this was untenable and needed to change. We came up with a system that would allow our members to enter and leave the building without staff being present. Two weeks ago, without any preparation, we gave instructions to the Management Team and asked them to pass them along to the appropriate members of their Divisions. We did not discuss this plan with the Management Team before it was implemented, nor did we give the membership the time or opportunity to consider our plan and give feedback. We mistakenly thought (or hoped) that this would be a straightforward and easy transition. Obviously, we were wrong.
We are thinking about how to move forward for the long term as well as developing an interim plan. For the time being, we are going to ask staff to leave the gate up and the alarm off when they leave the building in the evening. This will allow members to enter the building without having to open the gate or turn off the alarm. We will be reviewing the evening meeting schedule to determine if there are people who are scheduled to be in the building who feel comfortable opening and closing. For example, if the TA/SA group meets the same night as the Board of Trustees meeting, which Robin, Jeff and I will be attending, we three will be able to both open and close the building on that night. We will make sure that there will be coverage each evening over the next few weeks as we explore all of our options. In the event of a situation where no member is willing or available to close the building, Jeff has agreed to step in to help.
Please understand that if you have not volunteered to open or close, or if you have not been asked and have agreed, you do not need to do it.
In terms of a longer term plan, the Management Team is considering a variety of options. Some of you have made suggestions and we are carefully looking at every one of them.
One thing we are considering is hiring someone to open and close the building and to be present at the entrance to the building during evening meetings. We have estimated that this will cost between $13,000—$15,000.00 a year. In order to afford this level of coverage, we are reviewing the feasibility of another dues increase, asking members to reschedule meetings to overlap during the month, reducing staff services and increasing program fees. Each of these options has advantages and disadvantages, but we are committed to carefully reviewing all options.
Thank you for all the input we have received from over the last two weeks. We truly appreciate the level of commitment and dedication that our membership contributes to making the Center a viable and vibrant community.
Please feel free to continue to provide us with your thoughts or suggestions as we are interested in your ongoing input. This has been a difficult and challenging time and we have learned a lot. We will make every effort to be more thoughtful and transparent in the future.