Frequently Asked Questions about the Employee Council

What is the Employee Council?

We are a council of 13 non-faculty employees elected by staff to represent our colleagues from 13 precincts across campus. We broaden and strengthen lines of communication to help staff participate in policymaking at the College. We work toward greater visibility for staff; a more supportive work environment; and a sense of community among staff, students, faculty, and senior administrators. Our platform highlights our current main areas of concern, including the recent staff survey, the JCCP, the status of casual employees, benefits, and the Performance Management Process.

How can I stay informed about and involved with the Council’s work?

  • Read the minutes from our monthly meetings
  • Use our web form, or contact a representative, to share your suggestions, questions and concerns
  • Follow us on Facebook
  • Attend our Coffee Hours and other events on campus
  • Nominate yourself and/or others from your precinct to run for seats on the Council
  • Vote in your precinct’s elections

Why should I consider serving on the Council?

  • To develop your skills in organization, communication, and leadership
  • To get to know staff from other offices and departments
  • To learn more about issues affecting the College and its employees
  • To speak up for yourself and your colleagues
  • To help make Amherst a better place to work

As a Council representative, what are the time commitments and responsibilities?

  • The Council meets once a month for two hours, typically over lunch in Valentine.
  • Every member is expected to serve on at least one committee or working group, requiring an average of an additional 1–2 hours monthly.
  • Serving as an officer (Chair, Co-Chair, Treasurer, Committee/Working Group Chair) requires an additional 2–4 hours monthly, on average.
  • We understand that some employees have more flexibility in their jobs to attend additional meetings than others. We do not and cannot expect Council members to attend additional meetings if doing so causes difficulty for them in their jobs.
  • A term on the Council lasts 2 years. A rep may serve no more than 4 consecutive terms (8 years total).

 What are the different committees and working groups?

  • COMMUNICATIONS COMMITTEE — Manages the Council’s publicity and communications with the greater Amherst community.
  • ELECTIONS COMMITTEE — Seeks nominations of Council representatives. Conducts elections of representatives annually or as needed. Keeps constituent precinct membership lists up-to-date to ensure that staff across campus are appropriately represented on the Council. Recommends staff to serve on College committees, who are then voted on by the full Council.
  • DIVERSITY, EQUITY, AND INCLUSION WORKING GROUP — Gather information in relation to experiences and needs of staff from historically and presently marginalized/underrepresented communities and identities and regularly communicate staff needs with the Director of Inclusive Leadership. Coordinate trainings/workshops for the council and working group in order to grow in our own understanding of issues related to DE&I, especially as they relate to our ability to serve our constituents.
  • EVENTS COMMITTEE — Designs and implements Council events, such as the Valentine’s Day celebration in the Powerhouse and the annual welcome luncheon for new Council members.
  • GOVERNANCE COMMITTEE — Reviews Council bylaws and recommends changes as appropriate. Conducts an orientation program for new members, and creates and maintains a guide for them.
  • HUMAN RESOURCES WORKING GROUP — Meets regularly with Human Resources. Recommends changes in and offers feedback about benefits, personnel policies and all aspects of the employment environment. Brings constituent concerns to Human Resources.
  • COMMITTEE ON PRIORITIES AND RESOURCES (CPR) — A representative from the Employee Council attends CPR meetings. The CPR offers advice on reviewing and ranking FTE requests for staff with each budget cycle. Increasingly, and largely from the input of staff on the committee, the CPR has also taken up review of staff benefits.

 Which offices and departments are in which precinct?

Academic Precinct

  • All academic departments and programs (excluding Academic Department Coordinators)
  • Center for Community Engagement
  • Center for Humanistic Inquiry
  • Center for Russian Culture
  • Office of the Provost and Dean of the Faculty
  • Global Education Office
  • Grants Office
  • Science Center
  • Writing Center
  • Non-faculty staff involved in research funded by Amherst College or an external organization

ADCs Precinct

  • All Academic Department Coordinators

Administrative Services Precinct

  • Board of Trustees
  • Controller
  • Human Resources
  • Institutional Research
  • Office of Communications
  • Office of the General Counsel
  • Office of the Chief Financial Officer
  • Office of the President
  • Registrar's Office
  • Title IX Office

Admission/Financial Aid Precinct

  • Admission
  • Financial Aid

Advancement Precinct

  • Advancement Communications
  • Advancement Services
  • Alumni & Parent Programs
  • Amherst Fund
  • Chief Advancement Officer
  • Development

Athletics Precinct

  • Athletics
  • Physical Education
  • Sports Medicine

Dining Services Precinct

  • Catering
  • Schwemms Pub
  • Valentine Dining Services
  • Lewis Sebring, Faculty Dining
  • Frost Cafe
  • Science Center Cafe

Facilities Admin Precinct

  • Book & Plow Farm
  • Central Energy Plant
  • Design & Construction
  • Emergency Management
  • Environmental Health & Safety
  • Facilities Department
  • Museum Security
  • Office of Environmental Sustainability
  • Police
  • Services Center

 

Facilities Custodial Precinct

  • Custodial Services
  • Garage
  • Landscape & Grounds
  • Post Office

Facilities Services Precinct

  • Building Trades
  • Campus Print & Mail Center
  • Electric Shop
  • Mechanical
  • Paint Shop
  • Rental Property

IT Precinct

  • Academic Technology Services
  • Administrative Information Services
  • IT Communications Infrastructure
  • IT Support Services
  • Multimedia Services
  • Office of the Chief Information Officer
  • Systems & Networking
  • Web Services

 

Library/Museums Precinct

  • Amherst College Press
  • Archives & Special Collections
  • Emily Dickinson Museum
  • Library Restricted Funds
  • Mead Art Museum
  • Museum of Natural History
  • Robert Frost Library
  • The Common

Student Services Precinct

  • Counseling Center
  • Fellowship Office
  • Health Education
  • Health Services
  • Loeb Center for Career Exploration & Planning
  • Office of Diversity & Inclusion
  • Office of Student Affairs
  • Religious & Spiritual Life