Creating a Voice for Staff at Georgia Tech

Atlanta, GA

Until recently, staff at Georgia Tech didn’t have a formal means of communicating their perspectives to the Institute’s executive leadership. And given that there are more than 3,700 staff members at Tech, there is plenty of insight to be shared. So, at the request of President G.P. “Bud” Peterson, a planning committee was established last year to develop the framework for the creation of Georgia Tech’s inaugural Staff Council.

The Staff Council’s primary mission is to act as an advisory group to the Institute’s executive and senior leadership and provide insight on how decisions regarding policies, procedures, and investments affect this segment of the campus community. The Council, which will meet with executive leadership at regular intervals, is intended to serve as a conduit for staff perspectives that are broadly representative of the greater staff population.

“When I first came to Georgia Tech in 2009, one of the first things I noticed is that we didn’t have a group in place to share insight and advice on decisions that affected our staff,” said Peterson. “Our new Staff Council will enable our staff to have a formal channel of communication with Georgia Tech’s senior leadership, just like our faculty and students already have. I would like to thank the planning committee and the members of the interim Staff Council for their work in helping to make this a reality.”

The interim Staff Council, which was appointed by the president, is charged with developing a plan for the planning and execution of the inaugural campuswide Staff Council elections this fall. In August, this group will lead public forums as a means for staff to learn more about the Staff Council as well as involvement opportunities.

To facilitate this goal of transferring appointed seats to elected seats in January 2015, the interim Staff Council also elected its first leadership team to help steer the committee toward a successful first term.

  • Council Chair: Dwayne Palmer, lead information technology project manager in the Office of Information Technology
  • Council Vice-chair: Christie Stewart, associate director of Campus Recreation
  • Council Secretary: Andrea Be, assistant director for business operations in the Office of Industry Research

“The interim Staff Council is very excited to serve the campus community in this capacity,” said Palmer. “There is a lot to accomplish in the short term. This summer, we will conduct several information sessions where we will engage staff – asking them to bring their concerns and input to the Council. In addition, we will also be establishing the Staff Council elections process for fall 2014. I am really charged up about this opportunity for Georgia Tech's Staff Council to have a positive impact on campus.” 

Seats on the 20-member Staff Council will be allocated based upon the relative size of the staff populations under the Institute’s Job Classification and Compensation System (JCCS). For instance, the 739 staff members who comprise the skilled trade classification equate to five council seats. There are five categories in JCCS: Administrative and Professional, Scientific and Research, Skilled Trade, Information Technology, and Development.

A Staff Council website will be launched later this summer. In the meantime, questions and comments can be submitted to: staffcouncil@gatech.edu.

Last revised August 1, 2017