August 10, 2011 – Most Fort Valley State University employees know what they’d do with a pay raise. For some, new money would be spent paying down bills, stashing it into a savings account or shopping; but President Dr. Larry E. Rivers’ unexpected pay increase from the Board of Regents will benefit Wildcats.
“Whatever is left of my raise, minus social security and taxes, will go to the general student scholarship fund until all FVSU employees receive a raise,” Rivers announced during the presidential address at the 2011 Faculty/Staff Institute Aug. 8 in the C.W. Pettigrew Center auditorium.
Rivers explained to a back-from-summer-vacation, standing-room-only audience ofFVSU employees why the BOR approved the raise in July. FVSU’s chief executive and Albany State University president, Dr. Edward Freeman, were the two lowest paid leaders in the University System of Georgia.
The audience applauded Rivers’ pledge of cash to the scholarship fund. Since USG revenues are up and the system was operating in the black, a potential pay increase for employees may come as early as the 2012-2013 fiscal year according to Rivers. Employees received the last raise in 2006.
Almost 700 FVSU faculty and staffers arrived early and reconnected with colleagues in the lobby after completing paperwork for new parking decals. During the institute’s morning session, department heads introduced new employees and formally announced promotions. The most notable included Dr. Govind Kannan, recently named dean of the College of Agriculture, Family Sciences and Technology. Willie Williams was appointedFVSU’s interim vice president of student affairs and enrollment management.
During a break, employees feasted on fresh, hot buttered popcorn, courtesy of FVSU’sOffice of Marketing and Communications. The surprise appearance of the Blue Machine Marching Band was a crowd pleaser.
Workshop speaker Bruce Kimbro, a Disney Institute consultant, conducted an entertaining session entitled, “Quality Customer Service.” Kimbro reinforced the talk with stories, a PowerPoint presentation and film clips that illustrated the corporation’s philosophy about service delivery.
Attorney Jeffrey Thompson of Constangy, Brooks and Smith, LLC discussed the negative impact of harassment in the workplace.
Later, Dr. Robbie Kendall-Melton, from the Tennessee Board of Regents, showed off e-learning initiatives during the “Mobilizing Academics for the Millennials” session. The facilitator advised the audience to use electronic devices infused with applications in the classroom to increase academic success.
“It was refreshing to hear from people outside of the university for a change. I got a lot of good information from Mr. Kimbro. He reminded us that even if we’re having a bad day, it’s important to remember how we entertain and greet parents and our students. Even if we can’t help someone, we need to make an effort to put them in touch with people in the right area,” said Dr. Berlethia Pitts, assistant professor of English and the African studies program.
Door prizes and a lively reception officially kicked off the beginning of a new school year.
Christina D. Milton, editorial assistant
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