SPAC produces at least two newsletters each academic year. The newsletter serves as the Council's communication to Service Professionals on all topics related to the Council's activities. Articles may include committee updates, professional development opportunities, and advocacy projects.

SPAC Newsletter header

FALL 2016

Notes from the Chair

As the chair of the Service Professional Advisory Council (SPAC) I would like to invite you to become involved in SPAC in whatever way you can. This year our theme is Employee Engagement.  At NAU, we are so fortunate to have a number of opportunities in which to be involved and be ambassadors for positivity!  Whether it’s attending one or more of the excellent personal and professional development courses offered by NAU, or attending a Lumberjack sporting event, we can share our commitment and support of the institution with others.  SPAC also has service projects and we welcome your time and talent on those committees, as well.

I also invite you to attend our monthly meetings, whether by Collaborate or in person.  The meeting locations are listed on our website.  We have tried a new approach this year with speed networking to start off each meeting.  It gets the energy flowing and allows us to meet other service professionals that we may not know.  The connection to others is also important for engagement in our campus community.

There is a lot of change happening on campus. We have all been impacted by it, but we need to remember that change brings opportunity and be receptive when those opportunities present themselves to us.  It is important to stay informed about the direction that NAU is heading; I encourage you to attend the President’s Forum on October 18 from 3 to 4:30 and the High Country Conference Center.  This will be beneficial for all of us to stay engaged and remain positive!  

I hope to see you soon at a SPAC meeting!  If you have a question or need some assistance, please contact us!

Shari L. Miller, M.A., J.D.
Chair, Service Professional Advisory Council


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    Lunch Break Workshops - You said; we did!

    As a direct result of your feedback on the SPAC survey, we are proud to announce this fall’s Lunch Break workshops.

    Lunch Breaks are available to the entire service professional population as a way for networking with peers and as a means of staying informed on a variety of topics from self-improvement to university business.

    • October 19th (11:30am –  12:30pm) # SPAC08 – Project Management and Storage Software (facilitated by Sean Ryan from NAU’s Center for Science Teaching & Learning)
    • November 9th (12:00pm – 1:00pm) # SPAC09 – Develop YOUR Career (facilitated by Emily McCarthy from NAU Career Development)
    • February 6th (12:00pm – 1:00pm) #SPAC10 – Healthy Habits to Support Work-Life Harmony (facilitated by Megan Anderson from NAU Campus Health Services)
    • March 8th (12:00pm – 1:00pm) #SPAC11 – Recognizing Work-Related Losses (facilitated by Mikhael Star from the Office of the Vice Provost of Academic Affairs)

    ALL sessions take place in the Applied Research and Development (ARD) building #56, Large Pod conference room.

    Space is limited so log into LOUIE and search the course names or #s listed above to reserve your seat today!

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    Upcoming Service Projects

    As is our tradition, SPAC has adopted a family with three children for the holiday season.  As you begin your holiday shopping, please help make this a very special season for this family. 

    1. Sign up using this link to a Google doc with information regarding wishes and sizes.
    2. Please drop off the unwrapped gifts at HR (Bldg 91) ON or BEFORE Tuesday, December 13.  Questions can be directed to
    3. Celebrate the holidays by helping us wrap the gifts, have laughs, see our friends and colleagues from across campus, and enjoy snacks (feel free to bring along a beverage or treats to share): Thursday, December 15; 8:30-10am, Student Academic Services (Bldg 60) Room 105.  

    This spring we will be collecting supplies to help meet the needs of our students here at NAU.  The details of this project will be distributed in March.


  • Leadership Award winner
    Leadership Award winner

    2016 SPAC Leadership Award Winner: Steve Montague

    The recipient of the SPAC Leadership Award for 2015-16 was Steve Montague.  Steve is a Team Lead in the Learning & Professional Development department of ITS.  He has been with NAU for 12 years and still brings lots of energy and passion to his work every day.  Steve is quick to volunteer to his expertise and talents for a variety of projects.  Steve leads a team of equally creative and passionate people and under his guidance they accomplish many amazing things

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    SANsational award logo

    Chris Graver, Steve Hernandez, and the CAS Log-In Messaging Project Team

    The nomination submitted by Shari Miller to the State Authorization Network (SAN) for the category of “Location: How do you identify where your students are located?” is the recipient of the national 2016 SANsational Award!  Chris Graver was ITS project lead with Steve Hernandez; they worked tirelessly to launch the CAS log-in messaging project to determine where NAU students are physically located each semester.  According to the announcement from WCET, “It was an exceptionally competitive pool of nominations.  The 2016 SANsational awardees demonstrate the kind of innovative, forward-thinking, and truly compliance-centric institutions we are proud to have as WCET SAN members.  One of the goals of the SANsational award is to promote awareness and dissemination of the promising practices and resources represented by the award recipients.”

    Team members included Ahsan Imam, Teresa Haven, Lauren Copeland-Glenn, Ray Walker, John Hutchison, Theresa Rogers, Mikhael Star, Cory Logan, Janea Laudick, and Shari Miller.

    On behalf of the team, Shari Miller received the award on October 12 at the SAN Conference.  The award will be dedicated to the memory of Teresa Haven.  Thank you to Kyle Cawood for coming up with the concept and Julia Spining for her assistance in writing the nomination.  This was a truly collaborative work across many units of NAU which has put NAU again in the national spotlight for its innovation in state authorization compliance!

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    Campus Collaboration at SSC

    The new Student Service Center (SSC) opened its doors February 1, 2016 (Building 60, Room 103) with a mission to set a new standard of customer service, facilitating student success.  The SSC utilizes Salesforce CRM in conjunction with multiple campus functional areas such as Financial Aid, Registrar, Student Accounts, and Undergraduate Admissions and Orientation to serve students seamlessly with a robust case management system that functions along with other campus applications like Outlook, Louie, and OnBase.  Recently, the NAU Yuma Student Service Center has joined our collaboration to offer the same coordinated service to the Yuma Extended Campuses community.

    The Flagstaff Mountain SSC has resolved 6,867 cases through September 30, 2016 with an average close time of 28 minutes.  The Service Center staff is cross-trained and fluent in processes like verifying enrollment and schedules, adding/dropping classes, applying for scholarships and financial aid, making payments, and completing and submitting forms.  Stop in, call, or email the SSC for convenient “One Stop” service!

University Committee Updates

SPAC continues to remain a well-informed advocate for Service Professionals by attending regular University Committee meetings and providing summary updates at each SPAC meet. These updates are published in the SPAC minutes available here.  


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    Survey icon

    Campus Climate Survey

    Representatives of the Commission on Ethnic Diversity, the LGBTQIA Commission, and the Equity and Inclusion Commission created a Campus Climate survey with the help of the EMSA Analytics and Assessment Office and administered it in Spring 2015.  The survey covers topics such as

    • Overall campus climate
    • Resources and support
    • Students
    • Staff and programming
    • Faculty and academics
    • Experiences/Reporting of harassment and discrimination

    The survey was sent to 17,663 undergraduate students on the Flagstaff Campus; over 2,000 completed the full survey. Results were disaggregated into the following groups: 

    • White vs. Students of Color
    • Sexual Identity Majority vs. Sexual Identity Minority
    • Students without a Disability vs. Students with a Disability
    • Gender Identity Majority vs. Gender Identity Minority

    This survey has opened discussions relative to understanding our campus climate and the overall student experience. Watch for forthcoming presentations on the survey at the various Campus Commissions coming soon.

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    Pay Raise Ahead icon

    Human Resources Updates

    Performance Based Increases (PBI) are approved by Dr. Cheng effective December 5, 2016.  See this HR webpage for details.  




    • Because of the early effective date, there will be changes to Workforce Planning
    • Workforce Planning will move from an annual process to one that is more ongoing.  Human Resources will communicate details about the new program to address reclassification issues in early December.  Reclassification requests should be held for submission until the new process is implemented, which we anticipate will be early in calendar year 2017. 
    • Funding has been allocated to provide increases to Classified Staff, Service Professionals, and Post-Doctoral Scholars.  (Faculty will have the same pool, but their program differs from the staff program because of policy requirements.)
    • All staff who meet the eligibility criteria will be eligible for a 2% base increase. 

    Additionally, top performer increases can be granted to up to 50% of classified staff and up to 50% of service professionals.  The top performer increases can range from 1-3% and are in addition to the base 2%.

    Fair Labor Standards Act (FSLA) and Overtimeestablishes minimum wage, overtime pay, record keeping standards, and child labor standards.  Significant changes have been made to the law regarding the minimum salary threshold for an exemption from the overtime provisions of the law.  The changes are effective on December 1, 2016, but will be implemented at NAU on the 11/21/16, the first day of the pay period that includes December 1.  See this HR webpage for details.  


    • FSLA: Previous threshold of $23,000 is now $47,476.  Approximately 600 employees who were previously exempt will become non-exempt because their salaries fall below the new threshold. 
    • PBI: The 2% base Performance Based Increase will impact approximately 40 of those 600 impacted employees by increasing their salaries above the new threshold, meaning these 40 employees will not see a change of their FLSA exemption status.

Campus-wide Committees

For detailed information on these campus-wide initiatives, please visit the individual websites listed below.