Faculty Senate green-lights plan for childcare

Megan Ganey

The Faculty Senate has moved forward with a plan to provide childcare for faculty and staff on or nearby St. Edward’s University.

Following months of research, the Faculty Senate’s Childcare Committee recommended taking the plan forward to the university’s administration. Members of the faculty are now scheduled to meet with University Executive Vice President and Provost Sr. Donna Jurick to discuss the plan.

Jurick said that she received the proposal from Faculty Senate President Catherine Rainwater, but declined to comment until after the meeting takes place.

The Faculty Senate Childcare Committee surveyed 340 faculty and staff and 75-80 percent responded in favor of on campus childcare, said Craig Campbell, the committee co-chair.

“There needs to be a task force to develop an implementation plan,” Campbell said.

Jennifer Dornan, co-chair of the committee, is arranging a meeting with administration to discuss how, if possible, to move forward with the plan.

The Childcare Committee has found in its research and surveys that five out of seven Holy Cross universities offer some form of childcare programs.

Rainwater said the issue with the university in regards to plan is funding.

“If we have university-connected childcare, the program would have to be either cost neutral or better,” said Rainwater. “There are no facilities on campus that could be used in any cost neutral way.”

Campbell said that he believes having an on-campus or near-campus program can be cost neutral.

“We are not asking at this point for a subsidy,” Campbell said. “Data indicates that there should be enough revenue to support the place.”

The report cites family values and the St. Edward’s mission as reasons for implementation, stressing community and the importance of being close to family.

“If we are a family-friendly institution that cares about the whole person in our families, than this should be something we should support,” Campbell said.

 

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