University Staff Senate
From the President and President-Elect – Brian D. Moss and Michelle Ginavan-Hayes
Staff Senate continues to work hard to represent all 3,300 of KU’s support staff and unclassified professional staff. In case you missed it, Provost Bendapudi recently featured staff in a Strong Ties newsletter, highlighting just a few of the things that we do to keep the university running. Read about "24 Hours in the Life of KU" at http://provost.ku.edu/24-hours-life-ku.
As always, one of our major focuses this year is the Jeannette Johnson Staff Professional Development Fund. We’re happy to report that funding has recently been increased from $2,000 to $10,000 per year, thus allowing us to increase the number of recipients along with the size of the awards. The fall application period recently closed, but watch for the spring call for applications. In the meantime, visit https://staffsenate.ku.edu for more information.
Meanwhile, we’re also working on a tuition assistance program for spouses and dependents, as outlined in the Legislative Affairs committee report in this newsletter. In the Personnel Affairs committee, we’re working on ways to make it easier for staff to find the information that we need – everything from HR policies to child care information, as well as fun and useful things like access to sports tickets and dining discounts.
Our next Staff Senate election is coming up in the spring, so please consider running for office if you’d like to become more involved in the work that we do. Don’t hesitate to contact us directly at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
Diversity & Inclusion Committee report – Michelle Wilson and Jeff Severin (co-chairs)
The Diversity & Inclusion Committee has an overall charge of creating a more inclusive environment for all staff at the University of Kansas. The committee will be working to advance that charge by working with Staff Senate to better integrate training and implementation of diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives through collaborations with departments and organizations outside of Staff Senate.
In November, the committee will be developing action plans to outline specific strategies for addressing its charges. This includes activities in the following areas:
- Training for Staff Senate Membership: Developing ongoing training and informing members of opportunities for DEI training on campus.
- Collaboration with Staff Senate Committees: Working with other committees to make DEI part of the work that we all do throughout Staff Senate and coordinating with counterparts in Student, Faculty, and University Senates.
- Supporting Campus Wide Initiatives: Defining our role as a committee in supporting and promoting other DEI initiatives.
The action plans will provide a blueprint for the committee through the 2017-2018 academic year. Here is a link to their website: http://diversity.ku.edu/learnengage.
Elections Committee report – Andy Jackson (chair)
The Committee is in charge of coordinating the main Staff Senate elections in March, as well as coordinating the replacement of any Staff Senate seats that are vacated before their respective senator’s terms officially ends.
Legislative Affairs Committee report – Robert Waller (chair)
The Committee is currently reviewing the Tuition Assistance Policy, and the inclusion of staff dependents and spouses within that policy. The Committee is discussing the ability to not only hold the University revenue neutral, but to bolster the benefit already available for staff. Meaning, dependents and spouses would be afforded 1 class, up to 5 hours, as is current policy for KU Staff. However, the Committee is attempting to address the occupancy of the seat by a dependent/spouse and the inability of a student who subsequently wishes to enroll and pays tuition from attending said class, thus reducing University revenue. The discussion is on-going. The Committee is also discussing the technology changes relating to the tracking of dependents/spouses. The Committee also recently recommended, and the full Senate approved, changes to the qualification guidelines for the Diversity/Equity chair position, and language to specify the responsibilities of the Information Technology officer to the Staff Senate.
Personnel Affairs Committee report – Annette Delaney (chair)
The Personnel Affairs Committee has not met for a while but we are working on the Virtual Handbook. We are reaching out to University officials to determine if central IT has tools for the search engines to pull key information from any KU websites. In the meantime, we are requesting input from anyone on campus who has had issues with KU searches. Our Personnel Affairs Committee is working on regular monthly date, it will be the last week of each month likely. We are also prepared to review any KU policies brought to us.
Professional Development Committee report – Abby Ehling (chair)
The Jeannette Johnson Staff Professional Development Fund award cycle for Fall 2017 is closed, but we do anticipate accepting applications for a second round of awards in the spring. Additionally, the committee hopes to organize additional professional development workshops for the spring semester. Keep an eye out for more information in the next few months! They are beginning to plan the Mini Wheat State Tour – and to look for more information in the spring
Public Relations Committee report – Deb Deering and Mary Murphy (acting co-chairs)
The committee charges include disseminating the Senate newsletter, managing communication and the Senate website, as well as raising public awareness of the role performed by University staff.
Human Resources report – Ola Faucher
Human Resource Management (HRM) supports staff professional development and recognition by coordinating a number of programs and events. Be sure to take advantage of those opportunities to enhance your own skills and your contributions to our Jayhawk community. Check out information about these HRM programs and feel free to direct any questions to email@example.com
Professional Development Opportunities: http://humanresources.ku.edu/professional-development
Tuition Assistance Program: http://humanresources.ku.edu/tuition-assistance
Recognition Programs: http://humanresources.ku.edu/employee-recognition
Happy Winter Break
December 8, 2017