Lori Krug of Payroll and Benefit Services recently became chair of the University of Colorado Staff Council, or UCSC, the governance group that represents 14,000 classified and professional exempt employees who work on the university's three campuses at four locations. Krug graduated from CU-Boulder with a bachelor's degree in business management (operations and human resources), and took enough chemistry classes to consider herself an "unofficial minor" in the field. In the PBS office, Krug provides user support for human resources and payroll issues, among many other duties. Below she answers five questions to shed light on her new role and her vision as a liaison for university employees.
What attracted you to UCSC?
I'm a "big picture" person, and I love finding ways to increase my knowledge about how the university works. I've been involved with the Boulder campus and system administration staff council groups since 2004, and I am always amazed at the amount of new information I learn from talking to people who work in different functional areas across the campuses. It always helps to understand the complexity of the interactions between all employment groups when evaluating the situations and concerns that CU employees bring to the attention of Staff Council.
What goals do you hope to achieve during your tenure as chair of the council?
I have two main goals. First, find a more effective way to communicate with CU employees, supervisors and managers, and university administration to ensure these groups understand and appreciate the role of Staff Council as a governance group and direct line to communicate staff concerns to the Board of Regents. Second, Staff Council needs to explore opportunities to make a real difference to CU employees. For instance, advocating for the expansion of flexible work arrangements, establishing a broader interpretation for determining if certain courses and degree paths should be eligible for employees to use their tuition waiver benefits, and brainstorming low-cost ways to improve morale and celebrate the work we do here at the University of Colorado.
What are the most important issues and challenges facing staff across the CU system?
During our current budget challenges, it's essential to find ways to help motivate staff and to brainstorm better ways to run our business in order to keep our departments and units viable without overwhelming staff resources to an extraordinary level.
What role should staff play as the university weathers financial and budget difficulties?
During economic downturns, it is challenging to be patient. Most of the models out there project that it may take 12 to 18 months for the budget impacts to stabilize. Even without additional budget dollars, however, now is an excellent opportunity to consider great ideas that employees have about how to re-engineer our processes and business models. Anything we can do more efficiently and effectively will help reduce the strains on our workforce.
Tell us something about yourself that few people know.
For the past several years, I have donated my time and resources to support the Colorado Shakespeare Festival, which showcases excellent productions on the Boulder campus every year. I also serve on the board of the Colorado Shakespeare Festival Guild.