Staff Council announces leadership for coming year

Group also continuing discussion of Faculty Council proposals

New officers were introduced and other business was wrapped up during the University of Colorado Staff Council’s June 18 video conference.

Leaders for the next council term, who will take office July 1, are Denise Thomas, chair, CU-Boulder; Anja Wynne, vice chair, UCCS; Dana Drummond, treasurer, CU-Boulder; and Kay Miller, secretary, system administration.

The group continued its discussion from last month’s meeting concerning two proposals from the Faculty Council. Tricia Strating, current staff council chair, said she had met with Laura Borgelt, Faculty Council chair, to talk about staff council concerns about the proposals.

The first proposal would create a central “call line” to help university constituents easily access information about discrimination, ethics and other issues. Callers would use an easy-to-remember, universal phone number to quickly find the proper agency or office to expedite their request or report.

Part of the reason for the proposal comes from the fact that each campus has a variety of offices to contact or phone numbers to call depending on the issue, which can cause report delays or non-reporting and confusion. In addition, Strating said faculty members conducted a “test” to determine how well the university’s ethics line worked and found it to be a “miserable experience.”

Strating said administrators, including Kathy Nesbitt, vice president of employee and information services, will form a working group to consider the proposal. Council members agreed that a member of Staff Council should be part of the working group, especially since staff members likely would be involved in manning the call line.

A second idea proposed by Faculty Council suggests that diversity activities should be included in performance evaluations. For the initial phase of implementation, said Strating, faculty would probably recommend that diversity activities not be included as part of merit consideration but simply be a suggested activity. Including the activities in evaluations also would help capture the levels of activities and inclusion at CU, according to the proposal.

Strating reminded council that the proposal was a response to the Board of Regents’ recent climate and culture study and a subsequent board request that faculty and staff council help address these issues. Strating said Borgelt believes any implementation of the proposal would be a multi-year effort.

Strating said Borgelt suggested that staff council write an appendix to the faculty white paper that discusses examples of how staff could be included in diversity and inclusion work. Some council members expressed concern that not all staff jobs are conducive to these types of activities and that any proposal must equitably address staff positions.

Strating said she will request that staff council be included in any process regarding the proposal. Council members also agreed to consider ways in which staff can effectively be a part of diversity and inclusion activities at the university.

The next staff council meeting will be the governance group’s annual planning retreat in August in Golden.

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