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Staff Senate recap

Members discuss Best Practices Guide for Professional Staff Searches, Professional Development Conference and more.

By Lindsey Coulter

March 22, 2021

Aerial drone image of JSSB.Staff Senate President Rebecca Reid began the body’s March meeting by sharing highlights from the recent Fall 2021 Return to Campus Town Hall and the move to include student-facing higher-education employees in Covid-19 vaccination Phase 1.B.4.

Reid reminded staff members to visit the Health Center at Auraria website for the most up-to-date health information and to check for emails from PrimaryBio to schedule Covid-19 vaccines. More information on Metropolitan State University of Denver’s plans to return to full on-campus operations for the fall semester is available online, and employees can provide feedback on the plan to the Roadrunners Safe Return Committee.

Reid stressed that return-to-campus decisions prioritize student and employee safety, and she encouraged staff members with concerns to reach out via the secure Staff Senate comment form with any concerns.

Virtual Professional Development Conference

Mark your calendars for the 2021 Virtual PDC, “Coming Together for Community Wellness,” which runs May 24-27. The event is open to all employees, including student-employees, and registration will open this semester. The Virtual PDC aims to help improve all employees’ work and life experiences through networking, building community, sharing information and earning trust. Learn more about the event and plan to attend.

Campus Climate Survey

Jeremy Van Hooser visited the meeting to share information about the anonymous and confidential 2021 Viewfinder Campus Climate Survey, which was open to all employees and students March 1 through Friday. Stay tuned for survey findings and data this semester.

Changes in representation

Sen. Chas DeHerrera has resigned his position. Per Staff Senate bylaws, Reid recommended Lisa Lanford, chair of the Staff Senate Policy Recommendation Committee, to fill the vacancy. Lanford was approved with full Senate support.

Best Practices Guide for Professional Staff Searches

Members also discussed the Best Practices Guide for Professional Staff Searches, written by Human Resources, which outlines how to conduct successful and equitable staff searches (a similar guide exists for faculty searches). Human Resources has asked the Staff Senate to provide feedback on the guide by April 5. Members shared recommendations, including the addition of more staff-centric language in certain areas and suggesting that search-committee members complete unconscious-bias training. Staff senators and leaders will further discuss the guide during the March 30 working session. Senators can also provide feedback through the Staff Senate Contact Form to ensure that their comments are considered during the working session.

Reid encouraged senators to focus on the search-committee and search-chair role descriptions and expectations to ensure that searches have a strong foundation and to consider the plan’s alignment with the University mission, vision, values and 2030 Strategic Plan.

“I would also encourage you all to bring your unique perspectives when you’re reading through this guide,” Reid said. “We all have different (areas of) expertise and identities that all play into your understanding of the search process. The more perspectives we have involved, the better decisions we can make and the better our processes will be.”

General updates and announcement

  • Roadrunners are encouraged to take the Zoom vs. Teams survey to provide feedback on how you are using these tools and which you think is more effective and helpful for your professional needs.
  • See the Early Bird for a recap of the most recent Budget Recommendation Committee meetings and recordings, outlining enrollment data, budget requests, potential state-funding scenarios, tuition-rate options and more. Join the next BRC meeting Friday from 10 a.m. to noon.
  • The Staff Senate Policy Review Committee is reviewing the Staff Alternative Work Arrangements Policy. The March 30 Staff Senate Policy Review Committee meeting will include further policy discussion. March 30-April 9 has been reserved for additional revisions, if necessary. The policy will undergo a second reading and a full Staff Senate vote April 13. If approved, the policy will go to the University Policy Advisory Committee on April 15, followed by a potential 30-day review period. The policy will most likely go before the President’s Cabinet on May 26.
  • The first call for Staff Senate nominations for will go out April 5. The nomination period ends April 30. See more important deadlines on SharePoint.
  • The Compensation Committee presented on progress on the staff-compensation structure, including options for staff members to self-advocate for pay increases and for a merit-based pay system.
  • The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee will have recommendations for plugging into existing campus DEI efforts soon. Members have also developed guiding principles that will be available for wider review this month.
  • See the SharePoint site for minutes from the Provost’s Cabinet meetings.
  • Learn more about MSU Denver’s spring Commencement celebrations.
  • Roadrunners are encouraged to attend Auraria Campus Police Department advisory-board meetings.
  • Visit the Early Bird to learn more about the Higher Learning Commission visit and to view the assurance arguments.
  • See the Early Bird to learn more about support and resources for your social-media pages.
  • Attend Live Your Best Life: A Conversation With Keith Roberts on March 31.

Topics: Events, Inclusive leadership, Staff Senate

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