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Staff Senate recap

Members discuss accomplishments and opportunities, share important updates.

By Lindsey Coulter

June 14, 2021

Exterior of JSSB from corner.Members of the Metropolitan State University of Denver Staff Senate gathered Tuesday for the group’s last meeting under its current representation and leadership. Voting for new senators and leaders is underway and will close June 21.

Rebecca Reid, president, led the hybrid meeting (held virtually and in-person in the Jordan Student Success Building) and began by inviting members to share gratitude. Members shared their gratefulness for helpful colleagues, the enthusiasm of new and returning students (including student-employees), the community created by the Staff Senate and the communication and connection capabilities provided by technology.

Reid also revisited the Senate’s priorities for 2020-21, established last July, to reflect on accomplishments, successes and areas of opportunity. Priorities centered on driving anti-racism work and leading MSU Denver staff through change. Reid invited senators to share feedback on how priorities were addressed and the Senate’s advances in building community, providing leadership-development opportunities, representing staff voices in University decisions and advancing diversity, equity and inclusion.

Senators applauded the DEI Committee for its role in facilitating and building a foundation for important conversations and for organizing valuable events. The Staff Senate Policy Committee received positive feedback for stewarding the Alternative Work Arrangements policy and numerous others. The Staff Senate as a whole also received kudos for representing and elevating the staff voice at all levels, especially during a year of such significant change and decision-making.

With regard to missed opportunities or areas where the group can improve or make a larger impact, senators highlighted staff engagement (which was hindered this past year by Covid-19 and the move to remote work), resources (in terms of reduced capacities), the need for more concrete goal-setting and deliverables, setting clearer expectations for committees and members, maintaining clear committee working hours, more engagement of staff members who are not senators, formalizing committee roles, seeking feedback from constituents and communication to constituents.

Policy updates

  • Protecting Children and Minors in University Programs Policy: University Policy Advisory Council members unanimously voted to advance the policy to the President’s Cabinet for review.
  • Electronic Signature Policy: UPAC members unanimously voted to advance the policy to the President’s Cabinet for review.
  • Information and Technology Accessibility Policy: UPAC members voted 25 in favor, two against, to advance the policy to the President’s Cabinet for review.
  • Sick Leave for Temporary Employees Policy and the Staff Alternative Work Arrangements Policy will be discussed in Tuesday’s UPAC meeting.

Other updates

  • See last week’s email from President Janine Davidson, Ph.D., for more details on the EcoPass for professional faculty and staff members.
  • The Staff Senate budget this year has been put largely toward supplies for future tabling needs and events that can be loaned to offices and departments.
  • Senators discussed how the Senate can advocate for ensuring that employees are appropriately within their pay-grade range, post-Staff Compensation Project.
  • The Staff Employment and Support Committee is discussing the value of tying evaluations to compensation to help employees move through pay ranges.
  • The DEI Committee has completed a draft statement on safer spaces that is now with the Safer Spaces Resolution authors for review before being distributed throughout the campus community.
  • The Provost’s Cabinet has been dissolved.
  • The Faculty Workload Task Force is on hold through the summer, but members continue to research models at other universities.
  • Stay tuned for details on a staff-member gathering and an opportunity to meet new senators.
  • Look for an Early Bird article soon on free summer Campus Recreation memberships and outdoor opportunities for employees and their families.
  • If you missed Wednesday’s Managing the Social Stressors Associated With a Return to Campusevent, which featured several campus experts, a recording is available online.
  • Farewell to Staff Senate Vice President Maggie Thulson, whose last day with MSU Denver is July 2.
  • Volunteers are needed for the Rockies 50/50 Raffle. The All-Star Game will be restricted to top sellers.
  • See summer hours for campus vendors.

Topics: Events, Inclusive leadership, Staff Senate

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