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President's Report to the Staff Council

October 12, 2018

October President’s Report Staff Council - 2018

I am going to veer from my normal FYI’s and talk a bit about communications and our staff council committees (particularly since, we have an abbreviated meeting this month).

Committee Items

First our committees, which are doing great things, although sometimes it seems they fly under the radar a bit at times, so I thought I would highlight one thing that is upcoming for them:

Communications and Marketing – They are planning to do a mini-resolution workshop for our November Business Meeting, which will help all of our councilors have a better understanding on how to put a resolution together.

Events Committee – Let us Do Lunch on Disability as Diversity October 26th from noon to 1 p.m. in the Roberts Room at Scholes Hall

HSCS Committee – HSC Book exchange which will occur in late November.

Rewards and Recognition Committee – Gerard May Supervisor Awards coming up in December. Friday October 19th is the date to get the nominations in, as you have probably seen through our Staff Council Communications.

Rules and Elections – They will be getting things ready for our next elections in May here in the coming months. It is never too early to start thinking about this.

Staff as Students – Staff as student’s event coming up in the SUB on November 5th, more details will be coming forth.

Executive Committee – The biggest thing we continue to work on is how to balance transparency in our communications with staff council as a whole, without slowing down the process.

Communications

The last committee tidbit is a great intro into this topic, as communications between the Executive Committee and the Staff Council as a whole, as well as committees seems to still be an issue.  I can tell you that exec continues to try to listen to individuals and groups to lessen the concerns here, but they still seem to persist. 

I have recently went to the committee chairs meeting, received some great feedback, which I thought I would share and applies to communication, and includes the following:

  • Having executive members attend chair meetings to assist with the communication gap between committee and exec.  This is a great idea and we will do what we can to be present, but I am also concerned that I have heard feedback that having an executive member there may not always be necessary.  Therefore, I believe we will be assigning a person to each committee to be a liaison between exec and each committee to at least be in email contact with the committees.
  • Bring back the monthly committee meeting reports to the Business Meetings – this is an easy fix and we can start this back up at our November meeting and have already instructed Amy to make sure this is on the Business Meeting Agendas starting in November.
  • Shared responsibilities between committees, including exec – we need to make sure that there are clear guidelines that occur between committees if there are shared responsibilities on an event or task.  This way it will be clear to each group/individual what each is doing and what needs to be done, so there is no – “I thought you were doing that”.  This is a responsibility that needs to be taken on by all, so when you are unclear, just please pose the question to the other entity or person.
  • I was reminded that we can use the list-serve for quick responses/feedback – yes, this is totally correct and we will work on making this happen more frequently.  However, we will try to do this, without making our communications over burdensome, where staff councilors start tuning out list-serve communications.  If you feel there are still issues though, please email me directly rburford@unm.edu
  • Making sure we are open for how much committees have to spend on their events – I think we are making progress on this, but again, let me know if there is more to be done.
  • The entire Staff Council group should approve large expenses that are beyond the typical expenses – I would agree, but for only large out of the ordinary type of expenses for items or events.

Reminding of the role of the Executive Committee – Just a reminder about the executive committee, as they are an elected by the staff council as a whole and represent staff council at the executive level.  Per the Staff Council by-laws:  

“The Executive Committee may transact routine business between Council meetings and take emergency actions. All business transacted by the Executive Committee shall be reported to the Council at the next Council meeting by the President Elect.” 

I say the above, because there are varying thoughts on what routine business or what emergency actions may be and thus brings forth the concern about transparency of communications from exec to the greater body.  I also bring this up, as some individuals do not realize this is part of what exec has as part of their responsibilities. 

As a reminder, executive officers were voted into these roles to represent staff at the executive level to make these types of routine business decisions.  It is my hope that staff council will trust exec with these routine business decisions and emergency actions that may need to be taken between council meetings, since we were elected to represent staff at the executive level. 

Although, this does not mean, exec can do whatever we want to, as exec should be doing our best to:

  • Keep the entire Staff Council team informed of what is going on with exec
  • When possible and appropriate, to get feedback/votes from the entire staff council team, which I know we can do a better job.  Although, again, please trust us to make decisions that must be made quickly, yet I will work harder to make sure we are being more transparent with our decisions and communications.
  • To set the agendas for the Staff Council Business meeting.
  • To help promote a Staff Council team that is a great voice for the rest of UNM Staff, who are not part of Staff Council.
  • To approve funding request forms.
  • To handle internal or external concerns and bring forth those that need to be brought forth to the entire Staff Council team.
  • To be a group that the Staff Council team can utilize as an avenue to get feedback from, to help them do their business and communicate with their constituents.
  • To be committed to the staff here at UNM, which includes the Staff Council team and the rest of staff here at UNM.

I am sure I am missing some things, but the bottom line is that the executive committee does want to work to be as transparent and work together with all of Staff Council – Committees, Committee Chairs, Staff councilors, staff, faculty students, etc.

As I have always said, you can please always give me feedback on how I am doing or what concerns you have.  Please send to my email or send to Amy and she can filter your name out if want it to be anonymous.  As a reminder, be constructive, yet sincere with your comments.

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UNM Staff Council
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