P&A News for January 2017

January 2017

P&A News

January 2017 Issue


A Message from your P&A Senate Chair:
Etty DeVeaux

There is no ignoring the fact that 2016 was a very difficult year for many. The New Year presents an opportunity to renew our resolve to advance both our personal and our collective growth, and to do so with mutual respect and understanding.

Governance is in great part about collective work and growth. The work of the P&A Senate is primarily about helping to ensure that the concerns of our P&As are addressed, and that P&As are well equipped to address the requirements of a 21st century University of Minnesota, state of Minnesota, and world.
Convinced as we are that you, the University's people, are the primary vehicle through which we achieve our University's goals, this year we renew our commitment to advocating for University policies and practices that support you in the environments in which you do your work; and for the tools and resources you need to make your maximum contributions. 
Our P&A Senate agenda for the year reflects this commitment.  In October, the Senate welcomed Vice President for Equity and Diversity, Dr. Katrice Albert; representatives from our Bias Response Team (now Bias Response and Referral Network); and Stef Wilenchek, director, Gender & Sexuality Center for Queer and Trans Life, for a conversation on campus climate, and a discussion on the related needs of our constituency. In December, Dr. Mary Jo Kreitzer, director of the Center for Spirituality and Healing and one of our leading experts on wellbeing, delivered a presentation entitled "Cultivating Wellbeing in Our Lives, Organizations and Communities" to a full house. Laura Manydeeds and representatives from our University's Wellness Program also joined the meeting to hear our thoughts on how the program might be improved.   
In our upcoming February 3rd senate meeting, we continue our focus on improving campus climate and welcome Michele Gross, the director of our policy office; Chief of Police Matt Clark; and Tina Marisam, director, Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action, to talk about campus safety, with a focus on recognizing and reporting victims of sexual misconduct.  I invite you to join us for this important meeting.
As we start the year, let it be one of our main resolutions that in 2017 we work together for our common good; that we actively help to create and sustain an open and affirming campus climate; and that we do so with mutual respect and understanding. I wish you all a happy and healthy New Year, full of personal and professional growth and success. 
Etty welcomes your comments, concerns, and questions at pasench@umn.edu


Subcommittee Updates
Let Us Know What Issues Are Important To You: The Benefits and Compensation Subcommittee  has passed two resolutions focused on parental leave. One resolution requests greater equity in our benefits by extending six paid weeks of leave for non-birthing parents, while the other requests that the administration report on the viability of increasing P&A paid leave in general. Our next step will be to work with other staff senates to build support for this among other governance bodies. 
Please contact Ian Ringgenberg (imr@umn.edu) and/or Shannon Farrell (sfarrell@umn.edu) with your concerns!
We are open during construction!  An improved P&A website is coming soon!  Improvements will include more updated information on our work. If you have a concern about the website, please contact Austin Calhoun (calhoun@umn.edu), chair of the P&A Communications Subcommittee.
We are looking for P&As who are doing great work to be featured in our Spotlight. We know that there are great stories of colleagues across the University who are dedicated to making this a great place to research, teach, work, study, be!  Everyone wants to be appreciated! If you appreciate someone, don't keep it a secret-- you can nominate a P&A to be featured in our newsletter or social media via this form. 
The Outreach Subcommittee is currently creating short informational videos for new employees and prospective senators, as well as updating and disseminating the requisite written materials needed for all P&A employees and senators to be successful.
The Outreach Subcommittee is dedicated to filling unrepresented senator seats in 2016-2017. You can find out who represents you and your unit on the P&A Senate website. Contact Ann Hagen (hagen055@umn.edu) if you are interested in running for a seat, especially if you don't see your unit represented. 
The  Professional Development and Recognition Subcommittee is already preparing to select the recipient of our P&A Outstanding Unit Award. Nominations can be made in the first week in February and will be due towards the end of March 2017. Look for more details in the next newsletter. Also stay tuned (and check our website) for upcoming details regarding the next Brown Bags and our Professional Development Forum


P & A Employee Spotlight
Troy Goodnough, director, Sustainability, University of Minnesota-- Morris

Each month we feature a University of Minnesota employee in the P&A classification -  highlighting the unique breadth and depth of this employee group. You can nominate a colleague or team of colleagues to be featured in the P&A Newsletter via this form.


This month we feature Troy Goodnough, director, Sustainability at University of Minnesota-- Morris. UMM has been consistently ranked a Top 30 "Cool School" for sustainability initiatives by Sierra Club and was as a top performer in the 2016 Sustainable Campus Index (a publication of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education), ranking third in the area of Buildings and overall among baccalaureate institutions. 


Q. What is your role at the University of Minnesota-- Morris?

My role is to help the Morris campus and community grow in our sustainability principles, practice and excellence. On a given day I might be working to find new technology solutions for our carbon neutrality goals, working with students on projects, or community partners on advancing a shared aspiration.

Q. How does your work impact the University community?

I work closely with sustainability professionals from across the U of M system and all of our campuses. We are a close-knit team. Together, we advance systems-thinking across our system. We work to improve the social, environmental and economic performance of our campuses.


Q. What do you like best about working at UMM?

The Morris campus community is excellent. Morris faculty and staff are really dedicated to helping our students reach their full potential. And, we have an amazing student body of diverse, first-generation learners who are hungry for an excellent education.


Q. What is one thing you couldn't live without?

Stoic philosophy. It helps me think about how to live a good life, which is also I think the essence of sustainability work. Living a good life and being in good relationships with other people and our planet


Q. What was your most memorable (or most recent) vacation?

This summer we traveled as a family to California and visited many friends from my past work life there. I spent about a decade making semiconductor lasers at start-up companies. It was great to reconnect and see old friends. And we had a trip to the Cal Academy-- former Institute on the Environment director, Jon Foley, is now leading it! U of M folks, past and present are doing good everywhere.


Upcoming P&A Senate Meetings
  • February 3, 3-100 Mayo, 9:30 - 11:30 a.m.
    • Michele Gross, director, University Policy Office
    • Matt Clark, chief of police
    • Tina Marisam, director, Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action
  • April 7, 5-125 Moos Tower, 9:30 - 11:30 a.m.
  • May 5, 5-125 Moos Tower, 9:30  - 11:30 a.m.
Contact P&A Senate Leadership