October 26, 2020

Latest News

Changes to Spring Semester Calendars

Spring 2021 calendars are being altered system wide. Each campus has worked with campus leadership and consulted with students and faculty to determine spring break calendars that take into account the health and safety of students, staff, and faculty combined with the education needs of the different campuses. Proposed changes to the spring break calendars were approved by the Faculty Senate and presented at the October Board of Regents meeting for information. The full details of campus decisions can be found here on page 94-96. 

P&A Driving Excellence

Calee Cecconi, director of advancement, and Amelia Narigon, director of communications, both from the College of Design, received a Maroon and Gold Award from the University of Minnesota Communicators Forum for their work on the spring and fall 2019 issues of Emerging Magazine.

Jeff Henning-Smith, College of Education and Human Development (CEHD), contributed the following article to MinnPost: “Thank you, teachers, for getting into good trouble, necessary trouble”.

AFr. Rutherford Johnson recently completed the degree of Master of Liberal Arts in the field of Sustainability from the Harvard University Extension School. The degree focuses on social sustainability and also involves earning Graduate Certificates in Social Justice, Corporate Sustainability and Innovation, and Business Communications from the Extension School, as well as a Certificate in Corporate Sustainable Strategy from the Harvard Business School Online.  

Let us know what great work you or your colleagues are doing. There is amazing work happening by P&As across the state. We want to hear from you!! Submit your information here by the 15th of the month for consideration in that month’s newsletter.

Senate Work 

Upcoming Senate Meeting 

The next meeting of the P&A Senate will be held on October 23, 2020, from 9:30 to 11:30 AM via zoom. All are welcome to attend. The zoom link can be found here

Message from the P&A Senate Chair and Chair-Elect - Erin Heath and Scott Creer

We have been working on a number of priorities this month.

  • Campus safety and security is considered one of our highest priorities this academic year. We, along with Civil Service Consultative Committee (CSCC) leadership, met with Dr. Cedric Alexander in early October to discuss governance as it relates to his work with the University regarding community safety. A follow-up meeting with Dr. Alexander is scheduled for early November. 
  • We are working with the Office of Human Resources (OHR), as well as faculty and staff governance groups, to address concerns related to the consistent application of the non-renewal program for laid-off P&A staff.  
  • Consultation with faculty, staff, and student governance groups continues regarding COVID-related issues, such as the Spring 2021 academic calendar and implemented safety measures to date.

As always, we are appreciative of the opportunity to work on behalf of P&A staff across our system, and will keep you updated as this work progresses.

Benefits & Compensation

The Benefits and Compensation (B&C) Subcommittee met with Employee Relations consultants from the OHR on October 13th to learn about P&A non-renewal policies and procedures, as well as what policies and procedures are in place to maintain fairness and equity in non-renewal processes. In addition, Employee Relations consultants provided resources available to P&A employees. Of particular note was the discussion of the use of the Administrative Policy: Program Curtailment as it relates to the athletics programs which were discontinued by the Board of Regents this month. 

Employee and Labor Relations is a team within OHR that works with unit-level HR, faculty, and staff, regarding questions, conflicts, and issues that arise in the workplace. As P&A non-renewal policies and procedures are top-of-mind for many employees at the University, the consultants addressed questions related to notification timeframes, pay-out compensation, and COBRA options available to staff who are non-renewed. It is important to note that no changes to these policies have been made as a result of the current financial stringency status the University is currently within, but the seldom-used Program Curtailment policy was deemed necessary due to the abrupt and significant revenue losses for Intercollegiate Athletics (ICA) as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Resources for issues pertaining to fairness and equity that are available to P&A employees include:

Office for Conflict Resolution
[email protected]

Bias Response and Referral Network

Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action
[email protected]

U Report
Submit a report online

Outreach Subcommittee

During October, the Outreach Subcommittee developed a personalized email to welcome new employees “virtually" since in person New Employee Welcome events are currently on hold. The welcome email will be sent to all new P&A employees joining the University and includes information about the P&A Senate and contact information for P&A senate members in the new employee’s unit.

This month Outreach is focusing on filling the few remaining open seats in the P&A Senate. The subcommittee is collaborating with unit contacts and the University Senate Office to recruit interested candidates. If you are interested in or have questions about serving on the P&A Senate, contact Maureen Long ([email protected]) or Anna Milone ([email protected]).

Professional Development & Recognition Subcommittee (PD&R)

An important area of focus for the PD&R Subcommittee is offering timely, engaging Seminar Series events (formerly known as Brown Bag events) to P&A staff. In October, PD&R joined forces with the Civil Service Communications and Outreach Subcommittee to co-present "Home Ergonomics for U: How to Design a Home Office that Works!" Over 600 people registered for the event, not surprising given the number of people working from home these days. A recording of the presentation can be found on YouTube and a copy of the PowerPoint slides and links to home ergonomic suggestions can be found here.

The next Seminar Series event will be presented by Carol Nagele-Vitalis from the Sand Creek Employee Assistance Program (EPA) who will be speaking about mental health. The event is scheduled for Tuesday, December 8th from 12-1PM.

Stay tuned for more information on the 2021 events as there are exciting topics in the que! If you are interested in or have questions about serving on the P&A Senate, contact Leigh Allen ([email protected]) or Monica Kocon ([email protected]).

Additional Updates

Wellbeing Program

The University of Minnesota wants to support your wellbeing journey by providing resources to assist you in being the best version of you. Enroll now! You can now start earning points toward savings on your 2022 UPlan health premium rates. To enroll, you will need to use your 7-digit employee ID number, legal last name and preferred first name. UPlan-covered spouses (whether you are a University employee or not) will need to enroll separately using the UPlan-covered employee ID number and add "S" directly after the 7 digits (i.e. 1234567S).

Building your Professional Toolkit

The University of Minnesota system has a multitude of ways to grow and enhance your professional development. Here are just a few of the many resources that are available to you. 

The Ibram X. Kendi Carlson Lecture abbreviated transcript is available. The Carlson Lecture series is presented by the Humphrey School of Public Affairs.

Archived P&A Senate Seminar Series events can be found here. Previous topics include Enhancing Wellbeing in the Workplace, Emotional Intelligence, and Sleep Wellness.

The Maroon and Gold Network, sponsored by the University of Minnesota Alumni Association, is a free online platform providing career-related advice and networking opportunities. It is open to University of Minnesota students, alumni, and staff to assist in making new and meaningful career connections. Given the state of the economy due to the pandemic, this is an especally valuable resource for the University of Minnesota community. Ignite your career success by joining the Maroon and Gold Network today!