Statement on the Derek Chauvin Murder Conviction from the P&A Consultative Committee and P&A University Senators
Last week, former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of the murder of George Floyd. We recognize that this conviction is only a step toward rectifying a broken system which created an environment for this type of injustice to thrive.
Our shared action in the fight against structural racism has never been more critical. We endorse new and continuing efforts to support staff and faculty, particularly those of us who identify as Black, Indigenous, or people of color, as we continue to contemplate this verdict and collectively move forward.
The University has a number of resources available for staff continuing to process the verdict. In addition, the Office for Equity and Diversity offers education programs, funding for BIPOC staff and faculty, and affinity groups, among numerous other opportunities.
We acknowledge that there is still a great deal of work to be done. The P&A Senate will continue to promote effective and meaningful change to ensure that we actively confront and address structural racism.
Workplace Guidance for COVID-19
The Office of Human Resources has developed a robust site for workplace guidance as it relates to COVID-19 and access to vaccines. This resource covers information for getting vaccinated, planning for travel, and guidance for returning from travel. Information related to out-of-network coverage is included as well since there are some people who have been displaced or have chosen to live in other areas for now. There is also an active FAQ list linked in the workplace guidance site.
P&A Driving Excellence
Amelia Narigon, communications director, College of Design, and Calee Cecconi, design director, Advancement, College of Design, in tandem with College of Design leadership, developed a comprehensive website redesign combining 50+ seperate websites into one cohesive site called design.umn.edu, which launched this spring semester.
Rebecca Leighton, health promotion specialist, Office for Student Affairs, has worked tirelessly to ensure students are able to meet their basic needs, including having enough food to eat. In particular, she has worked across the system to systematically connect students to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits (formerly, The Food Stamp Program).
Renata Ticha, co-director, Global Resource Center for Inclusive Education at the Institute on Community Integration, and her team have been awarded grants focused on Pediatric Screening and Assessment Consultation with Special Olympics, and Making Employment Meaningful for People with Disabilities: A US-Japan Partnership with the U.S. Embassy of Japan.
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 for consideration in an upcoming P&A newsletter. We will follow up with colleagues if the submission is not a self nomination.
Elections for officers of the P&A Senate occurred at the April 2, 2021 P&A Senate meeting. The P&A Senate had an incredibly robust election slate and is excited to have so much interest and involvement in governance. The new leadership for the P&A Senate for 2021-22 is as follows:
- Chair: Scott Creer
- Chair-elect: Adolfo Carrillo Cabello
- Benefits and Compensation Subcommittee co-chairs: Marti Fasteland and Nancy Sims
- Communications Subcommittee co-chairs: Chelsie Bohlman and Tracey Hammell
- Outreach Subcommittee co-chairs: Maureen Long and Anna Milone
- Professional Development & Recognition Subcommittee co-chairs: Leigh Allen and Monica Kocon
- P&A Senate members serving on University Senate:
- Rebecca Aylesworth
- Annie Bigley
- Laura Bohen
- Kit Breshears
- Heather Eastlund
- Erin Heath
- Corinne Komor
- Jenny Oliphant
- Gretchen Sieger
Erin Heath, chair, and Scott Creer, chair-elect, P&A Senate/P&A Consultative Committee, met with Interim Vice President for Human Resources Ken Horstman earlier this month regarding the consistent and systemwide application of the vacation deferral option, as noted in the Vacation Accrual procedure. OHR is considering options to accommodate staff at their maximum balance. We look forward to providing additional information in the May 2021 P&A newsletter.
With P&A senate officer elections completed, individual unit elections are now underway.
Many senate members have expressed the desire for more orientation materials, both as they begin and as they progress through their three-year terms. The Outreach Subcommittee has turned its focus to creating additional welcome and orientation materials for veteran and new senators alike. The subcommittee is also considering hosting events such as meet-and-greets and Q&A sessions to support relationship building among senate members.
Professional Development and Recognition Subcommittee (PD&R)
The March 31, 2021 Planned Extended Leaves/Checklist Policy Pop-Up event provided a robust discussion around the newly released Parental and/or Medical Leave Planning Tool, and a digest of the questions and answers can be found at z.umn.edu/MarPolicyPopUpNotes.
The April 21, 2021 Leveraging & Understanding a Multi-generational Workforce Seminar Series event, co-hosted with the Civil Service Senate, provided useful information regarding reframing assumptions about your co-workers of all ages. A link to the recording can be found here.
A record number of nominations has been received by PD&R for the P&A Senate 2021 Outstanding Unit Award. The winner will be announced at the May 7th P&A Senate meeting and featured in the May edition of the P&A Newsletter.
President’s Initiative to Prevent Sexual Misconduct (PIPSM)
Content warning: This communication contains information related to sexual assault and misconduct.
PIPSM aims to build a University community free from all forms of sexual misconduct. The current required employee training provides information on preventing and responding to misconduct of all kinds, retaliation, and discrimination based on protected identities. Preventing misconduct of any kind helps prevent misconduct of the worst kind.
If you feel you cannot complete this course, please notify your supervisor. (You do not need to give a specific reason for opting out of the module.) You may also contact the resources on this Safe Campus web page for confidential counseling.
Changes to the Non-Renewal of Appointment for Academic and Administrative Employees Policy
The Civil Service Consultative Committee has been working with the Office of Human Resources (OHR) to add language to Administrative Policy: Non-Renewal of Appointment for Academic Professional and Administrative Employees. The added language wis to ensure that years of service, when transferring between the P&A, civil service, and labor-represented employment classes, would count toward the non-renewal period. This is currently going to the Policy Review Committee and will go before the Board of Regents for approval at the June 2021 meeting. It is anticipated that this will be effective at the beginning of the 2021-2022 academic year.
Impact of UMRA’s Professional Development Grants for Retirees Program
Professional Development Grants for Retirees (PDGR) have been awarded by the University of Minnesota Retirees Association (UMRA) since 2009. A new article documents the work of 38 PDGR recipients. Nearly one-third of the projects were conducted by retired P&A employees. For more information about this work see Impact of Professional Development Grants for Retirees.
Please remember that it is imperative to maintain your well-being in these challenging times. Do not hesitate to use any of the resources below: