Latest News 

Become a Voice for Yourself and Your Colleagues!

Want to make your voice heard, represent the interests of your peers, and become familiar with the inner workings of the University? Consider serving on the P&A Senate! Several units across the University have openings for senator and alternate positions. You will receive an email from your unit's election contact if there are open seats in your unit. Nominate yourself or someone else by the March 28th deadline. 

Learn more about the P&A Senate and the role of a senator. To hear first-hand information about serving on the P&A Senate, join senate members for office hours on Thursday, March 24 or Thursday, March 31. Drop into Zoom and stay as little or as long as you like and explore the possibility of serving on the P&A Senate. Or explore the P&A Senate Member Orientation website for more insight. 

Office Hours for the P&A Senate Drop-In Sessions:

The Vickie R. Courtney Award for Outstanding Service to University Senate Governance

The nomination deadline for the 2022 Vickie R. Courtney Award for Outstanding Service to University Senate Governance is Friday, March 11, 2022. This award, which honors Vickie R. Courtney, inaugural and long-time director of the University Senate Office, recognizes faculty, professional and administrative staff, civil service staff, and students systemwide who have made a significant impact on University Senate governance. Recipients of this award will receive a one-time $1,000 stipend.

P&A Driving MPACT 2025

John Behr is Director and Chief Technology Officer of Educational Technology Innovations (ETI) which works with researchers and faculty throughout the University. The mission is to drive sustainability and broaden the reach and impact from sponsored research. ETI focuses on designing, developing, and disseminating software platforms in partnership with University of Minnesota faculty. The work intends to make University knowledge accessible while maintaining evidence-based understandings from research findings. The work of ETI supports the goals of MPACT 2025 in both highlighting research and promoting innovation carried out at the University.

The Institute on Community Integration (ICI) has a strong leadership team of P&As who work to keep the mission of ICI at the forefront. There are ten P&As within the leadership, Jerry Smith, Kristin Dean, Macdonald Metzger, Rebecca Dosch Brown, Barb Kleist, Jen Hall Lande, Sheryl Lazarus, Brian Abery, Renata Ticha, and Julie Bershadsky. This team supports ICI as it pushes the edge of inclusion with intensive focus on policies and practices that affect children, youth, and adults with disabilities, and those receiving educational supports. ICI’s collaborative research, training and information-sharing ensure that people with disabilities are valued by, included in, and contribute to their communities of choice throughout their lifetime. ICI works with service providers, policymakers, educators, employers, advocacy organizations, researchers, families, community members, and individuals with disabilities around the world, building communities that are inclusive. The work of ICI supports the MPACT 2025 MNtersections in addressing societal needs through outreach and research.

The University of Minnesota Water Resources Center (WRC) is an interdisciplinary unit co-housed within the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences and University of Minnesota Extension. Its mission is to advance the science of clean water for Minnesotans through innovation, workforce development, and knowledge exchange. 

The interdisciplinary nature and work of the WRC directly supports one of the MPACT 2025 MNtersections goals: “Drive innovation for next-gen health.” A WRC-funded project conducted at University of Minnesota Duluth investigated alternatives to road salt to maintain the health of lakes and aquatic ecosystems. Other projects work to develop cropping systems and evaluate economic returns for new crops to maintain farmer livelihoods while preventing nutrient loss into waterways. 

A cornerstone of the WRC is building trust with the community. One way this trust is fostered is by producing a variety of publications for academic and general interest audiences so scientists can effectively communicate their work to the public and policymakers and inform science-based decision making. Lastly, the WRC also supports the interdisciplinary Water Resources Science Graduate Program with 64 students currently enrolled across 28 departments. This graduate program sets students up for success by providing interdisciplinary training across the statewide campus system to advance workforce development in urban and rural water resources careers.

The Office of Teacher Education (OTE) is an administrative unit within the College of Education and Human Development (CEHD) on the Twin Cities campus, providing operational leadership and support for teacher licensure programs for area faculty, staff, students, and cooperating school professionals. 

OTE is dedicated to supporting student success, Commitment #1 of the MPACT 2025 Strategic Plan, by ensuring that the University’s teacher licensure programs follow all state administrative rules and accreditation processes. The teacher education programs across CEHD, CLA, and CFANS rely on the the guidance of OTE for interpretation, support, and accountability.

OTE is also dedicated to fostering a community of belonging by providing teacher educators opportunities to develop their own skills for success in the ever-changing learning environment. Such opportunities include participation in on-campus workshops and retreats focusing on how best to mentor teacher candidates, engage in difficult conversations, and work with a diversity of learners.

Please consider sharing your own work with us to be considered for upcoming newsletters. If you come upon an article involving a P&A Employee, let us know.

Senate Work

P&A Consultative Committee (PACC) Chair Scott Creer and Chair-elect Adolfo Carrillo Cabello  

As we turn the corner with the COVID-19 Omicron surge, our work looking toward the future resumes. We are hopeful that our advocacy efforts help to improve the P&A employee experience at the University. 

  • PACC is partnering with the Office of Human Resources (OHR) to establish a working group to develop opportunities for P&A promotion and advancement. The first meeting of this group, made up of P&A Senate representatives and OHR staff, is planned for March.
  • P&A leadership has had several discussions with OHR administration regarding possible scenarios to address employee concerns about compensation. Employees have expressed concerns that the practice of using the merit pool system to address market, merit, and inflationary adjustments to compensation are not sustainable. P&A leadership continues to advocate for priority being given to market adjustments in this challenging budgetary environment.
  • Representatives from OHR presented information from the 2021 Employee Engagement Survey at the February PACC meeting. PACC members were appreciative of the work that went into providing the P&A-specific reports (P&A staff and P&A instructional staff). PACC noted that while the Employee Engagement Survey supports constructive analysis at the unit level and above, additional guidance at the supervisor level to support sharing survey results with direct reports would be a recommended next step. PACC also made a recommendation that survey results be parsed by employee group, so that data collected from the survey could be used to inform University policies and procedures associated with each employee group.
  • Leadership from the P&A, Civil Service, and Faculty senates met with representatives from the University’s Wellbeing Program to share common concerns related to the effectiveness of the program. OHR representatives appreciated the input and said continued consultation with governance groups will be part of the ongoing review of the Wellbeing Program. 

P&A Professional Development and Recognition Subcommittee (PD&R)Co-Chairs: Leigh Allen and Monica Kocon  

The next installment of the Seminar Series will be held on Monday, April 25 from noon to 1 PM CT. In this event, titled “How Values Light the Way: Connecting to Values to Get Through Hard Times,” Michelle Lamere will help participants learn to navigate tough situations and decisions by identifying their top values and translating them into practice. Register here

Nominate for Awards

The P&A Senate Professional Development and Recognition Subcommittee (PD&R) sends a reminder that the University Awards & Honors website lists awards for which P&A employees are eligible to submit nominations. There are a number of award nomination deadlines coming up in February and March. 

Here are several of the upcoming award deadlines:

Bookmark the University Awards & Honors page to check for updates on award deadlines and submission information. 

Additional Updates

2022 Summit on Equity, Race and Ethnicity

The University of Minnesota Duluth Commision on Equity, Race and Ethnicity (CERE) is hosting their Summit on Equity, Race and Ethnicity on Wednesday, March 2, 2022. This year’s theme is The Power of Storytelling: Building Trust, Celebrating Humanity. There will be Zoom and in-person sessions. (Zoom is not available for in-Person sessions, although some will be recorded). Check out the event on Facebook!