Looking Back ~ Scott Creer, 2021-22 Chair of the P&A Senate/P&A Consultative Committee
I often describe being P&A Senate Chair as the most rewarding experience of my career at the University. Representing my colleagues across the system and engaging in advocacy on issues that are important to all P&A has been energizing. The main goal of the P&A Senate for this year has been to elevate the understanding of the work P&A employees do by connecting that work to MPACT 2025 and the University’s Mission. This has challenged all of us to think differently about our work and how we are communicating about the services we are providing. As a result, we have been able to engage in new ways and we have heard from various leaders across the University their appreciation for this connected understanding of the work we are doing. Continuing to frame the work of P&A staff in terms of the strategic plan and mission of the University will elevate a better understanding of the distribution of the University’s mission and the important roles P&A employees play across the system.
As I depart this leadership role, I would like to give credit to the members of the P&A Consultative Committee (PACC) for the successes that we have achieved this year. PACC members have stepped up in a big way, taking on additional projects, rethinking their committee work, and engaging in advocacy with focus and determination. This is one of the reasons why I am so excited about the future. Under the new leadership of Adolfo Carrillo Cabello and Whitney Taha Frakes, I have no doubt that P&A Senate advocacy will reach new heights in the next year.
Looking Ahead ~ Adolfo Carrillo Cabello, 2022-23 Chair of the P&A Senate/P&A Consultative Committee
About a year ago I was elected as chair-elect of the P&A Senate. At that moment, I thought that after six years of being engaged in governance at multiple levels, I was ready to take on this leadership role without much of a learning curve. To be fair, I have been privileged to serve in multiple committees and subcommittees, and have had the advantage of observing great leaders within governance. However, after an intense year of serving as chair-elect of the P&A Senate, I know I am thankful for the immense opportunities to learn and prepare for taking on the highest leadership role for P&A employees, serving as chair of the P&A Senate.
In the past two years we have witnessed an increased interest in pursuing equity, diversity, and inclusion. As a Hispanic immigrant, I appreciate the interest and applaud the focus on these issues and efforts made. As a BIPOC employee, I intend to continue working on these issues, and remain hopeful and excited that we can improve working conditions that allow us to provide the best service possible, continue our commitment to excellence, and contribute to the core goals and mission of our university.
The year ahead is already presenting crucial challenges, but also it has unveiled great opportunities. We are at a critical juncture where our efforts on compensation, equity, and representation have resonated at many levels. I see opportunities for us to continue dialoguing and working towards shifting perspective on the mission-crucial roles we hold, and the impactful contributions we have on MPACT 2025 goals. Without a doubt, the work we started this year under the leadership of chair Creer will influence our ability to pursue further conversations with the administration.
As I prepare to take on the chair role, I want to call on all P&A employees to partner with me in this journey. To my fellow P&A senators, I call on all of you to help me capture diverse voices from within our group, to remain engaged, and to be proactive. I cannot do this work without you. I pledge to continue doing what has worked best for me in governance: work, persist. I call on you all in working with me on issues that matter most to us.
P&A Driving MPACT 2025
Across the state, system campuses are shifting into summer mode, which for our orientation and transition teams who welcome new first year, transfer, international, and graduate students to our campuses, it is an exciting and busy time. Many of the staff who lead these transition and orientation programs are P&A employees who work tirelessly to ensure a welcoming space for all of our students. The P&A orientation and transition employees support MPACT 2025 by fostering community and belonging as well as student success.
Nicole M. LaVoi, Ph.D, is a senior lecturer in the School of Kinesiology and Director of the Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sports. The Tucker Center is an interdisciplinary research center focused on supporting research, graduate education, community outreach and public service that centers around girls and women in sports. As the director of the Tucker Center, LaVoi contributes to the goals of MPACT 2025 through discovery, innovation and impact as well as through MNtersections. The impact of this work was recently highlighted in CEHD Connect Magazine.
P&A Consultative Committee (PACC) - Chair Scott Creer and Chair-elect Adolfo Carrillo Cabello
PACC endorsed letter and report for Board of Regents (BOR) Chair Ken Powell on the State of Compensation for P&A employees. The letter and report are intended to start a conversation around compensation practices at the University and to request a comprehensive plan for addressing below-market salaries within five fiscal years. The letter and report were added to public comments for the May 2022 BOR meeting, and will be incorporated into the Board's June 2022 docket as formal input on the President's Recommended FY 2023 Annual Operating Budget. While the letter and report did not generate a discussion as hoped for during the May Report on Annual Workforce & Human Resources Strategy, the information has been broadly shared and we are hopeful it will influence a comprehensive plan to address the issue.
Recap of May P&A Senate Meeting
The final P&A Senate meeting of the academic year was held on Friday, May 6, 2022. Representatives from the Office of Human Resources (OHR) Melissa Haines, interim manager, Compensation and Paula Merrill, interim manager, Compensation, provided a compensation update and the 2022-2023 salary plans which were shared with departments and units as to how merit may be dispersed. OHR’s recommended strategy for using market adjustment funds is for departments to review individual positions for eligibility based on market and criticality of that position to department level operations. Members of the senate asked questions related to equitable distribution of merit and market adjustment pools, and OHR replied that while OHR provides overall guidance, all units are able to make decisions based on individual unit needs.
Benefits and Compensation Committee (B&C) - Co-chairs Marti Fasteland and Nancy Sims
The B&C Subcommittee will meet with representatives from OHR for an overview of mental health benefits. In response to frequent requests from P&A employees across the system, B&C will be taking a deeper dive into understanding what is currently available for employees. B&C committee member Annie Bigley and colleagues are also working with OHR to ensure representation of staff members of various identities in the market refinement process.
Outreach Subcommittee - Co-chairs Maureen Long and Anna Milone
Welcome to all newly elected P&A senators and alternates! The Outreach Subcommittee looks forward to adding additional senate representatives as elections wrap up and gathering at the P&A Senate Retreat and Orientation this summer. Watch for orientation opportunities and other ways to connect as we prepare for fall.
Professional Development and Recognition Committee (PD&R) - Co-chairs Leigh Allen and Monica Kocon
The Professional Development and Recognition Subcommittee will be renamed the Professional Development and Enrichment Subcommittee (PD&E), effective July 1, 2022, to better reflect the evolution of the committee over time and through changing scope.
PD&R has provided access to the notes from the April 25 Seminar Series event, “How Values Light the Way: Connecting to Values to Get Through Hard Times” with Michelle Lamere. Additionally, there is access to the digest of question and answers from the May Policy Pop-Up talk on U Travel with Rebekka Gronfor White.
Just announced! The Office of the Vice President for Research is excited to introduce a new opportunity to honor the significant contributions of University of Minnesota research staff: the Research Technical Staff Award.
Bookmark the University Awards & Honors page for information about many of the awards that the University offers for which P&A staff are eligible. For the awards without dates listed for the next cycle, check back often since websites are being updated frequently.
Self Care this Summer
Your P&A colleagues wish you a refreshing summer. Taking time to care for yourself comes in many forms, and below are some of the University resources you may find useful to care for your mental, physical, financial health and more.