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Message from the 2021-22 P&A Senate Chair - Scott Creer

The P&A Senate is actively engaged in the return to campus, and looking toward a future of work at the University which will look different from years past. The P&A Senate, the Office of Human Resources, and the Office of the President have worked cooperatively to change and enact policies over the last few months enabling P&A staff to adjust to this shifting landscape.

This year will require all of us to work together as a community to foster a safe environment in which to work, learn, and play. There are no policies, laws, or incentives that can ensure that our community will work together without disagreement. It takes a tremendous amount of patience and understanding toward each other as individuals. It is in this environment of understanding and inclusion that the work of the P&A Senate continues to make strides toward a higher quality work environment for everyone.

One of the things I’m most appreciative of are the efforts of the P&A employees across the University system who have worked diligently throughout this pandemic to ensure the University’s mission continues. From IT professionals enhancing and supporting the hybrid learning environment, to facilities supervisors ensuring that teaching and learning spaces meet new standards, to academic advisors providing more opportunities for students to engage, the work being done is inspiring. Hearing the stories from P&A employees about their work and how they connect to MPACT 2025 has been motivating. One of my goals for this year is to share those stories with all those who have developed and are guided by MPACT 2025. 

I have to admit, I was a bit fearful in early August of the return to campus. Given what was being reported about the Delta variant and being a parent of two small germ factories (my 4 and 6 year olds), I was hesitant about returning to a full campus. Then I volunteered to help with the residence hall move in, as I have in years past. Over the course of those two days, my fear couldn’t help but give way to the hopefulness of the first year students who were excited to be on campus for the first time. Their eagerness to socialize and be engaged members of the University community brought back the energy that has been missing from campus since the pandemic began. Throughout the move in, mask compliance and courteousness were high, which made me hopeful for the coming academic year. 

I look forward to being able to see you all on campus in person. Until then, stay safe and I wish you good health. Should you have any issues or questions, always feel free to reach out to your P&A senator or email us at [email protected]

Vacation Leave Expanded for Faculty and P&A Employees

After extensive advocacy from P&A leadership and the thoughtful work of the Office of Human Resources, we are happy to report that vacation leave has been expanded from a maximum of 176 hours to 216 hours for faculty and P&A employees. Check out the new policy here.

Emergency Paid Leave Updates

The University continues to provide emergency paid leave for employees and student workers affected by COVID-19 throughout 2021. This emergency paid leave is available for employees and student workers who:

  • Are unable to work or work remotely due to COVID-related illness
  • Need to quarantine or isolate because of exposure to COVID-19
  • Must care for someone who is ill with COVID-19
  • Must care for a child whose school or childcare is closed or unavailable or help with the relocation of a college-age child due to COVID-19 (or if a student worker must take time off to relocate)
  • Need time off to get a COVID-19 vaccine
  • Have an adverse reaction to a COVID-19 vaccine and need time off to recover or who need to care for a family member who has a reaction to a COVID-19 vaccine
October Seminar Series Event

The Civil Service and P&A Senates present: How Money Flows at the U. Join us for an informative conversation to learn how money is allocated and flows through the University. This webinar will encompass what the University budget is and how it works. Julie Tonneson, associate vice president and budget director,University Budget and Finance Office, is the guest presenter. The events takes place on Wednesday, October 28, 2021, from 1:00-2:00 p.m. via Zoom. Please register here

Senate Work

P&A Senate Meeting, October 1, 2021 from 9:30 - 11:30

The P&A Senate will hold a panel discussion with representatives from the Office of Human Resources on Work. With Flexibility Policies and Guidelines. The panel presentation will be followed by a Q&A session. 

P&A Outreach Subcommittee

The Outreach Subcommittee kicked off the year with its first meeting on September 15, focusing on support of current senators and alternates. The subcommittee will next turn its attention to filling open seats in various units. If you are a P&A employee who has worked at the University for at least 6 months and is interested in serving on the Senate, contact Maureen Long ([email protected]) or Anna Milone ([email protected]).

P&A Professional Development and Recognition Subcommittee

The University Awards & Honors website lists awards for which P&A employees are eligible to submit nominations. Here are a few of those awards and their submission deadlines:

Additional Updates

Wanted: Orphan Papers for the Journal of Opinions, Ideas & Essays 

Do you have a favorite article you’ve written, or would like to write, but haven’t found a place for publication? Sponsored by the University of Minnesota Retirees Association (UMRA), the online Journal of Opinions, Ideas & Essays (JOIE) is soliciting articles for 2021. 

JOIE serves as a venue for articles that do not fit into conventional journals. Published works on a wide range of topics by retired or active University of Minnesota faculty, staff, and alumni include biographies, book critiques, poem and photographic collections, historical essays, University-related issues, and even a play.  Accessible through a web search, articles in JOIE have been downloaded thousands of times. 

For more information on paper submission and to browse published articles, go to the JOIE website.

Do You Know about UPerks?

UPerks provides University of Minnesota faculty and staff with access to countless entertainment, education, and money-saving perks through the University as well as discounts outside of the University.

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities RecWell Opportunity

University of Minnesota Twin Cities staff can use RecWell facilities free on the 3rd Thursday of every month. Access includes a free day pass to RecWell, free climbing (Minneapolis location only), free group fitness classes, and a free daily locker on those Thursdays. Visit the member service desk at the University Recreation and Wellness Center or the Saint Paul Gym when checking in.