Staff Senate Update

Ellen Schmidt, master electrician, Mitchell Hall Theatre

staff senate update

Most of the Staff Senate work happens outside of our monthly meetings. Committees cast a wide net of research based on their ideas, suggestions from constituents and topics that come out of broader Senate concerns. Their work includes things like researching how other institutions function, surveying constituents, and meeting with pertinent people around campus.

Committees explore an array of possible solutions, so not everything they work on leads directly to action. They make sure to have a solid foundation of research and data before presenting ideas for official consideration. While Staff Senate does not make University policy, we do advise and advocate based on our committee work. Here are some of the topics being researched within committees so far this year:

Compensation Committee

  • Ongoing discussions about options to boost recruitment and retention rates of staff. Some ideas being researched include expanded telework, longevity or retention bonuses, and expansions on the current employee tuition waiver. Possible changes to the current UCO Leave Share policy were also discussed. Members will continue research and constituent outreach efforts in these areas.
  • Discussed future topics and a referral regarding quarantine leave. The committee also met with Paige Buchanan from People and Culture regarding recruitment efforts and trends being seen in staff departures and applicant requests. Future research efforts will focus on remote work and associated benefits.

Policy and Staff Welfare

  • Invited Dr. Adam Johnson to discuss the calendar making process. Dr. Johnson informed the committee that there were rules from the regents surrounding the calendar and also institutional guidelines and priorities. The committee is considering ways that we might influence the calendar making process and to make it more predictable from year to year or at least earlier in the same year for planning purposes. The idea of floating holidays is also in discussion within the committee.
  • Dallas Caldwell is now in charge of the UCO calendar committee. The committee plans to invite Dallas to meet with our committee to further discuss winter break.
  • The committee also discussed ways to encourage and empower supervisors to explore and adopt flexible work within their areas.

Stakeholder Relations and Involvement Committee

  • The continued topic of discussion was staff morale and different ways that the Committee and Staff Senate might positively impact staff morale. Different methods of recognition were discussed as well as potential differing needs of staff depending on their stage of career and time at UCO. Next steps will include the discussion of a survey to share out with staff to determine their perceived needs for recognition as well as reaching out to campus offices to ascertain what options for community and recognition might exist.

Constitution, Parliamentary Procedure, and Elections Committee

  • Drafted a bylaws amendment adjusting officer elections with a voting meeting and continued work on the elections handbook
  • Updated bylaws with two amendments
  • They are now gearing up for Staff Senate elections.

You can find a list of committee membership on the Staff Senate Website.

For more detailed information regarding the roles of senators, meeting agendas, meeting minutes (including committee updates), how you can bring legislation topics to the Senate, or to learn who your Staff Senate representatives are, please visit the UCO Staff Senate website.