Adri Edwards-Johnson, Staff Senate President
Many of us wear multiple hats at UCO – Staff Member, Supervisor, Senator; Advisor, Advocate, Adjunct; and so many more that aren’t full of alliteration. We have developed relationships that have allowed us to make progress during a difficult time. We fill multiple roles and fulfill additional responsibilities due to a plethora of reasons. Because of the blended nature of our work and the complexities of a modern university, no single group is responsible for engaging our students. It is a community effort and staff should be commended for their diligent work in these challenging times.
The Staff Senate’s purpose is to represent each of you in conversation with UCO Leadership. The Staff Senate Executive Committee wanted to take a moment to reflect on some of what our Staff Senators have achieved through legislation and collaboration.
The Senate successfully advocated for an academic calendar that allows greater transparency, long range planning and input from the both faculty and staff. This resulted in leadership adding a new type of “day closed to the public” to the University calendar. This change gives many staff the opportunity to take the vacation days we have earned and that we desperately need to remain engaged with our students and colleagues.
Senators continue to ask questions of leadership about the role tele or flexible work can play in retention of faculty and staff. We will continue to engage leadership on this topic.
The Senate adopted a Staff Senate definition of shared Governance and presented it to Cabinet. We eagerly await their response.
The Senate proudly worked with UCOSA, Faculty Senate, and UCO community members to pass Joint Resolution JSR-2021-2022-001: Affirmation of, and Support for, Sustainability Efforts in the UCO Community.
The Staff Senate now has greater representation on numerous work groups and University committees. We’ve expanded representation to include the HR Benefits Discussion Group, the COVID Task Force, the Extended Classroom Action Team, the Strategic Enrollment Planning Team, the Advising Success Task Force, the Library of the Future Planning Sessions and others.
Academic Affairs Senators deserve special recognition for their innovative approach to reaching the constituents with their town halls. We commend the amazing work of our Academic Affair Senators.
We encourage those with a passion for wanting to help UCO grow as an organization, those with an interest in constructively advocating for staff, and those with the ability to build bridges across the university to consider getting involved in the Senate’s work either by running for a Senate seat or by engaging with their current Senators.
Please continue to let your staff senate leadership know how we can help.