Staff council to expand leadership

By Karsten Burgstahler

Membership on the Administrative Professional Staff Council could soon grow by at least five employees.

The council voted Wednesday to move forward with discussions to revamp its membership. Presently, 13 members serve on the board. The preliminary proposal change would not only up that number to 18 but give constituency groups more council members based on population, similar to the U.S. House of Representatives.

As the council is still in the development process, the document can be changed any way the members see fit, council chair Kathy Jones said.


“I kind of feel like we’re stuck,” Jones said. “I’m tired of being stuck. I’d like to try something new, and so long as we give people notice, and we’re not disenfranchising (them) — in fact, we’re enfranchising people.”

Right now, the members are coming from random groups and when one reaches term’s end, another may come in but not represent the same employees. For instance, a graduate school employee representative could replace an athletics representative, leaving unequal representation on the board.

The preliminary proposed shift would give each of eight sectors proportional representations of approximately one member per 30 staff members. For example, the two largest sectors: education (92 members) and provost, library chief administration officer (91 members) would each receive three representatives. Jones said policies would have to be made regarding groups which fall awkwardly between intervals of 30, such as the chancellor/vice chancellor for development/system sector (45 members).

As the council’s annual elections will seat new members in May, the members needed to decide whether to pursue these changes or wait until the next election cycle.

Councilman Don Castle suggested the discussion wait until the fall after the new members are seated.

“If I’m going to change (member’s terms) or change the group they represent or anything like that, it kind of voids the election that we just had that was built on the representation that we currently have … that’s why I say put it in the fall,” he said.

But the councilmembers did agree a change needed to be made. Councilman Rod Sievers said the policy needed to be brought up to date quickly and suggested each sector have at least two representatives.


“I think it’s been so long since the structure of the university changed anyway,” Sievers said. “We are way behind in updating our procedures here. I think we should do it right away.”

Jones said she would be more apt to delay the process if the group were in the process of reducing membership and needed to make sensitive decisions.

In other business items, the council began discussions concerning AP staff involvement in UCOL classes and heard an update from Desire2Learn specialist J.P. Dunn, who informed the council on changes to the Mobile Dawg tablets and gave a progress report on the university’s migration from Gmail to Office. Dunn said the transition may not be complete until December, as the university has not yet notified retired employees their emails are being moved.

Karsten Burgstahler can be reached at [email protected]on Twitter @kburgstahler_DE or by phone at 536-3311 ext. 254.