University of Vermont

A Note from Staff Council President Catherine Symans

October 2013

Catherine Symans

As I write this, a chill is in the air and the leaves are beginning to turn. The fall semester is in full swing. Staff, Faculty and Students are all fully engaged in their responsibilities as members of the UVM community. The four Staff Council standing committees are all hard at work focusing on a number of important initiatives including voluntary benefits, sick leave pool, tobacco-free University, continued advocacy on supervisory training and performance appraisal, Staff Council Survey, and the planning and execution of social and recreational activities. Staff Council Representatives and Committee members collaborate across the University with all constituencies to achieve our goals and have a positive impact on the culture at UVM.

At the beginning of the semester, President Sullivan informed the University community of a university-wide initiative that will replace UVM’s current model of budgeting. Incentive-Based Budgeting (IBB) has now been presented and discussed in all the governance groups and a steering committee, led by Provost and Senior Vice President David Rosowsky, has been formed. Johanna Brabham, Manager, Residential Life and Davis Center Custodial Department and a Staff Council Representative, will be serving on the Steering Committee as our organizations representative. There is much work ahead and the Staff Council intends to be fully engaged in the process. Thank you to those of you who have come forward to self-nominate for the steering committee and the subcommittees. For additional information

The new Presidential Staff Recognition Awards Program, announced by President Sullivan at the end of August, is ready for the next step of organizing a committee to start working on the logistics. These prestigious awards, based on the values of Our Common Ground, will “recognize an exceptional group of individuals” according to President Sullivan. The President has asked me to work with Stephanie Dion who chaired the initial group to develop an action plan in which Staff Council will play an integral role. Although there is much work to be done, we are very excited about this new program and will keep you informed of our progress.

I invite you to contact either me or Vice President Renee Berteau with any concerns or suggestions you may have.  I hope you all get a chance to get out and enjoy the beautiful New England fall weather!