University of Vermont

A Note from Staff Council President Renee Berteau

August 2014

Greetings and welcome to another academic year!

As your new Staff Council President, I am both pleased and honored to have the opportunity to serve you for the next two years. Vice President Johanna Brabham and I have already begun our term with preparations for a busy and exciting 2014-2015. I would like to express my appreciation to Catherine Symans for her hard work and dedication for the past two years as Staff Council President. She accomplished so much during her tenure and I look forward to working with Catherine in her role as Immediate Past President.

I would also like to take this opportunity to welcome our new Staff Council Representatives and welcome back those representatives who are continuing to serve on the Council. We have an outstanding group of dedicated and enthusiastic members and I ask that you share any concerns, suggestions or ideas with your unit/division or college rep. You can find a list of all the Representatives on our website here. They are here to represent you and voice your concerns.

As we begin the start of the 2014-2015 Academic year, there are many changes ahead of us which present challenges and opportunities where staff can make a difference. Staff Council continues to support the efforts of all staff across the University in their contributions toward student success, community building among students, staff and faculty, the following of operational best practices, research advancement, and inclusive efforts that acknowledge and celebrate the diversity of UVM. During the next year, we want to hear from you and will do our best to reach out for your wisdom and expertise as UVM staff so that we can better advocate for you and bring your concerns, ideas, and advice to our University leaders . This means engaging in difficult but honest conversations about the way staff feel they are perceived and treated within the University community and how the current climate and culture as well as long standing unresolved issues at UVM contribute to these feelings. Our goal is to continue to bring attention to these concerns and collaborate to find solutions while holding the administration accountable to address and resolve them.

Also during the next year, we will work to continue bringing leaders from around UVM that include staff, faculty and administrators to share information and build connections for our representatives to help understand and address the issues facing our University.  Last year, we welcomed to our meetings the President, Provost, and Vice Presidents, Deans and Directors to talk with Staff Council about topics of the strategic plan, the budget and the change to the new budget model, student wellness, Extension, and workplace safety, among others. This year, we will also incorporate a focus on how staff contribute to student success, and can educate themselves to become more aware of social justice, diversity and inclusion to fulfill the tenets of Our Common Ground. Our hope is that all staff at the University, especially our Staff Council Representatives, will better understand what each of us can do to support, encourage, and grow as a more welcoming and accepting community for all identities.

Please know that Johanna and I welcome any opportunity to talk to you about issues or concerns you may have and Staff Council is ready and able to address these through collaborative efforts with others throughout the University community. Through our work, we also hope to ensure that UVM remains an outstanding place to work. Enjoy the rest of your summer and we look forward to seeing you around campus!

Sincerely,

Renee Berteau

Staff Council President