University of Vermont

A Note from Staff Council President Karmen Swim

I hope this letter finds you all enjoying this beautiful Vermont summer.

As I write this first letter to the staff as your Staff Council President, I find myself pausing to reflect and recognize all the great achievements that Staff Council has accomplished over the last 45 years – Working for you - Taking Action - Getting Results.

In the past, we’ve negotiated benefits such as unlimited sick leave accumulation, dedicated spaces for nursing moms, and the establishment of the Staff Emergency Loan Fund. We continue to tackle big issues such as the new performance review process (underway now) as well as the continual improvement of staff involvement in negotiations regarding fair yearly salary increases. If you’ve been thinking about getting involved with the Council, this is an exciting time to work for the betterment of all staff.

I want to say a BIG “Thank You” to all the Staff Council representatives who have served over the last 45 years. It’s because of your time and energy, collaboration and teamwork, honest communication, thoughtful approach and commitment that we have cultivated a collaborative and collegial advisory relationship between Staff Council and the administrative leaders of The University of Vermont. 

It is time to continue making changes -- it is time to start thinking about tomorrow!

Over the next two years, we will continue to work toward positive changes for the staff and for the UVM community as a whole.  We will focus on benefits and compensation, diversity awareness, wellness/work-life balance, employee engagement, professional development, supervisor training, empowering staff, and improving communication efforts.  Awareness is empowering.  To help in this regard, we will be working to make changes to our Staff Council website to help keep you informed and bring you important information.  I challenge you to make it your personal mission to be well informed.  

I am honored to lead the current representatives from each of the colleges here at UVM who are bright, ambitious and dedicated; we all have the same mission – standing up because of you…FOR you!

We strive each and every day for staff to be recognized as an important factor in the equation that contributes to the sum of the success of the University.  And, I can assure you that during my interactions with the administrative leaders at UVM, it is clear to me that they know the value of the staff here at UVM and the critical roles we each play in creating a positive learning and working environment on campus.

As always, we can’t hear you unless you use your “voice,” allowing us to be the “voice” for the staff.  So, I encourage you to please reach out to your college representatives or directly to me about the changes you wish to see here at the University.  Likewise, we can all learn from each other, so I welcome hearing the successes that you have had during your employment here at UVM.

We want the University of Vermont to be a great place to be employed, but an even better place to have a career!  So, I am going to ask you a self-reflection question:  Why did you want to work at UVM and what makes you stay?  The first ten (10) people to write a response to this question and email it to Staff Council will each win a prize. 

With much appreciation for all you do to contribute to the success at UVM,

Karmen Swim

President, Staff Council


“The role of leaders is not to get other people to follow them but to empower others to lead.”  - Bill George