University of Vermont

A Note from Staff Council President Karmen Swim

Happy August!

Wow, the start of a new year is fast-approaching and the students will soon be back and ready to take on the world! I do love this time of year -- where the campus begins to get busy and plans are underway to celebrate staff at the annual UVM Staff Appreciation Week.
I know there has been a lot of rain this summer, but we have also enjoyed some beautiful sunny summer days and I hope you were able to enjoy this beautiful state that we live in. I hope you are all having a summer that you will remember – however that looks for each of you! For me, it has been filled with special moments with my sister who visited from Kansas and some time at the ocean in Maine.

I want to say thank you to the Staff Council representatives whose terms are ending and welcome to our new representatives who will serve to be the voice of the UVM staff.

Over the last year we have had open and honest communications, thoughtful approaches and commitments and we continue to cultivate a collaborative and collegial advisory relationship between Staff Council and the Administrative leaders of the University of Vermont. We are committed to making positive changes!

And, we will continue to work toward continued positive changes for the staff and for the UVM community as a whole. This year we will focus on benefits and compensation, diversity awareness, wellness/work-life balance, employee engagement, professional development, supervisor training, empowering the staff, and improving communication efforts. I encourage you to continue to be informed, be educated and get answers to your questions.

I remain honored to lead the amazing and dedicated Staff Council representatives and we will continue to stand up for you! Because of your voices, Staff Council had an immensely successful year – hosting the first Staff Women’s Forum for combined professional development, networking and feedback, organizing a series of focus groups to hear staff experiences with performance reviews and compensation, and opening a dialogue with administration about parking and commuting. All of our efforts are based on staff outreach - 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 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 would welcome hearing the successes that you have had during your employment here at UVM.

Here is a self-reflection question in relation to your job:

What matters to you? What are you passionate about? And, what gets you up in the morning or keeps you awake at night?

Email your answer to the Staff Council Office and you'll be entered in a drawing to win two Roxy movie tickets. 

With continued 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