University of Vermont

STAFF COUNCIL - Serving as a voice and advocate for all staff at UVM since 1971

An Invitation from Staff Council President Karmen Swim


Staff Council President is a governance body that is the voice of over 1800 staff members* at the University of Vermont (UVM). We have staff representatives on the team elected by each unit/division throughout UVM. With Staff Council's collaboration and teamwork, honest communication, thoughtful approach and commitment we have cultivated a collaborative and collegial advisory relationship between Staff Council and the administrative leaders of UVM.

I am honored to be the Staff Council President for the unrepresented staff at UVM and am pleased to be working hand-in-hand with the elected representatives from each of your units/divisions - they are all bright, ambitious and dedicated -- and 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 play in creating a positive learning and working environment on campus are broadly respected. We want to ensure that the voice of staff plays an integral role in decision making processes around the directions and outcomes of UVM's actions, initiatives and policies.

Over the next two years we will continue working 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 the 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 – so, keep checking back in.  I challenge you to make it your personal mission to be well informed. It is time to make changes -- it is time to Start thinking about Tomorrow!

As Staff Council President, there are several University leadership meetings I participate in for the purpose of providing staff perspectives on University actions, initiatives, and policy. I invite you to review the following list of meetings and to consider sharing your questions or thoughts with me, so that I may share your concerns with members of administration. Also provided is the schedule of each meeting and a submission schedule for your questions or comments. Click here for the Staff Council Officers' Report for a monthly summary of these meetings.

Staff Council Officers' Report

The Staff Council Officers' Report provides a monthly summary of all the meetings that the Staff Council President, Vice President, or designee attends on behalf of the Staff Council. You can find a complete listing of all these reports here.

Staff Council Leadership Meetings with the University President - Schedule (.pdf)

The Staff Council President (along with the Staff Council Vice President and Council Administrator) meets monthly with UVM's President and/or the Vice President for Executive Operations to discuss Council business and staff related issues.

The Staff Council Officers' Report provides a monthly summary of all the meetings that the Staff Council President, Vice President, or designee attends on behalf of the Staff Council. You can find a complete listing of all these reports here.

Human Resource Services Quarterly Meetings with Staff Council Leadership - Schedule (.pdf)

The Staff Council President (along with the Staff Council Vice President and Council Administrator) meets quarterly with UVM's Associate Vice President for Human Resource Services to discuss Council business and staff related issues.

UVM Board of Trustees


The Staff Council President serves as a staff representative, is able to ask questions, but has no voting rights.

The Council President provides a written Staff Council Report in advance of this meeting, and a brief update at the meeting. The Board meets three times a year. Click here to view current and past Staff Council Reports to UVM's Board of Trustees.

The Honorary Degree Advisory Committee identifies those candidates who best meet the established criteria and places those recommendations before the UVM Board of Trustees at their May meeting. It is the University President’s authority to select the Commencement speaker, in consultation with the Advisory Committee. The Staff Council President is a voting member.

Honorary Degree and Commencement speaker nominations may be submitted online at here.

Other campus leadership responsibilities of the Staff Council President include:

The Staff Council President is a member of the platform party for the annual Convocation event, but does not make any official statements. This event generally occurs in late August.

The Staff Council President gives a 2-3 minute speech at the May Commencement Ceremonies.


We work diligently to bring attention to the needs and concerns of staff by listening and responding to ideas and options in order to convey the staff perspective to the university administration.  However, we can’t hear you unless you use your “voice,” allowing us to be the “voice” for the staff.  We will be Working for you - Taking Action, Getting Results.  So we want to know 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 because where there is success, we can learn and apply what is working to other areas where it may not be working.

If you have questions or concerns you want me to bring forward at one of the University leadership meetings listed above, please email them to me at If you have a larger topic or issues of concern for UVM staff members, please use Staff Connect to share your questions, thoughts, and ideas. All names and departmental information are kept confidential. You may also attend a monthly Staff Council meeting where we hold a 10 minute public comment session for staff members to bring forth issues, concerns, ideas, and suggestions.

I hope you’ll consider getting involved with Staff Council so we can get to know you. If you are interested in participating on the Staff Council, please visit our Get Involved page or contact the Staff Council Office at (802) 656-4493 or

Karmen Swim, Staff Council President
University of Vermont
Staff Council Office
85 South Prospect Street
313 Waterman
Burlington, Vermont 05405
(802) 656-3753

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

*Although the Staff Council serves as the voice and advocate for all staff, it does not have the same function as Collective Bargaining Units to which some members of the UVM staff belong. Those staff  who belong to UE Local 267are not permitted to participate in Staff Council  at the request of  their union.


Last modified October 06 2016 02:34 PM