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Sept. 26, 2013 Volume 35, No. 6

Staff Advisory Council reaches out to employees

Steve Stockman first learned of the Staff Advisory Council because of free ice cream. 

The council typically gives away ice cream during its annual Staff Recognition Week in May. At the time, Stockman, an electrician in Campus Facilities’ Planning, Design and Construction, asked, “Why is it that everybody gets ice cream, but we don’t even know [who is giving] the ice cream?” 

With nearly 10,000 staff on campus and working throughout Boone County, there are a lot of people over a large area to keep informed about staff news. The Staff Advisory Council hopes to keep workers better informed through its Reaching Out to Staff Initiative, now in its second year, in which council members speak at department meetings around campus about what the council offers.  

Stockman learned more about the council during one of those meetings. He realized then that the council does a whole lot more than plan Staff Recognition Week and offer free ice cream. Stockman is now the council’s vice chair.  

 “We have a lot of fun, and we still get a lot of stuff done,” Stockman said of the council. 

Council Chair Becky Stafford was another employee who hadn’t heard of the Staff Advisory Council activities. That changed in 2008 and she promptly joined. 

She said that one of the things council does, beyond Staff Recognition Week, is award funding three times a year for professional development via the Staff Development Awards and educational scholarships via the Educational Awards. 

“If you want development in some way, if you want to go to a seminar or a conference but your boss says the department doesn’t have the funding to do it, there’s another source,” said Stafford, a project coordinator in the pathology and anatomical sciences department. The council annually gives out $75,000 for development awards and $2,000 for educational awards. 

Also, each month council presents the Service Champion Award to a deserving staffer. On Sept. 17, the award went to John Oliver, a maintenance service attendant in Energy Management. 

Formed by Chancellor Barbara Uehling in 1978 to advise the chancellor and campus administrators, the council serves as the primary voice for staff interests and concerns. 

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— Kelsey Allen