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Campus News
Your faculty and staff news since 1965
Current Issue: November 3, 2003
Volume 39, Number 8

Morgan is advocate for staff, campus democracy

By Laurie Mellas Ramirez

MorganSince taking the job of Staff Council president in May, Alan Morgan has been seen wiping sweat from his brow as he dashes around campus advocating for staff and serving as conduit between constituencies.

All that frenetic activity is Morgan’s way of helping to ensure that democracy is alive and well at UNM, he says.

Morgan says his agenda is to bring more staff into the council process and to make certain that no group or person is excluded.

“The hope is that people will recognize that democracy is a precious gift for which our ancestors paid a price,” he says.

He may wax philosophic, but Morgan also walks the talk.

“I’m willing to take some risks. It’s easier for me to speak up about issues than it is for the single mother who is trying to get an education for her child,” Morgan says.

Born in the east and raised in the Washington, D.C., area, Morgan earned his master’s in education from George Washington University after completing his undergraduate degree at Bridgewater College in Virginia.

In graduate school, he studied crisis resources and diagnostic, prescriptive teaching, which he says, “humanizes the teaching process and helps teachers become more student-centered.”

His eldest son, Thane, led the move to Albuquerque. Morgan’s first UNM post was as a temp for Maxwell Museum in 1996. He has worked as an academic advisor on north and main campuses since 1998, first with the College of Nursing, and since 2001, for the Office of Graduate Studies.

His duties include evaluating programs of study for master’s students and applications for candidacy for doctoral students, and helping students and applicants understand procedures and how to process petitions.

“There can be exceptions to policies. You have to use some human wisdom,” he says. “The petition is another one of those humanizing processes.”

“I’m willing to take some risks. It’s easier for me to speak up about issues than it is for the single mother who is trying to get an education for her child,” he says.

Staff Council President Alan Morgan

During his year as president, Morgan will address top concerns on a list of more than 160 issues staff recently identified as important for the council to address. Additional committees are being chartered to take on three or four issues each. Morgan invites staff to propose new committees and to serve (staff may be eligible for time off from their regular duties to participate in committee work).

Morgan is quick to credit councilors for the many efforts underway. “All of us together, with the intelligence and talent the full council represents, we can accomplish much,” he says.

“What all staff look for is justice and respect,” Morgan says. “Respect is evidenced in a number of ways, including salaries, benefits and the work environment.”

“Staff are stakeholders, not commodities,” he adds. “We should be recognized as people who have a personal, heart-centered investment in the institution.”

Does Morgan truly believe that the more than 4,400 UNM staff can exact change?

“I’d have to give up if I didn’t. Numbers of people can overcome anything,” he says.