Campus News - June 18, 2001

Staff Council looks at year in review
Elects officers, debates employment practice

The UNM Staff Council elected 2001-02 officers, looked at a year in review and made recommendations to Human Resources regarding an employment practice at its May meeting.

The new slate of councilors are James Herrera, precinct 26 representative, president; Pat Kiska, grade 10 representative, president elect; Barbara Gabaldon, precinct 17 representative, speaker; Jeanne Ainsley, grade 9 representative, treasurer; Matt Elbrecht, Grade 1-3 representative at large; David Sanchez, precinct 4, and Kari Ward Karr, precinct 20, precinct at large representatives; Monique Bell, parliamentarian.

LJ Lovell, immediate past president, presented a brief overview of the accomplishments during his tenure. In its 10th year, the council worked closely with many University committees including the Planning Council, Human Resources Salary Committee and Strategic Planning Task Force. Representatives were on the committee that drafted a Staff Recognition and Rewards policy and a staff councilor served as chair of the Faculty/Staff Benefits Committee.

Several ad-hoc committees were formed during Lovell’s tenure, including University Hospital’s Consolidated Staff, UNM Retiree Committee and Employee Rights in Disciplinary Matters.

A number of resolutions were passed relating to the council and constituent issues including the UNM Hospital mil levy, University Hospital Consolidated Staff and its continued Staff Council representation, a joint resolution with Faculty Senate in support of administration’s efforts with the legislature for equitable salary distribution for the two groups, and salary distribution recommendations forwarded to Human Resources and the President’s Office.

The council created an electronic newsletter for staff this past year as well as a new award to recognize managers who contribute to staff career development. An administrative support person and resource room, Hokona Zuni 316, are also recent additions.
The Career Development Standing Committee of the Staff Council presented recommendations on the substitution of education and experience qualifications in the employment process.

The committee suggested two alternative tools to assess applicant competencies in lieu of a degree — an Assessment Center and Management Development Academy. The center would use a combination of portfolio assessment, skills surveys, written tests, experiential testing and a structured oral interview. It would draw on current resources such as career counselors and testers. The academy would offer competency-based training, continuing education units and factor in staff membership in professional and trade organizations.

The council debated at length about which positions should benefit from the substitution practice. The body ultimately decided to recommend both options as pilot programs initially applying to managerial positions only. The committee was charged with presenting a revised recommendation to the council, which will then be forwarded to Human Resources.

A proposal for emergency loans for staff was put forth by the Staff Services Office and referred to the Benefits Committee for further review.

The next meeting of Staff Council is set for Tuesday, June 19 from 1 to 3 p.m. in Hokona Hall, The Theatre.

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