APAC, CSC Focusing on Future Landscape of Shared Governance
Leaders of two shared governance councils representing nonfaculty employees said their primary focus this year is figuring out what representation will look like once the University Career Architecture Project has been completed.
UCAP, a project aimed at clarifying the career and compensation systems for most nonfaculty employees, is scheduled to be implemented on Jan. 27. The project will create a new University Staff employment category that will automatically include anyone within the scope of UCAP who is now an appointed professional. Those who are classified staff have until Dec. 6 to decide whether they want to move to University Staff.
The switch to University Staff raises questions about how the change will affect representation in the future, said Jeffrey Jones, chair of the Classified Staff Council and a senior information technology support analyst, and Jennifer Lawrence, chair of the Appointed Professionals Advisory Council and business and finance manager in the Department of Neuroscience.
Among the questions being considered:
- Should one shared governance organization represent all University Staff?
- If not, how would individual groups within University Staff (e.g., such as managers and professional contributors) be represented and what would be the relationships among those groups?
- Should CSC remain in place to represent classified staff who don't become University Staff?
To shed light on what employees want from shared governance after the new career architecture is implemented, APAC and CSC surveyed employees in late July. The majority of respondents said they wanted a single group to represent University Staff, Lawrence and Jones said. Because of that feedback, APAC and CSC are focused on that option.
Lawrence said she think the biggest challenge will be developing a group "that adequately represents the breadth of University Staff."
Lawrence and Jones said they hoped to have an idea of what shared governance will look like by the time the UCAP is implemented in January.
Responses to the survey also showed that employees want more information about the role of shared governance on campus. To address that, Lawrence said, APAC will begin working on a communications initiative to "let people know what we do and why we do it and to get them to come and participate," possibly through APAC's newsletter and information sessions during general meetings.
Survey respondents also said they hoped employees would retain the same level of representation within other shared governance groups, such as the Faculty Senate, where APAC and CSC each hold one voting seat. They also hold seats on the President's Cabinet and the Strategic Planning and Budget Advisory Committee.
"We represent the same number of constituents, so we should retain the same number of voices where we currently have them," Jones said.
Survey: Employees are Committed to UA
Amid the deliberations about UCAP changes, Jones said CSC still plans to remain involved with events such as the UA Cares employee giving campaign, the UA4Food culmination event known as Stuff the Cat Tran, and the Awards for Excellence.
He said he's most excited this year about getting the word out about the work that other campus organizations are doing. Those include the Commission on the Status of Women, the Office of the Ombuds and LGBTQ Affairs and others that CSC regularly partners with.
"I'm really focused on being a resource to classified staff this year," he said. "I really would like to have events that are relevant, have a lot of engagement, have a lot of voices at the table and people discussing what they would like to see so we can better advocate for them moving forward."
Lawrence noted that the survey indicated that respondents are engaged in the UA's mission.
"They really care about the University. They want to support the University with their skill sets and their commitment," she said. "I found that very heartening."
The Appointed Professionals Advisory Council holds its general meetings on the final Tuesday of the month. Its next meeting is scheduled for 3 p.m. on Sept. 24 in the Ventana Room at the Student Union Memorial Center. The Classified Staff Council meets on the second Tuesday of the month. Its next meeting is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. on Oct. 8 in the union's Copper Room.