Justin Mog
Justin Mog

The Staff Senate met Monday on the HSC campus, where updates were provided from the ombudsman’s office and the sustainability office.

Diane Tobin provided an overview of her role as ombudsman. She said the trends she is seeing that cause people to use her services include communication issues, budgetary issues, hierarchal/power struggles, poorly trained supervisors, understanding policies and procedures and lack of positive recognition. Throughout the past year, 122 people across campus have used the ombudsman’s services.

Tobin said her four tenets include neutrality, informal, independent of the university and confidential. More information about her services is available online here.

Justin Mog, assistant to the provost for sustainability initiatives, said UofL has made progress toward its sustainability goals and recently earned a STARS Gold rating. With a 66.24% score, UofL is the most sustainable school in Kentucky, ahead of No. 2 Berea College, with 65.95%. The next highest score was JCTC with 58.80%. In the ACC, UofL is fourth behind just Virginia Tech, North Carolina and Virginia.

Mog said his department is now working to achieve the next level – platinum. To do so, he outlined the following strategies, among many others:

  • Increase courses offered that are sustainability-focused or related.
  • Increase the number of students who graduate from programs that have adopted at least one sustainability-learning outcome.
  • Administer a sustainability literacy assessment to the student body.
  • Increase research-producing faculty and staff that are engaged in sustainability research.
  • Administer a longitudinal assessment of sustainability culture.
  • Get more staff to participate in annual sustainability professional development training.
  • Engage the entire student body in community service.
  • Re-join the Worker Rights Consortium or the Fair Labor Association.

Mog also noted that UofL has decreased its carbon footprint by 13%.

“We are decreasing emissions even as we are growing and that is great news. But we have a lot of work left to do,” he said.

Mog’s full report is available online. A reminder that Sustainability Week is Oct. 17-25 with a number of events scheduled. More information is available here.

Laura McDaniels, from HR, reminded senators that open enrollment begins Oct. 23 and runs through Nov. 6. HR will host benefits fairs on both campuses and more information will be available in UofL Today.

Also, HR has two new initiatives – HR talks and HR listens – to better communicate and get feedback from the campus community. More information, including a full schedule, is available online.

Carcyle Barrett provided an update to the bylaw revision. It is proposed that Article VII, Section 4 be amended to read: “Standing committee chairs serve a term of one year. A staff senator may serve no more than two consecutive terms as chair in the same standing committee. After the second term, a staff senator must wait one year before serving as chair in the same standing committee.”

Also, it is proposed that Article VII, Section 4, be amended to read: “Standing committee member serve a term of two years. A staff senator may serve no more than two consecutive terms as a member in the same standing committee.”

Additional information and proposed language is available online.

The Staff Senate Chair, secretary-treasurer, vice-chair and committee reports are all available online. Also of note, the IBM partnership committee has met twice and four sub-committees have emerged:

  • Developing curriculum
  • Faculty/staff development
  • Civic and partner engagement
  • Research and innovation and transformation space

The next Staff Senate meeting is Nov. 11 in Chao Auditorium.

 

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Alicia Kelso
Alicia Kelso is editor of UofLNews and UofL Today. She joined UofL in 2015 as communications director of the Brandeis School of Law. Prior, she was the editorial director of foodservice media for Networld Media Group, where her work was featured in publications around the world, including NPR, Bloomberg, The Seattle Times, Good Morning America and Franchise Asia Magazine. She continues to serve as a contributor for many publications, including QSRweb.com, FastCasual.com and Innovation Leader.