On a sunny Wednesday afternoon in early November, just as “winter” sports are gearing up for the season, Staff Council members had the privilege of holding our monthly meeting in the Feller Club Room of Carver-Hawkeye Arena. This wonderful room was built for hosting up to 100 Hawkeye faithful, who can enjoy all kinds of edible fare while watching whichever sport happens to be going on that day. It’s also a place for making and listening to presentations and holding meetings – that’s why Staff Council was there. The Council tries to meet in various venues across campus to see where staff work, and to tour the wonderful facilities available at UI.
The Staff Council meeting featured a panel presentation and Q&A with members of the Faculty Senate, the Graduate and Professional Student Government, and the University of Iowa Student Government, all of which are part of the University of Iowa shared governance, of which Staff Council is also a part. Each person spoke about some aspect of the mission and goals of their organization, and the importance of shared governance working together in the interests of their constituents and of all stakeholders in the UI enterprise. They also spoke to the importance of contacting our state representatives in the Iowa Senate and Assembly regarding the need for their support in financial investment in UI.
In addition to shared governance, Mr. Michael Kaplan, Director of Information Management in Human Resources, presented a sneak peek at the upgraded UI Self Service portal that is in development. The main takeaway was that it will look and feel something like the “My UI” portal now in use. The developers are very excited for the day when this new portal will be available.
Speaking of new portals, the Communications Committee has been hard at work upgrading the Staff Council website. Denny Crall, Chair of that committee, gave a short presentation of the upgrades to the website and some of its features. As of this writing, one of the features that is now available is a Councilor Directory. Now staff can put a face with a name when they receive messages from their Staff Council representatives. We hope you will check us out!
After the meeting, councilors were invited to tour Carver-Hawkeye Arena with fellow Staff Councilors Kevin Zihlman and Kathryn Reynolds. We toured the new addition, which has 2 full practice basketball courts, wrestling practice facility, a weight room, updated locker rooms, and coaches’ offices. We even got to enter the arena via the players’ tunnel and step onto the hardwood. Taking this tour and hearing our tour guides’ stories help councilors appreciate what the athletes and the athletic staff go through each season – in fact, all year! Through this experience, we realize that athletics – which exists to support student athletes – is an integral part of the educational enterprise that is the University of Iowa.