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When I first transitioned to working from home alongside my wife, two kids (seven and five years old), and Boston Terrier, I thought it would be an interesting, if not fun and easy change. Over the past couple months, my coworkers, including my fellow staff councilors have gotten to know my kids well as they make frequent cameo appearances in my Zoom meetings as well as Agnes, given the dog’s occasional unexpected leap into my lap for some midday belly rubs.
The University of Iowa offers UI employees many programs to assist with ongoing health and well-being. It can be overwhelming to survey all the resources available. A recent panel of speakers provided a concise description of several units that provide assistance to employees and their families, including the Employee Assistance Program (EAP), Family Services, liveWELL, the three units of the Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), and the Threat Assessment Team.
Volunteer service is an important aspect of serving as a Staff Councilor, and despite volunteer efforts being cut short by Covid-19, Staff Councilor’s contributions to campus and community were impressive this council year. Coordinated by the Staff Council Community Outreach Committee, 42 of 55 councilors, or 76% participated in at least one volunteer event, participating in 498 hours of service across 22 volunteer opportunities. A core group of councilors, or 40% participated in 3 or more events.
As the University of Iowa responds to the COVID-19 outbreak, we are focused on ensuring that Staff Council continues to work to fulfill its mission to represent our constituents. With the rapid change that has upended each and every one of our work and personal lives, the voices of shared governance are now more important than ever. Staff Council will continue to meet virtually on our regular monthly schedule until such time that we can meet again in person. The Staff Council Executive Committee continues to meet monthly with President Harreld, weekly with members of his team, and every-other-month with Provost Fuentes. UISC President, Mike Weaver, has been meeting at least once per week as part of a larger leadership team receiving up to the minute information as the situation evolves.
Now that the University of Iowa Staff Council (UISC) nomination period has ended you may be asking yourself what’s next? If your role falls into one of the Function groups where an election is being held, you should have recently seen an email from Staff Council letting you know that elections for function representatives via a Qualtrics ballot are now live through April 20. If your role falls into one of the Organization groups where an election is being held, you should have recently seen (or will soon see) an email from a HR representative with instructions for voting in that election.

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