Kevin Zihlman is the Organizational Representative for Athletics and is the incoming President of Staff Council. With Kevin’s year as Staff Council President kicking off on June 1, he addresses what he envisions Staff Council can accomplish in the upcoming year and why UI staff should take an interest in what Staff Council does on their behalf.
Why did you run for President of Staff Council?
After spending one term as the Athletics Organization representative, I was elected for a 2nd term. It was at that point I decided I wanted to be involved in Staff Council leadership. I was initially elected to a one-year at-large position on the Executive Committee, the leadership team of Staff Council. That was a very eye-opening experience showing me how involved our Staff Council leadership was with the UI Administration. After that initial year on Executive Committee, I felt that I was in the right place in my career where I could take on the challenge of being the Staff Council President. My professional development opportunities, especially those through the UI Organization Effectiveness Office in Central Human Resources, gave me the experience and education that made me feel prepared for taking on this important leadership role.
What are the top 2 or 3 or 4 initiatives you plan for Staff Council to pursue?
My top initiatives for the coming year: Establish and maintain Staff Council’s relationship with the new University of Iowa President. I want to highlight what UI Staff are doing not only in their jobs and campus community, but also highlight how UI Staff are impacting the State of Iowa and our local communities. I will continue to prioritize DEI-focused goals in our standing committees as a continuation of the work of President Weaver and President Mineart.
Why should staff pay attention to what Staff Council is doing?
UI Staff Council is effectuating positive change at the University of Iowa for staff members – that is why staff should pay attention to what Staff Council is doing. If you are a staff member and think a more robust UI Tuition Assistance Program is an important benefit to staff, Staff Council is working on this on your behalf. If you are a staff member who thinks mandatory supervisor training was important, Staff Council worked on your behalf to get this done. If you are a staff member that wants to have a wonderful work/career experience at the University of Iowa, Staff Council will continue to advocate on your behalf with UI Leadership. These are just a few examples of how Staff Council is advocating for staff.