- Author: Nikolai Schweitzer
UC ANR Staff Assembly council members and Staff Assembly Ambassadors visited UC ANR headquarters in Davis on Oct. 10, 2017.
Council chair Matt Baur introduced the mission and purpose of staff assembly and explained how SA Ambassadors act as a voice for their co-workers. Baur also spoke of how UC employee workplace surveys drove the creation of UC ANR's Principles of Community and Staff Assembly. Trisha Dinh, business manager for youth, families and communities, UC Master Gardeners and UC Master Food Preservers, facilitated the meeting.
Vice Provost Mark Bell delivered an enthusiastic talk to the SA Ambassadors. He spoke candidly of the challenges UC ANR faces: reaching and engaging a “diverse and dispersed” target audience spread throughout California.
Associate director of Human Resources, Bethanie Brown, discussed three goals in the UC ANR Strategic Plan: Goal 6 (Recruit and Retain People), Goal 7 (Improve Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity), and Goal 8 (Expand Career and Leadership Development). Well-versed and passionate when it comes to understanding and explaining her department's goals, she shared a challenging forecast surrounding the implementation and execution of said goals. Due to an uncertain financial climate, a UCOP fiscal audit resulting in policy and procedure changes that will directly affect Goal 6, and policies that limit internal upward career growth, Brown's role as associate HR director will, more than ever, be vital for UC ANR employees.
Nikolai Schweitzer, co-program chair for the UC ANR Staff Assembly Council, delivered a presentation on the history of staff organizations. The presentation included information about the previous Staff Congress. Staff Congress was in existence from 1998 to 2003 and consisted of Research and Extension Center personnel only. The group learned about the Staff Congress' Agricultural Program, Education Scholarship Program, and Employee Rewards that involved administration as well as staff employees.
Jeannette Warnert, senior delegate to the Council of UC Staff Assemblies (CUCSA), and LeChé McGill, junior CUCSA delegate, spoke about the September CUCSA meeting at UC San Diego. They explained that CUCSA's role is to “enhance communication within the University community on matters of interest to staff employees in accordance with California laws and Regent policy.” Warnert and McGill presented information about the 2017 UC ANR Staff Engagement Survey. The UC ANR Engagement Survey results and an executive summary are posted on UC ANR Staff Assembly website, under the CUCSA tab. They said a webinar and a virtual town hall will be held in the coming months to share more information from the survey with UC ANR staff.
Jan Corlett, chief of staff to Vice President Humiston, was present for the entire SA Ambassador meeting. Corlett shared the UC ANR organizational chart and chain of command. She highlighted the responsibilities ANR has as the primary branch of the University of California to serve, educate and inform California families, businesses and public organizations.