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Staff Council gives workers "voice" in University issues

October 21, 2003


With more than 500 of Austin Peay's 789 employees classified as "staff," they represent a key constituency for the Universityand an important source of input for administrators.

Giving staff members a way to offer that input is the purpose of Austin Peay's Staff Council.

Made up of 30 to 45 members, each of whom represents a designated area or areas, the Staff Council serves as a pipeline to the president and her cabinet.
October 21, 2003


With more than 500 of Austin Peay's 789 employees classified as "staff," they represent a key constituency for the Universityand an important source of input for administrators.

Giving staff members a way to offer that input is the purpose of Austin Peay's Staff Council.

Made up of 30 to 45 members, each of whom represents a designated area or areas, the Staff Council serves as a pipeline to the president and her cabinet.

"Each area is entitled to a certain number of representatives, based on its size," says Sharon Silva, development officer, scholarship manager and current chair of the council. "Academic Affairs, for example, has four members. Financial Aid is entitled to six."

Silva says the biggest responsibility of Staff Council members is to attend monthly meetings and provide input on various issues from staff in their area.

They also may serve on any of a number of committees. "Committees review new policies and changes to existing policies," Silva says, "for example, the proposal to change Employee of the Quarter program to Employee of the Semester."

Committees also develop plans for the council's participation in various events. Current committees are planning a chili cook-off, the council's contribution to Homecoming; Help-an-Elf, an effort to provide holiday gifts for a needy Clarksville family; and the staff's holiday luncheon, held in December.

The council's newest committee, headed by Trish Halstead in the Office of Student Affairs, is working on a proposal for a new incentive program for employees.

"There's something for everyone," Silva says, "whether they prefer to work on social, benevolent or policy-related committees."

Members typically serve two-year terms, but when there are a number of vacancies, as is the case this year, they can serve a one-year appointment only.

Representatives are needed for the following areas: academic affairs (1), financial aid (4), physical plant (5), technical/extended ed/outreach (1) and advancement, athletics, public relations, president's office and human resources (2).

Silva encourages anyone interested in serving on the Staff Council to call her at 7199. Those who don't feel the call to serve should stay abreast of issues, share their concerns and ideas and make their preferences known to their Staff Council representative. "They are the voice of the staff," she says.

To find out who represents your area, call Silva or go to www.apsu.edu/support.

(Editor's Note: The Staff Council now is accepting nominations for Employee of the Semester for Fall 2003. Send the name of your nominee to the Office of Human Resources by Dec. 1.)
—Debbie Denton