University of North Dakota Faculty/Staff Newsletter

Staff Senate lists highlights from annual report

The Staff Senate is an elected body of 50 staff members that represents each job category. These dedicated people have a substantial impact in making specific recommendations for changes. The Staff Senate has been involved in numerous professional development initiatives and proposals.

In 2011-2012, Staff Senate was involved in the following:

  • Building/Facility Access Committee
  • Chester Fritz Auditorium Advisory Board
  • Conflict of Interest/Scientific Misconduct Committee
  • Council of State Employees (COSE)
  • Diversity Council
  • Great Conversations Committee
  • Greenway Proposal
  • Higher Learning Commission Committees
  • North Dakota State Staff Senate (ND SSS)
  • Ombuds Resolution
  • State Board of Higher Education
  • University Bookstore Advisory Committee
  • University Campus Parking Committee
  • University Senate
  • Work Well Committee

UND Staff Senate Committees:

Ad-Hoc Committees


Staff Senate participated in both the 2011 Homecoming and Potato Bowl parades.

Emerald and Ice
UND Staff Senate hosted its third annual Emerald and Ice Fiesta event at the Alerus Center on March 23, 2012. This event includes mock gaming, dancing and food.  Silent auction items raised enough for six staff dependent scholarships.

U-Shine Award

This program recognizes outstanding UND staff employees.  This award is presented every month to a UND staff member.  The winner receives a certificate and a gift of $50. The annual award of $250 was presented to Jay Smith, Memorial Union, at the annual Staff Recognition Banquet in May of 2012.

Staff Recognition Committee

  • State Employee Recognition Week was held September 12 through September 16, 2011.  We had a full week of hosting events – Courtyard Picnic (served 347), Taco-in-a-Bag (served 246), Ice Cream Social (served 351), Pie in the Ballroom (served 345), and Night Staff Appreciation breakfast (served 90).  There were registration boxes set up at each event for door prizes.  We collected $181.44 in free will offering for Minot Flood Relief.
  • Spring Fling was held on Friday, April 27, 2012.  There were approximately 450 employees that attended this lunch event.  A table was set up to sell COSE clothing and Seeds for Staff Success raffle tickets; in addition two tables were set up for free will offering and/or non-perishable food items to donate to local food shelves. Donated food came to 215 pounds for St Vincent de Paul, along with $181.32.
  • Spring Fling for Overnight BST’s was held Friday, April 27, 2012 at the Terrace Cafeteria, where breakfast was served to about 85 staff members.
  • The Staff Senator of the Year Award recognizes a Staff Senator who promotes a spirit of unity and pride and represents Staff Senate in an exemplary manner through their vision, enthusiasm, dedication and willingness to volunteer.  This year’s winner, Shelley Pohlman, CoBPA Marketing Department, was presented with a desk clock. Her name and year were added to the perpetual plaque hanging in Staff Senate’s display case at the Memorial Union.

Staff Development Committee

  • Campus Tours: Staff Senate conducted a series of campus tours.  These tours included: Steam Plant, Facilities, Memorial Union, Medical School and Aerospace.
  • Believing in Each Other: This was a session on improving communication and cooperation within the workplace.
  • Christmas Community Donations: The committee decided to donate to the Grand Forks Senior Citizen Center. Collection points were placed at several building locations around campus and senators volunteered to monitor those tubs.

Fundraising and Scholarship Committee

  • Staff Senate, through the 31 Days of Glory Raffle, payroll deductions, and the Emerald and Ice Fiesta silent auction, funded 39 staff dependent scholarships for the 2012-13 academic year.
  • The committee created a new program, Seeds for Staff Success, which raises money for professional development for staff.    Staff Senate, through the Seeds for Staff Success Raffle, raised approximately $3,175, and awarded an iPad for 1st place, $300 for 2nd place, and $200 for 3rd place.

Denim Day Committee

  • The Denim Day Committee distributed $17,715 to 9 local regular Denim Day charities and 11 special Denim Day charities in 2011.

Legislative Committee

  • Our goals are to provide the UND Staff Senate with information pertinent to legislation concerning the university community and parliamentary procedures guidance.  This report coincides with a non-legislative year. There were local ballots of concerns to the university community, the use of the Fighting Sioux nickname in particular. The Legislative Committee was committed to educate employees of the facts given and not to influence decisions.

Public Relations Committee

  • The PR committee designed and reviewed flyers, posters, tickets, banners, digital signs, and other public material, as well as provided guidance and assistance in branding.  The PR committee maintains the Staff Senate display case in the Memorial Union.

Bylaws and Elections Committee

  • The nomination and election processes for Staff Senators were again held online this year.

Other News

  • Staff Senate coordinated collections of money and goods for staff at Minot State University who were victims of the flooding.  Staff traveled to Minot on a UND bus to deliver the goods.
  • ND SSS has proven invaluable as a forum for all North Dakota higher education institutions to share ideas and advocate for common concerns.
  • Janice Hoffarth from UND was re-elected to represent higher education staff on the State Board of Higher Education.

What’s Next

  • University Staff Ambassador (USA) Program
  • Improving Staff Senate knowledge and visibility on campus
  • Continued fundraising for staff and student dependent scholarships

2011-2012 UND Staff Senate Officers

President- Kristi Swartz, CILT
Vice-President/President Elect- Patricia Young, Extended Learning
Secretary- Lynn Lee, Career Services
Treasurer- Diane Hillebrand, SMHS Research Affairs
Membership Officer- Shelley Pohlman, Marketing
Past President- Loren Liepold, Theater Arts
Members at Large- Brenda Halle, VP Research; Janice Hoffarth, Music; Marco Holter, Facilities

2012-2013 UND Staff Senate Executive Committee

President – Patricia Young, Extended Learning
Vice-President/President Elect – Diane Hillebrand, SMHS Research Affairs
Secretary – Lynn Lee, Career Services
Treasurer – Katie Douthit, HR/Payroll
Membership Officer – Vicki Thompson, CILT
Past President – Kristi Swartz, CILT
Members at Large – Patricia Hodny, Law School; Kim Keeley, Grants and Contracts; Leyton Rodahl, Facilities
Committee Chairs:

Denim Day – Cheri Williams, President’s Office
Fundraising and Scholarship – Sharley Kurtz, Nursing; and Shannon Medina, Student Account Services
Legislative – Darin Lee, Mailing Services
Public Relations – John Lee, SMHS Information Resources
Staff Recognition – Marsha Nelson, Memorial Union
Staff Development – Diane Hillebrand, SMHS Research Affairs

Ex-Officio – Patricia Hanson, Human Resources

To view the full 2011-12 Staff Senate Annual Report, go to

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