September 2017 updates

Here’s a recap of some of the things that happened with Staff Council this month:


UTSC Core Values

At the July retreat, all 50+ Representatives brainstormed ideas and values that they felt represented Staff Council. There was a surprising amount of overlap that gave us about 20 items to work with. The Executive Committee then refined those into three core values: Advocacy, Collaboration, and Transparency. Those three values exemplify to me what Staff Council stands for and I find it extra fitting that they spell “ACT”. Committees will use these values to help them prioritize the work they tackle this year.



Elections opened on Wednesday for districts who had more than one nominee. If you are in one of those districts, please be sure to vote by Friday, October 6. If you have questions, please contact Gordon at Once elections results are calculated, new representatives and their supervisors will be notified and our new Reps will join us for the October meeting. We will be scheduling an orientation soon as well.


Presidential Meet and Greet

The President’s Office offered us the opportunity to meet in small groups with President Fenves on September 25. Our representatives were able to chat with him in a more intimate setting and President Fenves was able to listen to the concerns we had on a more personal level. We even got a shout-out from him on Twitter!

President Fenves and some of the 2017 UTSC Representatives give the Hook 'Em sign

President Fenves pauses for a group photo after the meet and greet on September 25



Budget and Employee Engagement Survey updates

We really enjoyed having Mary Knight come speak to our group about the UT budget. It definitely gives us a better appreciation of the complexities of the budget, but it also lets us see the big picture of where our money comes from and where our money goes.

In addition, we loved the energy and realism that Noel Landuyt brought to the meeting when he spoke about the university-wide Employee Engagement Survey results. He also shared with us

You can review the September PowerPoint to learn more.




Looking forward


In October, we will have four guest speakers:

  • Jeff Stellmach on the Staff Emergency Fund
  • Alyssa Manse on Cvent, an event management tool used by some departments around campus
  • Frances Delacruz on UTLearn, the learning management system introduced to campus last year
  • Dana Cook on Workday, the HR system secheduled for a Fall 2018 release

In November, we will have:

  • Bobby Stone from PTS, who will give us an overview of how PTS is funded and to help us understand the new parking permit waitlist policy
  • Jeanne Farahnak will speak on Employee Advisory Council, which is similar to Staff Council but for all of UT System

Each month committee chairs will give updates on the progress their committees have made on their projects.


As always, if you have questions, concerns, or comments for me, you can email me at You can also reach out to your representative or use our Issues Form to submit issues to the Staff Council.

Take care everyone and have a great weekend,




Posted in Uncategorized

Committees Taking Shape

Our annual retreat was held on July 20 at the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center. If you haven’t been there in person yet, I encourage you to go check it out. It’s free admission to UT faculty, staff, and students with a valid UT ID card.

Before the retreat, representatives had an opportunity to fill out a survey asking what types of issues they thought we should work on this year. We had about 32 of our 67 reps respond. We also brought data collected from our 2016 campus-wide survey to see what issues were still relevant.

Some committees are part of our bylaws (Communications, Elections, Issues, and Resources), others were committees that had work in progress from last year (Diversity, Engagement, Flex Work, Professional Development, Sustainability, and Wellness), and others were created based on new topics (Bylaws, Campus Safety, and Staff Benefits).  At this stage, our committees are still in a bit of a flux as we try to narrow our focus on issues we can tackle. As you can imagine, we received more project ideas than we actually have time for. In addition, we will still continue to work on projects like the Staff Lunch Lotto (lunch with President Fenves) and the ReFresh Project (subsidized commuter shower facilities).

While we were working we shot some video footage to use in some upcoming videos. We want to better explain who Staff Council is, what we do, and what positive changes we’ve had on staff at UT.

We still have about 29 open positions on Staff Council, so if your district has a vacancy and you’re interested in joining us, check out our get involved page.

Our August meeting will be held on the 17th, from 2-3:30 in Avaya Auditorium (POB 2.302) and we plan to use the last part of the meeting to firm up our committee projects. Our September meeting will be held on the 21st (same time and location) and will feature Mary Knight, who will talk about UT’s budget and the impact of the last legislative session.
As always, I welcome your feedback and hope to see you at one of our upcoming meetings.
Jaime K Davis
2017-2018 UT Staff Council Chair
Reps hold up signs indicating topics of interest

Groups start to form during the 2017 retreat

Posted in UTSC Chair

A new year and new challenges

As your new Staff Council Chairperson, I look forward to getting to know all of the representatives at our July 20 retreat. A link to the list of current UTSC Representatives can be found on our website.

At our retreat we will brainstorm projects we would like to accomplish this year. In the past, some of our accomplishments include proving would be a valuable resource to our campus, helping establish the Wellness Coordinator and the Staff Ombuds positions, developing the Professional Development Grant Program, and partnering with many campus organizations to help bring you benefits like the Farm-to-Work program, the Employee Emergency Fund, and access to showers and locker room facilities for commuters. I look forward to more exciting projects like these this year!

One of the things I have found in talking with people around campus is that many don’t know who we are or what we do. So one of my goals this year is to help fix that. I plan to work closely with the Communications and Engagement committees to figure out ways we can better market ourselves. What a shame that our mission is to help staff at UT Austin and so many aren’t even aware that we exist.

I know that one of our challenges this year will be the budget. As with the past several years, our budget has been tight and -although the legislature was kinder to us than we thought they would be- I expect this year to be no different. We might be passed the point of “doing more with less,” as we’ve been doing that for far too long. We may need to start thinking differently about solutions and I welcome your thoughts and ideas of what those solutions might be.

I am excited about the coming year and know it is full of promise! I welcome your feedback and hope to see you at one of our upcoming meetings. Our next general meeting is June 15, from 2-3:30 in Avaya Auditorium (POB 2.302).

Jaime K Davis
2017-2018 UT Staff Council Chair

Posted in UTSC Chair


UT System has recently completed a 3-year contract with Skillsoft — a provider of talent management training content — and has made it available to all UT System campuses (all active faculty and staff) at no additional charge.

UT System will be presenting Skillsoft to the various HR functions across UT System in the near future, but in the meantime, you can access the site and browse through the course, video, and book offerings.

Restrictions/Prerequisites for Attendance: UT System employee
Hosting/Administrative Sponsor: Skillport
Price: Varies by program
Venue: Online

Posted in Professional Development Resources

UT Staff Toastmasters Club

Each Toastmasters meeting is a learn-by-doing workshop in which participants hone their speaking, interpersonal communications, and leadership skills by giving a prepared or impromptu speech or taking on a role such a evaluator, grammarian or timekeeper. There is no instructor in a Toastmasters meeting and the curriculum is self-paced. Members evaluate each other’s presentations in a constructive yet positive format; this friendly feedback process is a key part of the program’s success.

Restrictions/Prerequisites for Attendance: Membership is open to all current and former UT Austin Staff.
Price: $20 one time new member fee, $55 club dues (paid every 6 months)
Venue: The club meets every Thursday 12:05pm-12:55pm typically in SAC 1.106; a detailed meeting schedule is posted on the club website that notes any variations in location.

Posted in Professional Development Resources Tagged with:

Human Dimensions of Organizations (HDO)

Bachelor of Arts Degree
A new Bachelor of Arts degree from HDO designed to teach students to explore, learn, and articulate the ways the liberal arts and social/behavioral sciences can address practical problems facing organizations.

Master of Arts Degree
An innovative program offering students from the business and nonprofit sectors the knowledge and skills they need to make their organizations more effective, creative, and efficient.

Professional Training
Professional training for groups and individuals led by UT Austin’s top faculty. Programs focus on the practical value of the humanities and the social and behavioral sciences for solving real-world problems. Training options include:

  • Certificate Programs
  • Custom Programs
  • One-Day Professional Seminars

Restrictions/Prerequisites for Attendance: Designed for Working Professionals
Hosting/Administrative Sponsor: HDO at UT Austin
Price: Varies by program
Venue: On campus
Contact: Lewis Miller

Posted in Professional Development Resources Tagged with: ,

Data Management at UT

Faculty, researchers, students, and support staff across all disciplines at the University of Texas are engaged in research projects that gather, create, and/or use data. The Data Management Program at UT is committed to helping develop and steward that data at all stages of research, from project planning to publication and dissemination. In a collaborative effort between the UT Libraries, TACC, and ITS, we offer resources, training, and consulting services to the UT community. A major focus of the program is to help research and support staff develop the essential skills, good practices, and a basic understanding of the funding body and publisher requirements associated with data management.

Restrictions/Prerequisites for Attendance: None
Hosting/Administrative Sponsor: UT Libraries
Price: free
Venue: On campus
Contact: Jessica Trelogan

Posted in Professional Development Resources Tagged with:

Center for Professional Education (CPE)

The University of Texas at Austin Center for Professional Education (CPE) helps individuals meet professional and personal goals and helps organizations develop employees and improve performance through its program, consulting, coaching and facilitation services.

CPE designs and delivers face-to-face and online noncredit programs for individuals interested in improving their professional skills or who seek a credential or a career change. Our programs and instructors help individuals and organizations around Texas and around the world improve personal and organizational performance. Since 1999, more than 18,000 individuals have enrolled in CPE programs. We conduct an average of 300 onsite programs annually within and outside of Texas. Our program participants hail from every region of the United States and from Mexico, Canada, South America, Europe and Asia.

Restrictions/Prerequisites for Attendance: None
Price: varies
Venue: Thompson Conference Center (TCC)
Contact: Liliya Spinazzola

Posted in Professional Development Resources Tagged with:

Leadership Symposium

Provide participants with innovative ideas, tools, and discussions to help develop as effective and successful leaders.

Restrictions/Prerequisites for Attendance: UT employees
Hosting/Administrative Sponsor: Hispanic Faculty/Staff Association (HF/SA)
Price: free
Venue: On campus
Contact: Elsie Q. Rebolloso

Posted in Professional Development Resources Tagged with: ,


UT’s Administrative Professional’s Network

Restrictions/Prerequisites for Attendance: Membership is open to any employee who provides administrative support at UT Austin.
Cost: $25
Venue: Primarily held in SAC
Contact: Irene Cuevas

Posted in Professional Development Resources Tagged with:


UTSC Calendar

  • October General Meeting

    October 19, 2017 @ 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm
    Peter O'Donnell Junior Building, Peter O'Donnell Jr Building, 201 E 24th St, Austin, TX 78712, USA

    Join us for our October meeting with the guest speakers talking on the following topics:
    Jeff Stellmach on Staff Emergency Fund
    Alyssa Manse on Cvent
    Frances Delacruz on UTLearn
    Dana Cook on Workday

    See more details

  • November General Meeting

    November 16, 2017 @ 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm
    Peter O'Donnell Junior Building, Peter O'Donnell Jr Building, 201 E 24th St, Austin, TX 78712, USA

    Join us for our November meeting with these speakers discussing the following topics:
    Bobby Stone on Parking
    Jeanne Farahnak on Employee Advisory Council
    Jen Sims on Staff Ombuds

    See more details