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 Lynda.com 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