The College of Human Ecology received CAPA's 2005 Outstanding Unit Award at the annual celebration April 18. Left to right: Daniel Gallaher, Cathy Schulz, and Catherine Solheim. CHE was cited for its tradition of inclusiveness in administration, scholarship, and governance--specifically, for its excellence in providing P&A staff with professional leave and professional development opportunities, awards and recognition, and a meaningful role in unit decision-making.
CAPA elections and award 2005
Unit elections are under way
By Barbara VanDrasek and Will Craig
From Brief, April 27, 2005
Each spring, professional and academic (P&A) employees at the University have an opportunity to elect representatives to the Council of Academic Professionals and Administrators (CAPA). Voting is now under way within several units across the U in which terms have expired.
All P&A employees at all U campuses are represented on CAPA through their academic, administrative, or service unit representatives. Council representatives work to make the P&A voice heard on issues of interest and concern through the U governance system and through direct interaction with administrators, faculty, staff, and students. Every P&A employee is entitled to vote for the CAPA representative and alternate from the unit in which they work.
CAPA in the Senate
One of the most exciting developments of the past year was the restructuring of the University Senate to include CAPA senators for the first time, elected from among CAPA representatives and alternates. CAPA has just held its first election of senators and, starting next fall, those 25 P&A employees (see box) will be a strong voice on the U Senate on behalf of the University's mission and the role of P&As within that mission.
CAPA's executive officers were elected at the April 15 meeting. They are:
Chair: Jaki Cottingham Zierdt
Vice chair: Beth Emshoff
>Frank Douma, Benefits & Compensation
>Lynn Burbank, Communications
>Anita Cholewa, Professional Development
>Stacy Doepner-Hove, Representation & Governance
The CAPA chair and vice chair also serve as senators for a total of 25. Names and units will be posted on the CAPA Web site soon.
The coming year should be an interesting one as the U Senate weighs in on the strategic positioning process and a variety of other issues. President Bruininks chairs the U Senate. Being a senator is a great opportunity to interact with faculty, civil service staff, and students on issues of common concern. It's also a chance to learn a great deal about how the University works and the challenges we'll face together as the environment for higher education continues to change.
Unit P&A groups
Many of the units that elect CAPA representatives also have internal P&A organizations, which work on issues of local interest, interact with deans, directors, and other administrators, provide mutual support, and share information and best practices across their units. P&A unit organizations also make the link between CAPA and individual P&A employees much stronger. P&A unit groups have had many successes in influencing local policy. They often place P&A representatives on committees or task forces within their units. If you are not aware of a P&A organization within your unit, you can check the CAPA Web site to find contact information for your unit representative. If your unit has no P&A organization, CAPA can help you start one! See the CAPA Representatives page.
For more information
Want to know more about your unit's CAPA election? Interested in serving on CAPA? Would you like to become a P&A senator? Looking for a way to get connected with your unit's P&A organization--or to start one? For more information, contact your CAPA representative or CAPA clerk Rebecca Wienbar.
Barbara VanDrasek, a CAPA representative from the College of Liberal Arts, Twin Cities, is a research associate in the Department of Geography. Will Craig, a CAPA alternate from the Office of the Senior Vice President for System Administration, is associate director of the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA).