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Feature

CSC chair Matt Bowers

CSC chair Matt Bowers urges civil service staff to volunteer. "The U Senate is a great way to increase civil service participation in University governance and to raise our profile across the University," he says.

The Civil Service Committee wants you

Apply now for civil service seats on the CSC and in the U Senate

By Gayla Marty

Brief, March 22, 2006

Brenda Boever, interim director of academic advising at the University of Minnesota, Morris, is completing her second three-year term on the Civil Service Committee.

"In every way, being on the committee has been a great experience," says Boever. "I've seen some really positive outcomes--improved communication with our constituents and better use of technology, but most importantly, the civil service staff now has a stronger presence in the University as new members of the U Senate."

Linda Olcott agrees. She's an associate administrator for UMD Facilities Management, midway through her first term as the Duluth campus representative to the CSC and a one-year term in the U Senate. She's also the face behind the CSC's regular e-newsletter.

"It is such a rewarding experience to serve on the CSC," says Olcott. "I continue to meet new people and get a better understanding and stronger connections with the great U community."

The University is a big place, and governing it is no small task. The CSC and the University Senate have both been part of governance for years, but 2005-06 is the first year that civil service employees have been eligible and elected to serve in the University Senate.

As spring rolls around, the CSC begins to seek eligible employees who will guide it through the coming year and also represent the civil service staff in the senate.

Service on the CSC and in the University Senate are separate. But for both, representation is sought from four broad areas of the University: Academic Affairs, Senior VP and Provost; Academic Health Center, Senior VP; coordinate campuses; and at-large, which includes all other units.

Last summer, CSC members and senators met at the CSC retreat to discuss their new roles.

"We learned a lot in our first year," says CSC chair Matt Bowers. Over the coming years, it will be very important for the CSC and senate group to finds ways to work together and also work with faculty, student, and professional/administrative senators, he says.

"The Senate meetings were a good way to find out about University issues," says Wendy Williamson, first-time senator and past chair of the CSC. "But we still have to find our way to become a more effective part of the governance structure."

Civil Service Committee seats

Employees covered by the Civil Service Rules have an opportunity to serve on the Civil Service Committee. The CSC, comprised of 15 members, reviews policies and issues that affect civil service employees, acts in an advisory capacity to the president and the administration, and recommends changes in Civil Service Rules.

Rule 3 of the Civil Service Rules states that a search committee will screen, interview, and refer names to President Bruininks to replace six vacancies and several alternates.

While the president appoints the committee members, any employee covered by the Rules is eligible to serve on its subcommittees. Employees are encouraged to attend monthly meetings and to raise issues and concerns at any time. Monthly meetings and minutes are posted on the CSC Web site, along with contact information for the committee and individual members.

The Civil Service Committee will have six vacancies for the academic year beginning in July: five on the Twin Cities campus and one on the Morris campus. Each is a three-year term.

Alternates, which serve one-year terms, will be appointed to fill unexpected vacancies during fiscal year 2006-07 and will serve with a vote when regular committee members are absent.

Committee vacancies by area are Academic Affairs, Senior VP & Provost (3); Academic Health Center (1); Morris campus (1); and at-large, which includes all other units (1).

Eligibility: All civil service staff, covered by the Civil Service Rules, who have held temporary or continuing appointments of at least 50 percent time or more for at least two calendar years are eligible to apply.

For first consideration, apply by Friday, March 31. Additional consideration will be given to individuals from units with vacancies. Applications will be accepted until interview times are filled during the week of April 10-14.

Application and other information is available from the CSC Web page at www.umn.edu/csc. If you have questions, contact John Felipe, chair of search, at 612-624-9547, or felip001@umn.edu.

University Senate seats

Civil service staff members elected 23 senators with staggered terms for 2005-06. The chair and vice-chair of the Civil Service Committee (CSC) rounded out the 25 seats assigned to civil service.

This spring, nine U Senate seats for three-year terms will be open for civil service senator elections. The following staff members have held those seats:

Duluth: Linda Olcott
Academic Health Center: Barbara Creswell, Beth Hagel, and Dee McManus
Senior VP for Academic Affairs & Provost: Anne Caton and Suzanne Livingston
At-large: Chuck John and Rick Moore

A fourth seat in AHC will be open due to a resignation. Current senators are welcome to run for another term.

Applications will be available at the Civil Service Committee (CSC) Web site March 15 to April 14. The election will be held electronically May 1-19.

"Consider running for the Senate!" says Bowers. "We had wonderful participation last year with many candidates and good voter turnout. The Senate is a great way to increase civil service participation in University governance and to raise our profile across the University."

Send questions or comments about civil service representation in the U Senate to CSC chair Matt Bowers.


CSC members Matt Bowers and John Felipe contributed to this article.