UP! Circles (University Professional Circles) is a 10-month professional development program designed to enhance one’s professional effectiveness, cut across the barriers that lead to staff isolation, and support the University’s mission.
- As a large group, we will engage with experts in the field monthly on topics from communication to organizational change.
- In small groups, we will advance targeted goals using a professional circles model based on adult learning theory.
- Each UP! Circle participant will be part of a small group that will identify and implement one micro-project to improve or develop potential solutions around a concern, problem, or issue related to achieving a culture of success for all at the University. Past micro-projects have ranged from a fitness-walking group to an online system for bringing together U of M employees with similar interests.
UP! Circles flyer (pdf)
UP! Circles video
Benefits you'll receive
- Support for advancement of individualized professional development goals
- Expanded networking opportunities across campus
- Opportunity to improve the University of Minnesota’s internal culture of success for all
- Opportunities for collaboration and cross-departmental initiatives
- Participation in discussions about relevant and topical issues and problems faced by the University, its employees, and public stakeholders
- UP! Circles meet two times per month from January to October. One meeting will be in a small group and one as a large group.
- Small groups will be matched based on interests. During the course of the small group meetings, using guided discussion, the members will keep each other on track toward the selected professional goals. Each small group will also pursue a micro-project during the program. Meeting dates, times, and locations will be determined by the small group.
- Large group monthly meetings will consist of a speaker alternating with open discussion. The meetings on January 30, 2013, and October 30, 2013, will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. (including lunch). The February, March, April, May, June, July, and September meetings will be held on the third or fourth Wednesday of the month from 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. All large-group meetings will be held in Room 210-215 at the Donhowe Building, 319 15th Ave. SE.
- At the January Kickoff, participants will learn how to conduct UP! Circles, set goals, and receive a group debrief on the StrengthsQuest assessment, which each participant will complete prior to the kickoff.
- Two four-hour sessions for opening and closing (January and October)
- Seven 90-minute large group sessions
- Nine monthly small group meetings (one-two hours each)
Potential large-group topics
- Non-positional leadership
- Equity and diversity today
- How to influence without authority
- Creating productive professional relationships through networking
- Develop cross-campus partnerships
- Working effectively in groups
- Ways to change an organizational culture from within
- How to supervise with respect
- Ways to change an organizational culture
The application period for the 2013 UP Circles! program is now closed. Application information for next year's program will be posted when available.
- Program is open to all faculty and P & A, civil service, and labor represented staff
- Supervisor endorsement is required
- Registration fee is $50.00; a very limited number of waivers will be available. Waiver process.
- Limited applications accepted (maximum of 50 participants)
- EFS and personal checks are accepted
Comments from 2012 participants
“I enjoyed meeting and learning from U of M staff from other departments. My small group was wonderful and we plan to stay in touch.”
“The presentations at the large-group meetings exceeded my expectations. They were carefully selected, well presented, and relevant.”
"The support and feedback I got from my small-group peers helped keep me motivated to stay on track with my career as well as personal goals."
“My group’s micro-project (serving as a conversation panel for international students) was a real highlight. I enjoyed brainstorming and working on the project together, and the amount of time we spent was very reasonable.”
For more information:
2013 Steering Committee: Scott Davenport, Medical School; Astrid Knott, Psychiatry, VA Medical Center; Jules Lehto, Disability Services; Mary Lilly, SMART Learning Commons; Amy Sitze, U of M Foundation
Program Advisor:Dave Dorman, Organizational Effectiveness, Office of Human Resources