Council of UC Staff Assemblies at their first meeting of the
FY2003-2004 year met with a number of speakers and discussed
a wide range of topics, including the budget, communications,
changes in health care options, and heard about development
plans for the host campus, UC Davis. The Council meets on a
quarterly basis, rotating among campuses and laboratories, to
discuss issues of importance to staff and to provide feedback
to the Office of the President and the UC regents. This advisory
body is made up of staff delegates from each of the 10 campuses,
the UC Office of the President, the Los Alamos National Lab
and the Berkley Lab.
The council was privileged to meet with Dr. Richard Atkinson
during his last month as UC President. Former President Atkinson
met regularly with the council during his tenure as President.
Atkinson noted, "I'm not here to give a speech but to
be part of an open exchange." Beyond budget issues, delegates
were interested in increasing the voice of staff in the UC
system. When asked about the topic of a non-voting staff representative
to the Board of Regents he replied, "I'm in favor of
it. There's no real opposition to it, but some regents do,
however, have a concern about the board becoming too large."
Other representatives from the UC Office of President made
presentations and participated in discussions. Dr. Jerry Kissler,
Associate Vice President for Budget Planning spoke candidly
on the topic of the state budget and it's relevance to the
University of California budget. David Bell, chair of the
council, stated that he believed that the presentation and
discussion was a eye-opener to council members not only as
citizens of the University but also as citizens of California
and that CUCSA goes on record to support the effort to bring
a human face to this crisis for the University. Communications
Director Paul Schwartz solicited the council's input on ways
to increase communications throughout the UC system. The council
heard about the process guiding changes in health care options
and the efforts to minimize disruption to the lives of UC
staff from Executive Director Michelle French, UCOP Human
Resources and Benefits Policy and Program Design.
"One of the highlights of each meeting is the opportunity
to hear from the host campus on issues that are of importance
to them and their staff," said Linda Rutkowski, Senior
LBNL delegate. Dennis Shimek, Senior Associate Vice Chancellor
for Human Resources at the Davis campus told the council that
staying focused at home and at work is the essence of work/life
balance - as well as a productive employee force. "Employees
are not only employees but they also have lives," Shimek
told the delegates. He also praised the Principles of Community
and its role in campus dialogue. "It's been a highly
effective guide to civility and behavior on campus, and that's
why so many of us take it seriously. It says, ‘this
is who we are and what we believe it.’"
UC Davis Assistant Vice-chancellor for Campus Planning Robert
B. Segar shared comprehensive plans for UC Davis that include
housing, transportation and services all within a very reasonable
distance from campus. The council is particularly interested
in efforts to provide affordable housing for staff.
The next meeting of the council will be the first week in
December at the UC Santa Barbara campus. For more information
on CUCSA, please see http://www.ucop.edu/cucsa/.