Posted on Categories Open Forum

Event Recap:

Staff Senate Overview

The Augsburg University Staff Senate shall serve Augsburg University and its staff by providing a forum to foster and promote a positive and meaningful dialogue among staff, faculty, students and administration by advising in decision making processes, by serving as an advocate for staff, by promoting professional development opportunities, and by recognition of staff’s contributions to furthering and upholding the mission and values of Augsburg University. Learn more about Staff Senate.

Design Committee—Jodi Collen & Rebecca John

Priorities for 2018-19:

  • Working to address ‘cringe-inducing spots’
  • Seeking landscaping opportunities to improve aesthetic appearance
  • Making our entrances and gateways more welcoming
  • Continuing progress on signage / wayfinding
    • 6 installed to date
    • 2nd phase will include 9 more (aiming for summer ’19) and 1 monument sign
    • Phase 3 will add 10 parking signs
    • Will also be doing user testing of “tower signs” to determine efficacy
  • Conversations ongoing to make Quad more accessible for those with mobility challenges

Audience questions (Both questions were noted and will be taken to committee):

  • Could parking lots be better named (currently not intuitive or memorable)?
  • Could exterior signage be added to indicate which entrances / spaces are accessible?

Space and Use Planning Committee—Rebecca John

Priorities for 2018-19:

  • Currently reviewing requests for new space and changes in space use (Nursing, Social Work, Physician Assistant)
  • Making recommendations for department moves into vacated spaces
  • Considering adjacencies that support collaboration and efficiency
  • FY20 budget planning

Rebecca reported that office moves can be both tricky and costly. The Space and Use Planning Committee helps propose and estimate budget for a prioritized set of moves each fiscal year.

University Council representatives—Jeff Swenson and Jim Trelstad-Porter

Jeff Swenson and Jim Trelstad-Porter reiterated that UC is not a governance body, but rather a deliberative body that meets to critically evaluate a broader range of viewpoints to provide President Pribbenow with advice on decision making and priority setting. The council’s effectiveness is gauged by improvements in internal communication and information sharing, and whether the campus community feels it is a safe space for idea sharing across departments and programs.

Minutes are available online at

Environmental Stewardship Committee—Emily Schilling

Practices and Operations:

  • Reducing our carbon footprint
  • Encouraging more sustainable purchasing practices
  • Eliminating the sale/reimbursement of bottled water

Curriculum and Scholarship:

  • Support sustainability across the curriculum;
  • Support professional development;
  • Encourage faculty who are interested in sustainability-related research
  • Provide review and oversight to changes to Student Learning Outcomes.

Ownership / Culture:

  • Build up a culture of composting / organics recycling,
  • Encourage every member of the Augsburg community to consider sustainability during their day-to-day activities

Leadership Forum—Leif Anderson

Leif shared a definition of a Community of Practice. The Forum is focused on deliberation, co-learning, and relationship building. The Forum uses a “flipped classroom” format, aligned with the Focus Conversation series.

Example of recent work:

The Leadership Forum deliberated as a group and took part in a structured conversation around the “Engage – Aspire – Grow” framework for the Augsburg2025 Strategic Plan. Outcomes included thoughtful consideration of terms such as “democratic purpose” and “public calling”; and requests to more closely examine issues surrounding affordability, growth, and sustainability.

Event Invite:

Wednesday, October 24
1–2 p.m.  |  Marshall room

Staff Senate will be hosting a forum to help continue to improve communication and create an opportunity for the Augsburg community to come together. Join us to hear:

  • Staff Senate’s role and goals for the year
  • Updates from the University Council staff representatives Jim Trelstad-Porter and Jeff Swenson
  • University Council subcommittee updates:
    • Campus Design Committee—Rebecca John and Jodi Collen
    • Space sub-committee—Rebecca John
    • Environmental Stewardship Committee—Emily Schilling
    • Leadership Forum—Leif Anderson

This year Staff Senate has decided to host two forums to help allow more time for questions. Half of the sub-committees will present at this first session and the others will join us in the spring for a second forum. We look forward to seeing you there!