Staff Senate: DPS Wrap Up

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Tuesday, April 23  |  1–2 p.m.
Christensen Center, Marshall Room

Scott Brownell will be following up on the December 2018 DPS presentation and will be giving updates to wrap up the academic year. If you miss the presentation from December you can see the event recap here.


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Tuesday, April 2
1–2 p.m.  |  Oren 100

Join us to hear goals, updates, and plans moving forward from the University Council subcommittees whom we didn’t hear from this Fall.

  • Resource Committee (Net Growth Revenue Update)—Karen Kaivola
  • Resource Committee (Staffing Structure Update)—Beth Reissenweber
  • Enrollment Committee—Robert Gould
  • Student Success Committee—Katie Bishop

This is the second of this year’s two part series to help allow more time for questions. Half of the sub-committees presented this fall (read our event recap). We look forward to seeing you there!

Staff Senate: DPS Presentation

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Thank you for those who were able to attend. If you missed the presentation you can watch the live recording, linked here.

Here is a list of quick links referred to in the presentation:

Event invite:

Wednesday, December 5  |  1–2 p.m.
Christensen Center, Marshall Room

Scott Brownell, director of public safety and risk management,  will be leading a 45 minute presentation on the Department of Public Safety. He’ll be discussing:

  • 2018 Annual Security Report
  • Campus Trends
  • Parking Updates
  • CampusShield Safety App
  • Q&A


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!

Staff Handbook Review & Senate Bylaw Update Open Forum

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Wednesday, June 6
1–2 p.m.  |  Marshall Room

Join us for a staff focused Open Forum. HR will be providing an overview on the changes made to Staff Handbook and Staff Senate will review the updates made to their Bylaws. Time for questions will be provided.

Staff Senate Open Lunch—Wed. March 21

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Get out of the office and join Staff Senate in the Commons for lunch and discussion. Take some time to engage with fellow staff in casual conversation.

Wednesday, March 21
12-1 p.m. | Christensen Center, Commons

You can use this opportunity to speak specifically with Staff Senate members or just enjoy new company for lunch. Bring your own lunch and we’ll see you in the Commons!

Staff Senate and UC-Subcommittee Forum

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The Staff Senate and University Council (UC)—Subcommittee Forum was well received by those in attendance. To start the forum Staff Senate members, Green Bouzard and Pa Dao Yang gave a brief overview of what Staff Senate is, the mission, the members, the 2016-17 goals, and announcements of upcoming opportunities. This information can be found at

Following the introduction of Staff Senate each University Council subcommittee had a representative explain what their roll is, give updates on the work they have done, and what current goals they are working on. Below is a recap of what we learned.

Jim Trelstad-Porter—University Council Chair Updates

Jim spoke about the interplay between the University Council (UC) and its various subcommittees. The UC is a non-governing body that provides consultation to the President. Jim (elected by staff ) and Jeff Swenson (appointed by Staff Senate) represent all staff and work to protect staff interests in this group.

The UC convenes to consider specific ideas proposed by subcommittees (e.g. Smoking policy; NCAA transgender policy), engaging in broad deliberation on key issues still taking shape in order to reach consensus. The group is working to create a baseline of content/input to be more effective.

Joanne Reeck—Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity Committee

This subcommittee is comprised mostly of staff and uses the student inclusion assessment to guide work and planning. The committee’s strategic plan and minutes can be found on its Moodle site.

In general, this group is working to continue to enhance a campus-wide conversation on what intentional diversity and inclusion mean on our campus. Conversations are underway to address student concerns regarding diversity across the curriculum and to increase representation on faculty by people from historically marginalized. Augsburg’s faculty hiring process is scheduled to be externally reviewed in December. The reviewer will present back in a Focused Conversation in early 2018. The committee is also working with student government to review concerns of accessibility across campus.

Supporting this committee is the Campus Climate Advisory Team, which convenes when necessary to respond to local, regional, and national issues that affect our students.

Leif Anderson—Leadership Forum

Leif shared that Leadership Forum is a “community of practice” for leaders on campus to gather to improve their practice as leaders. The Forum advances Augsburg’s mission through careful deliberation with peers and improving leadership skills by building relationships across campus. Group consists of VPs, their direct reports, and directors of administrative units. The group convenes twice monthly to consider topics from Focus Conversations, asking “What are the leadership questions we need to be asking?” in order to support a variety of stated strategic initiatives.

Beth Reissenweber & Karen Kaivola—Resources Committee

The Resources subcommittee provides guidance to the President and UC on how best to allocate our available resources in order to meet the goals of our strategic plan and mission.

The committee asks “How can space foster collaborations and intersections” and uses stakeholder feedback to influence priority-making during budget season.

Current projects and priorities include:

  • Ice Arena and Solar Array
  • Residence Halls
  • Academic Costs / Academic Plan
  • Health Insurance
  • Five-year modeling (including debt management)

Look for a Focused Conversation on Financial Management on December 12, 2 p.m. in OGC 100 and December 13, 12:30 p.m. in OGC 100

Look for Focused Conversation on Academic Planning on February 13, 2 p.m., OGC 100 and February 14, 12:30 p.m., OGC 100

Allyson Green & Christina Erickson—Environmental Stewardship Committee

The Environmental Stewardship Committee is working on implementing the Climate Action Plan, a presidential commitment first established in 2009 and is beginning to implement a sustainability work plan with $475,000 in support from Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies.

Current projects and priorities include:

  • Campus Operations – lighting, compost, solar array
  • Scholarship & Curriculum – Institutional Learning Outcomes that  highlight student learning around the theme of sustainability, including health and wellness.
  • Campus Culture – Through MACP grant, interns will be working on implementing best practices across campus and within departments; focus on reducing bottled water / “loving local water”;

Nate Gorr—Enrollment Committee

Spring Transfers – Positive outlook (up in inquiries, applications, and admits)

Spring New – Positive outlook (up in inquiries, applications, and admits)

Fall – inquiries down compared to last year, but completed applications are up; goal is 460

Recap on Fall 2017-18 – Grad admissions were very strong, exceeded goal in all but one graduate program. Undergrad took a slight dip below our goal after 10-day. However, the cohort had higher ACT and GPA scores. Nate predicts this will result stronger retention and 4-year grad.

Other key decisions are being held until the appointment of a new VP for Enrollment.

Katie Bishop – Student Success Committee

Committee considers the following data and routinely reports to other bodies:

  • 4-year grad rate (46%)
  • 1st to 2nd year retention (76.5% – due in part to outside political and economic pressures)
  • % of students earning the appropriate # of credits (70%)

Subcommittee is also looking at the following:

  • Changes in advising model
  • Changes in policy around registration
  • Change in adding credit to curriculum / eliminating no-credit offerings
  • Academic feedback / Alert system

Jodi Collen & Seth Leinard—Campus Design Committee and Space Sub-Committee

These subcommittees are focused on how students, faculty, staff, and visitors/guests experience our campus, asking the question “How does our campus tell the Augsburg story?” and working to identify a broad range of stakeholders to assess the various uses/functions of our spaces

The group has recently toured campus to identify areas that need require attention. Findings were shared with Resource Committee and University Council. The group is considering opportunities created by the opening of the Hagfors Center

Look for a Focused Conversation on Strategic Facilities Management on March 6, 2 p.m., OGC 100 and March 7, 12:30 p.m., OGC 100.


For more information about the University Council Subcommittees visit


Wednesday, November 15
1:30–3 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

We look forward to seeing you there!

Staff Senate and UC-Subcommittee Forum

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Rebecca John presents on the development of the Campus Design and Space Use Subcommittee
Rebecca John presents on the development of the Campus Design and Space Use Subcommittee

The Staff Senate and UC—Subcommittee Forum was well received by those in attendance. To start the forum Co-chair Jen Jacobs gave a brief overview of what Staff Senate is, the mission, the members, and the 2016-17 goals. This information can be found at

To start the University Council presentations Leif Anderson gave an overview of the UC Council and the subcommittees. To follow a representative from each subcommittee shared the goals and 2015-16 accomplishments of their subcommittee. Each subcommittee was in attendance; Campus Design and Space Use, Diversity and Inclusion, Enrollment, Environmental Stewardship, Resource, and Student Success. It was interesting to see the progress being made under this new University Council structure.

Although the forum didn’t leave too much time for discussion some subcommittee representatives left with questions for their initiatives. If you have questions or concerns you can learn more about each committee along with whom to contact at

A goal of Staff Senate’s this year is to increase communication. If you have any feedback on how we can improve the Staff Senate and UC—Subcommittee Forum please email us at Thank you for everyone who was able to attend and to those who presented.


Tuesday, October 25
1:30 p.m.
in the Marshall Room

Based on feedback Staff Senate received seeking more communication, Staff Senate will be hosting a forum to give a overview of the role of staff senate and hosting representatives from each of the UC-subcommittees to uplift some of the amazing work going on in each committee. We invite you to join us for this great opportunity to learn what our rock star colleagues are doing for Augsburg college!

Campus Cupboard Topic of Oct. 23 Open Forum

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The Staff Senate open forum on Wednesday, October 23 will focus on the Augsburg College Campus Cupboard and how to support this critical program. Starting at 1 p.m., Lynn Ellingson and Brian Noy will discuss the program, current needs among Augsburg students, and how Augsburg staff and employees can support Campus Cupboard.

Open Forum
October 23
1-1:30 p.m.
Marshall Room, Christensen Center

Visit the Campus Cupboard webpage for more program information.

Note that this open forum time has been changed from the normal time.

First Open Forum for Fall 2013

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Augsburg College Staff Senate would like to invite you to its first Open Forum of the academic year 2013-14. The Senate hosts its open forum on the fourth Tuesday of each month.

All are welcome to attend. This month Justin Lind-Ayres, associate college pastor, will be available for discussion and questions. Please plan on attending this special opportunity to learn more about Justin and the work in Campus Ministry.

Wednesday, September 25
Noon-12:30 p.m.
Marshall Room, Christensen Center

If you have questions about the event, please email