The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Staff Council set for change

Tom Jorgensen
The University of Iowa Campus looking west from Old Capitol and the Pentacrest.

As tenures for current members of the executive committee of the University of Iowa Staff Council are nearing an end, members looked back on the greatest challenges they faced.

On Wednesday, nominations were opened up for the positions on the executive committee, consisting of a new president-elect, secretary, and an at-large committee with four positions available.

The 2016 Staff Council Elections comes at a time where the university has shifted in executive leadership, finishing up the first year under President Bruce Harreld’s reign.

Shortly after former UI President Sally Mason’s retirement, Harreld collided with UI administration, staff, and students regarding the state Board of Regents selection process.

“I think establishing council with the new set of upper administration as well as the other shared governance bodies as partners has been our biggest challenge,” said Hans Hoerschelman, the president of the UI Staff Council. “President Mason knew who we were, and President Harreld didn’t know who we were right away, but we made sure we made ourselves available. I think we built a strong relationship in that regard.”

Harreld had been harshly criticized for numerous reasons, including his background in business and inaccurate information on his professional résumé.

UI Staff Council Secretary Laurie Hafner Dahms said that collectively as a council, big strides have been made regarding being visible to and heard by the new administration.

“I think concerns about President Harreld were hard for staff council,” Dahms said. “We wanted to make sure staff in general was well represented. We spent a lot of enormous time and energy but it was well worth it.”

With the rocky beginning of the 2015-16 academic year now left in the dust, a newly elected executive committee will begin its tenure June 1. Nominations for all other UI Staff Council committees will close on April 20.

Elesa Wedemeyer, research support manager at UIHC and member of the council, said the future is bright for the next executive committee, despite conflicts in change of administration.

Wedemeyer said she thinks the biggest accomplishment staff council has made is the executive committee’s contribution in representing the council in the period of changing management.

“With the change with the new president, I think we’ve have been all trying to understand the environment. We’re seeing an optimistic upward trend; I think it was hard on staff to start,” she said. “Our executive council has really gone above and beyond, the time commitments for them were extraordinary this year because of all the extra activity with President Harreld coming in.”

Other topics on the agenda were presentation of a new internationalization plan and updates regarding human resources.

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