University of Iowa Staff Council holds 2019-2020 elections

The University of Iowa Staff council held their yearly elections on Wednesday afternoon for positions for the 2019-2020 session. Positions filled included president-elect and budget officer.


Hannah Kinson

Council members listen to short speeches prepared by those running for a position on Wednesday, May 8, 2019. The University Staff Council held elections for various positions, including Member at Large and Budget Officer.

Kate Pixley, News Reporter

Members of the University of Iowa Staff Council voted on who would head the organization for the 2019-20 academic year at their meeting on Wednesday.

Mike Weaver, who is the executive assistant to the vice president for research and manager of office operations for the Office of the Vice President for Research, will serve as president during the upcoming academic year, taking over for current President Michael Hesseltine, an employee of UI Health Care.

Heather Mineart, organization representative for the UI College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, was elected vice president of the council. She will replace Weaver as president in the 2020-21 academic year.

Mineart, a UI employee for 18 years, works as assistant to the department head of the Physics/Astronomy Department. She cited that experience when discussing her qualifications for serving in a leadership position.

“If anyone has seen ‘The Big Bang Theory,’ they can imagine the personalities I work with day in and day out,” Mineart said. “I’ve learned and experienced so much and Staff Council has been an amazing conduit to serve as a positive influence.”

Two other candidates ran against Mineart for the position of president-elect. Current members of the Staff Council voted for the candidates of their choice by ranked ballot.

Monica Madura, who ran against Mineart, works as the senior associate director of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences. She cited her experience working on the scholarship committee.

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“I used to serve on Staff Council, I was an executive member at large for two years,” Madura said. “I want all our staff members to really find support. I want you to find your strengths. I think we really need to tell these stories to campus. My main goal is to keep expanding.”

Kevin Zihlman, an eight-year staff member of the Athletics Compliance Office, also ran for president-elect against Mineart.

“This past year was the start of my second year as org rep for intercollegiate athletics,” Zihlman said. “I want to take those various experiences and opportunities that I’ve had over the last 15 years and be a voice for people working here at the University of Iowa.”

Other positions filled included budget officer and the executive committee at-large, which consists of four people.

Current secretary Brenda Van Dee ran against several other candidates for budget officer, citing a desire for personal growth and development.

Van Dee was elected budget officer, leaving the secretary position vacant.

“I like to try a little bit of everything. I’m not very good at being stagnant,” Van Dee said. “Just as in life, you jump in and put your own spin on it, and it usually works out.”