2021 Summer Retreat Meeting

June 22-23rd the NDSSS will conduct it’s annual in-person meeting. This year’s meeting will be hosted by Bismarck State College and includes a presentation by Jerry Rostad, Vice Chancellor of Strategy and Strategic Engagement, North Dakota University System, on the NDUS Strategic Plan and visits from two SBHE Board Members; along with some vital conversations and planning for the upcoming 2021-2022 NDSSS year.

For more information and details see the Summer Retreat Meeting Agenda.

August 2020 Campus Updates

Update Provided By: Courtney Reiswig

  • Continued discussions as a Staff Senate with BSC’s Smart Start team about the fall semester.
  • The BSC Staff Senate Constitution and Bylaws were reviewed by the Policies and Procedures committee.

  • No Update Provided

Update Provided By: Josh Nichols

  • DSU Staff Senate committees and chairs have been solidified and work has started on various initiatives.
  • Until further notice, DSU Staff Senate meetings will take place via Zoom. Details will be sent out prior to each meeting.
  • The next meeting will take place Wednesday, September 2, 2020 at 1 p.m.

No Update Provided

Update Provided By: Alissa Perkins

  • Staff Senate voted to move celebrating State Employee Recognition Week to sometime in the spring due to COVID and our budget request not being approved yet. This would normally take place in mid-September
  • The Event Planning committee is working on planning some sort of COVID friendly event to welcome staff back to campus

Update Provided By: Lindsey Benson

  • Mary Fetzer, facilities management custodian, was named Minot State University Staff Senate’s June High Five Award winner.
  • Staff Senate canceled our annual Fall Kick Off event in the interest of keeping our MSU employees and their families safe. The event was supposed to be held August 19.
  • Committees are meeting and working towards coming up with creative ways to provide professional development and other events that normally happen on campus.
  • Staff Senate provided input and recommendations regarding the mask policy that was put in place, becoming effective August 17, as well as input on what needs to be addressed in the COVID-19 procedure guide for MSU staff and faculty.
  • Staff Senate President has recently been added to the COVID-19 Response team to ensure staff is aware of what decisions are being made and addressing concerns that staff have voiced.

Update Provided By: Lisa Braun

  • NDSCS held their Staff Senate elections during their last meeting.
  • President: Michelle Griffin
  • Vice President: Leslie Shirek
  • Secretary: Liza Hinrichs
  • State Staff Senate: Lisa Braun, Leslie Shirek & Mindi Bessler

  • No Update Provided

Update Provided By: Brian Schill

  • Sen. Pres. Wasylow very busy on UND Pandemic past force, which meets weekly
  • 2019-20 UND Staff Senate Annual Rept. about finished.
  • Continuing to present UShines to one staffer/month.
  • Senate leadership help first of monthly meetings with UND Pres. Armacost
  • Filled a member-at-large position.
  • We are continuing to try to post our “caught” feature on our Facebook page each week.
  • Staff Senate asked to find staffer(s) for UND Provost search committee
  • Met with Human Resources about possible matters to pursue: including FMLA, staff tuition waiver. Will follow-up.
  • Seeds for Staff Success grants applications were due on Aug. 15; those accepted will go to staff for Fall semester.
  • We will not participate in any parades (Potato Bowl, Homecoming) this year due to all parades being canceled per COVID-19.
  • Staff Recognition Committee is trying to figure out the details for staff recognition in Sept.

Update Provided By: Kelsie Carter

  • Gearing up for the new year and trying to figure out what that will look like as far as events go while keeping social-distancing requirements in mind.
  • Working on a plan for how to recognize our employees from last year being that we didn’t get to have the traditional Employee Recognition Dinner.
  • Ordered new “We All Row” shirts to distribute to new staff members this fall.

Update Provided By: Megan Kasner

  • 8/17 is in-service week for Faculty and Staff.
  • 8/24 classes start.

Update Provided By: Benjamin Ford

  • We held our annual retreat in August. It was done in 2 parts, both which were done virtually. As goals and activities we came up with what we are calling the 3Cs: Connectedness – we are talking about fun activities and such to get together virtually (virtual coffee breaks, drive in movie, cooking classes, work from home tips), Championing – offer opportunities for professional development, and advocating for personnel, and Community – we are discussing doing a project of volunteering or doing something to help out our communities during the difficult time
  • We have discussed both internally as a senate and with our senior staff about a CTS restart.
  • We also are going to add a permanent fundraising committee to our bylaws. This is a committee we recreate each year at our retreat and we decided this would be easier.

July 2020 Campus Updates

Update Provided By: Courtney Reiswig

  • The BSC Staff Senate has been forming our subcommittees and selecting chairs. The committees are meeting to begin discussing activities and tasks for the year.

  • No Update Provided

Update Provided By: Josh Nichols

  • Josh Nichols will retain his role as Staff Senate President for a second term ending June 30, 2021. Jen Zierhas been re-elected for a second term as Secretary/Treasurer. Wynter Miller has been elected as the Vice-President/President Elect. She will begin her term as President July 1, 2021.
  • Connie Klein has agreed to serve as the Staff Senate liaison to Faculty Senate and will attend those regular meetings when they resume. Staff Senate is currently finalizing committees and chairs will be selected for them soon as well. Look for final committee breakdowns in future Staff Senate minutes.
  • The next Staff Senate meeting will take place Wednesday, August 5, 2020, at 1:30 p.m. (meeting connection details TBA). The meeting schedule will be finalized at that time but will likely be the first Wednesday of the month at 1:30 p.m.

No Update Provided

Update Provided By: Alissa Perkins

  • Most or our staff started transitioning back to campus on July 1st
  • Staff Senate sent a letter to MSU’s COVID-19 campus reopening taskforce containing specific requests and suggestions for them to consider during their planning
  • MSU Staff Senate website is almost complete and will be rolled out this month

  • No Update Provided

  • No Update Provided

  • No Update Provided

Update Provided By: Brian Schill

  • The UND Staff Senate met on Wednesday, July 8, again entertaining a brief visit from new UND President
  • Andrew Armacost. Quorum was met, and we passed wording in our Bylaws to reflect the Jeans Give Back
  • name change (formally Denim Spirit Days).
  • Pres. Megan Wasylow continues to be part of the University Pandemic Briefing /Smart Restart group and is helping voice staff concerns as the fall semester approaches.
  • Senate has identified staffers for forthcoming UND task force on diversity & inclusion.
  • The July Jeans Give Back day supported Global Friends Coalition in GF.
  • We are continuing to present UShines to one staff a month.
  • Seeds for Staff Success application deadline is in August. This is a professional development grant that staff can apply 3 times per calendar year (before each semester), and a max of $500 per calendar year.
  • We are continuing to try to post our “caught” feature on our Facebook page each week.

  • No Update Provided

Update Provided By: Megan Kasner

  • WSC is holding their first face-to-face registration on July 23rd.

Update Provided By: Benjamin Ford

  • We are working on welcoming our senators and thanking our outgoing ones.
  • Part 1 of our annual meeting is on the schedule for July 23. This is where we will elect our new officers and recap the previous year.
  • We have tentatively planned part 1 for the beginning of August. This part is where we will discuss our goals for the upcoming year. Our hope is to have at least each location (Grand Forks, Fargo, and Bismarck) be able to meet together in one room and virtually connect each location.

June 2020 Campus Updates

No Update Provided

Update Provided By: Heidi Hauf

  • Staff Senators met with Dr. Migler to discuss Salary Budget for the 2020-2021 academic year.
  • Working to award our first Staff Senate Scholarship; currently reviewing applicants.

Update Provided By: Josh Nichols

  • The next Staff Senate meeting will take place on Wednesday, July 1st at 1 p.m. (MT). We will be joined by our new senators and will conduct elections for our Vice President and Secretary/Treasurer positions.

No Update Provided

Update Provided By: Alissa Perkins

  • An organizer from ND United visited our June meeting to discuss the benefits that they provide for staff members
  • Our Staff Senate is teaming up with our Marketing and IT departments to plan a campus-wide shared calendar
  • Our MSU Staff Senate website is currently being voted on and will hopefully be rolled out in early July

Update Provided By: Michael Linnell

  • Darren Olson, IT director for network services, was named Minot State University Staff Senate’s May High Five Award winner.
  • Minot State Staff Senate elected its 2020-2021 officers as Lindsey Benson moved from vice president to president in June. Elected as vice president for the 2020-2021 year was Paul Stroklund. He will become the president of MSU Staff Senate in 2021-2022. Elected secretary/treasurer was Doug Tiedman.
  • MSU Staff Senate used held its annual crossover meeting in June, with eight new senators joining for 2020-2021.
  • The annual Fall Kick Off celebration was set for Roosevelt Park on Aug. 19 from 4:30-7 p.m.

No Update Provided

No Update Provided

Update Provided By: Brian Schill

  • The UND Staff Senate met on Wednesday, June 10, entertaining a brief visit from new UND President Andrew Armacost.
  • Senate leadership also met with the ND State Staff Senate group on June 22, 2020.
  • Senate committees are mostly fully assigned with (co-)chairs and members ready to meet as groups starting this summer.
  • Pres. Megan Wasylow has been part of the University Pandemic Briefing and has had a voice in UND’s Smart Restart.
  • Senate has entertained “suggestion box” questions from staffers re: parking permit reimbursement per quarantine, return-to-work matters, and how UND can address systemic racism.
  • On that note, Senate has been asked to identify staffers who might be good additions to a forthcoming UND committee on diversity & inclusion.  Senate purchased promotional items such as Staff Senate t-shirts for Senators to wear at Staff Senate sponsored events. We also purchased Staff Senate banners for future parades and tabling events.
  • The UND University Senate Exec Committee met on Wednesday, June 24. Leadership turnover was the meeting’s main focus.

Update Provided By: Lacey Undem

  • VCSU Staff Senate met on June 18th to welcome new staff senate members and vote on new officers.
  • President: Jerilyn Beckman
  • Vice President: Carolyn Holen
  • Secretary: Kelsie Carter
  • Past President: Erica Buchholz
  • Professional group representatives:
  • Jerilyn Beckman, Kelsie Carter, Carolyn Holen, Vanessa Johnson, & Oscar Suniga
  • TPOS group representatives:
  • Amber Olson & Cassie Preston
  • Facilities group representatives:
  • Brian Bakke & Dina Splettstoesser
  • Ex Officio Members:
  • Wesley Wintch, Jennifer Larson

Update Provided By: Megan Kasner

  • We are searching for a new VP for Student Affairs
  • We are continuing virtual registration days
  • P3 construction project is ahead of schedule

Update Provided By: Crystal Tangsrud

  • We held out annual Senator election and four new Senators were elected: Kate Greicar (Fargo), Karie Abrahamson (Fargo), Kavita Rami (Grand Forks), and Ramona Breuer (Grand Forks).
  • We are also planning our annual Staff Senate Retreat. This year will be different with half of the retreat held virtually in July and the other half tentatively planned for a mix of in-person/remote.

Governance Page Screenshot

2020-2021 NDSSS Officers Elected

During the June meeting of the NDSSS the gavel was passed from Misti Wuori (Mayville State University) to Michael Linnell (Minot State University) who will serve as President for the 2020-2021 year. Misti continues with NDSSS as Past President. Elections were held for the following positions and unanimously confirmed by the Senate:

Vice President/President Elect: April Helgaas (North Dakota State University)

Secretary/Treasurer: Laura Fetting (Dickinson State University)

Communication Officer: Crystal Tangsrud (NDUS Core Technology Services)

HRC Representative: Alyssa Perkins (Mayville State University)

More information about the NDSSS Officers, including contact information, can be found on our Governance page.

April 2020 Campus Updates

Update Provided By: Jessie Meckle
• We hired Dr. Doug Jensen for our new president! He will start in July. He has attended several meetings (via Teams) including our last Staff Senate meeting. We are excited to get to know him better and see what plans he has for BSC!
• The Employee Retention committee held Dr. Larry Skogen (our current President) trivia at the end of March as something to engage people working from home during the COVID-19 outbreak.
• Several sessions are available for employees to attend for Professional Development. Some include a session on Microsoft Teams, Blackboard Collaborate, and Embracing Change.
• BSC continues to operate as a virtual campus with most buildings and offices closed to the public. The Unified Command Leadership Committee hopes to create a plan to bring back employees throughout the summer, but summer courses will remain online.
• The new Staff Senate Representatives have been chosen and will attend the May meeting with the current representatives.
• Advising, tutoring and placement testing is all being done through Teams or remotely at this time. We are still available for students and continue guiding them through the education at BSC.

Update Provided By: Laura Halvorson
• Vendor show has been moved to September19, 2020.
• Staff Senate is hosting a virtual potluck through MS Teams on April 28th
• New officers elected. Heidi Hauf will be the new President. JaLee Lynnes will be the Vice President. Michael O’Toole will be the new secretary.

Update Provided By: Josh Nichols • Staff Senate representatives are serving on a committee making recommendations for annual evaluations and merit raises for staff. The committee’s recommendations have made their way to cabinet and have preliminary approval to move forward. • Our Employee Development Committee is looking into various ways to engage with employees given social distancing restrictions. The committee will notify campus of any planned virtual events. • The first two DSU Staff Emeritus designees have accepted and will be announced soon. • The next Staff Senate meeting is schedule for May 6, 2020 @ 1:00pm MT. This will likely be a virtual meeting.

No updates provided.

Update Provided By: Susan Cordahl
• Mayville State University’s April Campus Update
• The Mayville State University Staff Senate met via Zoom on April 14th.
• We discussed volunteer-approved hours for staff. Originally, we were working with the University for a May 1st Day of Giving, where we would be able to complete our Adopt-A-Highway project for the spring without having to take leave. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this has been cancelled. However, we will continue to work with our Cabinet as they seem in support of this project.
• We discussed and voted on the recipients of our 20-21 Comet Pride Scholarship; a scholarship for dependents/spouses of Mayville State University faculty/staff. We are also having discussions about expanding this scholarship to current staff for professional development, classes, etc. We plan to discuss all of this further in future meetings.
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• With COVID-19 so present in our lives, we talked about our essential employees; the ones who are still going to campus for work every day and are unable to work from home. We have decided to do something for them in appreciation, to say “Thank You!” Talks of giving them a small gift, or even just an email recognition to say thanks. We will discuss at our May meeting and decide.
• We should have 3 new senators joining us at our May meeting and will do some voting of new officers at that time (VP, Secretary, Treasurer).
• Our next meeting is set for May 12th.
• We hope this finds everyone well and healthy amidst this time of uncertainty with the COVID-19 pandemic upon us.

Update Provided By: Michael Linnell
• Deb Wentz, executive assistant – President’s office, was named Minot State University Staff Senate’s March High Five Award winner.
• Minot State Staff Senate made a lead donation of $500 and started a matching-funds challenge to the MSU Giving Day: Student Emergency Fund. The MSU Development Foundation moved its emphasis from multiple events for Giving Day 2020 to bolstering the Student Emergency Fund. MSU Staff Senate’s lead gift was quickly matched by the generosity of Minot State staff members. To date, the Minot State Student Emergency Fund has 156 gifts for a pre-matching funds total of $33,615.

Update Provided By: Bruce Woytassek
• Guest Speakers
o Cloy Tobola CIO ITS spoke about updates to the policies regarding security cameras.
o Sandi Gilbertson HR Director spoke about updates to policies regarding personnel definitions and overtime.
• Marketing Committee
o Senator Woytassek stated the Article for our March Food Drive was posted in the local newspaper. https://www.wahpetondailynews.com/community/ndscs-staff-senate-creates-successful-food-drive/article_93dfdcb4-7a8f-11ea-993e-ab0831e644d8.html
• Diversity and Equity Report
o Senator Bessler updated: Diversity and Equity team went through how they are getting information to students, faculty and staff.
o SafeZone training is still happening virtually
• Recruitment Committee
o Survey was sent out for election of staff members.

Update Provided By: Megan Bouret
• NDSU has postponed the spring commencement ceremonies until December 2020. Spring graduates will have separate and distinct ceremonies at that time.
• NDSU announced Staff Recognition Award recipients last month
• Philip Hunt, registrar at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology in Rapid City, has been named NDSU registrar. He will start on June 1.
• Some policy changes are being considered for developmental leave (retraining and/or professional development):
o Changes considered:
▪ Permitting employees to be eligible for developmental leave every 5 years after 3 years of service
▪ Base stipend:
• for leave more than 6 months, up to 75% of salary scheduled
• for leave that is 6 months or less, up to 100% of salary scheduled
o Approved by NDSU Staff Senate on April 1st
o Student Government will vote at their next meeting

Update Provided By: Megan Wasylow
• Friday, April 3 was Special Denim Spirit Day to support UND Angel Fund, a fund that can help students in financial crisis. May 8 is a Special Denim Spirit Day to support NDAD, North Dakota Association for the Disabled. We are continuing to have a Special Denim Spirit Day the first of each Friday, and regular Denim Spirit Days supporting local nonprofits every Friday.
• Staff Senator ballot went out for the UND Staff Senate 2020-2021 election. April was the last meeting for terms ending and May is the start of the new term.
• We are continuing to present a UShine Award Winner of the month, currently via Zoom.
• We are continuing to send a monthly Staff Senate newsletter.
• We are continuing to have communication through our Facebook page.
• We are continuing to take suggestions/comments/questions through our Staff Senate email address and Suggestion Box.
• April Staff Spring Fling Luncheon (collaboration with UND Work Well to include vendors, massages, and therapy dogs) – Canceled event due to COVID-19 social distancing/working remotely.
• Mini Leadership Series. – Currently on hold due to COVID-19 physical distancing/working remotely
• Staff Takeovers – Currently on hold due to COVID-19 physical distancing/working remotely.

Update Provided By: Benjamin Ferguson
• The VCSU Staff Senate has not met this month.
• The VCSU Athletic Department has started an apparel fundraiser sale to help unite Viking Nation and our community. The VCSU One Team One Family store, open until April 22, features a message of solidarity and strength. All VCSU proceeds from this sale will be donated to the Barnes County Food Pantry.
• An update on the Center for the Arts construction project: The first half of the construction documents have been completed, and bid packages will be let soon. A walk-through of the site with potential subcontractors will be held April 30, with bids due on May 7. The anticipated start date for construction is June 1.
• The Commencement ceremony has been postponed. There will be alternative plans for recognition of graduates at the end of the semester.

Update Provided By: Megan Kasner
• Jayden Olson was names WSC Athletic Director.
https://www.willistonherald.com/sports/collegiate_sports/wsc-hires-new-ad-olson-triplett-named-womens-basketball-coach/article_daf88f7e-8642-11ea-b489-d3fb2052f7bb.html

Update Provided By: Crystal Tangsrud
• Our 2020 Professional Development Month is wrapping up with a total of 13 sessions during the month of April all held online so that staff at CTS and the System Office could attend remotely. All but three sessions were presented or hosted by talented CTS staff. Sessions included helpful software and security related topics, health and wellness themed sessions, and presentations on leadership and diversity. In addition, we read through Getting Things Done by David Allen and book discussions were held online through a forum and through Microsoft Teams. The entire month was put on and sponsored by our Senate, Wellness Committees, and senior staff at both the System Office and CTS.

May 2020 Campus Updates

Update Provided By: Ashley Mattson
• Bismarck State College voted in the new President, Kara Welk. Vice President, Courtney Reiswig. Secretary, Laurie Niblick.
• We have decided to postpone our June Staff Senate Retreat until we can do something face to face and continue with a virtual monthly meeting for June.

Update Provided By: Laura Halvorson
• DCB hosted a virtual graduation Ceremony May 15th
• Encourage all of our staff/senators continued participation in the planning of reopening for summer events and fall classes
• Welcome to our new senators: Carissa Pollman, Indrani Sasmal, Stacy Allard, and Heather Vestre. Welcome to new officers: Heidi Hauf President, JaLee Lynnes Vice President and Mike O’Toole secretary.
• DCB Staff Senate will plan to host a virtual coffee break/recipe sharing end of May

Update Provided By: Josh Nichols
• Our Staff Senate continues to meet in a digital format and will continue that practice through the remainder of the summer.
• New senators will join us at our July 1st meeting where we will also be electing new executive positions.
• Our employee development committee has been hosting “Conversations with Colleagues” sessions on a variety of topics to keep our staff and faculty engaged during this time of social distancing.
• Our first two Staff Emeritus distinctions have been confirmed and will be celebrated at a future awards event.

Update Provided By: Cathleen Ruch
• Discussing the feasibility of having a LRSC Retreat sometime in August.
• Officer Elections have been tabled until August.
• Continue to keep updated on how staff/faculty are going to be setup on their return to work.
• Submit/claim flex dollars but expenses need to have happened in 2019.

Update Provided By: Alissa Perkins
• Alissa Perkins is now MSU’s Staff Senate President. At our May meeting, Ashley Kulland was voted Vice President/Incoming President and will now join the State Staff Senate meetings. Megan Vig was elected our secretary and Shannon Hofer will be our treasurer again this year.
• For our Comet Pride Scholarships that our Staff Senate gives out each year, we were able to raise enough to award 5 students with a $500 scholarship. We have leftover funds that we will carry over to next year.
• We are hoping to team up with our campus marketing committee to create a campus-wide share calendar for staff and faculty.
• We are working on a Microsoft Teams site for Staff Senators and a public facing website for all staff. We are going to move all documents from SharePoint to either the Teams site or the website to be more accessible for everyone.
• Our campus voted on a winner for our annual Orville Johnson Meritorious Service Award. We usually announce the winner at our annual employee recognition dinner, but since that was cancelled we are working on a way to announce the winner but also make it more special than just an email announcement.

No updates provided.

Update Provided By: Bruce Wotassek
• Guest Speaker – VP Dr. Jane Vangsness-Frisch and Safety Director Ann McGray
o Strategic planning progress update
o Policy updates
▪ Risk Management
▪ Emergency Notification Procedure
▪ AED Policy
▪ Emergency Procedures
▪ Payroll Check Distribution Policy
▪ Appliance Use Policy
• Marketing Committee – Senator Woytassek
o Senator Nordick lead a marketing project to send all NDSCS Employees a “Thank You” for all they are doing at NDSCS (especially during the Pandemic). The Team collaborated with Print Services to send an all campus email with each Staff Senator’s signature and Yard signs to be moved around to the most visible areas at NDSCS Wahpeton and NDSCS Fargo!

Update Provided By: April Helgaas
• NDSU Staff Senate held elections at the May meeting. New senators were elected and open offices were filled.
• The NDSU Staff Senate Staff Development Committee has been hosting some online development sessions for staff working remotely due to COVID-19 and they have been well attended.

Update Provided By: Brian Schill
• The UND Staff Senate met on Wednesday, May 13. Past President Whitney Maine passed her position to President-Elect Megan Wasylow. The group’s new Vice-President is Brian Schill.
• Staff Senate committee leadership will remain largely the same in FY 2020-21.
• We are renaming our Denim Spirit Day to Jeans Give Back to better reflect/promote the philanthropic character of the events. The May 8 Jeans Give Back day took in $180 for the North Dakota Assn. for the Disabled.
• Our “catches” of staff for their work have obviously come to a halt. • “Ushine” efforts continue; an annual UShine winner was named in May. • Seeds for Staff Success professional development program is ongoing. • Given extended campus closure, there will be no July potluck for Staff senate. Options being considered.
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• The UND University Senate Exec Committee met on Thursday, May 21. The group discussed mostly updates to the UND Code of Student Life and academic planning for the Fall 2020 semester. There were comments re: campus morale given potential budget issues and faculty/staff worries over PPE and return-to-work, whether the classroom or office space.
• UNDSS waiting on results of several surveys sent to senators re: meeting scheduling, staff professional development needs, and future social events planning.

No updates provided.

Update Provided By: Megan Kasner
• Staff back on campus May 26th with limited campus reopening
• P3 renovation projects are 4 weeks ahead of schedule because of the COVID -19 closures
• WSC has hosted 5 virtual registration days for students and has another planned June 4th/5th

Update Provided By: Crystal Tangsrud
• We are preparing for our yearly Staff Senate Elections and Retreat and closing out the 2019-2020 Staff Senate year strong. This includes completing work on a document for new employees that includes information about committees such as Staff Senate, area information, and employee discounts.