Staff Senate Announcements: March 17 Meeting


Academic Affairs

  • Fall 2021 Schedule is posted.
  • Marching order is up for virtual commencement ceremony
  • Janet said she just sent the request for the fall schedule to be added to schedule planner. 


  • Search is continuing to fill the Events Manager position in Debbie's absence.
  • Employee picnic will not be held this semester. Events is looking towards future plan possibilities. 
  • The Future & Beyond Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Symposium seeks to create a community-wide dialogue on the impact of diversity, equity, and inclusion on the landscape of business, education, faith, health, employment, etc. The Symposium is organized by a committee of professionals across various sectors in Madison County. 
    • As sponsors of the Symposium, the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion invites you to register your attendance. Presented virtually on April 8, 2021 from 8am - 4pm, the Symposium will feature multiple sessions throughout the day facilitated by dynamic speakers. Visit www.diversityhsv.orgto view the full agenda.
    • Online registration is available at  
  • Alice Walker event - Online registration is available

Facilities and Operations

  • Spragins Hall Exterior Renovations – Exterior framing began earlier this month. The custom color selected for the metal panels - UAH Blue – caused an increase in the panel fabrication schedule; therefore, completion of the front entry column, beam & soffit cladding has moved-out to May 14, 2021.
  • Shelby Center Lab 341 Renovations – Substantial completion is scheduled for February 24, 2021. User move-in is scheduled for completion the first of next month.
  • 2021 Campus Pavement & Drives Refurbishment – Beginning in March, North Alabama Paving will conduct various asphalt and concrete pavement repairs as directed by Facilities & Operations through October 2021.
  • BAB Cyber Security Lab – Notice to proceed with construction was issued on February 15, 2021. Substantial completion is scheduled for July 15, 2021 with user move-in scheduled to complete before the start of classes this Fall Semester.
  • Shelby Center Exterior Renovations (Phase 1) – Construction bids were received on February 9, 2020 and the project has been awarded to Lambert Contracting. Anticipated start of construction is tentatively scheduled for March 2021.


  • The annual NSF Higher Education Research and Development (HERD) Survey ranked six UAH programs in the top 20 nationally, for FY19 research expenditures:
    • #6 in federally-financed aerospace/aeronautical/astronautical research expenditures;
    • #10 in federally-financed atmospheric sciences research expenditures;
    • #11 in federally-financed computer and information sciences research expenditures;
    • #14 in federally-financed astronomy research expenditures;
    • #15 in federally-financed economics research expenditures;
    • #17 in federally-financed industrial and manufacturing engineering research expenditures

Student Affairs

  • Housing
    • Welcomes Brice Griffin as a Senior Associate Director of Resident Services. He will be joining us from the University of West Florida.
    • Juanita Owen has a new title that is more in line with what she has been doing with some additional Housing and Residence Life responsibilities. That title is Associate Director of Administrative Services.
  • Health Services (Amber McPhail):
    • We have received Pfizer COVID vaccines, doing mass immunizations clinics (~1000 total) on Thursday and Friday this week.  All active employees are eligible and should have gotten an email with an invite to schedule.  We will do stragglers in the next week or so but are trying to get through this week 1st.  It is not too late to schedule, still have many slots open on Friday."
  • Student Life
    • I wanted to reach out regarding our upcoming university-wide day of service, The BIG Event. It has become one of my goals to include more staff and faculty in this service event, and I am hoping you can help with getting the Staff Senate on board and registered.
      • Registration for The BIG Event is here, and I am excited to see UAH staff members register to participate. We can even place staff members who register with Staff as their RSO together at the same service site! As you may know, The BIG Event is a campus wide morning of service that directly leads into the Golden Parking Pass competition. This year, we are taking extra precautions to stay safe and healthy including a larger spread of volunteer opportunities and an entirely virtual competition for the Golden Parking Pass. The BIG Event will be happening on Saturday, April 17 from 8 AM to 5 PM local time.
      • While the morning of service will end at 12 PM, the Golden Parking Pass Competition is a separate event that starts at 2:00 PM!  An entirely virtual competition is certainly new to everyone, but we are doing everything we can to make it fun for the teams that will be competing for the Golden Parking Pass, which will grant the winners the ability to park anywhere on campus next year! In addition, there will be other prizes, escape rooms, large scale competitions, and an awards ceremony recognizing “RSO with most members”, “best team”, “rising star”, and more.
      • This year’s theme, “It’s a BIG Day in the Neighborhood” turns the BIG Event into an entire weekend with ACE hosting the Mr. Rogers movie “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” on Friday and Sunday night.
      • Here is a link to the registration:
    • Nominations for the 2021 Student Leadership Awards Ceremony are now being accepted. Descriptions of each award and the nomination forms for all categories can be found HERE, as well as on the myUAH portal on the Student Affairs tab. Nominations will be accepted through this Friday, March 19at 11:59pm. This year, more than ever, we STRONGLY urge faculty and staff to submit nominations for all awards. What a year it has been, and we want to celebrate our students in any way we possibly can!
    • Applications will be open for all SGA positions until March 26, 2021. Campaign Packet available HEREand on the myUAH portal. Please encourage any outstanding students to apply to represent their respective academic colleges and class seats.
    • With the recent announcement that UAH plans to return to traditional in-person instruction without restrictions on classroom capacity for the Fall 2021 semester, the Office of Student Life is excited to share that we are planning to host a traditional Week of Welcome (August 14 - 21, 2021). We will begin accepting event submissions for the WOW calendar of events on Monday, April 5, 2021. Submissions will be accepted through Friday, May 14, 2021. 
    • In an effort to bridge the gap between students and UAHPD, the Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (ODEI) has partnered with SGA & NAACP to facilitate an opportunity for students to participate in an open conversation with Interim Chief Anderson and his role in creating reform within the UAH Police Department. Join the conversation on Friday, March 19 at 2:00 p.m. Registration is required: ly/3
    • ACE movies are back in person. Every Friday and Sunday at 7:30 p.m. on the CGU Lawn (Rain Site: Chan Auditorium). Free admission, snacks, and soda & water. Schedule of movies can be found on the UAH events calendar.
    • Join SOAR (SOAR is the Civic Engagement Programming Board and stands for Serving, Organizing, Advocationg, and Reflecting) on Monday, March 22 at 6:00 p.m. in Chan Auditorium (limited to 50 attendees) or on Zoom (Register here; ly/SOARMARCH21. The event features Ms. Bushra Amiwala, who is the youngest Muslim American elected official in the US, and UAH SOAR is excited to welcome her to share her story with the UAH community in celebration of Women's History Month. Students, faculty, and staff are welcome to join the event via Zoom or in person in Chan Auditorium. 
    • The Huntsville community is in desperate need of blood donors. Please consider donating on Monday, March 29 from 12-5 p.m. at the CTC (Room 126) at SOAR's Blood Drive. Request an appointment her: ly/SPRING21BLOODDRIVE

Committee Reports

Campus and Community Relations

  • Decision has been made to house the Remote Work info in an article in Knowledge Base.
  • HR will link from their page.
  • Committee is still researching included info and a system to upkeep/revise the portal in the future.


  • Collected the Staff Senate Surveys for the entire UAH Staff members
  • Collected over 600 surveys which is a 122% increase from last year
  • Currently we are working with chairs of different committees to distribute data and help them analyze stuff. 

Employee Benefits and Development  

  • Briefly discussed four major research topics
    • Old Business – no major updates
      • Health Insurance Premium
      • Paid Parental Leave
      • Proposal to allow telework on regular basis
      • Employee Tuition Assistance-there are edits to current policy according to Todd.
    • New Business/Discussions
      • Briefly discussed initial Staff Senate survey results (that pertained to Benefits)
        • Most results were as-expected
          • Tuition assistance more important to younger employees
          • Paid parental leave would be more important to younger employees
          • Healthcare and retirement become more important with age
        • Surprising results
          • Even though lowering healthcare premiums is important, most people thought that the faculty staff clinic was not important
          • Take away: employees do not realize that UAH health insurance is self-funded, and the faculty-staff clinic represents a way to decrease premiums
        • Discussed UAH Employee Benefits Committee Meeting
          • HR and faculty-staff clinic are VERY interested in the Staff Senate Survey data, and would like to consult on future staff senate survey questions
          • HR would like to start Professional Development again (like in the early-2000s) – asking what type of PD should they offer?


  • Take your child to work day is canceled for this year.
  • Orientations are planned for this summer with limited attendance
  • At this point, there are no plans for a spring (May) employee picnic. Events did want to note that while convocation is not being planned, Events is still planning the student welcome picnic with the President in August.

Executive Committee 

  • The Executive Committee met and debriefed the feedback from last month's breakout sessions. Commonalities were discussed and a loose schedule for moving forward was identified.
  • The committee reviewed the university committee list to identify standing committees that it might make sense to include Staff Senate representation on.
  • Progress has been made with ordering the t-shirt and jackets. PO has been submitted for the jackets. Waiting for additional information from the vendor on t-shirts.


  • FERPA section (currently on page 15/16) was recommended to be moved to the top of the document
  • A clause for the timely informing of the suspect, of a BETA investigation was suggested.
  • Discussion for next meeting time/day
  • Discussion of upcoming Staff Senate elections
  • Joseph Mahafza is now Chair of the Operations Committee, replacing Debra Morgan

Service and Outreach

  • Note: this information about this activity was received after the Senate meeting:

    • On April 22nd, OEHS, Sustainability, and several student organizations are partnering for an Earth Day Initiative that will be held on the front porch of Morton from 1pm - 4pm. It will include litter pickup, a t-shirt contest, and student organizations can have tables to recruit members.


  • Chris is working on drafting an annual report for the Board of Trustees. Using Survey and highlighting Service & Outreach Committee activities.
  • CDMT meeting March 26th. Addressing concerns about returning to campus.  Todd commented about being aware of concerns.
  • The BIG EVENT registration and link (see Student Life report)
  • Community Service, April 17 is geared toward students but would like more staff participation.
  • Senate Inquiry form is on website.
  • Advancement put together a video to thank the donors of the many scholarships on campus. This was done instead of having a luncheon this year.

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