Past President Danelle Callan’s thoughts…

…On Staff Council:

How much I learned over the years from other’s who participated in Staff Council. I am always impressed and overwhelmed with gratitude by the people who take on the call to join Staff Council. These individuals dedicate so much of their personal time and expertise to make UNM a better place for all staff.

I would encourage folks to take a chance and try Staff Council. You will learn about the leadership at UNM, how the budget is managed, and the community of staff that keep the University running. Being part of Staff Council was a fantastic experience. It helped me grow as a person, develop a thick skin, and improve my communication skills. I am glad I took a chance to speak my mind and make UNM a better place for all Staff.

…On her Presidency:

As President, Staff Council and staff vocalized the importance of aligning the UNM spring break with the APS spring break. Many UNM Staff are parents with children that attend APS, requiring them to take annual leave during spring break to care for their children. By aligning the breaks, parents gained more options when providing care and planning vacations for their families when APS was not in session.

Other topics that came up during my time were:

  • Working with the HR and policy offices to address the ability of Staff to get additional compensation for taking over temporary higher-level job duties when someone leaves, and staff help pick up the workload.
  • Supporting the Law School’s idea to create a Master of Law Program.
  • Working with HR to continue the benefits of UNM’s Management Academy. Completing the program allowed Staff to put on their resumes; they had two years of management experience when applying for positions in UNM jobs.

…On current challenges facing staff:

 Currently, we find ourselves in uncharted waters. The economist in me wants to say that in the long run, we will be okay, but that does not help with the short-run concerns. We have all adapted to a new normal, which demonstrates Staff’s resiliency and determination. We were dealt a blow with this year with budget cuts, a decrease in tuition and student enrollment, and lower revenues from HSC services. Moving to online platforms for classes has been challenging and costly for everyone, decreasing the promise and excitement of in-person college classes for the new generation of students.

The optimist in me stays hopeful that this fall will be temporary and the new skills and investment in technology will make our system stronger when things bounce back. Until then, we need to roll out of bed every day, take a breath, and do the best we can while remembering to practice compassion and kindness.