September 2014

Ali Brettauer

Chair's Report:

Welcome to the start of a new academic year. Throughout the state students are descending on campuses and extension centers, ready for another year of learning and growth. Meanwhile, we staff are continuing our never-ending commitment to supporting the smooth operations of the institutions.

Staff Affairs Annual Retreat: In June, Staff Affairs met for a retreat, thanks to the support of UI’s Division of Finance & Administration, Fairfield Inn & Suites, and the UI Budget Office. The purpose of the annual SA retreat is to bring together our members for leadership development and annual goal-setting. At this year’s retreat, a new idea began to develop. Members decided that it wasn’t enough to set yearly goals. We decided we need a strategic plan for Staff Affairs to best advocate for and represent staff in the fulfillment of the university’s mission.

Therefore, our goals this year will center around development of a strategic plan, revision of staff recognition and appreciation practices, and increased advocacy and innovation for meeting staff needs. If you would like to join us in our quest to meet these goals, contact me at

Southern Listening Tour: This June, myself and SA Vice Chair, Greg Fizzell partnered with Faculty Senate Leadership (Chair, Marty Ytreberg, and Faculty Secretary, Don Crowley) to take a listening tour of some of our southern campuses and extension sites. We began our tour on June 24 in Hagerman, continuing on to Kimberly. On June 25, we began in Idaho Falls, then visited Aberdeen. On June 26, we started the day off in Twin Falls, then ended the tour at the Boise Water Center.

This is my second year touring our southern extensions, and I’m pleased to say that our reception was as strong this year as last. We appreciated the warm welcome and the open, honest comments and suggestions from staff. Some central themes we noticed included an overwhelming appreciation for the sites at which staff work, general recognition of low staff morale, and frustration with limitations in communication from and with the Moscow campus.

We took several action items from our tour, and plan to collaborate with our colleagues on Faculty Senate, as well as university leadership to increase the support for our amazing southern staff. We hope to complete a short northern tour early in the academic year.

Presidential Inauguration: By now you know the Inauguration of UI’s 18th President, Chuck Staben, will take place on September 19, 2014 at 1:25pm. What you may not know is supervisors are encouraged by President Staben to release non-essential staff from duties from 1:00-3:00pm to attend the Inauguration. Please RSVP online at

During the installment of the President, for the first time in institutional history, Faculty and Staff Representatives will present the Mace to the President symbolizing the shared governance of the University. We look forward to this shared experience. It is an honor and privilege to work alongside you. Should you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, I urge you to contact me at or join us the second Wednesday of each month during our meeting in the Brink Hall Faculty/Staff Lounge.

Ali Bretthauer, Chair, Staff Affairs


Southern Listening Tour--Hagerman Fish Hatchery



—SAVE the Date—


Come and enjoy free gifts and goodies from local businesses as we celebrate a new year at the University of Idaho.

PDL LOGO 4-3-14

Special Offerings:  Building Workplace Trust Webinar Series

(pre-registration required)
Team leaders need to understand the dimensions of trust, and learn how to build it. While team leaders may be aware that trust is an important factor in engaging employees and creating an involved workplace, what is less clear is exactly how to assess trust levels, what contributes to trust (or diminishes it), and what methods can be used to move the trust needle.

Please see the events page for more information

For locations outside of Moscow, please contact for registration and webinar access information. 

—Coeur d'Alene—

Dig'nIT Camps

The Dign’IT Coding Camp for Girls, in its second year, is designed to encourage girls to develop coding skills and to consider careers in this field. The camp is free to participants and focuses on middle school girls to increase and reinforce interest in this key STEM discipline among females. This year 26 girls took part in the camp during the last full week in June.

The Dign’IT JAVA Camp for Teens is an introduction to the Java programming language focusing on robotics projects using the Lego Mindstorms platform. Students learn to use the Eclipse programming environment and the LeJOS robotics libraries to develop robotic applications and games. Participants work in teams to develop projects for autonomous robots such as autonomous search and mapping.
2014CDA Java Camp2
2014CDA Java Camp

Steam Labs

New this year, the University of Idaho Coeur d’Alene held three STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Math) Labs on Thursdays during the month of July. For high school students there was iPads in the Art Room, for middle school students it was Maps, Apps and Adventure, and for the elementary students we had how to Be a Water Superhero! These one day only workshops were free to all participants, and we had over 40 total students participate.
CDA Steam Labs 2014 1
CDA Steam Labs 2014 2
CDA Steam Labs 2014 3

Open House

With President Staben in town for the 125th Anniversary celebrations, we decided to have a party on the newly renovated deck at the Harbor Center. Over 100 students, alumni, community members and staff joined us for this event. Despite a little bad weather forcing us indoors partway through the event, we think it was a great success. Thank you everyone for your support of the efforts in Coeur d’Alene!
2014CDA OpenHouse
32014OpenHours CDA
22014OpenHouse CDA

Think Big Reception

University of Idaho Coeur d’Alene hosted a reception at the Harbor Center following the Think Big Festival. People from around the area came to the festival to listen to speakers from Singularity, UCLA Robotics and other brilliant minds as they discussed innovation and the future of robotics. We were happy to lend our support to this exciting event and welcome everyone to the center for light hors d’oeuvres at the end of the day.

—Idaho Falls—

Welcome Jennifer Flynn

IdahoFallsJenniferFlynnWe are pleased to announce our newest member of our Vandal team – Jennifer Flynn. Jen joined the team in July as Executive Assistant to the AVP, Dr. Bob Smith. Jen went to college at Idaho State and then moved to Washington, DC to attend graduate school. Once she graduated with her Master’s in Public Administration, she worked for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) where she served as a project manager helping to develop and field technology to the military. Despite DC’s fantastic opportunities, she missed life in Eastern Idaho and all that is has to offer, so she returned last fall. Jen is thrilled to be part of Dr. Smith’s staff and looks forward to new responsibilities and pursuing UI initiatives.

Highlights of Summer Events

Summer Time at University of Idaho-Idaho Falls – photo captured by Alice Allen.

June 20—Faculty and Staff meet and greet President Chuck Staben during his summer tour to Idaho Falls

June 20—The Alumni Relations Office hosted the annual “Senior Send Off” at Freeman Park. Don Patterson visits with a new Vandal


June 21—The third annual golf scramble tournament was held at Pinecrest Golf Course in Idaho Falls, sponsored by the VSF and Alumni . UI-IF staff members Alice Allen, Julie Jacobson, and Marci Merrick helped with the event.

June 25—Ali Bretthauer and Greg Fizzell visit with staff from Student Services during their summer tour.

July 24—Faculty and Staff gather at CAES (Center for Advanced Energy Studies) for a farewell Pot-Luck luncheon on behalf of Dr. Milos Manic. Dr. Lee Ostrom gave a few brief remarks and the staff presented Milos a shadow box of collaged photographs and signatures

IT Staff – Dave Anderson, Jay Seolberg, and Joe Leister stop for a quick photo.

July 31—The first C3, College Cooking Competition, happened at CAES on July 31st from 6-8 pm. Four teams of two interns competed for prizes for both sweet and savory dishes. Judges gave them points based on a scoring system that included taste, creativity and presentation. At the end of the evening everyone in attendance joined in a delicious feast from the Sandwich Tree.
Event coordinator was Caysie Marshall. Judges were Don Patterson, Joanna Taylor, Bryan Forsmann, and Joe Leister.

Link to upcoming events for Moscow - Boise - Coeur d'Alene - Idaho Falls - Twin Falls  

Contributors: Ali Bretthauer, Debra Caudle, Amber Crowley, Greg Fizzell, Julie Lang Lorentz, Lisa Miller, Debra Rumford, Angie Sowers, Kristin Strong, Michelle Weitz

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