Staff Affairs December 2011 Newsletter

December 2011

Season’s Greetings!
2011 marks a year of great successes, accomplishments, and tireless efforts of University staff state-wide and we are thankful for each and every one of you who make the University of Idaho such an enjoyable place to be a part of. Staff Affairs is proud of our efforts in ensuring that the voice of staff is heard at every level at the University and we have made great strides in a forward progression of positively impacting all staff through various efforts of policy deliberation, partnerships, and employee appreciation.

Throughout the year, we have increased partnerships with units across campus and are looking forward to providing professional development opportunities to staff state-wide, including our upcoming LEAP conference in February. We have worked collaboratively with Faculty Senate and Faculty Affairs to establish clear and open lines of communication, so that we can serve the University as a whole to the best of our abilities, including jointly supporting a UI Employee Dependent Tuition Waiver proposal.

With much thanks to our Staff Appreciation Fair subcommittee, volunteers, and community supporters, we hosted the highest attended Staff Appreciation Fair in late September and have also been able to offer support to our off-site locations to host local staff appreciation fairs. In addition, we have been able to share many of the heart-warming comments of gratitude for employees through our Kudos program. What remarkable staff we have all over the state of Idaho!

We look forward to continuing to serve as the voice of all staff at the University of Idaho, with many more successes in 2012. Thank you for all of your tremendous work and dedication to the University of Idaho and making this institution a place to be proud of. We wish you a happy and healthy holiday season and wonderful New Year!

—Rachel Halsey, Chair & Ana Burton, Vice Chair
—And all of us on the Staff Affairs Committee

Interested in Speaking to Staff Affairs?

At each monthly meeting SA features guest presenters to discuss current happenings at the UI that impact all staff. If you are interested in sharing information about your department or unit with University staff, please contact us at  

A list of previously featured presenters:
  • Parking and Transportation Services
  • Human Resources
  • Payroll & Benefits
  • Human Rights—Access and Inclusion
  • Alumni Association
  • Benefits Advisory Group 

Clarification—"Donate Your Old Personal Laptop for Kids in Germany"
Please donate your own personal laptop, non UI property. All UI property has to go through surplus. If you don't have an old personal laptop, and still want to contribute, check out what UI Surplus has to offer. Contact Claudine at She will arrange pickup and will ship any donated computers to Germany.

Taking the Journey finale (see OctoberNovember staff newsletter). On October 6 & 7, I participated in Idaho's Journey for Diversity and Human Rights. Here’s a continuation of this journey…

On Friday we met in Moscow at the 1912 Center, a beautiful school building that is being restored room by room. During one of the restorations they found skylights that were covered up during the war to keep airplanes from seeing them.

1912 Center

Our first session was a panel on gender equity in higher education that included past and current members of the University of Idaho community and the Idaho Human Rights Commission. Jama Sebald and Barbara Petura spoke about the gender equity litigation with the University of Idaho in 1974 and implementation of the Conciliation Agreement. Elizabeth Sullivan talked about the Idaho Human Rights Commission and how the Conciliation Agreement was reached. Heather Gasser concluded with a discussion of current frontiers gender equity in higher education.

Equality panel

There’s still work to be done for gender equity at the University of Idaho but without the work of these women, it would be more imbalanced between genders. Click on the link to view the discussion

To explore challenges in access for the disabled, we ventured out on a Moscow Public Space Experiential Tour with Rula Awwad-Rafferty and Nancy Chaney, Mayor of Moscow. Our first stop was at City Hall and we were surprised when almost a dozen wheelchairs were being emptied from a van. We were grouped in groups of three and were asked to take turns in the wheelchair and head towards Main Street.

Wheelchair accessibility
Arlinda Nauman

We felt how uneven the sidewalks were, and as you moved yourself forward, the chair seemed to keep going to the left—probably so the rain can run off, but it made it difficult just to navigate in a straight line. Also as we were crossing Washington Street, it was difficult to cross when you were given a few second count-down before the light turned. The sidewalks kept being a problem with cracks, which some were so bad they made you almost propel yourself forward out of the chair when you hit one. Other intersections you had to go around vehicles stopped in the middle of the crosswalk.

Wheelchair accessibility

We eventually met at friendship square and were asked to choose a business to go into and try to navigate around. Some of the entrances had a slope into the place of business and was impossible to hold the door open and go up the slope. Our business was a bookstore and it was carpeted and was easy to move around but there were obstacles with books laying on the floor and narrow rows that took effort to turn around. Leaving was another story, had to have help holding the door open and go out down the slope without losing control. Yeah right.

Wheelchair accessibility

We stopped at a handicap parking space and noticed a bike chained to a sign that blocked the wheelchair access from the street. Also from the location of the wheelchair access from the street, a person getting out of a vehicle would have to wheel into traffic to reach the access point to the sidewalk.

As we traveled around we were more aware and noticed some businesses had a step going into their business. A person that is bound to a wheelchair would not be able to go into that business. Rula and others are trying to get businesses to be more wheel chair accessible for all people so they can enjoy downtown businesses in Moscow.

Next we enjoyed lunch and a presentation by Mark Leeper from the Disability Action Center Northwest, he talked about the History of the American Disability Act and Krista Kramer talked about when former UI President Zinser was elected the 1988 president of Gallaudet University for the deaf. The students protested the hiring of Zinser, because she was not deaf and didn’t even know how to sign. They wanted a president who can represent them.

American Disabilities Act

The students blocked the entrance of the University and refused to let Zinser in. No one could enter or leave. They won and a new president was elected, I. King Jordan the first Deaf president of Gallaudet University. If you want to know more go to

Today people are still fighting for equal rights, to be represented by their peers, gender equality, and accessibility for everyone.

Idaho’s Journey for Diversity and Human Rights is a traveling workshop exploring the historical roots of Idaho’s people and their human rights challenges of the past and present. Next year’s Journey will be in Twin Falls and Pocatello on October 4 and 5, 2012.

—Debra Rumford, School of Family and Consumer Sciences


University of Idaho - Coeur d'Alene

Festival of Trees
The University of Idaho’s tree brought in $3,250 for Kootenai Medical Center Cardiac Care Services! Up and at work before 7:00 a.m. the day after Thanksgiving, decorators included Konni Leichner, Shelly Robson, Heidi Rogers, Carol Wilson, Kristen Johnson, Wanda Quinn, Karen Ebert, Angie Sowers, and Patti Freeman.

CDA Christmas Tree and the decorators

Staff Changes
Erik Anderson, Interim Director of Academic Programs, will be leaving Coeur d'Alene and returning to his faculty position in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences at the end of the year. Thank you Erik for all your hard work over the last 3 1/2 years!

Day of Sharing
Staff and Faculty from University of Idaho, Lewis-Clark State College, Boise State University, and North Idaho College came together to discuss the programs offered by the four year institutions in Coeur d'Alene. We had a great time learning about the other programs available to students in this area and getting to know one another.

Holiday Family Fun Night
On December 14 there were more than 30 children and their parents came to our first annual Holiday Family Fun Night. They made snowflakes, ornaments and greeting cards, had their face painted, listened to stories and played games. There was even a surprise visit from Santa! A big thank you goes out to Becky Byers, the Student Advisory Group and the Education Club for making this event such a big success.

Story Time — Erik Anderson as Santa with child
Erik Anderson as Santa

Staff Potluck
On December 15 there were over 30 people who participated in the potluck this year, including some of the staff from Lewis-Clark State College. There was ham, turkey and any side dish you could want. We even had a carrot cake in the shape of a Christmas tree made by our very own CharLene Gibson!

CDA Staff Potluck 2011
Melissa Garrett and Becky Byers

University of Idaho - Idaho Falls

Chamber of Commerce Youth Leadership
On November 15, Carol Baldwin, UI-IF Associate Registrar, set the stage for 20 high school students participating in the Chamber of Commerce Youth Leadership program. In the first meeting of the year they discussed what it means to be a good leader and she prepared them to get the most out of their program that involves learning about all aspects of the community: non-profits, agriculture, local media, local government, medical, water, Idaho National Laboratory, and other area businesses.

2011 Carol Baldwin Chamber Youth Leadership
Carol Baldwin Chamber Youth Leadership 2011

Pizza, Posters, and Presentations
The semi-annual Pizza, Posters and Presentations, Graduate Research event was held on December 2 at the Center for Advanced Energy Studies. Staff and faculty from UIIF, Idaho National Laboratory employees and the community talked with students about their projects and listened to presentations on their research topic progress. Students from University of Idaho and Idaho State University participated in the event.

2011 Graduate Students Posters
Faculty, students and staff admire graduate student posters

University of Idaho - Boise

Rake-Up Boise

A team of University of Idaho Boise staff and alumni participated in Rake-Up Boise on November 19th. The group raked yards at three different homes. The group decided that it would be nice to rake yards of Idaho alumni so if you know of anyone who would like to have their yard raked by a Vandal crew, please let the Culture and Climate Committee know.

Rake-Up Boise 2011

University of Idaho Boise Holiday Party
On December 15 the University of Idaho Boise faculty, staff and students came together to share some great food at the Holiday potluck. They also had a white elephant gift exchange and some lucky individuals ended up with some fabulous gifts.

Boise Christmas Party 2011

Boise Christmas Party 2011

Boise Christmas Party 2011

Boise Christmas Party 2011

Click here for upcoming events for
Moscow - Coeur d'Alene - Idaho Falls - Boise

The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart." Wishing you happiness.
—Helen Keller

"Joy is not in things; it is in us."
—Benjamin Franklin

"Love generously, praise loudly, live fully."
—Elias Porter

"A snowflake is one of the most fragile creations, but look what they can do when they stick together!"

"This is my wish for you: peace of mind, prosperity through the year, happiness that multiplies, health for you and yours, fun around every corner, energy to chase your dreams, joy to fill your holidays!"
—D.M. Dellinger

"May your walls know joy, may every room hold laughter, and every window open to great possibility."
—Mary Anne Radmacher

"Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart."

"Yesterday is history tomorrow is mystery… today is a gift!"
—Eleanor Roosevelt

"What is Christmas? It is tenderness for the past, courage for the present, hope for the future."
—Agnes M. Pharo

"Peace is always beautiful."
—Walt Whitman

 Staff Affairs Newsletter Archive 

RSS Feed Icon Faculty and Staff Announcements