Opening the Lines of Communication: Halsey Leads Staff Affairs Forward
When Rachel Halsey wanted to get more involved in the University of Idaho community, she didn’t ease in – she dove straight in with enthusiasm and recently took the helm as Staff Affairs chair.
“I wanted to give back to the University and to the staff, faculty and students,” says Halsey. “I’m very passionate about the University.”
The assistant director of recruitment for the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences joined Staff Affairs less than a year ago after she let a colleague know she was looking for further opportunities to get involved at the University.
In June, she was elected as chair. Not one to sit back, she already is working to implement goals Staff Affairs created over the summer.
The top goal from the summer’s planning session is to strengthen communication across campus between units, and off-campus with the University’s centers and with the community. She says keeping people informed and giving them access to information is key to bring the University together and plan ahead.
“We need to be proactive with issues and problems, as much as possible,” says Halsey. “We need to know we are all on the same page.”
One way she is working toward that goal is to develop a new newsletter. In addition, Staff Affairs also hosted a “speed networking” event to bring people from across the University who normally wouldn’t meet in the course of their regular duties.
“It’s really important to reach out beyond departments and know what’s going on across campus,” says Halsey. “There’s a lot of talented people across the University.”
Continuing a tradition and offering appreciation, Staff Affairs more than just hosted the Staff Appreciation fair, they also hosted a booth for greater visibility and let people know the goals and aims of Staff Affairs.
With Staff Affairs, she is also looking to create policies to help reward staff in creative ways. One area that she is working collaboratively with Faculty Senate and Faculty Affairs Committee is tuition assistance for staff and faculty dependents. While the details are being developed, Halsey says this program is gaining excitement and momentum.
Halsey, an alumna, has been working at the University of Idaho since 2006. The Oregon native earned her doctorate of veterinary medicine at Oregon State University, before returning to Moscow to work in CALS.
“I really enjoy working with students, seeing their potential from a prospective student to an alum,” says Halsey. “I think the University is really family-oriented, a hometown for students – they really feel comfortable here.”