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OP Staff Assembly Chair Ken Feer looks ahead to 2011–12 term

With a doctorate in political science, a penchant for critical thinking, and a desire to get involved, Kenneth Feer is an ideal fit for incoming chair of the OP Staff Assembly. He succeeds outgoing Assembly Chair Andrea Gerstenberger on July 1.

The OP Staff Assembly, the all-volunteer staff organization dedicated to promoting the interests of OP employees, is also seeking nominations for four open seats on its Steering Committee for a two-year term. All career staff are eligible to run.

If you—like Feer and Gerstenberger—want to help make UCOP a better place to work, submit your application to run for Staff Assembly any time before 5 p.m. Friday, May 20. See the OP Staff Assembly website for nomination forms.

Elections will take place May 25 to June 10, and all full-time career employees are eligible to vote. Check back in upcoming issues of Link to find out more about the election.

The Staff Assembly weighs in on key issues, advocates for staff programs, and sponsors or cosponsors community-building events like Town Hall meetings with OP senior leadership, the annual staff service award event and staff picnic. (The staff picnic has been in flux due to lack of funding, but the group is working to hold one this fall and make it an annual event with an allocated budget.)

The group recently brought EVP Nathan Brostrom to the May First Friday Breakfast and is planning to sponsor regular appearances by senior leaders at both the Franklin First Friday and Kaiser Second Friday monthly breakfasts.

“Our role has changed a lot in the last three years,” says Feer, who is going on his fourth year of service. “Because OP Staff Assembly leadership continues to meet regularly with EVP Brostrom, we are increasing trust and awareness among senior leadership of the staff perspective. Through this interaction at higher organizational levels, we are working to increase what we can accomplish on behalf of all staff.”

Recent accomplishments under Gerstenberger’s term include shaping and advocating for the Mentorship and Leadership Development Programs, both of which were recently started up by Human Resources to open more leadership development opportunities for mid-level staff.

Staff Assembly representatives also participated in the application review process for these programs and on search committees for senior staff, Feer says. Members also have opportunities to participate on subcommittees for communications, events planning and special projects.

Two of Feer’s preliminary goals for the coming term are incorporating staff photos into the Outlook interface and collecting donations of fully equipped school backpacks for incoming students at nearby Frick Middle School.

“We need more staff leaders with new ideas for senior leadership,” he says, adding that candidates for Staff Assembly should be self-motivating, not easily discouraged and interested in getting involved in their workplace and with their coworkers.

Feer cautions that the job does require a time commitment. While he spends anywhere from one to six hours weekly on Staff Assembly business, depending on what’s on the agenda, he says members can participate at whatever level they find manageable. (It is also a good idea for participants to discuss the time commitment with their supervisors.)

The OP Staff Assembly holds monthly meetings to which all career staff are invited. It is affiliated with the Council of UC Staff Assemblies (CUCSA), the systemwide group consisting of staff from all UC campuses and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory as well as OP. UCOP’s own Ravinder Singh is the incoming systemwide CUCSA chair.

For more, go to the OP Staff Assembly website.


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  1. Martha Winnacker May 17, 2011 Reply

    Congratulations to Ken. OPSA will have a stellar year under his leadership.

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