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Saturday, February 27, 2021

Faculty & Staff

Staff Council huddles up to brainstorm


The members of the Staff Council took a break from their more formal meeting style and adopted a discussion-oriented event called Conversations with Staff Council. The council broke into groups to brainstorm different hot topic issues at 2 p.m. on Tuesday in Farish Hall.

President and Chancellor Renu Khator spoke at the slightly-less casual Staff Council meeting, which was more conversational than the norm, on Tuesday. | Kayla Steward/The Daily Cougar

President and Chancellor Renu Khator spoke at the slightly-less casual Staff Council meeting, which was more conversational than the norm, on Tuesday. | Kayla Steward/The Daily Cougar

Administration and Finance representative Andy Moon moderated the meeting, and President and Chancellor Renu Khator was the guest speaker, offering her insight on problems, solutions and her own goals for the University.

“It’s all of us that push and pull and do whatever is needed,” Khator said.

Khator touched on multiple topics, first praising the staff members for their hard work during this school year, as well as addressing issues that can be improved.

As a Tier One university, Khator said she wants to push for changes in graduation rates and student life.

“The graduation rate must improve. Many students are living on campus now, and we must continue to build student life,” Khator said. “After two years, I know that graduation rates will improve pretty significantly.”

Khator went on to explain the importance of personal interaction and becoming more involved in the Houston community. She made several requests of the staff, including becoming more innovative, engaging in the belief that they can do better and enjoying their jobs so as to not get burned out.

After Khator’s statements, she answered a few questions from staff, such as the concerns regarding the mood in Austin relating to higher education. After she answered several questions, the remaining staff members broke into groups.

Each group had a moderator who led the discussion, introducing issues such as communication problems and staff orientation concerns.

Staff council president-elect for  the 2013-2014 Fiscal Year led one of the tables to a discussion regarding UH’s presence in the community through volunteering. The concern was enthusiastically discussed by staff members.

“I want to know if there are any community service and volunteering opportunities. I’m looking for something to get involved with,” said academic advisor of The College of Pharmacy, Natasha Hindocha.

One of the ideas raised by the discussion’s participants was that an increased presence in community service will shed a positive light on the University.

“If you want to be recognized in the community, there’s no better way than through volunteer work,” said UH Cinco Ranch program coordinator Owen Campbell.

The next staff council meeting will be held on May 9 in Room 306 in the M.D. Anderson Memorial Library.

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