Letter from the Chair

Dear Instructional and Non-Instructional Academic Staff,

As the newly appointed chair of Academic Staff Council, I first want to take a moment to thank all of you for the dedication you demonstrate on a daily basis to UWRF: Our campus would not be the same without you.  I also wanted to tell you about a few of the projects that we, as a Council, are working on this year: initiating an Academic Staff mentoring program, holding informational sessions called Lunch and Learns on topics of interest to Academic Staff, enacting our second annual appreciation event, revising our section of the handbook as necessary, and exploring other issues connected to Academic Staff on campus.  We will also continue to work with the other governance groups—Faculty Senate and University Staff Senate—on key campus issues.

I look forward to working with all of you in the next year.  Please feel free to use our newly established email address ( to touch base with us :-)


Signature_Kathleen Hunzer

Kathleen Hunzer

Meeting with Administration

On December 21st, members of the council met with Administration to discuss the feedback from the survey that was sent out in early December.  We wanted to provide you all  with a brief update of the discussion.

These were the four themes that were discussed:

  • Supervision, Direction and Job Expectations – The council is currently looking at implementing a mentoring program for all new Academic Staff hired at UW-River Falls.  However, we all agreed that we need a better orientation/on-boarding for all academic staff.  Provost Perkins indicated that there will be an orientation for instructional academic staff beginning this fall.
  • Communications – the discussion included having the ability to communicate with your supervisor’s supervisor, as some shared they felt as though they did not have a voice. Additionally, concerns were raised about pertinent university information not trickling down to every applicable employee. The leadership team inquired as to what would be the best ways to ensure communication with all academic staff.  The council will be discussing the ways leadership can communicate to the university.
  • Creating a better culture within the department – discussing the addition and/reinstating of traditions. Improving campus culture helps staff feel valued and appreciated.
  • Contracts, stability and interim roles – questions arose to why there are so many interim positions and why the positions can’t be searched immediately. Regarding the time it takes to search, the leadership team supported the search process mentioning that we are going out and seeking to find the best fit, even if that person is already in the role. Concerns were brought up regarding the large size of search committees and the workload it creates. The council reminded that this past year a policy was approved putting a minimum of three people on a search committee to address that.

The chancellor mentioned the themes were not surprising, as layoffs and reductions have created challenges for the campus community.



  • None at this time


  • Congrats to Laura Otto on the 2016 recipient of the Chancellor's Award for Excellence for Academic Staff

If you have any questions related to your position as an instructional or academic staff member, please email Kathleen Hunzer.

If you have questions about your contract or benefits, please email Brenda Creighton.

Have you  been the victim of discrimination, harassment, or bias? Make sure you fill out a university bias report.


Contact Us

Academic Staff Council

Dr. Kathleen M. Hunzer
Chair, Academic Staff Council
(715) 425-3304