Staff Council Has Big Plans for Coming Months

Published on February 22, 2016

EKU’s Staff Council has big plans for the coming months, including “Staff Talks” professional development opportunities, diversity-related initiatives, social activities and service projects.

The theme for this year’s “Staff Talks” events is “Communication, EKU and Beyond.” The first event in the series was a big hit, Cotton said, with more than 30 in attendance and more viewing by live stream. The speaker was social intelligence expert Dr. Stephen Sampson, Program of Distinction Fellow in EKU’s College of Justice & Safety. Upcoming speakers on March 9 and April 13, respectively, are Matt Schumacher, director of retention programs at EKU and co-chair of the EKU Social Media Users Group, “Communication and the Social Media,” and EKU President Michael Benson, “EKU Communication ... What Works?”

Part of the Staff Council’s “Statement of Purpose” is to “foster communication and serve as a communications conduit between staff and the president ... and promote the welfare of all staff through professional development.”

“Communication is something we all need to improve on as a university community,” said Ann Cotton, the recently elected chair of the Council.

The “Staff Talks” are brown-bag lunch events where the speaker talks for approximately 20 minutes, followed by a question-and-answer session. All the talks will be live-streamed and available on the Council’s web site (

The Staff Council is collaborating with the University’s Office of Diversity to develop Diversity Advocates, staff who are “very passionate about diversity” and who will help promote related initiatives campus-wide. Those who sign up will receive additional information and training.

On June 9, the Council will host its annual employee picnic. “We had a big turnout last year,” Cotton noted.

This fall, in conjunction with Homecoming Week, the Staff Council once again will sponsor a campus-wide service project. The entire University community, including alumni, will be invited to participate in a variety of campus beautification projects and a tree planting.

“The Staff Council’s last Day of Service was highly successful,” Cotton said. “It brought together many members across campus ... who painted fences, weeded and planted flower gardens and cleaned up brush and trash, all for one common goal, our already Campus Beautiful.”

Besides its members freely donating their time and talents to serve as a voice for the University’s staff, the Council is also showing leadership through a giving initiative. Cotton noted that 100 percent of its members have given to EKU as a prelude to a faculty/staff campaign later this year.

“Through this giving initiative, we hope to set an example for the rest of the staff,” Cotton said.

Other Council officers are Leah Banks, vice chair, and Treva Macy, secretary-treasurer.

For more information about the Staff Council, visit