June 2020

Staff Senate Special Session: HR and Finance Panel

The Mason Staff Senate would like to invite you to our upcoming special session, a panel with representatives from Human Resources and Payroll and Finance and Strategic Budgeting.

Thursday, June 25
noon to 1:00 p.m. Event Number: 120 479 0030 / Event Password: ss123

In an effort to answer as many questions as possible, we encourage constituents to submit your questions in advance to by June 22, 5:00 p.m. In addition, we will accept questions during the session.

The Staff Senate represents all classified and non-student wage employees at George Mason University. Working closely with university administration, we address concerns that have an impact on the quality of work-life for the Mason community. The work of the senate is accomplished through open and continuous communication with its constituents.

For questions, contact

June 2020

June 3 Meeting Recording and Follow-Up

Thank you to Carol Kissal, senior vice president, Finance and Administration, who joined the Staff Senate on June 3, to discuss planning strategies for fall 2020.  The recorded session is available for review. Below you will find answers to additional questions not addressed during the session. Thank you to René Stewart O’Neal, associate vice president for Strategic Planning & Budgeting, and Lester Arnold, vice president, Human Resources and Payroll, for addressing answers to the following questions:

Profile of a Senator June 2020

Meet Stacey Remick-Simkins, English Program Coordinator and Staff Senator

Photo by Creative Services

My role on campus: I have worked in the English Department since 1996 and was one of the co-founders of the Staff Senate. I am serving a fourth term as senator.

Mason journey: I started out as a transfer student graduating with my B.A. in English in 1988. I left to work for a variety of companies and projects as a contractor and also traveled. When I was hired at Mason, I had no inkling of the extraordinary experiences I would soon have.

Lead from the front: Mason President Alan Merten wanted to start a Staff Senate just as the Staff Advisory Council was forming. Dr. Merten and Senior Vice President Morrie Scherrens joined us for many work sessions to answer questions and have lunch with us. They gave us full independence to create the organization we felt was going to foster innovation and partnerships. I served as vice chair from 2001-2002 and then was elected chair from 2002-2006.

Senate impact: The senate has been instrumental in the hiring decisions of many of our highest-level positions. We have influenced decisions such as how the Child Development Center was designed. We were involved in facilitating peace roundtable discussions after the 9/11 attacks. We reached out to the Virginia Tech Staff Senate after the mass shooting in Blacksburg. We have partnered with Mason Police to figure out ways to build community and outreach. We have successfully lobbied for the increase in tuition waiver hours from six to 12 per academic year, among many collaborative successes.

COVID-19 transition: Resilience is a Mason trait. We are rising to the challenges of a time of tragedy and grief the way we did after 9/11. I am not surprised by how the entire university has pulled together despite what seems like profound and overwhelming circumstances. I know Mason will not only survive but will be an example to the world of what it means to be the best of humanity.

Best thing about working at Mason: The spirit of community and the belief that humanity can be better than the sum of its parts. We are unique because that universality extends to our community. My years serving on the Quality of Work Life Task Force as well as countless search committees and other advisory committees has helped me build a love for and pride in Mason that I would not otherwise feel. My experiences have inspired me to stay here for the duration of my career. I will retire here.

Why serve on Staff Senate: It is an opportunity to build professional relationships and friendships, and to become an integral part of the Mason vision. It is a chance to try out new ways of interacting and innovating.

At the end of the day: I am grateful for the years of these amazing experiences. Mason is special. When I leave Mason, I will feel that this was my greatest personal and professional contribution. My senate colleagues have elevated the senate to a level that has exceeded my greatest hopes.

June 2020

Staff Senate Virtual Office Hours: Staff Senate Election

Have lingering questions about the Staff Senate nomination and election process?  Need some ideas to help brainstorm your candidate statement? The Staff Senate will be hosting virtual office hours to address any questions related to the 2020 election and nomination process.

Monday, June 15
1:00 p.m to 3:00 p.m. / Meeting number: 120 286 7908 / Password: staff1
Join by phone:  +1-415-655-0003 US Toll / +1-202-860-2110 United States Toll (Washington D.C.) / Access code: 120 286 7908

Please drop-in anytime between 1:00 p.m to 3:00 p.m. and individual questions will be answered.  No formal presentation will be made.


June 2020

Latest Announcements from the Staff Senate

In addition, each month, the Mason Staff Senate:

  • Presents the Employee of the Month with a gift
  • Attends Human Resources and Payroll’s New Staff Orientations to welcome new employees and introduce them to the work of the Staff Senate
  • Recognizes the service of Mason retirees with a letter of appreciation.
  • Publishes a monthly newsletter distributed to classified staff and non-student wage employees.
June 2020

Staff Senate Nomination Period Opens Monday: Useful Links

If you were not able to join us for our Prospective Staff Senator Information Session, we hope you will review the recording to find out more information regarding how the senate operates and our mission.

The senate accepts nominations each June, and elections are held in July. Terms begin in August and are for two years. 2020 dates are below:

  • Nominations accepted Monday, June 15 through Friday, June 26, 5:00 p.m.
  • Elections held Monday, July 13 through Friday, July 24, 5:00 p.m.

To nominate yourself or a colleague, download and complete the Staff Senate nomination form. Completed forms are due to the Staff Senate administrative assistant by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, June 26.  All nominations must be submitted electronically to

If you need further assistance with your nomination form, we will host Virtual Office Hours on June 15 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.  You can drop-in to ask questions related to the nomination form and candidate statement.  You may also use this time to ask any further questions related to senate responsibilities.

June 2020

MAP June Virtual Happy Hour

The next  Mason Administrative Professionals Happy Hour will be held on Tuesday, June 9 at 4:30 p.m. / meeting number: 161 592 2576 / password: HAPPY

or join by phone / 1-202-860-2110 / access code: 161 592 2576




June 2020

Workshops from the Center for the Advancement of Well-Being

Become a Certified Leadership Coach

Leadership coaching skills based in well-being science are vital for success during this pandemic crisis. Learn how to manage stress, navigate complexity, and make positive change happen in Mason’s Leadership Coaching for Organizational Well-Being program. Become a certified coach through a live virtual program this fall.

Apply by July 15. Enjoy a 20% COVID-10 early registration discount until June 15.

Questions? Contact


Learn Polarity Thinking to Overcome Complex and Critical Challenges

Discover how to apply well-being science to your leadership during this challenging time. Learn how to deal successfully with polarities (opposing forces that create tension in complex situations) in our Polarity Thinking certification program.

Individual applicants who register by August 7, 2020 can enjoy a special early bird discount. This 15% discount is close to $500.00 off the regular course price. Apply code “Polarity Early Bird” at checkout.

Questions? Contact


June 2020

University Libraries Update

COVID-19 Mason Community Impact Project (CMCIP)


Records Management Coordinator Workshops


Summer 2020 Online Workshops


Mason Libraries Services + Resources FAQ

June 2020

Employee of the Month Nominations

Do you work with an incredible Mason administrative/professional faculty member, classified staff member, or wage employee who goes the extra mile, collaborates with their colleagues, and supports the university?

Nominate them for Mason’s Employee of the Month award! Additional information can be found on the HR & Payroll website.

If you have questions, contact