January 2019

Message from the Chair

Christopher Maier, Staff Senate. Photo by Creative Services/George Mason University

Happy 2019! Welcome back, everyone. We have approximately eleven months, eight days, and counting to make the best of this year’s resolutions. Among them, I encourage you to utilize all of your benefits. You may have noticed that leave balances have been replenished (annual leave, sick leave, school assistance and volunteer, family and personal, and bereavement leave). Among some of the lesser-used benefits offered to Mason employees are the Life/Work ConnectionsOrganizational Development, Learning, and Coaching; and Reward and Recognition. Check these websites to make sure you’re up to date with all that is offered. Now is a good time to implement that change you’ve been looking to accomplish.

You could also consider signing up for a short course with the Mason Enterprise Center. There are upcoming courses on developing Elevator Pitches, new Estate Planning regulations, Sales Strategy and Tactics, and Bitcoin and Blockchain, to name a few. Sign up to stay informed of other short courses that become available. This is a great way to learn new skills and network with others looking to do the same.

The Staff Senate’s Events Committee is looking forward to February and March, trying to determine the best time to hold Staff Appreciation Events and a possible Town Hall. They are taking into consideration the potential weather that may be coming our way in those months and pinpointing the optimal time to invite Staff out to an appreciation event. Stay tuned!

Chief of Police Carl Rowan will be our guest speaker on February 6 at 10:30 a.m. in Merten Hall, Room 1201. Chief Rowan will discuss the services the Police Department offers to the Mason community.

We’re also excited to announce that Shernita Parker, Acting Vice President of HR/Payroll and Faculty/Staff Life, is planning to speak at our March meeting about last year’s Quality of Work Life Survey. We are happy to discuss these results and gain insights into what the data reveals. We’re about progress at Mason, and we want to see staff achieve their career and life aspirations. Please come out to this meeting, listen, and ask questions. We anticipate this will be a very informative discussion.

Have you followed our Facebook account lately? We have some social media flair as different senators take over our online content. Check us out. Let our Education and Outreach Committee know if you have any information you would like to share with other Mason Staff through our social media channels.

With a new incoming senior vice president (SVP), Carol Kissal, we made our intentions known early on with the hiring consultants that the Staff Senate will like to be a direct-report to the new SVP. Currently, in the organizational chart, we report to the vice president of human resources. However, not all of our initiatives and goals have human resource components. We are proposing this idea to pursue a separate avenue in connecting staff concerns with university leadership. We will certainly keep you updated.

Please feel free to contact us, even anonymously, through our website, should you have additional comments, questions, concerns, or just to let us know how we are doing.

Thank you!

Very Respectfully,
Christopher J. Maier
Chair, Staff Senate