Wednesday, April 25th, 2018

New program homes to connect faculty and staff

Posted on February 03, 2017 in News
By USM Free Press

By: Julie Pike, Free Press Staff

The University of Southern Maine will be implementing a program called, “Informing U@USM,” which is set to begin in February. These classes, which are focused on bringing the USM community closer together, will teach a broad range of topics to employees from financial wellness, cultural resources on campus, physical wellness and much more.

The Informing U@USM sessions were developed with the collaboration of the USM Human Resources team and the classified and professional staff senates.

“We had the hope of helping people feel more connected to the community,” stated Ashley Collins, the Director of Prior Learning Assessment. “It gives the faculty and staff at USM the opportunity to network and be well.”

The next several months of sessions are planned ahead with different themes each month. The sessions will be dependent on feedback from faculty and staff. The first events will kick off in February with Financial Wellness month. A full list of the scheduled sessions can be found on the campus human resources services page on the USM website.

“Informing U@USM is really about connecting the USM faculty and staff with one another and with the resources that are available to them,” stated Natalie Jones, Vice President of Human Resources. “A big part of it is about building up the USM community, with a focus on faculty and staff.”

The sessions will take place on a mix of all three campuses at USM. They are available at no cost for faculty and staff.

“This is where faculty and staff can come together and realize that we’ve all got a lot in common and we all have the same investment,” stated Heather Dilios, the Accommodation Coordinator in the Disability Services Center.

“People are coming up with their own topics, they have their own specialities, things they want to get out to the community,” said Meghan Schratz from Human Resources and the coordinator of Informing U@USM. “Faculty and staff at USM are wanting to share their resources with others.”

These sessions are a big step forward for the faculty and staff at USM, who experienced tough layoffs in the last couple years. The goal of the workshops is to rebuild the strong community the employees at USM once had.

“The transitions that USM went through over the past five years sort of naturally dismantled the community,” stated Dilios. “One of our goals was to re-establish that community and start rebuilding those divisions that naturally occurred between staff and faculty.”

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