Council learns more about professional development program

Professional and Scientific Council members learned more about a budding professional development program, including a spring conference, at their Sept. 13 meeting. All P&S employees were asked for their input on professional development issues in an online survey emailed last week.

"Hopefully, [the survey] will give us a lot of input on topics, timing and logistics for our conference," said David Meisinger, chair of the P&S Council's professional development committee.

Meisinger said the conference -- likely to be held in the Scheman Building in early April -- will follow the theme of "understand value and build value." He said the cost will be nominal, thanks to a $25,000 strategic initiatives grant awarded to the council last fall.

But a spring conference is not the only part of the professional development program. Meisinger presented the "Four Cs" of professional development, which would add courses, coaching and community building to the conference component for a holistic approach.

"We want to make this whole program so broad and well-rounded, it's not just a conference and a one-time thing," Meisinger said. "We want to make this sustainable, something that will last a long time."

Bring a coworker

Past president Dan Burden encouraged council members to bring up to four additional P&S employees to the council's Oct. 4 meeting (2-4 p.m., Memorial Union Pioneer Room). He said a portion of the meeting time will be used for focus group discussion of professional development. The input will be used, along with the survey results, to help create the professional development program.

Other news

  • Senior vice president and provost Jonathan Wickert told council members that more than 125 nominations were submitted for the College of Engineering dean post. He said interviews should take place this fall, and a candidate should be in place by the end of the calendar year.
  • Associate vice president for human resource services David Trainor said a consultant has been hired to design a comprehensive wellness initiative. He said it would be "transformational," and include more than just physical aspects (such as financial literacy, stress and community engagement).
  • Trainor also shared a preliminary report on the University Benefits Committee recommendations, which would make no major changes in 2013 to employee health and dental plans.