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Rose Blixt.

Rose Blixt, College of Design, has represented civil service staff on the Finance and Planning senate committee for three years.

Where you can shape debate

Civil service staff needed on U Senate committees

By Peg Wolff

Brief, Sept. 27, 2006

During my year in the U Senate, I have learned that most of issues that make it to the floor have been hashed through in one of the hardworking senate committees. These committees address U-wide issues in areas as wide ranging as diversity, facilities, finances, and much more. Having an opportunity to voice a civil service perspective and to hear from faculty and students is important to get a complete understanding of issues that affect the U community.

Currently, 14 civil service colleagues volunteer to represent the civil service point of view at these meetings, but the Civil Service Committee is looking for a few more--for the All-University Honors Committee and the Twin Cities Facilities and Support Services Committee.

Senate subcommittees

These committees have seats for civil service staff representatives. Those in boldface have openings now.

* Disabilities Issues
* Equity, Access, and Diversity
* All-University Honors
* Information Technologies
* Research
* Social Concerns
* Student Affairs
* Finance and Planning
* Twin Cities Facilities and Support Services (a subcommittee of Finance and Planning)
* Advisory Committee on Athletics (TC)

For descriptions of the various committees, see Senate Committees.

Rose Blixt joined the Finance and Planning Committee three years ago. She's a financial services administrative professional in the College of Design and formerly worked in General College.

"As a college financial director, the topics obviously are of interest to me," she says. "There are a great many issues that come before the committee for discussion. The issues are ongoing and have included the new budget model, the new financial system, the dining contracts, the new stadium, the University's biennial requests and capital request, and the U's investment strategies, just to name a few. I am comfortable speaking up in the meetings and feel that I have an equal voice.

"It's been a great experience for me to serve," says Blixt.

Deanette Schmidt, an executive administrative assistant in the School of Nursing, got involved with the Senate Committee on Information Technology (SCIT).

"I have always been interested in technology and was honored to be appointed," says Schmidt. "The SCIT has served to challenge my understanding of how technology affects the University at large--as it relates to technology tools and systems, access and connectivity, and continuous learning and improvement. I find that I can contribute the staff perspective related to the topics discussed."

Schmidt says she has thoroughly enjoyed her first year on the committee and looks forward to serving for two more.

If you are a civil service staff member interested in participating on the All-U Honors Committee or the Twin Cities Facilities and Support Services Committee, please contact Karen Ellis at

Peg Wolff is the 2006-07 chair of the Civil Service Committee. She works as a principal public relations representative in University Relations, Twin Cities campus.