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GSA Newsletter: Oct. 29, 2018

GSA Director Shoutouts:

Dan Turnbeaugh
Thanks for allowing the GSA to host our Fall BBQ at the Veterans Services cottage again this year.

John Stephens and TaJuan Bell
Thanks for bringing over the Archery Tag setup for the GSA BBQ at Veterans Services.

Amanda Jacobs, Amra Mohammed, Brandy Tackett, Dannon Cox, Danny Garcia, Gabrielle McCallaster, Karina Sanchez, Margaret Sebastian, Mary Bodkin, Michelle Morgan, Nastaran SoleimaniBarzi, Nate Robey, Otto Buchholz, Salaheddin Sharif and Shane Murphy 
Glad you could make it to breakfast with President Feinstein to share your expereinces as grad students.


Potential Cost-Saving Options from the President's Leadership Council

Various cost-saving measures are the most likely means of reduction for UNC's $10 million structural deficit. The President's Leadership Council is currently exploring the pros and cons of 13 cost-saving options which include:

  1. Targeted layoffs
  2. Reducing employer contributions to health plans and/or optional retirement plans
  3. Moving to a high-deductible health plan as a base plan
  4. Modifying the employee/dependent tuition waiver
  5. Permanently reducing travel and/or restricting faculty conference travel
  6. Reviewing Athletics for cost-reduction ideas
  7. Changing faculty workload, sections offered, adjunct costs and/or course releases for research
  8. Implementing mandatory two-day, employee furloughs (one-time savings)
  9. Identifying opportunities for outsourcing or external shared services
  10. Eliminating contracted services with a low return on investment
  11. Extending computer refresh program for employees
  12. Offering a faculty early retirement program
  13. Setting targets for reducing expenses and letting units decide how to implement

All UNC students (graduates and undergraduates) are represented on the President's Leadership Council by undergraduate student and Student Body President Timothy Hernandez. For more information about the proposed cost-saving measures or the President's Leadership Council, visit www.unco.edu/president 


Graduate Council Meeting Notes

The most recent Graduate Council meeting was held on Thursday, Oct. 18, from 3-5 p.m. in the University Center Council Room. GSA representatives in attendance: Amra Mohammed, John O'Neill and Margaret Sebastian. Here are notes, mostly from Graduate School Dean Linda Black, Ed.D.:

  • Low enrollment graduate programs will probably be cut as a result of streamlining of curricula and budget cutbacks.
  • Graduate assistantships in higher enrollment programs will be "rolled back." There shouldn't be entire positions cut, but there will be less money for the positions that exist
  • The university is considering bringing some Extended Campus courses back to the main campus, largely due to the additional revenue associated with this move.
  • On Nov. 29, from noon to 2 p.m., there will be a retirement party for Frances Braafhart at the Graduate School. Cake will be served.

Notes from UNC President Andy Feinstein at the Graduate Council meeting:

  • UNC needs less departments.
  • "How can we attract more international students to UNC?" This in the context of his previous university, which was in Silicon Valley, and as such attracted over 5,000 international students.
  • Professors with no graduate students need to be cut. The school can't afford professors in graduate departments who aren't carrying their weight in graduate student matriculation.
  • Overall, how can we attract more money to the school? Jerry Suits (Chemistry & Biochemistry) suggested that we attract money through oil and gas companies, who have a large presence here.
  • The graduate departments put out an unusually large number of Ph.D.s and Master's students given the low volume of actual research value that is produced at UNC. Currently, UNC generates about $5.4 million annually in research (2016 UNC Research Performance Report), when it should be closer to $50 million (President Feinstein's desired future number). This requires more grants to be obtained and more research to be done.
  • The current state of the undergraduate side of UNC is bad as well (2018 UNC Fall Census Report). Due to tuition reductions, the average amount paid by undergrads is only 51% of the actual "list price" of attending the school. On top of this, the school is very cheap relative to where it should be. Both of these are problematic and are factors in the current dire financial situation of the university. President Feinstein suggested that there would be fewer tuition reductions and a potentially large increase in the cost of attendance. According to President Feinstein this would mostly effect individuals who are not here on full ride scholarships or grants (e.g., students with Pell Grants).
  • Margaret Sebastian (GSA Council Rep) raised a point regarding the planning of the president's Task Force Committees. The current scheduling of these committees creates major conflicts with most graduate students schedules, leading to an underrepresentation or lack of representation of graduate students on these committees. President Feinstein said that they would "look into these conflicts."

All graduate students are invited by the GSA to attend Graduate Council meetings as audience members. The next meeting is on Thursday, Nov. 15 from 3-5 p.m. in the University Center Council Room. If attending as an audience member, please arrive before 3 p.m., have a seat on any of the chairs around the perimeter of the room and stay until the meeting is finished. Check-in with Amra Mohammed (or any other GSA Grad Council Rep) immediately after adjournment and the GSA will treat you to dinner to briefly discuss the meeting. 

Zachary McCarver 

Congratulations to New Student Senator Zachary McCarver

Following an emergency application period for a vacant Student Senator position in the College of Natural & Health Sciences, Sport & Exercise Science: Social Psychology of Sport & Physical Activity, Ph.D. student Zachary McCarver was selected for the position by the UNC Student Senate. The Graduate Student Association wishes Zachary well in his new position, representing all students (graduates and undergrads) from NHS in Student Senate. 

The GSA would like to remind all graduate students that every Student Government Association position (President, Board of Trustees Rep, College Senators, etc.) is a paid position that is available to graduate student nominees. According to the Student Senate, election information will come out sometime early in spring semester 2019. 


Want to Add Presentation Experience to Your CV?

If you have a poster or academic presentation to give, the GSA can rent you meeting room space in the University Center for your own presentation. Go solo or round up a few other graduate student presenters. Contact david.shimokawa@unco.edu for more information. 


Event Recap: GSA BBQ Lunch

UNC graduate students were welcomed into the Veterans Services cottage for a BBQ lunch. Campus Recreation brought out the GSA/Campus Rec Archery Tag target to try out and UNC President Andy Feinstein stopped by to chat. Attendee list: Alyssa Luker, Andrew Brottman, Anthony Azari, Breezy Garcia, Chelsea Miller, Daniel Westerlind, Deanna Herbert, Dylan Kriescher, Emily Darrell, Forrest Swich, James Sims, Jennifer Niles, Joshua Swick, Katie Boralle, Krista Burton, Kyle Rothfork, Lauryn Curtis, Lea Haverbeck, Linda Black, Megan Wittenberg, Patrick Johnson, Ping Fan, Roxye Arellano, Seneca Erwin, Shane Murphy, Sonja Rizzolo, Sujeith Barraza and Tanya Channel. Event photos


Event Recap: GSA Flu Shot Clinic

The UNC Graduate Student Association and Student Health Center put together a free flu shot clinic for the campus community. 80 flu shots were given in just under an hour. If you still need a flu shot, free flu shots are available at the UNC Student Health Center. Walk-ins welcome!

breakfast club 01

breakfast club 2

Event Recap: GSA Breakfast Club

On Saturday, Oct. 27, a handful of graduate students got together for GSA's monthly Breakfast Club gathering. This month, the Club met at Cranford's Tea Tavern in Downtown Greeley. Special guest at this month's meeting was Jon Smail, City of Greeley Councilmember for Ward 1. The Breakfast Club is a mostly social meetup that allows graduate students from all programs to discuss graduate student life at UNC. Anyone interested in attending should contact Margaret Sebastian to RSVP.

GSA Volunteer Positions Available:
Board of Trustees, GSA Attendee
Meeting Schedule:

  • Nov. 16
  • Jan. 25
  • March 8
  • June 14

The GSA is currently seeking representatives to attend and report on UNC Board of Trustees meetings. The Board of Trustees is the governing authority for the University of Northern Colorado. 

Interested candidates should contact the Assistant Director of Graduate Community & Climate as soon as possible. 

Community Engaged Scholars Symposium
Oct. 30
1-2:30 p.m.
UC Ballrooms

The Community Engaged Scholars Symposium is an annual UNC event allows faculty, students, staff and community members to come together and celebrate the importance of community-engaged teaching, learning, research and creative works. The event will include a poster session highlighting the exciting community-engaged projects taking place in Northern Colorado. 

The deadline for engaged scholar award nominations (individual or group) has been extended to Oct. 16 in the following categories: UNC graduate student and UNC staff member. Self-nominations are allowed: Award criteria and nomination form.

Poster proposals will be accepted on a rolling basis until Oct. 23. Posters can be used to share community engaged projects, including group projects and those that are preliminary or in progress. To present at the symposium please complete this simple form. Contact cce@unco.edu with any questions.


Kadampa Meditation Club: Overcoming Anxiety drop-in meditation classes
Monday, Oct. 29
Monday, Nov. 5
Monday, Nov. 12
Monday, Nov. 19
Monday, Nov. 26
3:30-4:30 p.m.
University Center: Spruce or Aspen Suites

Do you experience worry, stress, or anxiety in your life? Learn how to build the inner strength to deal with these unpleasant feelings and create the stability within to live in the moment. Even while doing things we like, our mind is rarely in the present. We are constantly planning for the future, worrying about what happened in the past or what might happen next. We will learn to create mental space and gain control over thoughts that cause us mental discomfort. We will develop special ways of thinking that naturally increase self-confidence and inner peace. These positive habits of mind oppose the tendency of negative thinking and improve our capacity to find happiness within ourselves.