APAC Elects New Officers, Looks to Get a Vote in Faculty Senate

Chairman Ronald Wysocki is leaving the UA for Ohio State University this summer. College of Law Finance Director Jeff Ratje will become the new chairman on July 1.
May 23, 2012
Ronald Wysocki
Ronald Wysocki
Jeff Ratje
Jeff Ratje

The Appointed Professionals Advisory Council elected new officers at its meeting Monday, updated plans for its July strategic planning retreat and discussed possibilities for gaining a voting member in the Faculty Senate.

Current APAC Chairman Ronald Wysocki is stepping down from his post at the end of June and is leaving Arizona to become program director of undergraduate and graduate education in biochemistry at Ohio State University.

He currently is an assistant staff scientist at the chemical synthesis facility in the College of Science.

On Monday, Jeff Ratje was elected to serve as APAC's next chairman. Ratje is director of finance in the James E. Rogers College of Law and is a longtime APAC member who has served on the governance and membership committees.

Kathleen Hart and Sylvia Quintero were elected vice-chairwoman and treasurer, respectively. Hart's position is also considered "chair-elect," so she will be the next chairwoman of APAC. Nobody occupied that position before Monday's election. Hart is coordinator of special events for Facilities Management, and Quintero is manager of business and finance for the Department of Geosciences.

Pierre-Alexandre Blanche and Isabel Chavez will be co-secretaries after winning the seats in a write-in tie. Blanche is an assistant research professor in the College of Optical Sciences, and Chavez is special assistant to the dean in the College of Nursing.

"I have enjoyed serving on APAC and representing the hardest-working group of professionals on our campus. This has been a very productive experience for me, and I encourage people to serve on this council," Wysocki said in an email message to APAC members.

He encouraged people who are interested in joining the council or who want to nominate someone for it to visit the APAC website or get in touch with Ratje at jmratje@email.arizona.edu.

Among the business discussed during the meeting was an update from Quintero on plans for the APAC strategic planning retreat happening July 30 at the Marriott University Park.

She said a facilitator has been chosen, and retreat planners need to meet with him to finalize what will be discussed.

The retreat begins at 11 a.m. and will feature a morning orientation for new members – although all members are welcome – with a strategic planning session in the afternoon. Lunch is included, and the day will conclude at 5 p.m.

Wysocki suggested also including time for members to talk among themselves, in groups, about what is important, based on feedback he's heard.

Regarding the Faculty Senate, Wysocki told APAC that the senate motion to allow APAC and the Staff Advisory Council to each have a voting seat on the Faculty Senate passed with a clear majority.

Because the move would necessitate a change in the Faculty Senate bylaws, the motion was sent to a vote of the general faculty, where it needed a two-thirds majority approval, and that's where it died.

Wysocki said the approval was right around 60 percent.

Though he won't be here next year, he feels this request is worth renewing, he said.

In the coming year, it would be good to resubmit the proposal in a way that mainly highlights the similarities between APAC responsibilities and many duties carried out by faculty members, he said.

In an interview, Wysocki noted that many appointed personnel teach, write, engage in course development and lab development, and help with advising, just as many faculty members do.

"Because of that, we think it's important we have a say (on issues that affect how those activities are carried out)," he said. "And the grievance process does go through the Faculty Senate, and it would be nice to have one person in there who could vote."

In other news, guest speaker Pila Martinez, director of campus communications, introduced the upcoming University intranet website, UA@Work, which she said should go live by the end of June.

The site will serve as the central place to find institutional communications, including 3D memos and other all-campus messages, she said.

The next APAC meeting is 3-5 p.m. June 25 in BIO5 Room 103. The guest speaker will be Kathleen "Rocky" LaRose, deputy director of athletics.