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Brad's Blurb

Submitted by bdharr3 on Tue, 12/01/2015 - 03:18 pm

Dear A&S Staff,

One of my responsibilities as your staff advocate is to provide information to you via the newsletter as well as occasional email updates.   I also serve as a resource to all staff in identifying and evaluating options for the resolution of workplace issues.  This could include identifying work-life balance in scheduling, identifying needed training, or conflict resolution with a colleague or supervisor.  I seek to provide neutral advocacy to help everyone work towards positive outcomes.  I am also available to confidentially listen to any concerns about the workplace.  I can help direct staff to resources on campus, College and University policies to answer questions, or serve as a sounding board.  Feel free to reach me by email at or by phone at (859) 257-4019.

Please mark your calendars for the Dean’s all staff meeting on Monday, December 21, 9-11 am, CB 106.  

If you were unable to attend any of the sessions of the inaugural UK Leadership Forum you can watch videos of the six sessions, including the opening and closing keynote addresses, at  

The UK Confucius Institute is having an end of year Chinese Culture Open House on Wednesday, 16 December, 12-2 pm in the Boone Center.  There will be a short program and a reception to follow.  I recently had the chance to attend a Distinguished Scholar Lecture sponsored by the institute that examined the spiritual state of We-Wei (effortless action), “Trying Not to Try: Cooperation, Trust and the Paradox of Spontaneity.  Dr. Edward Slingerland from the University of British Columbia presented.  I attended the event along with a fellow A&S colleague, Andy Johnson.  I am not sure that either of us knew for sure what to expect.  However, it turned out to be an extremely interesting lecture and was more than well worth the time.   If you would like to support the activities of the Confucius Institute, the upcoming open house is an excellent opportunity to do so.  You can RSVP up to December 10 by contacting

Here are a few highlights from the latest UK Staff Senate meeting: 

                -UK HR Benefits presented on the UK Retirement Plan Fee Cap Proposal.  The Retirement Plan Oversight Committee proposed a cap of 1% on advisor fees for TIAA-CREF and Fidelity Plans.

                -The UK Community has many causes that you can help support with donations.  The list of UK options is on the UK Senate’s recent blog at

                -The Staff Senate encourages members of the UK community to contribute to the CRISIS program. CRISIS stands for Crisis Relief in Situations Involving Staff.  The program provides up to $500 in emergency financial assistance for UK employees who have encountered hardships beyond their control, such as loss of income or unforeseen expenses. A committee of UK staff and faculty reviews applications for assistance and the Staff Senate office processes payments to vendors where a grant is deemed appropriate.  Financial counseling through UK Human Resources is also offered as part of this service.  Typically, UK sees a greater number of requests for this service during the holidays; so, now is a good time to think about how you can help members of the UK community in greatest need during the holidays.  Contributions to CRISIS can be made via your MyUK portal and are tax deductible.  For more information, contact the Staff Senate office at 257-9242.  The next UK Staff Senate meeting (open to all) is December 10, at 1 p.m. in the UK Athletics Auditorium in Young Library. 

-The College’s fourth annual Night of Creativity (NOC) is Monday January 4, 2016.  To learn more specific information about NOC and how to sign up check out this week’s A&S newsletter.  NOC began as an effort to foster creativity and innovation.  For staff, it is often challenging to pursue new ideas in addition to already full workloads.  In the course of our daily work, staff members may have many ideas of how to re-imagine programs or processes or how to create completely new programs or ways of doing business.  However, there is never enough time during the day to work on such projects.  NOC allows for such an opportunity to pursue such ideas.  Hope to see you at Night of Creativity!

In fall 2015 UK HR started offering “Happiness Advantage” workshops.  As an offshoot of several of their programs they recommend several professional development books.  The book list includes, Drive: The Surprising Truth about What Motivates Us by Daniel Pink, Give and Take by Adam Grant,  The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg, and The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor.   If you are interested in them, they can all be found on Amazon for less than $10.00. 

As always, thanks for reading!