Over the past few months, I’ve been having discussions with the VCIS leadership team about the current labor environment. We recognize that maintaining appropriate staffing levels is critical to providing a safe work environment for everyone.
First, some good news: I recently asked our leadership team to put together a summary of the vacancies we have across our unit, and compared to historical vacancy data, the number of openings we have at the moment is not substantially above the norm.
That being said…we need you!
Retention is our top priority. We know that the best way to avoid an opening is to keep our current team members engaged in their jobs. Here in Boulder especially, we are competing with many private sector employers, some of which are able to offer higher salaries and more creative job perks.
From our recent employee surveys, we know that one of the biggest reasons people come to work (and stay working) at CU is our benefits packages. (Check out the total compensation calculator to better understand the fiscal value of your employment.) If you aren’t familiar with all that we offer, or if it’s been a few years since you started working here, check our staff benefits page, and mention them when people in your circle ask you how you like working at the University.
It’s important to have professional development conversations with your supervisor to identify staffing continuity plans and growth opportunities within your unit. Upcoming performance reviews present a great time to review your accomplishments from the past year and how they have contributed to your goals. I encourage you to use these conversations to identify your objectives and how they can contribute to your growth within the organization.
Recruitment is another key focus right now. Check the CU job board occasionally to see what positions are open. Think about your network – do you know anyone who might be a good fit for one of these positions? The more eyes and ears we have helping us recruit, the faster we will be able to fill our openings.
I appreciate all you do for our campus and for our students. As a reminder, please join us for our I&S staff appreciation picnic on July 28 to honor and celebrate with our team. I look forward to seeing you there.
Chris Ewing, interim vice chancellor for infrastructure and sustainability
News and Notes
Energy Performance Contract signed
The CU Boulder campus is taking action on the recommendations from the Energy Master Plan (EMP) and recently signed an Investment Grade Audit contract with McKinstry Essential, LLC.
McKinstry will conduct an Investment Grade Audit (IGA) of our facilities (19 were identified for this round) and deliver a project proposal that could include energy and water efficiency measures, renewable energy systems, electric vehicle technology, operations and maintenance and metering infrastructure improvements. The purpose of the IGA is to review our facilities and infrastructure and ultimately present an audit report and Energy Performance Contract (EPC) project proposal. The investment grade audit contract was signed on June 28.
The intent is to create a replicable program to execute additional phases of Energy Performance Contracts in order to meet our energy use reduction goals from the Energy Master Plan.
SCUP award received for CMP
CU Boulder has received the Excellence in Planning for an Existing Campus award from The Society for College and University Planning (SCUP) for our Campus Master Plan (CMP). Read more about the award and the jury’s comments on the CMP.
University Perspective Program applications are open through July 15
The University Perspective Program is now accepting applications for the 2022-2023 year. Staff who have the support of their supervisor may apply. This program provides a great opportunity for program participants to learn more about our own campus as well as the system office, CU-Denver, CU-Anschutz and UCCS. Learn more here.
Save the Date! I&S Employee Appreciation Summer BBQ is coming July 28
Please join us for the I&S staff summer picnic to honor and celebrate our Infrastructure & Sustainability team: Thursday, July 28, 2022, 11:30am – 1pm, West Varsity Lawn, NW Main Campus (just east of the Alumni Center)
Bring your Buff OneCard for check-in.
Once again we will have a water bottle refill station at the picnic. Please bring your own refillable water bottle and help make this a zero-waste event.
Dress for the weather; bring sunscreen, a hat and sneakers.
Swing shift schedule on July 28 will be 11:30am – 8pm. Check with your supervisor if you are unsure of your scheduled hours on this date.
You don’t want to miss the great raffle/door prizes!
Please walk, ride or take the bus to the event as there is no parking near West Varsity Lawn.
This event is for I&S staff and student employees only. Sorry, no guests.
PERA members will see their contributions increase in July
As a Colorado PERA member, you contribute a tax-deferred percentage of your monthly salary to your PERA account. CU employees also earn tax-deferred, annually compounding interest on all contributions. The current interest rate is 3% compounded annually. This year, beginning July 1, PERA-eligible CU members’ contributions will increase from 10.5% to 11%.
Tim Lockhart (EH&S) and Shannon Horn (PD&C) traveled to Greece with Shelly Miller (Engineering faculty) for a conference on indoor air quality held by The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). They presented on our campus HVAC protocols in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, focusing on a layered risk management approach to minimize COVID transmission on large university campuses.
Recycling tip of the month
Recycling white paper (“high grade”) and used beverage containers (“UBC”) is how it all began here at CU Boulder. Back in 1976, students with concerns about our planet’s future health formed a partnership with custodial staff and organized the Eco Center, one of the nation’s first collegiate recycling efforts.
Today, high grade and UBC are two of the most valuable commodities we process at our on-campus sorting facility. In the summer months our facility sees large volumes of paper purged from the previous academic year.
We appreciate the efforts of all staff to keep white paper clean and dry to increase its recyclability and value. Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions regarding the many items we can help you keep out of the landfill or to have your small campus group participate in a fun hour-long tour of our facility.
Bike to Work Day a success
On June 22, CU Boulder hosted two Bike to Work Day breakfast stations on Main Campus and East Campus. Environmental Center staff handed out breakfast burritos and CU swag to more than 400 cyclists.
Michael Najera – Plumber – Pipe Trades Shop
How long have you been working at CU?
I have been working at CU since Feb 15, 2021.
What is your favorite thing to do outside of work?
Coaching basketball, t-ball and flag football for young kids.
Tell us something that might surprise us about you.
I work with the Denver Nuggets. I had a basketball camp for kids which involved Rocky the mascot.
What do you love about CU Boulder?
The scenery, the campus itself and the mountains are beautiful all year round.
Are you a die-hard fan of anything?
I am a die-hard fan of any and all professional sports.
Perk of the month
Be Colorado – Move. is an incentive program that lets you earn cash for being active. The program helps users track physical activity through their smartphones or activity-tracking devices (e.g., Fitbit, etc.) with the Move. app. The app records activity stats like calories burned, heart rate, steps-per-day and more. Move. participants who log either 30 minutes of activity or 10,000 steps a day, for at least 12 days a month, can earn an incentive of $25 a month. University of Colorado employees and retirees who are the primary member of a CU Health Plan account (e.g., Exclusive, Exclusive2, Kaiser, High Deductible/HSA Compatible, Extended or Medicare) are eligible. Sign up today!
Attend the summer appreciation BBQ on July 28 (earn 25 points)
Volunteer at the I&S Day of Service on August 4 (earn 50 points)
Attend ISIEC’s “It’S Friday” event coming to EH&S in August (earn 25 points)
Once you log into the platform, click on the ‘incentives’ tab on the left column, then click on the ‘earn’ button to let us know which incentives you have completed. For more information on the Kazoo platform, check the campus HR webpage.
Safety Hatter Chatter
Summer is here and that means it's bee and wasp season. As we spend more time working in and enjoying the outdoors, it is important to keep bee safety in mind. Read more as part of our new safety column in the VCIS newsletter.
Exploring with ISIEC
Whether you are exploring the backroads of the U.S., traveling abroad or staying close to home, summer is the ideal time to broaden your cultural horizons, and the University Libraries can help. They're sharing media recommendations from libraries staff and other members of the campus community. You can check out books from the libraries’ Popular Reading collection and stream documentaries and films through Kanopy and Swank Digital Campus.
A glance at a few titles includes a range of topics:
The King of Bangkok – Recommended by Teaching Assistant Professor and Program Director for the Center for Asian Studies Lauren Collins. “It is an utterly fantastic visualization of a decade of anthropological research looking at a changing Thailand,” Collins said. “It follows the experiences of a blind man who sells lottery tickets in Bangkok when he decides to leave the city and return to his native village in Isaan.”
The Undocumented Americans – Recommended by Assistant Director Intercultural Engagement for the Center for Inclusion and Social Change (CISC) Stephanie Roberts. “It is a deeply personal, evocative narrative about the realities facing our undocumented community members.”