DePaul University Newsline > Sections > Campus and Community > Staff ideas earn thumbs up

Mission-oriented strategic ideas shared by staff earn leadership thumbs up

Grounded in Mission
This past fall, the President's Office invited staff to identify initiatives with potential to achieve strategic goals. Three staff ideas will be implemented to advance DePaul's strategic plan, Grounded in Mission.

The ideas are:
  • Funding for parents or guardians of Pell-eligible, out-of-state students to attend Family Weekend to support their student at a critical point in their transition to DePaul.
  • Funding to enable Pell-eligible students accepted into the Study Abroad program to secure first-time U.S. Passports.
  • Creation of a student-first ethos of service. 

Martha McGivern, director of Study Abroad
Martha McGivern, director of Study Abroad. (DePaul University/Jeff Carrion)
“Our goal in partnering with Staff Council was to create an opportunity to hear directly from staff members across the university and benefit from their insight," says President A. Gabriel Esteban, Ph.D. “As we expected, our staff exceeded our expectations."

Erin Berkowitz, president of Staff Council, reported staff submitted 17 proposals, several of which involved collaboration from numerous departments.
“I was impressed with the range of ideas submitted to Staff Council," Berkowitz says. “Staff came up with some creative ideas to advance the strategic plan."

After the vetting process, Staff Council submitted 10 proposals to the President's Office for consideration. 
Ellen Herion Fingado, dean of students
Ellen Herion Fingado, dean of students. (DePaul University/Jamie Moncrief))

“Staff are in direct contact with students every day and can pinpoint where changes to the way we operate would make a big difference," Dr. Esteban says. “These ideas are taking already great programs and processes and will make them even better."

Staff from three offices collaborated on the proposal to support parents or guardians to visit DePaul on Family Weekend. They were Jeanne Williams, associate director of Academic Advising in The Theatre School; Dani Blackwell, administrative assistant in the Office of New Student and Family Engagement; and Mark Anthony Florido, assistant director of Identity Conscious Support Programs in the Office of Multicultural Student Success.

Martha McGivern, director of Study Abroad, and her team proposed the passport program. The proposal slightly modifies a successful pilot program conducted with the U.S. Passport Office last year.

Ellen Herion Fingado, dean of students in the Division of Student Affairs, suggested the concept of a student-first ethos of service based on a model from another university.

 “I am grateful for staff members' contributions through this process," Dr. Esteban says. “These practical recommendations demonstrate the vital role staff play at DePaul."