Purpose & Goals

The CALS Staff Council was created to represent the professional interests of the staff throughout CALS. The purpose is to increase staff recognition, networking, professional development and communications, as well as serve as a voice to the CALS Dean’s Cabinet and other leaders as appropriate. The goals of the CALS Staff Council are:

  • Voice staff perspective at the college level.
  • Offer professional development and mentoring for staff, by staff.
  • Elevate the good work of staff across the college.
  • Provide staff an opportunity to network across the college.
  • Foster diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging.


Four committees make up the core of the CALS Staff Council. The committees are centered around the mission of the council and are as follows:

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging Committee: This committee presents an opportunity to help push the needle of improvement regarding diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging by raising awareness, providing education and developing strategic ideas to ensure all CALS staff members feel welcomed and included as valued members of the College of Ag & Life Sciences staff.

Networking & Social Events Committee: The responsibilities of this committee are planning and delivering opportunities for engagement of CALS staff.  The committee has fulfilled these duties in the past by events such as the Staff Ice Cream Social and is excited to look for additional ways to engage staff.

Professional Development & Mentoring Committee: The goals of this committee are to offer training, learning resources and information to help staff in their job along with learning additional skills for possible advancement. The committee understands there is no one size fits all approach and looks to offer professional development in a variety of ways, such as online, coffee talks, and in-person meetings.

Recognition & Awards Committee: The goals of this committee include raising awareness about awards available to CALS staff members, increasing the number and diversity of awards available to staff members, streamlining nomination processes, and identifying other tactics to increase formal and informal recognition of staff excellence at the department, college and university level.  A key responsibility of Recognition & Awards Committee members is to review nominations and select recipients for the annual, college-level CALS staff awards. 

Each councilor is required to attend council meetings and serve on a committee, unless serving as an officer. The Council meets every month. The executive team meets as needed. The executive team consists of the following:

  • President
  • President-elect
  • Secretary
  • Communications Officer
  • Chair of Recognition & Awards Committee
  • Chair of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging Committee
  • Chair of Professional Development & Mentoring Committee
  • Chair of Networking & Social Events Committee


Councilors serve two-year terms from June through May. Councilors are able to renew their term as long as they desire, and their supervisor agrees on the renewal. The CALS Councilors are appointed by their respective unit leaders across the college. Councilors are selected as follows:

  • 1 representative from CALS departments with fewer than 30 staff (selected by department chair)
  • 2 representatives from CALS departments with more than 30 staff (selected by department chair)
  • 2 representatives from CALS administrative staff (selected by the dean)
  • 2 representatives from CALS centers and institutes (selected by senior associate dean)
  • 2 representatives from CALS farm staff (selected by associate dean of operations)
  • 2 representatives from CALS extension (selected by associate dean for extension and outreach)

If you are interested in serving on the CALS Staff Council, talk to your unit leader today!


ISU President Wendy Wintersteen, then Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Science, envisioned a method that staff could provide a voice and additional leadership throughout the college. Dr. Joe Colletti, serving as CALS Interim Dean, worked with a task force of staff to create the structure and guidelines that created the CALS Professional & Scientific Council. The inaugural councilors were appointed by their supervisors and seated in June 2018. Under CALS Dean Daniel J. Robison, discussions started about inclusion of merit staff on the Council. In August 2021, the Council changed its name to the CALS Staff Council in order to represent all staff within the college when it comes to networking, professional development, and awards and recognition.