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College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Staff Council


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 and inclusion


    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:

    Awards & Recognition Committee: The goals of the Awards & Recognition 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 Awards & Recognition Committee members is to review nominations and select recipients for the annual, college-level CALS staff awards. 

    Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee: This Committee presents an opportunity to help push the needle of improvement regarding diversity, equity and inclusion 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 Committee: The responsibilities of the Networking and Social 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 Committee: The goals of the Professional Development 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.

    Each councilor is required to attend council meetings and serve on a committee, unless serving as an officer. The Council meets every other month. The executive team meets during the months the full council does not. The executive team consists of the following:

    • President
    • President Elect
    • Secretary
    • Communications Officer
    • Chair of Awards & Recognition Committee
    • Chair of the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee
    • Chair of Professional Development Committee
    • Chair of Networking & Social 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.