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Staff attending a conference

Investing in academic support staff at UM

Providing opportunities for development and capacity building across units

June 20, 2024 — 

On May 30 and 31, the Office of the Provost and Vice-President (Academic), hosted the Academic Support Staff Conference bringing together over 250 program administrators, student advisors and other academic support staff from across UM to participate in a day of learning and professional development.

“The work of our academic support staff, in supporting faculty members and students and administering programs and services across our campus community, is critical to the success of our institution,” says Diane Hiebert-Murphy, Provost and Vice-President (Academic). “We saw this conference as an opportunity to show our appreciation for their work and to invest in their development.”

Fostering awareness of the role of the Provost and the portfolios within the Provost Office was an important objective of the conference. “The opening session, as well as content throughout the day, outlined the scope of academic activities that our office oversees, and built understanding of how we all work together to advance UM’s teaching, learning and research mission,” says Rowena Krentz, Director of the Office of the Provost and Vice-President (Academic).

The conference offered breakout sessions and presentations covering relevant topics to participant roles:

  • Students at UM: The Heartbeat of our Institution
  • Academic Program Review Site and Visit Management Tips
  • Academic Hiring Processes and Initiatives
  • Excel Tips and Tricks
  • Supporting Graduate Education, Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Fellows
  • Responding to mental health distress in students
  • Microaggressions in the workplace

Overall, the conference offered the opportunity to network with colleagues from different units and feel more connected to UM as a whole. One participant commented, “Many times I’ve found that faculties and units are siloed and this conference provided a great opportunity for support staff to interact with staff from other areas, as well as feel appreciation for their work from the university.”

Learn more about the Provost and Vice-President (Academic).

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