Michelle Larson-War resigns as staff council chair; Looks back at accomplishments during the tenure – Natural Self Esteem

Michelle Larson war
Michelle Larson-War

Michelle Larson-War served as Chair of the then combined CU Denver | CU Anschutz Staff Council from December 2018 to April 2021 and as Chair of the CU Denver Staff Council for the past year – during one of the most challenging times in the university’s history. In the face of adversity and difficulty, she has been a voice for one of CU Denver’s greatest assets: its people. As Larson-Krieg prepares to step down from her role on the Staff Council to focus on her responsibilities as Director of International Student & Scholar Services, CU Denver News sat down with her to discuss some of her accomplishments.

18-year career at the University of Colorado

Larson-Krieg began her CU career in 2003 as the SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System) Coordinator in International Student and Scholar Services at CU Boulder. She soon transferred to the University of Colorado’s Health Sciences Center, where she worked with international students and scientists. Following the merger of the Denver and Anschutz Medical sites, Larson-Krieg served as Associate Director of International Scholar Services. After attending law school, she returned to CU Denver as an advisor to international scholars, taking on the directorship role in October 2011.

Today, she leads a team of seven professionals handling all immigration-related processes for the University of Colorado Denver | manage Anschutz Medical Campus. The team ensures that the university can use visa programs to enroll international students, accommodate exchange visitors, and ensure compliance with complex immigration rules and regulations when foreigners come to CU Denver and Anschutz campuses to study, teach, conduct research, or engage in other academic activities Activities.

Representing employees in important pandemic-related decisions

Larson-Krieg first joined the staff council in 2016. The 40-strong, volunteer-based shared governance group focuses on employee appreciation, professional development, campus and community engagement, and policy and advocacy work. As Denver Campus Chair, she works closely with Andrew Rotz, Chair of the Anschutz Medical Campus.

When former chairman Jay Campbell announced his resignation in late 2018, Larson-Krieg completed his tenure and ran for the position in spring 2019. At the beginning of the pandemic, she recalls meeting with members of the cabinet and leadership of the CU Denver campus weekly to build relationships and trust. “Even though that time was really challenging and so busy, it really gave us a seat at the table and a voice,” Larson-Krieg said. “I’ve really tried to take this opportunity to showcase the great work being done by staff across all areas of the university, to highlight staff needs and to ensure that staff perspectives are considered.”

While Larson-Krieg has served as a successful staff council chair in many ways, three endeavors during her time as co-chair rank high on her list of accomplishments.

  1. She drafted and chaired a joint resolution on high-level searches approved by CU Denver | The Anschutz Staff Council, Student Government and the CU Denver Faculty Assembly Executive Committee helped dramatically increase the inclusivity and transparency with which high-level searches are conducted on the CU Denver campus.
  2. During the pandemic, CU Denver introduced a series of virtual town halls to keep the campus community updated on COVID-related and budget-related decisions. During this time, Larson-Krieg and Michael Zinser, professor of psychology, spent many hours reviewing questions from faculty and staff and ensuring that their concerns were addressed by leadership in a respectful and transparent manner.
  3. Larson-War served as the mouthpiece for staff on the Campus Advisory Committee on Budget (CACB), an advisory group that meets during the November through May budgeting season to discuss the university’s budget process, planning, applications and budget model. “One of the things the CACB created in response to the pandemic was a set of principles that guided CU Denver in making decisions to ensure justice,” she said. These principles helped make important decisions, such as B. The introduction of temporary leave of absence in a phased manner developed by Budget Office executives.

“We may not have figured everything out, but our hearts are in the right place.”

The Staff Council plays an important role in the strategic plan’s Goal 5 (to become a people-centric best place to work), said Larson-Krieg, who along with Joann Brennan led the goal’s vision team during the strategic planning process, associate vice vice chancellor for faculty affairs. “The staff council is an opportunity to ensure that employees are heard, that they have professional development opportunities and that the policies recognize and include an employee perspective,” she said.

Looking back on her time as chair, Larson-Krieg would like to thank the leadership of CU Denver for being open and receptive during sometimes uncomfortable and challenging conversations. “Thank you to management for taking employee concerns to heart,” she said. Larson-Krieg would particularly like to thank Jennifer Sobanet, Executive Vice Chancellor for Administration and Strategy, who is the CU Denver Cabinet liaison to the Staff Council.

Larson-Krieg added, “What I like most about CU Denver is the commitment of the staff, faculty and administration to student success. We may not have figured it all out yet, but our hearts are in the right place and so many people work tirelessly to ensure students have a great experience at CU Denver.”

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