We Need Your Help to Welcome New APA Members!

APA Members know about new staff in your department or unit long before the APA office receives the information and we need your help to pass along some information.  

The APA only receives notice of newly hired members once a month from MSU Central HR and, depending on when the hiring paperwork is processed, we may not be notified of a new hire for 2 months or even longer.  Once we are notified, we reach out to the new member, via email, and invite them to sign up for an individual meeting or group lunch.

Currently, the email may not be delivered if the new member is using a departmental email and does not forward their MSU netID email to their department account. This will become less of a problem as departments switch to the new MSU email system.

In the interim, if each of you could make sure any new APA staff in your department (new hires, reclassifications or transfers from another bargaining union) have the following information by printing this page and passing it along.

Welcome to the MSU Administrative Professional Association.   We want to make sure all have access to member services, information and benefits, messages from the APA President, newsletters, opportunities to attend educational and training sessions and much more.  Please contact the MSU APA to schedule a new APA member orientation and to complete your membership card.

For additional information visit the APA website at www.msuapa.org or contact 517-999-4004.


Theresa Sullivan Will Lead the Search for the Next President of MSU

The MSU Board of Trustees has hired Theresa Sullivan, an MSU graduate and currently the University of Virginia president, to work alongside the MSU Board of Trustees as an advisor regarding the search for the next MSU president. Sources have indicated she will not be a candidate for the permanent MSU position.

MSU board trustee Dianne Byrum, speaking on behalf of the board, indicated that Sullivan will be paid $1,000 per eight-hour work day. It is anticipated that Sullivan will work the equivalent of one day a week to aid this search. However, until the end of July when Sullivan retires from University of Virginia she will be working at MSU for free.

Sullivan is the former provost of the University of Michigan where she worked under former U of M President Mary Sue Coleman. Since 2010, Sullivan has served as president at the University of Virginia, including the time period when Rolling Stone published an infamous article about a gang rape at a fraternity, a story that was later discovered to be made up.  

The APA has already engaged MSU and expressed a clear desire that the process to select a new MSU President be inclusive, ensuring all campus voices and perspective be heard firsthand before any final decisions are made. The APA will continue to update the membership as more information is known.

Your Fellow APA Members – Debra F. Duxbury

 What are your job titles?

Staff Psychiatrist and Clinical Assistant Professor

 How long have you been at MSU?

I started my first job at MSU in 1987.

 Have you been a member of the APA the whole time?

No. I began working in the Department of Chemistry at MSU in 1987 and subsequently as a psychiatry resident at MSU in 2000, after attending the College of Human Medicine at MSU in

the 1990s. After my psychiatry residency, I worked as an inpatient psychiatrist for three years at Chelsea Community Hospital. When I became employed at Olin Student Health in 2007 I started my first position at MSU with APA membership.

 What department do you work in, and can you tell me a little bit about what you do?

The majority of my work is performed at Olin Student Health as a staff psychiatrist in CAPS (Counseling & Psychiatric Services). I mostly manage psychiatric medication regimes needed to promote emotional wellbeing in my patients, but I also do a small amount of therapy. As I do this, I work closely with the CAPS psychiatrists, psychologists, counselors, and social workers. Collectively we evaluate, manage, treat, and provide support. We also implement crisis interventions for MSU students, the occasional spouse of a student, and eligible high school students attending MSU. I am also a certified Koru Mindfulness Meditation teacher, and I teach Koru Mindfulness Meditation at Olin and on campus, by invitation. The Koru classes, workshops, and presentations I give help promote resiliency and flourishing. This fosters student, faculty, and staff success in life and at MSU. Additionally, I am a clinical assistant professor working in an adjunct capacity for the College of Human Medicine and College of Osteopathic Medicine psychiatry residency program at MSU. In that role, I mentor psychiatry residents during their training.

 What brought you to your job at MSU?

After completing my postdoctoral research in Oxford in the UK in the 1980s, my husband and I moved to MSU to pursue our careers as research scientists. MSU afforded good career opportunities and benefits in a welcoming environment where we could begin our careers and family.

 What do you love about working at MSU?

Working at MSU has given me the opportunity to positively contribute to people’s lives, especially in my roles as a psychiatrist, meditation teacher, and mentor. I love the multicultural environment, diversity of ideas, cross-disciplinary research, and land grant mission of MSU. I appreciate the move toward green fuels and being on such a beautiful campus with beautiful gardens. I especially love being able to follow the MSU basketball team.

 What do you like to do when you are not at work?

I enjoy spending time with my family and pets, being in nature, and traveling near and far to a variety of cultures. I also enjoy meditation, basketball/sports, films, music, reading, and using my creativity to make things out of anything. I enjoy teaching meditation to others and volunteering. I will soon complete my 9-month certificate course in Meditation and Psychotherapy and my NADA (National Acupuncture Detoxification Association) auricular acupuncture certificate to become an ADS (acudetox specialist).

Be A Tourist In Your Own Town

Many smiling faces and looks of wonder were seen on faces of both adults and children who participated in the BATYOT event on June 2nd.  APA members could choose from over 90 locations and check out attractions which interested them and their families.  The added bonus was that attractions which normally charge admission fees let participants in free on that day.

Many thanks were heard from APA members who participated in this event.  From seeing the baby otters at Potter Park, to Impression Five Science Museum or having a chance to be live on LCC radio was awesome.

“I have lived in the area for years and always wanted to do this; thanks to APA for getting the word out early on this and prompting me to be a part of it this year.”

Andrea Worful is an APA Member and Area Representative who worked part of the day for the event at the MSU Community Music School (CMS) shares her experience on the day.  “CMS provides a creative and welcoming environment where music experiences, education, and music therapy services inspire individuals at all ability levels and stages of life to achieve their personal best and BATYOT is no exception. Families came throughout the day to enjoy our make-and-take craft and instrument petting zoo—where people of all ages could try out a variety of string, wind and percussion instruments. Some individuals even find the instrument they go on to play in their school band at these events! We love being a part of this amazing event and welcoming people into our facility that may not know about all the work CMS does for the community.”

Area Representative (AR) Spotlight – Jennifer Sergeant

What is your job title?

Grants and Research Services Administrator

What area of campus, building and department do you work in?

I work on North Campus, in the Justin S. Morrill Hall of Agriculture, for MSU Extension.

How long have you been at MSU?

Five years as of June 3.

How long have you been an Area Representative?

I believe it’s been four years.

Why is being a member of the Union important to you and what value does it bring?

It’s important to me as I have personally been in bad work situations. I feel a sense of comfort knowing the union is behind me. I love the value too! I get discounts on my home and auto insurance – I took advantage of that for sure!  

What words of advice do you have for the new hires at MSU?

You never know what your work situation will be or turn into. You may love your boss and coworkers, but things could change that may make your life miserable. You have the opportunity for union support to make your life easier; take advantage of this.

What do you love about working at MSU?

I love what MSU stands for: the commitment to the little people all over the state and the world for that matter. MSU as a whole has done so much good in the world. I love being a part of making MSU better so they can do more in the future.

What do you like to do when you are not at work?

I like to play with my dog, Brutus, at the dog park. He’s a Jack Russell, so he has a ton of energy. I go horseback riding with my mom at Sleepy Hollow. I ride my bike from campus down to the Hawk Island park, as well as along the Northern Tier Trail in East Lansing. I also like to read and relax at home.

The AR’s are appointed by the Executive Board and their role is to assist with distributing APA materials and information and to serve as a resource for members. AR’s are assigned to a geographic area of campus, so if there is not an AR in your immediate building, you can find one nearby. For a list of AR’s go to http://www.msuapa.org/about/area-representatives-2/


This month’s question: Where on campus can APA members purchase a 4-pack of AA batteries for personal use at a super cheap price of 94¢ plus tax?

Email your answer to Sue Brandt at brandts@msu.edu by June 29, 2018.  Limit of one guess per person.  Two members* who correctly answer the trivia question will be randomly drawn to win various prizes.  Winners will be announced in the next newsletter.

* Must be an APA member in good standing to win.

Board Members, Area Representatives and Communications Committee Members are not eligible to win.

Congratulations to the last newsletter winners randomly drawn from those who answered correctly that the most popular flavor of ice cream sold at the MSU Dairy Store is sesquicentennial swirl:

Holly Lacina $50 Spartan Cash

Stephanie Hay $25 in Eat At State Bucks  

2018 APA Picnic A Success

We had a great time at the 2018 Annual APA picnic again this year. Counting members, their children and other family members we had just over 200 people attend in spite of a less than perfect weather day. It was a good opportunity to meet with other APA’s to network, play some games eat hot dogs and hamburgers with all the picnic sides. We had some members with a long history at MSU and the APA attend, as well as some new hires that have never been to an event like this. Patriarche Park is a convenient location and the kids enjoyed the Sno-Kones, playground, games and toys. It was a nice opportunity sit back and relax and not have to worry about making dinner that night.

An added feature this year was a drawing of gift card prizes done throughout the event. The lucky winners were Yizhu Zhang, Weian Ou, Barbie Staley, Alex Dawson and Cindy Hudson. Congratulations to you all.

Questions From The Trenches

Common Questions and Answers on the Announced Campus IT Alignment

 When was the APA informed the campus alignment was going to happen?

 The APA was provided very little notice – around 9:30am on the morning of April 12 – that the announcement was to be made at the ribbon cutting later that day.

 Was the APA consulted in advance regarding the campus IT alignment plan?

 No. The APA is confident an inclusive process could and should have been used by MSU to more effectively make this decision and announcement. Additionally, we know that had the APA and our members serving in IT positions across campus been consulted first it could have alleviated much of the anxiety to those potentially impacted by this change. Rest assured that the APA continues to aggressively advocate for the membership in all aspects of this announced IT alignment.

 What is my job security? Will I be laid off through this alignment process?

 The APA continues to assert members’ legal rights and job protections as this alignment pushes ahead. While MSU has the right to pursue and implement this campus IT alignment under prevailing state and federal law, the APA contract provides further assurances and job security protections for APA members that must equally be upheld.

 Our union has been in continual discussions with the University. MSU has stated that there are no current plans for this alignment to result in layoffs. It is anticipated that those currently employed will continue working at MSU but individuals may experience changes in reporting structures and/or position responsibilities.

 I am working under an H-1B visa. What is MSU going to provide me to maintain my status?

 The APA has ensured those who are working under an H-1B visa status will continue to receive the same level of historical support MSU has provided if new or updated documentation must be provided to the government. The APA is also available for assistance as necessary.

 Are there any exceptions to the campus IT alignment?

 Any exceptions will be extremely limited in scope and generally involves divisions that are funded through grant programs with explicit reporting and operating requirements to maintain their funding.

 When is the alignment supposed to be completed?

 The University initially wanted to move quickly and anticipated they could complete the alignment under an extremely short calendar. However, after further review and questions from the APA, MSU has recognized that more time will be required before making such changes. As of now, the University intends to complete this alignment process by the end of July or early August.

 Who should I call with my additional questions?

APA members should feel free to contact the APA office at 517.999.4004 or via email at msuapa@msu.edu with any questions or concerns.