Staff Council ready to make a positive impact at IUPUI
October 1, 2013
For nearly half of his 14 years as an IUPUI employee, Lee Stone has been a member of the IUPUI Staff Council. And for another year-and-a-half, he’ll serve as the president of the body, representing staff interests in campus governance and activities.
But serving on the council and being its president weren't things that Stone, the laboratory safety manager in IUPUI’s Environmental Health and Safety Office, set out to do.
Mostly, he said, he got into it because of a health issue in his own life. “One of my hobbies is Arabian horses, and I took a fall off one of them and broke both my arms,” Stone said. “I couldn’t work for a while, and I went a while without a paycheck.” IUPUI employees had long-term disability insurance, Stone discovered, but “we had a need for short-term disability coverage.”
So Stone became part of the council, made his pitch, and the council got a package approved -- only to find that not enough IUPUI employees wanted to use that coverage.
“So I wound up on Staff Council, and we still don’t have a short-term package,” Stone said with a sign.
But Stone, who earned a bachelor’s degree in medical technology from Purdue in 1987 and a master’s in toxicology from IU at IUPUI in 2010, had found a new way to indulge his passion for helping others.
“We work side by side with one another, and we all feel like we’re a part of something bigger than we are,” Stone said.
One of Stone’s long-range goals has been for Staff Council to focus on IUPUI students, something he had noticed periodically around the campus, when he saw janitors, secretaries and other staff members interacting with students.
“They’re the reason we’re all here,” Stone said. “We really want to build stronger relationships with our students; I think we all can benefit from that.”
That type of thinking has put the council on the radar screen of Vice Chancellor Nasser Paydar in his efforts to support IUPUI 2025, the long-range strategic plan for the campus. “The strategic planning will enable us (IUPUI) to look ahead, and control our own future,” Stone said.
Stone calls IUPUI “a big part of my life, a great place to work, where people can give of themselves and make a difference” in the lives of those around them. “This is a great time in our history for Staff Council,” Stone added. “We’re poised to make a great impact on our campus, our people and our community, as well.”