Kathy Barton of UC Riverside Named Staff Advisor-designate

Barton will advance communication between UC’s 120,000 staff and the Board of Regents.

Kathy Barton

Kathy Barton is the ninth person to hold the role of Staff Advisor.

Kathy Barton of UC Riverside has been selected as the 201214 Staff Advisor-designate to the University of California Regents, UC President Mark G. Yudof announced today (May 16).

Barton joins Kevin Smith of UCLA, 201113 staff advisor, after a months-long, systemwide search. Smith spent the current year as Staff Advisor-designate; he will become Staff Advisor in 201213. Together, Barton and Smith will work to advance communication between UC’s 120,000 staff and the Board of Regents.

“My primary role is to provide a staff perspective to issues the Regents are deliberating,” Barton said of her new position. “In doing so, I will engage with staff at all the UC locations, ask a lot of questions of them and listen carefully,” she added.

Barton will also continue her work as executive director of strategic initiatives at the UCR School of Medicine. Her two-year appointment brings greater visibility to her home campus, one Barton acknowledges is a “happy by-product.” Barton is only the ninth person to hold the role of staff advisor, and the first UCR staff member in the position since it was created in 2005 as a pilot program.

In the first year, the staff advisor-designate acts much like an apprentice to the staff advisor. The following year, the designate fulfills the role as staff advisor.

“Kathy’s work during her long career at UC Riverside and her engagement and involvement with staff organizations give her a good grasp of the challenges facing the University and its employees,” Yudof said.  “As an experienced and skilled communicator, she will be an able advocate for both staff and UC.  I look forward to working with her over the next two years.”

Yudof, in consultation with Chair of the Regents Sherry Lansing, selected Barton from finalists recommended by a selection committee that included current and former staff advisors and other staff from the Office of the President.

Barton, who replaces Penny Herbert of UC Davis Medical Center, brings vast experience working with staff organizations to her new position.  She is a former president of the Riverside Staff Assembly and served for two years as a delegate to the systemwide Council of UC Staff Assemblies (CUCSA).

As executive director of strategic initiatives in the School of Medicine, Barton is part of the team planning the launch of UC Riverside’s medical school.  Throughout her 27-year career at UCR, she has held several communications, grant-writing and government relations positions.

“I’m excited, honored and humbled because I can see that it is such an awesome responsibility and a service to the University as a whole,” Barton said.

As Staff Advisor-designate, Barton will bring the voice and perspective of staff and non-Senate academic employees to Board of Regents deliberations.  She will participate as a non-voting advisor on several Regents’ committees.

“These are really challenging times for the UC system. If I can be of service in helping preserve and advance its mission and communicating the perspectives of staff, that should be where my focus is,” Barton said. “I hope that with my background in communications, I can help tell the story of UC and how important it is for the educational, economic, scientific and cultural future of California,” she added.

Barton lives in Loma Linda with her husband, Mark Watkins, a high school teacher.  She’s a former kart racer who now enjoys bicycling in her spare time.

About the Role of Staff Advisor to the Regents

In 2007, the UC Board of Regents established two Staff Advisor positions to help foster two-way communication between UC staff and Regents, and to bring a staff perspective to the Regents’ deliberations.

Staff Advisors attend every Regents meeting and meet regularly with other university senior administrators, helping to make sure UC leaders understand the views and concerns of staff regarding workplace issues and policy decisions.

Staff Advisors talk to staff—via campus visits, systemwide forums, emails, and the Staff Advisor website—and bring that input to their discussions with the Regents and other university leaders.

They also help keep staff informed about important issues and decisions, especially through their newsletter and website.  Visit their website to receive the free Staff Advisor newsletter.

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E-mail: lille.bose@ucr.edu

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