September 17, 2014—The University of Delaware has some extraordinary staff members, both exempt and non-exempt. I would like to suggest stronger professional development for staff. The team in HR offers some education, but it is not enough. I would welcome the opportunity to have my staff attend full fledged certificate programs run through Professional and Continuing Studies that are taught by our talented faculty and other professionals. I’d specifically like to see a program for Academic Advisors. As first point of contact, for so many students regarding their academic careers, advisors play a key role in the overall student experience. I think a certificate program in this area would be very valuable to us in providing top level service to our students and also in retaining top staff by giving them an opportunity to grow in their role as advisors. It could also provide an avenue for online certification for other employees in academia both inside and outside of UD. Our staff is a truly valuable resource and by providing professional development with real substance we all benefit.