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Kansas State University

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Becki BohnenblustMaintaining lines of communication among classified employees is essential in establishing a teamwork mentality across disciplines and units at the university level, said Classified Senate President Becki Bohnenblust.

She said with tough economic times and budget reductions, it is especially important for everyone to work together to move K-State forward.

"The budget is certainly going to be a challenge for all of us," Bohnenblust said, "but a challenge that will be met head on."

However, by staying transparent and being honest with employees, Bohnenblust said she believes the classified employees can work through it, especially with open leadership.

"Classified staff can thank the state legislature and Gov. Parkinson for allowing the market adjustments to be funded for fiscal year 2011. With many salaries being frozen, it is exciting to know there are some classified employees receiving pay increases. But, with that brings frustration to those yet to receive an increase," Bohnenblust said. "In team, there is no 'I,' so we must be happy for those who received increases and be patient that our turn is yet to come."

Bohnenblust said she would like to see more collaboration between faculty and classified employees, in hopes of knocking away the invisible barrier that seems to exist.

"With a team effort, though, K-State can move forward and continue to accomplish great things," she said.

At July's meeting, Bohnenblust said she and the other senators will brainstorm to come up with two or three main goals or challenges that Classified Senate will take on during the year.

"I want classified employees to feel comfortable about bringing questions and/or concerns to their senate representatives. These issues can then be addressed at a higher level if necessary," she said.

"It is exciting, and I am honored to represent classified employees as their president. At the same time, it makes me a little bit nervous as this role entails a lot of responsibility," Bohnenblust said. "I want to do the best I can for all the employees at K-State and make their experience here a positive and enjoyable one."

Bohnenblust is a public service administrator I for the Division of Biology. She joined K-State in 1986.

New to the Classified Senate is the presidential appointment process. Previously the president-elect was automatically appointed as president the following year. With updated bylaws, the new process has the vice president becoming the president and eliminates the position of president-elect.