Professional Staff Organization


Can Professional Staff Support Excellence at UW through Advocacy?

Yes! The Professional Staff Organization (PSO) has representatives on many University councils and committees, and we contribute our voice to the internal policies and processes that inform our work and work environments. However, decisions and policies that impact our work at the UW are made in other arenas such as local, state, and federal governments. For example, state funding to Washington’s public universities has significantly declined since 2007 while demands made on those institutions have only increased.

In service to our students, faculty, fellow staff, and communities, we support the UW’s mission to work “toward achieving an excellence that well serves the state, the region and the nation.[i]In light of our exceptional duty to our constituents, we must advocate for the necessary resources to deliver excellence. 

Questions to Consider

As professional staff, we acknowledge that UW is our chosen workplace and that we are fundamental in contributing to and realizing its mission. We aim to cultivate positive work environments that enable us to accomplish our duties. Before jumping in, it is important to consider the following questions: 

  • What can we do to facilitate excellence and uphold the University’s mission?
  • What is and is not permissible in advocacy as state/public employees?
  • How do we effectively communicate the value of the work we do, to our legislators, communities, and Washington State citizens?
  • Will our voices make a difference?

If professional staff are sincere about our work contributing to the University’s mission, then it is important to advocate for the support and resources we need. Our voices DO make a difference.

Advocacy Resources

The PSO encourages professional staff to participate in advocacy work that may impact our roles at UW and beyond in a thoughtful and respectful manner. 

The University’s Office of External Affairs offers guidance on interacting with outside organizations. Official administrative policy for Government Relations and Lobbying is covered in UW Administrative Policy Statement 1.3.

Advocacy takes many forms: letters to the editor, phone calls to legislators, expert witness testimony on legislation, and more. The key to being effective is to be authentic and have a clear message.

“All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence. Martin Luther King, Jr.

[i] Role and Mission of the University: BR, February 1981; February 1998; AI, December 2001; BR, July 11, 2013; RC, September 23, 2016; RC, September 20, 2017.