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John Lease named secretary of classified staff

September 2, 2014 By Käri Knutson

Photo: John Lease speaking at podium

Newly selected Secretary of the Classified Staff John Lease addresses the first session of the Classified Staff Congress in August.

Photo: Tom Harron

After a year serving on an interim basis, John Lease has been named secretary of the classified staff, Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration Darrell Bazzell announced last week.

“John has done an outstanding job helping establish shared governance for the nearly 5,000 classified employees we have on campus,” Bazzell says. “From overseeing and promoting the election of the Classified Staff Executive Committee to the recent election of the Classified Staff Congress, he has shown his commitment to making sure classified employees understand these new opportunities and are encouraged to participate.”

This past year has been a year of firsts for classified staff as shared governance was established, providing classified staff employees opportunities similar to those for academic staff and faculty. Previously, all classified staff did not have a formal governance structure at UW–Madison.

“It has been a pleasure to engage with the entire campus community on building classified staff shared governance. Everyone has been welcoming, enthusiastic and supportive of this new endeavor,” Lease says. “The most gratifying part of this assignment has been getting the opportunity to work directly with the classified staff themselves. As a workforce, they are diverse, creative and committed to a successful workplace for everyone.”

Before joining the university, Lease had an extensive career at the executive level of state government and also developed his approach to shared governance while working with student government leaders across the UW System.

As secretary, Lease will continue to provide administrative support to classified staff representatives throughout the campus in their various shared governance roles. He will also assist with strategic considerations, with a focus on increasing participation through the development of accessible systems.