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Programs offer personal, professional enrichment

March 27, 2012 By Käri Knutson

From the first day of work to planning for retirement, a variety of enrichment programs are available to help University of Wisconsin–Madison employees.

Photo: OHRD seminar

A large window frames June Partoll, a registered nurse and instructor, standing right of center, as she leads a discussion during an all-day seminar at Van Hise Hall last month.

Photo: Jeff Miller

Last year, the Office of Human Resource Development offered more than 2,500 programs to nearly 38,000 people, all with a mission of supporting the UW by supporting its employees.

“Our goal is for people to feel like they’re doing the best work they can do,” says Don Schutt, director of OHRD.

Topics range from management and leadership courses to a popular “Sandwich Generation” class focused on care-giving of aging parents, which is co-sponsored with the Office of Equity and Diversity.  A January class for caregivers filled up within hours so a February class was created. Another will be offered later this semester on financial and estate planning.

Some classes have only been offered once. Others have become mainstays.

Four years ago, a Women in Leadership Symposium was created by request. Schutt hoped for 50 to attend. More than 250 came. The fourth annual event is planned for June 28 at the Pyle Center.

Programs focused on helping employees with procedures like Purchasing Card Travel Training and WISDM for Grants Management have also proven popular.

“These are processes people spend time on,” Schutt says.

If made more efficient, both the individual and university benefit, Schutt says.

Technical courses are also offered including ones focused on occupational healthy and safety.

Many of the programs are suggested by employees, Schutt says.

“If enough people are interested, we’re more than happy to looking into offering something,” Schutt says.

Most OHRD events are free. Online learning is also available. A schedule of upcoming events can be found here. 

Benefits information, networking, improving computer skills — all help OHRD with its mission of helping employees and the UW.

“The best organizations are where people are continuously learning and developing,” Schutt says.