Council of University System Staff

The Council of University System Staff (or CUSS) is the shared governance group responsible for representing staff from all 12 campuses that are part of the University System of Maryland (USM). Each campus elects a number of representatives (and alternates) to serve on the Council each year and these members serve as the staff voice at the system level.

CUSS has four standing committees that meet every month: Awards & Outreach, Legislative Affairs & Policy, Staff Resources & Special Projects, and the Executive Committee. CUSS members serve as liaisons between the leadership of the USM and the campuses and are responsible for disseminating information to staff across the USM.

CUSS Representatives


Dr. Laila Shishineh
Time in PSS: 10 years

I currently serve as the Director of First-Year and Transfer Academic Programs in the Division of Undergraduate Academic Affairs on campus. In this role I work with all of our new students as they transition into UMBC. I have over 15 years of experience working with students in transition between UMBC and UMCP. I received my Doctorate in Education from Frostburg State University, along with my Masters in Education and my Bachelors in Criminology & Criminal Justice from UMCP.

I joined PSS in 2011 and served in several leadership positions including Vice-President, President, and Past President. I transitioned to the Council of University System Staff (CUSS) in 2015 and I am currently serving in my third year as the Chair of CUSS. Anyone who knows me knows I absolutely love being involved in shared governance at UMBC and across the USM and I am so grateful for my tenure with both PSS and CUSS.

Fun Fact: In addition to my work on campus, and my work with shared governance, I recently became a Certified Group Fitness Instructor! I started teaching Group Fitness at the RAC this fall and the formats I teach are Cardio Kick-Boxing, Bootcamp, and Circuit Training! I would love to see more staff utilize the RAC (and join Group Fitness classes). Come check it out!


Dr. Michael Walsh
Time in PSS: 5 years

I received my Bachelor of Arts (History) from Loyola University Maryland, Master of Arts (Historical Studies) from UMBC, and PhD (Public Policy) from UMBC. I work currently as the Assistant Director and Training Coordinator in the Office of Sponsored Programs. I have worked in OSP since October 2008. Prior to that, I was a Teaching and Graduate Assistant for both the History and Political Science Departments from 2001-2007.

I am the CUSS Representative (serving on the Policy/Legislative Affairs Sub-Committee and previously the Benefits and Compensation Sub-Committee). In PSS, I have previously served on the Research and Creative Council Committee, Library Policy Committee, Pre-School Committee and am currently serving on the Work/Life Balance Committee, Community Equity Advisory Committee, and Election Committee

Fun Fact: I’m a professional musician (bass guitar/vocals) for the past 23 years in the Mid-Atlantic region with an upcoming new album release. I have a book published by Arcadia Publishing/The History Press entitled “Baltimore Prohibition: Wet and Dry in The Free State” which explores the fascinating history of the 18th and 21st Amendments in the city and state.

CUSS Alternates: Kevin Joseph, Division of Information Technology and Roy Prouty, Division of Information Technology (profiles coming soon!)

We are the four representatives/alternates for Exempt Staff, but we also have one representative and one alternative on behalf of the Non-Exempt Staff at UMBC. Sheryl Gibbs is the representative and Dawn Stoute is the alternate.