STAFF SENATE MEETING MINUTES July 15, 2015
President Tammy Millican presided over the July 15, 2015, Staff Senate meeting held at the LSU Student Union in Career Center Classroom (256J) at 10:30 a.m.
P - Matkovic, Igor (’17)
P - Cherry, Aaron (‘17)
P - Craddock, Jacquelyn (’16)
P - Hale, Robert (’16)
P - Hart, M.E. (’16)
P - Hendricks, Kendra (’16)
Pr - Perkins, Julie (’16)
P - DeRoche, Jon (’17)
P - Godfrey, Nikki (’17)
Pr - Kucharchuk, Kayla (’17)
P - Lopez, Ramon (’17)
P - Lowery, Michelle (’17)
P - Millican, Tammy (’17)
A - Nunes, Daniel (’17)
P - Reonas, Barbara (’17)
P - Spurlock, Maggi (’17)
Pr - Steib, Summer (’17)
P - Truitt, Trey (’17)
P - Villien, Douglas (’17)
P - Dufrene, Robert (’18)
P - Eldredge, George (’18)
P - Gomez, Jennifer (’18)
P - Ortiz, Shelly (’18)
P - Poret, Elizabeth (’18)
P - Springstead, Jennifer (’18)
Pr - Waguespack, Darcy (’18)
P - Adedeji, Funmilayo (’16)
P - Owens, Kevin (’18)
P - Corbitt, Brent (’17)
P - Arnold, Nancy (’16)
A - Indicates Absent
P - Indicates Present
Pr - Indicates Proxy
Brian Ainsworth, Campus Federal Credit Union
CALL TO ORDER
The meeting was called to order by President Tammy Millican at 10:30 a.m.
There was a quorum with four proxies noted.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Senator Jennifer Gomez led the Pledge of Allegiance.
APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES – June 17, 2015, Staff Senate Meetings
A motion to accept the minutes was made by Senator Aaron Cherry. The motion, seconded by President-Elect Trey Truitt, carried.
ICE BREAKER ACTIVITY
President Tammy Millican wanted to begin this new Senate year with an ice breaker activity (“get-to-know-you”). She encouraged everyone to talk to someone (or a group of people) whom they do not know for 3 minutes then change groups and do the same thing.. Senators did this 3 times, so that everyone had a chance to meet multiple people in the room and learn a little something about them.
STAFF SENATE ORIENTATION
President Tammy Millican and the Executive Committee presented a Staff Senate Orientation PowerPoint during the meeting, so there will be no need to set up a separate orientation meeting for new Senators. The presentation was intended to help newly elected Senators become familiar with the background and procedures of the Staff Senate, as well as serve as a refresher for existing Senators. This presentation was included in the meeting packet and will be posted on the Staff Senate web site.
The Louisiana State University Staff Senate promotes and protects the welfare of the LSU staff by representing the interest of and the issues impacting all staff members.
The Staff Senate seeks to enhance its visibility as a vital governance organization, recognized as the voice of the LSU staff. The Staff Senate will be an essential partner in University planning and viewed as a valued resource by the administration when critical decisions are made that affect staff members. The Staff Senate seeks to continually support the vision, mission, and Flagship Agenda of Louisiana State University.
The Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College Staff Senate is made up of duly elected representatives from the staff employees of the University. To this end, the Staff Senate will:
Promote and protect the welfare of the LSU staff to the extent that the Staff Senate policies are consonant with State Civil Service regulations, Bylaws and Regulations of the Board of Supervisors, University Policy Statements, and System Permanent Memorandum (PM), and do not impinge on the academic life of the University.
Review policies proposed or previously adopted by others that may affect the welfare of the staff and make recommendations about these to the President and Chancellor.
Promote the effective exchange of information between the LSU administration and staff.
Propose and maintain programs to enhance the personal and professional well-being of the staff, as well as encourage their vocational and educational development.
A record of attendance for the year (July 1 - June 30) will be kept in the Staff Senate
Only two proxies are allowed for each Staff Senator per year. Representation by proxy constitutes attendance per Article VI, Section A of the LSU Staff Senate Bylaws.
If a Senator is absent for two meetings during the year, the President may declare the seat vacant.
Non-attendance at special meetings or absences caused by a change of the regular meeting date will not count as an absence for purposes of this section.
A Senator may petition for reinstatement only once during the year. Such a petition must be submitted in person by the individual at the first regularly scheduled meeting following removal from office. Reinstatement may be granted by an affirmative vote of two-thirds of those Senators present.
Absent Senators may be represented by proxy provided said proxy is eligible for Staff Senate election from within the absent senator's EEO/job category.
In the event no senator from the absent senator’s EEO/job category is available, proxy representation for any EEO/job category can be held by a member of the Staff Senate Executive Committee.
Proxies will present written authorization either electronically or by using the form for their service to the presiding Officer or the Administrative Coordinator.
A Senator may hold no more than two proxies for absent Senators. Duly appointed proxy representatives will have voting privileges.
Items for consideration on the meeting agenda should be submitted to the Staff Senate Administrative Coordinator at least two (2) business days prior to the month’s scheduled Executive Committee meeting, which is held on the 2nd Tuesday of each month. A reminder for agenda items will be sent electronically to all Senators before the Executive Committee Meeting.
After review and approval by the Executive Committee, the items will be added to the agenda for the next full Staff Senate meeting.
Meetings of the Staff Senate are held on the 3rd Wednesday of each month at 10:30 a.m. in the Career Center Classroom on the 2nd Floor in the LSU Student Union in room 256J. These meetings are open to the public, but only Senators, and invited guests, are entitled to speak publicly.
The President, Executive Committee, or the Staff Senate by majority vote is authorized to invite guests to speak about matters of interest to the Staff Senate.
Committee and Liaison Participation
Each Senator will be required to be a member or chair of a Standing or Ad Hoc Staff Senate Committee, or liaison to various groups as assigned by the Executive Committee. Participation is essential to maintain the continuity and effectiveness of the Staff Senate’s purpose.
The Executive Committee will consider requests for committee and liaison assignments and will select Senators to serve on Standing and Ad Hoc Committees. Membership on a committee will be for one year. Ideally, committees should meet monthly to accomplish the tasks with which they are charged.
All committee chairs are responsible for submitting reports including attendance by the 2nd Tuesday of each month. Reporting forms are available through the Staff Senate office or under documents on the web site www.lsu.edu/staffsenate.
The Staff Senate Administrative Coordinator is available to assist committee chairs with the submission of committee meeting reports and attend committee meetings.
Once committee charges are completed, the committee should submit suggestions for a new charge to the Executive Committee.
· Staff Benefits, Policies and Development
· Budget and Finance
· Governmental Relations
· Long Range Review and Planning
Ad Hoc Committees
· Holiday on Campus
· Staff Senate Scholarship
· Black Faculty and Staff Caucus
· Bookstore Advisory Committee
· Campus Communicators
· Civil Service Commission
· Council of Staff Advisors
· Dining Advisory Committee
· Diversity Action Team
· Facility Design and Development
· Faculty Senate
· Food Pantry Oversight
· Office of Group Benefits
· Parking Appeals
· University Council on Gender Equity
· University High Risk Travel
· University Planning Council
Staff Senate Events and Programs
New Staff Reception
This is an annual event sponsored by Staff Senate which welcomes new staff who joined LSU within the last year to campus. It is usually held in November and is a great networking opportunity for all staff.
Holiday on Campus
This event is held in collaboration with the LSU Holiday Spectacular scheduled on December 1, 2015. Visit www.lsu.edu/holiday for more information. There is free food and activities. It is open to students and children of students, faculty and staff. Donations are encouraged for the LSU Food Pantry and the United States Marine Corps’ Toys for Tots program.
The Staff Senate participates in Student Move-In Day, Fall Fest, the Human Resource Management Benefits Fair and Commencement.
Staff Senate Accounts
State Operating Budget
· General Support Fund
· Holiday on Campus
· Fee Support Scholarship
(for staff members)
(for staff dependents)
· Gift Fund
Staff Senate Fee Support Scholarship
This award was created to offer financial assistance to eligible staff members who are in active pursuit of a degree from the main campus of LSU.
The scholarship value is $175.00 each for one semester and is awarded for one semester only, and designed to help with non-exempt fees, for which an employee would be responsible to pay each semester. Current LSU Staff Senators are not eligible for this scholarship award.
The funding is provided from donations made by the Staff Senate Scholarship Committee’s Holiday Decorating Contest, Candy Grams, the Clovers and Quarters Annual Drive, and through Staff Elected Payroll deduction.
Two undergraduate students and two graduate students shall be selected after the 14th class day each fall and spring semester provided funding is available.
The recipient of this scholarship must be:
· Undergraduate Student
· Completed 30 hours of undergraduate coursework
· Enrolled in three semester hours
· 2.0 cumulative GPA
· Graduate student
· Completed 12 hours of graduate coursework
· Enrolled in three semester hours
· 3.5 cumulative GPA
· LSU salary must not exceed $75,000 annually
The recipient must be an active, full-time staff member at LSU for a minimum of one year and must meet all the requirements of the LSU Staff Tuition Exemption program administered through LSU’s Office of Human Resource Management.
The recipient shall be selected by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions and Student Aid. In the event of a tie, the student with the most cumulative hours will be chosen.
Staff Senate Scholarships
This award was created to offer assistance to dependents of any staff member, active or retired, of LSU. The $500 scholarship is awarded as $250 per semester and is to be used as the recipient deems necessary. It is funded by donations from staff members.
The recipient must have earned 24 hours of credit with at least a 2.5 GPA. The recipient must maintain his/her average to receive the award for both semesters. This award is for undergraduates only. Current LSU Staff Senator’s dependents are not eligible for the award.
The Office of Student Aid & Scholarships selects the recipient in the fall of each year.
Staff Senate Gift Fund
Voluntary contributions are $10 per year per Senator, paid yearly. The guidelines for giving are:
· Death - send flowers ($50) upon death of a current Senator or former Senator, and for current Senator’s immediate family members.
· Wedding - appropriate gift, cost not to exceed $30 (current Senators).
· Babies - send flowers or gift - $30 (current Senators).
· Retirement – send an acknowledgement for current Senators as well as former Senators.
Images of the Staff Senate social media sites (Facebook & Twitter) and the Staff Senate website home pages were shared. Millican encouraged Senators to like the Staff Senate Facebook and follow the Staff Senate on Twitter.
PRESIDENT’S ADDRESS & REPORT
President Tammy Millican said, “I must begin by telling you what an honor it is to serve as Staff Senate President, and I greatly appreciate your confidence in me; I do not take it lightly and hope to live up to those expectations. For those of you who do not know me, I have been an LSU employee for 18 years at the Office of Facility Services. I am an Assistant Director of Communications and Grants, and I also manage Campus Sustainability and the Business Operations of Planning, Design & Construction-way too long for a business card. I’ve been a Staff Senator since 2011, and I first learned that Staff Senate existed when I received a Staff Senate Support Fee scholarship in 2010. I’ve been a huge proponent of the organization ever since.
Many times when I’ve asked people if they are aware that we have a Staff Senate, they say, ‘Yes, you’re the ones who have that Holiday On Campus event for kids every year.’ Yes, we do host that event and we’re proud of it, but our true purpose is to promote and protect the welfare of the LSU staff by representing the interest of and the issues impacting all LSU staff members. To me, LSU is a great example of the three legged stool model. We have our students, who are the most important reason for which we are here. We don’t exist or have a purpose without them. Next, we have faculty. They educate our students, conduct extremely important research, and are crucial to the success of our students and the University. However, you must have that third leg of the stool to function and that is staff. Our staff supports both students and faculty, while managing the business and operations of the University. All three legs are important and needed.
So what is my vision for Staff Senate 2015-2016? The better question is, ‘what is your vision for the organization?’ I think our new strategic plan is going to be instrumental in helping us increase our visibility and credibility on campus and that is important. But what is most important is what we do for our constituents; those who elected, you and me, to these positions.
We must be an advocate for staff-their voice when critical decisions are being made that affect staff and the University. This can be anything from benefits to pay equity, parking changes, selection of critical leadership positions and more. As you can guess, the two things we get contacted about the most are pay and parking, but there is so much more out there about which we really need to talk.
Which leads me to my next point: communication. If we come in here each month and share important information with one another and never share that information with the people who elected us, we are wasting our time. It’s really easy to start thinking that everybody knows everything you know, but that is not the case. So I am asking everyone to find a way to share what’s going on in Staff Senate, what we’re learning from guest speakers and from serving on committees, with your co-workers through conversations, emails, newsletters, speaking at your staff meetings and safety training meetings, etc. But keep in mind that it needs to be two-way communication; ask them what their concerns or suggestions are, and then bring that information to your Staff Senate committees and meetings. Sharing information is important.
We are also here to find ways to show appreciation for staff. I have been making it a point to ask people I meet on campus how they feel about being a staff member. A growing number of them tell me that they just don’t feel valued any more. When you combine that with the pay situation due to budget cuts, it leads to lower productivity, morale and creativity, as well as some talented people leaving LSU. Finding creative ways we can help staff feel appreciated is a goal for this year.
We need to find new ways to offer training and development to staff members, whether that be through pointing out existing training offered by LSU or developing some Lunch and Learn events for staff. When someone takes the time and effort to invest in training for you, you feel valued.
Finally, I wanted to let you know that I, as well as the rest of the Executive Staff and Melonie, am here to serve you. While I will attend the first meeting of every committee and we will provide some charges based on the Strategic Plan, committees are encouraged and expected to develop some initiatives of their own.
For event planning, we will get you a budget, history on the event and help in any way we can. But Committee Chairs are in charge of their activities, which means that they are also responsible for their activities too.
I am excited for what this year will hold for Staff Senate, and I look forward to working with each one of you.”
President Tammy Millican reported that on July 9, the Executive Committee met to plan for today’s meeting and set the agenda.
President Tammy Millican mentioned that a search committee was formed for Provost Stuart Bell’s position and did not have a Staff Senate President Representative listed. She reached out to the Chair of the New Executive Vice President and Provost Committee, Dan Layzell, and asked why the Staff Senate was not included alongside Faculty Senate and Student Government. Layzell and Millican plan to meet to discuss representation, as well as talk about the goals of Staff Senate and how he can assist us in meeting those goals. There are three governance bodies on campus and staff are really in the trenches working on the academic and administrative side and can offer a unique perspective when choosing candidates. Millican mentioned that while it is appreciated when staff are included in meetings once candidates have been chosen, she feels that staff should also be involved in choosing the candidates.
President Tammy Millican indicated that there were no committee updates at this time.
SPECIAL AD-HOC COMMITTEES
President Tammy Millican mentioned that there were no committee updates at this time.
President Tammy Millican mentioned that a Campus Communicators meeting was held and thanked newly elected Senator Jennifer Springstead for attending and reporting on the meeting.
Senator Jennifer Springstead reported that she attended the Campus Communicators meeting held on July 9. Kristine Sanders with the Office of Communications and University Relations spoke about having a communication plan in place and mentioned that we need to be as prepared as possible when we have a crisis. Does your staff know what to do in a crisis? How are you communicating with the staff as well as the public? When dealing with a crisis, you need to have goals of safety which include being calm and swift of the initial reaction of the crisis; you want to control the message and the flow of information. You also want to protect the LSU image and reputation, be transparent and accessible and calm any upset employees and students. You also want to create contingency plans for those who may play a role and may be out the day of a crisis. You also want to remain calm and make good decisions. As much as possible, you want to prevent a crisis, so if you see something, say something.
You also want to be aware of emails and texts that you send out and remember that everything is public record. It was also discussed that even though you may be considered as a non-essential employee, you may still need to update your media, web, and emails to faculty, students and staff. You may also need to update the EOC on what your unit is doing.
Springstead mentioned that the main goal is to have preparations in place for your unit so your staff know what to do in a certain situations. They spoke about units developing crisis binders on what to do in certain situations, to review these with the faculty and staff, and to also locate them so everyone in your department has access.
D’Ann Morris with the EOC and Student Health Center spoke about why and how the EOC (LSU Emergency Operations Center) is set-up with teams. Their primary function is to maintain one message and voice for LSU, return to normal operations as soon as possible, and to protect life. The LSU Shield was also discussed. This is a new safety application for cellular phones and smart devices. It is a great app which helps students, faculty and staff. They also spoke about the “We’re Committed” flyer which is about supporting sexual violence survivors. The last item discussed was the red folder which is a guide to working with students of concern. The flyers and folders should be in every office and visible for use at any time. They can be picked up at the Student Health Center. The next meeting will be held August 12, 2015 at Lod Cook Alumni Center.
Senator Aaron Cherry asked if there was a timeline to have emergency plans in place as Facility Service employees are spread out across campus. Will there be accountability to make sure those are put in place? Millican mentioned there are eight groups on campus who are required to have them and Facility Services is one of them. They do have an emergency plan and they will be meeting soon to update that plan.
Staff Senate Annual Packet
President Tammy Millican mentioned that the Annual Staff Senator Packet was included in the meeting packet. She mentioned that some pages to note are the general meeting schedule, the proxy authorization form (which can be used instead of an email), the scholarship and fee support scholarship information pages, information regarding the Staff Senate Gift Fund, a committee information page along with selection sheet, and the Bylaws and Constitution.
This Annual Packet will also be posted on the Staff Senate Website for reference under Documents.
Committee Charges & Sign-up
President Tammy Millican announced that the 2015-2016 Committee Charges and Sign-up Sheet (page 15) was included in the Annual Packet. The deadline for Senators to return their committee selections to the Staff Senate office is July 31, 2015. The Executive Committee will review selections at the August 11, 2015 meeting and assign Senators to committees and as liaisons.
Guest Speaker Suggestions
President Tammy Millican mentioned that the Executive Committee has discussed some possible upcoming guest speakers. During the September 16 meeting, we will possibly hold the Talk & Tour at the Stadium; at the October 21 meeting, there may be a UREC Team Challenge, and for the November 18 meeting, the meeting may be held at the State Capital in the Legislative Chambers. Millican asked that suggestions from Senators for guest speakers be submitted to her or the Staff Senate office for Executive Committee discussion.
Charles E. Dunbar, Jr. Career Civil Service Award
President Tammy Millican announced that nominations are now being accepted for the Charles E. Dunbar, Jr. Career Civil Service Award, which is an annual state-wide award for civil service employees. The nomination deadline is September 11, 2015 and anyone can nominate a person. The nomination information was included in the meeting packet for review and consideration of a worthy classified employee. Millican mentioned this is a wonderful way to acknowledge someone in your area who is deserving of this award. She offered to help with filling out the nomination form if anyone is considering nominating a colleague.
2015-2020 Staff Senate Strategic Plan
President Tammy Millican mentioned that the updates on the Strategic Plan suggested in the July meeting have been made and a Rollout Plan has been submitted. The plan will be implemented once committees are assigned and begin meeting. The Strategic Plan will be a living document that the Long Range Review and Planning Committee will be reviewing and amending as needed. This document will also be posted on our website.
Staff Senate Budget
Treasurer Michelle Lowery circulated a balance sheet for the Staff Senate accounts and gave a report of the balances to date.
The Staff Senate State Operating Account Budget is $43,901, which has line items for the Administrative Coordinator’s pay, student pay, operating services, supplies and other services. Since we have moved back under Finance and Administration, we will be sharing their student employees, so we have moved $1,342 budgeted for student pay to other charges. We can use that for other things, such as a request for support from another department, events or the New Staff Reception.
The Bursar Account, which is for the Gift Fund balance, is $116.38 which includes Senator Kayla Kucharchuk’s baby gift.
The LSU Foundation Account balances were also listed:
Fee Support Scholarship - $13,182.16
Holiday on Campus Support Fund - $928.06
Scholarship Award - $49,334.86
Support Fund - $336.32
Staff Senate’s Total Budget is $113,798.78.
Senator Jennifer Springstead asked if the Holiday on Campus funding will be included with some of the other events that the Foundation is doing with regards to gaining sponsors.
President Tammy Millican mentioned that Staff Senate generally has its own separate funds. The Holiday on Campus Committee does reach out to specific groups and businesses to gain additional funding, donations and further support. Some of this has changed, as we previously held Holiday on Campus as a separate event, but now it is held in conjunction with the Holiday Spectacular event on campus. We did have seed money left over from last year for this year’s event. As Treasurer Michelle Lowery mentioned, the student pay money that has been moved can be used for this event, if needed, as well. Millican also mentioned that with moving the student pay funding, we have to ability to sponsor an activity at Fall Fest, if we so choose.
Senator Nikki Godfrey asked about the balance in the Staff Senate Scholarship Account which is at $49,334.86, “Are we not awarding enough scholarships or is the amount being awarded too small?”
Melonie Milton mentioned that the $49,334.86 is the endowed amount. The awards being given are from the earned interest. We previously gave out two awards a year, but that has now been increased to four awards every year. Millican mentioned that the Scholarship Committee may want to look at increasing the number of awards based on the interest funding that is available.
Staff Senate Gift Fund
President Tammy Millican encouraged Senators to contribute to the Gift Fund as the funds are low and need to be replenished.
President Tammy Millican announced that student resident Move-In Day is August 19. She encouraged Senators to sign-up to volunteer under the Staff Senate Team which will put us all together. They begin at 7:30 a.m. and then we can go to the Staff Senate Meeting around 10 a.m. She also mentioned this is really a wonderful way to represent LSU and is helpful not just to the students who are moving boxes, but for the comfort of the mom and dads, who are leaving their children at school.
Senator Jennifer Gomez asked if there would be an afternoon team formed as well. Millican mentioned that we could sponsor an afternoon shift as well.
Senator Maggi Spurlock announced that part of Move-In Day is the Bengal Bound events which will take place from August 19 – September 5. She encouraged Senators to share the link provided with everyone so they may encourage support and for students to attend the events. http://students.lsu.edu/bengalbound/events?type=108
President Millican mentioned that the Executive Committee would like to invite all of the Union staff to the August 19 Meeting. Senator Kendra Hendricks has the staff list and can send out to staff at the Union on behalf of the Staff Senate. The Executive Committee will draft an invite to send for her to forward.
Senator Aaron Cherry asked about the new parking fee implementation and start date. Millican will reach out to Jeff Campbell with Parking and Transportation for more information and will share with the full Senate.
Treasurer Michelle Lowery mentioned Community Bound which is one of the Bengal Bound events. Campus Life is asking staff to serve as site supervisors for the 12th annual Community Bound service for LSU students. Approximately 1,000 students will be sent into the local schools for a service project this year on August 22. They will learn about the Baton Rouge community, the school system, and meet different people. Anyone interested in serving as a site supervisor will need to contact Jacob Brumfield at firstname.lastname@example.org. She will forward the information to the Staff Senate Office to share with the full Senate.
Staff Senator Birthdays
President Tammy Millican announced that Senator Nikki Godfrey celebrated her birthday on July 2, Member-at-Large Kayla Kucharchuk will celebrate her birthday on July 16 and Senator Robert Hale will celebrate his birthday on July 21. “Happy Birthday.”
MOTION TO ADJOURN – With there being no more business, Senator Nancy Arnold moved to adjourn. The motion, seconded by Senator Kendra Hendricks, carried. The meeting adjourned before noon.
Barbara Reonas, Secretary