STAFF SENATE MEETING MINUTES
May 18, 2016
President Tammy Millican presided over the May 18, 2016, 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)
A - Hale, Robert (’16)
A - Hart, M.E. (’16)
P - Hendricks, Kendra (’16)
A - Perkins, Julie (’16)
P - DeRoche, Jon (’17)
P - Godfrey, Nikki (’17)
P - Kucharchuk, Kayla (’17)
P - Lemoine, Nathan ('17)
P - Lopez, Ramon (’17)
P - Lowery, Michelle (’17)
P - Millican, Tammy (’17)
P - Reonas, Barbara (’17)
P - Spurlock, Maggi (’17)
P - Steib, Summer (’17)
P - Truitt, Trey (’17)
P - Villien, Douglas (’17)
A - Dufrene, Robert (’18)
Pr- Eldredge, George (’18)
P - Gomez, Jennifer (’18)
P - Ortiz, Shelly (’18)
P - Poret, Elizabeth (’18)
P - Springstead, Jennifer (’18)
A - 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
Vice Provost Dereck Rovaris, Office of Diversity
Zach Barnett, Student Government
Brian Ainsworth, Campus Federal Credit Union
Roxane Berthelot, Campus Federal Credit Union
Casey Coughlin, 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 one proxy noted.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Senator Nathan Lemoine led the Pledge of Allegiance.
APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES – April 20, 2016, Staff Senate Meeting
A motion to accept the minutes was made by Senator Nancy Arnold. The motion, seconded by Senator Jennifer Springstead, carried.
President Millican shared that on April 21st, the Executive Committee met with Student Government Representatives regarding their Student Bill of Rights currently being drafted. Staff Senate Executive Officers provided feedback and information for consideration while drafting this document. Once drafted and received, the document will be sent out to the full Senate for a first reading. The Executive Committee would like to offer support, as SGA prepares to have this document approved by the University.
On April 28th, President Millican attended a Budget Committee meeting. The committee is focusing on plans to address next year’s potential budget cuts, and the development and materialization of four priorities over the next year. Discussion of these priorities must wait until they have been approved but, as a member of the committee, she can report they are all very encouraging initiatives.
On May 2nd, the University Planning Committee was held, with Staff Senate Past-President, and chairman of this committee, Julie Perkins, to provide an update on this meeting once she is able.
On May 4th, she and Secretary Barbara Reonas attended the APIC Committee meeting. Reonas reported that Heather Herman, Executive Director for Communications and External Relations, Office of Academic Affairs, met with the committee to discuss its future and direction, moving forward. New committee membership will be solicited for the upcoming academic year. Next year’s common theme will be focused largely on streamlining and improving communication across all fronts. It seems much of what APIC uncovered this past year was if there were solutions available to the complaints presented to us, but the channels of communication needed to be improved in order to readily bring those resolutions to the campus community. In addition to communication improvements, the committee will attempt to address more process issues related to academic concerns (as opposed to administrative/facility matters). Millican asked that any Senator interested in serving on this committee for the upcoming year please make her, President-Elect Trey Truitt, or Melonie Milton, Staff Senate Administrative Coordinator, aware.
On May 6th, Truitt attended the Board of Supervisors meeting. An informational page on the LSU First Health Plan, presented during the Board meeting, was given to Senators. The LSU First Plan is now up to 8,850 active plan members, and an additional 4,700 retiree plan members, for a total of 13,550 plan members, and covering 22,250 plan participants, including members and dependents. The health plan was never designed to be something of this magnitude, but over time, Legislators have approved the plan to be not strictly for LSU employees, but to allow select non-LSU employees to join as well. Previous revenues estimated at approximately $101 million, went up by over ten million, to $112 million in 2015. Dr. Dereck Rovaris shared that the figures for non-LSU member cost are estimated at 17-31% more than LSU members. The Board responded to this fact, with the point that while this may be, without these additional members, the plan may not exist. Truitt explained in simpler terms, the issue remains, while we need those additional member numbers to demand the lower costs affiliated with a larger network health plan, those additional members are who cost the most. There were some statistics mentioned of where non-LSU members tend to have more dependents, tend to be unhealthier, tend to smoke more, and be more overweight.
In 2015, there was an increase of 1,000 subscribers due to the plan’s robust offerings and these subscribers brought an additional 1,800 plan participants. In 2014, when we saw the Affordable Healthcare Act and many health care plan benefit changes and with the cost of premiums increasing, some legislators and privileged workers within state agencies shied away from the other, less beneficial, plans being offered. It was mentioned at one time the Louisiana Legislative Auditors included an additional 230 new members. When you see the plan, and expense pressures, it was discussed that there needs to be a moratorium on any plan participants who do not work at LSU. Pharmacy costs rose by more than 9% as well. President-Elect Truitt suggested having representatives from Human Resource Management speak with the full Senate regarding some of this recent information about LSU First. The Board of Supervisors also discussed that much waste in expense was found, upon the University moving to a new pharmacy care provider, with 90 day prescriptions being filled unnecessarily, the pushing of mail-order medication fills, etc. Although now that we are with a new pharmacy provider, some of us have expressed serious concerns, which must be addressed in the upcoming year.
President Millican indicated the Staff Benefits, Policies and Development Committee is gathering issues of concerns for the APIC to review with Human Resource Management. There was a recommendation of a premium increase of 8% but ongoing budget pressures required us to cap premiums at 5%. The addition of both Woman’s Hospital and Our Lady of the Lake as First Choice Providers have resulted in substantial cost savings for many plan members. The strength of the LSU First Plan has given strong negotiation abilities with medical facilities in the area, as well as cost negotiation on rates. Vice Provost Rovaris mentioned that preventative health is the key to saving money. There may be additional initiatives being developed for fitness and wellness, to help with the costs. Millican cited a previous pedometer challenge for faculty and staff, which was very popular and even boosted morale. Truitt mentioned that the Board of Supervisors lastly discussed the Nicholson Corridor Project during the meeting, which is quite extensive in scope.
On May 9th, the Executive Committee met to plan for today’s meeting and set the agenda.
Commencement was held on May 13th. Prior to this date, the President’s Office reached out to the Staff Senate to assist with the volunteer organization effort. President Millican thanked all Senators who were able to assist. Graduates and visitors were very thankful for the bottled waters, and the golf cart shuttle service for those with mobility issues, was greatly appreciated. There were many guests who, because of a helpful volunteer, were successfully redirected to their correct ceremony location, having initially arrived at the wrong destination. Some volunteers also worked the 8:00 p.m. ceremony for the College of Engineering, which did not end until 10:30 p.m. President-Elect Trey Truitt was present at daybreak and stayed until the final ceremony ended, assisting guests and graduates to arrive safely at their vehicles. This was an incredible effort on the part of President-Elect Truitt, President Millican, and the Staff Senate as a whole, and appreciated by both our guests, as well as our fellow LSU faculty and staff who are responsible for managing these ceremonies, and welcome the additional assistance with event management.
President Millican mentioned that it would be great for all three governance bodies, Staff Senate, Faculty Senate, and Student Government, to sponsor the bottled water for the next commencement, as the water supplies were extinguished that afternoon, prior to the final ceremonies. The President’s Office has asked if Staff Senate would like to coordinate volunteers for all commencements henceforth, which we have accepted with honor. Senator Nikki Godfrey mentioned that her department will also help in conjunction with Parking and Transportation. The Executive Committee will form a Volunteer Ad Hoc Committee for each event with which we are involved, with a sub-committee specific for commencement. If you are interested in serving, please let us know. It is very rewarding to see the graduates on their special day, and serve the University in this way. Secretary Reonas thanked President-Elect Truitt for his effort all day and throughout the last ceremony. She also thanked President Millican for all of her help with setting up during the College of Engineering ceremony. Not only did they have the largest crowd of over 5,000 guests with 700 graduates in the College of Engineering, but did so with a staff of less than 20 people managing everything. The Staff Senate volunteers were key to helping that ceremony function seamlessly. Dr. Rovaris mentioned that the ceremonies will likely revert to their prior schedule, where college and main ceremonies are not compressed into one day, with less turnaround time between large ceremonies in the Maravich Assembly Center.
President Millican announced there were two staff members who earned their bachelor’s degrees, sixteen staff who earned their master’s degrees and nine staff members who earned their doctoral degrees. Included in that number, Senator Nathan Lemoine earned his master’s degree. Millican presented him with a gift. All staff graduates were sent a letter of recognition by President Millican as well.
On May 17th, Staff Appreciation Night at Alex Box Stadium was successfully held. Millican acknowledged that it would not have been possible without the assistance from representatives with Campus Federal Credit Union, our Marketing Committee and all volunteers who helped. She offered a heartfelt thank you to all. Approximately 265 tickets were sold and 150 bowls of jambalaya were served, which included 100 lbs. of meat, 55 lbs. of rice, and was the largest pot of jambalaya ever cooked by Campus Federal Credit Union. Athletics escorted those Senators present on to the field and publicly thanked LSU staff for everything they do for our University. President Alexander was in attendance, making the game particularly enjoyable for staff, visiting with many during the game, and taking a photograph with Senate members while wearing the 40th Anniversary Baseball shirt.
The marketing campaign for this event, encouraging people to wear their shirts and post photographs on social media, proved very successful. On Facebook, the LSU Staff Senate page visits moved from 8 to 71, our Twitter weekly total reach moved from 690 to 4,032 which was a 484% increase, and people engaged moved from 43 to 587, a 1,265% increase. Our total page likes for Facebook moved up to 333. This proves, in our opinion, staff respond to these events and the Senate needs to plan additional appreciation events. Brian Ainsworth with Campus Federal Credit Union shared that he really enjoyed being involved and felt blessed to have partnered with Staff Senate for this event. Of course, the Senate mirrors his sentiment, in working with Brian and Campus Federal. We definitely had an increase in staff participation for this baseball tailgate versus our last, held 3 years ago. We look forward to organizing this event in upcoming years. President-Elect Truitt mentioned that he will schedule a debriefing meeting for the Marketing Committee, and will send out notice soon. If anyone has any feedback or any ideas for our next event, please let him know. If any Senator did not receive a shirt, please let him know.
Melonie Milton, Administrative Coordinator reported that 508 Candy Grams were sold. We raised $968 and spent $297.72 on candy and supplies. $688.28 was raised in support of the Staff Senate Fee Support Scholarship. Treasurer Lowery suggested for the next Candy Gram Sale to include the staff from the Foundation and the Veterinary School in the broadcast email as they have expressed an interest in participation as well.
President Millican requested that standing committee updates be provided.
SPECIAL AD-HOC COMMITTEES
President Millican requested ad-hoc committee updates be provided.
President Millican asked that liaison committee updates be provided.
There was a Faculty Senate meeting held on May 10th. Senator Summer Steib reported that there was a presentation by Damon Andrew, Dean of Human Sciences and Education, regarding the developing plans for the LSU Child Care Center. It has been formally announced that the LSU Child Care Center will be moving under the authority of the College of Human Sciences and Education. In addition, the Early Learning Childhood Center on campus, which serves about 20 students, will now be consolidated with the Child Care Center to create the LSU Early Childhood Learning Center, and be managed in partnership with the College of Human Sciences and Education.
One of the biggest concerns of the new center was being able to get a child enrolled, and then the cost once the child is accepted. Unfortunately, no foreseeable changes will occur with these issues in the near future. There is a point system for how children are accepted, including whether they have a sibling in attendance and the number of slots available. Faculty and staff members do receive extra points for working at LSU. Much is dependent upon where you are on the waiting list and where the openings are. This is something that is being scrutinized and hopefully there will be the ability to expand in the future. There is a small price break for faculty and staff which will continue with the new model. There has been no mention of extending hours or cost factors. The tuition will be based on the age and needs of the child attending. Management is working over the summer to both train all of the teachers on the new approach, as well as working on curriculum development, hoping this learning center will become a regional and a national model. There have been some questions on transition from the learning center to University Lab School but there was no clear answer on that inquiry. Those still seem to be separate entities although they are all under the College of Human Sciences and Education. Steib suggested inviting Dean Andrews to speak at an upcoming Staff Senate Meeting to give his presentation, so that we are all up-to-date with that information. The Learning Center will be rebranding and holding a re-launch this August with a ribbon cutting and the new name. The administration took over on Monday, as the transition will happen over the summer.
Steib mentioned that faculty Senate passed a resolution supporting parental leave. Steib knows that the Staff Senate Benefits, Policies and Development Committee has been working on this issue. Steib has some concerns with the resolution, as there was some blatant misinformation mentioned. We know from the work done in committee, with the University Council on Gender Equity committee, and with working with Human Resource Management that some of the information they listed was inaccurate. The resolution passed overwhelmingly. They will now forward that on as they look at parental leave at LSU. Reonas mentioned that members of the Faculty Senate did speak with some of the Staff Senate BP&D committee members and have mentioned that, while the Faculty Senate are aware that some state legislation may need to happen before policies can actually be changed, the purpose of their resolution was to act as an impetus for Human Resources to look at that. Senator Aaron Cherry has been doing some fact checking as to the policies of our peer institutions. What he would like to do this summer is set-up a survey of other state schools with regard to their leave policies. If anyone is interested in helping do some research, please let him know.
There was also a Faculty Senate Meeting held prior to that attended by Senator Steib. On April 14th, Secretary Reonas attended the Faculty Senate meeting in which A. G. Monaco and Gaston Reinoso with Human Resource Management spoke about the impact of Workday. With the phase in of Workday, there will no longer be a 12 month payment option for those who are 9 month faculty employees. Workday does allow you to divide paychecks into four different deposits or accounts and Campus Federal Credit Union will help any employee with establishing accounts and management of funds to budget for those 3 unpaid months. Other matters addressed in that meeting included Gina Costello, Associate Dean with the LSU Libraries, giving a report on new developments with the libraries. LSU will now purchase all books published by LSU Faculty, as well E-Book titles will increase, as many students and faculty are moving in that direction. There was a second and final reading of Resolution 16-03 “Supporting the Louisiana Museum of Natural History at LSU.” There was a proposal and push to create a large single museum on campus to house all of our collections in one place. However, approval from the President’s Office must be granted to begin a Capitol Campaign to raise the funds, and curators were told now may not be the best time on which to focus on fundraising for a centralized museum. As such, the resolution was tabled. Steib mentioned that during the May Meeting, Faculty Senate tried to mediate numerous meetings with the key people involved, and since the conversations were contentious, those discussions are also tabled at this time.
Secretary Reonas finished her report from the April Faculty Senate meeting by recalling there was also a resolution affirming the role of area studies and diversity programs at LSU presented. This basically addresses some of the smaller programs who are worried about being lost in the budget situation. Steib mentioned that this resolution was also tabled at the May meeting. The primary author of this resolution has asked to work with Senator Steib to fine tune it, so it may be presented again in the fall.
Resolution 2016-01 in appreciation of President F. King Alexander
Millican mentioned that as we draft the resolution in support of President Alexander’s efforts through this past legislative session, Senator Lopez has submitted the rough/working draft and we are expanding and adding more language to the document. The Executive Committee will send this out to the full Senate electronically for a first read, then take an electronic vote, so we may present to him during the June Staff Senate Meeting.
Staff Senate Gift Fund (Reminder to Please Contribute at the Meeting)
President Millican encouraged senators to contribute to the Gift Fund. Voluntary contributions are $10 per year, per Senator.
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.
Please make checks payable to LSU and memo the Staff Senate Gift Fund.
Executive Officer Election Speeches
President Tammy Millican announced the elections of the Staff Senate Executive Officers. For the Member-at-Large Officer position Senator Aaron Cherry and Senator Jennifer Gomez have accepted their nominations. Candidates provided their speeches to the full Senate.
Millican announced that for the Treasurer Officer position, Member-at-Large Kayla Kucharchuk was nominated and has accepted the nomination, unopposed, and is therefore elected.
Millican announced that for the Secretary Officer position, Senator Shelly Ortiz and Secretary Barbara Reonas accepted their nominations. Candidates provided their speeches to the full Senate.
Millican announced that for the President-Elect Officer position, Senator Kendra Hendricks, Senator Summer Steib and Treasurer Michelle Lowery accepted their nominations. Candidates presented their speeches to the full Senate.
The election ballots will be distributed to the Senate after the meeting by Qualtrics
delivery, and Senators have until May 30, 2016 to vote.
June Meeting Location/Luncheon
Millican announced that the Executive Committee has chosen Walk On’s as the venue for the June meeting and luncheon. A preset menu has been selected to include Grilled Chicken Cobb Salad, a Classic Hamburger, a California Club Wrap, Crawfish Etou-Ways, Cajundillas, a Fried Shrimp Po-Boy and Soup & Salad options. Melonie will confirm with Walk On’s for any other requests that may be needed. We will also scroll a PowerPoint presentation of all of our events, accomplishments and babies born throughout year. She encouraged everyone to submit photographs they’d like to be included. **Please note, our venue for the June meeting has changed, per Staff Senator request, to Coyote Blues on Acadian Thruway.**
President Tammy Millican announced that the newly elected Senators have been invited to attend the June Staff Senate meeting before their terms begin in July 2016.
Staff Senate Budget
Treasurer Michelle Lowery gave a report on the updated balance sheet for the Staff Senate accounts. A copy was circulated to the full Senate as part of the meeting packet.
She reported the following:
Bursar Account (Gift Fund) - $153.75
LSU Foundation Accounts:
Fee Support Scholarship - $12,630.32
Holiday on Campus Support Fund - $667.31
Scholarship Award - $3,084.98
Support Fund – $139.47
State Account (Operating Budget) $3,930.66
Total Budget: $20,606.49
President Millican mentioned that the Staff Senate is looking at budget purchases needed prior to the end of the year. The operating budget will not roll over, but the Foundation accounts will roll over to the next fiscal year.
Staff Senator Birthdays
President Millican announced that Senator Kendra Hendricks celebrated her birthday on May 9th and Senator Jacquelyn Craddock will celebrate her birthday on May 30th.
President Millican announced that LSU will host the U.S. Navy National SeaPerch Challenge (underwater robotics program) on May 20-21. The College of Human Sciences and Education is in need of volunteers. If you are interested, please let her know and she will forward the information to you.
Senator Jennifer Springstead announced that the Dining Committee met and they are discussing the Engineering Dining Hall which will eventually be opening in the newly renovated Patrick F. Taylor Hall. They also have a commuter meal plan in development. She will forward the information to the full Senate.
Senator Maggi Spurlock announced that Bengal Bound is still looking for events for this fall. If someone’s department would like to sponsor an event, please let her know or submit your event at www.bengalbound.lsu.edu. There is a panel of students who are generating some really good ideas. So if your department is unsure what to sponsor, they can help with suggestions. Bengal Bound will be held from August 17 – September 3, 2016.
Senator Jennifer Gomez mentioned the new overtime ruling that was recently handed down by President Barack Obama. She suggested that the Staff Benefits, Policies and Development Committee look into how this may affect employees at LSU. Senator Shelly Ortiz mentioned that Human Resource Management would need to be involved in this discussion.
Senator Ramon Lopez mentioned that if anyone is interested in information regarding the Child Care Center to email him directly, if needed.
Senator Nikki Godfrey shared there may be a new Tiger Card design with signatures printed on the front of the card. They are waiting on the President’s approval. If that happens, everyone at LSU (30,000 people) will receive a new card in the fall.
Senator Maggi Spurlock mentioned that the new LSU Application (App) should be released this fall. The app will be more interactive, with layouts of buildings as well.
Senator Jennifer Gomez asked about the Human Resource Management Survey Results which focused on job descriptions, recently presented for staff completion. The Executive Committee will ask Human Resource Management about those results.
MOTION TO ADJOURN – With there being no more business, Senator Ramon Lopez moved to adjourn. The motion, seconded by Senator Jennifer Gomez, carried. The meeting adjourned before noon.
Barbara Reonas, Secretary