STAFF SENATE MEETING MINUTES
October 19, 2016
President Trey Truitt presided over the October 19, 2016, Staff Senate meeting held at the Jack and Priscilla Andonie Museum at 10:30 a.m.
P - Matkovic, Igor (’17)
P - Cherry, Aaron (‘17)
P - DeRoche, Jon (’17)
P - Godfrey, Nikki (’17)
Pr - Kucharchuk, Kayla (’17)
P- Lemoine, Nathan (’17)
P - Lopez, Ramon (’17)
P - Lowery, Michelle (’17)
P - Millican, Tammy (’17)
P - Reonas, Barbara (’17)
Pr - Spurlock, Maggi (’17)
P - Steib, Summer (’17)
P - Truitt, Trey (’17)
Pr - Villien, Douglas (’17)
A - Dufrene, Robert (’18)
P - Gomez, Jennifer (’18)
P - Linam, Barrett (’18)
Pr - Ortiz, Shelly (’18)
P - Poret, Elizabeth (’18)
Pr - Springstead, Jennifer (’18)
A - Waguespack, Darcy (’18)
P - Ethridge, Jade (’19)
P - Henry, Rachel (’19)
P - Heroman, Stephanie (’19)
P - Rios, Hector (’19)
Pr - Adedeji, Funmilayo (’19)
P - Corbitt, Brent (’17)
P - Salvadras, Amber (’18)
P - Arnold, Nancy (’19)
P - Thibodeaux, Ashley (’19)
A - Indicates Absent
P - Indicates Present
Pr - Indicates Proxy
John Grubb, LSU Alumni Association
Olivia Rawlins, LSU Alumni Association
Ryan Barnette, Human Resource Management
Brian Ainsworth, Campus Federal Credit Union
Casey Coughlin, Campus Federal Credit Union
Anand Ramachandran, School of Veterinary Medicine
Zach Barnett, Student Government
Vice Provost Dereck Rovaris, Office of Diversity
CALL TO ORDER
The meeting was called to order by President Trey Truitt at 10:30 a.m.
There was a quorum with six proxies noted.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Senator Hector Rios led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Senator Hector Rios and his wife recently became United States citizens.
APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES – September 21, 2016, Staff Senate Meeting
Page 1, under Attendance include newly appointed Senator Barrett Linam as present.
Page 3, Paragraph 6, line 1 reads: it has been a long 60 days since the flooding happened. Should read: it has been a long 30 days since the flooding happened.
Page 7 Paragraph 6, line 8-9 reads: Another is Mike with Mike
Should read: Another is Bike with Mike
A motion to accept the minutes as amended was made by Past-President Tammy Millican. The motion, seconded by Senator Brent Corbitt, carried.
GUEST SPEAKER – JOHN GRUBB, LSU ALUMNI ASSOCIATION
President Trey Truitt introduced John Grubb, Vice-President of Hotel Conference Operations with the LSU Alumni Association. The Jack and Priscilla Andonie Museum has been on campus since 2001 as an LSU Athletics sports memorabilia museum. Since the former curator has retired they have been re-examining how to best use this space. At one point, conversion to a coffee shop was explored by different vendors, but it was determined that there was not enough traffic. As a result, the space was purposed for additional rental space, while maintaining the museum. The facility can host sit-down dinners, receptions, and tailgates, catered by Unique Cuisine. Updates to the décor will include a national timeline for sports, and adding some accommodations to assist with the catered events. The site has been used as a pre-tailgate party on home game days, with two big screen television sets that offer Wi-Fi with full bandwidth speed. This feature will be enhanced by adding a full drop down screen as well. This location will be home to Mike VI’s remains once they are ready, along with all other Mike the Tiger’s remains.
John Grubb mentioned that in addition to this space, the Alumni Association is working with architects to reimagine the recently vacated space previously used by the LSU Foundation, for a possible 100 seat auditorium. All of the rental spaces can be reserved through Lauren Regner, Director of Conference and Event Services. He mentioned that they are also planning a full renovation for the 128 guest rooms of the Cook Hotel, which will begin after the New Year on January 2, 2017. As such, hotel occupancy will be limited during the spring semester. John mentioned that if anyone needs to discuss locations for a possible event, he can be reached at (225) 578-1000.
Q: When will the renovations be completed?
A: On April 15th. The hotel is 15 years old and this is its first full renovation. Most hotel renovations have a 6 year cycle.
Q: If a department reserves the entire facility, will this (Andonie Museum) space be included?
A: No, this is a separate space from the conference center, but there is an add-on price, if someone would like to use the museum space as well. The museum space can accommodate a reception for 110 people, seated dinner for 90 people, or classroom or work study for 60 people.
Q: Is Unique Cuisine the exclusive caterer for this space?
A: Yes, they are the exclusive vendor for all of the Alumni Association catered events, as well as the Hotel restaurant.
Q: How far out are reservations taken?
A: This space can book as far out as needed. They typically do not book groups with a lot of regular meetings or events (like every Friday), so as to be able to offer the space for special events, but they do work with those groups to reserve as many dates as possible.
President Truitt thanked John for allowing the Staff Senate to hold the meeting at the Andonie Museum today at no charge, and for speaking about these rental opportunities with the full Senate.
GUEST SPEAKER – RYAN BARNETTE, HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT
President Truitt introduced Ryan Barnette who would like to share some information regarding Benefits during this month of October for Open Enrollment. Ryan provided a handout with regards to Workday, which was circulated to Staff Senate members.
Ryan mentioned that we are currently in the middle of Open Enrollment for LSU First and voluntary benefits, for members to choose or change their benefits for calendar year 2017. This period began on October 1 and will end on October 31. For members who choose their benefits through the Office of Group Benefits for products such as Blue Cross, etc. the open enrollment will end on November 15. LSU First will not be open after October 31. All LSU First materials are posted on www.lsufirst.org website. The last open enrollment meeting with vendor representatives to answer any questions will be held on Wednesday, October 26, 2016, at 9 a.m. in the Capital Chamber Room in the Student Union, if anyone is interested in attending. There are also a few more Workday Labs scheduled to help members with choosing or changing their benefit elections on October 20, at 2 p.m., October 25, at 2 p .m and October 27, at 9 a.m. held at various locations on campus. Members are also encouraged to attend the Office of Group Benefits regional meetings, if needed. He shared the website and contact information as well.
Ryan mentioned that for LSU First members there will be a 7.5 % premium rate increase. He shared the new prices as well as mentioning that a complete list of premiums can be found at www.lsufirst.org. For the Pelican plans there will be a 3% rate increase, the Magnolia plans a 7.5% rate increase and for the Vantage plans a 7% rate increase.
Ryan mentioned that there is no medical plan design changes for 2017. Citizens RX will continue to manage the pharmacy benefits with no co-pay changes as well, so generics will still be covered at -0- co-pay, and brand name drugs will still be covered at a $40 co-pay. He reminded everyone that the Employee Assistance Program is now online at www.mylifevalues.com if members need more information.
Ryan mentioned that LSU First has a friendly-user member portal where you can view, download and print identification cards. You can also view your deductible balances and your health reimbursement account information. There was some discussion as to the Citizen’s Rx website and not being able to look at deductible and balance information for prescription claims. There has been a lot of feedback regarding this issue and therefore, Citizen’s Rx plans to redesign their website to include that information, beginning January 1, 2017. Ryan mentioned that WebTPA also has a mobile application for on-the-go functionality.
Ryan then reviewed the changes with regards to the voluntary benefits. For the flexible spending accounts, the new vendor will be Diversified Benefit Services. It will no longer be managed by Boon Chapman. There will be a slight decrease for the administrative fee. There will be a 5% rate increase for basic and enhanced dental plans through United Healthcare with an 80% out of network reimbursement. Existing members will not receive a new identification card. There will be no rate increase for the vision or financial protection products. There was some discussion on how the dental benefits were being paid to basic and enhanced plans. Ryan suggested that if anyone is having an issue of how the fee schedule is being applied, please make Human Resource Management aware.
Ryan mentioned that there are two types of Flexible Spending Accounts: the Health Care Reimbursement Account and the Dependent Care Reimbursement Account. Both of these are deducted before taxes. For the Health Care Reimbursement Account the yearly maximum is $2,550 with a minimum of $100. For the Dependent Care Reimbursement Account the maximum is a $5,000 family cap, with a minimum of $100. He mentioned that the IRS rules require that you use the money you set aside during the plan year. Any unused money is forfeited. Diversified Benefits Services Customer Service can be reached at 1-800-234-1229 or you can visit their website at www.dbsbenefits.com. Members are not automatically enrolled in the Flexible Spending Account. Employees must estimate their medical or dependent care costs and re-enroll each year.
Ryan mentioned that everyone can makes plan changes through Workday with the guide that was circulated.
Ryan mentioned that there is no changes to the Voluntary Life and Accidental Death Dismemberment Plans. Retirees must be under the age of 70 and in good health status in order to keep that coverage. An employee may increase their life insurance coverage by $30,000 to a maximum of $500,000. For a covered spouse, you can increase the coverage to a maximum of $100,000 and you can increase your child’s coverage to $20,000. If you are not currently enrolled for life insurance, you can enroll for $10,000 without completing any underwriting.
Ryan mentioned that for the stand-alone Accidental Death Dismemberment Plan there are no plan design changes or premium changes. You can also apply at any time with evidence of insurability. There are no changes to the Long-Term Disability coverage which you can apply for at any time with evidence of insurability. There are no plan changes to the critical illness benefit. There is a low option of $10,000 with a high option at $20,000 and you can also enroll your spouse and children. Retirees cannot enroll or continue this coverage into retirement.
Q: Are all generics covered under the Citizens RX? There have been a lot of issues with generic drugs not being processed at the -0- co-pay.
A: Yes, all generics are supposed to be processed at the -0- co-pay. If anyone is having an issue with that, please have them reach out to Ryan so he can check into that. Q: Does the rate increase affect the premium portion for which LSU is responsible as well?
A: Yes, LSU pays 75% of the member’s premium.
Ryan asked if anyone who has changed their benefits through Workday had any issues. There was some discussion, but no definitive issues were reported. There was mention that when the notifications went out, it gave a deadline within a few days. Ryan explained that the deadline due date was not changed before the broadcast email but everyone has until October 31, 2016 to change their benefits through Workday. Once you agree and submit or save for later, you do have the ability to continue to make changes if needed until October 31, 2016.
President Truitt thanked Ryan for coming to speak with the full Senate today.
President Truitt announced that he has updated his shared spreadsheet through Microsoft Office 365, “One Drive”, with his attended meetings, in hopes of keeping the full Senate informed throughout the month.
President Truitt shared that on September 21-22, he participated in the Dear World/Dear LSU project sponsored by Campus Life. It was a great event, and he appreciated everyone who participated. The event brought attention to a variety of issues on campus, and our community members indicated it had a considerable personal impact and were grateful it was organized by LSU.
On September 23rd, he attended two separate meetings for the Holiday Spectacular event. Those plans are moving forward.
On September 28th, the Administrative Process Improvement Committee (APIC) met. Unfortunately due to a scheduling conflict, he was unable to attend, but that committee has commenced meeting.
On October 3-4, he represented the Staff Senate during the “Moment or Movement?” LSU Presidential Symposium. It was a wonderful opportunity, and hopes all were able to attend some or all of the events.
On October 11th, the Executive Committee met to plan for today’s meeting and set the agenda.
On October 12th, he participated at the Benefits Fair at the Staff Senate table to help with promotion of services.
On October 13th, he served on an evaluation committee for a Request for Proposal review for a new vendor at the LSU Student Union.
On October 18th, the Executive Committee held a follow-up meeting with Andrea Jones, Assistant Director of University Center for Advising & Counseling, regarding her Tuition Remission Proposal which was presented to the full senate during the September meeting. Mrs. Jones presented some additional statistical information, including the fact that many of the universities belonging to the Louisiana system already offer this benefit. Mrs. Jones is in the process of editing the proposal and implementing recommendations on how to move forward, including a discussion with Provost Koubek. The concept of having the LSU Staff Senate’s support through an official resolution was also discussed.
President Truitt requested that standing committee updates be provided.
President Truitt reported that the Communications Committee met today prior to the meeting. Committee Chairs/Co-Chairs reported the initiatives on which they are working, and on which they will report during this meeting.
Staff Benefits, Policies and Development
Senator Nathan Lemoine reported that the Staff Benefits, Policies and Development Committee met on October 17, 2016. The written report was included in the meeting packet. Derrick Angelloz, Manager of Facility and Property Oversight, was invited to speak about the Optional Retirement Plan (ORP), a great concern of LSU staff and faculty, considering higher education is bearing so much fiscal responsibility for the unfunded accrued liability. There still seems to be an effort every year to get new legislation passed. There was a suggestion to recap Derrick’s information to share with staff, if needed. In other business, Senator Jennifer Gomez announced that the 12th Annual New Staff Reception will be held on Wednesday, November 9, 2016 in the Rotunda at the Business Education Complex. Many departmental vendors have been confirmed to attend, and there have been donations of some door prizes. The call for Senator Volunteers to work the event will go out in the week prior to the event. Senator Gomez further elaborated on the volunteer times and tasks with which the Committee will need help.
SPECIAL AD-HOC COMMITTEES
President Truitt requested ad-hoc committee updates be provided.
Holiday on Campus
Senator Rachel Henry reported that the Holiday on Campus Committee met on September 27 and October 10 to continue planning for this year’s event which is scheduled on Tuesday, November 29, 2016, from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. in the LSU Student Union. The University is taking a greater interest in celebrating the Holiday Spectacular. This campus-wide focus is great as we are sharing ideas and resources to produce a university-wide holiday event. Senator Henry prompted senators for candy donations for the children’s treat bags. If anyone has any contacts or are able to contribute to door prizes, please let her know. President Truitt recommended creating several communication pieces to push on social media, including a Holiday Spectacular event on Facebook, listing a timeline of all scheduled events. In addition, because not everyone is actively online, placing mailers or posters by time clocks, break rooms, or coffee areas would also be ideal.
Vice Provost Dereck Rovaris explained that the University would like to ensure the celebrations are inclusive of the various religious traditions and practices.
Senator Elizabeth Poret reported that the Marketing Committee met on October 4. The written report was included in the meeting packet. The committee discussed possibly ordering additional apparel, including the option of a cardigan and a quarter-zip pullover. A minimum of 12 pieces is required to order, and therefore a sign-up sheet, with prices listed was circulated in order to gauge senator interest. The content on the website is being updated to be more user-friendly. She announced that the committee would like to take a full Staff Senate group photograph after the meeting today to post on the homepage. Staff Senate now has a Hootsuite account to help manage posts, and the committee has discussed positive initiatives to engage followers.
President-Elect Michelle Lowery mentioned that during the meeting, there was a discussion of how to be more engaging instead of just listing events. The Executive Committee has discussed a desire to expand our electronic presence as a forum to hear the concerns and specific needs of LSU staff. During the Communications Committee meeting, there was a suggestion to survey the Staff Senate to solicit ideas on how to be more engaged with our constituents.
Senator Rachel Henry suggested inviting our electronic media followers to share ways in which they remain connected and involved on campus, how they seek networking and professional development opportunities.
Senator Jade Ethridge reported that the Scholarship Committee met on October 5. The written report was included in the meeting packet. There were two Staff Senate Scholarship recipients chosen, and those names will be submitted to the Executive Committee to be recognized at the November meeting. The committee is working with Student Aid and Scholarships to select two additional recipients, along with the recipients for the Fee Support Scholarship. The Candy Grams are scheduled for faculty and student delivery on December 1 and December 8. The Holiday Decorating Contest will be judged on December 13, 2016. The deadline to register is December 6 and the fee will be $20, a slight increase from years previous, so as to appropriately fund the increased tuition costs. The cost of a Candy Gram has gone up to $2.25, so as to cover the new implemented sales tax. The Committee is exploring possibly taking the orders electronically. President Truitt suggested using google documents to track online orders.
President Truitt asked that liaison committee updates be provided.
Senator Barrett Linam reported that the Faculty Senate met on October 11, 2016. The written report was included in this month’s meeting packet. The Faculty Senate discussed and passed a Workday Resolution, calling for more transparency on why Workday was chosen; also demanding immediate resolution of outstanding reimbursement charges, addressing immediate and long term planning issues, and is calling for Staff Senate to also work to fix this issue through our platform.
There was also a resolution for improving graduate student stipends, with the aim of reducing graduate student debt and increasing LSU competitiveness in recruiting graduate students; this resolution was tabled. There was also a discussion about keeping a live captive mascot (tiger) on the campus, which had division amongst the faculty opinion.
Vice Provost Dereck Rovaris mentioned that we will have another Mike the Tiger. The University does not purchase a tiger, which encourages black market animal traffic, but rather accepts a healthy animal that is donated to the University. Provost Rovaris encouraged finding solutions with Workday, as it is now the system which we have adopted. He also confirmed the salary for graduate students will change slightly.
Senator Ashley Thibodeaux mentioned that she read through the Faculty Senate’s Resolution regarding Workday, being of personal interest because her role at the University requires active involvement in Workday. Her interpretation of the resolution seems to indicate the faculty requesting that all actions routed through Workday should be delegated to a staff member to perform. Senator Thibodeaux expressed concern about this potential additional assignment (to complete faculty’s Workday tasks), as the duties of many staff members have already been critically impacted by the new system. She recommends that ongoing dialogue about this should include input from the support staff. Senator Amber Salvadras shared that her experience with Workday indicates the system has the potential to work very well. However, much of the work previously done by departmental staff, is now faculty responsibility. That adjustment has been difficult and initially is delaying completion of processes.
University Council of Gender Equity
Past-President Tammy Millican reported the Committee had its initial meeting on September 29, 2016. They began discussing dates for the 2016-2017 “Closing the Gap” panel discussions, which were a great success in their first year. She mentioned that if there is a topic you are interested in, please let her know. They also discussed the launch of the student, staff and faculty mentoring program. A pilot study will likely be the starting point, as they see that there is a great need for mentoring on campus. They have all of their salary information gathered and it is being compiled for a white paper on the issue of gender equity on campus. They are also working to partner with Staff Senate and Faculty Senate to look at maternity flextime, crisis leave and overtime rule change actions. They will meet again on October 25 to start moving all of those initiatives forward.
Staff Senator Group Photo for the Website
President Truitt requested for those who can stay after the meeting to please assemble for a group photograph for the Staff Senate website.
Take Back the Night
President Truitt announced that the Take Back the Night vigil will be held on Sunday, October 23rd at 5:00 p.m. at the Memorial Tower. For those senators who are able to attend, we have been asked to assist with serving refreshments and other assorted duties as needed. Senator Summer Steib explained that Take Back the Night is an annual opportunity for our community to come together, and reflect on the impact of interpersonal violence, as well as remember those who have lost their lives to these forms of violence. All community members are invited to attend and participate in the resource fair, candlelight vigil, and March. Please be mindful when bringing children due to the sensitive focus of this event.
Staff Senate Budget
President Trey Truitt 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.
He reported the following:
Bursar Account (Gift Fund) - $233.75
LSU Foundation Accounts:
Fee Support Scholarship - $13,622.90
Holiday on Campus Support Fund - $667.31
Scholarship Award - $4,993.09
Support Fund – $299.42
State Account (Operating Budget) $6,142.56
Total Budget: $25,459.03
Staff Senate Gift Fund
President Truitt encouraged senators to contribute to the Gift Fund. Voluntary contributions are $10 per year, per senator.
She Geauxs Leadership Conference
President Truitt announced that the College of Human Sciences and Education is hosting a “She Geauxs” Women’s Leadership Conference on Wednesday, November 16. A discussion ensued about the fact that the Staff Senate general meeting is also held on that date, and some suggested moving our meeting time. However, Senator Rachel Henry confirmed there is a full day of events, scheduled from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., with two key note speakers, 12 break out session opportunities, 5 panel discussion opportunities, sunrise yoga and a happy hour at the end. The consensus ultimately agreed that moving the meeting time may be moot. There are about 15 spots available until the event is sold out. President Truitt suggested tabling until it can be worked out or rescheduled.
LSU Early Childhood Education Laboratory Preschool Ribbon Cutting
Senator Rachel Henry announced that the LSU Early Childhood Education Laboratory Preschool will host a ribbon cutting tomorrow on October 20, 2016, at 9:30 a.m. with guest speaker Governor John Bel Edwards. They will also provide a tour of the facility for those who may be interested in attending.
President Truitt announced that Senator Nikki Godfrey has resigned from LSU. She has accepted a position with the Board of Regents. There is a vacancy in the Professional/Non-Faculty Category through 2017. The Executive Committee will work in the coming weeks to get the vacancies filled.
2016 LSU Foundation Staff Outstanding Service Awards
President Truitt announced that nominations are now being accepted for the 2016 LSU Foundation Staff Outstanding Service Award. This annual award was established to recognize the superior work performance and outstanding contributions of full-time, non-academic staff employees of the LSU A&M campus and the LSU AgCenter, and includes a monetary award. A reception honoring all 2016 recipients will be held on Monday, December 12, 2016 at 2:30 p.m. All faculty and staff are invited to attend.
Staff Senator Get Well
President Trey Truitt shared that Senator Dominic Adedeji was regrettably injured during a work task, having been burned by steam quite significantly. Senator Adedeji offers thanks to everyone that has assisted him, and the Executive Committee asks that you keep him in your prayers as he recovers. A cookie bouquet was sent on behalf of the Staff Senate.
Vice Provost Rovaris commended Senator Hector Rios and his wife on becoming United States Citizens recently. He mentioned that it is an amazing thing to witness, when people decide to become U.S. citizens. He also mentioned that there are still a lot of employees, some of whom are senators, attempting to recover from the flooding. He encouraged everyone to keep them in mind. It seems the rest of the country has forgotten about this historic natural disaster.
Vice Provost Rovaris announced that the Campus Climate Survey ends at midnight at www.lsu.edu/campusclimatesurvey. He encouraged everyone to complete the survey, if you haven’t yet had a chance. The faculty and staff have done a great job thus far, in responding to the call to complete, but the student response has been poor. As such, please encourage them to participate as well. He also encouraged everyone to vote for Proposition 2 during this year’s election, which will help LSU with finally gaining tuition autonomy.
Staff Senator Birthdays
President Trey Truitt announced that Senator Jade Ethridge celebrated her birthday on October 2, Senator Elizabeth Poret celebrated her birthday on October 12 and Senator Nancy Arnold will celebrate her birthday on October 31. Past-President Tammy Millican announced that President Trey Truitt celebrated his birthday on October 2. “Happy Birthday!”
MOTION TO ADJOURN – With there being no more business, Secretary Barbara Reonas moved to adjourn. The motion, seconded by Past-President Tammy Millican, carried. The meeting adjourned after noon.
Barbara Reonas, Secretary