STAFF SENATE MEETING MINUTES

    March 15, 2017

                                                               

    Past-President Tammy Millican presided over the March 15, 2017, Staff Senate meeting held at the LSU Foundation Center for Philanthropy in the Harrison Board Room at 10:30 a.m. 

     

    ATTENDANCE

     

    SENATORS                                                   

    Executive/Administrator/ Manager           

     
    Service/Maintenance 

    P - Matkovic, Igor (’17)

    P - Cherry, Aaron (‘17)

     
    Professional/Non-Faculty 

    Pr - DeRoche, Jon (’17)

    A - Kucharchuk, Kayla (’17)

    P - Lemoine, Nathan (’17)

    Pr - Lowery, Michelle (’17)

    P - Millican, Tammy (’17)

    P - Ramachandran, Anand (’17)

    P - Reonas, Barbara (’17)

    A - Spurlock, Maggi (’17)

    Pr - Steib, Summer (’17)

    Pr - Truitt, Trey (’17)

    P - Villien, Douglas (’17)

    Pr - Gomez, Jennifer (’18)

    P - Henry, Jake (’18)

    P - Linam, Barrett (’18)

    P - Ortiz, Shelly (’18)

    P - Poret, Elizabeth (’18)

    P - Springstead, Jennifer (’18)

    P - Ethridge, Jade (’19)

    Pr - Henry, Rachel (’19)

    A - Heroman, Stephanie (’19)

    P - Rios, Hector (’19)

     
    Skilled Crafts 

    P - Adedeji, Funmilayo (’19)

     

    Technical/Paraprofessional 

    P - Corbitt, Brent (’17)

     

    Clerical/Secretarial 

    P - Salvadras, Amber (’18)

    P - Arnold, Nancy (’19)

    P - Thibodeaux, Ashley (’19) 

     

    A - Indicates Absent               

    P - Indicates Present

    Pr - Indicates Proxy
     

     
     
    GUESTS: 

    Dr. Brannon Costello, Department of English

    Holly Cullen, Strategic Communications

    Kristine Sanders, Strategic Communications

    Grace Fiorenza, Strategic Communications

    Lori Martin, Strategic Communications

    Zach Barnett, Student Government

    M.E. Hart, Information Technology Services

    Mimi LaValle, Physics and Astronomy

     

    CALL TO ORDER 

    The meeting was called to order by Past-President Tammy Millican at 10:30 a.m.

     

    ATTENDANCE 

    There was a quorum with six proxies noted.

     

    PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE 

    Senator Douglas Villien led the Pledge of Allegiance.

     

    APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES – February 15, 2017, Staff Senate Meeting 

    A motion to accept the minutes was made by Senator Shelly Ortiz. The motion, seconded by Senator Jade Ethridge, carried.

     

    GUEST SPEAKER – DR. BRANNON COSTELLO, DEPARTMENT OF ENGLISH 

    Past-President Tammy Millican introduced Dr. Brannon Costello who is an Associate Professor with the Department of English and Director of the Master of Arts in Liberal Arts degree program. Dr. Costello earned his Bachelor’s Degree from Mississippi College, his Master’s Degree from the University of Southern Mississippi and his Ph.D. from the University of Tennessee all with a focus in English. His interests include Southern Literature, United States Literature, comics and graphic novels. She welcomed him to the Staff Senate meeting and thanked him for coming to speak about the “MALA” program today.

     

    Dr. Brannon Costello thanked everyone for the opportunity to share information about this program and circulated a flier with additional information about the Master of Arts in Liberal Arts. This program is a flexible, interdisciplinary graduate program, ideal for full-time staff who are interested in pursuing a graduate degree. This program historically had a number of staff members enrolled, but those numbers have dwindled recently, most likely because staff members are unaware of its existence. He hopes as senators hear about this today, they will help spread the word to staff who may be interested in pursuing graduate work at LSU.  There are many students who have participated in this program, not limited to employees at LSU but also citizens of Baton Rouge and around South Louisiana. Students can progress at any pace, either part-time or full-time.

     

    One great benefit of the program is its flexibility. It allows students to design their own curriculum and to progress at their own pace. The tendency in a lot of the departmental graduate programs lately has been to focus on the professionalization of students in their program. This has led to a lack of attention or energy devoted to offering advanced degrees for people who are lifelong learners, interested in pursuing a degree because it’s a way to structure some sort of intellectual or academic interest, which they possess. LSU doesn’t necessarily offer an advanced degree for people who assist with advancement of their professional goals, but the MALA program is set-up with those things in mind.

     

    Program course selection may be interdisciplinary. There are two required classes taken within the first year, aimed at giving an introduction to graduate work at LSU. Many people who start in the program, know that they want a Master’s degree and they have a general idea of the things in which they are interested, but need additional direction.

     

    There is a thesis option available with 24 hours of coursework, or a non-thesis option with 36 hours of classes and a portfolio There are the basic entry requirements including a 3.0 GPA and a 290 GRE, although as noted on the flier, the program regularly approves students for entry who may have lower GPAs or GRE scores on a probationary or provisional admission. Applications are considered on a rolling basis; you can pretty much apply when you are ready.  He expressed to the group that he’d be happy to answer any questions by email.

     

    Past-President Millican thanked Dr. Costello for sharing this information with the full Senate today. She asked if he would forward the flier, so it may be shared with the full Senate, as well as their colleagues. She thinks that a lot of people may not know about this exciting program for employees.

     

    GUEST SPEAKERS – HOLLY CULLEN, KRISTINE SANDERS, GRACE FIORENZA AND LORI MARTIN, STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS – M.E. HART, INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY SERVICES 

    Past-President Millican introduced Holly Cullen, Kristine Sanders, Grace Fiorenza and Lori Martin with Strategic Communications, along with former Staff Senator M.E. Hart with Information Technology Services. The Staff Senate has been requesting for quite some time for representatives with internal communications with the university to speak with our group, so we are excited that they are here to give us some information and resources within their areas.

     

    Kristine Sanders began by thanking the Staff Senate for inviting the group as guest speakers. They wanted to let the Staff Senate know they are working on Strategic Communications, and recently presented this information to the Faculty Senate.  During that meeting, it was discovered that faculty were unaware of some initiatives on which Strategic Communications has been working, such as the Campus Events Calendar, and some were not familiar with the group Campus Communicators.

     

    Ms. Sanders explained that Campus Communicators consists of a group of employees who have some element of communication to their job. Every college and most departments have a representative in this group, and their jobs generally consist of things like updating your websites, helping with your departmental newsletters, promoting your events or promoting accomplishments for your staff or faculty. Strategic Communications wanted to ensure everyone is aware of this group, as they are tasked with meeting once a month to learn about projects, and to collaborate and communicate the same message on behalf of LSU. If you are interested in attending or know of someone who may be interested in attending, please send Grace Fiorenza an email to be included on those invites, as she manages those meetings.

     

    M.E. Hart mentioned that LSU has a Campus Events Calendar which is managed by Bedework software, which we’ve had for a while but have only recently began using for departmental and college websites. Anyone can submit an event to post on this calendar at lsu.edu/calendar and there is a place to submit an event. You will fill out a form with your event information, then submit. Grace Fiorenza reviews and approves to post to the LSU Calendar. If you are interested in pulling a feed on your departmental website, access can be granted for the person who maintains those websites, so you can essentially circumvent Grace for approval.

     

    Q: Are you looking to get a feed from Athletics so you can get all the athletic events?

     

    A: There is an Athletics feed on that calendar. When you are on lsu.edu/calendar there are multiple ways to click through and choose which category you can look at or choose which department calendars to view. One improvement currently under development is clarification between it, and the official academic calendar.  The true academic calendar lives on the University Registrar’s website. If you are submitting events and you are choosing your category, make sure you have permission to post.

     

    Q: If you click on all calendars, will you see everything that has been posted?

     

    A:  Yes, everything that has been posted.

     

    Ms. Lori Martin, Webmaster, Communications, mentioned that if you are managing a website and would like to pull specific events in to your calendar, there is a way to manage scripting, so as to make things more of an automated process.  Simply contact Strategic Communications for their assistance in facilitating this.

     

    Ms. Grace Fiorenza is now serving in the internal communications role, which includes approval of calendar events, planning Campus Communicators meetings, and coordinating the News & Notes electronic publication. The University is aware that the News & Notes feature needs some improvements, at minimum aesthetically. A new broadcast email platform will allow Ms. Fiorenza and other Campus Communicators to send out their broadcast messaging in a more professional and centralized manner. 

     

    Ms. Fiorenza is in the process of sending out an internal communications survey, consisting of approximately 8 questions, asking all employees about the means by which we currently receive and prefer to receive our communications and information pertaining to LSU. They will also ask to rate your satisfaction with the current information and if you have any feedback or suggestions for improvement. She is looking forward to sending out this survey out and incorporating whatever results are received.

     

    Ms. Fiorenza also mentioned an employee hub website will soon be launched. It will be a place to find Human Resource Happenings, accolades, Staff Senate Call for Nominations, as well as other ways to get involved. The hub will be structured with different tiles, including Strategic Plan updates, professional development resources, and training opportunities. It will truly be a “one-stop-shop” for employees to get all the information related to them outside of their unit. 

     

    In addition, Strategic Communications has been partnering with Student Government on a new mobile app initiative, to be launched in a few weeks. At the initial launch, the app will be more student focused, in part because SGA assisted with so much of the funding. However eventually a more functional component will be updated for use by faculty and staff on campus. Hopefully by March 30, the version of the LSU app with the Apple Store will be updated and then they will also have a version for an android device which did not exist in the first version.

     

    Q: What do you mean by a “student-focused” app?

     

    A: Much of the app will consist of shortcuts to existing resources, with easy access to various services on campus. Within the app there will be pulled in feeds like news depending on interest level. For instance, Workday has a mobile app, so rather than recreating what Workday has, the app will be providing the connectivity between our program and theirs. Also, Tiger Trails for the buses on campus and those transit routes will be easily accessible. The Facility Services map of the campus has been placed over a Google map interface for way-finding and an improved campus map.

     

    Senator Hector Rios mentioned that there are so many apps out there already so having an app that is more specific to LSU is great to have. He works for ITS and would like to exchange information, as he is on the networking side of ITS and since you mentioned way-finding, there may be things his group can leverage on their side, so as to enable those apps to be more intelligent. The key to this app’s success is not only how it performs today, but what LSU can do to continue to keep it updated. “LSU Mobile” is the name of the app, and in the Apple Store it will just receive a new update.       

     

    Past-President Millican shared another exciting service coming to campus, thanks to Student Government in partnership with Parking and Transportation Services, called “Campus Bird”, which will allow you to take a virtual tour of the campus, and get directions to buildings, as well as print a map on demand to help people find where they are going. Combine this service with that fact with all buildings, by approximately April 30 are going to have physical addresses now, we should be a more accessible campus overall.

     

    Dr. Holly Cullen, Assistant Vice President of Marketing & Creative Services, Strategic Communications, presented an informative PowerPoint focusing on a new resource her office will provide to faculty and staff, wishing to utilize the correct LSU logos and access to better LSU-related photography for use during presentations. ITS has posted this PowerPoint on their website, but if you go on the Strategic Communications website under design templates there will be some useful materials for our use.

     

    Dr. Cullen also addressed the “LSU accolades” website, which is a comprehensive listing of LSU bragging rights. If your faculty or graduate students are looking for a conference poster template, they have that as well. They are also creating one sheeters with the InDesign program for use by your departments. Strategic Communications is also working on an overview brochure to help promote LSU, when we travel on behalf of the University. Dr. Cullen explained in further detail about the approximately 30 slides in existence, whose content is unable to be changed. The collection includes information about each of the institutions of LSU, Economic development and impact. This library of slides will be updated on a consistent basis.  If you have feedback of some items that should be included, please send those to them.

     

    A photograph database is available and can be accessed at LSU1860 where you will find about 30 photographs of all different kinds in and around campus. These photographs are not meant to be used for personal reasons but rather university purposes only, as they are copyrighted. They are continually gathering information for the accolades website of the wonderful things happening on campus with students, faculty and staff which can be found at www.lsu.edu/accolades.

     

    In addition to brochures that have been designed for the recruiting purpose, we are now developing materials to promote and showcase LSU amongst other professionals. Dr. Cullen indicated Strategic Communications also has LSU pocket folders available as needed when giving presentations for groups. There are two designs with gold foil that are available for sale in Strategic Communications for about $1 to $1.30 each if needed.  They also have a more spirited folder that will cost about 50 cents each and will be printed and available for purchase soon. They hope to create a video of LSU featuring President Alexander soon, which may be embedded within your PowerPoint presentation or on your website.

     

    Q: For the different color LSU logos, when is it appropriate to use those different colors on a specific colored background?

     

    A: On the Strategic Communication website, there is a visual identity guideline that outlines specific instances on when to use certain logos against different colors. If you are unsure, email Strategic Communications at approvals@lsu.edu and feedback will be provided on the piece on which you are working within 72 hours.

     

    Past-President Millican thanked everyone for attending and speaking with the full Senate today.

     

    STANDING COMMITTEES 

    Past-President Millican requested that standing committee updates be provided.

     

    Staff Benefits, Policies & Development 

    Member-at-Large Aaron Cherry reported that the committee has been working on the New Staff Reception for the evening shift employees which is scheduled next Tuesday, March 21, 2017, at 5:30 p.m. in the Shirley Plakidas Reception Room in the LSU Student Union Theater. He will be physically handing out invitations to the evening shift employees on the list of new hires provided by Human Resource Management. The committee reviewed the list and identified those new hires from the last 18 months. It will be a small reception as we have not had too many new hires. There were about a dozen people from Building Services and about 5 people from Parking and Transportation. Senator Igor Matkovic also has 11 new employees who will start on Monday and will be invited as well. Dr. Rovaris will be invited to give some remarks. This will be a nice evening meet and greet with some dinner instead of the big event in the fall where breakfast is served. He encouraged all Senators to attend, and invitations will be sent out to the full senate. He mentioned that Auxiliary Services has been a great partner with helping to provide the food for this event. We hope that this will grow in the future. This gives us an opportunity to focus on groups of employees that might not feel like they have the same shareholder value. It gives us a chance to meet our fellow co-workers and find out what their role within the university is. 

     

    Past-President Millican hopes that each Senator will be able to attend this inaugural event as this gives us a chance to talk with staff members with whom we normally don’t get to interact. This gives us a chance to hear their feedback and if there is a need that they would like to discuss, instead of sending an email or seeking out someone to talk to you.

     

    Long Range Review & Planning 

    Senator Doug Villien reported that the committee met on March 13, to discuss the feeling of stagnation right now and mobilizing for moving forward. The committee was waiting for LSU’s Strategic Plan prior to moving forward.  In the meantime the committee is going to review Staff Senate’s Strategic Plan and check off what has been accomplished over the last year, despite our hurdles with the flood and everything, we have still managed to accomplish some things. Then we will focus on redrafting the Staff Senate’ Strategic Plan for 2025. Secretary Barbara Reonas mentioned that we will close the current one out and focus our Strategic Plan to be more in line with LSU’s Strategic Plan. In working with the capstone marketing course, we will be sending out a survey which can hopefully collect data, which is on our current Strategic Plan and not been accomplished so far. The timing is appropriate as we will hopefully get some information back from our constituents and staff members at large to get a sense if we have met the goals that we set. Senator Doug Villien asked what the timeline on the survey would be. Past-President Millican explained that the Executive Committee is reviewing the draft message written by the capstone students to send out to staff in accompaniment of the survey, and all needs some updating. The goal is to send out to staff next week. We also want to make sure that Strategic Communications sends it out alone so it does not get lost.  

     

    SPECIAL AD-HOC COMMITTEES 

    Past-President Millican requested special ad-hoc committee updates be provided.

     

    Marketing 

    Senator Elizabeth Poret reported that the committee met on March 14, along with the students from the capstone class to discuss the Staff Senate Appreciation Event, held on Tuesday, May 16, 2017, at 6:30 p.m. and consisting of a cookout and Baseball Tailgate for the game against Northwestern.  The logistics were discussed, such as Campus Federal Credit Union providing jambalaya. The Volunteer Committee will be recruiting about 15 senators to volunteer with the event. They will have t-shirts again, with a really nice v neck design jersey, currently in the approval stage by the Executive committee, prior to ordering. Those will be free to everyone who attends the tailgate. Also in development is a recognition on the field, advertising, and the committee plans to meet again tomorrow to finalize additional details.

      

    Scholarship 

    Senator Jade Ethridge reported that the committee met on March 8, and the spring Staff Senate Fee Support Scholarship recipients have been chosen by the Office of Student Aid & Scholarships. For the undergraduate student awards, Nathan Lewis and Shannon Loupe were chosen and for the graduate student awards, Jessica Jarreau and Anne Landry were chosen. All of the scholarship recipients for 2016-2017 will be invited to the April Staff Senate Meeting to be recognized.

     

    For the Candy Gram Sale, we have been working with the Foundation regarding the online ordering form and payment method. That will roll out towards the end of this week. Senator Ethridge just got the final version of it today which will be put online. Please spread the word that we will take orders for about 2 weeks. April 5 will be the delivery date for faculty and staff orders and April 12 will be the delivery date for staff orders. We are asking that everyone get the order in a week before the delivery date. We are going to do our best to not have the paper order form with a check or cash; Melonie will accept them if necessary but we really want everyone to use the electronic form and pay by credit card. There will be a small fee to use a credit card which Staff Senate pays but it is well worth it. A broadcast message will go out to the LSU Community from the Staff Senate President announcing the sale with the dates and the link to place an order.

     

    LIAISON COMMITTEES 

    Past-President Millican asked that liaison committee updates be provided. 

     

    Faculty Senate 

    Secretary Barbara Reonas reported that she and Senator Barrett Linam attended the Faculty Senate meeting on February 22. President Kevin Cope gave his address which was included in the liaison report as part of the meeting packet. They discussed the non-smoking policy not being followed by students on campus and President Cope referred to Middleton Library as “Dante’s Inferno”, which Secretary Reonas found amusing. Apparently students may not be getting as much education, with regard to the policy.

     

    President Cope attended a Commission of Higher Education seminar in Louisiana where it was reported that 72% of the Ph.D. faculty in Louisiana report actively looking for jobs outside of the state. 60% report they would not recommend faculty jobs in the state of Louisiana and 58% of faculty would take a pay-out on their contract to leave the state. She knows many of the staff are struggling and it is interesting to see that these figures indicate faculty are equally disillusioned.

     

    Faculty Senate Vice President Kenneth McMillian gave an update from APIC, which followed very much in line with the last report from Senator Villien. LSU Police gave a report on safety and security aspects on campus. LSUPD are addressing different security scenarios, such as an active shooter on campus, but it seems to be challenging with construction and renovation inconsistencies in safety features happening on campus.  

     

    John Borne and Donna Love with Information Technology Services gave a presentation on computer and security challenges with emphasis on Workday. Many of us have recognized the phishing and spam attempts which is happening with Higher Education at large, but especially with LSU. One result of which is now you can’t update your banking information online; a paper form is required, stemming from someone at LSU clicking on a link and providing their information, and suddenly their money was diverted to another account. They cautioned that the university is going to send out a fake phishing attempt email to see how many people bite, then becoming an informational piece to educate everyone.

     

    Strategic Communications gave the same presentation heard today. In addition, there was discussion of a resolution by a faculty member and several students about the administration’s lack of a response to the federal immigration policies. Many of our graduate students and Teaching or Graduate Assistants were impacted by these new policies and the resolution calls for a greater response

     

    OLD BUSINESS: 

    Staff Senate General Elections 

    Past-President Millican announced that the Staff Senate Office has received some nomination forms and those must be received by March 17. The deadline for nominees to withdraw is March 24. The ballots are scheduled to go out March 31 and the deadline to return your vote is April 14. The Executive Committee will announce the winners on April 17. Paper ballots will go out to those categories who may not have computer access on a regular basis, such as employees with Facility Services and Parking and Transportation. If you know of any other groups, please let us know. One struggle is the new categorization of employee titles by Human Resource Management in the EEO groups due to Workday. Certain titles such as “Managers” have been shifted into EEO 1 which is for Executive/Administrative/Managerial, while some of their supervisors with a “Director” title has remained in EEO 3, the Professional/Non-Faculty category. There is also some confusion with Service/Maintenance and Skilled Crafts, so everyone who is nominated will be thoroughly vetted and certified to be in the correct category by Human Resource Management. We are working with them to determine how to proceed correctly. In EEO 1, we previously had 48 employees, but now there are 248 employees. This shift also impacts the number of seats we have available in each category. There is a pre-existing certification process with Human Resource Management, and now will include an extra step, verifying employee’s EEO category for confirmation.

     

    Staff Senate Constitution & Bylaws Updates 

    Past-President Millican announced that changes needed within the Constitution and Bylaws have been approved by Staff Senate. The Bylaw changes will be sent to President Alexander for approval. With any Constitutional changes, we need to have a vote of the staff population to approve those changes, and these will go out for a vote soon.

     

    Staff Senate Budget 

    Past-President Millican mentioned that the Staff Senate Budget Report was included in the March Meeting Packet. The updated balance sheet reflects the following:

     

    Bursar Account (Gift Fund) - $249.22

     

    LSU Foundation Accounts:

    Fee Support Scholarship - $14,922.15

    Holiday on Campus Support Fund - $141.99

    Scholarship Award - $3,993.09

    Support Fund – $909.93

    State Account (Operating Budget) $3,804.06

     

    Total Budget: $24,020.44

     

    We have complied a wish list of items needed. If anyone has any suggestions, please forward those to the Staff Senate Office.

     

    Staff Senate Gift Fund 

    Past-President Millican encouraged senators to contribute to the Gift Fund. Voluntary contributions are $10 per year, per senator.

     

    NEW BUSINESS: 

    Strategic Plan Subcommittee Update 

    Past-President Millican reported that yesterday there was a Provost Breakfast where Provost Koubek handed out a draft of the LSU Strategic Plan 2025, which included the framework and all the different groups who have been working on a portion of the plan. Each subcommittee gave an update as to what their pillars were going to be, and of interest was seeing how all of the pieces fit together. She and President Truitt served on the Career Excellence and Enrichment Pillar and the goal for that group was to be a catalyst for creating an environment that engages and empowers faculty, staff and administrators to contribute to a culture of excellence. The first strategy was to honor and celebrate excellence of faculty, staff and administrators not just recognize, but offer more options to celebrate, either with an award or hold some type of reception.  This committee was open to looking at some of the things at LSU that went away, looking at new awards for faculty and staff and looking for new ways to honor them. Raising all salaries of faculty and staff to the above SREB levels is also a recommendation, which may not seem feasible right now, but you have to have aspirations and you have to get to a point where you recognize that we losing too may valuable faculty and staff members and something has to be done. Jane Cassidy led this group with faculty, staff and administrators, so it wasn’t just staff in the room. The second strategy was to provide opportunities and support in an effort to amplify existing employee strengths and acquire new knowledge and skills, thus equipping employees for growth and advancement at any stage in their career. Attending conferences, doing training for whatever field you are in as an employee, in addition to provide opportunities to prepare for your retirement.  This final recommendation ties into the committee’s final strategy, which is to create a work environment that is optimal for promoting health and wellbeing for all employees. Hosting wellness events during the day, potentially offering a staff discount to the satellite UREC being built in the Nicholson Gateway project,  creating a walking trail with distance markers; initiatives for staff to assist in getting rid of stress, helping effective communication and time management, and any ways that invest holistically in the lives of all LSU employees. This one was very popular and she thinks that whole crowd was on board with the pay issue. 

     

    The second subcommittee that Past-President Millican served on was the Operational Excellence subcommittee, based on the idea that LSU does not necessarily have a culture of expectation with regards to good customer service both internally and externally. So the thought was to partner with a company like Ritz Carrolton or Disney, who specialize in customer service to develop a program that is LSU-specific, to teach customer service. From helping those who may be lost on campus, how to approach them or to give an appropriate referral when they may ask a question you may not understand, these are all customer-focus areas in which we could improve.  Additionally, better communication among faculty and staff, and teaching how to avoid being so blunt or abrupt, and instead communicating with greater tact, was identified as an area for improvement. Trainers would then teach employees on campus, and this will be a part of the performance evaluation, with survey opportunities available for students, faculty, staff and visitors on campus to rate their experiences, so as to know where our problem areas are, and ensure accountability.  A program like this could also help develop faculty and staff in a way that is beneficial to the campus. Past-President Millican offered to share the subcommittee reports with the full Senate for review and suggestions.

     

    Senator Resignation 

    Past-President Millican announced that Senator Ramon Lopez has resigned from LSU and Staff Senate. He accepted a position off campus as a full time Clinical Therapist at Jefferson Oaks Behavioral Health. His last day was March 7. He wanted everyone to know that although he is not on Staff Senate any longer, he has enjoyed his time on the Senate and enjoyed working with each of us and is so grateful for your friendship. Now that he is no longer a state employee, he plans on using lessons learned on the Staff Senate to openly volunteer on political groups that want state funding for higher education, mental health services and more. He said he knows that we have big challenges ahead and LSU is lucky to have advocates like you.     

     

    Spring Greening Day 

    Past-President Millican announced that Spring Greening Day on campus will be held on April 20, 2017, from 11:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. We were able to bring the program back with a $20,000 contribution from BASF. Student Government is also contributing. There will be a sustainability expo, and approximately 200 volunteers are needed.  Our landscape services group is smaller than it has ever been, and they need our help. We have the ability to go out and plant in six different locations. It will make a huge difference in the beauty of the campus, with mulch around the live oak trees, of which we need to take care since they are a $50,000,000 asset to the university. There will be a meal provided, President Alexander will be there to plant a tree, as we have once again been named a campus tree U.S.A designee. It is going to be a great way to highlight our sustainability efforts. Some high school students will be coming in to help as well. The area around Howe-Russell is going to be transformed. There are 2,000 plants that need to go there, the site will already be prepped with a hold dug in the ground, you will just have to put the plant in the whole and cover it with dirt.  She will send the link to the full Senate to sign up.  We can even do a Staff Senate group, if everyone is interested in doing that. Please share with your colleagues.

     

    ANNOUNCEMENTS: 

    Past-President Millican announced that the Staff Senate got involved for a blood drive for Baby Easton Roy, who is the grandchild of former Senator Casey Bennett. He was born with persistent pulmonary hypertension which is a congenital issue at birth, resulting in an infant having failure of the normal circulating transition of breathing as the heart starts beating on its own.  Baby Easton’s heart-lung function did not operate normally at birth, and he is currently in the Children’s Hospital in New Orleans. He has already required approximately 50 blood transfusions. Staff Senate partnered with others to have a blood drive for Baby Easton on campus. 122 people showed up, and of those, 90 were able to donate. The Advocate newspaper, as well as WAFB news picked up this story, and they actually mentioned Staff Senate’s assistance.

     

    Past-President Tammy Millican announced that the University Council on Gender Equity has partnered with the Women’s Center and the Office of Diversity to bring back the popular Closing the Gaps Panel Series for the spring semester. The next panel discussion will be Friday, March 17, at 11:30 a.m., with a lite lunch provided, in the Studio Theater at the Music and Dramatic Arts Building. It will be moderated by Laurie Braden who is the Executive Director of UREC. The topic will be Exploring the Climate for the LGBTQ Student, Faculty and Staff. Past-President Millican invited everyone to attend. The last panel series will be on the wage gap based upon research conducted on salary information of faculty and staff. One of their members is a Professor who is pulling out some information you may be interested to hear.  Millican will forward the link to register for those interested in attending.

     

    Senator Ashley Thibodeaux announced that her daughter is a student at Baton Rouge High School and is a member of the Key Club. Their group volunteered for Holiday on Campus. They are still actively looking for ways to volunteer in the community. They have over 200 students in the club and are available during the week as well. Please let her know if you have an event that needs help with volunteers. They may be able to help with Spring Greening as well.

     

    Senator Hector Rios mentioned that the screening of Hidden Figures will be held on Friday, March 17, at 5:00 p.m. in the Union Theater. There will be a panel discussion after the movie, which is always interesting. He encouraged everyone to attend.

     

     Staff Senator Birthdays 

    Past-President Millican announced that Senator Anand Ramachandran celebrated his birthday on March 2nd, Senator Dominic Adedeji celebrated his birthday on March 12th, Senator Douglas Villien will celebrate his birthday on March 17th, Senator Maggi Spurlock will celebrate her birthday on March 18th and Staff Senate Administrative Coordinator Melonie Milton will celebrate her birthday on March 23rd “Happy Birthday!”

     

    MOTION TO ADJOURN – With there being no more business, Secretary Barbara Reonas moved to adjourn.  The motion, seconded by Senator Ashley Thibodeaux carried.  The meeting adjourned after noon.

     

    Barbara Reonas, Secretary

     

    BR/mm