STAFF SENATE MEETING MINUTES
October 21, 2015
President Tammy Millican presided over the October 21, 2015, Staff Senate meeting held at the LSU Student Union in Career Center Classroom (256J) at 10:30 a.m.
Pr - Matkovic, Igor (’17)
P - Cherry, Aaron (‘17)
P - Craddock, Jacquelyn (’16)
P - Hale, Robert (’16)
P - Hart, M.E. (’16)
P - Hendricks, Kendra (’16)
P - Perkins, Julie (’16)
P - DeRoche, Jon (’17)
P - Godfrey, Nikki (’17)
P - Kucharchuk, Kayla (’17)
P - Lopez, Ramon (’17)
P - Lowery, Michelle (’17)
P - Millican, Tammy (’17)
Pr - Nunes, Daniel (’17)
P - Reonas, Barbara (’17)
P - Spurlock, Maggi (’17)
P - 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)
P - 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
Randy Duran, Office of Research & Economic Development
Zachary Faircloth, Student Government
Casey Coughlin, Campus Federal Credit Union
Roxane Berthelot, Campus Federal Credit Union
Brandon Smith, United Way Campaign
CALL TO ORDER
The meeting was called to order by President Tammy Millican at 10:30 a.m.
There was a quorum with two proxies noted.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Senator Robert Dufrene led the Pledge of Allegiance.
APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES – September 19, 2015, Staff Senate Meetings
A motion to accept the minutes was made by President-Elect Trey Truitt. The motion, seconded by Senator M.E. Hart, carried.
President Tammy Millican introduced Randy Duran, who is Director of the Office of Undergraduate Research, among his other roles. The two became familiar with one another while working together on the SACS Accreditation Committee and Dr. Duran was specifically working on the Quality Enhancement Plan. Through his passion for research, Dr. Duran came to the Senate to share about a rare and exciting opportunity for staff.
Dr. Duran works mostly in the Office of Research & Economic Development, where he supports a number of initiatives, one of which being STEM Literacy. In his continuing support of undergraduate research and international activities, there are now opportunities for our staff to go back and forth between Grenoble, France and LSU to promote research and teaching innovation. There is funding in place for the next 2 years, for 24 LSU faculty and staff, with the European Union covering most of the cost. Grenoble has the most international workers per capita of any French city, the most Ph.D.’s and therefore is one of the most English-friendly European cities. The deadline to apply for this program and its funding is November 15. Dr. Durand gave a brief history of the development of this program, explaining it began with Erasmus+ program, funded by the European Union which supports student mobility and experiential global undergraduate experiences. Erasmus+ began with 11 countries and 3,000 students and in 2011, 33 European countries and 90% of the European Universities had involvement in this program with 200,000 students, making it the largest global student mobility program. There is a move started in 2014, to export this program to the world which includes the United States. The Vice President of the Universite’ Joseph Fourier in Grenoble, and also Dr. Duran’s associate, proposed to the European Union that LSU be a partner. This proposal was accepted, will be funded, and will commence January 2016. The idea of this program is to encourage a significant student exchange between LSU and Grenoble, so as to promote students working in a global world.
Universite’ Joseph Fourier is surrounded by Italy, Switzerland and Monaco. The Universite’ was started in 1339. In 1968, it was split into several different Universities and this spring it will be reorganized to form the Universite’ Grenoble Alpes, a research university twice the size of LSU, with a research focus on sustainable planets, health and well-being, digital world maps and fostering innovation to name a few. Staff will participate in one-week stays, with the European Union contributing 1,100 euros for airfare and approximately 1,000 euros towards the local costs. In order to invite a colleague to come to LSU, staff & faculty shall submit a one paragraph email detailing the collaboration and resulting student benefits. To propose travel to Grenoble, an application must be completed and uploaded, have a cover sheet including your supervisor’s approval, and upload a 2 page proposal detailing the collaboration and resulting student benefits. Your colleague from Grenoble would share a one paragraph email in support and explanation of the project as well.
Once applications are loaded, a committee in both locations will review and make recommendations. Creative ideas are encouraged, and LSU would like to encourage involvement from all units on campus, provided it directly benefits students, the LSU unit involved, and encourages the student abroad experience.
Dr. Duran asked to please refer any interested parties to himself or to provide him with their contact information.
The floor was then opened for questions.
Q: Are you looking to bring in employees from non-STEM academic areas on some of these partnerships?
A: Yes, though the grant was given to the Universite’ Joseph Fourier, which manages the hospitals and the STEM areas of that Universite’. However Non-STEM areas have been discussed as a means of communications, and may be acceptable.
Q: Treasurer Michelle Lowery noted that since this program is teaching students how to live in a global world, the LSU program, the Commitment to Community is also a program that encourages students to be active in their community and a global environment. Is this something for which the Dean of Students could apply to the Grenoble program; to collaborate with those colleagues about teaching methods for students with regard to citizenship and leadership in a global world?
A: Absolutely, this would be a concept in which the committee would be interested.
Q: If we wanted to invite someone from Grenoble to come here, what do the two universities have in regards to programs geared towards the first year experience for students?
A: LSU has them surpassed with regards to first year experience programming. What we do for our students is actually a model for a lot of places around the world.
President Tammy Millican mentioned that with these discussions it is obvious that there are some great ideas for collaboration. The Staff Senate Office has shared some information regarding this program by email prior to the meeting and all are encouraged to review and contact Dr. Duran with any additional questions or feedback.
President Tammy Millican introduced Brandon Smith a Coordinator for the Office of Diversity, here today to talk about the United Way Campaign, an important giving opportunity for the LSU community.
Mr. Smith informed the Senate that the United Way Campaign is now housed in the Office of Community University Partnerships. In an effort to inform the LSU Community about this giving campaign, Mr. Smith has been visiting many areas on campus, speaking about the United Way, and broadcast emails have been sent out as well. LSU chooses the Capital Area United Way as its giving campaign, as the organization is connected to over 40 member agencies impacting the area of healthcare, education, early child development, elderly care and more, across the ten parish capital area. Despite budget cuts and wage stagnation, LSU employees have continued to give to our community through the United Way Campaign alongside partners such as Turner Industries, Exxon Mobil and Shell, to name a few. Donations may primarily be made through the online portal, outlined in the broadcast email sent to the LSU community. Whatever pledge you make between now and the 1st week in December will be deducted from your paycheck, over the course of the next year, in whatever fashion you choose. For instance, you may choose to gift $20 over the next 5 pay periods.
Two years ago, the University set a goal of raising $75,000, which was exceeded. Last year, the goal was set at $90,000 and also exceeded. This year, our goal has been set at $100,000. With only 8-11% staff and faculty participation, we have been able to meet these generous donation goals. The University believes we can meet much greater gifting needs, if we get the word out to more staff and faculty, as LSU has proven we are willing to give and help our community. As a comparison to our peers, the University of Alabama has approximately 54% staff and faculty participation in their United Way Campaign. LSU would love to see that level of participation from our University community, so that is something for which to strive. All sectors of the LSU workforce donate, and donors can request a donor designation form which ensures all or a portion of your donation goes to a specific agency. Please keep in mind, however, there is a disclaimer which states the United Way Board of Directors reserves the right to reappropriate donations if needed.
Q: When does the campaign end?
A: The first week in December on the 4th.
Q: What percentage of the money that is given is used for administration costs and what percentage goes directly to United Way programs?
A: The latest Capital Area United Way’s Annual Report says that 15% of their revenue goes to administrative overhead costs. The national average for the United Way is 10% administrative cost. However, a new local CEO was hired 18 months ago, and he has brought their administrative costs down from 21% to 15% with a plan to get them down to the national average.
Mr. Smith welcomed anyone who would like for him to speak in their department to please contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
President Tammy Millican announced that Maria Fuentes-Martin, the new Associate Vice President and Dean of Students was also scheduled to speak with the full Senate this morning but had to leave due to another commitment. We will extend the invite to her for a later meeting date.
President Millican reported that on September 17, she attended the ribbon cutting ceremony for Cypress Hall, the new residential facility, which is beautiful and actually sustainable. It is one of the first lead certified buildings on campus and all are encouraged to visit it.
President Millican stated that on September 18, she, along with President-Elect Trey Truitt and Past-President Julie Perkins attended the Board of Supervisors Meeting, during which presentations regarding the budget were included. An additional meeting will be held this upcoming Friday and any Senators are encouraged to attend.
President Millican reported that on September 23, she had a meeting with Stephen Moret of the LSU Foundation to discuss interest in a potential upcoming campaign, aimed specifically at soliciting LSU staff donations. Prior to launching any campaigns, Mr. Moret and the Foundation would like to talk with staff representatives to get a sense of what might be positive or negative about such a drive. President Millican indicated the Staff Senate would appreciate the opportunity to give him feedback, so he will be invited soon to speak with the Senate. He indicated he was very impressed by the Staff Senate’s Strategic Plan, and the Foundation may be seeking feedback about ways in which they can contribute to initiatives of importance to staff in the future.
President Millican reported that on September 28, she attended the University Council on Gender Equity Meeting.
On October 2, she, along with many other Senators attended Fall Fest. The Hamster Activity Balls were a success. Representatives from Staff Senate were in the newspaper, WBRZ News, and on snap chats.
On October 7, President Millican attended the Administrative Processes Improvement Committee meeting. The Committee has received about 10 responses, some of which were able to be addressed immediately. At the upcoming meeting Shorts Travel and travel complaints in general will be the primary focus, and feedback is intended to be provided to the representatives from Shorts. Many issues may be solved when Workday is implemented but there are other things that need to be addressed to make our jobs easier and more efficient. Senators were encouraged to submit concerns and feedback via the website, in an effort to help resolve longstanding issues.
President Millican reported that on October 8, she along with some others, attended a Campus Dining Focus Group. Participants were divided into focus groups based on catering or dining. It was suggested that, although this focus group arose out of concerns around the upcoming contract renewal and feedback received, it would be beneficial to have these focus groups and to solicit feedback each year. Results will soon be forthcoming. Senator Spurlock inquired as to when the advertised Tiger Points given to participants would be awarded, to which President Millican indicated she would follow up and share when all could expect points to be dispersed.
President Millican reported that on October 11, she attended the Take Back the Night and mentioned what an honor to be a part of that event. Senators Adedeji, Eldredge, Reonas and Cherry and his family attended. It was very sad to participate in a remembrance of those murdered victims in Louisiana over the past year. Senator Summer Steib coordinated such an incredible event and President Millican has learned much about what is done through the Women’s Center. It was very sobering, but also a celebration, of the strength of people.
President Millican reported that on October 14, the Executive Committee met to plan for today’s meeting and set the agenda.
On October 15, President Millican, along with many other Senators, attended the Benefits Fair. She thanked everyone who was able to come out and interact with fellow staff members. It was good to hear about their concerns and it gave high visibility for Staff Senate.
President Millican reported that on October 15, she also attended the University Council on Gender Equity Meeting. She has been asked to work on a subcommittee looking at awareness of the wage gap in Louisiana. Senators Godfrey and Cherry will work on an additional subcommittee that will work on crisis leave, flex time and maternity leave. In a time where we are not getting pay raises, there are some other things that can be done to help out. If you have any ideas, please share with her and she will bring those back to the committee. They are really looking at seeking some action on these items and not just discussing.
President Millican requested that committee updates be provided.
Staff Benefits, Policies and Development
Senator Godfrey reported that the Committee met on October 7, and is in the midst of planning the New Staff Reception Breakfast, scheduled on November 12, at 8:00 am at the BEC Rotunda, an event to welcome all newly hired staff within the past year. A volunteer sign-up sheet was circulated for participation on various assignments such as set-up, food distribution, vendor tables, door prizes and clean-up. As was mentioned in the President’s address, the Committee is also working on items that pertain to leave time, flex time, crisis leave and maternity leave. Senator Godfrey asked if anyone has individual stories or narratives from their co-workers of how the leave policies impacted them, to please share those with her or Senator Cherry, so these can be compiled. No names will be used for that information.
Senator Cherry explained that the Committee is also going to focus on Section 17 of the PS 12, Leave Policy, which deals specifically with the Crisis Leave Policy. This section pertains to employees who deplete all sick leave while they are on FMLA, and are in need of “crisis leave”, but the definition of a “crisis” could need clearer parameters. The testimonials of impact could assist in identifying the gaps in coverage.
Past-President Perkins mentioned that an employee who was full time for over 20 years, but had recently dropped to 75% effort, contacted her last year and was being denied for the Tuition Exemption Program benefit because she was no longer full time. Senator Perkins explored at that time, whether there was there any type of appeals process, or a secondary deciding factor. Senator Cherry has thoughts about suggesting that, while the ultimate decision-making responsibility of the crisis leave pool rests with the administrator, perhaps there is a three person review board which can make recommendations or review appeals. Senator Craddock recommended consideration of adding annual and sick leave together, and Senator Cherry mentioned that they are looking at that as well.
Budget & Finance
Treasurer Lowery reported that the committee met on October 1, with Jason Droddy and Tommy Smith being invited, along with any staff senator who chose to attend. The speakers discussed the legislature’s impact on the budget. Included with the committee report were two documents: a report on 2015 Legislature and Legislative Races. This document shows which legislator is voting for revenue measures which are in favor of LSU. She encouraged everyone to look at that as an individual to find their representative, see how they are voting, reach out to them, and request their support of LSU. The Committee also learned about the Tiger Advocates, a part of the LSU Alumni Association, and what they are doing to support LSU. Tiger Advocates sent emails to all the Louisiana gubernatorial candidates with a request for responses to six questions. Responses were posted on the LSU Alumni Association’s website.
Lowery also discussed the budget of 1 billion dollars and how that is divided for the operating budget of LSU; 70.2% is from tuition and fees, 25.8% is from state funds and then 4% is self-generated fees from departments. She encouraged everyone to review that information and contact your legislators to ask these important questions right now.
President Millican reported that the committee met this morning, and agreed to ask Senators to take photos of staff members “in action”, doing their jobs, with their name, and forward to Melonie or her to post to social media and the website. This would allow us to recognize and show appreciation for staff, as well as remind the rest of the campus of staff’s daily impact. The Committee is also exploring the option of creating a newsletter or being included in the Finance and Administration Newsletter. In addition, the Committee is looking at underrepresented areas of staff on campus and corresponding outreach potential.
Senator Lopez reported that the Committee met on October 9. They reviewed much of what was presented at the Budget and Finance Committee meeting and discussed legislative seats up for re-election and in run-offs. For the November Staff Senate Meeting being held in the State Capital we may invite the run-off gubernatorial candidates to the meeting. The representation in the different parishes that are impacted by LSU was also discussed. It was suggested to monitor the elections and what happens after October 24.
President Millican highlighted the importance of Faculty Senate, Student Government and Staff Senate working together as we constitute a large group with considerable impact when combined.
Treasurer Lowery announced that there is a gubernatorial debate scheduled from 7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. this evening on campus. It is by invitation only but it is being broadcast on WBRZ. There may be some questions about how the candidates support LSU. There has also been some word about a gubernatorial run-off debate that was scheduled for next week but now may be cancelled. There was very limited space for the debate this evening, so a Staff Senate representative will not be in attendance but Zach Faircloth, a friend of the Senate will attend.
Long Range Review and Planning
Senator Steib reported that the committee met on October 19, and Dr. Dereck Rovaris gave the committee an update on the Campus Climate Survey, which is scheduled to go out in the spring instead of the fall. All institutions of Higher Education in Louisiana are mandated by the State Legislature to do a student campus climate survey around sexual assault. That survey must be administered first, then the campus climate survey will go out. The survey will be aimed at students, faculty, and staff, but not mandated and therefore is expected to get a participation rate of approximately 15-20%; typically from respondents who are very happy or unhappy. Dr. Rovaris asked all staff senators to find ways to encourage campus to participate in the survey and provide feedback. The survey should be brief, taking only 8-11 minutes, with open-ended opportunities to respond. LSU and Staff Senate will need to position ourselves to move on items that come up as major areas of need, gaps, concerns and opportunities.
SPECIAL AD-HOC COMMITTEES
President Millican requested committee updates be provided.
Holiday on Campus
Senator Gomez reported that the committee met on September 29 and October 15. The details of those meetings were included in the reports. She circulated a Senator Volunteer sign-up sheet for participation which will be held on Tuesday, December 1, from 6-8pm in the Student Union. Volunteer shifts and roles are outlined for Senators to select a preference. The committee has received all of the requested funding. The balance including the remainder from last year is $2,645.47 to be used for this year’s budget. The committee is working on some inflatables and costume characters for the event. Last year, we handed out a spiral candy stick to all the kids who attended but we would like to stuff 200 goody bags with candy this year to hand out to the kids. The committee is requesting that all Senators contribute two bags of candy to help with this effort. The best time to purchase candy is right after Halloween, as most candy will be on sale, but we ask that you please refrain from buying Halloween themed candy, so we can keep with the season. The committee is also working on publicity with an email broadcast to the campus community on November 2 and again on November 23. We will also have poster and fliers for all Senators to post and distribute within their units. The full Senate also thanked Campus Federal Credit Union for their donation.
President-Elect Truitt reported that the committee met on October 14, and discussed the Staff Senate Apparel options. The committee chose four different types of apparel for purchase and discussed that they needed to assess a level of interest before presenting an order form. The vendor has quoted a reasonable price, but can only offer that price as long as we have a minimum purchase of 12 items. There was a long sleeve, short sleeve and a vest option. Samples can be available once we know the level of interest. He circulated a sign-up sheet for senators to check if interested in purchasing. There was some discussion last year of making the shirts available with the LSU Staff logo as well as Staff Senate logo. If preferred, and we would like to open this up to all staff for purchase, we could possibly use the purchase to help raise money for Staff Senate Scholarships and the Foundation can help facilitate with the ordering.
Senator Hart reported that the Committee met on October 1, and discussed the Holiday Decoration Contest and are still in the process of developing theme ideas; please share any ideas with Senator Hart. The theme ideas already discussed include a Christmas Carol, Gingerbread Wonderland, LSU Lampoon Christmas or LSU Wonderland. The Committee is also discussing dates for the Candy Grams. The Committee will need help making the Candy Grams once the orders have been received. President Millican suggested that the committee also look in to online ordering as well.
President Millican asked that liaison committee updates be provided.
Senator Hendricks reported that the Campus Communicators meetings were held on September 17 and October 20. The meeting on September 17 was held at Cypress Hall which they were able to tour. It was mentioned that the new hall is sustainable and the model was discussed. The ribbon cutting ceremony was held at the end of the meeting and tour. Interim Provost Koubek gave a presentation on “Moving Forward”. He spoke about his vision for Academic Affairs and the three things that should be included in our recruiting message: leadership, innovation and community. He is also proposing a student excellence fee. Melissa Brocato with Academic Success gave a presentation on “How Thinking like Students Can Increase Learning and Retention.”
The meeting on October 20 was held in the Career Center Classroom and discussed communication on campus. Holly Cullen with Strategic Communications discussed the Customer Satisfaction Survey, conducted in July 2014, in which only 30 of 130 people invited to take the survey, responded. The main areas of feedback involved responsiveness, initiatives in progress, brand guidelines, and templates, resources, collaboration and timelines. Cullen mentioned that each concern was taken seriously and steps have been made to make sure that all areas will be addressed. Lori Martin, Claire McNeil and Senator Hart spoke about the Omni Update which is LSU’s new web content management system. The team has been assisting approximately 50% of LSU’s departments to move their websites to this new platform. Ernie Ballard with Strategic Communications discussed press releases and the manner in which they are finding new, better and faster ways to disseminate information. Departments were also encouraged to submit events to the university calendar.
Senator Craddock reported the Faculty Senate meeting was held on October 6, with highlights from the meeting addressing the policy for graduation regalia being discussed again, the software via Moodle being added to assist disabled students, and the revisions to LSU’s policy regarding English proficiency. This last issue has implications pertaining to a growing number of international students and requirements for graduate students who are teaching classes. The remainder of the meeting related to discussion by the Faculty Senate subcommittee on findings regarding Resolution 15-15, addressing Theresa Buchannan, the tenured faculty who was recently terminated.
Black Faculty and Staff Caucus
Senator Adedeji reported that the Black Faculty and Staff Caucus met on October 7, and discussed Volunteers in Public Schools, “VIPS”, which is a campaign designed to bridge the educational gaps, partnerships and volunteers in East Baton Rouge. Most of the 500-600 volunteers are from LSU and their activities include, the “Everybody Reads” and “Everybody Counts” programs. Spousal hires were also discussed.
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.
Senator Name Tags
President Millican announced that the Staff Senate Executive Committee has approved to purchase all senators a magnetic gold name tag with just the name and the LSU logo.
Staff Senate Budget
Treasurer Lowery circulated an updated balance sheet for the Staff Senate accounts. She reported that:
Bursar Account (Gift Fund) - $186.38
LSU Foundation Accounts:
Fee Support Scholarship - $12,909.44
Holiday on Campus Support Fund - $945.47
Scholarship Award - $4,084.98
Support Fund - $237.47
State Account (Operating Budget) $6,341.24
Total Budget: $24,704.98
President Millican shared The Association of Underprivileged Students and Louisiana Youth Project announcement Senator Godfrey’s appointment as the newest member of the Board of Trustees. As one of 16 members on the board, she will serve a 3 year term and will work with the other trustees to ensure that the association fulfills its mission of advocating for students with learning disabilities, handle policy matters, approve the yearly budget and provide guidance and advice to the CEO. She is a Junior League Baton Rouge Provisional this year.
Friend of the Senate, Brian Ainsworth with Campus Federal Credit Union recently received a Kiwanis Club of Baton Rouge Award (George F. Hicken’s Fellowship Award) for his dedication and service to the Kiwanis Club and the surrounding community. In addition to the award, a $1,000 donation was made in his name to the Eliminate Program, which strives to eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus worldwide.
Senator Springstead announced that Facility Services is upgrading their system for space management. Space audit training will be offered soon as well.
Past-President Perkins announced that the Annual Tigerama in support of the LSU Bands will be held on Wednesday, October 28. The Staff Senate will hold a Social Media Trivia to give away two tickets, compliments of the School of Music and Dramatic Arts.
Treasurer Lowery announced some Homecoming events, which included the CANapalooza Blitz Build on the Parade Ground to be displayed on Friday, October 23 which benefits the Baton Rouge Food Bank, the Pep Rally is scheduled on Thursday, October 22 at 7pm on the Parade Ground and the Parade on Saturday, October 24 at 11am. She also mentioned that LSU will be participating in the Confederate Flag exchange program during Saturday’s tailgating. If you see a flag that needs to be exchanged for a LSU Flag, please text her and let her know where, so they may be approached to participate.
Senator Arnold asked about routes to parking during commencement as some roads are scheduled to be closed due to road construction. President Millican asked her to send her the information so the matter can be addressed with Jeff Campbell of Parking & Transportation. Alternative routes for easier parking will likely be suggested.
Staff Senator Birthdays
President Millican announced that President-Elect Truitt celebrated his birthday on October 2, Senator Owens celebrated his birthday on October 3, Senator Poret celebrated her birthday on October 12, Senator Hart celebrated her birthday on October 16 and Senator Arnold will celebrate her birthday on October 31. “Happy Birthday.”
MOTION TO ADJOURN – With there being no more business, Past-President Julie moved to adjourn. The motion, seconded by Secretary Reonas, carried. The meeting adjourned before noon.
Barbara Reonas, Secretary