STAFF SENATE MEETING MINUTES
May 17, 2017
President Douglas Villien presided over the May 17, 2017, Staff Senate meeting held at the LSU Student Union in the Career Center Classroom at 10:30 a.m.
A - Matkovic, Igor (’17)
P - Cherry, Aaron (‘17)
A - DeRoche, Jon (’17)
P - Kucharchuk, Kayla (’17)
P - Lemoine, Nathan (’17)
P - Lowery, Michelle (’17)
P - Millican, Tammy (’17)
P - Ramachandran, Anand (’17)
P - Reonas, Barbara (’17)
A - Spurlock, Maggi (’17)
P - Steib, Summer (’17)
P - Villien, Douglas (’17)
P - Gomez, Jennifer (’18)
Pr - Henry, Jake (’18)
P - Linam, Barrett (’18)
P - Ortiz, Shelly (’18)
P - Poret, Elizabeth (’18)
P - Springstead, Jennifer (’18)
Pr - Ethridge, Jade (’19)
P - Henry, Rachel (’19)
A - Heroman, Stephanie (’19)
P - Rios, Hector (’19)
P - 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
Chief Technology Officer Andrea Ballinger, Information Technology Services
Vice Provost Dereck Rovaris, Office of Diversity
CALL TO ORDER
The meeting was called to order by President Douglas Villien at 10:30 a.m.
There was a quorum with two proxies noted.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Senator Shelly Ortiz led the Pledge of Allegiance.
APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES – April 19, 2017, Staff Senate Meeting
A motion to accept the minutes was made by President-Elect Michelle Lowery. The motion, seconded by Member-at-Large Aaron Cherry, carried.
GUEST SPEAKER – ANDREA BALLINGER, CHIEF TECHNOLOGY OFFICER WITH INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY SERVICES
President Douglas Villien introduced Andrea Ballinger who is the new Associate Vice President & Chief Technology Officer with Information Technology Services. President Villien thanked her for coming to speak about her Roadmap for a Shared IT Vision at LSU.
Andrea Ballinger thanked the full Senate for the opportunity to share some of this information today. She mentioned that she has been at LSU for about 2 ½ months now and has been doing a lot of work to set the stage for changes that must be put in place related to technology at LSU. Associate Vice President Ballinger has been working in higher education for about 18 years, and prior to that, she worked in merchant acquisitions for large banks. In the 1980’s and 1990’s, large international banks were purchasing other, smaller banking businesses. Specifically, her job was to determine how to merge smaller institutions into the culture of the bigger banks, and whether they had the better technology than the bigger banks. Just like LSU, once you become a very established organization, it takes an army to move into new systems or new processes when it comes to technology. This is how she moved into Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) implementations and customer relationship management applications.
Andrea acknowledged that LSU’s IT infrastructure is not even comparable to that of our peers. She is not one who believes in leading edge for LSU, because we don’t have the money for that level but she wants to be within degrees of separation for our peers. Associate Vice President Ballinger explained the reason for the short time line for improvements is not only to be competitive with our peers, but also because our systems are so old they will no longer be supported by IBM after 2 years. She is attempting to negotiate for one additional year, because she feels she needs at least 3 years to get this done. LSU staff who actually designed and conceptualized the systems are the only ones with the subject matter knowledge and detail. Many of them are, or will soon, retire. With regard to her 3 year plan, Associate Vice President Ballinger earned her undergraduate in Finance as well as an MBA, so she looks at processes and cost and always has risk in the back of her mind. She mentioned that she is setting the stage with regard to our lacking infrastructure, so we may understand why certain things are being done.
Ms. Ballinger announced that since she was hired in February, she has been putting a plan together. If the priorities of that plan are taken care of, all of the other problems are manageable. One priority is IT Governance: right now, technology decisions are decentralized. On the one hand, decentralization can be positive, as you get a lot of people thinking about a problem, but the negative side occurs when people don’t collaborate. We are not even at the same table when decisions are being made that will impact us. We need to have an IT Governance that actually sits on top, with a group of executives/representatives that account for all of the stake holders on campus, providing input on decision-making and priorities. She mentioned, as an example, one of the college deans came to her and wanted to purchase a particular tool. He has been paying for this tool for the past 4 years but LSU signed an enterprise wide agreement 5 years ago for that tool. If we had a contract management tool in place, and were less decentralized, this wouldn’t happen.
Andrea explained that the IT Infrastructure must be physically updated, in order to achieve other goals. Her focus for our group is on applications. She realizes that the network has to be beefy, as well as the wireless capability, because the more we progress, the more we are going to count on applications that are not on our premises. We all have heard about the cloud which will soon house more and more of our applications. In order for us to connect to the cloud, we need a strong internet infrastructure due to the volume of users.
Ms. Ballinger explained about the many projects which need attention, but one of great concern is the identity access management tool. Currently, when an employee is hired, he or she receives an ID and an identity within the system, but that ID and identity is not the sole tool used to give access to every needed application. In fact, the “owner” of that application decides how the security profile is set-up. The CTO is responsible for all state and federal government security and public records requests. With our current system, the CTO can only show them the data of which ITS has in its possession; Ms. Ballinger doesn’t have access into those other systems, which essentially lends itself to breaking the law. In order to address this deficiency, an identity access tool is under development. We have a Request for Proposal (RFP) put together and all of the other campuses will be joining.
The second area of greatest concern is the modernization of the student data aspect of our system. Through Workday, LSU has bought this unified tool for Human Resources and Finance. We have not, as of yet, made a commitment to go along with Workday Student. As the CTO, she has a responsibility to look at that tool and determine if it can meet our needs.
Q: What about moving forward with our current roll out with Workday and what we are using?
A: She has two colleagues working on that since she was not here for implementation. She was asked by A.G. Monaco to look at the Human Resource side to see what we can improve upon. The finance side has to close out the year before we can work on that. The way that it was implemented was heroic. It took thousands of hours to put this in place and our staff did the best that they could do, with no software expertise in-house. But with any system that you put in place there will always be some negative aspects, because it is change, and LSU in particular has not made any changes in a long time. We have been very stable for a long time which makes the transition even more heightened. The fact that we have many changes happening simultaneously has many people experiencing change fatigue. Out of concern for people’s experience with these new implementations, she met with the Dean of Social Work to determine if they can assist with the aspect of change fatigue. She is putting a team together to reexamine the processes, first looking at the faculty issues then the staff.
Ms. Ballinger mentioned that this is all based on a plan, so she doesn’t get distracted. There may be employees who go to a conference or hear about some technology and present it to LSU. However, if we get in a situation where we are discussing things that don’t belong in the two-year plan, we will not move forward effectively. Therefore we will adhere to the plan as much as possible to maximize our productivity. She also discussed the current activities in development, beginning with IT Governance. This concept is important to her, as this group decides what the vision for IT should be for LSU. It shouldn’t be only the technologies administration making these decisions. They have the expertise to decide if an idea is feasible or not. But this governance group should have representation from every one of the stakeholders on campus. She wants to make sure that the other campuses come along with the A&M campus. She does not have any authority or influence over them, but the CTO’s are working closely with her, and open communication is underway.
Ms. Ballinger intends to define the priorities, with regard to the plan’s funding. If there are some things that require a lot of capital, the governance will help facilitate that with CFO and the Provost. Once they identify a project with large scope, such as the Student Modernization effort, a project governance will be created, with the responsibility to report and make suggestions to the IT Governance on things like policies, advising and recruiting. She discussed the proposed membership for the IT Governance, which will include a representative from Staff Senate.
Ms. Ballinger went on to further define the concept of “change management,” which surprisingly is not about the decisions made, but rather pertains to the human aspect and reaction to change when implementing a new system. People must interact with the software, system or process. Some people are more comfortable with changes on an ongoing basis, while some are not, just as some people are familiar with technology and some are not. The change agent component for large projects cannot be ignored. That was not addressed during the last Workday project and she will be addressing that in the future. She recommended our staff look into the “change agent” certification, which employs training to assist and prepare people for change.
Q: Are you also looking at skills sets in the other IT departments on campus?
A: She met with approximately 60 of our Technology Solutions Providers (TSP’s) and provided them details of how she is doing this. She is working with A.G. Monaco with Human Resource Management as well. Although buy in cannot be forced, one of the reasons the CIO’s are included on the governance board is to demonstrate the benefits to them.
Ms. Ballinger explained the Enterprise Architecture Team is a highly technical team with the responsibility to implement everything related to our enterprise right now. She explained the complexity, interconnectedness and risk of what is going on with our current IT structure. Mainframe includes 8300 distinct mainframe system to mainframe system integration points which must be replaced within 2, hopefully 3, remaining years of committed support from IBM. It is a complicated environment right now with many tentacles between the other systems with which we are integrated; the current systems are very confusing.
Andrea mentioned that LSU has not yet made a commitment to implement Workday Student. The student modernization project will be different. The rumor on campus that she has heard is that not only did she personally buy the Workday Student but that she has implemented it and told no one. That is not true and please help her to kill this rumor. It is a unified tool and while we do have the subscription, we do not have a commitment to buy or implement it. The central office may think it is a great tool, but when the people do not agree, the frustrations begin. There will be a formal IT and Project Governance plan in place for this as well. Some people’s processes may be different and they will need to know, in advance, how to change their processes to fit our new system. University Registrar Robert Doolos has tried to retire twice, but has graciously committed to stay at LSU for two more years to help with his expertise on Mainframe, and Cindy Hadden as well, who has been at LSU for over 30 years. She is the Architect behind the student systems on Mainframe. They are both going to lead this project. They will be the ones talking to everyone on a day-to-day basis regarding this project.
From now until December, they are going to be turning the project around, as there has been three years of work by Robert Doolos and his team with regards to collection requirements for students. She is going to spend this summer putting those requirements back to the community in separate sessions for recruiting, advising, etc. They will see what has been collected for the last three years for feedback and how they have been managing processes in those areas. In the fall, she will bring all of those cases to Workday to see if they are mature enough to answer at least 80% of our needs. Hopefully 90% of our needs and concerns can be answered, as we have worked with them for 3 years. If the answer is yes, Workday Student will be where we invest our resources. If it fits 80-90%, she will recommend to the IT Governance to go live on Workday Student and then it will take 18-24 months to deploy. That is why she needs the three years. If the answer is no, Workday is not mature enough, and can’t answer at least 80% of our needs then she is going to use everything that we have collected and put in an RFP.
Q: What happens if Workday Student is not going to work and we have to go to one of these other options? Is the solution to integrate it with Workday? What are the solutions for Workday on the other side for Finance and HR now?
A: Yes the solution would be to integrate it with Workday if we have to use another option. There are separate committees who are looking at the business processes. Human Resource will start soon and Finance will wait until end-of-year. But there is no goal to replace what we have in place right now. We will improve it and make it work for us. They do not have the schedule of when those best practices can be put in place but they are being addressed. Human Resource Management has three big priorities right now; expense reports is one of them.
Q: What questions should we be asking to be at the same table as faculty since they have some priorities ahead of staff priorities?
A: That is why the IT Governance is forming so that staff is at the same table.
Past-President Tammy Millican commented that she thinks that staff was ready for the implementation, as we are not afraid of new things and we were told that it was going to streamline processes. When staff members went into meetings with experts of this system and asked questions, staff were told answers would be forthcoming, but were never presented. Millican mentioned that during all of this, best practices seemed to be unsupported. Ms. Ballinger clarified that best practices is an approach, not a solution. People are not going to agree on everything but there is a method by which we should put it on the table to have that discussion, openly listening to one another so that we can get there. Now if they are telling you that this is the only way it can be done, that is not a best practice approach. She mentioned that although staff are important, they are not the only stakeholder. Senator Shelly Ortiz mentioned that she was at the table for the discussions for both Geauxshop and came in early for Workday training, what was presented is not what came out. Her department does the second most travel requests on campus right behind Athletics with 200 WAE employees who do nothing but travel and they had to go in and write their own Workday job aides to be able to train them on how to process their travel expenses in Workday. They had to hire a full time employee just to troubleshoot issues in Workday. Andrea mentioned that they did the best that they could do with no expertise. Her motto is, you always have time to do it right the first time. With higher education you never have enough time or money to do it right the first time. We will do the best that we can. She mentioned that she will fight the good fight for the right things, but she wants open ears for all of us. There is one improvement on which she will not negotiate, which is LSU’s current position with questionable security.
President Villien thanked Andrea Ballinger for sharing this information with the full Senate today.
President Douglas Villien requested that standing committee updates be provided.
SPECIAL AD-HOC COMMITTEES
President Villien requested special ad-hoc committee updates be provided.
Senator Elizabeth Poret announced that the committee did not meet but the Staff Senate Appreciation Event/Tailgate held on May 16, 2017 was a success. She thanked everyone who helped and attended. President Villien thanked Dr. Rovaris and President Alexander who also attended. Villien mentioned that he feels that it was better attended than last year. All but six of the 144 t-shirts ordered were handed out. Everyone who attended seemed to enjoy it.
President Villien asked that liaison committee updates be provided.
Diversity Action Team
Senator Hector Rios mentioned that he met with Andrea Ballinger a few days ago and discussed the relationship between technology and diversity. They also discussed the different systems on campus. The issue of some staff having a preferred pronoun and alternative names, etc. was also discussed. She understands the importance of this issue. He wanted it to be on her radar, so when she starts having those conversations with the IT Governance that these things will also be taken into consideration. In addition, he spoke to her about Dr. Rovaris and having a discussion about the intersection of technology and diversity as well. He also mentioned that he has been working internally in his department to have a presentation like the one that took place this past semester on LGBTQ students in the classroom. This was something that he wanted to do for his building but with a focus on employees, so he has been working with Elaine Maccio.
President Villien mentioned that although we did not have a representative who was able to attend the May Faculty Senate Meeting, he was contacted by an employee about a first reading of a Faculty Senate Resolution that supports offering tuition remission to children of faculty members. Faculty Senate did reach out about possibly including staff dependents as well but now there has been no further discussion. Villien has responded that the number of staff is our greatest strength but whenever it comes to cost, or exemptions/tuition remissions, it is our greatest weakness. He is unsure how to bring forth to the Board of Supervisors to retain staff. What this came down to was not including staff in their resolution due to cost and he can understand why but it makes it frustrating for us to progress as a group.
Secretary Barbara Reonas shared that she feels this puts the onus on us. The Faculty Senate is producing a Resolution which they will bring forth to our upper administration and we are free to do the same thing. We actually approached this idea in the fall, but it was tabled because the Tiger Legacy was passed by the Board of Supervisors. However some felt the Tiger Legacy was not as much of an employee benefit, but rather a merit award for students. However, at the time, we were quite appreciative. The Faculty Senate may have mirrored our sentiment that it was not enough of an effort, and thus chose to write a resolution and push forth to be more equal with our peer institutions; an employee benefit. That may be something in the fall that we can look at, and the efforts of Faculty Senate will not hinder us from moving forward; it just won’t be collaborative. President Villien mentioned one way to mitigate our numbers is to have certain requirements in place, such as being a staff member for a certain number of years, etc. Those are discussions that we can have before we formulate what we want to say and bring it to the next level. He thinks this is certainly something that we should pursue. Secretary Reonas mentioned that just because the Faculty Senate has passed a resolution doesn’t mean that it is approved. Senator Shelly Ortiz asked if there were certain benefits that faculty get that staff do not. President Villien noted one that he researched about a year ago, where there is a tuition exemption for children of deceased faculty members, there is no such exemption for the children of deceased staff members. He did not bring it forth at the time due to all of the budget constraints. It is one of those viable things that he thinks that the Staff Senate should pursue and should not be that difficult to implement. It already exists for faculty, why not for staff? He also received an email recently about a raffle for faculty to obtain Football Tickets. Senator Jennifer Gomez mentioned that Athletics previously offered discounted tickets for staff but ceased last year. They did offer it for the last game but now the faculty are doing a raffle for discounted tickets. Staff used to be included on that opportunity.
Dr. Rovaris mentioned that some do not understand this nuance, but although most administrators have faculty appointments, they are more like staff than faculty. Administrators don’t have tenure or all the other benefits and perks. So when you think of a three legged stool, he agrees that the staff’s biggest strength is in their numbers, but also it’s the service that we provide. We have to make sure that everybody understands that we need all of those entities. He was unaware of that death benefit but would hate to know that someone would have to die for someone else to receive the benefit. Faculty Senate puts forth resolutions all the time. Their resolutions are statements regarding how strong they feel on certain issues with regard to upper administration. It doesn’t necessarily change or implement policies. He agrees that Staff Senate should move forward with similar language to say that there should be the same benefit for staff. He doesn’t think that it will happen, given the large numbers in total which is the real problem. He wants us to understand that most administrators see staff as integral. We all know that at the end of the day without faculty, we do not have an institution as they are here to educate. The light shine on faculty, but is not an exclusive light, as they need staff support as well. He believes what Staff Senate is doing is important and will stay involved. He asked to let him know if the Staff Senate finds other inequities with Faculty benefits compared to staff benefits. He can bring that forward, to determine if they can be addressed in some way.
Staff Senate General Election Results
Staff Senate Administrative Coordinator Melonie Milton announced the general elections results. In the Executive/Administrative/Managerial Category, Past-President Tammy Millican who is the Executive Director with Facility & Property Oversight was re-elected for a 3-year term and Treasurer Kayla Kucharchuk who is a Manager with the LSU Olinde Career Center was re-elected to fill a 1-year vacancy seat.
In the Professional/Non-Faculty Category, Jennifer Braud who is a Counselor with College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Derek Calderara who is a Coordinator with Residential Life, Jill Clemmons who is an Assistant Director with Academic Programs Abroad, Kristen Hernandez who is an Educational Technology Consultant with the Faculty Technology Center, Osmar Padilla who is a Coordinator with Continuing Education were elected for a 3-year term and Nathan Lemoine who is an Information Technology Analyst with Law Enforcement Online was re-elected for a 3-year term. Secretary Barbara Reonas who is Lead Counselor with College of Engineering ran unopposed for a 2-year vacancy seat and Megan Stone who is a Business Manager with the LSU Office of Student Media ran unopposed for a 1-year vacancy seat.
In the Technical/Paraprofessional Category, Member-at-Large Aaron Cherry who is a Maintenance Superintendent with Facility and Property Oversight ran unopposed for a 3-year term.
In the Skilled Crafts Category, Senator Brent Corbitt who is an Electronic Technician with Facility and Property Oversight ran unopposed for a 1-year vacancy seat.
In the Service Maintenance Category, Senator Igor Matkovic who is a Custodian Manager for Building Services with Facility and Property Oversight ran unopposed for a 3-year term.
She mentioned that there is still 1 vacancy in the Technical/Paraprofessional Category through 2019 and 2 vacancies in the Service Maintenance Category through 2019.
President Villien announced that the newly elected Senators have been invited to attend the June Staff Senate meeting before their terms begin in July 2017.
Staff Senate Budget
Treasurer Kayla Kucharchuk gave a report on the updated balance sheet for the Staff Senate accounts. A copy was circulated to the full Senate.
Bursar Account (Gift Fund) - $249.22
LSU Foundation Accounts:
Fee Support Scholarship - $14,310.53
Holiday on Campus Support Fund - $141.99
Scholarship Award - $3,993.09
Support Fund – $248.86
State Account (Operating Budget) $3,353.44
Total Budget: $22,297.13
Staff Senate Gift Fund
President Villien encouraged senators to contribute to the Gift Fund. Voluntary contributions are $10 per year, per senator.
Executive Officer Election Speeches
President Douglas Villien announced the elections of the Staff Senate Executive Officers. For the President-Elect Officer position, Past-President Tammy Millican was nominated and has accepted the nomination, unopposed, and therefore elected. She gave a speech to the full Senate.
Villien announced that for the Secretary Officer position, Senator Nancy Arnold was nominated and has accepted the nomination, unopposed, and therefore elected. She gave a speech to the full Senate.
Villien announced that for the Treasurer Officer position, Senator Jennifer Gomez and Senator Jennifer Springstead accepted their nominations. Candidates provided their speeches to the full Senate.
Villien announced that for the Member-at-Large position, Senator Shelly Ortiz and Secretary Barbara Reonas accepted their nominations. Candidates provided their speeches to the full Senate.
President Villien mentioned that the four Senators running are duly qualified to fill these roles. He thinks that during the three years he has served on Staff Senate, there is more pride that comes into this group of people and passion for what we try to do here. He believes we should all be very proud of what we do here and he is happy to know each one on the Staff Senate.
The election ballots will be distributed to the full Senate after the meeting this afternoon electronically or by paper if needed. Senators have until May 26, 2017 to cast their vote.
June Meeting Location/Luncheon
President Villien announced that the Executive Committee discussed holding the June meeting and luncheon at Mike Anderson’s as the venue. The private room is available and they recommend a pre-selected menu with a few items to choose from but they do not offer separate tickets, so everyone would have to bring cash to put all together. Most did not wish to meet there. Some suggestions were Acme Oyster House, Ralph & Kacoo’s or Your Mom’s Restaurants. Senator Rachel Henry asked is there a reason that we are choosing a location off campus which could take more time out of the day. She will look into doing something at the Club and will present to the Executive Committee for consideration. Villien suggested that if anyone has any other suggestions to please submit those to the Staff Senate office by 4:30 p.m. tomorrow. Suggestions will be circulated to the full Senate for a vote.
President Villien congratulated Senator Ashley Thibodeaux and Member-at-Large Aaron Cherry for earning their bachelor’s degrees during May’s Commencement. He presented them with gift cards from the Staff Senate.
MOTION TO ADJOURN – With there being no more business, Past-President Tammy Millican moved to adjourn. The motion, seconded by Senator Barrett Linam carried. The meeting adjourned after noon.
Barbara Reonas, Secretary