President Kristie Galy presided over the March 21, 2012, Staff Senate meeting held at Peabody Hall, Room 225, on the LSU Campus at 10:30 a.m.
P Torres, Donna (’12)
P Exner, Patti (’13)
Pr Chaney, Carolyn (’13)
Pr Dixon, Evelyn (’13)
P Matkovic, Igor (’14)
P Carruth, Holly (’12)
P Chiasson, Denise (’12)
P Fields, Tim (’12)
P Frazier, James (’12)
P Livingston, Lynn (’12)
P Thibodeaux, Seth (’12)
P Verma, Lisa (’12)
P Galy, Kristie (’13)
P Guillory, Michael (’13)
Pr Landry, Carolyn (’13)
P Thomas, Joseph (’13)
P Winchell, Blake (’13)
P David, Emmett (’14)
P Gothreaux, Chad (’14)
P Millican, Tammy (’14)
Pr Moreau, Scott (’14)
P Perkins, Julie (’14)
P Heil, Mark (’12)
P Adedeji, Funmilayo (’13)
Pr Pierce, Renee (’13)
P Sirman, Karen (’13)
P Love, Donna (’14)
A Brown, Ruby (’12)
A Cooley, Judith (’13)
A Collins, Judy (’14)
A - Indicates Absent
P - Indicates Present
Pr - Indicates Proxy
Angela Fleming, Staff Senate Fee Support Recipient
Robert Benton, Staff Senate Fee Support Recipient
Sheila Collins, Staff Senate Fee Support Recipient
LaToya Joseph, School of Library and Information Science
Cody Wells, Student Government President
Laurie Braden, University Recreation
CALL TO ORDER
The meeting was called to order by President Galy at 10:30 a.m.
There was a quorum with five proxies noted.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Senator Thomas led the Pledge of Allegiance.
President Galy introduced guests: Angela Fleming, Staff Senate Fee Support Recipient; Robert Benton, Staff Senate Fee Support Recipient; Sheila Collins, Staff Senate Fee Support Recipient; Cody Wells, Student Government President; and Laurie Braden with University Recreation.
SCHOLARSHIP AWARDS PRESENTATION
President Galy presented a certificate to Sheila Collins, a recipient of the 2011-2012 Staff Senate Fee Support Scholarship which recognizes a staff employee who is pursuing a degree to help with some of the fees associated with taking classes. Sheila is pursuing a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with minors in Psychology, Sociology, and Disaster Science Management. After graduation, she hopes to continue working at LSU in a disaster preparation/management capacity. Sheila is an Administrative Coordinator with Facility Services.
Galy presented a certificate to Angela Fleming, another recipient of the 2011-2012 Staff Senate Fee Support Scholarship who is working towards earning her degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with minors in History, Psychology, and Sociology. After graduation, she may attend Graduate School. Angela is an Administrative Coordinator for Mass Communications.
Galy presented a certificate to Robert Benton, Jr. another recipient of the 2011-2012 Staff Senate Fee Support Scholarship who is working towards earning his master’s degree in Public Administration. After graduation, he plans to continue working at LSU. Robert is a Manager with Facility Services.
Galy announced that recipient Julie Henriquez who was unable to attend today, is another recipient of the 2011-2012 Staff Senate Fee Support Scholarship. She is working towards earning her PhD in Human Resource Education. After graduation, she would like to work with colleges and universities as a consultant. Julie is a Coordinator with Residential Life.
GUEST SPEAKER – Cody Wells, Student Government President
Staff Senate President Galy thanked Cody Wells for coming to speak to the Staff Senate regarding the Budget Situation.
“Well, sadly, my term is almost over. April 18, 2012, will be my last day as Student Government President, but I’m going to make sure whoever procedes me has a working relationship with the Staff Senate. And saying that, congratulations to this body because I’ve seen over the past couple years the Staff Senate become much more respected around campus. We’ve talked about this a little bit, but it’s really nice to see that we can bring in staff members of the University into our shared governance between the students and the faculty members. This year’s been exciting; it started a little bit rough with me and the flag-burning incident, but it’s been a great year gloomed by the budget crisis. And I tell people what I learned in grade school is when you’re faced with hardship anywhere in nature, you either have to adapt, move, or die. We’re certainly not going to die, and we can’t move because we don’t have anywhere to go. And while we work hard to fight throughout the legislative process and the system’s redistributions to sustain ourselves, I always tell students and faculty members that it’s important we push forward; and I think we’ve done that this year. One thing that Senator David can attest to is the $81 million dollar University Recreation project that the students helped pass. That was a decision on behalf of the student leaders on campus that said, “You know what, this is an opportune time in a poor economy to take advantage of some low construction costs.” And we wanted to move quickly, and we did. And that’s just one example of great things that we’ve taken advantage of this time to accomplish. Getting into what we face right now, the Governor has put forth his Executive Budget, as you all know, and shortly right after that happened in February, LSU System President Lombardi sent out a memo that some of you may have read to every administrator within the LSU system. Basically, in acting what I call the gag order, prohibiting any of the leadership of any of the units within the system from doing their job and fighting for their institutions. Thankfully, the Board of Regents has stuck to a performance-based formula this year and has awarded LSU a significant amount of money. However, Dr. Lombardi continues to call the people who I represent greedy, because they want the lion’s share of the money because they go to LSU. And I say well we’re not greedy, we’re just hard workers; we’ve earned the money that was allocated to us, and we deserve to keep it. So, that’s kind of the discussions we’re in right now.”
Cody discussed a few other stories from his experience as Student Body President to the Staff Senate.
“The students and I have been absolutely respectful throughout this process even when the leadership of the system has given us reason not to be and I’m proud of that. I’m also happy to see that the Staff Senate leadership has been standing right beside us as well as we’ve had these discussions, especially at the board meetings throughout the past year that I’ve served. So, the students have taken a proactive approach; we’ve set up the Student Government Budget Crisis Task Force. What we’re going to be doing is we’re going to be taking new approaches to this; we’re going to be kicking off the social media campaign, we’re going to visit student groups around campus and say, “A. Here’s what the problems are, here’s what we’re facing. B. Here’s what you can do about it as a student.” I think a lot of students, A. They don’t know and B. They wish they did and wish there was something they could do about it. So we’re going to try to make sure they now have that ability. And, from everything that we’re hearing out of the governor’s office, everybody is predicting that this is going to be the last dreary year for the Louisiana economy. So, we’ll see if that’s true or not. But, if not, I hope the Staff Senate can stay with my predecessor and continue this. I’ll be around next year in full-force. I’d be more than happy to answer questions you may have.”
Q: What will you be able to do to keep your message going? We’re getting ready to go through elections. How will you keep this point on task?
A: Well, I pushed my graduation date back a year. And next year, this is going to be my thing. I’m not going to be a part of student government, but this will be my fight. Each of the candidates running are friends of mine, and I’ve instilled in them that this should be at the forefront of their agendas. And they understand that. Three of them are on my executive staff right now, so they have a very good understanding of where we’re headed and what they need to do. So, I’m very confident because of that. The hard thing is when these decisions of reallocation are made each year; they’re made when the students are back home for the summer. And so, you can’t really do much as far as a student movement from that effort, but I’ll be here and I know the other student leaders from the student government will be here as well to have somewhat of a presence. And I’ve said this time and time again at our student senate meetings and in the paper and in interviews: the reason that we are doing this is because we’ve been forced to. We’re the only ones at the University that cannot be fired or reprimanded for what we say and do. There’s the sense, and throughout the hierarchy of state employees, that if you say something that is in opposition to the flow, you’re going to be gone. But, there are no consequences that I can suffer.
Q: You mentioned about facilitating a forum for student government, faculty senate and staff senate. Any progress on that?
A: Yes. Actually one of our representatives will be in touch with you shortly. We’re trying to solidify a time with the president if he obliges and with the Chancellor. And then we’re going to work with you and Dr. Cope to try to work with everyone. We’ll try to put it a couple weeks in advance with notice so as many of you can make it as possible. And it’s going to be, we’re definitely going to have reserved seats for those three bodies, but that forum will be open to the public. So, whenever we announce that date, if you can’t make it, please send someone in your place and tell your colleagues to try and make it. I think it will be an informative session if we can pull it together; I’m not sure that we can.
Also, one other thing – it’s kind of off topic – but it relates to staff members on campus. There’s been a lot of discussion, I’m sure some of you are aware of some kind of cooperative between the Student Health Center and staff on campus in allowing staff members who may not be able to afford adequate health care to somehow take advantage of the services that the Student Health Center offers. I want Staff Senate to know that the students are in full support of that. So, as we move through those discussions, anything y’all need from us as support, we’ll be happy to offer”.
Cody Wells thanked the Staff Senate for the invitation to speak today.
GUEST SPEAKER – Laurie Braden, Director with University Recreation
Staff Senate President Galy thanked Laurie Braden for coming to speak to the Staff Senate regarding University Recreation.
“How is everybody? Great, that’s wonderful. Thank you for having me. But first of all, I just wanted to say thank you for having me and let you know a little bit about what’s been happening at University Recreation. I’ve been at LSU since July of 2010. I have been involved in higher education for my entire career, some of you know, some of you don’t. But, I’m super excited to be at LSU. It’s been certainly a great 19 or 20 months. I am looking forward to continued success for University Recreation. When I came to LSU and joined UREC, our staff was less than 50%. And I’m excited to report that we have had three new positions recently just approved to be advertised and we actually, for the first in UREC’s recent history of the last 5 or 6 years, we’ve had a whole staff in, actually, probably 8 years. So, we’re very excited about that, because what that translates to is us being able to serve students on this campus, but not just students, but also faculty and staff, which we believe are an important part of the student experience, as it relates to interacting with students outside of the classroom. Think if any of you reach back in your memories and experiences of when you were in school and you reflect on the meaningful experiences you had, they were with your friends, they were with faculty and staff members, a lot of times outside of the classroom. And that’s where University Recreation is an absolute leveling playing field for everybody, because you’re all there to sweat; you’re all there to get a little bit healthier, you’re all there to get a little bit less stressed. It’s like, oh there’s somebody and that’s not what they look like in the classroom. And there’s that student doing something great. So it’s a real level playing ground for establishing great relationships with students. So I like to encourage faculty and staff to come over, utilize the Recreation Center. I know parking is a challenge; it always is, but I can tell you if you come in the mornings - but you’re like there aren’t a lot of students in the morning - you’d be surprised. More and more students are coming in the mornings, and there are opportunities to interact with students at times when parking is a little more available than in our peak times in the afternoons and evenings. So I just wanted to be up front – I know parking is a challenge – but there’s plenty of other times when it’s not a challenge, and I would love for as many of you to come over and utilize the facility as a place to pursue your health and fitness while you’re here on campus in the mornings or before you leave. A couple of things we have done in the time that I’ve been here: shortly after I got here, we paid off the original debt on the original building which will be 20 years old in the fall of 2012. That did enable us to make some significant strides in terms of improving the facility over the last year. Senator David knows this number probably as well as I do, certainly from the facilities operations and services side, but we have put just under, in the last 19 months, just under a million dollars in improvements in University Recreation; from improving the exterior which has made it a much more pleasing facility to enter into – it’s provided a place for students to congregate right outside of the Recreation Center, it’s become a programming space for us. And that has brightened up the front of the Recreation Center significantly, improved the parking – actually increased the number of parking spaces – then we reconfigured our operations desk. So we were able to make that improvement and it’s been like night and day. We structurally changed the reporting lines for student employees, we became more efficient and we didn’t have to hire as many student employees, we created a team environment with those student employees, and we’ve totally changed the dynamic of how they’re interacting with staff. And I think that’s probably the thing I am most proud of in my tenure. I’ve had people tell me, “When I walk in people talk to me now and everybody’s so nice.” And I’m sure that it’s not that they weren’t that way before, but I think that there had been some challenges from a staff dynamic and culture that weren’t in the happiest spot. And I’m really proud of our professional team and our student team and where they are and how they approach the jobs that they do. The other things that we’ve done are, just recently, is we’ve purchased all new weight-training equipment and all new cardio equipment. If you walk in our cardio and weight space, from the time I arrived and until now, there’s been a 95% turnover of the equipment in that space. So, it’s up to date, it works, we have a preventive maintenance program in place; and it’s been very well received. We’re very excited that we can now offer and maintain great workouts in pursuit of health facilities and equipment for our campus. And what we had before wasn’t bad, but it really wasn’t functional, it was expensive to maintain; and I know the changes that we’ve made are going to be lasting. Cardio equipment’s a little bit different. Every 3, you’re lucky if you get 4 years, you have to replace it because they get so many miles on them. Weight equipment, though, I know the equipment we just purchased is equipment that will be with us probably no less than 10 years and we could make most of it last 15 years because it’s that good and it’s that great of equipment; and we have a plan to take care of it. Those are kind of the major changes we’ve done in terms of the last 18 months. I know many of you have seen in the paper, and those of you who have been around, know that University Recreation at LSU has been looking at doing a growth and expansion plan since 2002, since the first master plan was originally contracted and discussed, and we’re in 2012. Some days I think we’re on the cusp and I’m looking over the precipice, just waiting for us to get the final push. And I really do think that we are there, and I’m excited about that because what that does is it allows us to serve all of our campus. Right now, we have 121,000 square feet in our Recreation Center. That’s four square feet per student. The national average is nine square feet on college campuses. The regional average is 10 square feet. And in the state of Louisiana, the other schools have eight square feet per student, and the flagship only has four square feet. What does that mean? It means that students go off campus and purchase memberships and get in contracts between – you see Max Fitness and you see the one that’s over on Nicholson that says $19.99 a month. Well that’s just to walk in the door. Anything else beyond that, to go to a group fitness class, you would have to pay for. And then they put students in these contracts that are just very difficult to get out of. So, because we are so crowded, we know that students are doing that. And they’re paying anywhere from $19.99 a month plus, anywhere up to $64 dollars a month in addition to what they already pay at University Recreation. And since I’ve been here, I’ve been working with Student Government, and then last fall Student Government passed a resolution asking the Chancellor to support moving forward with the administrative fee increase to improve and expand University Recreation. And right now at this time, the status is that we’re waiting on more discussion that will clarify how that fits in to LA GRAD Act 2, and what direction the fee, when it is implemented, will go in. So really as far as when the project will actually happen and take off really hinges on when we have that answer. We are engaged with a local firm to do an updated program plan for us and hope to have that in about 30 days. We met with them two weeks ago, and we’re excited about that. It falls within the range of the student fee tolerance that students in the fall said they were willing pay to see us grow, and that’s about $200 a semester – what they have said their fee tolerance would be. It’s also in line with where our peers are charging. And when you break that down over a five month period, it’s like less than $35 a month. And that would allow us to offer 230,000 square feet of space and added parking, because that is what the students said – we want to make sure we have added parking in this project. And that will impact everybody, and one of the things I think is so great about that is that students understand they’re putting that parking on their back, but it’s going to benefit all of campus. And I like to talk about success which is only success when more than one party benefits from your achievement. And so, I like to tell people that our successes are tied together. I know that that’s a great thing that students have said that they want to make sure is available to anyone that comes to UREC. So, that’s kind of the state of UREC and where we are. I’d like to know what questions y’all have of me.
I also want to add and thank you for hosting us at Holiday on Campus. We love it, we don’t want to you to go anywhere else. Come to UREC. We love having it.
Q: Do you have an idea of what the involvement is for faculty and staff as far as membership goes?
A: Yes, we have – I just looked at that number in our operations staff person report – I believe we have 924 faculty-staff members that are currently members of UREC.
Q: Do you have a target – ideally I know 100% - but what’s the target?
A: We don’t have a target, and every SEC school is different in terms of what their memberships are, and some don’t actively pursue faculty-staff memberships. We’re in an odd situation. I would love to really encourage and get everybody to come over, but I’m creating more of a good problem that I have already have which is crowded space, disgruntled members – rightfully so – but then that problem is a good problem, because people are like, “Yes! Let’s move forward.” But I don’t want to ever, at this point we don’t do a huge campaign because I feel like it would be a disservice to not be upfront about what the space challenges and parking challenges are. I am going to task our facility staff, our operations staff, to look at an alternate membership and I think this is going to make a lot of faculty-staff go wild with happiness, I hope anyway. To look at an off-peak membership from 6 am to 1 pm and then all day Friday and on weekends, because it would be a reduced-rate membership – couldn’t come in after 1 o’clock – but it would help with parking, you know because you could find parking much easier. It’s a time when it’s a lower volume use and you get a benefit from it. We’d get members from when people aren’t normally there; you’d get a discount on what it would cost you. I think it’s a win-win situation for everybody.
Q: I tell you what, whenever we play basketball, if I can get out 3 minutes before 4:30, I can go when the gates are still down, if y’all could kind of control that one gate to not go up at 4:45, unbelievable. I know I’d go 5 days a week, but when I go if the gate’s up, there’s no place to park, I’m wandering around just like everybody else, but it would be much more convenient.
A: I know also, there’s not a gate on it, but when we did the improvements, there’s another little C-lot on the other side; it doesn’t have a gate, but students have been ticketed enough that they’re respecting it without the gate during the day until about 4:30 or 4:45.
Q: What’s so hard about putting a gate on it?
A: Well, he has all the structure there, he just hasn’t finished the project yet so it’s there; we’re just waiting.
Q: One of the ideas about your square foot per student is one of the thoughts to try to have a facility on another place on campus to kind of have…
A: Well, that actually is not the direction we’re going. Again, I haven’t been at LSU for as long as most of you, so I say this with an inside and outside perspective. Deferred maintenance hasn’t been our institutional strength, possibly could be said. And so, one of the challenges with two facilities does is one it creates twice the expenses, but the other thing is you never serve everybody well in two locations. And then you also create dynamics, because that was one of the first things Dr. Keppler tasked me with: look at this two-site challenge and look at this two-site plan and what do you think of it? You haven’t been here, but you have lots of experience. I actually took students on two trips, one to Texas where we showed them single facilities and also where we showed them two facilities – University of Texas has two facilities about 800 yards apart. And then we went to Alabama, Auburn, and South Alabama this past year to get their input. And one of the things students said was, “We don’t want two facilities because you’re never going to be able to service everybody at each place.” And, on our campus, if we were to put a facility on the north side and the west side of campus, we’re going to end up with two completely different dynamic facilities. In terms of creating a unified campus – I’ll just say it – we’re going to have an international student, a married student and family, and potentially minority student recreation center. And then we’re going to have the Greek Recreation Center. And you know, sport recreation, health and wellness are a common denominator where friendships are made and experiences are had that you don’t expect. Everybody in one place has such long-term value to the individual experience that we want students to have on campus. Added with the expense pieces and the maintenance pieces and the staffing cost pieces, risk mitigation pieces, and then listening to what our students said after they had seen multiple facilities, my recommendation was to go with one site.
Q: I had heard someone talk about it and I didn’t know how that would happen.
A: And Dr. Martin was originally very much in favor of two sites, and I was very nervous about my recommendation – oh I’ve only been here six months, oh my goodness – but he has since said he very much believes the plan going forth with one facility is the best plan and that his mind had been change. We’re trying to figure out what to do with the old Field House, and I think that kind of played into Chancellor Martin’s maybe we could cultivate this into UREC…but you make a good argument.
Senator David commented, “You probably don’t know this yet, because I just found out last week and am supposed to get a phone call today for confirmation. We’ll be going to architecture selection second or third week in April. It will be an interview process which will be very unique; we did not do this for the Union or the business school, but it will be different here. State architectural selection will be called, they’ll vote, they’ll get down to three qualified firms that they feel best meet the criteria, they come back two weeks later, they’ll give us a one hour presentation each, the board will stay in position, give us 10 or 15 minutes to refer with system office of what we heard, and then the voting will take place. So we think that will occur the second or third week in April.
“That is a philosophy that auxiliaries are responsible for their own facilities to separate that from the University main campus where the funding comes out of different funding sources. As with the Union, Residential Life, Athletics, Parking, and Student Health Center, they all have maintenance reserve accounts. The University has probably pumped in up to 3 million dollars in the Residential Life, Traffic and Parking, all those in ten years. And we have been establishing maintenance reserve accounts, some go one and a half percent of construction annually or 10% up front one-time fee. So, the UREC does have a business plan pro forma that maintains accountability.”
That is correct. It was 6 months in when we were looking in that. But we do have an MRA in our pro forma to move forward in expansion.
Q: I’m just curious. Are any of you members? I know a few of you are members. Any feedback, anything we can do better?
A: Terrific, the streamline is really nice, very easy to go through and get the questions asked at one location. You’ve done a great job.
Well thank you very much. I encourage you to come over if you ever want a tour, bring your staff; if y’all ever want to have a meeting there, set up a room, we’ll be glad to have a facilitative meeting, we have media capability. Again, we look forward to having Holiday on Campus and being partners.
Q: You want to share the fees?
A: If you’re interested in joining, a faculty-staff membership in the summer, just for yourself, is $62. The annual fee is $295.50. And that comes out to $24.65 a month if you do payroll deduction. And then we also have what’s a plus-one category, so if you have a neighbor that you work out with all the time and they want to join under your plus-one, you can have one plus-one. And then we also have family memberships, family up to four, and that rate is $432 for the fall and the spring, $168 for the summer, and then $892.50 for the annual membership for the family membership. And you can payroll deduct all of those as well. And then, a spring and fall faculty-staff single membership is $144.
Q: And they have great summer camps for your kids because staff has a lot of kids.
A: Yes, Tiger’s Den. We also have group fitness classes. So, a part of your membership fee is if you want to go to group fitness classes, we have a schedule of classes that don’t cost anything extra. If want to “reserve a space” and go to a class, a boot camp class for five weeks and be done with it, that’s a specialty class; you can sign up for that, and there is a fee but you can always get in that class. You can also sign up for group fitness classes that are the drop-in classes online, relatively easy; you could do it from your computer at work.
Q: If you want to give summer a chance of trying the facility and you have children, then isn’t there a member rate that’s a little bit better? I mean for the camps.
A: Yes, there is a rate for summer camps. You get a discount on the camps as well.
Q: Do you have a life guard certification?
A: Yes, we do. And that information is posted on our website right now and I don’t remember when the classes are, but they just finished one and I believe there are two more scheduled.
Q: Would you give us your email?
A: Yes. It’s firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’ve taken a few group classes and the instructors are excellent. I loved the instructors. I love the group classes
“I do want to cover one other thing because it’s a new passion of UREC’s. And that is we really are looking at a lot of issues as it relates to sustainability, but not just sustainability from building and paper, but sustainability when you think of people planet profit or whether you think of social economic and environmental. And one the things I think really important as it relates to sustainability is the economic and social factors of sustainability. If you have a student – we offer personal training – if you have a student who’s barely getting by, they have a ton of loans and they want personal training and they want to improve their health but they can’t afford a personal trainer that really falls into the scope of sustainability on a social scale and an economic scale. And one of the things we’re going to be doing is we’re going to be offering, and we’ll do this first for our students and then second after we measure and refine it for our faculty/staff members, we will offer for some limited opportunities for some personal training on a drop-in basis that is a no cost option. Reason being is that you think about, I think the Native American culture has a thought: you want to think seven generations out, so everything that we do, whether it’s program related, whether it’s facility rated, we want to think about how does this impact LSU’s future and how does this impact this student and their future? And one of the things you’re going to begin to see, and we’re going to put on our website on sustainability and what we’re doing on all three of those prongs, because we really do see this as a very important topic, especially when you think about sustainability as it relates to healthy communities. And, it’s not just about a building, but it’s about people, and it’s about generations down the line. So one of the things that I’m really excited that we’re going to work out over the summer is how we’re going to address some of those social and economic issues as it relates to sustainability. So for those of you, you may know folks who have mobility issues, or you know more and more veterans are coming back and going to school with different physical abilities…one of things we’re going to address and are already addressing is how do we serve everyone in an inclusive way? And there are some really unique things that we’re going to be doing out there. You know, we have a hand odometer. We have a young man who is a student, served in the US Army, I believe, has lost his legs, but comes in. We ordered a back piece for the rower because he wants to row. He can do everything; he just needed a back piece. But we were able to order a piece that goes on the back piece of the rower. He was out there playing tennis the other day. But it’s not about being adaptive; it’s about being inclusive of everyone so that you don’t necessarily have to think oh, they’re doing this for me. One of the things the new facility will have as it relates to sustainability is individual changing facilities. So if you have a mother and a son, but she doesn’t want to send him into the men’s locker room by himself, or if you have a father and a daughter who are swimming, or if you have someone who is recovering from any type of disease or is just now addressing issues as it relates to obesity and health and they don’t want to change in a larger locker room, those individual changing rooms are to address those needs. We also have transgender students on our campus and where do we go? And I don’t want to call it a family changing room; it needs to be an individual changing facility so we can serve the spectrum of folks on our campus that would not otherwise come over there because they didn’t feel safe or they didn’t feel included. And all of that really parlays into the concept of sustainability as it relates to LSU’s future. And UREC is really excited about leading in this area for the campus, for our division and if any of you have ideas or suggestions, please, especially as it relates to sustainability and inclusion, feel free to email me and share those with me, because I can’t in good conscience move forward if we don’t have a persistent and pervasive and out-there campaign that we can continue and corporate into how we operate. I think that’s very important. Y’all have a great day, and hopefully it won’t be Christmas when I see y’all next.”
Laurie Braden thanked the Staff Senate for the invitation to speak today.
APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES – February 15, 2012, Staff Senate Meeting
A motion to accept the minutes was made by President-Elect Gothreaux. The motion, seconded by Senator Carruth, carried.
President Galy reported that on February 16, she attended the Scholarship Committee Meeting where we discussed Clovers and Quarters and distributing the buckets for donations.
Galy reported that on February 27, she attended a Provost Search Committee Meeting.
Galy reported that on March 1, she attended a breakfast meeting with Bobby Schnabel, the first provost candidate to visit campus. The Staff Senate Executive Committee met with him later in the morning and was able to ask him questions and he was able to ask Executive Committee questions about the staff. At 2:00 that day, Galy attended his forum and after, escorted him to Thomas Boyd for his next meeting. That evening, Galy attended a reception in Tiger Den Suites for the candidate.
Galy reported that on March 5, she attended a breakfast meeting with Kevin Carman, the second provost candidate to visit campus. The Staff Senate Executive Committee met with him later in the morning and was able to ask him questions and he was able to ask Executive Committee questions about the staff. At 2:00 that day, Galy attended his forum and after, Galy escorted him to Thomas Boyd for his next meeting. That evening, Galy attended a reception in Tiger Den Suites for the candidate.
Galy reported that on March 6, she chaired the Executive Committee meeting where the Executive Committee discussed the agenda and the two provost candidates briefly.
Galy reported that on March 7, she attended a breakfast meeting with Michael O’Brien, the third provost candidate to visit campus. The Staff Senate Executive Committee met with him later in the morning and was able to ask him questions and he was able to ask Executive Committee questions about the staff. At 2:00 that day, Galy attended his forum and after, she escorted him to Thomas Boyd for his next meeting. That evening, Galy attended a reception in Tiger Den Suites for the candidate. After the reception, Galy joined him and a couple other search committee members for dinner. Galy also attended the Bylaws Committee on March 7. She will let President-Elect Gothreaux give us his report.
Galy reported that on March 8, she was asked to take Michael O’Brien to lunch and the airport with a fellow search committee member.
Galy reported that on March 9, she attended a breakfast meeting with Stuart Bell, the final provost candidate to visit campus. The Staff Senate Executive Committee met with him later in the morning and was able to ask him questions and he was able to ask Executive Board questions about the staff. At 2:00 that day, Galy attended his forum and after, Galy escorted him to Thomas Boyd for his next meeting. That evening, Galy attended a reception in Tiger Den Suites for the candidate.
Galy reported that on March 12, she chaired the Communications Committee Meeting where we discussed bringing the Facebook page back online. “We had some trouble with the account and getting it tied to the staff senate email address. Senator Carruth met with the LSU Facebook administrator and worked it out, if you have a Facebook account, please like the page. Thank you Senator Carruth, the page looks awesome. She spent a lot of time uploading our pictures, information, etc.”
Galy reported that on March 13, she attended the University Council of Women meeting. The mentoring subcommittee is working on the white paper. She also attended the Budget and Finance and Governmental Relations committee in the afternoon which President-Elect Gothreaux will report on.
Galy reported that on March 16, she attended a meeting for the Provost Search Committee to reflect upon the interviews of the candidates. For lunch, she was invited to the Ninth Annual Life Course and Aging Center’s Community Partner’s Luncheon where the research project that we participated in with Drs. Katie Cherry and Lily Allen was showcased. It was a great event and she was honored to be invited. Galy thanked all who participated in the survey. She also attended the Board of Supervisors Meeting.
Galy reported that on March 19, she and Senator Carruth met with Holly Cullen with Communications and University Relations about LSU Branding and Marketing the Staff Senate.
Yesterday, the Mentoring Subcommittee for University Council of Women met again to work on the white paper which is due in April.
Budget & Finance/Governmental Relations
President-Elect Gothreaux announced that the Budget & Finance/Governmental Relations Joint Committee met on March 13, 2012. The committee received a budget update from Tommy Smith and there were no University Finance and Administration updates. Jason Droddy was unable to attend for a legislative update but did share a web site that identifies how you participate in your retirement plan and it tells you how pending legislation may affect you depending on what retirement system you are in and how old you are. There was a discrepancy noted on the web site and once that’s corrected, President-Elect Gothreaux will share the link with everyone.
President Galy announced that the Classified Committee met on March 15, 2012. There was a presentation regarding Stress in the Workplace that was given by Melinda Le. The Professional Committee members were also invited to attend.
President Galy announced that the Communications Committee met on March 12, 2012, as she announced earlier in her President’s Report.
Senator Thibodeaux announced that the Professional Committee met on March 8, 2012. The committee discussed future meeting dates, possibly touring the new Baseball Facility this April, and possibly touring the new Business Education Complex in early June. The committee discussed the invitation to attend the Classified Committee Meeting and will extend the invite to attend the Professional Committee Meeting as well. Senator Exner commented that the presentation given at the Classified Committee Meeting was very nice and gave good points on how to become unstressed.
President-Elect Gothreaux reported that the Bylaws Committee met on March 7, 2012. The Committee extended the invitation for the Classified and Professional Committee members to attend as well in light of the proposed change in the Bylaws on the Standing Committee structure. The committee had some really good feedback and has addressed some of the concerns that were presented. The committee reviewed the current Bylaws and made some amendments. President-Elect Gothreaux is going to schedule another meeting next week which will be the committee’s last meeting for any additional edits, then will forward to the Executive Committee for approval to submit to the full Senate for approval.
Senator Carruth announced that the Scholarship Committee met on February 23, 2012. The committee discussed the Clovers & Quarters fund raising campaign and reviewed the flyer that was circulated with the canisters to help promote donations. There was a shamrock also circulated for Senators to post in their area to recognize employees who have gave as well. The committee will meet again on April 5, 2012, to count the money received.
Senator Sirman announced that the Campus Communicators met on March 8, 2012. The focus of the meeting was to gain more understanding regarding the upcoming 2012 Legislative session and the current proposed bills which will affect LSU employees regarding retirement. Jason Droddy, Director of External Affairs, gave an update on the 2012 Legislative session and how LSU will communicate with the legislators this spring. Jason mentioned how LSU gets its funding from the state: First, the Board of Regents gets a lump sum from the state, runs it through its funding formula, and then the Board of Supervisors approves and sends it on to the campuses. While tuition revenue will be about $22 million, LSU will collect only $17 million – the difference being the Pelican Promise financial aid. Since 2000, needy students have not seen an increase in their tuition and we are 20% cheaper than other Southern regional schools. Droddy mentioned that LSU must stabilize our funding base and any student moneys must be used for education. Droddy also mentioned the three pending legislative bills which will affect retirement which are Employees will pay 3% more toward retirement which LSU will keep, there will be a change to the last 5 years (rather than 3) to calculate one’s pension, and there will be a change to the retirement age to 67 rather than 55. Droddy mentioned ways the LSU employees can take action which is; to contact Rachel, Event Coordinator, in the Chancellor’s Office if they want to help or to Bunny Cannon, Director of Institutional Advancement, send student success stories to Jason Droddy, and do not complain at the Capitol. The procurement process for advertising was also discussed.
Council of Staff Advisors
Past-President Verma reported that the Council of Staff Advisors to the Board of Supervisors met on March 16, 2012. Dr. Rasmussen gave an overview of the committee meetings scheduled and the board meeting agenda. The February minutes were approved and Past-President Verma gave her Chairs report. The council web site needs to be updated which is in the process. The Media Sweep is being forwarded to all council members. The Council’s PM-37 was amended and a final draft will be submitted at the next meeting. Each representative gave a campus update as well.
Senator Exner announced that the Faculty Senate met on March 14, 2012. The slate of officers for next year was put forth. President Kevin Cope is up for President again. Also, the Resolution regarding classroom attendance was passed.
Office of Group Benefits
President Galy announced that Sheantel Baker with Accounting Services submitted a liaison report from the Office of Group Benefits meeting on February 15, 2012, which was included in the meeting packet for review.
Staff Senate General Elections
President Galy announced that the employees who have declared candidacy have been reviewed by the Executive Committee. There are two returning Senators who are running unopposed who are Donna Torres and Mark Heil.
Benefit of the Month
Senator Torres announced that the Benefit of the Month is family entertainment at the Rural Life Museum on Essen Lane which is a village like setting. This weekend is one of their big fundraiser which is the Zapp’s International Beer Fest. It’s a nice event and is $30 per person for adults to attend. Senator Torres encouraged Senators who may not be able to attend the fundraiser to consider taking the family on a Sunday afternoon. Senator Torres announced another benefit is that LSU employees can attend the LSU Baseball games as well as the Softball games for free which is very family oriented.
Senator Winchell announced that this weekend the Tennis Team is having a Crawfish Boil and is going to giving away some free stuff on Sunday afternoon. He also mentioned that if you are planning to go to the Beer Fest to get your tickets early because it does sell out.
A motion to move the June 2012 meeting to the Rural Life Museum was made by President-Elect Gothreaux. The motion, seconded by Senator Thibodeaux, carried.
President Galy announced on February 17, 2012, she received an email from Senator Betty Magee that she is resigning as a Staff Senator due to conflicts at work. The runner-up from the last election declined the invitation.
President Galy announced that the Executive Committee has approved to appoint Glenda Banta to fill the vacancy. Glenda has showed some interest in Staff Senate in the past.
A motion to approve her appointment through 2013 was made by Senator Thibodeaux. The motion, seconded by Senator Carruth, carried.
LSU’s Best and Brightest Students
President Galy announced that the LSU’s Best and Brightest Students will be recognized by the Black Faculty and Staff Caucus on March 25, 2012, at 2:00 p.m. in the Student Union Theater. This will also be posted on the Staff Senate web site.
LSU Continuing Education
Past-President Verma announced that the LSU Continuing Education Summer Camps are now available online. They have several new classes but in particular a week long Residential Leadership Camp for students who are entering the 10th, 11th, and 12th grades from around the state and even outside the state. They are working with Admissions on this initiative. They also have an Architectural Residential Camp as well.
Staff Senator Birthdays
President Galy announced that Senator Judy Collins celebrated her birthday on March 7, Senator Dominic Adedeji celebrated his birthday on March 12, Senator Donna Love celebrated her birthday on March 15 and Staff Senate Administrative Coordinator Melonie Holden will celebrate her birthday on March 23. “Happy Birthday”
MOTION TO ADJOURN – With there being no more business, Past-President Verma moved to adjourn. The motion, seconded by Senator Carruth, carried. The meeting adjourned before noon.
Blake Winchell, Secretary