STAFF SENATE MEETING MINUTES April 18, 2012
President Kristie Galy presided over the April 18, 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)
P Chaney, Carolyn (’13)
A Dixon, Evelyn (’13)
Pr 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)
P Landry, Carolyn (’13)
A Thomas, Joseph (’13)
P Winchell, Blake (’13)
Pr David, Emmett (’14)
P Gothreaux, Chad (’14)
P Millican, Tammy (’14)
P 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)
Pr Brown, Ruby (’12)
P Banta, Glenda (’13)
Pr Cooley, Judith (’13)
P Collins, Judy (’14)
A - Indicates Absent
P - Indicates Present
Pr - Indicates Proxy
Katrice Albert, Vice Provost for Equity, Diversity, & Community Outreach and Student Appeals
Chase Kojis, Facility Services
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 Banta led the Pledge of Allegiance.
President Galy introduced guests: Katrice Albert, Vice Provost for Equity, Diversity, & Community Outreach and Student Appeals and Chase Kojis with Facility Services
GUEST SPEAKER – Katrice Albert, Vice Provost for Equity, Diversity, and Community Outreach and Student Appeals
Staff Senate President Galy thanked Vice Provost Katrice Albert for coming to speak to the Staff Senate regarding Equity, Diversity, and Community Outreach at LSU.
“Thank you so much for inviting me to your Senate meeting. I just want to give you guys a broad overview of diversity today at LSU. As you know, the Flagship Agenda is situated on four main foci: learning, discovery, diversity, and engagement. So, two of the four are really central to the work that we do and that we help colleges and universities do to enhance diversity and to enhance our Land-grant Mission. Our office is centrally located in Academic Affairs, but we have six reporting units that really work to be the boots on the ground around outreach and diversity. Multicultural Affairs is located in the Student Union, and that’s really our student-focused, student-driven office to help students of color and other underrepresented groups, but also to help the campus learn about cultural competence so they are more responsible for working with our student population in terms of recruitment, retention, and graduation. Two centers are also coming up as the first-floor store front of the parking garage: the African American Cultural Center and the Women’s Center. So, they are temporarily located far in the crevices of Hatcher Hall, but students make their way over there – it’s amazing; they have signs with arrows all through Hatcher trying to get them there. Our office of Community University Partnership is really the outreach arm of our office, and our major neighboring community of Old South Baton Rouge is the focus. But it’s also like the front door to the University around community engagement. And as such, the Provost has instituted a consortium on civic engagement, bringing all of the pieces of the puzzle around outreach so the engagement part of the Flagship Agenda can be realized. You guys may have read on the web we made the presidential honor roll for engagement, and that has to do with all of the units working together to make outreach a major focus for the University in bringing our Land-grant mission to life. We also work very closely with the University Ombudsperson, Kirsten Schwehm; she has a dotted reporting line to us, especially as it relates to reducing cross-cultural conflict and enhancing workplace civility. So, many of you have attended that civility workshop that she put on just in terms of the campus climate, right now, being very contentious with three major consecutive budget rescissions. When resources are scarce, people get coo coo. So, you know, she really put that together and has started how we can think about a policy related to workplace civility such that when times like these occur, the University continues to be a place that is as free from conflict as possible. I know that’s a utopia, but as free from conflict as possible.
“We also have the Office of Educational Equity. And so, that is really trying to help the Graduate School in terms of making partnerships with minority-serving institutions and women institutions to broaden the landscape of diversity in the Graduate School. So those are our reporting lines. We also work very closely with the University Council on Women which Kristie Galy serves in the capacity as the Staff Senate Representative. And you guys know that our three major charges this year relate to childcare at LSU and staff mentoring as well as the wellness survey, looking at the realignment making sure that is just and fair, and the wellness survey that many of you have taken to try and get a sense of how people are feeling and doing, especially related to the climate. And then, finally, we have instituted a Diversity Action Team which is kind of a coordinating council of every unit on campus, having those folks are interested in enhancing diversity or may have that as a part of their job description to come together so that we are reducing redundancy but also sharing resources in this scarce time. So, people are building partnerships across colleges and across units as it relates to thinking about enhancing diversity in a more formalized way. So that is just a broad overview. I know the Staff Senate is also very interested in health and wellness for our University community, and I just want to put in a plug that I’m going to be a participant in the next Shapeup Showdown on WAFB, I’ve been selected. So I’m going to challenge all of you to come to Spectrum with me because that’s going to be a hard road to go for with me. I need a buddy. So just in terms of your work around, not only issues related to civility, but also to wellness, I’m going to try to challenge my LSU colleagues to get in shape. I do have some brochures for you that kind of give you those things I talked about. So, do you have any questions about diversity, outreach, anything our office is doing, how we might be able to serve your area better?”
Q: “If there were staff on campus – and of course we can connect our website to the different resources that are available on campus – but through your offices and all of the other connections you have, is there a way staff can get involved or volunteer on things, are there committees or councils?”
A: “Yes, well the Diversity Action Team is actually open to everyone. That’s a coordinating council where we’re trying to think strategically. So, if someone would like to be involved in a way that you understand diversity from the thirty-thousand level, it’s to make sure everyone has a voice; but we’re always looking for mentors for our Women’s Center and our African American Cultural Center and our International Cultural Center. So if people want to get involved to mentor students through their progression – and I know you’re doing mentoring in your own spaces, but specifically if you wanted to target some of those student populations we work with, we always accept volunteers. Never turn volunteers away.”
Q: “The question I had relates to the Workplace Civility – I hate to call it a class – but the program was very well received and I know that Melinda Lee is getting a lot of requests to do stress management stuff. Is there a way that that can be a class that’s offered on a regular basis?”
A: “That’s a good idea. You know Kirsten Schwehm is a clinical psychologist, so she does psycho-educational things as Ombuds work around conflict management, but let me talk to them about that.”
Senator Torres mentioned that she thinks it fits very well into the Business Manager certification and the HR certification in that we’re looking for administrative staff that is very well rounded; and “I think that really fits – there’s not a wellness component to it now, but I have heard absolutely nothing but rave reviews from everyone who’s been to the session. So, I know Melinda’s getting inundated and Lee is saying this is just this much of your job, but it’s just something that’s so meaningful for staff.”
“Yeah, and it resonated with so many people. Kirsten started the list-serv after that enrichment series, and she got a lot of folks saying we want you to come talk about this as well as Patti Beste wanted to get a little group together to talk about a policy to civility. So, I’ll talk to them to see what we might be able to institute so that it’s not overwhelming specifically for Melinda.”
President Galy mentioned which could go through the Human Resource Management training, offer the class like once a month or something instead of having to go all over campus.
Senator Torres mentioned sometimes it’s better if you have those types of training classes in a more diverse setting than with the people you work with.
Past-President Verma mentioned “you realize it’s in other places too and you’re not isolated, which helps”.
“Universality makes you feel like you’re not the only one on campus. That’s a good idea. I’ll talk to them.”
Q: “How does LSU rank regarding student diversity and faculty diversity?”
A: “Well, in the SEC we are ranking above all of our SEC colleagues around student diversity. Faculty diversity is where we’re all struggling, and note that relates to pipeline issues, that relates to serious faculty searches making proactive steps to diversify their pool versus just putting the ad in The Chronicle and saying the candidates will come; but really having search committees that are willing to call friends, that are willing to get on the phone and make those phone calls. So we are all struggling in terms of faculty diversity, and our office has goals that appear in our annual report that are from 2010-2012; so we will be working with the new provost to come up with our goals, but they’re all very central and very connected to the Flagship Agenda related to faculty, staff, students, and campus climate.”
Q: “What’s been done in terms of outreach in Old South Baton Rouge?”
A: “Chad Gothreaux could probably talk more about that because he has a long history with our work in Old South. We were awarded a HUD Grant to help with the revitalization of the Old South, I guess in 2000. And we were able to get a second reiteration of that grant to help with revitalization, to work with CPEX, Center of Providing Excellence, and then also with regards to enhancing the arts and academic excellence with the youth of that area. We have been steadily trying to secure additional funding to keep up the work that was started with that HUD Grant. The one thing that most of the citizens of Old South really loved from that were the legal clinics that helped them to process and adjudicate properties, to get successions done. So many people had either lived in the house or people died, so in order to help with revitalization, you have to have all kinds of clear titles. And so that was the one missing link that we were not able to secure funding, so we’ve been steadily working with Tara Wicker who is our councilperson and the two law schools in the city to try to think through ways of reestablishing that legal clinic; but we’re really connected in terms of revitalization of houses through the Office of Community Development and then with Manship Theatre and all of the schools that have arts programs. That’s the way in which we do the arts connection, so that’s really where it stands. I mean that HUD money is no longer there, so we are working really hard to try to figure out other ways to make an impact. What you may have seen recently is that we did get a grant from Blue Cross Blue Shield to do a barber shop outreach initiative; so taking health care initiatives into the barber shops. So we’ve gotten a second grant from Blue Cross Blue Shield, and what we’re doing is we’re having this be replicated in all Latino barber shops, so everything is written in Spanish; we have students from the Hispanic Cultural Society doing the translation So that’s just another way we’re getting involved, it’s really more of the health initiative that I think you guys have and I have for myself with the Shapeup Showdown.”
Q: “The Consortium, how often do they meet?”
A: “Yeah, it’s a newly formed consortium from Provost Hamilton. We have been meeting for one year. What we’re looking at is three major points. Institutional efficacy so people feel the fact that we’re on presidential honor roll is because so many people are doing outreach. We also have a public affairs subcommittee that’s working on a website to launch so that it can be interactive; so when folks want to volunteer, they can see things going on either on the campus or in the community and say I have a two-hour time block, I want to volunteer with Read Across America at Buchanan Elementary. So, that’s one piece of the puzzle. And the other focus is going be on additional awards; so nominating our outstanding faculty who are doing research on outreach or doing service learning and then our outstanding staff who are really doing the volunteerism to bring our land grant mission alive. It’s young; it’s just one year, so we’re trying to get all the pieces of the puzzle together, but our main focus was to get that presidential honor roll nomination together and then put a website together. So that launch is probably going to happen at the end of the summer or right at the beginning on the fall semester.
“It was a Provost-appointed committee, but Nancy Clark is the chair-dean – Clark is the chair and she is always willing to appoint additional people who have interest in outreach or whose work is connected in it so that all voices can be represented. If you’re interested, just send me an email and I’ll get it to her. I appreciate it. Thank you!”
Vice Provost Katrice Albert thanked the Staff Senate for the invitation to speak today.
APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES – March 21, 2012, Staff Senate Meeting
Page 2, Paragraph 11, line 2 reads: whoever proceeds should read: whoever precedes
A motion to accept the minutes as amended was made by Past-President Verma. The motion, seconded by Senator Torres, carried.
President Galy announced that it has been a very “slow” month in relation to Staff Senate.
Galy reported that on April 3, the Executive Committee met where they discussed elections and the timeline. In order to provide enough time for elections to take place and for current senators who are running to be eligible for the Executive Committee elections, the Executive Committee decided to move the elections up by a month. There have been several parking issues that have come up this year, while Galy has contacted Parking and have resolution on one item and they are looking into the second. Galy asked that they have a forum during the summer to give the campus an update on parking and any changes that have been made.
Galy reported that on April 11, she attended the Bylaws Committee. There were many changes throughout the document and President-Elect Gothreaux created a new document with a clean format. Galy thanked the Bylaws, Classified, and Professional committees for their work and dedication to this process. Galy announced that the Senate will be able to go through the changes to the Bylaws and have time for a Full Senate discussion later during today’s meeting.
Budget & Finance/Governmental Relations
President-Elect Gothreaux announced that the Budget & Finance/Governmental Relations Joint Committee met on April 10, 2012. The committee discussed the Governmental Relations aspect which included an electronic report from Jason Droddy who was unable to attend. The committee discussed the Executive Order regarding the spending freeze and the University’s implementation plan which was attached to the committee report included in the meeting packet.
Senator Thibodeaux announced that the Professional Committee met on April 12, 2012. The committee discussed the possibility of having a “Staff” night with LSU Baseball and recognizing Staff Senators. The committee discussed possibly touring the new Business Education Complex in early June. The next committee meeting is scheduled May 10, 2012, and Senator Thibodeaux invited the Classified Committee Members to attend.
Senator Carruth announced that the Scholarship Committee met on April 5, 2012. The committee met to count the Clovers & Quarters donations. Carruth announced that Senators Love and Sirman raised the most money and won the Pizza Party for Information Technology Services which was scheduled for April 19, 2012. The campaign raised a total of $462.40, and Senators Love and Sirman raised $107.94 of that. The Staff Senate Fee Support Scholarship balance at the LSU Foundation is $9,383.92. We did receive a $1,000.00 donation from Dr. Charlie Roberts with the LSU Alumni Association as well.
Senator Sirman announced that the Campus Communicators met on April 12, 2012. The new LSU Calendar, the new LSU Bookstore, and parking garage and results for the 2012 BCS “We Champion” campaign were presented. Though LSU lost the BCS game, it was mentioned that LSU won the marketing. The LSU Calendar will be available soon. It’s very nice with rotating graphics.
Senator Exner announced that the Faculty Senate met on April 16, 2012. President Cope discussed the retirement legislation, common course numbering is up for consideration with many institutions across the state, and the on-going searches were discussed. There is also an Interim Task Force on Plus-Minus Grading. There is also a group looking at faculty workload and they are trying to get a University policy in place. The new Officers were elected; Kevin Cope will serve as President again. They also passed a “Grade Exclusion Policy” Resolution. They are also working on a “Scheduling of Classes Monday through Thursday” Resolution and a “Use of Cellular Phones for Personal Conversation within Academic Buildings” Resolution.
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 March 28, 2012, which was included in the meeting packet for review.
Staff Senate General Elections
President Galy announced that the Election Timeline has been amended by the Executive Committee for Executive Officer Elections in order to include existing Senators who are re-running for their seat. Once the votes are tallied at the May 1Executive Committee Meeting, the winners will be announced, the nomination forms will be sent to Staff Senators by May 2. Deadline to receive nominations will be May 4, and candidates will be notified by May 7. At the May 16, Staff Senate Meeting, candidates will be asked to give a nomination speech before Staff Senators vote. President Galy encouraged everyone to nominate.
Benefit of the Month
Senator Torres announced that the Benefit of the Month is to remember the programs that are offered at the LSU Union. There is a discount for leisure classes for staff and faculty, if you join you get an even better discount. The Union Performing Series is also offering Broadway type of shows that are wonderful. Senator Carruth mentioned that Jason Tolliver mentioned at the last Campus Communicators Meeting that they are looking at bringing more events to the Union Theatre and may be combining them with the Faculty Club to offer a dinner theatre-type experience. This may happen fall of this year. Senator Torres mentioned that once the parking garage is completed the Union plans on doing even more events due to being able to park at the garage. There was some discussion of when the garage will be completed.
President Galy announced that the Bylaws have been amended and are being presented for further discussion and any further amendments. Galy circulated copies for all Senators to review. President-Elect Gothreaux reported that over the course of this year the Bylaws Committee has been meeting to examine the bylaws. One of the reasons is that the Bylaws needed revision and the other was that the Executive Committee would like to reach out to other institutions across the state to expand staff governance to where it possibly may not exist and to share our Bylaws to help get them started. There has been a lot of effort by the Bylaws Committee and recently with the Classified and Professional Committee members to get their feedback. One of the larger issues was the re-creation of a new Standing Committee, the Staff Benefits, Policies, and Development Committee, that brings together the existing Benefits and Policies, Classified, and Professional Committees. For the most, the committee did a total reformat of the Bylaws. The content has stayed the same but there was some clarification of timeline and procedures. The Bylaws were reviewed by Senators present. President Galy mentioned this is probably the first time many have seen the revisions. There were a lot of things taken out due to not happening yet such as the electronic voting for general elections. One item which was added was the duties of Past-President which included committees currently serving on which was not in the current Bylaws. Gothreaux added that on Page 2, under alternative representation, the Executive Committee added that Senators who need a proxy and may not have one in their category can have an Executive Officer serve as their proxy. Senator Fields commented on the electronic voting on Page 3, Gothreaux mentioned that it will remain a secret ballot or electronic voting. Senator Exner asked about the proxy form needed. Galy mentioned that Senators should use the proxy form but an email is sufficient. The form or email will be kept on file. Senator Carruth added in regard to that should it read including Presiding Officer and/or Administrative Coordinator. Galy mentioned notifying by email may be the easiest method if a Senator can’t print out the form and get it to the Staff Senate Office by the time of the meeting which acceptable for the record. Senator Collins asked about the number of proxies allowed per year. Galy replied there is a number of proxies and absences allowed per year which are two each. Collins asked how many proxies a Senator can hold at a meeting. Collins read where a Senator may hold up to two proxies at a meeting.
President Galy added that the draft that the Senate is currently reviewing does not include the tracked changes as it would have been difficult to read. Senator Livingston mentioned that it was in the old version of the Bylaws and read a Senator may hold more than one proxy at a meeting for absent Senators.
President-Elect Gothreaux mentioned under Article IV for Meetings, there was a change and it was attempt to clarify. There was a lot of blending between Executive Committee and regular Staff Senate, so the Committee spilt those out very deliberately, so under Article IV for Meetings, the Committee identified Executive Committee Meetings separate from Staff Senate Meetings. Gothreaux added under Article VI, Participation by Senators, was enhanced to detail out attendance at Staff Senate Meetings and Committee Meetings. Gothreaux suggested an issue to consider is that Staff Senate may need to address whether or not the Bylaws have anything in the participation section that speaks to the supervisors of Senators. Since the Bylaws will be approved by the Chancellor, the Committee may want to include something that affords Senators permission, protection, or authorization to attend the meetings necessary to conduct their role as a Senator. Past-President Verma said essentially it can help a Senator who has a supervisor who doesn’t want a Senator to attend meetings or know what the involvement was but the supervisor approved a supervisee to be a Senator. Senator Collins mentioned that in the old Bylaws there was something that mentioned a Senator could attend meetings without taking leave time. Some Supervisors don’t want the employee away from their desk. Gothreaux mentioned it does speak to Supervisors in the Staff Senate Constitution of allowing Senators to serve but the Committee may need to clarify that statement more. Senator Love mentioned that in addition to the Staff Senate Meetings, a Senator is required to serve on two committees as well. President-Elect Gothreaux added the Committee may need to clarify that a Senator is required to serve on one and is encouraged to serve on two committees. President Galy mentioned the Senate has enough Senators to serve on at least two committees. Past-President Verma added just one committee may work if the Senators were attending the committee meetings. Attendance is not good at committee meetings. Senator Love mentioned we need to include that in the Bylaws to support the two committee requirement. If there is some discouragement from supervisors on Senators serving then that needs to be brought to the President’s attention.
President-Elect Gothreaux mentioned under Article VII for Committees and Liaisons, again there is a section that clearly identifies the Executive Committee and its role. In the previous version of the Bylaws, the information provided for the committees was provided in an Appendix. The discussion was to include Standing Committees under Section B, Standing Committees Subpart 2. There is an identification of all the Staff Senate Committees and item “e” is the new Staff Benefits, Policies, and Development Committee. Gothreaux explained the thought to develop this new committee was that no one was serving on the current Benefits and Policies Committee except Senator Love who signed up to serve on this committee and there was some overlapping responsibilities between the Benefits and Policies, Professional and Classified Committees. President-Elect Gothreaux explained that they are all Standing Committees. In order to limit the number of committee meetings per month, but also to provide adequate representation on benefit and policies issues, those three committees are being merged into one. However, the Executive Committee agrees there should be equal representation by professional and classified staff serving on this committee with a co-chair from each group that directs this committee. Also, at the co-chairs discretion, a group may convene a meeting with their respective group separately as needed. An issue at the sub-committee level can be forwarded to the Staff Senate President by the co-chair, which means the sub-committee does not need the entire committee’s approval in order to forward on any issue. Part of this was in response to some of the feedback that the Committee got from members of the Classified Committee who felt that they may have unique needs as a staff classification and there was also an expressed need to have venue in which individuals can go before just their peers, so there were provisions included to allow for that. Gothreaux added ultimately this group should meet as a collaborative effort representing all ranks and classifications of employees to address all Staff Benefits, Policies and Development for professional development such as the Lunch and Learns and the New Staff Reception which all staff members participate in. President Galy added that she believes there is strength in numbers and everybody has a unique perspective on things regardless of classification. Galy thinks this will enhance the committee’s work and she feels it will bring some camaraderie among this group and the Senate as well. This was not to disenfranchise anybody. This was just trying to make it more effective. Galy explained it is hard for chairs when committee members are unavailable to meet. The sub-committees don’t have to meet but can if they need to. President-Elect Gothreaux added that the focus for all of the Standing Committees is a University-wide perspective. The attempt was to make this more of a homogenous group instead of being separate but if there is an issue that the sub-committee needs to discuss they can do so. So the new committee will maintain that provision but at the same time create a more comprehensive group. Senator Love asked if there was a provision which outlines how many committee members required to hold a meeting. A quorum is mentioned which is simply majority, 50% plus 1. The committee can still meet but can’t take any action unless there is a quorum. Senator Torres mentioned that she is starting to see more blending within her unit in positions with classified and unclassified employee. The differences are clearly how they are paid and the University will probably see more blending within units across campus and it may be in Staff Senate’s best interest to start the blending of the committees to break that separation. President-Elect Gothreaux added that the Bylaws articulates the leadership structure for the Standing Committees, the membership structure, standard committee actions and meeting quorum. All external communication produced by Standing Committee leadership or members shall be approved by the President of the Staff Senate which was in the old bylaws. There was also a section for Ad-Hoc Committees that work very similar to how the Standing Committees work and is outlined. The Liaison Committees work different, so that is outlined accordingly. Gothreaux mentioned under Article VIII for Amendments lists that the Bylaws can be amended by simple majority vote of the Staff Senate, provided the proposal for such change was introduced at least on regular meeting in advance of the vote and then the Chancellor has final approval which was in the old bylaws. Gothreaux encouraged further suggestions and that the Classified and Professional Committees meet to discuss before the next Staff Senate Meeting when this version will come up for a vote.
President Galy thanked the Bylaws Committee for all their hard work and for all Senators who have given their input and suggestions.
June Staff Senate Meeting Location
President Galy announced that the June Staff Senate Meeting will not be held in 225 Peabody Hall. The meeting will be held in the reception facility at the LSU Rural Life Museum on Essen Lane. Staff Senate will hold the June luncheon there with invited newly elected Senators as well.
Faculty Senate Forum
President Galy announced that Student Government President Cody Wells approached her as well as Faculty Senate President Kevin Cope to set-up a joint forum on the budget situation. The forum is scheduled on April 26, 2012, at the Senate Chamber in the Union. Galy does not know that time as of yet but it will probably be held after 4:30 p.m. so everyone can attend.
Staff Senator Birthdays
President Galy announced that Senator Evelyn Dixon celebrated her birthday on April 3, Senator Lynn Livingston celebrated her birthday on April 16, Senator Carolyn Landry celebrated her birthday on April 17 and Senator Blake Winchell will celebrate his birthday on April 23. “Happy Birthday”
Staff Senate Shirts
President Verma donated a couple of Staff Senate shirts for anyone interested who doesn’t have a Staff Senate shirt.
MOTION TO ADJOURN – With there being no more business, Senator Carruth moved to adjourn. The motion, seconded by Senator Collins, carried. The meeting adjourned before noon.
Blake Winchell, Secretary