STAFF SENATE MEETING MINUTES September 19, 2012
President Chad Gothreaux presided over the September 19, 2012, Staff Senate meeting held at Peabody Hall, Room 225, on the LSU Campus at 10:30 a.m.
Pr Exner, Patti (’14)
P Torres, Donna (’15)
P Chaney, Carolyn (’13)
A Dixon, Evelyn (’13)
P Matkovic, Igor (’14)
P Galy, Kristie (’13)
A Guillory, Michael (’13)
A Landry, Carolyn (’13)
P Thomas, Joseph (’13)
P Winchell, Blake (’13)
P Baker, Sheantel (’14)
P Gothreaux, Chad (’14)
P Millican, Tammy (’14)
Pr Moreau, Scott (’14)
P Perkins, Julie (’14)
Pr Belanger, Scott (’15)
P Bonfanti, Leigh (’15)
P Carruth, Holly (’15)
P Lede’, Robert (’15)
P Livingston, Lynn (’15)
P Loveless, Kathryn (’15)
P Overton, Wendy (’15)
P Adedeji, Funmilayo (’13)
P Heil, Mark (’15)
P Pierce, Renee (’13)
P Sirman, Karen (’13)
P Love, Donna (’14)
P Cooley, Judith (’13)
P Collins, Judy (’14)
Pr Bennett, Casey (’15)
A - Indicates Absent
P - Indicates Present
Pr - Indicates Proxy
Raven Duncil, College of Human Sciences & Education
Lorita Collins, Facility Services
Elmer “T” Williams, Facility Services
Executive Vice Chancellor & Provost Stuart Bell, Academic Affairs
CALL TO ORDER
The meeting was called to order by President Gothreaux at 10:30 a.m.
There was a quorum with one proxy noted.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Senator Moss led the Pledge of Allegiance.
President Gothreaux introduced guests: Raven Duncil with the College of Human Sciences and Education, Lorita Collins with Facility Services, Elmer “T” Williams with Facility Services, and Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Stuart Bell with Academic Affairs
GUEST SPEAKER – Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Stuart Bell with Academic Affairs
Staff Senate President Gothreaux announced that Stuart R. Bell is the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost of Louisiana State University. As Chief Academic Officer at LSU, his career includes 25 years of senior-level executive experience in academia. His vision is to provide innovation, leadership, progressive advancement, and entrepreneurial avenues for developing the teaching, research, and service missions of the university to enrich the lives of those it serves. He has worked very closely with federal and state government officials to advance higher education.
Stuart Bell’s interdisciplinary research interests include alternative transportation fuels, modeling of engines and engine processes, innovative engine designs, and fundamental and applied combustion topics.
Stuart Bell earned his doctorate degree in Mechanical Engineering from Texas A&M University and is a registered professional engineer in Texas. Prior to arriving at LSU, he served as the Dean of Engineering at the University of Kansas. He also served as head of the Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of Alabama where he established the Center for Advanced Vehicle Technologies.
Provost Bell thanked the Staff Senate for the opportunity to speak today. He opened with some brief remarks about his experience so far at LSU for the past two months. He first he wanted to express his appreciation of staff on campus. Staff provides such great support to the students and the faculty on campus, and he knows that LSU has been through some tough times in the past few years, but has heard how much staff loves this campus and love what they do and that they have a passion for LSU. Bell has been talking with faculty, staff, and students to get their impression of where we are and why they are here and he has learned that there is a great sense of loyalty and dedication among everyone, internally and externally, which is not the case everywhere. This is truly the fundamental piece to operate from and it offers strong support to move forward to a more positive direction.
Provost Bell has been visiting with many departments and units on campus and he is learning more every day just by being here. Bell announced some of the initiatives that he is interested in pursuing during his first year, so he will go around campus and assess where we are, listen to students, staff, and faculty to find out what is on their minds to help him put things into context and to help develop strategies to move forward. At the very highest level of the university, we have the Flagship 2020 and the Strategic Plan of where we want to go, and each unit has their own Strategic Plan of where they want to go and how they are working toward the overall university-wide Strategic Plan. The importance of that is that things happen at the unit level and the unit can set their goals of where they are today, where they want to go tomorrow and strategically how they will get there. Those plans are dynamic, tailored to individual units and can change from time to time to improve the overall strategic plan. Bell is visiting these units to identify how they are doing according to their Strategic Plans and how the campus is doing overall, so the university knows where to make investments. Bell mentioned that after he visits all of the units on campus, he will have a better context of how to move forward. He said the other thing that is true at most state institutions is that they have done a great job at messaging their impact and importance to the state. If we have done an effective job at saying why it is absolutely imperative that we have a strong LSU for this state to move forward in economic development, we would not be in the challenging situation we are in today. We have to get in a better position to get our message across of why we are important and why the State needs to be investing in LSU. They are thinking of ways to get that message across to a broad group in the community, as well as to key individuals. Bell mentioned that he does see great possibilities for LSU to move forward and that he is excited and looking forward to that. We have great students, faculty and staff here at LSU and he sees a lot of support from everyone.
Q: What can we do as Staff Senate to help you in your role?
A: Provost Bell mentioned that staff can help with getting the message of LSU’s importance and impact out, and if there are questions that we have a dialogue about those questions. In all organizations, communication is so important and we all have to be on the same page. He said that if anyone has questions, they should pass them along to him.
Q: While providing raise opportunities remains an important consideration, there are other employment enhancements, such as professional development, tuition exemption, health and wellness which might be consider more immediately...are you in support of expanding employment enhances such as these and do you have any suggestions for others?
A: Provost Bell mentioned that he knows that some sort of salary initiative is a top priority at LSU. He mentioned two things that have to happen to make it possible-LSU has to be able to afford it and secondly, we have to put ourselves politically in a position to make that happen without sending a message that we are sustaining ourselves completely with self-generated funds because our enrollment is growing, which is not the case just yet. Due to the state already cutting as much as they have in higher education funding, LSU doesn’t want to risk being cut any more. If the university is able to do something for employees, it has to make sure people know how and that we have a plan. One thing that has really saved us from losing more faculty and staff is that there are 45 other states in really hard financial times.
President Gothreaux mentioned that while the university explores those other types of enhancements that could be offered, the Staff Senate would be happy to work with him to explore what we are currently doing or what we can possibly do differently. Provost Bell said he was encouraged that the Senate communicates this to him and mentioned that it would be helpful.
Q: While you were at the University of Kansas, you helped create the Building on Excellence Initiative which was a multi-year $500 million strategic plan to improve the university's School of Engineering programs, faculty, facilities and graduation rates. Are you considering a similar type of initiative at LSU?
A: Provost Bell thinks the premise behind that initiative is a fabulous idea. The premise is that we define the impact that we have on the state. The state says that’s a really important impact and we partner with the state as part of continued investment in what higher education does and what we will do is move ourselves forward to play a role in economic development.
President Gothreaux thanked Provost Bell for coming to speak to the Staff Senate and presented Provost Bell with a Staff Senate t-shirt.
APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES – August 15, 2012, Staff Senate Meeting
A motion to accept the minutes was made by Past-President Galy. The motion, seconded by Senator Winchell, carried.
President Gothreaux reported that although he was unable to attend, on August 18 he received notice of an informational retreat held at Pennington Biomedical Research Center by the LSU Board of Supervisors to review a report prepared by the Association of Governing Boards entitled “Assessment of the System’s Structure, Function, and Potential.” The report was the result of a series of interviews conducted by the AGB with various constituencies of the LSU System to provide information for the discussion about the future structure of the system and the search for its new leadership.
President Gothreaux reported that on August 20, he attended the Chancellor’s Executive Staff meeting. This was the first meeting held by Interim Chancellor Jenkins. In his report on the Staff Senate, he mentioned that senate committee and liaison appointments were just recently made and reminded the vice chancellors that affording staff time to actively participate in staff governance was a critical element in the success of the Senate.
President Gothreaux reported that on September 7, he attended the Board of Supervisors Informational Session on foundation and legislative relations. Representatives of the LSU Health Sciences Center - Shreveport Foundation, the LSU Foundation and the Tiger Athletic Foundation discussed their respective roles in support of the institutions of the LSU System. Bob Keaton presented on the role that LSU System and campus staff play in providing information to elected officials during legislative sessions. Later in the day, he attended the Board of Supervisors meeting along with President-Elect Lynn Livingston.
President Gothreaux reported that on September 7, he presided over a rescheduled Staff Senate Executive Committee meeting to set the agenda for the September Staff Senate meeting.
President Gothreaux reported that on September 11, he attended his introductory meeting with Interim Chancellor Jenkins, who was accompanied by D’Ann Morris. They reviewed the Staff Senate Briefing Document. Dr. Jenkins expressed his strong support for the staff and his appreciation for the important work that the Staff Senate does, as evidenced by the briefing document. He mentioned that he is looking forward to speaking to the Staff Senate at our October meeting and stands ready to assist us in any way possible.
President Gothreaux reported that on September 14, he enjoyed the festivities of Fall Fest 2012 and the fun of preparing nearly 600 sno-cones at the Staff Senate booth in the Exxon Quad.
President Gothreaux reported that on September 15, earlier in the week during his introductory meeting with the Chancellor, Gothreaux mentioned to him that he would appreciate his consideration of extending an invitation to the Senate to attend games in the LSU Football Stadium University Suite. Gothreaux suggested that doing so would provide a wonderful opportunity for our Senators to increase the visibility of the Staff Senate by networking with university and LSU System administrators, members of the LSU Board of Supervisors, and key constituents of LSU. At the end of the week, Gothreaux was contacted by the Chancellor’s Office and offered 4 tickets in the suite for the LSU vs. Idaho football game to be distributed at his discretion. Gothreaux selected Past-President Kristie Galy and Senator Igor Matkovic to represent the Staff Senate Executive Committee, and Senator Donna Love and Senator Julie Perkins to represent the Staff Senate at-large. He offered them an opportunity to comment on their experiences at the game.
Senator Perkins mentioned that it was fabulous and appreciated the invitation. It was an opportunity that can’t be matched elsewhere. It was a very enjoyable. They had a chance to meet with the Provost and the President and meet the National Guardsmen that presented at half time. It was a wonderful experience.
Senator Donna Love mentioned that it was her first LSU game to attend. The Chancellor and his staff were so gracious and made her feel so welcome. It was a wonderful experience.
Senator Matkovic mentioned that he had a wonderful experience too. The President spoke with them, as well as the Provost and his wife. He met a lot of great people and had a wonderful time.
Past-President Galy mentioned she had a wonderful time too. She said it was nice to see people outside of work, but still kind of at work. They had an opportunity to speak to a lot of people there. They stayed till the game was over.
President Gothreaux mentioned come upcoming events. He will be attending the Chancellor’s Executive Staff meeting on Monday, September 24, 2012. The next statewide governance meeting will be held on Saturday, September 29 at 10 a.m. on the campus of LSU-Alexandria. Although he will not be able to attend, he invited anyone who is interested in attending to please do so. The Senate will continue to follow these meetings and stay involved in this group for the advancement of staff governance.
Staff Benefits, Policies & Development
Past-President Galy reported that the Staff Benefits, Policies and Development Committee scheduled a meeting on August 27, 2012, but did not hold a meeting due to member non-attendance. The committee meetings are set as a standing meeting date for the year on the fourth Monday of every month at 1:00 p.m. in 219 Peabody Hall. The next meeting will be held on September 24, 2012.
Budget & Finance/Governmental Relations
President Gothreaux reported that the Budget and Finance/Governmental Relations Committee meetings have been set as a standing meeting for the year on the second Tuesday of every month at 2:00 p.m. in 221 Peabody Hall in the Dean’s Conference Room. The first meeting will be held on October 9, 2012. Associate Vice Chancellor Bob Kuhn with the Office of Budget and Planning will be invited to attend this meeting. Director Tommy Smith with the Office of Budget and Planning and Director Jason Droddy with the Office of the Chancellor, who manages Legislative and External Affairs, are invited to attend these meetings which help give a perspective of what is going on with regards to the budget and the legislature.
President Gothreaux reported that the committee met on August 15, 2012. The committee discussed having each committee listed on the Staff Senate Meeting Agenda to give the chairs an opportunity to report what each committee is doing, even if a committee report is not part of the meeting packet. Gothreaux mentioned that at the bottom of the Staff Senate Meeting Agenda, there will be a list of upcoming committee meetings to provide everyone with a schedule and the opportunity to attend. Gothreaux announced that the Communication Committee Meetings are set as a standing meeting for the year on the third Wednesday of every month at 9:45 p.m. in 225 Peabody Hall before the Staff Senate Meetings. This morning, they discussed the transition of chairs for the Holiday on Campus Committee, which Senator Perkins will Chair and Senator Bennett will Co-Chair to help with some upcoming family commitments that Senator Bennett has at this time.
Long Range Review & Planning
President-Elect Livingston reported that the committee met on September 18, 2012. The committee reviewed the committee charges. The committee discussed the Campus Master Plan and Campus Parking and Traffic and agreed that the Staff Senate could benefit from an update of the Campus Master Plan as it approaches its 10-year mark in 2013. The committee discussed the priorities for the year which include advocating for and monitoring staff raises and/or providing recognition and appreciation for staff efforts. The committee discussed the possibility of expanding the annual Chancellor’s Employee Appreciation and perhaps working with the Staff Benefits, Policies and Development Committee on this or even making it a Staff Senate effort. The Committee will continue its project to compile and publish a policy/procedure manual for Staff Senate, as well as draft a strategic plan for the Staff Senate, so that it can be compliant with the Provost’s Office. The Committee will also assist in the establishment of staff governance bodies at other state higher education institutions/facilitate the creation of a statewide staff governance network.
President Gothreaux passed along some contact information for Jacquelyn Craddock who is interested in hosting some kind of Staff Appreciation, as well. Gothreaux mentioned that the committee could possibly work in conjunction with her on this initiative.
SPECIAL AD-HOC COMMITTEES
Senator Winchell reported that the committee has not set meetings yet for the year since this committee worked hard last year on the Bylaw revisions. Winchell will contact the committee in regards to possibly setting a standing meeting for the year. The committee will work with the Long Range Review and Planning Committee on a bylaws template for other universities to use to develop staff governance. This committee may only need to meet when the need arises.
Holiday on Campus
Senator Perkins reported that the Holiday on Campus Committee met on August 27, 2012. The committee discussed planning this year’s event, which includes sending out the donor letters soon. The next committee meeting is scheduled on September 24, 2012, at 2:00 p.m. in 219 Peabody Hall.
Senator Carruth reported that the committee met on September 10, 2012. The committee met to discuss the Marketing Committee objectives for the year. They discussed hiring an intern from the Manship School of Mass Communication to help develop a marketing strategy for Staff Senate. The survey questions that were drawn up during last year will be sent to the Executive Committee to be reviewed. If approved, these questions will be sent to Staff on campus to gain a better understanding of the view of Staff Senate across campus. Senators Belanger and Gothreaux will share their job descriptions for the intern position so the committee can create a job description that will benefit Staff Senate.
Carruth reported that the committee discussed having a story written in the Reveille monthly, if there is enough news to report. Staff Senate will also host a booth at the Annual Employee Benefits Fair on October 22, 2012 and needs Staff Senate volunteers to man the booth. A sign-up sheet was circulated during the meeting for participation. The committee discussed ordering Staff Senate promotional items to be given away at the fair (ex: cups with logo, coaster with logo, pens with logo, etc…)
Senator Carruth reported that the committee met on September 18, 2012 which was actually rescheduled from September 4, 2012 due to member non-attendance. The committee discussed the Scholarship Committee objectives for the year. The committee discussed the overview of the scholarship event guidelines and Senator Galy asked that Senator Carruth speak with President Gothreaux regarding the Chancellor’s commitment of $200,000 of the SEC TV royalties that Chancellor Martin committed to the Staff Senate Fee Support Scholarship to see if another commitment could be drawn up now that Chancellor Martin is no longer at LSU. Senator Carruth will send President Gothreaux an email regarding the commitment. Also, the committee asked that Carruth inquire about the GED Program to support employees who are seeking a GED. She will send an email to Senator Torres regarding the GED Program.
Senator Carruth received the Staff Senate Fee Support Scholarship nominations from Financial Aid and Scholarships and the committee has some questions that need to be answered prior to these scholarships being awarded. The committee asked that the verbiage with Financial Aid and Scholarships reflect that the graduate students eligible for the scholarship be in a degree program and not just matriculating prior to deciding on a major. Also, the committee requested that the verbiage be changed to reflect that a staff member shall receive the scholarship once. It now states that a staff member in good standing will be able to receive the scholarship again after 2 years. The committee feels that there are other eligible staff members that may be overlooked if the same staff members are consistently awarded the scholarships. Carruth will contact Sarah Duet to verify these changes and clarify the committee’s questions. The committee also discussed the Holiday Door Decorating contest and will bring their thoughts regarding the theme for the contest to the meeting in October. Carruth encouraged Senators to send their thoughts or suggestions for a theme to her.
Council of Staff Advisors
Past-President Galy reported that she attended the Council of Staff Advisors Committee Meeting on September 7, 2012. Dr. Rasmussen gave an overview of the Board of Supervisors agenda. The Council elected officers for the coming year and Galy will Chair the committee this year. A representative from the Ag Center will Vice Chair and the representative form the Law Center will be the secretary. Galy asked the Ag Center and Pennington representatives about what charges the Council had taken on and they explained that since the budget cuts, there have been none. They just talk about the budget. Since this was the first meeting after Hurricane Isaac, each campus gave a report of what is going on around their campuses, as well as the ways in which each campus was helping with evacuees, etc.
President Gothreaux announced that Senator Exner submitted a liaison report from the Faculty Senate Meeting that was held on September 5, 2012, which was included in the meeting packet.
Office of Group Benefits
Senator Baker reported that she attended the Office of Group Benefits meeting on September 10, 2012. She announced that Annual Enrollment begins October 1, 2012, and she encouraged everyone to look at their paystubs to make sure that benefits deductions look right and to ensure that if you are tax sheltering, it is reflected on your paystub. No premium changes have been announced, but she will know more about that tomorrow. They also announced that Blue Cross Blue Shield will administer the PPO Plan and so far there will be no delay in Annual Enrollment. The actuarial fund balance was mentioned and Baker explained that they do have a large fund balance and in order for them not to increase the premium, they can use those funds which can only be used for healthcare expenses. If you want to cut the budget on a state level, don’t increase the premium, so the state doesn’t pay more towards the health insurance which will decrease the fund balance. Based on that, the Office of Group Benefits Board voted at the second to last meeting to try to get a law passed to mandate that this fund not get below a certain balance.
Quality Enhancement Plan
President-Elect Livingston reported that she attended the Quality Enhancement Plan Committee Meeting on September 5, 2012. Several months ago, the Senate heard a presentation from Dr. Darrell Henry, Director of SACSCOC Reaffirmation and Accreditation and Chair of the SACSCOC Reaffirmation and Accreditation Steering Committee and Dr. Carol O’Neil, Chair of the Quality Enhancement Plan Team in which they explained two large pieces of this reaffirmation. The first piece is looking back to make sure LSU is doing the things it’s supposed to be doing. The second is looking forward to what we want to do, and Livingston serves on the Quality Enhancement Plan. She is one of two staff members, along with a student member, and the rest are faculty. They are developing a plan over the course of five years, beginning in 2014, on how to approve the academic experience for undergraduates at this university. The last plan included Residential Colleges, the Summer Reading Program, and Communication across the Curriculum. LSU has made two of the three operational, and the Summer Reading Program has gone away. This is a way to determine the needs of undergraduate education and to figure out a plan to make it operational while improving education. The committee discussed the final three proposals for the QEP which was whittled down from 22 proposals in spring 2012. Discussions included possibly combining some aspects of a plan, thoughts on future assessment, and budgeting. Additionally, Vice Provost Reeve provided guidance on what elements to focus on to create a strong QEP.
University Council on Women
Past-President Galy reported that on the University Council on Women met September 18, 2012. Past-President Galy is serving as Chair on the University Council on Women this year and she also serves on the staff mentoring sub-committee which discussed how they can move forward. Last year, they came out with a white paper on how to do a better job on mentoring the staff. Galy recommended that sub-committee meet with the Staff Benefits, Policies and Development Committee at the next meeting to working together to come up with a plan on how to do this. One of the challenges is that because there are so many different staff groups across campus, the Senate must ensure that they are effective for all groups. President Gothreaux mentioned that if someone is serving on the Staff Benefits, Policies and Development Committee, to please attend the next meeting as it’s important to have full representation. There are different aspects of staff mentoring and this committee has representation from both classified and professional staff to help with those different aspects.
President Gothreaux announced that all state employees are required to attend Ethics Training for the year. Ethics Training can be done online and is required for student employees as well. Human Resource Management will host another Ethics Training on November 8, 2012, students are eligible to attend.
President Gothreaux announced that the Staff Senate hosted a table a Fall Fest handing out sno-cones. We did about 800 sno-cones and ran out of syrup again this year. Gothreaux suggested that we buy double next year and keep any leftovers for the next year. Gothreaux discussed possibly buying an ice shaving machine as the one we rented this year kept giving us problems during the event. Big thanks to former Senator Betty Magee along with Senator Matkovic who provided the ice this year as well.
Staff Senate Gift Fund
President Gothreaux announced to please consider donating to the Staff Senate Gift Fund. Our balance is at $431.43. The Senate requests voluntary contributions of $10 per year, per Senator. The guidelines for giving are: Death - send flowers ($50) upon death of a current Senator or former Senator and for current Senator’s immediate family members which includes spouse, child, or parent. If memorial/donation is requested in lieu of flowers, the amount will be $50; Wedding - appropriate gift, cost not to exceed $30 (current Senators); New babies - send flowers or gift - $30 (current Senators); and Retirement – send an acknowledgement for current Senators, as well as former Senators. The funds are kept in an LSU Bursar account and are maintained by the Administrative Coordinator of the LSU Staff Senate.
Benefit of the Month
Senator Torres announced that the Benefit of the Month is to consider refinancing your home mortgage to a lower interest rate, since interest rates keeping dropping and it is very beneficial to refinance which can lower your monthly mortgage. Torres mentioned to also consider debt consolidation for higher interest credit cards and your automobile loan which can increase your take home pay by saving you money every month.
Staff Senator Birthdays
President Gothreaux announced that Senator Lede’ will celebrate his birthday on September 30, “Happy Birthday”
Staff Senator Photos
President Gothreaux announced that some Senators need professional photos taken. The Staff Senate Office has scheduled September 25, 2012, from noon – 4:00 p.m. and September 26, 2012, till 10:30 a.m. with Kevin Duffy in 141 Himes Hall to take these for Senators Belanger, Bennett, Guillory, Lede’, Loveless, Moss, Overton, and Livingston.
MOTION TO ADJOURN – With there being no more business, Past-President Galy moved to adjourn. The motion, seconded by Senator Carruth, carried. The meeting adjourned before noon.
Tammy Millican, Secretary