STAFF SENATE MEETING MINUTES October 17, 2012
President Chad Gothreaux presided over the October 17, 2012, Staff Senate meeting held at Peabody Hall, Room 225, on the LSU Campus at 10:30 a.m.
P Exner, Patti (’14)
P Torres, Donna (’15)
Pr Chaney, Carolyn (’13)
A Dixon, Evelyn (’13)
P Matkovic, Igor (’14)
P Galy, Kristie (’13)
P Guillory, Michael (’13)
A Thomas, Joseph (’13)
Pr Winchell, Blake (’13)
P Baker, Sheantel (’14)
P Gothreaux, Chad (’14)
P Millican, Tammy (’14)
P Moreau, Scott (’14)
P Perkins, Julie (’14)
P Belanger, Scott (’15)
Pr Bonfanti, Leigh (’15)
P Carruth, Holly (’15)
Pr Lede’, Robert (’15)
P Livingston, Lynn (’15)
P Loveless, Kathryn (’15)
P Overton, Wendy (’15)
P Adedeji, Funmilayo (’13)
A Heil, Mark (’15)
P Pierce, Renee (’13)
Pr Sirman, Karen (’13)
P Love, Donna (’14)
A Cooley, Judith (’13)
P Collins, Judy (’14)
Pr Bennett, Casey (’15)
A - Indicates Absent
P - Indicates Present
Pr - Indicates Proxy
LSU Interim Chancellor William Jenkins
Thomas McClure, Father of Scholarship Recipient, Biological & Agricultural Engineering
Lorita Collins, Facility Services
Elmer “T” Williams, Facility Services
Hannah Gardiner, Staff Senate Scholarship Recipient
Tammy Gardiner, Mother of Scholarship Recipient
Thomas Gardiner, Father of Scholarship Recipient, Information Technology Services
Rachel Bedsole, Staff Senate Scholarship Recipient
Brian Ainsworth, Campus Federal Credit Union
CALL TO ORDER
The meeting was called to order by President Gothreaux at 10:30 a.m.
There was a quorum with six proxies noted.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Senator Collins led the Pledge of Allegiance.
GUEST SPEAKER – LSU Interim Chancellor William Jenkins
Staff Senate President Gothreaux announced that since 1988, Dr. Bill Jenkins has served in a number of administrative roles at LSU, including Dean of the School of Veterinarian Medicine, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Chancellor and Interim Chancellor (now twice), System President and now Interim President. He came to LSU from Texas A&M University where he had been a Professor in the College of Veterinarian Medicine since 1978.
He is South African born and of British and American parentage. He trained as a veterinarian at the University of Pretoria, graduating in 1958. Following several years in practice, he returned to the University rising to the rank of Professor and becoming the Head of the Department of Veterinary Physiology, Pharmacology and Toxicology. He earned a doctorate in Pharmacology at the University of Missouri Medical School in Columbia in 1970.
Bill and his wife of fifty years, Peggy, now reside in Colleyville, Texas surrounded by three of their four families that include nine of their eleven grandchildren.
Interim Chancellor William Jenkins thanked the Staff Senate for the opportunity to speak today. He said he would open with some brief remarks and then take questions. Jenkins expressed that he was proud to be asked to come back and to be serving the LSU System once again. His wife, Peggy, was very supportive of Jenkins returning, even if it may be for a short time until a replacement can be found. Jenkins mentioned that he is very pleased with the progress at LSU and within the system. Even though LSU has been going through some tough financial situations, it is gratifying to come back and see so many of the buildings completed, such as the Business Education Complex, that was being planned back when Jenkins was Chancellor, the Student Union renovation that started many years ago and has made great progress, and the first parking garage-which Jenkins hopes to see three or four more of in the future. Jenkins mentioned how wonderful the students have done with graduation rates now over 65%. Jenkins said he would like the graduate student rates to increase, as there were 5,500 graduate students when he left LSU and now there are 4,800 students, which is not good for a major research university. He would like to see those numbers increase to about 7,000 students, but realizes the lower number could be due to the financial situation. Jenkins mentioned that the success of the university depends on the quality of the faculty, staff, and students. He mentioned that quality students become successful alumni and that is very important. He also said that the quality of faculty and their success is important, and that faculty and students can only be successful if they have staff support. Jenkins mentioned that the administration has to support these three entities in every way, including financial, which has been tough lately.
Jenkins feels very positive about the progress at LSU, but very concerned about the financial predicament, because we have lost 10% of our faculty and had to become a tuition driven university. What has changed since he retired is that 70% of LSU’s operating budget used to be state funded and 30% was student tuition. State funds were approximately 30-35% of our total budget. Jenkins mentioned that the changes are dramatic since he has been away, with 66% of the operating budget state funded, 34% tuition driven, and 17% of the total budget from state funds. He is not sure how much of the state funds can be restored, but we are going to become tuition and resource driven institutions. We are not the only ones going through this; it seems to be a national phenomenon that is occurring at other state institutions around the country. Our blessing is that 93% of students are on TOPS, which is a different source of tuition and not state funding. It is just a different source of tuition dollars in terms of the funds, in which a dollar from the state is a dollar, but a dollar in tuition money is about 80 cents due to other necessary scholarships and support that must come out of those tuition dollars. Jenkins said he is working on this issue. Jenkins remains optimistic that we will not have a mid-year budget cut. He said next year’s budget may not be easy, but he predicts that we will have a stable budget for this year. Jenkins is very anxious to find some source of funding that LSU can use to reward or give faculty and staff a raise by the end of the year.
Jenkins mentioned the reorganization initiative and looking at the consolidation as a “One LSU” concept. The LSU Board of Supervisors will review and vote on the final report from the Association of Governing Boards which outlines a newly aligned Louisiana State University. He is not sure how it will affect all of us. He said everyone has heard that it could be total consolidation of every institution or some rearrangement of the institutions with regard to the reporting lines. He said it is possible that the Chancellor’s position will become a unified Chancellor/President position. There will clearly be some restructuring and rearrangement, but LSU is very central as the Flagship. He said it must be the Flagship and it must be arranged in a fashion that will be more definable. He referred to it as the Flagship Constellation, which includes the medical centers and the other components. The two medical schools being part of one system and the three regional campuses must be addressed as well. The components of what will be “One LSU” with shared functions bring some anxieties, but Jenkins said he will do his best to get this accomplished while he is here. Jenkins has agreed to stay during these realignments and until a new President is found. Jenkins mentioned that he would never abandon LSU and while he is in this position, he will do his best to make sure there is no disruption and that this realignment is done in an effective way for the long term benefit of the faculty, staff, and students. He said clearly there needs to be cost savings. What has consumed Jenkins lately are the hospitals, which are a huge challenge at the moment. There is currently not enough money to finish out the year, so this reorganization needs to happen swiftly to help the citizens of the state. Jenkins’ mission has always been to serve the physical, psychological, educational, financial well being of the citizens of this state.
Senator Torres mentioned that she is glad that Jenkins spoke about “One LSU” as our campus and other campuses are very concerned about what will happen with multiple human resource offices, multiple accounting offices and multiple Sponsored Program offices.
Jenkins replied that the issue will be addressed and that there is cost savings there. If we develop those relationships, there will be benefits as a single computing system. Jenkins mentioned that there will be cost to get this set-up, but in hopefully five years time, we will see some savings with this cooperation. He said that “One LSU” will help make us a stronger and more nationally competitive university.
Senator Exner mentioned that Staff Senate is appreciative of Jenkins’ frankness about “One LSU” and wonders how staff will fit into those pieces. She said she also appreciates his frankness about faculty and staff raises. We are losing faculty and staff and it is becoming frightening as we are seeing plates that are very full and employees who are giving so much of themselves. Jenkins replied that he sees those efforts across campus, even after hours.
Senator Baker asked if there a role that Staff Senate should be playing or should they be calling legislators and asking for their support as the next legislative session approaches. Jenkins replied that employees can’t lobby as state servants. Jenkins feels at a little bit of a disadvantage as he does not know many of the legislators in the House. He knows many on the Senate side, but he is making it his mission to get to know the legislators that he does not know.
President Gothreaux thanked Interim Chancellor William Jenkins for coming to speak to the Staff Senate and presented Jenkins with a Staff Senate t-shirt.
President Gothreaux introduced guests: Thomas McClure, father of a Staff Senate Scholarship recipient and Biological & Agricultural Engineering staff member; Lorita Collins, Facility Services staff member, who will be appointed to serve on the Staff Senate; Elmer “T” Williams, Facility Services staff member, who is observing the meeting; Hannah Gardiner, Staff Senate Scholarship recipient, and her parents, Tammy Gardiner and Thomas Gardiner-Information Technology Services staff member; Rachel Bedsole, Staff Senate Scholarship recipient, and Brian Ainsworth, Campus Federal Credit Union
APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES – September 19, 2012, Staff Senate Meeting
A motion to accept the minutes was made by Past-President Galy. The motion, seconded by Senator Perkins, carried.
SCHOLARSHIP AWARDS PRESENTATION
President Gothreaux presented a certificate to Rachel Bedsole, a recipient of the 2012-2013 Staff Senate Scholarship Award. Rachel is majoring in Philosophy with a minor in Business Administration. After graduation, she plans to pursue a career in Illustration and Graphic Design. Her father is Robert Bedsole who works with the Office of Facility Services in Planning Design and Construction.
Gothreaux presented a certificate to Hannah Gardiner, a recipient of the 2012-2013 Staff Senate Scholarship Award. Hannah is majoring in Physics. After graduation, she plans to pursue a graduate degree in Nuclear Physics. Her father is Thomas Gardiner who works with Information Technology Services in University Networking and Infrastructure.
Gothreaux presented a certificate to Olivia McClure’s father, Thomas McClure, who attended on her behalf. Olivia McClure is a recipient of the 2012-2013 Staff Senate Scholarship Award. She is majoring in Mass Communication and Political Science. After graduation, she plans to attend graduate school or law school. Her father, Thomas McClure, works with the Biological and Agricultural Engineering department.
Gothreaux announced that MacKenzie Kohler is also a recipient of the 2012-2013 Staff Senate Scholarship Award, but was unable to attend today to receive her certificate. MacKenzie is majoring in Pre-Veterinary Medicine with a concentration in Animal Science. After graduation, she plans to apply to LSU’s School of Veterinary Medicine. Her mother is Susan Kohler who works for the School of Veterinary Medicine in the Veterinary Teaching Hospital.
President Gothreaux announced that the Executive Committee has given approval to appoint Lorita Collins to fill the vacancy in the Service/Maintenance Category through 2014. Lorita works with the Office of Facility Services and has been employed at LSU since 2010.
President Gothreaux announced that Carolyn Landry, a long time Senator, has resigned her seat on the Staff Senate. Kayla Lato is the runner-up in the last general election to fill the seat. Kayla has been employed at LSU for three years. She was also employed as a student worker while attending LSU, so she has actually worked on campus for about nine years. She was unable to attend today, but will fill the vacancy in the Professional/Non-Faculty Category through 2013.
President Gothreaux reported that on September 24, he attended the Chancellor’s Executive Staff meeting. Chancellor Jenkins spoke about the ongoing study regarding the organization of the LSU System; Association of Governing Boards has been issued a supplemental scope of work to further develop Scenario 3, which is to consolidate entities throughout the system. Dr. Jenkins will be with the university through the transition. Bob Kuhn reported on enrollment which is up again for the third straight year. There was an increase of 564 students over last year; enrollment is now at 29,500; this is the largest freshman class in LSU history with over 5,700 students. He also attended the Staff Benefits, Policies and Development Committee later that day.
Gothreaux reported that on September 29: He and President-elect Livingston attended the Statewide Governance meeting at LSU-Alexandria. The meetings are held primarily for faculty governance across the state. Gothreaux mentioned that he has continued to attend these meetings to engage with faculty senate leadership, to stay abreast of some of the issues that staff shares and to continue to try and expand staff governance in the state. He said that having a good relationship with the faculty leadership will be important for us to get invitations to those campuses.
Gothreaux reported that on October 2, he presided over the Staff Senate Executive Committee meeting to set the agenda for the October Staff Senate meeting.
Gothreaux reported that on October 9: he attended the Long Range Review and Planning Committee meeting. Gothreaux and Senator Torres held the first Budget and Finance/Governmental Relations Committee meeting which they will report on shortly.
Staff Benefits, Policies & Development
Past President Galy reported that the Staff Benefits, Policies and Development Committee met on September 24, 2012. The committee discussed planning the New Staff Reception which has been held as a reception and then a lunch, but had poor attendance. The committee decided to hold a breakfast this year to see if more new hires attend. The committee will meet next week to sort the new hire list for committee members to send out personal invitations. The Chancellor will be invited to speak, but if he is unavailable the Provost will be invited to speak. The committee also discussed a Lunch and Learn, since the football stadium tour was a big success. The committee discussed a tour of the baseball stadium during the week and a tailgate to be held after the tour. The committee will try to get a donation of jambalaya for the event. They will also try to have staff honored during the game. The next meeting will be held on October 22, 2012.
Budget & Finance/Governmental Relations
Senator Torres reported that the Budget and Finance/Governmental Relations Committee met on October 9, 2012. She will submit a written report. Associate Vice Chancellor Bob Kuhn, with the Office of Budget and Planning, attended this meeting and gave us an in depth report on the budget cuts from inception to date. Vice Chancellor Eric Monday, with Finance and Administrative Services, gave a very similar presentation at the Business Manager’s Meeting earlier that day. Kuhn presented the committee with two handouts, one of which was Interim President/Chancellor Jenkins’ Budget Narrative for the current budget. The second handout was an update on where the university stands according to the LA Grad Act for greater autonomies. The intent there is that we believe we can save over $25 Million over a five year period if we are able to implement these changes, such as investment autonomy which is in place, changes in our investment returns which are at 20% greater than what we experienced last year, and the implementation of our new procurement system which will allows us to buy at better savings. Torres reported that Bob Kuhn discussed with the committee that historically for the past 17 years, from 1992 to 1995, we went without employee raises. From1996 -2007, the raises that were given were as high as 12% for faculty, which was actually appropriated, and the highest for staff was about 6%. For staff raises, the money was always found in the budget to make sure that faculty and staff are treated similar. The point that Bob Kuhn was trying to make is that while we do go through tough times, when we finally hit financial stability the raises do happen. The hope is that 2013 is our last year where we have this financial instability. There has not been talk of a mid-year cut, so the hope is that the budget we have in place for 2013 will be in place for June 30. Bob Kuhn mentioned that the administration is looking for a way to fund employee raises for the next year. The handouts that were distributed at the meeting will be posted on the Staff Senate web site.
President Gothreaux reported that the committee met on September 19, 2012 and this morning. At the September meeting, the committee discussed making a leadership change on the Holiday on Campus Committee to Senator Julie Perkins as Chair and Casey Bennett as Co-Chair of the event this year due to some family commitments for Casey Bennett. The committee heard from all of the committee chairs during the October meeting this morning and each chair reported on what their committees are working on at this time. The Communications Committee’s objective is to bring all the chairs together to discuss what is going on across the entire Staff Senate. Gothreaux reported that there is some very active participation going on right now.
Long Range Review & Planning
President-Elect Livingston reported that the committee met on October 9, 2012. The committee report was included in the meeting packet, but some of the information and the committee’s mission has changed since the report was submitted. Most of the committee’s conversation was discussing whether or not Staff Senate wants to pursue some sort of appreciation endeavor for all staff members on campus- not necessarily recognition, but appreciation events or something along those lines. The day after the committee met, Senator Bonfanti who serves on this committee was asked on a higher level at the university to represent her unit on a university-wide committee who is working on the same initiative. We believe as a committee that this initiative working campus-wide may happen a lot quicker, so we decided to step out of the way and let that happen, because a lot of the ideas are the same. The committee will regroup next month at their meeting and find out where they want to focus their efforts. Senator Bonfanti will report back to the committee on what the other committee is doing and if we were on parallel tracks, so we can adjust what we are doing. If they are not the same, be prepared for us to bring to all of you a question of whether or not we want to support some sort of endeavor to show appreciation for our fellow staff members. It could be on the horizon. Otherwise, we will promote whatever the university is doing and get the word out to staff on what this larger group is doing. We will update the Staff Senate at the next meeting.
SPECIAL AD-HOC COMMITTEES
Holiday on Campus
Senator Perkins reported that the Holiday on Campus Committee met on October 15, 2012 at UREC. The report was included in the meeting packet. Perkins thanked Senator Belanger and Brad Wilson for hosting the meeting and providing a tour for our set-up and the additional resources that they will provide for this year’s event. The committee discussed the tasks that are ongoing with planning this year’s event. Perkins asked Senators to donate two bags of candy for the goody bags that will be handed out to the children who attend. Senator Perkins circulated Holiday on Campus donor letters to all Senators who were present to promote donations for this year’s event. The next committee meeting is scheduled on October 22, 2012, at 2:00 p.m. in 219 Peabody Hall. You are invited to attend. President Gothreaux encouraged Senators to take advantage of After-Halloween Candy Sales to help with their donation. Senator Love asked about a list of donors who have made a commitment this year. Perkins requested that if Senators know of someone who would like to donate to the event to send her an email. If they have donated in the past, they have already been sent a letter.
Senator Carruth reported that the committee met on October 8, 2012. The report was included in the meeting packet. The committee met to discuss the survey that was submitted to the Executive Committee and approved. The survey should be sent to all staff by next Monday once the committee receives an introduction of the Staff Senate for the broadcast message from President Gothreaux. The committee also participated in the Annual Employees Benefits Fair that was held on October 11, 2012. We handed out Staff Senate promotional items and about 50 of the new Staff Senate brochures.
Senator Carruth reported that the committee met on October 2, 2012. The committee discussed the scholarship recipients who were awarded a certificate today. The committee is also waiting on some information from Student Aid and Scholarships on the staff awards due to some issues with the verbiage in the agreement that was changed. The committee is waiting for them to pull names of eligible recipients. The Holiday Decorating Contest theme is “Mike the Tiger goes to Hollywood” which stems from the movie theme that University Relations is using for Student Promotion and Recruitment. The movie theme was also used for Fall Fest, so we are trying to bring that all together and promote it as a recycling event as well. President Gothreaux asked if the scholarship criteria changes have been put in place and Senator Carruth confirmed that it has been put in place. The judging for the Holiday Decorating Contest may happen in the middle of December, but the committee will meet again and set the date.
President Gothreaux announced that Senator Sirman submitted a liaison report from the Campus Communicators meeting, held on October 11, 2012, and it is included in the meeting packet.
Senator Love reported that she attended the Faculty Senate meeting on October 2, 2012. She thanked Senator Exner for allowing her to attend in her absence. The report was included in the meeting packet. Love mentioned that some of President Cope’s President’s Report has come to pass. Lee Griffon, CEO with the LSU Foundation, had a very interesting presentation and he brought several employees with him to discuss their various areas of endeavor. The Strategic Planning Initiative is very new and interesting. Under old business, there was a Resolution for a Plus and Minus Grading System which was read and discussed at length. The resolution passed. There were two Resolutions that were read for the first time. One was in Support of a Pay Raise for Faculty and the other was to create a Task Force to Consider and Compare Anti-Plagiarism Services. There is software that can be purchased to scan a student’s paper for plagiarism.
President Gothreaux mentioned that the Staff Senate may want to consider drafting a similar resolution in support of staff raises and this will be discussed at the next Executive Committee Meeting.
University Council on Women
Past-President Galy reported that the University Council on Women met October 1, 2012. The meeting was led by Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Stuart Bell. Since this was his first meeting, he asked for an introduction of all the members. He then opened the meeting and discussed his short time at LSU and how much he has enjoyed meeting with everyone on campus. He said he looks forward to the road ahead. He discussed his presentation that was given to Deans and Directors at a retreat held before school started on Discovery, Learning, Diversity, and Engagement. At the next few meetings, the committee will look at these in depth.
Past-President Galy reported that the University Council on Women met October 8, 2012. The committee started the meeting by going through the first of those goals-Learning. Vice Provost Gil Reeve gave his presentation that was given to Deans and Directors at the beginning of the semester. There was much discussion within the group regarding the performance goal. The committee will meet again next week.
Staff Senate Gift Fund
Melonie Holden, Staff Senate Administrative Coordinator announced that the balance is $461.43 and that contributions are still being collected. She said that about half of the senate has donated. President Gothreaux thanked those who have contributed.
Benefit of the Month
Senator Torres announced that the Benefit of the Month is a reminder that this month is open enrollment for health and flexible spending accounts. Please note that there is a decrease in the amount that you can set aside for medical. This was a mandate and not a decision that was made by the university or System. It is also the time to look at the optional insurance offered for vision and dental coverage. Be mindful of the additional coverage offered by the health insurance companies. LSU First has a life insurance benefit that is offered if you are covered by them. Torres believes that all of the plans offer an eye exam once a year. She also mentioned that Blue Cross offers a discount to a health club. Torres encouraged employees to do a budget of what their out-of-pocket expenses will be for the next year to look at whether or not it’s beneficial for you to take out the vision or dental insurance or to set aside funds in their flexible spending plan. Senator Carruth asked how the Senators who are not present today will receive this information. President Gothreaux mentioned that we can send out a reminder to the group. Senator Torres will draft something to send out to the full senate.
Past-President Galy announced that she was approached by Penni Fontenot who is the graduate student for the Women’s Center and University Council on Women regarding a workshop that they are having on October 27, 2012. The workshop is for female students and seeks to get them involved in student government roles and to increase their participation in student government with the hope that they will run for some sort of political office after they graduate. Galy has agreed to attend and has invited women to attend as well. It’s an all day event, but the meet and greet begins at 3 p.m. She will forward the information to all female Staff Senators who are interested in attending.
Staff Senator Birthdays
President Gothreaux announced that Senator Loveless celebrated her birthday on October 5, Senator Cooley celebrated her birthday on October 11, and Senator Thomas will celebrate his birthday on October 31. Happy Birthday!
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