STAFF SENATE MEETING MINUTES August 21, 2013
President Lynn Livingston presided over the August 21, 2013, Staff Senate meeting held at the LSU Student Union, in the Castilian Room (304), on the LSU Campus at 10:30 a.m.
P Torres, Donna (’15)
P Collins, Lorita (’14)
P Matkovic, Igor (’14)
P Williams, Elmer “T” (’14)
P Baker, Sheantel (’14)
Pr Gothreaux, Chad (’14)
P Millican, Tammy (’14)
Pr Moreau, Scott (’14)
Pr Perkins, Julie (’14)
P Carruth, Holly (’15)
P Lede’, Robert (’15)
P Livingston, Lynn (’15)
P Loveless, Kathryn (’15)
P Overton, Wendy (’15)
P Sasser, Leigh (’15)
Pr Silver, Jon (’15)
P Craddock, Jacquelyn (’16)
P Davis, Anaiah (’16)
P Hale, Robert (’16)
P Hart, M.E. (’16)
P Heil, Mark (’15)
P Adedeji, Funmilayo (’16)
Pr Love, Donna (’14)
P Jones, Patrick (’16)
P Collins, Judy (’14)
Pr Bennett, Casey (’15)
P Joseph, LaToya (’16)
A - Indicates Absent
P - Indicates Present
Pr - Indicates Proxy
President & Chancellor F. King Alexander
Jason Droddy, Office of the Chancellor
Summer Steib, Women’s Center
Lorena Colina, International Services
Brian Ainsworth, Campus Federal Credit Union
Andrea McKnight, Campus Federal Credit Union
Marylee Williams, Student Media
CALL TO ORDER
The meeting was called to order by President Livingston at 10:30 a.m.
There was a quorum with six proxies noted.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Senator Hart led the Pledge of Allegiance.
President Livingston welcomed all of the guests listed above who were in attendance.
GUEST SPEAKER – President and Chancellor F. King Alexander
President Livingston welcomed President and Chancellor Alexander for coming to share some thoughts with the LSU Staff Senate.
President Alexander thanked the group for the invitation to speak. He mentioned that things are picking up pretty much every hour of the day. And he just wanted to thank everyone for their efforts with getting ready for the fall semester. The campus looks great. We have about 5,500 freshmen coming, who are on their way. He appreciates everyone and he knows that we have about 700 volunteers signed up to move students in tomorrow and he appreciates all the volunteers and all the people who are all at work. He wanted to remind everyone that this may be the only time that student’s parents are on campus all year and the feel that they get from move in day or the experience this weekend will last an entire year. He is certain that they will go home and tell everybody in their church, and their communities, and their parishes everything that happened in that one weekend. So, Alexander knows if you have moved kids into their college, that weekend will last a lifetime. The good news is that they are probably expecting a pretty rough day and they don’t expect to have 700 volunteers helping and everyone helping. He also would like to thank the Dining Halls for opening up and feeding everyone. He mentioned that we’re going to go from about 0 to 80 in about 12 hours. He has also spoken to our campus security last night and they’re ready to enforce and protect and to make sure everyone is safe. Alexander also told them that their number one job, just like everyone here, is that we’re educators and no matter what we do, we’re here to help every one of our kids succeed. He mentioned that they don’t stand a chance if they drop out or if they think that their part-time job will last a lifetime which it is not going to for most of them. And we just need to make sure they just stay on course. We’ve done a lot to get them here, so let’s do a lot together to make sure they graduate. Alexander mentioned that our graduation rates have never been any higher. That’s the work of the faculty and staff which is the work that you all have done. At a time that we know that the budget cuts have been bad, we haven’t been able to replace people and people are doing more with less. That extends not only here in Baton Rouge but all the way to Long Beach as well. He mentioned that they dealt with the same types of issues and same types of problems. Everything from furloughs to no new hires for four years, it’s been a tough time for public higher education. Our numbers have never been better because of the work that you all have done and you’ve done it collectively. So, he is here as one of us, as a staff member. He’s here to make it possible for more of our students to finish what they started and create a better environment for them so that they know it’s their second home. This is a second home for each and every one of them. So for the parents that go home, they feel rejuvenated and energized that they made the right choice. And they feel comfortable that their sons and daughters will be here on campus, learning from us. A lot of people say “in loco parentis” went out in the 70s and 80s, but quite honestly he doesn’t think it ever went out of the window. It’s our job to take care of every one of these kids and make sure they finish. Whether they’re traditional students or coming back from Afghanistan, we owe them a lot and we are here to make sure they succeed. Alexander thanked everyone as he thanked our campus police staff last night. He mentioned that two weeks ago, we went through the emergency procedures of all the things that could go wrong in a football game with 300 local police and staff who knew just what we were all prepared for. And some of these things, we have to anticipate and be prepared for. They’d be impressed and mesmerized by the amount of information that we as staff have to be prepared to handle, especially on days with so many visitors but also just on a daily basis with so many students moving onto campus.
Alexander asked if there were any questions.
Senator Lede’ thanked President Alexander for pushing forward with the employee raises. Alexander mentioned that everyone deserves it, despite what we’ve all been through these past 4-5 years. When we are able to enroll more and graduate more it just means that people are working harder and doing more. He mentioned that it was our number one objective and our number two objective is just to be able to sustain that and do it every year. So that’s what we have to work on with our legislatures and others. To give us the flexibility, freedom and resources to make sure we aren’t losing ground and that you guys aren’t losing ground every year because what most people don’t understand is when salaries are frozen, the consumer price index is not frozen which means prices continue to go up which means that our people are losing ground each and every year. And we’re going to keep pushing forward.
Q: With the pay raises and moving forward, will there be committees formed to produce a timeline for that?
A: It remains a top priority. The timeline is going to be really based on whatever the legislature does. We really started working on it. We’re working with state legislatures to make sure we don’t have to endure any more cuts. Right now, we are hoping there will not be a mid-year cut. Alexander mentioned that first and foremost we need to make sure that we are stabilized by our state funds so that we aren’t hit which is our biggest challenge that we face. He mentioned like many states, we’ve been on a pendulum swing and most times the pendulum has ended up on the negative side of things. So we have to work on our state to stabilize our funding sources and our revenue streams. When we are able to stabilize those, then we are better able to talk about potential raises as we go forward.
Q: There’s been some discussion on the One LSU and the consolidation; can you give us an idea your vision for the future of LSU?
A: Yes, for many years, with the exception of last year, President Jenkins did a good job of staying above water for us. We really operated very independently and he used the legislature and lobbied for example. All of our LSU entities in the past have decided on what they wanted and they have just gone about their own way to try to get it. One hand didn’t know what the other one was doing. And the same thing is going on here in Baton Rouge. What LSU is going to do, for example with regard to lobbying, Jason Droddy has put together all the lobbyists and all of our government affairs people and started working towards a common agenda; a common agenda at the state level and a common agenda at the federal level. So that we all know what we are lobbying for and what we are supporting. Are we all supportive of Federal Pell Grants or not. So if we go to Washington, does he even mention Pell Grants, at a time when Pell is being protected for our students? So it’s coordination, collaboration, a lot of working together, communication, we went five and a half years with basically very little communication. And his expectation is that he is coming from a system in California, where we had 23 of our universities representing 453,000 students and we met every month to talk about coordination, to talk about what we’re doing well, how we can help each other. Another example, LSU Shreveport is having trouble identifying potential prospects from alumni in their area, so we sent Charlie Roberts up there to connect with our alumni population. To use some of the technologies that we have to identify their people to work with them with post events so that they can actually start building an Alumni Association at LSUS instead of independently doing everything. There’s much greater strength in One LSU collectively than there is all of us operating as sort of independent entities throughout Louisiana. The more we do together, the more this comes together. The more we cooperate and collaborate, the more you’ll see some of the benefits of us working together. We had 8 legislators on campus yesterday and one thing they asked was if we can coordinate legislative efforts better. Because he could be asking for one thing then we have another Chancellor show up and ask for something completely different and it’s not one of our priorities. That’s how we’ve been. We’ve been more of the Galapagos Islands, everybody for themselves and now we will be functioning more as one. How we can build and work together and learn from each other and sharing of information by Staff Senates. What can we share with the other Staff Senates that can help the other campuses? All of these things are possible now and he encourages us to have those types of communications, collaborations and cooperation.
Alexander mentioned that safety is a big issue and that’s why he has been meeting with the campus police the last couple of weeks. To understand what we do in emergency procedures. Are we sharing that with our other campuses? Are they up to speed on everything that we’re doing and are we up to speed on everything that they’ve been doing on their campuses? The big difference between the Medical Center security in downtown New Orleans and what some of our police have had to do. He thinks that it’s good that we have these types of communication networks, and we enable each other to do more instead of limit each other and see each other as competition which is not where he would like to see us.
Senator Torres commented that what they have done as a result of the Transition Advisory Team is that whenever we are putting a bid out on some type of administration service, we are writing that bid such that all of the LSU entities (medical schools in New Orleans and Shreveport and LSUS can participate in the contract, not just those campuses using the LSU financial system (Law Center, Alexandria, Eunice, System, AgCenter, and Pennington). Instead of just considering LSU in Baton Rouge paid. So she thinks that’s something that’s kind of under the radar that everyone isn’t aware of but something that will help bring everyone together. Alexander mentioned that you all have been the heart of this long before the transition team. You’ve been working on the procurement issue and other issues like this in the bidding process. We’re still working legislatively, and that issue is going to come up. We have the potential savings of $2 million a year and even more if we incorporate what all of us are doing throughout the state. There’s a lot of savings to be made in our collaboration instead of our independence. So you’re exactly right, we’ve been dealing with a number of these issues already.
Senator Torres mentioned that one of the things that was very positive from this experience was that the conversation that started among all the entities was where we talked about what we do and what they do and how can we share so that everyone does it the best way instead of a different way. Alexander mentioned that don’t detach these from the salary increases either because building this into the future to maintain the salary increases we’re anticipating cost savings from a number of these projects by joining together and also by building a much bigger scale. We’re really not that big, he has been in three systems and arguably should we have been a system, with only 44,000 students, 30,000 are one campus, that by national standards probably wouldn’t qualify to be a system. But Louisiana likes its systems. So everyone has a system. We branched out far more than we should. The bigger systems that he has worked in, they’ve collaborated more than we have previously here. And we’re going to do a lot more, like he was mentioning before, by working together.
President Livingston thanked President and Chancellor King for coming to speak to the Staff Senate today and presented him with a Staff Senate t-shirt.
APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES – July 17, 2013, Staff Senate Meeting
Page 6, Paragraph 4, line 15 reads: We some questions should read: We have some questions
A motion to accept the minutes as amended was made by Senator J. Collins. The motion, seconded by Senator Baker, carried.
Senator Collins asked what President Alexander mentioned about raises. There was a question about the timeline and he mentioned that there was no timeline only that they need to secure funding to make sure that there won’t be a mid-year budget cut. Senator Torres mentioned that is attributed to continuous raises. The raises that have been announced are just waiting on Board approval, so the funding is in place that the Human Resource Contacts, Deans, and Directors have worked on. There is the hope that there will be a continuous raise process year-to-year and that is where we have to work with legislatures, where we have to work on streamlining administrative processes to be able to use those savings. Collins asked what is LSU doing about classified employees? Torres mentioned that it is her understanding that the classified raises will be effective October 1 in accordance with the new Performance Evaluation System where everyone is evaluated at the same time every year, so hopefully everyone is going through their evaluations. There was a broadcast message sent out last week, reminding everyone to make sure they have their evaluations done and even though the deadline was September 30, they have asked that it be moved up to September 15 to make sure that raises are announced to be effective October 1. Everyone will qualify because if you remember the new revised statute that says that if any classified employee doesn’t get evaluated, their supervisor on up is not eligible for a raise. There will be a broadcast announcement that the Provost and Vice Chancellors are working on right now that will address the question of timing for classified raises but Torres reiterated to get your evaluation done.
Senator Baker mentioned that the Civil Service Commission did not freeze raises this year so there is no roadblock. The roadblock was that each agency had to have it in their budget so if you had it in your budget you could do it. There was no roadblock to give the raises.
Senator Davis asked for unclassified employees, like in her department, Information Technology Services has done their evaluations already, how will our raises be determined? Senator Torres mentioned that for unclassified employees, we are not following the same guidelines as Civil Service, so the timing can be different. The way the raises worked is that there was a raise pool provided to each unit and that raise pool was 4% of the salary on unrestricted funds for everyone eligible for a raise. The only people who are not eligible for a raise are those people who were hired as of January 1 and after. So that raise pool went to the Deans, Directors or Department Heads and each one of them could use that raise pool as a merit pool to give anywhere from 0 to whatever percentage of the raises were determined within your unit. Hopefully with the conversations regarding the evaluations that had been done previously in the last 12 months because everyone should be on an annual basis, so the raises were determined within the units.
Senator Heil asked does Human Resource Management have a guideline on what would make a person eligible or ineligible for a raise. Senator Torres mentioned that it is not actually a Human Resource guideline but rather up to the individual unit and for someone to not be eligible for a raise other than if you were hired January 1 or after since the university is paying those employees at the market rate, so in 8 months is that person really eligible for a raise since they are still in the learning phase, so that is why that rule was put in place. But as far as determining merit, who successful who is unsuccessful, who is more successful in their job duties, that’s left up to the individual units and it’s the hope that if there is an employee that is getting a 0 raise because their performance is poor that, that employee would have an expectation of a 0 raise because there has been communication recently that your performance isn’t successful but Human Resources does not really set an a to z on how to do it. They just give the guideline that if someone gets a 0 raise you have to provide justifications as to why. Human Resources was actually going through the raise pools as they were distributed back to Budget and Planning to look at raises to make sure they were in line with the performance evaluations that were in place and that there would be some questions. Heil mentioned that they have a lot of questions in their department, in the old system the 0 to 5, if you someone got below a 2.5 and documentation to deny someone for a raise, their department now is saying that if someone gets an unsuccessful then they would be denied for a raise. Torres asked if he attended any of the performance evaluation training which is where all of that was described which is not departmental but actually Civil Service. With the new Civil Service Performance Evaluation System, you’ve got two categories which are your successful at performing your job duties or you are unsuccessful and if you are unsuccessful, you are ineligible for a raise. In the old system, Civil Service allowed a reevaluation after 3-6 months. In the new system, it’s a year. That is not anything mandated at LSU that is a Civil Service rule. Torres mentioned that one thing she will take from here is to talk to Patricia Mitchen with Human Resource Management about possibly offering additional performance evaluation training because now that it is a reality you need to understand what it means instead of just hearing it during a training session. So maybe it’s time to do a refresher training session, so that employees can hear it again and understand what it means. Torres mentioned that in Accounting Services, they have piloted this performance evaluation system and have come up with a single system that they are going to use for their classified and unclassified employees so that everybody is evaluated on that same system. They will not have the 0 to 9 for their unclassified employees and the successful and unsuccessful for the classified employees. They went to Human Resources and said that they wanted a single system and have been working with them to pilot a system that they are rolling out right now and once all the kinks are worked out, Human Resources may possibly use for the campus as a whole.
Senator Adedeji mentioned that he thought there were 3 items to rate, successful, unsuccessful, or not rated. Torres mentioned that not rated means that maybe you have not been here long enough, so you may go through the performance planning but you will not be rated in this evaluation period but this is why we need the refresher training. Adedeji mentioned that he did not rate an employee and Human Resources sent it back and stated that the employee had to be rated. Torres will speak with A.G. Monaco and Patricia Mitchen about offering additional training for topics like this. Torres mentioned that in her department they met after the training to make sure everyone knew how to do the evaluations. Senator Hale mentioned that if an employee is rated unsuccessful there has to be documentation so someone can review that to see why that was. If someone is rated unsuccessful chances are you are already working with Employee Relations or perhaps in the employee’s evaluation last time they were borderline and you had a performance plan to undertake and if you did not complete your performance plan and you are being rated again, well now we don’t have the flexibility of a percentage system, you are either successful or unsuccessful and this is why it is important to understand the new system. Torres really likes the new system; it forces a supervisor to be honest with an employee. Many times we get emotional during an evaluation and forget the fact that we are here to do a job and instead of viewing our employees as the resource that I have to get these tasks done, we tend to let our emotions in the way if someone messes up. So a lot of times, supervisors will overlook but this new system does not allow that to happen.
Senator Lede’ mentioned that each department has a pool of 4% which is for unclassified and possible for classified. For unclassified should that be evenly distributed? Torres mentioned, no, it is a merit pool. Lede’ mentioned that there will be some people who may only get 1% and then the 3% may end up in someone else’s pocket. The Department Head will determine those numbers, have those numbers been determined already? Torres mentioned not for classified employees. The raise process has not begun for classified employees. Does that also have to have Board of Supervisors approval? Torres mentioned yes. Lede’ asked at one point in time will those numbers be determined. For unclassified employees, the raises are a done deal; it is just waiting on Board approval. The numbers have already been determined. The Personnel Departments, along with Deans and Directors have been told not to speak of raises until we receive Board approval because there could a decision that the budget has been reviewed and the raises can’t happen. The information is out there but not approved yet. Senator Craddock mentioned that amongst communication that has gone out to the community and that’s what unclassified are getting that it was not communicated down the ranks about the pool of funds, so the majority of people across campus feel that they are going to get the 4% raise. Torres mentioned that she believes that most employees will get the 4% raise. It is hard to put a lot of communication out there without Board approval. After the Board meeting, there should be more communication sent out about the timeline. Senator Sasser mentioned that Human Resources will be sending out weekly email reminders to supervisors of Act 377 which reminds supervisors to get those done so they receive their raise as well.
President Livingston reported that on July 26, she along with Senators Gothreaux and Perkins attended the Board of Supervisors Meeting. The Board Meetings are designed a little different this year. The committees meet in the morning, and then the Board meets in the afternoon. Livingston only attended the morning meeting and Gothreaux and Perkins attended both meetings. This was President Alexander’s first meeting and the biggest agenda item was the Transition Advisory Team’s Final Report so the work that had been done all year was reported on. It was very broad and will take years to implement, each of the subcommittees outlined some goals but there were four Foundational issues that need to be worked on which are building a high performance culture that currently a lot of campuses are risk averse, slow and bureaucratic, focusing on a management model so that we have flatter organizations where low level decision making is ok and also to consolidate some of the administrative services. These are things we are trying to tackle here on campus. Stabilizing state funding is a problem, pushing for autonomy, protecting cost savings, and evaluate academic program and faculty productivity. Livingston mentioned this is confirmation of what we already knew going on in our system but they said they would release details on this final report, haven’t seen it yet. She checked this morning for a detailed report for LSU 2015, still haven’t seen it. There were not many challenges from the Board, there were more congratulations, there are a few clarifying questions, so it was a lot of work and not a lot of information shared. Livingston is looking forward to monitoring the system website to see when that stuff comes out because the details are just not there right now and when she asked for details, they are not given. We’ll continue to push for that.
Livingston announced that at the Board Meeting in the afternoon is when the pay raises were discussed which actually got released before the meeting.
Livingston reported that on August 6, she lead the Executive Committee Meeting. We spent time preparing for the full Senate Meeting and discussed some things for the future. We also prepared the committee membership which will be shared later in the meeting.
Livingston reported that on August 9, she represented the Staff Senate at Commencement which was an honor. It was very interesting and full of LSU spirit. We got to see each and every graduate walk across the stage. It was really awesome and she is looking forward to the fall and spring commencements.
Livingston reported that on August 16, the Executive Committee along with Melonie Milton met with President Alexander. We had a good meeting where a lot of what he mentioned today was discussed then. It was really just an introductory meeting to get some time with him now that he is on campus. Some overall comments, Livingston asked about reaching out to the state where she asked him about LSU 2015 and he talked about the Chancellors never meeting and that not being accessible. He empathized again this morning that we are essential, that every single thing we do is essential to the success, the retention, and the graduation of our students. Livingston thinks that anything we do this year, on the committee level, in talking with our constituents, helping them know that President Alexander knows and we know that there are essential. It’s easy for staff sometimes to kind of slip through the cracks, maybe not feel appreciated or that we are a part of the bigger picture but she thinks that President Alexander is trying to make that clear, because he believes it, we believe it, and he thinks we can help get that message out. We also spoke with him about the Chancellor Service Spotlight Award which we will discuss later today. We also proposed an effective cost saving measure to him about closing the university on December 23 and staff would have to use their leave. We just put the bug in their ear and Livingston doesn’t think this is the first time they have heard it.
SPECIAL AD-HOC COMMITTEES
Holiday on Campus
President Livingston announced that there has been some activity related to Holiday on Campus. The university is already planning a condensed Holiday Celebration in the Student Union in late November, early December. Those talks have begun and since we are such a big player that day, they have brought us in on those discussions. Senator Bennett is at her College Retreat along with Senator Perkins and Gothreaux, so we will wait to hear from Senator Bennett, they had a meeting last Friday, so an update will probably come at the next meeting.
Staff Senate Vacancies
President Livingston reported that we still have some vacancies in some of the categories. Does anyone have anyone in mind who would like to serve on the Staff Senate? Senator Matkovic has a suggestion which he will send to the Staff Senate Office for the Executive Committee to review. Livingston mentioned it’s a constant hunt to find staff who would like to serve. We want to make sure all staff is presented, so if anyone has someone in mind, please forward that to the Staff Senate Office.
President Livingston announced the worksheet was recently sent out again to the full Senate to follow-up from last month’s guest speaker, Dr. Randy Duran regarding LSU CREATE. One of the things he mentioned is that they would like feedback from staff on things we could do to help the QEP. Please bring these questions to your constituents for continued feedback and if you have anything you would like to share, please get that to the Staff Senate Office before the September 5, Executive Committee Meeting, so that all the information can be gathered and submitted to the QEP Committee. Senator Carruth mentioned that LSU CREATE has been changed to LSU DISCOVER for a better spin on it or something a little catchier.
Benefit of the Month
Senator Carruth announced that the benefit of the month is to look at the Human Resource Training that they have for Business Manager Training and Human Resource Training under myLSU. After completion of either the Business Managers Training and or the Human Resource Training your receive a certificate upon completion, these are open to anyone, you don’t have to be in that role to take the training. It really gives a good overview of what these positions are and what is offered. Senator Baker added that with the Performance Evaluations being done maybe there is some training out there to help you improve some of your skills.
President Livingston announced that the committee roster was included in the meeting packet. Did anyone have any questions? Livingston mentioned in terms of meetings, she would like to see each committee meet once before the September Staff Senate Meeting, so that we can report on what we are doing and what is on the radar. Livingston hopes that today, each Chair will send out an email to their committees to figure out a common time to meet. The expectations are that you make every effort to make it to these meetings as most of the work gets done in the committees and that is where we make our mark on the university. So please make sure to send times to your Chair that work for you and she is looking forward to seeing the progress that we make this year.
Committee Charges & Meeting Schedules
President Livingston would like to brainstorm for a bit as the Executive Committee did this at the last meeting on what we would like to see the committees do this year whether you are a part of it or not. She would like to bounce ideas off of each other to sort of help the Chairs as well. Even if you have an idea but don’t quit know which committee would handle that, now is the time to throw those ideas out there. The Executive Committee discussed an idea of designing and selling a sticker as part of our fund raising for the Staff Senate Fee Support Scholarship which would identify us as LSU Staff similar to the LSU Alumni stickers. We may be able to generate funds with a sticker that LSU Staff can buy and put on their car to identify them as staff. Does anyone have any ideas? Senator Overton asked if Cane’s would do a fundraiser. There have been some fundraising with them where there donate 50% of the sales between a certain time frame on a specific day. We could present our LSU Identification and some of those sales could benefit the Staff Senate. Senator Loveless mentioned that Bistro Byronz and the Times does something similar as well. Senator Jones suggested an idea of how to critique your supervisor like a comprehensive look. Senator Davis suggested in addition to the sticker maybe a pendent or button for LSU Staff or Staff Senators. The Executive Committee discussed doing name tags for Senators in the past but this is something that we need to be able to sell to raise funds. Those would be great for Staff Senate events or even campus-wide events where Senators can be identified.
Livingston mentioned some charges that the Executive Committee has discussed over the past few months. For the Bylaws Committee, there are some outstanding questions from last semester that Senator Love has submitted that this committee needs to review regarding transparency and the election process. This committee needs to review the possibility of adding the role of a Treasurer on the Executive Committee. Senator Carruth added historically that has been the role of the President. Not all Presidents have a grasp on purchasing, so the Bylaws Committee needs to discuss this. For Staff Benefits, Policies and Development, the leave topic regarding birthday and educational leave needs to be discussed. Also Senator Silver has submitted an idea regarding Women’s Basketball Staff Development. For the Marketing Committee, there is some left over items from last year that needs to be revisited and they need to update the Staff Senate Brochure. So we already have some stuff to work on. Livingston hopes that the committees meet before the next full Staff Senate meeting to start working on these. Livingston will contact the Chairs regarding some expectations. For the Communications Committee, Livingston asked those members to stay after the meeting to discuss a mutual meeting time.
Fall Fest 2013
President Livingston announced that Fall Fest 2013 is scheduled on Friday, October 11, from 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. which is an hour longer than last year and the location has changed from the Quad to the Parade Grounds. We will circulate a volunteer sign-up sheet at the next meeting since we provide sno-cones every year. This is a wonderful event where we can get our name out there and a great way to see the students. There will be no electricity provided, so the Executive Committee thought about using a generator to power the sno-cone machine. Livingston requested assistance in locating a generator for the event. There may be electricity offered for future Fall Fests but this year since everything is new, it will not be offered. The Executive Committee has discussed also purchasing a tent this year as well.
Chancellor Service Spotlight Award/ Staff Member of the Month
President Livingston announced that when the Executive Committee met with President Alexander, we asked him about his continued support of this award. When this award began back in 2010, we awarded one a semester which was great with lunch provided by the Chancellor at the Faculty Club but this last go around we had such a huge response, we wanted to make sure he would support it since it is such a huge deal. President Alexander suggested a change without losing that recognition piece of it which is something they did at his previous institution which was Staff Employee Member of the Month. We would be the ones who would execute the program but he said they had great success with it at his other institution. It would be one staff member per month who be honored with a renamed walkway of that person on campus. Livingston researched it at his other institution and it looked like it was a big deal. We would have to provide the sign (which they could keep) and then possible think about a gift certificate or something like that. There was some concern about the Outstanding Staff Awards that the Foundation provides every year, so this would not interfere with that. Does anyone have any thoughts? It would be for all staff. What spurred this idea is that we really don’t turn anyone away which is why we had so many awards this past spring. We could develop the criteria, and staff would be nominated. We could put forth a proposal for support with the gift card or lunch. We could have a monthly ceremony where the President could attend. Senator Overton mentioned that resources and the process are two things to consider but maybe we could partner with the bookstore for the gift certificate. We could possibly get more awards with partnerships. Should we charge a Committee with this task or should we tackle this as a Staff Senate? Senator Loveless mentioned another thing that currently goes on is there are awards out there that are housed in certain colleges or units that is requested for everybody to apply but they reviewed in those colleges, so being a governing body representing the entire university, maybe that is a good benefit of why it should be here versus if another group like education wanted to do it and then there was five education people who won. It allows more democracy. We are not looking to replace any award but it’s great that this is supported by the President coming out of Staff Senate. How about charging the Staff Benefits, Policies and Development Committee which would be discussed every month and stay on everyone’s mind? It is a little more encouraging to award once a month instead of once a year. Maybe we should charge two committees who could work on partnerships, awards and ideas; the other could work on the internal process with the procedures so both of those could work in conjunction so that it is rich with benefits. A staff award that was created from an LSU LEAD Class for their legacy was mentioned and what was discovered was that setting up a number of internal processes that a group must go through when giving an award can take some time. Also, there should be a mechanism in place to check the staff members who are being nominated, to make sure there is no disciplinary action for the member. Once a month might be too often as well, maybe awarding once a quarter would be sufficient to see how it goes. The full Senate agreed to pursue it. The Marketing Committee was mentioned to look at this as instead of the Staff Benefits, Policies and Development who has a number of charges already. Senator Craddock offered her help as she recently helped set-up the award that was mentioned as part of the LEAD Class legacy. Livingston will discuss with the Executive Committee or the Communications discuss this further and which committees could work together on this.
Senator Millican reported that she attended the workshop on August 8. A law was passed this last session which states that all higher education campuses are going to have a smoke free policy by July 2014. Dr. Judith Sylvester is setting up a committee to start writing this policy and looking at ways that we can work with staff whether it be through smoking cessation programs offered to employees and how this is going to be enforced with LSU Police being involved. This is in the very beginning stages but is mandated by July 2014 to go smoke free or tobacco free. Smokers and non-smokers will be asked to serve on this committee.
Staff Senate Gift Fund
President Livingston announced to Senators that she would like them to please consider donating to the Staff Senate Gift Fund. 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 or former Senator and for current Senator’s immediate family members, including spouse, child, or parent. If a 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. We had a lot of gifts last semester, so our balance is low right now and we are in need of donations.
Staff Senator Birthdays
President Livingston announced that there are no Senator Birthdays this month.
President Livingston announced that there is a position available in the Office of Research & Economic Development for a QEP Coordinator to help the implementation of that plan. The position has been posted on the job opportunities web site, so if you know of someone who may be interested, please pass that information along.
MOTION TO ADJOURN – With there being no more business, Senator Millican moved to adjourn. The motion, seconded by Senator Collins, carried. The meeting adjourned before noon.
Holly Carruth, Secretary