STAFF SENATE MEETING MINUTES November 20, 2013
President Lynn Livingston presided over the November 20, 2013, Staff Senate meeting held at Peabody Hall, Room 225, on the LSU Campus at 10:30 a.m.
P - Torres, Donna (’15)
P - Collins, Lorita (’14)
P - Matkovic, Igor (’14)
A - Williams, Elmer “T” (’14)
Pr - Chaney, Carolyn (’16)
P - Baker, Sheantel (’14)
P - Gothreaux, Chad (’14)
P - Millican, Tammy (’14)
P - Moreau, Scott (’14)
P - Perkins, Julie (’14)
P - Carruth, Holly (’15)
A - Lede’, Robert (’15)
P - Livingston, Lynn (’15)
P - Loveless, Kathryn (’15)
Pr - Sasser, Leigh (’15)
P - Saucier, Kandie (’15)
P - 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)
P - Love, Donna (’14)
P - Collins, Judy (’14)
A - Bennett, Casey (’15)
P - Collins, Debra (’16)
P - Joseph, LaToya (’16)
A - Indicates Absent
P - Indicates Present
Pr - Indicates Proxy
Susan Bell, Capital Area United Way
Quentin Anderson, Capital Area United Way
Brandon Smith, Capital Area United Way
Lauren Williams, Capital Area United Way
Mana Do, Capital Area United Way
Lauren Cathey, Capital Area United Way
Katie Thompson, Capital Area United Way
JoLenn Broussard, Capital Area United Way
Rebecca Burdette, Staff Senate Fee Support Scholarship Recipient
Mark Foretich, University Information Systems
CALL TO ORDER
The meeting was called to order by President Livingston at 10:30 a.m.
There was a quorum with two proxies noted.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Senator Millican led the Pledge of Allegiance.
President Livingston welcomed all of the guests listed above who were in attendance.
APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES – October 16, 2013, Staff Senate Meeting
Page 2, Paragraph 10, line 2 reads: go toto should read: go to
Page 4, Paragraph 3, line 1 reads: successful in before should read: successful before
Page 12, Paragraph 3, line 10 reads: venues or possible using should read: venues or possibly using
A motion to accept the minutes as amended was made by Past-President Gothreaux. The motion, seconded by Senator Moreau, carried.
SCHOLARSHIP AWARDS PRESENTATION
President Livingston presented a certificate to Rebecca Burdette, a recipient of the 2013-2014 Staff Senate Fee Support Scholarship Award. Rebecca is majoring in Human Resource and Leadership Development. After graduation, she plans to stay at LSU and continue to help shape innovations in effective teaching and learning. Rebecca works as an Associate Director with the Cain Center.
President Livingston announced that David Garver is a recipient of the 2013-2014 Staff Senate Fee Support Scholarship Award but was unable to attend the meeting today to be recognized. David is working towards his Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science. After graduation, his ultimate goal is to attain his Master’s Degree in Computer Science which could open up some doors for him within the Information Technology Service realm. David works as a Consultant with University Information Systems.
GUEST SPEAKER – John Woodard, Student Government President
President Livingston announced that John Woodard was invited to speak but he fell ill today. Livingston mentioned him possibly coming to speak to the Staff Senate in December.
President Livingston reported that she attended the University Council on Women meeting on October 14, she submitted a report which was part of the meeting packet.
Livingston reported that she attended the Holiday on Campus meeting on October 21 and November 11, she submitted the reports which were part of the meeting packet.
Livingston reported that she attended the Annual Benefits Fair on October 22, as did some other Senators. This was a great event to get Staff Senate’s name out to staff on campus. She thanked everyone who was able to attend with a special “Thank you” to Senator Millican who worked with the Marketing Committee to produce a Staff Senate Bookmark this year that was handed out during the fair.
Livingston reported that she attended the Board of Supervisors Meeting along with President-Elect Perkins and Past-President Gothreaux on October 25. One of the main discussions came out of the Transition Advisory Team Report that came out earlier this year. This discussion focused on eliminating bureaucracy related to research in the system and especially here on campus. Right now, in order for some things to happen with research it requires Board approval which can slow things down which was mentioned in the Advisory Report. So there was a good conversation about where they are heading to remove Board approval from some requirements. It seems they are starting a trend to look at things that need Board approval and research was the first thing on the list. They are assembling a team to make some recommendations to make that process easier to do research here and in the system which will lead to a change in the Bylaws. This is a pretty significant change for the Board of Supervisors and would also give some campuses power to do what they need to do as far as research. The other main discussion was the ticket price increase which will be on the next Board of Supervisors Meeting Agenda for a vote.
Livingston reported that she attended the Executive Committee Meeting on November 7, to set the Staff Senate’s meeting agenda for today.
Livingston announced that on November 7, she also emailed top leaders on campus to assess the decision of the university closing on December 23, since this is a Monday and would be the only day that week that the university is open. If the university plans to let units shut down that day, employees need to start conserving their leave time as this will not be considered for holiday pay. Livingston mentioned that we are looking out for staff and trying to advocate for an easier transition to the holidays. She will keep the group posted once she knows more.
Livingston reported that she attended the Business Manager’s Meeting on November 12, as she was invited by Member-at-Large Torres. There was a presentation about parking from Jeff Campbell, Director with Finance and Administrative Services and she wanted to assess if Staff Senate should invite him for the same type of presentation. She will confer with the other members of the Executive Committee who attended as well to see if we should have the same presentation for the Staff Senate in the spring.
Livingston reported that on November 18, she attended the Chancellor’s Staff Meeting. Chancellor Alexander made some general announcements which included the public forum that will be held on November 21, in the Lod Cook Alumni Center about affordability and value in higher education. There are four of these that have taken place in the nation and we are the only one location for the southeast which is pretty significant for LSU. Chancellor Alexander indicated that the first 45 minutes to an hour of the forum is going to be the most crucial, so from 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. then the forum will move into some public comments. Alexander also spoke about retention and graduation focus which LSU is working on and then Dr. Keppler with Student Life and Enrollment talked about the programs that are on campus to help with graduation and retention.
Livingston shared some reports from around campus. SACSCOC, the agency overseeing our reaffirmation of accreditation, responded to our self-study. This self study was a very lengthy process of research and gathering documents and policies. They responded with any concerns that they had and LSU got indications that it was better news than expected. There was also no indication of a budget cut. If there is no mid-year budget cut that may enable us to use the facility use fee that was instituted this year through Facility Services to do building improvements and things like that provided there continues to be no mid-year budget cut.
Livingston mentioned that Vice Chancellor Bob Kuhn reported that the unit record was released to the Board of Regents and the unit record is basically who we are, what we do, and what we get paid. He also mentioned quickly following that report to the Regents there is generally a story on salaries by the Reveille which is public information. It was also reported that applications for admissions are up by 3.5% and 8% for out-of-state students. The new ERP system is in progress to replace the financial system which is a huge step for campus. It was reported that fundraising for the Engineering Building is nearing its goal and once we reach the threshold we will get state funding for that project.
Livingston mentioned that Academic Affairs has moved their office location in Thomas Boyd Hall to the former Chancellor’s Office and Student Life and Enrollment will be moving downstairs where Academic Affairs used to be.
Livingston reported that there are four AgCenter Consolidation Committees meeting now with staff representatives on those committees. We can expect to hear some final reporting in March.
Livingston reported that on November 18, she along with Senator Millican attended the Bookstore Advisory Committee Meeting. There was a report included in the meeting packet. There is some restructuring going on as there are some very specific faculty needs that relate to the bookstore, so they are going to split us out and add us into the student committee.
Livingston reported that prior to the Staff Senate Meeting today, the Communications Committee met and discussed developing another survey which will be discussed in more detail later during the meeting.
Staff Benefits, Policies and Development
President-Elect Perkins wanted to thank everyone who attended the New Staff Reception which was a breakfast again this year. It was a huge success and everyone seemed happy when they left. There was a lot of good feedback, and not just from the vendors who attended ,but also the door prize winners and other guests. She felt it was great event all around and appreciated the committee’s support and everyone who attended.
Budget & Finance/Governmental Relations
Member-at-Large Torres mentioned that the committees will meet jointly tomorrow. Jason Droddy has been invited to attend but is unable. The committee will move forward and reach out to him as needed.
Long Range Review and Planning
Senator Davis reported that the Long Range Review and Planning Committee met on November 12, and worked on Staff Senate’s Mission which was submitted to the Executive Committee for approval. The committee also discussed the need for cohesion related to the SWOT analysis that the Staff Senate did earlier this year as it relates to being more of a unit as a Senate body. The committee suggested that the full Staff Senate participate in an activity every year as new Senators come on board that will focus on team building. The activities would be around ice breakers, strengths and weaknesses, ideas about how to create trust and cohesion within the group. The committee discussed holding this year’s activity in January but in the future holding this every July or August as the new senate year begins. This will not require anything physically challenging and would take place at the UREC Challenge Course. This is a great way to get to know each other and make sure we are all on the same page as we begin working together for the year. This will also help with communication skills as we all learn how each other communicate which will help when planning events together throughout the year. For this exercise, we are working on providing lunch for everyone. President Livingston mentioned that the Executive Committee thinks this is a wonderful idea and are 100% in favor of having this activity. This is a great way to get to know each other. This may also showcase a resource on campus that not everybody has been exposed to. Livingston explained that when you think of Challenge Course, this will all be inside and would not require anything physical. We are thinking about scheduling this for the January Meeting which may take about 2 hours with holding our monthly meeting and lunch afterwards. And then holding this activity every July so we start the year off on a great foot but would like to hold an activity for this year to see how it goes. Senators expressed concern that the January Meeting might be a tough time frame as we are just getting back from the holidays and classes begin that day, so for maximum participation, we may need to push to February. Senator Davis will discuss planning this activity with the committee for the February 19, 2014 Staff Senate Meeting.
SPECIAL AD HOC COMMITTEES
Holiday on Campus
President Livingston reported that the Holiday on Campus Committee is making great progress with planning this year’s event. The marketing that is happening for Holiday on Campus is together with the Holiday Spectacular which includes Holiday on Campus that will begin at 6:00 p.m., then the performances in the theatre beginning at 6:45 p.m. till the Tree Lighting Ceremony at 7:30 p.m.so all of this together is considered the Holiday Spectacular in addition to other holiday events on campus. So the marketing will begin next week with everyone on campus receiving a postcard through campus mail. The Marketing Committee did update the Holiday on Campus flier from last year which is more for Senators internally to post for the event but we will rely on the Holiday Spectacular marketing to reach out across campus. The committee will also be stuffing goody bags after the meeting today and could use everyone’s help if you are able to stay for an extra 30 minutes or so.
Senator Millican wanted to thank the committee members who are talented and hardworking, we even have non-senator participation which is wonderful. The committee was tasked this year with branding Staff Senate including giving all of our Staff Senate communication vehicles a look and so you may have noticed the Staff Senate Bookmark that was handed out and we also wanted to increase our visibility to our constituents. So the committee decided to design a name placard for each Senator to place outside of their offices to identify them as a Staff Senator so that if someone sees the sign and if they have a question, they will know who a Staff Senator is. The placard was handed out to each Senator who was at the meeting. These placards are following the same colors as the bookmark and these colors will also be instituted on the Staff Senate website for branding purposes, so everything looks the same. The Website is also being updated so it is more user friendly. Millican suggested everyone to take a look at the Staff Senate website for further suggestions on ways to make that function and look better.
Member-at-Large Torres announced that the committee has not met but they have a lot of things going on. The Door Decorating Contest flier is done and being distributed. It is on the website and we will work on getting it sent out to staff on campus. The theme this year is Tiger Royalty. We are going to require a $10 donation to participate this year. Torres has already received about five entries. The entry deadline is December 3 with the judging being held between December 11-12. The committee is hoping with the early deadline that everyone will have a chance to see the entries. The winner’s entries will also be posted on the website. Torres thanked Senator Carruth for sharing her flier last year that Danita King updated for this year. Torres also reported that the class project for fundraising ideas has really taken off. There are four classes of beginning marketing students who are doing a project with the premise if you had $1,000 seed money, how could you raise $10,000 in support of LSU Scholarships. There has been a lot of feedback going back and forth and Brian Hommel with Logo licensing made presentations to the classes to make sure that if the students planned on using any type of LSU logo that they knew how to do it legally. Some of the students even asked if the instructor made this up or is this truly a project that is going to be used. The students will begin presenting in class the first week of December and once Torres has the dates and times she will send that information out and if you are able to attend, she encourages you to attend. This is a good partnership between staff and students. Some students have expressed excitement that their project may make a mark at LSU and actually be used.
University Planning Council
Past-President Gothreaux reported that he attended a University Planning Council Meeting on November 17, they also shared the SACSCOC Report and the discussion on that item was the review of the performance indicators that were previously identified for Flagship 2020. Vice Provost Gil Reeve sent those out to UPC committee members to identify which ones should be kept, revised or deleted. Gothreaux received feedback from the Executive Committee before he sent his response on that survey since he attends on Staff Senate’s behalf. The discussion was really interesting and the information was gathered, so you will see a new draft of performance indicators that will be coming out soon with a focus on identifying performance indicators that are measurable and speak to the goals that we have. The measure is not the goal, the measures should identify progress towards a goal. So progress is being made and we may see a refined version of Flagship 2020 soon.
Holiday on Campus – Volunteer Sign-up
President Livingston asked Senators to volunteer some time to help with the Holiday on Campus event on Wednesday, December 4, from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. in the Union which is a new location for us this year. We will be holding the event in the lobby area on the second floor across from the Tiger Lair in the lounge area and are planning accordingly. The Union will still be open for business so we need to do some crowd control measures for our event. To avoid putting an undergraduate student or a non-senator in an odd role, Livingston needs Staff Senators to do some very specific things during the event. Some of the things we are doing this year are distributing tickets not only for door prizes but also for the food that will be served for our guests. The challenge is that there are multiple ways to enter the Union, so we are going to have a command central for that to be staffed by Staff Senators for the entire event. So we really need help with ticket distribution. We want to make sure our guests are enjoying the donated food and the festivities that are being planned and to also distribute the goody bags to the kids who attend. Livingston circulated a sign-up sheet with specific tasks listed so those roles are identified. We will also need Senators who can collect the tickets at the meal location. We may also need a photographer to take the Santa pictures. We will provide all the equipment needed. There will be tables set-up at the entrance to donate their food items and toys, to receive a goody bag and receive their raffle and food tickets. There will also be volunteer time needed for set-up and take down. There was some additional logistics questions asked and answered.
Benefit of the Month
Member-at-Large Torres announced that there are two benefits this month. One is for Campus Federal Credit Union Members, if you have noticed on their website there is a shopping cart icon, Campus Federal has partnered with an organization that if you use the shopping cart when you go into websites for places like Target and any number of entities that we all may shop at, you get a rebate back on your online purchases. Some members have been using for the past six months and have received as much as $50 back on purchases. Campus Federal Credit Union has been asked to provide a rewards card but their focus has been on low cost, low interest credit cards, so this is a way that they have found that they can actually provide rewards back.
The second is that the Life Insurance product offered here on campus has been extended. Senator Baker announced if you currently have no life insurance, you can get $10,000 worth of life insurance with no medical underwriting which is important because if you don’t pick up the life insurance within the first 30 days of employment, you have to go through medical underwriting to pick up coverage. For the people who already have that product, you can actually increase your coverage in $10,000 increments by one time your annual salary, on a guaranteed issue basis, up to five times your annual salary. This offer has been extended to November 27, 2013. If you are in the LSU First product, the $25,000 life insurance policy that was offered is going away, so this is a great way to obtain some life insurance if you are not already covered.
Also, Thanksgiving Day, The Club at LSU Union Square will offer a Thanksgiving Buffet and the Lod Cook Alumni Center will be serving Thanksgiving Dinner. Both are fairly priced.
President Livingston mentioned there were also some Bookstore discounts going on right now, she will get that information out to Senators and on the Staff Senate Facebook page soon.
GUEST SPEAKERS – Susan Bell and Quentin Anderson with the Capital Area United Way and Brandon Smith, Academic Affairs, LSU
President Livingston welcomed the guest speakers for coming to speak to the Staff Senate about the Capital Area United Way Fundraising Campaign.
Susan Bell, Co-Chair of the 2013 Capital Area United Way Fundraising Campaign at LSU. Johnny Jones, the Men’s Head Basketball Coach, is the other Co-Chair and was unable to attend the meeting today. Ms. Bell introduced some Capital Area United Way Coordinators who attended as well.
Quentin Anderson started off by telling everyone about United Way. It is a community-based organization that supports organizations that are supporting the community. The United Way has been around since 1925, with a lot of different names. It was first called Community Chest and now it is known as Capital Area United Way. Essentially what the United Way does here in the Capital Area, is identify certain problems that exist in a community. We identify the people who are addressing those problems and are doing a good job but maybe don’t have the resources to be able to expand and touch everybody that needs it. And as the United Way says, if you’re willing to meet certain accountability standards, if you’re willing to open up your books, show us that you can be efficient, show us that when we give you this money that you are going to be able to utilize the money to the highest capacity. United Way wants to support agencies so that they can support more people. So that agencies can address that problem that they are already addressing, but now they can do it on a larger scale. And that’s what we do, at United Way. United Way advocates on behalf of the agencies that are actually doing the hard work of United Way and that is transforming a community.
Anderson told the group a little bit about himself, he is not from Baton Rouge, but this is his home. He has been here for 10 years and this is where he plans to stay. He graduated from McKinley Senior High School. He went to Louisiana Tech. Then he came back and went to LSU Law School and that was a wonderful experience. Anderson shared a couple of stories about the United Way that were very personal to him so that the group could understand that the United Way is about the people they serve. It’s not just about the folks raising money, it’s not about the organization so much, but what the organizations are doing.
Anderson asked Senators to consider giving a couple of dollars every pay period, help give it to the people that are changing the world. There are 47 agencies that the United Way works with, and are 113 programs that they fund. These are incredible organizations, these are incredible programs. Anderson is a beneficiary of many of them and he didn’t know it until he came to the United Way. This is the best job in the world because he gets to advocate on behalf of people who are doing really good work for people who really need those services. And this day and age when people are dealing with budget cuts, services get cut all across the community, nonprofits and charities are providing services at an unprecedented rate for an unprecedented amount of people. And it’s becoming a necessity. Anderson encouraged those that support United Way to take ownership for those clasping hands that make up our logo because it is the community that funds those programs. United Way is supporting programs that are doing tremendous work so Anderson encourages Senators to do so. If Senators supported United Way in the past, Anderson encouraged Senators to continue their support, if you can increase it, then increase it, if you can’t he understands that because everybody has different financial issues. But if you have it, there is an information sheet called “your dollars invested” which was distributed to the group that lists all of the programs. He encourages everyone to do their homework. He doesn’t want you to fill out a pledge form because he gave a decent presentation, he wants you to research those programs, find out if they’re doing the work that he says that they’re doing. He wants you to believe that your community is doing the service. And if you come back and figure out that those programs are worth your time and investment, he wants you to make that investment with conviction.
Brandon Smith with Academic Affairs mentioned that the Fair Share is the equivalent to 1 hour of pay per pay period and super share is 2 hours. That information is on the MyLSU portal. What we’re in the business of doing is encouraging people to give within your budget. He told one of his colleagues, if you want to pledge $20 bucks to come out of 10 pay periods, you can do that. You can make it as easy as it needs to be for your budget or for your colleagues’ budget. The goal LSU set this year is $75,000 which is way below what LSU has done in its most recent history. But LSU is turning the corner. The United Way asked all of its agencies, clients, and community to increase their giving by about 4% so that’s about 5-6% for us to get to $75,000. But if you don’t remember any number that he says, he wants you to remember this number: 3.3%. LSU is about 86% up to our goal of $75,000 from the participation of 3.3% of LSU employees. If we had 10% we would exceed that goal by thousands of dollars. So whatever you can do in your department , in your small circle or large circle of influence, to convince people that this isn’t just about reaching a number but this is about showing that a cross section of LSU employees understanding what it means to give back.. That is something for you to carry out to the masses and remind them, this is why we what we do. To be a part of LSU, our Flagship Agenda says we transform lives. A part of transforming lives is giving a bit of what you have and sharing it with someone else.
Lauren Cathey who works very closely with Brandon and Susan said thank you for Staff Senate’s time and letting United Way speak to the group today. She explained that tomorrow the United Way will have a campaign update at 2:00 p.m. at their office downtown on Laurel Street. Baseball Coach Paul Mainieri will give the update and if you are available, it’s open to the public. They will have refreshments and will have our Board Members there, so they would love for you to come. And see not only how the LSU campaign is doing but the overall campaign. Our goal this year is $9,050,000 total this year. So the United Way is really excited about that.
Member-at-Large Torres thanked Ms. Bell for all of her help with this campaign which is near and dear to her heart. Torres is so happy to see LSU back on track again and really making a difference. We as a University look to the community to give to us and we are the community and there needs to be something that we give back. And United Way is a way to allow these entities on campus in a single voice rather than everyone trying to get LSU’s attention. Torres extended her heartfelt thanks to Ms. Bell for bringing this back on campus and thanked her for being at the meeting.
Staff Senate Gift Fund
President Livingston reminded the group of the Staff Senate Gift Fund. If you haven’t contributed and you can, please donate $10 towards the fund so we can build that fund back up for the year.
President Livingston announced that the Staff Senate will hold its annual holiday potluck luncheon in December. She circulated a sign-up sheet for participation.
Staff Senate Suggestions for Survey Questions
President Livingston announced that the Staff Senate is going to do another survey to send out to all staff after the first of the year. This will be much like the November 2012 survey that we did to get some more information about what are constituents know about the Staff Senate and what they want from us. We are looking at doing the same thing with more of a what do you need from us, what do you want from us sort of tilt. Livingston wanted to open this up to everyone to provide some feedback on some issues that we may want to know more about. Livingston asked the group if there any issues that we may need to look deeper at and prompt people for some information. The top two responses from the last survey were raises and parking. So hopefully a lot of that won’t happen this go around but we will leave it pretty open. Senator Davis mentioned that during her unit staff meeting they discussed what can be done throughout the course of the year for new employees to learn about campus and the resources provided. Maybe we can ask about additional assistance new employees may need to learn about the LSU Community. Senator Loveless mentioned asking staff about the leave ideas that were presented recently as an added benefit. Also, pre-game day traffic concerns that staff may have. Senator Davis mentioned that benefits for new employees can be confusing, so possible they could schedule a one on one session on how to get counseling on all of the benefit options available. Livingston encouraged any other ideas or suggestions for the survey to send to her, the Executive Committee will discuss this again at the December meeting.
LSU Transition Advisory Team Implementation Summary/Tuition & Fee Comparison
President Livingston mentioned that the LSU Transition Advisory Team Implementation Summary and the Tuition and Fee Comparison sheets were included in the meeting packet. Livingston received these during the Board of Supervisors meeting in October, she wanted to share it with the full Senate since these are some key things especially related to the Transition Advisory Team updates.
Staff Senator Birthday
President Livingston announced that Secretary Holly Carruth celebrated her birthday on November 14, “Happy Birthday”.
LSU Foundation Outstanding Staff Awards
Senator Millican announced that she just received an invitation to attend the 2013 Outstanding Staff Awards Ceremony and she would like to congratulate Senator Loveless who is one of this year’s recipients.
Former Senator Retiring
Senator Millican announced that former Senator Kim Gardiner is retiring from LSU. Facility Services will hold a retirement reception for him on December 3, 2013, at 2:00 p.m. in the Facility Services Lunch room and all Senators are invited to attend.
MOTION TO ADJOURN – With there being no more business, Senator Carruth moved to adjourn. The motion, seconded by Senator Collins, carried. The meeting adjourned before noon.
Holly Carruth, Secretary