STAFF SENATE MEETING MINUTES December 18, 2013
President Lynn Livingston presided over the December 18, 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)
P - Williams, Elmer “T” (’14)
A - 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)
A - Loveless, Kathryn (’15)
P - Sasser, Leigh (’15)
P - Saucier, Kandie (’15)
P - Silver, Jon (’15)
P - Craddock, Jacquelyn (’16)
P - Davis, Anaiah (’16)
Pr - Hale, Robert (’16)
A - Hart, M.E. (’16)
P - Heil, Mark (’15)
P - Adedeji, Funmilayo (’16)
P - Love, Donna (’14)
P - Collins, Judy (’14)
A - Bennett, Casey (’15)
A - Collins, Debra (’16)
P - Joseph, LaToya (’16)
A - Indicates Absent
P - Indicates Present
Pr - Indicates Proxy
CALL TO ORDER
The meeting was called to order by President Livingston at 10:30 a.m.
There was a quorum with one proxy noted.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Senator Craddock led the Pledge of Allegiance.
APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES – November 20, 2013, Staff Senate Meeting
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A motion to accept the minutes as amended was made by Senator Collins. The motion, seconded by President-Elect Perkins, carried.
President Livingston reported on November 21, she and President-Elect Julie Perkins attended the Forum on Higher Education Affordability and Value. Livingston reported that there are plans to do a rating system and to do some changes that will affect the way that consumers view higher education. This was an opportunity for the public to make public comments. There were quite a few staff members at LSU who made comments and a majority of those comments were focused on the rating system and bringing up points on giving a numerical or letter value on things that college and universities do. Livingston thinks that there are a lot of employees invested in what is going on and we will probably hear more about this as it comes out.
Livingston reported that on November 22, she attended the University Council on Women meeting. This meeting focused on safety which is important to all of us. The committee heard results from a survey done by a Ph.D. Student on Safety on Campus and Perceptions from students, faculty and staff and it’s pretty clear to the Safety Sub-Committee that we need to educate staff members about the resources to them for safety and health and wellness in general.
Livingston reported that on November 25, she attended a Holiday on Campus Committee Meeting.
Livingston reported that on December 4, she attended the Holiday on Campus event. She thanked all of the committee members and all Senators who volunteered. It was a big success. She is looking forward to next year which will hopefully be even bigger.
Livingston reported that on December 5, the Executive Committee interviewed the first of two candidates for Vice President of Finance and Administrative Services who was Daniel Layzell. They heard about his experiences and his philosophy on some things, so it was good to get some time with him. The Executive Committee also interviewed with the second candidate, Matthew Fajack on December 11, which went well. It was nice to be a part of that process.
Livingston reported that on December 5, she attended the Executive Committee Meeting to set the meeting agenda for today.
Livingston reported that on December 10, she participated in a Focus Group for Information Technology Strategic Plan. Some other Senators participated in some of those Focus Groups as well.
Livingston reported that on December 12, she attended a Bylaws Committee Meeting. The report was included in the meeting packet. She mentioned that there are two issues that the committee is discussing of which the first is introducing a Treasurer as part of the Staff Senate and the second is how the Staff Senate handles Resolutions. The committee will bring those issues to the full Senate for discussion soon to help with the language for the amendments to the Bylaws.
Livingston reported that on December 13, she along with Past-President Gothreaux and President-Elect Perkins attended the Board of Supervisors Meeting. There were updates across the system. Some of the updates for main campus were an update from President Alexander regarding the Transition Advisory Teams Report, after some recognition of that team, there were updates on recruitment, increasing student success, improving offerings for non-traditional students, branding and research competitiveness. Livingston found the branding to be interesting and later that day the system revealed a new logo for LSU Alexandria which looks like our logo but with a different script A at the end. They also changed their colors from blue and gold to purple and gold. The university is looking to purchase property on W. Roosevelt Street at the Speech and Hearing Clinic and the plan is to move just the administrative offices for Parking and Risk Management to that facility which is not final as of yet. There will still be a location on campus to pay parking tickets, pick-up parking tags, etc. This will get them out of the same location of LSU Police which is a security issue. Livingston mentioned that Gymnastics is building a practice facility behind the Fieldhouse. The Tennis Facility is also moving along which got approved about and will be located on Gourrier Drive across from the Alex Box Stadium. The LSU Foundation will be moving to the location of the old Alex Box Stadium and the original plan for four floors for extra space for leasing has changed due to financial reasons so the building will be two floors. There was also a review of LSU’s Master Plan documents from 2003 to present. The Board of Supervisors is beginning to look at Master Plans, facility usage and try to get a handle on things for each campus. Also, the Athletic ticket increase on prices was approved.
Livingston reported that prior to the Staff Senate Meeting today, the Communications Committee did not meet. The committee is working on some things that have been postponed to January.
Budget & Finance/Governmental Relations
Senator Baker reported that on November 21, the Budget & Finance and Governmental Relations Committee met. Jason Droddy and Tommy Smith were unable to attend due to the College Affordability Forum. The committee discussed that there is no mid-year budget cut and they also discussed the committee’s role and what we are going to look at. The committee will monitor the upcoming Legislative session to see if there is anything that the committee needs to tackle. The committee will meet again at the end of January, beginning of February and will invite Jason Droddy and Tommy Smith for an update.
SPECIAL AD HOC COMMITTEES
Holiday on Campus
President-Elect Perkins reported that she met with Michelle Lowery and Margo Jolet after Holiday on Campus to discuss how things went. There are some things that they are looking at to adjust for next year. Hopefully if everything goes according to plan, the tree will be planted and located in front of the Union, so that may actually be the kickoff of the Holiday Spectacular for next year instead of the closing part of the event. Then everyone could move inside for all of the other festivities. So the order and timing of the events may change next year. In general, everyone had a good vibe about the event. Perkins encouraged feedback, if anyone hears of anything to please let her know electronically so they can be considered with next year’s planning which may start in February. There was a question posed by a Senator as to who the event is actually for, is it just for the kids of employees or students as well? Because there was a comment by a student worker who attended but was turned away. Perkins mentioned that the event is intended for the children of faculty, staff and students however the Union is trying to draw everyone to the Union. The goal is to try and bring people to campus and to the retail vendors on campus, so as this evolves that is something we will have to address because we definitely don’t want to turn anyone away. There was another comment that Santa had to leave early which created disappointment for the people who were waiting in line. Perkins mentioned that next year, we will look into hiring a Santa since she has heard the same thing. There also needs to be signage for the University Recreation Activities. There was another comment that the food line flowed nice and the food was good.
Senator Millican mentioned that the committee has not met but they are reviewing the website for updates which will be discussed in January.
Member-at-Large Torres mentioned that Senator Millican was able to attend all of the Marketing Presentations that was scheduled last Friday. They were all fabulous and she can’t wait to get the presentation clips. She mentioned one development project in particular for Community Coffee and it looked like Community Coffee actually put it together. There were some great ideas that were all across the spectrum. She mentioned that the committee is going to get some great fundraising ideas from this project.
Torres announced that the committee did not meet in December but will meet in January to begin planning for big fundraising. Torres announced that the Holiday Decorating Contest was a huge success with 19 entries and $150 dollars collected for the Staff Senate Fee Support Scholarship Fund. The entries were posted on the Staff Senate website for everyone to view. The theme was Tiger Royalty and everyone who participated was very creative this year. The winners of the contest are for Best in Show, the Office of Sponsored Programs who took a different spin on the Tiger Royalty Theme and did Casino Royal since grants are such a gamble, for first place Door, Accounting Services – Bursar Operations which had a 3D effect of some buildings on campus and had a picture of Coach Nick Saban with a sign that read 1 and 0 carrying Mike the Tiger, for second place Door, Accounting Services – Sponsored Program Accounting with the Spa Kingdom and the Circle of Spa like Lion King with lots of animals, for first place Bulletin Board, the Vet School – VCS with a Mike the Tiger Squirrel, for second place Bulletin Board, School of Education – Office of Field Experiences with Past-President Gothreaux as Count De’Money. Torres mentioned that she did not participate in the judging as there was an internal competition among the Accounting Services departments for the Golden Calculator which will be kept by the winning department for the year. Torres also mentioned that the Human Resource Management entry made her laugh out loud with Associate Vice Chancellor A.G. Monaco as the angel on top of the tree. The winner’s will be posted on the Staff Senate website. Melonie Milton, Staff Senate Administrative Coordinator will place ribbons on these entries.
Council of Staff Advisors
Past-President Gothreaux reported that the Council met on December 12, and the primary issue that has come up which is concern from some of the campuses across the system is the unfunded accrued liability and the impact that is having on reducing the retirement benefit. Gothreaux announced to the committee that Associate Vice Chancellor A.G. Monaco has spoken to the full Staff Senate regarding this issue and that we are keeping an eye on it. Council Member Gena Doucet who is the Human Resource Director with Pennington had a Louisiana Representative come tour their facility and wanted to talk about the retirement issue, so she put together a presentation to give him and she will share that with the Council. Once Gothreaux receives, he will share with the Senate. Gothreaux reported to the Board of Supervisors that this was an issue of concern and they expressed support in trying to find some relief on that.
Smoking Task Force Committee
Senator Millican reported that the Legislature passed a law during that last session that requires all of Higher Education campuses to have a smoke-free policy in place by July 2014. It also gives the ability for campuses to go tobacco-free as well. A committee was selected and on that committee she and President-Elect Perkins serve and Vice Chancellor Kurt Keppler Chairs. They have been tasked with writing the policy and making a recommendation to President Alexander as to whether or not LSU should go all the way tobacco-free. Smoke-free will also include the vapor cigarettes as well. If we go tobacco-free that will include chewing tobacco and any other form of tobacco. The university is looking at offering smoke cessation programs for students, faculty and staff. The enforcement is going to be positive and a work in progress, LSU Police will not be out there writing tickets, it will be up to students, faculty and staff to enforce this in a nice way but if there excessive disobedience by students, it will be referred to the Dean of Students and if it is a faculty or staff member it will be referred to their Dean or Chair. In January, Vice Chancellor Kurt Keppler is going to come to speak to the full Staff Senate and they are very interested in getting the opinions of student, faculty and staff. The students have already completed a survey so there is a better understanding of where they are. Undergraduate students are pulling more for a smoke-free campus, not tobacco-free, graduate students are about 50/50, the Law School students are leaning more towards tobacco-free and the committee does not have a clear view of what staff think, so Millican encouraged Senators before the January meeting to talk to your constituents about their opinions or thoughts and any questions they may have. Millican mentioned that if you are asked the reasons, number one it’s the law, we have to go smoke-free, it’s also going to a point of pride for recruitment as a positive thing, it’s also a sustainability issue for a healthy work environment and the resources that the university has to use picking up all the cigarette butts will be reduced. If we continue to present this in a positive manner, we should get a better response. There was a question on the survey about smoking in cars since that is their private property, how is the committee leaning towards this. There is a policy that prohibits smoking in state-owned vehicles. Smoking in personal vehicles is a right, but smokers would have to smoke in their vehicles on campus with the windows rolled up. We may not get 100% effort with this but if we can get at least 95% then we are doing good. Smoking is a right but the truth is it affects smokers with higher costs for health insurance , health care and will take a toll on their health at some point. There was some further discussion about smokers smoking in their vehicle on campus. Senator Millican will draft some of the smoke-free talking points to distribute to the full Senate for help when talking to your constituents.
Benefit of the Month
Senator Millican announced that the benefit of the month is that Courtney Black’s Ballroom Dance in Baton Rouge is offering 10 % off of all group classes to all LSU Faculty, Staff and Students. They offer all different types of dance. The discount will not end until May 31, 2014, so if you are looking for something fun to do, more details on group classes offered can be found at www.ballroomdancebr.com
Senator Sasser announced that the LSU Lagniappe page which can be found through the Human Resource Management Website posts discounts offered for entertainment, restaurants, services, stores, travel, and wellness for LSU employees. Also, the Harlem Globetrotters will hold a show in Baton Rouge on January 18th and LSU Employees will receive a discount on tickets. She mentioned during tax season there is discounted tax services offered as well.
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.
Staff Senator Birthday
President Livingston announced that Senator Scott Moreau celebrated his birthday on December 5, Senator Leigh Sasser celebrated her birthday on December 9, and Senator LaToya Joseph will celebrate her birthday on December 19, “Happy Birthday”.
Senator Sasser announced that since the Crisis Leave Donation broadcast reminder went out there have been about 30 employees who have donated and one employee donated 270 hours which is wonderful.
MOTION TO ADJOURN – With there being no more business, Past-President Chad Gothreaux moved to adjourn. The motion, seconded by Senator Carruth, carried. The meeting adjourned before noon.
Holly Carruth, Secretary