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Staff Senate April 16, 2014 Meeting Minutes

STAFF SENATE MEETING MINUTES April 16, 2014



President Lynn Livingston presided over the April 16, 2014, Staff Senate meeting held at Peabody Hall, Room 225, on the LSU Campus at 10:30 a.m.  

 

ATTENDANCE
Senators            
Executive/Administrator/ Manager
Pr - Torres, Donna  (’15)


Service/Maintenance
P - Collins, Lorita (’14)
P - Matkovic, Igor (’14)
A - Williams, Elmer “T” (’14)
A - Chaney, Carolyn (’16)

 

Professional/Non-Faculty
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 - Galasso, Tiffany (’15)
P - Livingston, Lynn (’15)
P - Loveless, Kathryn (’15)
P - 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)


Skilled Crafts
P - Heil, Mark (’15)
P - Adedeji, Funmilayo (’16)

 

Technical/Paraprofessional
P - Love, Donna (’14)

 

Clerical/Secretarial
A - Collins, Judy (’14)
P - Bennett, Casey (’15)
Pr - Collins, Debra (’16)
P - Joseph, LaToya (’16)

 


A - Indicates Absent
P - Indicates Present
Pr - Indicates Proxy

 

Sign-in Guests:
Brian Ainsworth, Campus Federal Credit Union

 

CALL TO ORDER
The meeting was called to order by President Livingston at 10:30 a.m.

 

ATTENDANCE
There was a quorum with two proxies noted.

 

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Senator Saucier led the Pledge of Allegiance.

 

APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES – March 19, 2014, Staff Senate Meeting

 

A motion to accept the minutes was made by Senator Joseph. The motion, seconded by President-Elect Perkins, carried.

 

PRESIDENT’S REPORT
President Livingston reported that on March 21, she attended the University Council on Gender Equity Committee Meeting. The Liaison Report was included in the meeting packet.

 

President Livingston reported that on March 31 and April 2, she attended the Lapel Pin table sale in front of the Union. Livingston thanked everyone involved in setting up and volunteering at the table for the sale.

 

President Livingston reported that on April 3, she along with Secretary Carruth and Senator Craddock attended the LSU Dining Advisory Committee Meeting. The Liaison Report was included in the meeting packet.

 

President Livingston reported that on April 7, she lead the Executive Committee meeting and set the agenda for this meeting. The Committee was also visited by Anna Nardo who is a faculty member with the Department of English. She is also affiliated with LSUnited which is the faculty and graduate student advocacy group on campus. They are interested in learning ways to collaborate with the Staff Senate as we share some of the same issues. It was interesting to learn about LSUnited which is not a Union and that they also represent graduate students.  

 

President Livingston reported that on April 8, she was invited to speak at the LSU Kiwanis Club Luncheon. It was great to get the word out about Staff Senate and what we do on campus.

 

President Livingston reported that on April 9, she was unable to attend the Retirement Legislation Information Session hosted by the Staff Senate Benefits, Policies and Development Committee but thanked the group for organizing the forum for staff. She was informed that it was a good turnout with a lot of information shared. The presentation is posted on the Staff Senate website under documents.

 

President Livingston reported that on April 15, she led the Bylaws Committee meeting, the committee report was included in the meeting packet and we will have a discussion about the Bylaws and Constitution Amendments later during the meeting.

 

President Livingston reported that after the Bylaws Committee Meeting, the Executive Committee tabulated votes from the general election for the Professional/Non-Faculty seat that is available and she is pleased to announce that Senator Tammy Millican has won a seat again on the Staff Senate. We look forward to working with Senator Millican for another term.

 

President Livingston announced that in general it was a pretty busy month particularly in part due to the mistake on the election ballot to vote. She appreciates those Senators who were able to get the word out in their departments and on campus to only vote for one candidate. Livingston mentioned some of the things that the Executive Committee did to get the word out. On April 3, an email was sent out to all staff in the Professional/Non-Faculty Category to notify them of the mistake and ask that they only vote for one candidate. The Staff Senate Office received 407 ballots back which was a really good voter turnout. In addition, President Livingston sent out an email to all of the candidates explaining the situation, how we were fixing it and to see if they had any concerns. For those ballots, that were marked with more than one vote, Melonie Milton, Staff Senate Administrative Coordinator, scanned those ballots and sent back to each staff member electronically to ask them to pick one candidate. There were about 40 ballots sent back with about 75% return for voting participation. Livingston mentioned that we made every effort to make every ballot count. No other issues have arisen but if they do, we will handle when received.    

   

STANDING COMMITTEES
President Livingston asked if any of the Committee Chairs had any updates to provide. No Standing Committee Reports were received.

 

Staff Benefits, Policies and Development
President-Elect Perkins announced that the Staff Benefits, Policies and Development Committee hosted the forum on the current retirement legislation that is being discussed during the legislative session. Perkins thanked Senator Love for keeping this issue at the forefront and keeping up with what is going on and translating that back to the Staff Senate. The committee was able to get Brad Spring with Human Resource Management with Senator Sasser’s help to speak at the forum on how a bill becomes a law, on what bills we should be concerned with, what is going to affect whom and define for everyone who attended what the issues are and what we need to caring about. Perkins thinks the event was successful; about 50 employees attended who can help spread the word about what they learned. Perkins thanked the committee for their efforts with planning the forum and mentioned this is something we definitely need to keep our eyes on. Brad offered to come back and do a post session recap of what actually happened at the end of the legislative session which should also be helpful.   

    

Marketing
Senator Millican reported that the committee met on April 15, 2014, where the discussion was focused on making edits to the Staff Senate website. The committee will forward a list of suggested edits to the Executive Committee for approval. The committee has also put together a note for Senators to send out in their departments about how to find the Staff Senate on Facebook and Twitter. Millican mentioned that we are really gaining some great momentum on our social media accounts and they would like to reach more staff members.

 

Scholarship
Staff Senate Administrative Coordinator Melonie Milton announced that the Clovers & Quarters Fundraising Campaign which benefits the Staff Senate Fee Support Scholarship raised $284.54 this year. The Lapel Pin Fundraising Campaign has raised about $1,035.00 so far. There are 12 pins left for sale and 40 pins were sent back as they were defective. The manufacturer will reproduce those and we should receive those in a couple of weeks. Once those pins are sold, that should raise an additional $260.00 which will bring the total raised to $795.00 which also benefits the Staff Senate Fee Support Scholarship Fund.

 

President Livingston asked the group if we should order more since the first batch sold so well. Senator Saucier commented that once employees saw the pin, they were willing to purchase them.


Livingston commented that we sold about 200 without sending out a broadcast email about the sale.


Senator Loveless mentioned that once we sell 2000, we may want to think about removing the word “Staff” off of the pin which makes them more versatile to wear. We are limiting the people who may want to wear them by listing staff as some may want to give to graduate students and so forth. Senator Millican mentioned that some employees have asked about possibly purchasing the magnetic back in the future as well. Senator Love mentioned that the pins are heavy too. Senator Craddock also said that some employees in her department mentioned that they would have purchased if staff wasn’t mentioned. If they just said LSU, we may get more people interested in purchasing in the future. Melonie Milton mentioned that Member-At-Large Donna Torres will be attending a system-wide meeting and she will see if there may be interest in selling the pins on their campuses. Senator Moreau mentioned that LSU Faculty may be interested in a faculty pin. Member-at-Large Baker mentioned that there was some discussion about making a different pin for each year which would be like a collector’s item and we could continue to sell, so we may design a new pin for next year.   

     

LIAISON COMMITTEES
LASERS/TRSL
President Livingston mentioned that Senator Sasser submitted a LASERS/TRSL Liaison Report which was included in the April Meeting Packet for review.

 

Faculty Senate
Senator Craddock reported that she attended the Faculty Senate Meeting on April 7, 2014. She will forward a report to the Staff Senate Office for distribution. There was a presentation by State Treasurer John Kennedy. His proposal was to support HB 142 which would direct government agencies in the State of Louisiana to reduce their spending by 10% for consultants and redirect that 10% to higher education funding. Kennedy provided an example that the State of Louisiana has a consultant out right now to help chimpanzees with sensoring stimulation, so if you were to reduce that consultant fee by 10%, you can the redirect that money to higher education. Kennedy did not express his personal opinion about the need for these consultants as there is certainly some need throughout the state for consultants but it generally needs bids or contracts which can be reduced and that was one way to support higher education.  Craddock reported that there were some first readings for some proposed resolutions. One was introduced at the request of Kayla Lato Kucharchuk with the Office of Career Services which was Resolution 14-04, “Improvement of Internship Policies and Procedures”. Kayla received feedback and will return to the next meeting for the second reading. The second resolution was sponsored by Judith Sylvester which was Resolution 14-05, “LSU Discover Faculty Involvement and Compensation” to compensate faculty involved as research mentors and to LSU Discover which is part of LSU’s Quality Enhancement Plan. The third resolution was introduced at the request of Southeastern Louisiana University Faculty Senate President James Kirylo which was Resolution 14-06, “HB 244 and the Sale of Firearms on Campuses” which is to prohibit non-profit organizations to sell firearms through events on campuses. There was a lot of interesting feedback on that discussion. The fourth resolution was sponsored by the Faculty Senate Executive Committee which was Resolution 14-07, “Procedures for Evaluation of the Chancellor-President” which was part of the SACSCOC accreditation that we did not have in place for that position. The fifth resolution was introduced at the request of Student Government which was Resolution 14-08, “Support for Establishing an Academic Honor cade: The Tiger Creed” which was proposing that LSU have a student conduct code. Any type of disciplinary action will still be as it is currently and would go through the Dean of Students Office. This is more of a pledge for students to recognize that they are to follow.  


Senator Love asked if Faculty Senate President Kevin Cope gave any remarks during his President’s Report regarding the retirement legislation. Craddock mentioned that he did not cover any of that during this meeting.

 

OLD BUSINESS
Staff Senate Executive Officer Elections
An informational sheet was distributed which outlines some of the officer duties and to clarify the timeline for officer nominations. On the nomination form at the bottom, there is a list of eligible Senators to nominate. Not every Senator’s name is listed as they may already have a spot of the Executive Committee for next year or they are rolling off as a Senator. On the nomination form, we still have two Member-at-Large positions listed due to the Treasurer position not being final until we put it to a staff vote and it won’t be final until the President and Chancellor approves this. So we can’t jump forward on that just yet but we will move forward with the two Member-at-Large positions.  If/when that is approved, we can assign one of the Member-at-Large positions for the Treasurer duties and then use next year as a training ground to work out any kinks and by next year have that position pretty well defined. Livingston mentioned you can fill out the form now or take back to your office to fill out and send to the Staff Senate Office by the April 30 or send email nominations until May 14. At the next Staff Senate Meeting, we will have speeches from the candidates who have accepted the nomination and if there are any unopposed we will open the floor for any additional nominations at that time. We should have the officer elections finished by the June Meeting. All proxies and absent Senators will receive these forms through campus mail. Past-President Gothreaux wanted to clarify regarding opening the floor if there is only one nomination. Because there has not been an official Bylaws change, we can still do that as a point of order.

 

Senator Love asked if the results from the general election will be published on the Staff Senate website. President Livingston said yes and gave the following results regarding vacancies, for the Executive/Administrative/Managerial Category, there is still one vacancy as no one declared candidacy.  For the Professional/Non-Faculty Category, Senator Tammy Millican won the one seat that was available.  For the Skilled Crafts Category, there are no vacancies.  For the Service/Maintenance Category, Senators Igor Matkovic and Lorita Collins declared and their seats were unopposed as there was two vacancies for election and there is still one vacancy through 2016 in that category.   For the Technical/Paraprofessional Category, Adam Yates has declared the one seat available unopposed, there is still one vacancy through 2016.  For the Clerical/Secretarial Category, there are no vacancies. Senator Love asked how those vacancies will be handled. President Livingston mentioned at this point it is by word of mouth and if someone is interested they can be appointed as we will not need to have a special election. The reason these vacancies are not filled is due to lack of interest.   

      

Benefit of the Month
President Livingston mentioned that once Member-at-Large Torres announces the benefit for this month, the Staff Senate Office will send out electronically to the full Senate.

 

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 back up as we have used some of these funds this year.   

 

NEW BUSINESS
Bylaws
President Livingston distributed a draft of the proposed Bylaws and Constitutional Amendments for everyone to review. This is a comprehensive list of all of the changes that have been discussed over the past few weeks. She thanked those that shared the changes with their co-workers and shared some feedback. The Bylaws Committee put together this document which is a comprehensive summary of every amendment that we are seeking to make on the Bylaws and the Constitution. It is detailed with rationale, with what change is happening, how it currently reads and how it will read, if approved, for every amendment. Livingston gave everyone a few minutes to read through the document.

 

Livingston would like to entertain a motion to accept this amendment and open it up for discussion.

 

A motion was made by Past-President Gothreaux. The motion, seconded by Senator Bennett, carried.

 

President Livingston discussed Amendment #1 which deals with the Treasurer position on the Executive Committee. It jumps a little bit around the Bylaws document but it tackles the Treasurer issue. In Part A, we would be introducing that terminology, in Part B, we would be defining the Treasurer position, in Part C, we are taking the (s) off of at-Large Members, and then in Part D, we would be altering the terminology further down in the Bylaws. Any discussion? Livingston identified an error in Part A, the last sentence ex officio needs to be italicized.

 

Senator Loveless asked for clarification when it says that verifying all budget and financial records including but not limited to, does that mean the position would actually handling the receipts? Would the Administrative Coordinator still handle that? Livingston answered correct. The Treasurer would be the check and balance for everything the Administrative Coordinator does with regards to spending. President-Elect Perkins suggested that we change the sentence after that reference to read Staff Senate President and Executive Committee instead of the President and the Staff Senate Executive Committee. Senator Sasser mentioned that also needs to read the same in Part B. Livingston mentioned in Part D, ex officio needs to be italicized as well.

 

The outline for Amendment #1 is as follows:

 

Amendment #1
Rationale: Staff Senate has a clear need for a Treasurer position, bearing responsibility for verifying all budget and financial records for Staff Senate including, but not limited to: submission of a monthly financial statement to the Staff Senate President and Executive Committee for their review and approval and providing a monthly financial report to the full Senate.

 

The Treasurer position will replace an existing Member-at-Large position on the Executive Committee. The decision to replace rather than add a position is to retain an odd number of voting members on the Executive Committee.

 

Part A:  Article III, Section A
Change:  Addition of Treasurer terminology, decrease to one Member-at-Large

 

Currently reads:
The Staff Senate shall elect from its membership an Executive Committee (see Article VII, Section A) consisting of a President, President-Elect, Secretary, and two At-Large Members. The immediate Past-President will serve as a non-voting, ex officio member of the Executive Committee.

 

If approved, will read:
The Staff Senate shall elect from its membership an Executive Committee (see Article VII, Section A) consisting of a President, President-Elect, Secretary, Treasurer and one At-Large Member. The immediate Past-President will serve as a non-voting, ex officio member of the Executive Committee.

 

Part B:  Article III, Section D
Change:  Add language, currently no language to define a Treasurer position

 

If approved, Article III, Section D. 4 will read:


Treasurer
Bears the responsibility for verifying all budget and financial records for Staff Senate including, but not limited to:  submission of a monthly financial statement to the Staff Senate President and Executive Committee for their review and approval and providing a monthly financial report to the full Senate.  

 

Part C:  Article III, Section D. 5
Change:  reduce title to a singular Member-at Large

 

Currently reads:  At-Large Members

 

If approved, will read:  At-Large Member

 

Part D:  Article VII, Section A. 1
Change:  Addition of Treasurer terminology, decrease to one Member-at-Large

 

Currently reads:
The membership of the Executive Committee, as determined by Article III, Section A, will consist of five voting members elected by the Staff Senate including a President, President-Elect, Secretary, and two At-Large Members. The immediate Past-President will serve as a non-voting, ex officio member of the Executive Committee.

 

If approved, will read:
The membership of the Executive Committee, as determined by Article III, Section A, will consist of five voting members elected by the Staff Senate including a President, President-Elect, Secretary, Treasurer and one At-Large Member. The immediate Past-President will serve as a non-voting, ex officio member of the Executive Committee.



President Livingston discussed Amendment #2 which deals with the language about opening up the floor for unopposed offices. Any discussion?

 

Senator Davis mentioned when we talk about the Executive Committee, we are talking about the President, President-Elect, Secretary and the two Members-at-Large and when the draft mentions not filling the seat without additional nominations, would we do the same thing for the general election because it seems like we won’t do that for a Staff Senate seat but we will make another call for an officer position. Why would that make a difference? We need to be consistent with what we will be doing as a body, if we are not going to do it for one, why would we do it for the other? Past-President Gothreaux asked how would Senator Davis envision that looking. Because it is a campus-wide call for nominations, where this is within the Senate. Davis mentioned that when we do a campus-wide call for Staff Senator Nominations, if we don’t get a position filled or if there is someone who is running unopposed, they would just fill the position. If the same thing happens for an officer position where they are running unopposed, they would just fill that position instead of calling for further nominations. President-Elect Perkins mentioned that the full Senate can operate with a seat available but to have a seat vacant on the Executive Committee would be more difficult because of the roles that are assigned. So if no one was nominated for an officer position, that position would be vacant. Davis mentioned not in that case but if what we are reading is saying that if a Senator is running unopposed, we will ask for further nominations, why couldn’t that Senator run unopposed as what can happen during the general elections? President Livingston added to President-Elect Perkins point that since the Executive Committee are the decision makers of the Senate who are the decision makers of staff, we want to make sure that we  have the appropriate people in those positions. Davis mentioned that principle would follow here as well. Livingston mentioned with six officer positions, it is important that those positions are filled. Perkins mentioned that the spirit of this amendment is to avoid a circumstance where someone decides not to seek out an Executive role because they think the person whose been nominated would win or they decide not to run because they think they may not win over that person. We want to make sure we are getting everyone who is actually interested in running. Senator Davis mentioned you have six positions on the Executive Committee and if a Senator runs for a position unopposed and there has been no other interest so clearly that is all who is interested. If someone does not want to run, they won’t run. In a normal election process, there is no room for someone who doesn’t think they will win. Senator Love mentioned that in her experience, a Senator can be nominated for more than one office but they can only run for one position, so they choose to run in one position which might take away from an election in one of the other positions because it could create where someone is running unopposed because no one chose that position. This seems to help address that type of situation.

 

Senator Loveless mentioned this may also address knowing who is running before the ballots are distributed and to show that someone may be running unopposed in one of the positions as an awareness if someone wanted to step up, they could. Loveless mentioned it seems before, the Senate did not know who was running until the next meeting when the candidates were giving their speeches and if someone was running unopposed, they would just fill that position. This may give a chance for more discussion, if needed. Past-President Gothreaux thinks it is appropriate to draw a separate distinction between a regular election and an officer election. Those are very different elections. He thinks the spirit of this is to say, if there is only one person nominated, it’s a chance for the Senate to be on record saying that that is the only person interested or if there is thought among the Senate even if it is one person or a small number that there ought to be someone else considered as well, this gives us an opportunity to pause and consider that. Senator Davis mentioned that if you put out an opportunity to run for a position and someone is nominated, they are unopposed at that time, then you close nominations and they are still unopposed, why would you come back and open the floor for additional nominations? If someone was interested they would have put in their nomination. Past-President Gothreaux mentioned that there is no mechanism for the Senate to formally acknowledge that that person becomes an officer, so if there is only one person, we just move to the next category. There needs to be a mechanism for the entire Senate to weigh in on that single candidate and say yes, we recognize there is only one candidate, there are no other nominations so by acclamation, they have been elected in to that office. Davis mentioned that the language may need amending as it reads if we have no other nominations, the floor will be open for additional nominations, it just looks as if we are calling for nominations again once someone was willing to fill the position unopposed.

 

President Livingston mentioned two instances where we may want to all for additional nominations. What if we have a Senator who doesn’t necessarily attend the monthly meetings but happens to show up during the election process, and nominates someone who may not also participate and then nobody else runs, do we want that person as an Executive Officer? Then we could follow-up the next month and say this may not be the best candidate, we need to nominate somebody else. Or running unopposed can be an uncomfortable situation speaking from experience. She would rather having another call for someone to step up and run as well so the Senate could vote for the person they wanted in that position. Livingston thinks calling for additional nominations is a healthy thing. She asked Senator Davis is the issue with the additional part of calling again if there is only one person by default. Davis doesn’t see why it should be open again if the call was already given and everyone was given the opportunity. Member-at-Large Baker mentioned that there is another instance where last year she was told she was nominated for two positions for Executive Office and was told to pick one, she chose Member-at-Large instead of choosing the other position of Secretary which left that position unopposed. This would give an opportunity for someone to reconsider if someone was running unopposed for that position. Davis agreed that makes sense. Senator Love suggested instead of saying opening the floor for additional nominations could we allow for write in candidates under those circumstances? Livingston mentioned we can’t write in someone on a ballot unless they accept the nomination verbally at that meeting, we would need to know ahead of time. If the ballots are sent out after the meeting, that could be possible. Past-President Gothreaux mentioned isn’t that the spirit of opening it up for write ins? They could verbally accept the nomination at the meeting before they are wrote in. Senator Love mentioned that we meet once a month, we do the nomination process, we don’t have any interim knowledge of what is happening before that next meeting. In the past, when you get that call, you don’t know who is running in any of the offices. She feels that we don’t have complete knowledge when we are making that decision. Senator Bennett mentioned this could also encourage more active involvement where traditionally someone may not put themselves out there. Someone may not volunteer themselves as quickly as they may accept an invitation to assist.

   

Senator Saucier mentioned as we received the nomination forms, we are suppose to fill these out, what is the difference with filling out the form or verbally giving a nomination on the day of because only one person is running. Livingston mentioned that no one is required to nominate. Gothreaux mentioned that in the Bylaws there is language that allows for nominations from the floor, so it doesn’t preclude that. This allows for an opportunity to go back to the full Senate and let them know that there may be only one person running, does anyone else want to consider running as well. The spirit of an election is that there is a choice. But in fact if there is none, then the Senate is stating that there is no one else who wants to fill this position, this person is willing to fill position, so there is an election by acclamation. Senator Millican asked would it help when the nominations are turned in, two weeks prior to the next meeting, a notification can be sent out to Senators announcing the nominations and mention that if someone else is interested to notify the Staff Senate Office before the meeting. Senator Davis agreed that would be appropriate. So when you come to meeting, it’s all been done, we shouldn’t open the floor again during the meeting as it could put someone on the spot. In a normal election process, you run, you can be unopposed and move into that position if there was no other interest ahead of time. Livingston mentioned that what Senate Millican mentioned is what is written as sending an email is opening the floor. Senator Davis mentioned that it should be done before the meeting. Livingston mentioned we just don’t want to add timelines into the Bylaws because it is very specific. Gothreaux mentioned if you establish a deadline for submitting nominations and in that process we notify Senate that they are all in, this is what it is, this office is running unopposed. The next opportunity to address that is at the next meeting because you have already established a deadline for submitting nominations, to add someone else to that slate in the interim period which is really not a quorum as we would have at a meeting. Millican mentioned so the true deadline is that meeting. Livingston mentioned that is why we were saying the floor. Senator Bennett mentioned that when the announcement is made of who is running and if someone is running unopposed you may not want to necessarily say who the unopposed candidate is maybe just list the office. Livingston mentioned that Senator Davis mentioned during the last meeting that we do want to identify everyone who is running for office as to be fair to the process. Millican asked is there language in the Bylaws or Constitution that if someone does not fulfill their duties in office that can be removed? Senator Matkovic mentioned possibly including language that if someone has missed more than a few meetings maybe they should not be eligible to run for office. Bennett mentioned sometimes there may be special circumstances if someone is out for medical reasons or having the flexibility with their job to attend all of the Staff Senate Meetings. Livingston mentioned that when the Executive Committee meets the first item of business is reviewing attendance and we go through and look at Staff Senate Meeting and Committee Meeting attendance. We discuss who has missed more than two meetings or who has two proxies and she sends out emails to those Senators to check in with them however there are certain situations where can understand what is going on as we were notified and we chose not to declare a seat vacant for attendance. We understand that not everyone can attend all the time. Senator Craddock mentioned could we say that the floor would be open for discussion and in through that discussion it could be inclusive to another nomination being received? Senator Loveless mentioned that if she was running for office unopposed and the full Senate calls for additional nominations and know that this is a procedural thing and if no one says anything then that person should just be considered unopposed. Livingston mentioned additional nominations should not be perceived that someone may not do that job well, just that there is interest there. Loveless mentioned it just looks negative but if it was more of a procedure than it could just be expected. Bennett mentioned it could just open the door for more involvement. Baker suggested that we change the language to read that we just take nominations from the floor for all positions on the last day regardless if they are unopposed or not. Everyone agreed.

 

President Livingston recommended that we don’t do this amendment but rely on Bylaws Article III, Section C, #2 which reads: Nominations for officers may be e-mailed, nominated in writing, or made verbally from the Senate floor. To govern what we need to do next month.  Senator Love asked if it would be appropriate in Article I, Section C, #5, b which reads the election results will be provided to the Senate and made public. Could we identify how they are made public by specifying the Staff Senate website or other means? President-Elect Perkins mentioned that if we get too specific and that mechanism changes we would have further amendments. There hasn’t been a consistent mechanism as it can become more challenging across the board when things change on campus. Keeping it public keeps it more vague as we are able to use other vehicles to make the public aware. Livingston mentioned that there is no firm process on how elections are done and this gives us a good reminder that we need to put our processes in writing. In the past, on July1, the new President would send a message out to campus with a link to members of Senate.

 

Past-President Gothreaux mentioned that he thinks it is important that we have a mechanism that recognizes an unopposed candidate as the elected person by acclimation. In the event there is only one nominee for an Executive Office, the unopposed candidate shall be considered by acclimation. Livingston mentioned that amendment #2 should still go forward and read as below.       

 

The outline for Amendment #2 is as follows:

 

Amendment #2
Rationale:  Staff Senate must insure that all Executive Committee members are elected from a healthy pool of candidates.  As such, a procedure needs to exist to avoid positions that are unopposed by soliciting a second round of nominations.

 

Article III, Section C currently has no language to support this procedure

 

Change:  add language

 

If approved, Article III, Section C.3 will read:
In the event there is only one nominee for an Executive Committee office, the unopposed candidate shall be considered elected by acclimation.

 

President Livingston discussed Amendment #3 which deals with an Executive Committee Member excusing themselves from tallying votes for that office. Any discussion?

 

The outline for Amendment #3 is as follows:

 

Amendment #3:
Rationale:  Staff Senate must insure that all Executive Committee members are elected via a fair process.  Executive Committee members tally votes to determine incoming Executive Committee members.  It is possible for a nominee for an Executive Committee role to be a current Executive Committee member.  As a result, a procedure needs to exist to prevent a current member of the Executive Committee from tallying votes for an office in which they are nominated.  

 

Article III, Section C currently has no language to support this procedure

 

Change:  add language

 

If approved, Article III, Section C.6 will read:
Members of the Executive Committee shall tabulate ballots; nominees for an office shall absent themselves from tabulating results for that office.

 

President Livingston discussed Amendment #4 which deals with the first and second reading system. Any discussion?


Senator Love asked does this say that it has to be voted on during the next meeting. Livingston replied no. However, by a two-thirds vote of those present and comprising a quorum, the Senate may elect to vote on a resolution during the meeting at which it was introduced. Love mentioned the language seems to suggest that we are required to vote by the next meeting. Livingston suggested we change it to read no sooner than the next meeting.

 

The outline for Amendment #4 is as follows:

 

Amendment #4
Rationale:  Staff Senate values communication between the Senate and its constituents.  Prior to the adoption of a resolution by the Senate, feedback from staff members should be sought.  It is wise to develop a procedure to provide sufficient time to allow Senators to gather feedback from staff members to guide the Senate’s decision making.  

 

Article IV, Section B currently has no language to support a first/second reading system

 

Change:  add language

 

If approved, will read:
Resolutions announced on the agenda or introduced during a meeting of the Senate shall be voted on no sooner than the next meeting. However, by a two-thirds vote of those present and comprising a quorum, the Senate may elect to vote on a resolution during the meeting at which it was introduced.

 

President Livingston discussed Amendment #5 which deals with changing the title for President and Chancellor throughout the document. There are two instances in the Bylaws. Any discussion?

 

The outline for Amendment #5 is as follows:

 

Amendment #5
Rationale: Update to reflect changed title of President and Chancellor in Article VII, Section A.7 and Article VIII, Section B.

 

Currently reads: Chancellor

 

If adopted, will read: President and Chancellor

 

President Livingston asked if there was any further discussion needed before we take a vote on these amendments. Livingston did clarify Amendment #2 since there was much discussion on this that aside from the Call for Nominations, we do want to make sure in writing that if someone is unopposed will be elected by acclimation if it remains unopposed. All this will do is reaffirm that.

 

Livingston read the amendment as, In the event there is only one nominee for an Executive Committee office, the unopposed candidate shall be considered elected by acclimation.
Senator Davis confirmed that there will still be a call for additional nominations for all offices. Livingston confirmed.

 

A motion to vote on these amendments was made by Past-President Gothreaux. The motion, seconded by Member-at-Large Baker, carried.


President Livingston recapped the Bylaws Amendments.

 

Livingston announced for Amendment #1, Part A: remains intact besides italicizing ex officio, Part B: changes the second sentence to read: submission of a monthly financial statement to the Staff Senate President and Executive Committee, Part C: no changes, part D: italicizing ex officio in the last section of that sentence.

 

Livingston announced for Amendment #2, it will now read: In the event there is only one nominee for an Executive Committee office, the unopposed candidate shall be considered elected by acclimation.

 

Livingston announced for Amendment #3, will be the same aside from striking from and replacing with for that office in the last sentence.

 

Livingston announced for Amendment #4, it will now read: Resolutions announced on the agenda or introduced during a meeting of the Senate shall be voted on no sooner than the next meeting and the second sentence remains the same.

 

Livingston announced for Amendment #5, no changes.

 

Livingston would like to entertain a motion to propose all of these changes as amended.

 

A motion was made by Senator Hart. The motion, seconded by Senator Moreau, carried.

 

All were favor, none opposed.

 

Past-President Gothreaux made an editorial comment and mentioned that the way that President Livingston has outlined the document is very easy to follow. He commended her for that.

 

President Livingston announced for review of the Constitutional Amendments.

 

A motion was made to accept the Constitutional Amendments for discussion by Past-President Gothreaux. The motion, seconded by Senator Loveless, carried.

 

President Livingston discussed Amendment #1 which deals with adding our Mission and Vision which the Staff Senate approved that on March 19. Any discussion?

 

The outline for Amendment #1 is as follows:

 

Amendment #1
Rationale:  Updating Article I to add mission and vision statement (as adopted by Staff Senate on March 19, 2014) to the current purpose statement.

 

Currently reads:
Purpose
The Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College Staff Senate is made up of duly elected representatives from the staff employees of the University. To this end, the Staff Senate will:


• Promote and protect the welfare of the LSU staff to the extent that the Staff Senate policies are consonant with State Civil Service regulations, Bylaws and Regulations of the Board of Supervisors, University Policy Statements, and System Permanent Memorandum (PM), and do not impinge on the academic life of the University.
• Review policies proposed or previously adopted by others that may affect the welfare of the staff and make recommendations about these to the President and Chancellor.
• Promote the effective exchange of information between the LSU administration and staff.
• Propose and maintain programs to enhance the personal and professional well- being of the staff, as well as encourage their vocational and educational development.

 

If adopted, will read:
Mission
The Louisiana State University Staff Senate promotes and protects the welfare of the LSU staff by representing the interest of and the issues impacting all staff members.

 

Vision
The Staff Senate seeks to enhance its visibility as a vital governance organization, recognized as the voice of the LSU staff. The Staff Senate will be an essential partner in University planning and viewed as a valued resource by the administration when critical decisions are made that affect staff members. The Staff Senate seeks to continually support the vision, mission, and Flagship Agenda of Louisiana State University.

 

Purpose
The Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College Staff Senate is made up of duly elected representatives from the staff employees of the University. To this end, the Staff Senate will:


• Promote and protect the welfare of the LSU staff to the extent that the Staff Senate policies are consonant with State Civil Service regulations, Bylaws and Regulations of the Board of Supervisors, University Policy Statements, and System Permanent Memorandum (PM), and do not impinge on the academic life of the University.
• Review policies proposed or previously adopted by others that may affect the welfare of the staff and make recommendations about these to the President and Chancellor.
• Promote the effective exchange of information between the LSU administration and staff.
• Propose and maintain programs to enhance the personal and professional well- being of the staff, as well as encourage their vocational and educational development.

 

President Livingston discussed Amendment #2 which deals with updating the title of President and Chancellor. Any discussion?

 

The outline for Amendment #2 is as follows:

 

Amendment #2
Rationale: Update to reflect changed title of President and Chancellor in Article I, Article II, and Article VII (two instances).

 

Currently reads: Chancellor

 

If adopted, will read: President and Chancellor


President Livingston discussed Amendment #3 which deals with reflecting the current language of the definition of staff per the current Staff Handbook. The author of said which is Senator Sasser who has confirmed that the definitions are accurate. Any discussion?

 

The outline for Amendment #3 is as follows:

 

Amendment #3
Rationale: Update to reflect changed definitions of staff per the LSU Staff Handbook, verified by Human Resource Management.

 

Currently reads:
Unclassified Employees- Administrative officers and professional staff, as well as all non-faculty employees in positions exempt from the provisions of the State Civil Service System or from the Classified Service under the State Constitution. Classified Employees- All employees in positions covered by the provisions of the State Civil Service System.

 

Other Academic Employees - Part-time members of the academic staff and full-time members of the instructional staff below the rank of instructor, or equivalent; employees with academic responsibilities who do not hold faculty rank. This category includes associates, assistants, lecturers, and coordinators not represented by the Faculty Senate, excluding students.

 

If adopted, will read:
Professional Employees: Professional employees include administrative officers and professional staff, as well as all employees in positions exempt from the provisions of the State Civil Service System. Employees in this category are sometimes termed “unclassified.”

 

Classified/Civil Service Employees: Classified/civil service employees are all employees in positions covered by the provisions of the State Civil Service System. All actions affecting classified employees are made in accordance with civil service rules and regulations.

 

Other Academic Employees: Other academic employees include part-time members of the academic staff and full-time members of the academic staff below the rank of instructor, or equivalent. Employees with academic responsibilities who do not hold faculty rank are also included in this classification.

 

President Livingston discussed Amendment #4 which deals with striking no single category shall have majority on Staff Senate. Any discussion?

 

Past-President Gothreaux made a recommendation that where it reads the Re-evaluation of the representation process will take place at such a time as Staff Senate membership reaches 30. As you noted in the preamble, this is the original Constitution and the intent was that once we grew to that level, we needed to rethink how we do that which we have done. So it has served its purpose by prompting this discussion. Livingston mentions it also limits it, if we drop to 29, so we will eliminate that language.  Livingston mentioned Article III, Section 2; the final sentence will be if the final count is less than 100 but greater than 66, an additional senator will be elected from that category. Senator Loveless asked should we include something about a re-evaluation process. Gothreaux mentioned we can evaluate at any time and there is a provision for amendments to the Constitution, this just set a bench mark for the future when we grow to a certain size.

 

Senator Love asked do we need to be concerned about a department having majority. Since it seems that EEO 3, Professional/Non-Faculty which is the category that is growing, so therefore we made this change but did we ever have to worry about a particular department with so much representation which could be an influence? President-Elect Perkins mentioned that thought has actually been brought to her attention before. Senator Craddock asked has there been a majority on Senate from a particular department. Past-President Gothreaux answered that Senators try to get participation; they ask co-workers in their department as he has done. Senator Loveless doesn’t think we should limit that because if there is interest there and they are staff, it should not matter. President-Elect Perkins mentioned maybe that brings a better way to look at it, is how we engage departments that maybe previously have not been engaged as opposed to looking as looking at as one department having majority. Once a Senator is involved, they share with their co-workers who may also want to get involved. Maybe a better way to look at that is how we reach out to all departments across campus. Loveless mentioned that the current roster does reflect representation by various departments across campus. Livingston mentioned that maybe we should tackle that from a different angle. Gothreaux mentioned that there may come a time where there is a Senate for the entire system, so then we would represent by entity or by campus, so we need to stay vigilant about this.

 

The outline for Amendment #4 is as follows:

 

Amendment #4
Rationale: Staff Senators are elected by the various categories of non-faculty employees, as defined by the University's Office of Human Resource Management. One Senator represents every 100 employees, with a minimum of two senators from each category. No single category may have majority on the Staff Senate.

 

The reclassification of positions on campus has created a deficit of seats available on Staff Senate. For example, the Professional/Non-Faculty category is comprised of 2076 staff. Per the definition of representation 21 Staff Senators should be seated in the Professional/Non-Faculty category for 2014-2015. Taking into account the total seats on Staff Senate (26), the Professional/Non-Faculty category is limited to 13 seats, a reduction of 8 seats.

 

Elimination of “No single category may have majority on the Staff Senate” will result in a more accurate representation of staff on campus, a larger membership, and more opportunities for staff members to become involved in Staff Senate.  

 

Article III, Section 2 currently reads:
The LSU Staff senators will be elected by the various categories of non-faculty employees, as defined by the University's Office of Human Resource Management.

 

There will be one senator representing every 100 employees, with a minimum of two senators from each category. If the final count is less than 100 but greater than 66, an additional senator will be elected from that category. No single category will have majority representation on the Staff Senate.

 

Re-evaluation of the representation process will take place at such a time as Staff Senate membership reaches 30.

 

If adopted, will read:
The LSU Staff senators will be elected by the various categories of non-faculty employees, as defined by the University's Office of Human Resource Management.

 

There will be one senator representing every 100 employees, with a minimum of two senators from each category. If the final count is less than 100 but greater than 66, an additional senator will be elected from that category.

 

President Livingston discussed Amendment #5 which deals with more about the Treasurer position and correcting the language to reflect that and to list only one Member-at-Large member and italicizing ex office. Any discussion?

 

The outline for Amendment #5 is as follows:

 

Amendment #5
Rationale: Staff Senate has a clear need for a Treasurer position, bearing responsibility for verifying all budget and financial records for Staff Senate including, but not limited to: submission of a monthly financial statement to the President and the Staff Senate Executive Committee for their review and approval and providing a monthly financial report to the full Senate.

 

The Treasurer position will replace an existing Member-at-Large position on the Executive Committee. The decision to replace rather than add a position is to retain an odd number of voting members on the Executive Committee.

 

Currently reads:
Article III, Section 2c. Senate Officers
The Staff Senate will elect from its membership a President, a President-Elect, a Secretary, and two At-Large members. Each will be elected in accordance with the Staff Senate Bylaws.

 

Article V, Section I: Executive Committee
The Executive Committee will consist of five voting members of the Staff Senate as follows: president, president-elect, secretary, and two at-large members. The past president will serve as ex-officio. The Executive Committee will establish standing committees as defined in Article VI of the Bylaws.

 

If adopted, will read:
Article III, Section 2c. Senate Officers
The Staff Senate will elect from its membership a President, a President-Elect, a Secretary, a Treasurer, and one At-Large member. Each will be elected in accordance with the Staff Senate Bylaws.

 

Article V, Section I: Executive Committee The Executive Committee will consist of five voting members of the Staff Senate as follows: President, President-Elect, Secretary, Treasurer and one at-large member. The past president will serve as ex-officio. The Executive Committee will establish standing committees as defined in Article VI of the Bylaws.

 

President Livingston asked if there were any further clarifications needed.

 

A motion to vote on these amendments was made by Past-President Gothreaux. The motion, seconded by Senator Moreau, carried.

 

President Livingston recapped the Constitution Amendments.

 

Livingston announced for Amendment #1, will incorporate the Mission and Vision with the present purpose.

 

Livingston announced for Amendment #2, will change the title of President and Chancellor

 

Livingston announced for Amendment #3, will update the definitions, no changes noted.

 

Livingston announced for Amendment #4, will strike the last two sentences: No single category will have majority representation on the Staff Senate. Re-evaluation of the representation process will take place at such a time as Staff Senate membership reaches 30.



Livingston announced for Amendment #5, will adjust the language on the Treasurer position and italicizing ex officio.

 

Livingston would like to entertain a motion to adopt these changes as amended and also move to a staff vote. This vote will affirm to bring these changes to all staff on campus to reach the 2/3 vote required for amendments.

 

A motion was made by Senator Bennett. The motion, seconded by Senator Hart, carried.

 

All were favor, none opposed.

 

President Livingston announced that the Staff Senate will put this to a staff vote electronically through the survey administration function in MyLSU. The only staff who will be voting are the ones we represent which are the ones who have been here for six months and are at 50% effort or more. We will send an email to all staff from Livingston using the Staff Senate email address as we can’t use the broadcast email system since we can’t isolate those people who may not be eligible to vote. There will be an introduction paragraph then a link to prompt the employee to login to MyLSU account and vote on this. Livingston will send this to the full Senate first as a test. Once staff have voted and we reach the 2/3 vote rule, she will forward the Bylaws and the Constitution to the President and Chancellor for his approval as well. If it all goes according to plan, we will do a special election to fill the seats that will become available. President-Elect Perkins asked if this voting goes well, can we use this same mechanism for a special election? Livingston replied we are going to try and do that.  

 

Smoke-Free Policy Draft
President Livingston announced that the Smoke-Free Policy Draft was included in the meeting packet. She asked if there has been any feedback received on the policy as it is written. Tomorrow is the deadline to submit any additional feedback to the President’s Office about this policy. Senator Love asked about the fact the people will be allowed to smoke in their vehicles with the windows rolled up, nothing like that is addressed in this draft, was it removed to avoid any confusion or do we know about that? Senator Millican mentioned it is considered a gray area as your vehicle is your personal property. There is acknowledgement that if you choose to smoke in your vehicle with the windows up, that is up to you but she thinks they chose not to put it in the policy because they didn’t want to encourage everyone to do that. Senator Craddock asked for clarification going tobacco-free which was supported by the Staff Senate and Faculty Senate, when it went to the President and Chancellor, he didn’t support that. President-Elect Perkins mentioned that two drafts was sent to him where one included going tobacco-free but the ultimate decision was left up to him. Senator Millican mentioned that the committee included each vote from each governance body and gave them a draft of both policies but the committee did not make a recommendation but President and Chancellor Alexander and Associate Vice Chancellor A.G. Monaco made the ultimate decision to just go smoke-free. Livingston mentioned there was some logic put out there about just going smoke-free. Millican mentioned she thinks a lot of it had to do with the opposition of the students. That law could be change to go tobacco-free later on and if it is mandated, we won’t have a choice just as it happened with going smoke-free. Senator Loveless mentioned that the conversation in her area was about designated smoking areas versus not and from the smokers, it was very negative. There are some smokers who don’t want to quit. Loveless will encourage those employees to send their opinions to Vice Chancellor Kurt Keppler directly. Senator Millican mentioned the committee did look at other universities who had designated smoking areas which was not very successful. Livingston will submit additional feedback tomorrow morning, if anyone has anything further to include.

 

President Livingston announced that the Staff Senate ordered more bookmarks if anyone would like to take some to pass out.

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS
Staff Senator Birthday
Past-President Gothreaux announced that President Livingston is celebrating her birthday today, April 16. “Happy Birthday”.

 

MOTION TO ADJOURN – With there being no more business, Past-President Gothreaux moved to adjourn.  The motion, seconded by Member-at-Large Baker, carried.  The meeting adjourned before noon.

 

Holly Carruth, Secretary

 

HC/mh