Staff Senate Minutes - January 15, 2002
Employee of the Month: Dusty Newton, Assistant Director, Admissions.
Directors -- Livingston, Roggasch, Anderson
Managerial/Professional -- Danube, Kucera, McMullen
Office -- Ellingson, Jones, Mitchell
Service -- Hines, Lange, Wilson
Ex Officio: Lakey
- Call to Order
- Adoption of Agenda
- Agenda adopted (Hines/Roggasch)
- Minutes and Correspondence – Introductions
- Livingston introduced Hannah Anderson. Livingston stated that after the last meeting, she received a letter from Ron Roth resigning from Staff Senate. He felt he needed to concentrate his efforts at MONA. The Election Committee went by the required procedures and Anderson is the candidate who will fill the remainder of that term. Livingston welcomed her as a member. Livingston and Anderson will visit about her committee assignments after the meeting.
- Minutes of the December 18, 2001 meeting were approved as written. (Roggasch/McMullen)
- Unfinished Business
- Budget Reductions – Vice Chancellor Haack
Livingston modified the order of the agenda since Vice Chancellor Randy Haack was there to talk about Budget Reductions, and under new business – Facilities Update.
Haack stated he would bring everyone up-to-date as far as what he knows about the budget reductions. This year they had to deal with about $288,000 in reductions. Next year that amount grows to $880,000. Each vice chancellor was to work with his/her respective unit and development a plan. Then the vice chancellors were to get-together and go over all the information and then make a recommendation to the Chancellor. This has all been done. Haack noted he is not at liberty to go through that until the Chancellor has had a chance to go over it. Mainly the recommendation was to go back to the objectives which were to preserve the quality of the undergraduate residential education, strengthen our academic priorities, maintain our capabilities to recruit, and retain faculty, students, and staff. Haack said he does feel the recommendation which was made does minimize the damage to programs. He said they did a good job of avoiding program reductions. Haack stated he knows one of the things on everyone’s mind is the news articles about possible pay cuts. He stated this is one thing that is on the table. Originally, due to collective bargaining by the faculty, the faculty on this campus this year were to receive a 6.8% increase. The staff was to receive 5%. There are all kinds of ways to use the money that was originally intended for salaries – everything from not putting salary increases on vacant lines to reducing the 5% to something less. Haack asked for comments. Comments he has already received include not forgoing salary increases for already low salaries; however if they cut your staff, who will do the work. No decision has been made. Roggasch stated that at a retreat in Lincoln recently, she sat with department chairs from UNL and UNO. They were talking about consolidation of departments. She wondered what the likelihood of that is on this campus. Haack stated there was some discussion of how we could do things differently. At this point, they have been leaning more to what could be done without making any firm decisions before July 1. There were even discussions about summer sessions. Also faculty get paid for nine months work over a 12 month period. A discussion was held as to whether or not there is the same opportunity for employees other than faculty. It would mean you would be paid less, because you would not be working for 12 months. Anderson asked if salary increases were not given now as planned, what is the budget forecast for the next several years to make up for lost increases now. Haack stated it would be at least 18 months from now. He stated there is also another bump in the road. When you hear talk about the revenues of the state, the Legislature did not deal with the 50 million short fall. They were hoping by the time they got back, revenues would have turned around. Haack said he has not heard anything that would lead him to believe that has happened so they wouldn’t have to make some kind of change. Livingston said in fact that she heard the amount has gone up to 90 million. Haack stated there will be increases both ways – revenue increases and increased spending cuts. He stated we might have to go back to the drawing board yet this year. Haack said whatever they do in this session, in the next biennium there might be some relief if we do something with salaries.
Livingston stated she understands departments would rather have their staff so they can get things done, but from her perspective the work never gets all done anyway. She felt we should continue to pay staff at a rate they should be paid. If we don’t, the morale suffers. She is not supportive of the idea to wallow further, since that is what has gotten our campus historically into the position we are in now. Roggasch stated why cut staff salaries when they are already under market now.
Mention was made that the Forecasting Board does not meet until February and that the additional shortfall might be from additional expenses, not lower revenues.
Haack stated the Chancellor is to provide the campus plan to the President by February 1. Haack assumes when a decision is made, the Chancellor will either make a campus announcement or have the vice chancellors inform their respective units. Last fall the Chancellor also indicated she would be sharing that information with Staff Senate, Faculty Senate and Student Senate. Livingston stated she hopes they remember to keep us informed.
- Committee and Search Reports
- Election Committee
Livingston noted she had already made the announcement welcoming Hannah Anderson.
- Employee Recognition – no report
- Performance Management - Danube noted he is in hopes of having a meeting this week.
- Procedures Committee - McMullen noted there is no report.
- Professional Development Committee – no report
- Office/Service Dependent Scholarship Committee
Mitchell passed around an update of funds and noted that the University Foundation Drive netted a total of $860 for the scholarship fund. She stated there are actually two separate funds. One is an expendable fund where the Foundation Drive money is put and also the money from aluminum cans. Scholarships are awarded out of that fund. The other fund is the endowed account which needs to reach $10,000 in order to be officially an endowed fund. Currently it is at $8,596.98. Mitchell called everyone’s attention to the calculations on the handout which were provided by Lakey. Since there is currently more in the expendable fund than is needed to cover the 2nd semester scholarships, the committee recommends moving $500 from the expendable to the endowed fund. Mitchell made a motion to move $500 from the Office/Service Dependent Scholarship expendable fund to the endowed fund. Roggasch seconded the motion which unanimously carried.
- Making A Difference Sub-committee – no report
- Mentoring Sub-committee – no report
- Information Technology
Danube passed out an information sheet on the one-time investments and the continuing investments. This shows how fees that have been paid will be used in various areas and gives members an idea of what is happening on campus. Another item mentioned at the meeting is “How does UNK want to be involved in the distance education arena?” That will be looked at more. Also discussed was the computer lab in the Student Union. It will not be large enough to have as many outlets as the lab in Otto Olsen. They will have to now decide how many MACs to have, how many PCs, etc. Areas where the money is being used, they want the individuals in charge to be sure the money is used properly and continue to monitor to be sure students are benefiting from it. The TAC committee wants there to be accountability.
- Strategic Planning – no report
- Centennial Committee – no report
- Marketing Council – will meet February 6
- University of Nebraska Provost Search
Livingston stated they are looking at the applications and have asked for letters of recommendation.
- Chancellor Search – no report
- New Business
- Facilities Update
Haack stated he would be giving a power point presentation recapping what has been going on in terms of construction. Currently there are five major projects that are underway – the College of Education, the West Center which includes the Communications Center, Bruner, Otto Olsen-Phase I, and the Nebraska Student Union.
- The College of Education building will be roughly 50,000 square feet at a cost of nine and a half million. Included in that expense is the cost of bringing the utilities over from the west plant. When completed, it will relocate all of the College of Education, with the exception of P.E., into one building. Haack noted there is a web cam that you can operate to get a better look. You can go to the web site or go to Facilities.
- Haack stated the West Center is complete. The only remaining work now is putting in the outdoor light posts and lights. Weather permitting that will be completed in February. There will also be an outdoor sculpture which will be located where the sculpture annex was. There are five artists who will be interviewed in February for this. The West Center/ Communications which have over 91,000 square feet were renovated at a cost of 8.6 million. They removed 13 of the columns in the classrooms plus updating 13 classrooms to “smart” classrooms. That will increase the number of such classrooms to about 40 across campus. Those classrooms have the computer, the Elmo, VCR, and overhead projector.
- The Bruner Hall project is moving along well. It is a deferred maintenance project. The building needs mainly mechanical, electrical, plumbing, elevators, and ADA accessibility. Bruner has 106,000 square feet with deferred maintenance costs of 6.5 million. They are hoping to have it completed by December of 2003. It will house Physics, Chemistry, and Biology. Math will be relocated. The project will involve new ceiling, floors, etc. due to being torn up for maintenance repairs. However there was no money available for knocking out walls and remodeling. This project was part of the LB1100 Funding. The University went out into bonded indebtedness for academic buildings which required approval by the Legislature and was ONLY for deferred maintenance. The mechanical penthouse has been expanded. This will move Bruner from 1966 air handling technology to present day and beyond. In the past, they have not been able to do certain experiments and demonstrations in Chemistry because the building could not handle the fumes. That will not be the case in the future. This project will involve replacing all the air hoods.
- To date at Otto Olsen, they have only done some minor things to bathrooms and addressed ADA accessibility. There are a million and half dollars still to be spent there. In a proposal before the Legislature, the Phase II renovation was No. 3 on the University of Nebraska priority list - fire and life safety projects were first, a project at UNO was second, and then Otto Olsen. It didn’t get any funding the last time, but we will try again in the coming Legislative session. One point six million will again be awarded for deferred maintenance.
- The Nebraska Student Union is moving ahead. Previously it had 74,000 square feet and now 25,000 more square feet will be added in addition to renovating the public areas of the old section at a total cost of 6.3 million. The new addition will include two large meeting rooms (with a central server) on the third floor overlooking the football field. Plus on second floor will be the expanded Ponderosa Room (total seating will be about 700-1000). The Chancellor’s Dining Room and the Sandhills Room will move and will have their own serving area. On the first floor will be the 24 hour computer lab, convenience store, TV/lounge area and fireplace lounge, and the two story atrium area where they will have the food court. Currently there is a group looking at furniture for the facility. The new part will be completed first by sometime this summer with everything to be completed by October.
Other projects completed this summer include:
- Landscaping and kitchen renovation at the Frank House and a donated wrought-iron fence.
- The public area of the east wing of West Center was renovated with money Dean Hadley had set aside from the College of Business and Technology before he stepped down.
- Took down the Sculpture Annex.
- Improved the Hammer Lot with leveling and rock and added a new entry and exit plus lighting.
- The roof was fixed at Ockinga and carpet replaced.
- The gazebo at Spillway Park was completed but the East Plaza was not. The plaza will be east of the wood bridge and include a donor brick wall. Joel Johnson was instrumental in getting some posters made (framed or unframed) of the Kearney area which will be for sale soon.
- At the Health and Sports Center, a football office and weight room were added.
- The Child Development Center was completed in Otto Olsen. Lakey stated a lot of things were done in a short amount of time in order to be open this semester. He noted the infant and toddler sections were completely full this semester, but there were still spaces available in the pre-school section.
- Also in OO, the Sculpture Lab was relocated and refurbished. The IT Computer Lab has been moved and refurbished.
- In the Fine Arts Building, the dance lab was moved downstairs. Underneath the stage has been remodeled for storage and a theatre lighting lab has been installed. The chiller (air conditioning unit) went out this summer and a temporary chiller from Texas was brought in. The good news is at this Saturday’s Regents Meeting, it is on the agenda for approval of a long-term fix. They have been able to secure $750,000 from the cigarette tax fund which will allow UNK to be able to bring over a chilled water line from the College of Education Project. The line would go all the way over to Bruner Hall and would save money on that project as they would then not have to build a stand-alone cooling unit. This will all be tapped into the cooling unit at the west plant.
- A.O. Thomas had two office rooms renovated and two additional smart classrooms were installed. There are now 13 additional smart classrooms across campus for a total of 35.
- The Don Welch Statue was erected and the Cope Memorial Fountain was repaired.
- Improvements at Foster Field include 750 seats. Those will be moved over to the east side and serve as stands for the visitors after the Nebraskan is completed. UNK has also acquired the bleachers from Buck Beltzer Field from UNL. UNK had to go take them down and move them so there was some expense. This will now provide a 1250 seat stadium with about a third of them having a rail back when they are installed. However a decision needs to be made as to what will be done with the cornfield property.
- Improvements to the Residence Halls were made at a total of 1.6 million dollars. Improvements include fire alarms, working windows and doors, furniture replacement, painting and cleaning, and landscaping, in order to make the campus more attractive for people who would like to live on campus.
Future plans include OO Phase II – if the Legislature approves funding. Bruner Hall, Phase II, will require a fund raising effort to get funds (Federal or donations) for more renovations. Longer term plans include the Fine Arts Building which needs to be renovated and Foster Field which will probably be moved to the cornfield at some point. That is more a matter of fund raising and hopes are to have an all purpose field. Also included are the Residence Halls. We also have an aging plant which needs major renovations. All of these are consistent with trying to be the premier residential university for undergraduate education.
Livingston asked what the projected cost would be for the proposed Safety Center Addition. Haack noted that is on the Regent’s agenda also. It is a little over a million dollars. Currently they have a donor who is willing to put up half as a challenge to raise the other half. Currently the Safety Center is short on office space and meeting space. The plan would include that plus a two bay garage in which to service the vehicles. Beyond the donor money, there would be fund raisers. That could come from insurance groups or even from Federal funding.
Haack also noted that the Mid-Nebraska Community Action group (the City, the school district, Good Sam, and the university) are looking at a feasibility study for a transportation building. Since all do something in transportation, they are looking into doing it all in one building to see if it would save money. Tom Osborn was helpful in getting $100,000 of federal funding to do the feasibility study. That may impact what is done with the Safety Center.
The question was raised where is the university’s cornfield. Haack stated it is about 120 acres just south of West Center.
- Emergency Plan
Livingston asked members if they had reviewed all the information supplied by Bill Davis and if they had any comments. Although members had looked at the information, most did not have the information in front of them. Roggasch mentioned that in the procedures during a flood it states cars be moved to higher ground first and then the people. She noted usually there is advance warning and she felt individuals should be moved first and then the vehicles moved to higher ground.
Livingston asked that anyone with any concerns or suggestions e-mail her as soon as possible. It was suggested that all the information be on-line. A discussion did follow that key individuals/departments in each building should be provided a hard copy which they could refer to in case of emergency since during emergency conditions, computers might not be working and information on the web would not be accessible. Another suggestion was that each department should have a meeting with employees and go over all the emergency information. It also would be helpful to e-mail any updates in emergency procedures.
- Next meeting – February 19, 2002 Cedar Room
- Let’s Have Lunch – February 13, 2002, Valentine Theme, Cedar Room, Noon
- The meeting was adjourned (Roggasch/Hines) at 11:40 a.m.