Staff Senate Minutes - November 20, 2001
Employee of the Month: Kristie Mosher, Staff Secretary III, Physics and Physical Science.
Directors -- Livingston, Roggasch, Roth
Managerial/Professional -- Danube, McMullen
Office -- Ellingson, Jones, Mitchell
Service -- Hines, Lange, Wilson
Directors -- None
Managerial/Professional -- Kucera
Office -- None
Service -- None
Ex Officio: Lakey
- Call to Order
- Adoption of Agenda
- Roggasch asked to have the Marketing Committee added to the agenda.
- Amended Agenda Adopted (Lange/Hines)
- Minutes and Correspondence
- Minutes of the October 16th meeting and Special November 5th meeting were approved as written.
- Unfinished Business
- Tuition Benefits
Livingston stated that at last month’s meeting members expressed that they felt permanent part-time staff employees should be eligible for a proportional part of the tuition benefits. Lakey stated that the HR directors had been working on a recommendation to make the scholarship tuition remission available for part-time benefit eligible employees. An announcement was made that part of the faculty bargaining agreement was to add spouse/dependents to the tuition remission. The benefit for part-time employees got lost at this time. Lakey noted that the HR directors and the CBOs still support that recommendation, which they hope to forward to the President’s Council. Livingston wondered if Staff Senate should send letters of support to either the U-Wide Benefit Committee or our representatives to that committee and to the Chancellor. Lakey stated he felt the letters should be sent to our representatives on the committee and to the Chancellor. Roggasch moved that Livingston draft a letter to our University-Wide Benefit representatives and to the Chancellor highly encouraging that permanent part-time employees receive some type of tuition remission benefit. Danube seconded the motion that unanimously carried.
Lakey stated that employees could now go out on the website and designate tuition waiver hours to their spouse and/or dependents until January 18th. There is now a deadline in force for tuition waivers, which is one week after school starts. This deadline is the same on all campuses.
Lakey noted UNK’s representative for managerial/professional on the U-Wide Benefit Committee was Joyce Miller who has resigned. Staff Senate needs to forward three names to the Chancellor and she will appoint someone for that position. Lakey asked the three managerial/professional members of the committee if they would like their name forwarded. It was decided to ask the following individuals if they would be willing to have their names go forward: Anita Kucera, Mary Ann Lawson, and Jeffie Wiggins.
- Committee and Search Reports
- Election Committee – no report
- Employee Recognition – no report
- Performance Management - Danube noted there is nothing to report.
- Procedures Committee - McMullen noted there is no report.
- Professional Development Committee
Ellingson reported they met on the 14th. One of the main discussions was on Let’s Have Lunch for December and for all of next year. For December there will be a Cookie Contest and Cookie Exchange. Anyone can enter, but participants will be representing their departments. Two dozen cookies need to be submitted per department. It can be a variety of cookies, or all the same. There will be a panel of three judges who will select the winning department, which will receive a prize. The remaining cookies, after judging, will be divided/exchanged among participants. Santa will also be in attendance.
Plans for next year are as follows: January -Wellness Committee; February - Ron Roth on Valentine’s Day; March - Michelle Fleig-Palmer; April - Earth Day; May - Wellness Committee on walking; June - significance of each fold of the flag; no meeting in July; August - tour of either the union or the Education Building; September - at MONA; October -winter safety; and November - gift wrapping. December will be decided after the committee sees the response to this year’s cookie contest/exchange.
Plans are to have the Cause for Applause promotion ready to start in January. Kucera has revised the brochures, which are now in black and white. Livingston asked if they had an affirmative action statement on them. Ellingson stated she would be sure they did.
Advance Connections will begin in February on the east campus for staff and faculty. Plans will be finalized at the January meeting.
- Office/Service Dependent Scholarship Committee
Mitchell stated they had a good response to their aluminum can drive with the residence halls. She stated students had a good time with the contest and did make a few suggestions for next time. A total of 360 pounds was collected. In dollars, that comes to $90. The winning team received a third of the money for their residence hall fund. The committee is talking about doing it again in the spring.
- Making A Difference Sub-committee
Ellingson reported that there were 126 people in attendance at the event. That is down a little from last year. However, it is not convenient having it in the Fine Arts Building. The committee is in hopes it can be held in the union next fall. There were 25 people that pre-registered but didn’t attend. The evaluations of the day were very good. Evaluations for the individual sessions were also good. Ellingson stated that overall, it was a very successful event. The committee will begin working in March on the October event.
- Mentoring Sub-committee
Ellingson reported that on November 8th, the Mentoring Committee hosted their first award ceremony. About 35 people attended. Ellingson stated she had hoped for more, but for a first time event, it was a good turnout. Everyone who attended seemed to really enjoy it. Ellingson noted she did bring pictures of the event for members to look at if they so choose. She also passed around a copy of the program. Ellingson stated that Bonnie Mumm was the mistress of ceremonies and did an excellent job. Lakey stated it was a very nice program. Livingston expressed thanks to everyone who worked on it. She encouraged members to take a look at the program and see who is responsible for the mentoring program. She noted she has had some nice comments, even from off campus individuals, about the program. She stated the individuals need to be commended for what they are doing with the program.
- Information Technology
Danube stated the last meeting was on November 5th. The two main items that were discussed were proposals by different academic areas for use of the fees collected and ideas for a new survey of student needs. Livingston stated the committee has to modify the survey questions each year since, for example, the survey may ask about a specific lab and the next year that lab might not be there. For instance, this year the Student Union does not have a lab because of the renovations. The survey is basically an assessment of the use of technology. Danube passed around the list of proposals.
- Strategic Planning
Livingston stated they continue to meet but there is nothing new to report. At the last meeting, they looked at the mission statement for the university and also the beginning draft of a revised strategic plan.
- Centennial Committee
Livingston commented that members might like to know that in 1903 this institution was established and the first classes where held in 1905. There is now a Centennial Committee of which she is a part. They are starting to plan celebrations to commemorate both of those dates. Currently they are in the dreaming stage and talking about all kinds of possible activities. If anyone has any ideas of what they would like to see done on campus to celebrate the event, please contact her. Two of the things they have talked about include a Centennial Scholarship and how to incorporate recruiting into the Centennial celebrations.
- University of Nebraska Provost Search
Livingston stated she is serving on the search committee for a new university provost. Dr. Lee Jones is retiring. Plans are to start the review of applications in December. Dr. Jim Roark and Dr. Wm. Wozniak are also on the committee from UNK.
- Chancellor Search
Livingston reported that Bonnie Mumm has been selected as one of the members of that search committee. Mumm, who was present, visited with members about that responsibility. She stated they haven’t met yet, but she intends to report the progress to Staff Senate. She asked that members give her some input as to what qualities they would like to see in a Chancellor since one of the first things they will do is establish a search criteria.
Mumm stated Kathy Smith is the chair of the committee. Mitchell stated she is glad Mumm is on the committee. Roggasch asked Livingston if Staff Senate was called for representation on the committee. Livingston said no, but she did send some names of Staff Senate members as suggestions. Consensus was that although members are very pleased Mumm is on the committee, they felt that there should have also been a member of Staff Senate selected since both Faculty Senate and Student Senate have members on the committee.
- Campus-Wide Marketing Committee
Roggasch stated she has volunteered to be on this committee which is being headed by Barbara Audley, who is the interim assistant vice chancellor of marketing. The first meeting is scheduling for December 5th.
- New Business
- NuFlex Enrollment
Lakey pointed out that the campus is in the process of the annual NuFlex enrollment. There are four meetings scheduled and he encouraged members to attend one. There are not a lot of changes, but the few changes are important ones. One of the big things is anyone who has life insurance coverage over $20,000 has to fill out a form which attests to whether they are a smoker or not. All rates up to $20,000 are the same. After that amount, there is a different rate for smokers and non-smokers. Lakey stated he has been asked how they are going to enforce that. Lakey stated that if there is a death, and it is linked to smoking, there could be denial of insurance payment. So you are putting your insurance at risk if you are not truthful. McMullen noted that if he read the information correctly, they will test your blood to be sure there are no traces of nicotine whether your death is related to smoking or not. The question was asked about increasing your insurance later. Lakey noted you always have to prove insurability.
December 7th is the deadline for making any changes, plus the life insurance smoker/non smoker form, which must be turned in to the Human Resource Office. Also any reimbursement account or child-care account has to be renewed every year and those would be due at the same time. If you sign up for a reimbursement account and/or childcare, your signature has to be notarized. There are notaries in HR and also others on campus and they are listed in the campus directory.
Lakey noted another change is there used to be more levels of life insurance. They have now consolidated some of those. For example if you had 60 to 70 thousand coverage, that will now become 75 thousand. Eighty or ninety thousand now will be 100 thousand. If coverage was 175 thousand, it will now become 200 thousand. Last year the Eye Med plan started and it was to be a two-year lock-in. However they wanted to get the dental and eye care on the same cycle so they have reopened the vision care so everyone has the opportunity to enroll this time. Lakey noted there is one vendor here in Kearney – Exact Eye Care at the mall.
- Emergency Preparedness
Livingston said she has received some concerns on campus about this. Lakey noted there has been a concern about our preparedness against bio-terrorism. Lakey noted we do probably need to have better plans in place. He reported that there is now a University-Wide Bio-terrorism Task Force, which has been appointed with representatives from each campus. We have three representatives from this campus – Cheryl Bressington, Ryan Samuelson, and Bill Wozniak. Ellingson noted that one of those has changed. Wayne Briner is taking the place of Bill Wozniak. The task force is composed of 31 members. They have already met once and have divided into sub-committees. On this campus, we are also forming a group. It will be co-chaired by Vice Chancellor Randy Haack and Vice Chancellor Denise Schlake.
Roggasch asked what had been decided about the minutes. Lakey noted they had received only two responses – one for the long version of the minutes and the other for shorter minutes. Roggasch stated she had received some comments about last month’s meeting. She noted she felt like employees need to see all the comments. Since we are supposed to be speaking on their behalf, they need to know whether or not we are doing that.
- Next meeting - December 18, 2001, Cedar Room
- Let’s Have Lunch – December 12, 2001, Cedar Room
The meeting was adjourned (Roggasch/Mitchell) at 11:15 a.m.