Staff Senate Minutes - April 18, 2000
Employee of the Month: Tim Roeder, Payroll Manager, Human Resources.
Present: Dave Bargen, Dennis Choplin, Tim Danube, Dee Ellingson, Terry Gibbs, Carol Hines, Deb Hurtya, Dannien Jones, John Lakey, Kathy Livingston, Tim McMullen, Bonnie Mumm, and Ron Roth.
- Call to Order
- Amended Agenda Adopted. Gibbs (Bargen).
- Minutes and Correspondence
- Minutes of the March 21, 2000 meeting were approved as printed.
- Unfinished Business
- Cox Request to U-Wide Benefits Committee
Mumm noted she had sent a letter to the U-Wide Benefits Committee members concerning the request made by Connie Cox about sick leave for family emergencies. In the letter, she mentioned that last year at this time, members of the U-Wide Benefits Committee asked for a benefits wish list. She noted in the letter that at the last meeting Staff Senate discussed an issue brought to them by a staff member. "Staff Senate decided to endorse the suggestion and ask that you take this to the benefits wish list meeting for discussion. The issue involves the sick leave policy. Current policy states that up to five days of sick leave may be used when illness or injury to a member of an immediate family demands the employee's presence. We would like to have you discuss the possibility of changing the sick leave policy so that in the event of a life-threatening tragedy of an immediate family member an employee may use accrued sick leave to attend to the family member rather than being limited to the five days presently allowed." She cited the example of Connie Cox with her son and urged the committee to review restrictions on the sick leave policy to account for tragedies of this magnitude.
- U-Wide Benefits Appointment
(Note: Livingston was suggested at the last meeting, but it was determined that she was not eligible for appointment) It was suggested that the individual be selected from the list of people nominated for Staff Senate elections who had agreed to serve if elected. The Executive Committee met and decided to forward two names for consideration - Charles McGraw and Joyce Miller. They were contacted and are willing to serve if appointed.
- Mentoring Conference
Ellingson reported that she enjoyed the conference even though it was geared more for faculty mentoring of new faculty and graduate students. She attended two sessions in the morning. The first was by a representative from the Gallup Organization whose topic was "Women and Mentoring". Some of her suggestions were 1) mentoring should be voluntary 2) you need to choose the right person to be your mentor - someone that can be of help to you in your field and someone whose personality would get along with yours 3) the mentor needs to have personal experience and skills that can help you broaden yours 4) mentoring is considered an investment for both individuals 5) a basic talent needs to be there to develop 6) you need benchmarks to measure progress - the best way is to keep a journal 7) you also need to think of this as broadening your talents - not for the purpose of climbing the ladder since in some jobs, there is no ladder to climb.
After lunch there was a panel discussion on mentoring and then the main speaker for the day, Dr. Howard Adams. His topic was "Developing A Mentoring Program-A Personal Mentoring Plan". He started out telling us why having a mentor is important: 1) a mentor can get you to where you want to go faster 2) a mentor can get you farther than you can get on your won 3) a mentor can get you there with fewer problems. He noted both parties have to be 100% committed to the mentor/protege relationship. He said if a person needs assistance and asks for help and the mentor is too busy, it will not work. Since most mentors are very busy people, you have to establish when to meet on a regular basis. You also need to make a list of things to discuss, keep a log, identify and chart the areas that need improvement, establish goals, set up the actions, and share your successes. His main theme was "mentoring is developing people".
The question was raised as to how many people in attendance were non-faculty. Ellingson noted she didn't know, but could provide that information since participants were given a list of all attendees and their affiliation with the University. She indicated there were about 120 attendees. Of those, there were 18 registered from UNK. She noted the classification of those registered from UNK included: three graduate students, five directors, one co-ordinator, three secretaries, five faculty, and one graduate teaching assistant.
- Childcare Update
Lakey noted that at the last meeting they were still working with the YMCA trying to get childcare on campus this fall. The proposal that YMCA made was using the childcare development lab, but it will accommodate only about 35 children. It was quickly discovered that to be competitive with other daycare centers in Kearney, they would need an 80 to 100 thousand dollar subsidy to run the center. With the funding available, that is not an option - so it is back to the drawing board. They need to find a way to implement childcare in such a way as to come close to breaking even. Studies indicate that would take about 100 children. So this means there will be no childcare at UNK this fall. The task force is now working on a long-term goal of possibly construction of a childcare building on campus. But they need to do it in a way that would not require a lot of funding with state funds. They are looking at funding through grants, but need time to develop the grant possibilities. There might also be the possibility of partnering with private businesses in town. Also if they could get involved with the education side of childcare, whereby they would not just house children but do it as a family center, that might allow for some funding in that area. These are just options they will be exploring. Hines indicated when they first started they were trying to set this up along the lines the Chancellor had indicated, but when that didn't work they had to backup and start over. So it has taken a lot of time. Lakey indicated that when they did the needs survey there were about 150 children of students, faculty and staff who fall within the age group who need childcare. The problem is meeting the needs and still staying within the limited resources.
- OSAC Proposal
Mumm noted that OSAC had been asked by Randy Haack to try and find an arrangement whereby they could be incorporated into Staff Senate. The Staff Senate Executive Committee has been working with OSAC Executive Committee to determine if that is possible and if so what is the best way of doing that. Members were given a copy of the proposal drafted by OSAC which was gone over at the joint Executive Committee Meeting. A lot of the items requested are already provided for within the current Staff Senate bylaws. In the proposal, it mentions they have provided communication opportunities with others on campus. Mumm stated she felt this could still be done by expanding our committees to include more people. We could also provide leadership roles on campus and on committees.
- Staff Development Day (Making a Difference)
To insure the continued success of this program, OSAC requests that a sub-committee be developed under the Professional Development Committee of Staff Senate. The Executive Committee members didn't feel that would be a problem since our bylaws provide for adding sub-committees or ad hoc committees and draw in other people from the campus. OSAC had also included the Public Sector Task Force. Mumm explained that through Randy Haack's office and other divisions on campus they are trying to work with groups within the city which includes the City of Kearney, Buffalo County, and the Educational Service Unit #`10. They were invited to the last "Making A Difference" and were impressed and would like to participate both monetarily and through attendance.
- Office/Service Dependent Scholarship
OSAC has asked that a committee be established to oversee the scholarship. They would like the committee to be comprised of only office and service employees. Since OSAC has already started the scholarship and it is beneficial, that shouldn't be a problem. Livingston noted we would have to change the bylaws to accommodate the request since the bylaws state that any committee must include Staff Senate members from each category. In addition, the bylaws state a Staff Senate member must chair any ad hoc committee. Bargen asked what their reasoning was for the specification of just office and service employees on the committee. Mumm stated the scholarship was developed by office and service employees and is for office and/or service dependents, so they wanted to continue control of it. Gibbs asked if the purpose of the committee would be to evaluate the applications for the scholarship. Mumm said that is only one of the things. He noted if you limit the scholarship to only dependents of office and service personnel, what difference does it make who does the evaluation or administration? Lakey noted that OSAC does not select the recipients; the university's scholarship committee does that. OSAC does the fund raising, oversees the endowed fund, and determines the number of scholarships awarded and the dollar amount. They also help with the Foundation Annual Drive and can be a source for representation for the Financial Aid Selection Committee. Lakey noted OSAC feels a sense of ownership and wants to be sure it remains for only office and service dependents. So they felt it should remain under the control of office and service employees. Gibbs stated then it is not so much the awarding of the scholarships, but the control of the funds. Livingston noted she had not thought about this when the Executive Committees met, but you could liken this to what Staff Senate did concerning the Professional Conduct Committee. She noted that the directors and managerial/professional are the only ones eligible to be on the committee, but office/service representatives are included in the vote on who sits on the committee. Livingston felt we should be consistent and she didn't care which way we do it. If it is decided to restrict membership on this committee than we need to restrict who votes on representation on the Professional Conduct Committee. Lakey noted they have built up the scholarship fund to where it has about $9,000. Gibbs noted he personally would prefer that everyone decide about committee representation. There is valuable input that can be gained from having all categories represented or voting. Bargen noted that when you combine groups, it is hard not to say this is ours, but if you do that, you are still divided. There may need to be some compromise. Lakey noted he thought they were concerned that it might get changed and used as scholarships for all categories and since it was established for office/service OSAC wanted it to remain that way. Gibbs said he didn't have a problem with that, and that should be covered in the writing of the scholarship, rather than in the administration of the scholarship. A brief discussion/clarification followed. Mumm noted these are all things members need to think about and come back next month and look at the issue again.
- Employee Appreciation/Morale Boosting
Items mentioned were the July 1 Celebration and appreciation receptions.
Mumm stated this is not a problem; it can be handled by the Employee Recognition Committee.
- Separate Divisions for Representation
OSAC is proposing that it be divided into four categories: directors, managerial/professional, office, and service. Presently there are only three categories with office and service together in one category. Also if changed to only three representatives in each category, instead of four, it would be easier to do the elections with a three-year rotation. Each year you would elect one person per category to rotate in and out of each group. Livingston, chair of the election committee, noted she has been thinking about the best way to do this. She suggested that the people who are already on, serve until their term is up, whether they are office or service. Concerning the election of the other representatives, the one with the most votes would serve the longest term until the phase-in process is completed. This is the year that managerial/professional should elect two, but we would have them elect only one instead. The director level is where there is a problem. There were two people just elected last October. One option would be not to elect anyone this year but Livingston stated that bothered her since she feels you need to keep that process before people every year. The other option would be to keep four on until such time as their terms are up and they would go off - that could be up to three years to complete. Livingston noted since people have been elected to serve a certain term, they should be allowed to finish that term. Livingston suggested everyone be thinking about how we want to do this, if we go to just three representatives in each category.
- Improvement of Committee Structure
Mumm noted this is just a matter of incorporating more people on our committees, which we have already talked about.
- Communication Improvement
OSAC is suggesting that minutes be sent out prior to the next meeting. The reasoning is that by the time Staff Senate approves the minutes and they are sent out, they are too old. They suggest that the Executive Committee reviews and approves them and then have them sent out. Bargen noted if it is possible to do that, that would be great. Another suggestion was to send the minutes to all members and give them a date in which to respond with any changes and then send them out to the campus. The question was raised as to how Faculty Senate does theirs. Ellingson said she thought they came out before the next meeting, but she would call and find out what their policy is.
Mumm again stressed to members that they need to be thinking about these issues. Decisions need to be made, so this will be on May's agenda.
- Committee and Search Reports
- Employee Recognition
Bargen passed out the application information for the "Staff Award for Excellence". This staff award mirrors the "Pratt Heins Awards" for faculty. At one time, there was an award for staff. After the Pratt Heins Staff Award was discontinued, Staff Senate had been trying to get an award established. Last year the Chancellor decided to fund an award and asked Staff Senate to handle the administration of the award. It is a $1,000 award for outstanding service to students, professional organizations, etc. and in the role the individual serves on campus. Since the award is from state funds, the $1,000 has to be used for university travel, equipment, etc.
Bargen went over the eligibility requirements for nominations. Deadline for nominations is June 30th. Bargen noted he had sent the notice out twice on e-mail and so far has only one nomination. When reviewing the areas in which employees must work for a minimum of two years, it was noticed that "divisions under the Chancellor's direction" had been omitted. Bargen noted he would get that corrected and send out an amended procedures and criteria for the award. It will be awarded at the opening convocation in the fall. Mumm challenged members to nominate someone and also encourage others to nominate someone.
- Professional Development
Ellingson noted the committee did meet. The goals established were: 1) Establish a New Employee Orientation/Assistance Program 2) Establish a Mentoring Program 3) Promote Get-to-Know each other employee events. Also if OSAC and Staff Senate become one unit, a sub committee would need to be established to oversee "Making A Difference". Depending on the direction of the mentoring program, the need may arise for a sub-committee there also. The need to broaden the committee was discussed and Cheryl Bressington and Brenda Jochum have already agreed to join the group, along with Bonnie Mumm. Concerning the get-to-gethers, Ellingson suggested that once a month, there be a sack lunch for staff to come and get acquainted. When lunch is over, attendees will be asked if they have any concerns or questions. Since the committee was slow getting organized there will be a second meeting this month. Ellingson will serve as chair.
- Strategic Planning
Livingston noted they met for the last time for this academic year. Most of the discussion was about the upcoming North Central Accreditation. Every ten years the university has to go through a very detailed process to maintain our accreditation. There is increased emphasis on assessment. It will be quantitative as well as qualitative.
- Search Committees
- Associate Vice Chancellor for Information Technology
Mumm reported they are bringing in three individuals for on-campus interviews within the next two weeks.
- Dean - Natural and Social Sciences
John Falconer reported the committee has been meeting since the end of March and the chair, Galen Hadley, asked them to move quickly. There are 24 applicants. The committee identified five of those for telephone interviews and they had two of those withdraw. Two more were added and then the phone interviews were completed. Three candidates have been invited to campus. Those candidates and dates have not been released yet, but they are trying to move quickly since the season for hiring deans is coming to an end.
- Vice Chancellor of Student Life
Bargen reported they have just gotten started. There are 33 applicants. The process will be two-fold. The current committee will do the screening process and get the list down to ten and then down to three. The Chancellor will then select a new committee to do interviews. Betty Becker-Theye is the chair of this committee. Besides Bargen, committee members are Ryan Samuelson, Roger Jones, Jim Roark, Larry Kuskie, Annebelle Zikmund, Bill Davis, Kim Schipporeit, Ben Homan, and Ron Crocker.
- New Business
- Mumm read a thank-you letter from Jim Gilbert, chair of the Criminal Justice Department, for being the first to receive the "Outstanding Department Award" from Staff Senate.
- The next meeting will be May 16, 2000, 10:30 a.m., Art Gallery, Student Union.
The meeting was adjourned at 11:35 a.m. Livingston (Hines).