Staff Senate Minutes - August 16, 2000
Employee of the Month: Dorothy Nutter, Office of Graduate Studies & Research.
Directors -- Huryta, Livingston
Managerial/Professional -- Bargen, Danube, McMullen, Mumm
Office/Service -- Choplin, Ellingson, Hines, Jones
Ex Officio -- Lakey
Director -- Roth
- Call to Order
- Agenda Adopted. Hines (Bargen).
- Minutes and Correspondence
- Minutes of the July 18, 2000 meeting were approved as printed.
- The secretary read the letter of resignation from Terry Gibbs.
- A sympathy card was signed by members and will be sent to Scott Sands whose wife's funeral was earlier in the week.
- Unfinished Business
- Committee and Search Reports
- Employee Recognition
Bargen reported that at the convocation Friday the two winners of the Staff for Excellence Award (SAFE) would be announced. He noted there had been plenty of qualified applicants. The Department of the Month award for August was the Chemistry Department because of their work on the camp they put on each summer. They have done this for three years. A certificate will also be presented to Vani Kotcherlakota for her work on Indian Express, a multi-cultural event that was held at the Alumni House. Mumm noted that the department award is not an application process so if anyone has a suggestion be sure and mention it to the committee.
- Professional Development
Members were given a packet of information on the mentoring program. Ellingson briefly explained the handouts, starting with the progress report. She noted they were very close to having it all pulled together and they are hoping to do a training workshop for the mentors in late September or early October. She noted the first thing new employees will receive is a letter concerning the mentoring program with a questionnaire attached which they are asked to fill out. Mentors will also receive a questionnaire to fill out. These will be used to match the mentors and protégés. Human Resources will be the one giving the letter/questionnaire to the new employee. When they are returned, the coordinators will match the employee with a mentor. Mentors will be provided with a guidelines manual. Just a few of the items included in the manual are the purpose of the program, the role of the mentor, benefits of the program, recommendations, check-off sheets which tell them what they are supposed to do and what forms they need to complete and return. Also included is a report card, which is to be completed by both the mentor and the protégé. The mentor will use it as a self-evaluation and the new employee will grade the mentor and then those will be compared. If for some reason we have a mentor who is just not working out, we would not ask them to continue as a mentor. We want to be sure this is a positive and effective program. This is the process we will use to evaluate the program. A letter will be sent to the supervisor of both the mentor and the new employee when the mentoring begins. The letter will inform the supervisors that the two individuals have been matched together and will be meeting off and on during the next six months and will need a little time away from the office. Also in the letter supervisors will be given the name of an individual to contact should they have any questions about the mentoring program. Ellingson asked whose name and phone number should be provided - the president of Staff Senate or the chair of Professional Development Committee, which oversees the program? It was decided to have the chair's name provided in the letter. Currently that would be Ellingson's name and number. Ellingson noted all the documents she has presented so far are the committee's final draft. The only document that is still being revised is the resource guide, which she then presented. Both the mentor and the new employee will be given this. Then if the new employee calls the mentor and says she can't find some information, the mentor also has a copy to use for reference. She noted there is a lot of basic information included in the guide. Ellingson noted there are 15 employees on the committee, most of whom are office personnel. So Ellingson asked the upper level staff to examine the resource guide closely to be sure any basic information upper level staff would need has not been overlooked. Ellingson also asked that if any members of Staff Senate are willing to be mentors that they fill out the questionnaire and return it. Ellingson noted a couple of other things they are working on. One is a background she is preparing since membership on Staff Senate changes and there needs to be documentation about how it all began, the goals, Staff Senate's role, responsibilities of the coordinators and committee, Human Resource's role, and who the original committee members were. Also planned is a workshop for the mentors that would be mandatory. The workshop would take one and a half-hours or two hours. Ellingson told members about the outline for the workshop and who the presenters would be. The mentors would at another time, be given a tour of the campus. The mentors in turn would give the same tour to their protégés. Livingston asked who would be talking to the mentors at the workshop. Ellingson went over the list of people who are on the committee who would be explaining the process and the documents. A question was raised about the person assigned to do the web presentation who was not a committee member. It was suggested this should the web master or someone from Information Technology Services. Another concern was the amount of time needed for the workshop. Livingston didn't feel directors would be willing to commit to two hours even though they would be willing to be mentors. Ellingson's concern was if they were not willing to give two hours to the workshop, would they be willing to give the time to be a mentor. Ellingson stated she felt they should video tape the workshop, then when new mentors come on board, they could be given the video to watch. Bargen asked if this was designed to match the mentors and protégés and introduce them. Ellingson said no and noted the coordinators would use the questionnaires to match people. They will try and match people with similar knowledge and needs, plus try to match outside interests. She noted we want the individuals to have something in common besides their placement at UNK. This is in hopes it will become a lasting relationship. We will rely heavily on the answers on the questionnaires. Coordinators will contact the new employees the first week and ask how things are going. If for some reason, the mentor has not contacted them, that is a red flag and we know we have a problem. Or if they have met, and the new employee is not happy with the match, that is another flag. So we should know early on that we have made a match that is not working, and we can reassign someone. The coordinators will also contact the new hire at the end of one month.
Ellingson was asked when the workshop was scheduled. She stated it had not been set yet. They wanted to be sure they had everything ready before proceeding. The committee was hoping to be ready the later part of September or the first part of October. Ellingson was also asked how many mentors they would have. She said as many as they could get, but she did say there probably would not be an over abundance. She noted we need at least several (hopefully more) from each employee category. We have quite a few people already - almost everyone on the committee, plus they were hoping other members of Staff Senate would sign up as well. She asked everyone present to consider being one and to fill out the sample questionnaire and turn it in. She noted they are short facility personnel and also upper level staff mentors.
Ellingson noted she needed some input from Senate members. There were a lot of new employees hired during the summer before this program was ready. She asked if we should backtrack and send a letter to those individuals informing them this program started after they were hired and ask if they need assistance and would like to be matched with a mentor. Members agreed they should be given the option. Hines stated the committee has done a great job of covering all the bases - for example - even notifying the bosses of the mentors and protégés to make them aware the individuals might be gone from the office once in awhile.
Lakey stated he would like to commend Ellingson and Brenda Jochum for all the work they have done. He knows they have spent a lot of hours on this and it is a very important program. He expressed his appreciation. Ellingson asked Lakey if UNK would be the first campus with a mentor program for staff? Lakey noted he was not sure, but would do some checking.
McMullen asked if there was anything in the packet Ellingson had given out concerning getting computer resources established before the new employee starts. Ellingson noted it is in the information, but the problem is Human Resources does not always know about the hiring until as little as the day before they are to begin. However it is one of the first things noted that needs to be established. New hires are being encouraged to return all the forms and the questionnaire prior to their first day of work. Lakey is in hopes this will be an incentive for department heads to get things done more quickly. McMullen stated that if everyone is filling out and turning in his or her forms about the same time, there is no way he can get everyone going in 24 hours. Ellingson noted that Lakey has agreed to do some before the scene work for the committee emphasizing to department chairs that this program is coming. Lakey noted he and Jochum would be attending various staff meetings to get the word out. Ellingson noted she and Jochum would be willing to talk to anyone about the program. She stated they had put a lot of time and effort into the program, but it doesn't mean a thing if it doesn't go. She noted they are wanting to make sure it is promoted and to make sure it is an effective program.
Ellingson asked everyone to go over the information and if they had any more questions or suggestions to be sure and contact her. Bargen asked if there was mention of the dual career program in the packet. Lakey noted they are usually contacted prior to their employment. Ellingson noted they could be sure the contact person is listed in the resource guide. Livingston asked about having the organization chart included. Ellingson noted that it had been included in the earlier version and thought it was just an oversight when the copies were made. She noted she would be sure that was included. Livingston noted it would also be nice if it listed the name of the individual in that position. She realized that would mean always keeping it updated, but it would be real helpful. Lakey noted there will be a lot of other things that have to be updated, so that could be done. Lakey suggested a campus map be included also. Ellingson noted today's copy of the resource guide has not been revised and she would get Staff Senate members a revised copy when it was ready. Mumm noted it would also be helpful to put the source of the information just it case it might not be the most recent. Then you would know whom to contact to be sure. Livingston asked if this would be online. Ellingson said hopefully, but not right away. Lakey mentioned the campus map on the home page and stated you can click on a specific area and it will tell you about the departments in that building. However he knows not all departments are listed. He wondered if there were plans to update this. McMullen said not that he is aware. Lakey noted that campus tours have been talked about over the years, but they have been so time consuming. It would be nice if we could find ways to do this online. Lakey noted the current map online was designed for student information.
Ellingson informed members that as soon as the Mentor Advantage Program is up and running, that the committee would do such things as a workshop on how to write a letter of reference and also try and get the Career Connections Program going again. She noted that the committee has been too busy with the mentoring program and also Making A Difference to tackle any other projects, but they have not been forgotten. Mumm noted that Ellingson and Jochum have really taken on this project and gone like gangbusters! She expressed appreciation for all the two had done to get this going.
- Making A Difference
Mumm mentioned that everyone should have received an announcement of the event in campus mail. That was the initial teaser. The event will be October 17th, which is during fall break. The format is a little different this year. It will be a half-day, instead of a whole day. Part of the reason for that is the location. We had difficulty finding a place to have lunch due to the renovations at the Nebraskan. Mumm handed out a tentative schedule for the day. "Handling Emergencies in the Workplace" would be a panel discussion with individuals from the medical field and public safety. The main speaker will be Shirley Luth. She will also do a session, "Keeping a Positive Attitude Even on a Bad Hair Day". Her keynote topic is "On Love and Laughter and Happily Ever After". Two of the breakout sessions during the morning will include "Understanding Personalities" and "Workplace Emotions". This is in coordination with the Public Sector. Ellingson noted she was just told about one change. Max McFarland and his wife, Theresa, had been asked to do a session, but they will not be available. Some options will be to get a different UNK speaker or do a workshop on investment and finance. Lakey noted he had a possible speaker. Mumm stated that the other thing with this event is that it used to be the project of OSAC. Now it will be part of this committee of Staff Senate. Since Jochum has been involved for so long, she has continued taking charge as a member of the sub-committee and she does a fantastic job. However we do need help, so we would like everyone who will be on campus during the event to help out in some way. We need session hosts who would introduce the speakers and make sure they have everything they need and encourage participants to complete the evaluations. Also needed are room preparers who would put the blank evaluations on the tables and then collect them and take them to the registration table. Individuals are needed to make four boxes in which the evaluations will be deposited. Assistance is also needed drawing names for the door prizes and setting them up, plus sitting at the door prize table. The final job is assisting with the refreshment table. Mumm noted she would really like everyone to sign up to assist somehow. Ellingson stated they are still in need of someone to take charge of organizing getting door prizes. We have people who have volunteered to help, but not someone to chair and organize. One of the helpers is the individual who was the coordinator last year. Ellingson mentioned that she and Mumm will be out-of-town the day of the event so they will do the public relations work prior to the event. Lakey noted that Jochum could also be gone if her baby should come early so it is important that we make a special effort to make this a success and be involved. Livingston asked if someone from the Public Sector would be willing to chair the door prize committee. Ellingson stated no one from that sector has offered to chair it, but she could ask again. They have been assisting in other areas - like getting speakers, etc. Ellingson noted they are also supplying most of the money for the event. Mumm mentioned that if you have been to them in the past you know that they are a very positive experience for all the staff. She noted she would appreciate everyone's support.
- Career Connections
Lakey mentioned that Career Connections is a customer service-training program. It was very well received, but when SAP came into play it stopped. The program relied on volunteers for training. He noted we would be working on getting it going again so if you were involved in the program earlier and would like to be trainer, please let us know. Normally it is presented twice a semester with about 15 individuals enrolled each time. It is something that is needed on this campus to ensure that we are projecting a positive image for the campus when dealing with students, parents, or fellow employees.
- Search Committees
- VC of Student Life
Bargen noted there is no news and no report. Livingston asked if they have announced if there will be an interim again. Bargen stated they are operating under the assumption that there will be.
- Affirmative Action
Lakey stated the Chancellor has selected Michelle Roggasch as the director. Previously she had been the interim director.
- New Business
Mumm stated we need to talk about elections. They will be coming up in September. She handed out the revised bylaws. Mumm mentioned the individuals who's terms are up. They include Dennis Choplin, Dee Ellingson, Dave Bargen, Deb Hurtya, and Bonnie Mumm. Due to the merger of Staff Senate and OSAC, the membership composition will change this year. There will need to be elected one director, one managerial/professional, two office, and two service to give each category a total of three members. In order to get in the proper rotation, this year will be a transition year for office and service. One newly elected individual for office and service will be elected to a one-year term and the other individual will be elected to a three-year term. The ones with the most votes will serve the three-year term. Lakey noted he did need to clarify who is considered office and who is considered service. There is a code for Human Resource purposes which breaks them down into four categories. They are: service maintenance, which includes the custodial and grounds employees; skilled craft, which include carpenters, plumbers, etc.; technical/professional who are the nine individuals that are computer operators; and secretarial/clerical. Last September there were 224 people who were full time office/service employees. Of those, 114 are clerical. They are the ones that truly fit the category of office employees. The other three categories - service maintenance, skilled craft, and technical/professional-are the service employees. The ballots/nominations will be split that way. Lakey just wanted to explain that so that everyone understands who would be considered as service and who as office employees for title categories. This is also a very even split as far as numbers. McMullen noted this will be first time we will try the new election system of only nominating one person, which can include yourself, and will also include more notification via e-mail.
Mumm noted she was pleased that the Chancellor had selected some Kudos recipients for August who are John Lakey, Kim Schipporeit, and Lois Flagstad. Wilma Heinowski has been selected thus far to receive a Kudos in September.
- Chancellor's Retreat
Mumm stated that she and Livingston were invited to attend and represent Staff Senate. She noted that the chair of Faculty Senate and the chair and vice-chair of Student Senate were also in attendance. Mumm stated they met at the Alumni House on August 3rd and 4th. The interesting discussion centered around four agenda items - UNK Diversity Situation and Strategy, UNK Financial Aid Strategy, Residential University and how we are promoting that and Academic Evaluation and Prioritization. On the diversity situation, they brought in a young man, Ed Garnes from DePaul University in Greens Castle, IN. He is a young African-American administrator who is an affective bridge between administration and students. During his undergraduate years, he successfully implemented most of the programs listed on the black students' agenda at UNK. He tried to get some ideas about what we need to do on the Kearney campus to develop a diversity program. Mumm noted he was a dynamic speaker and provided a lot of information about what he had done as an undergraduate and graduate student. As a result, suggestions for UNK included an ethnic studies program, revision of the hiring guidelines, workshops for administrators, faculty workshops, working with the Chamber of Commerce and the business committee on highlighting diversity activities, getting student government involved, using minority students and faculty to recruit, and providing mentoring for minority students. They did try and set up timelines, most of which were immediate. Dr. Harrold, dean of NSS, and Dr. Ken Nikels, dean of Graduate Studies and Research, will co-chair a committee that will oversee the development of the diversity activities.
Mumm noted that we are doing better with recruiting women and minority faculty, but we are not where we should be. Livingston noted we have made real progress with that. She mentioned that there was a certain progress we had to meet in order to not lose funding from the Unicameral. UNK has met their goal for faculty hiring, but the university system as a whole did not. Livingston noted this fall we not only had trouble recruiting minorities, but we also lost some we already had. Due to this situation, there was a discussion at the retreat as to how to recruit minorities and how to promote Kearney. Another hot topic was developing an ethnic studies program to make students aware of ethnicity and the problems and concerns of other cultures. Livingston noted this would probably be similar to the Women's Studies minor. It probably would be a cross discipline type activity. She noted they don't know for sure what direction that will go.
John Oseth talked about the financial aid structure. They have developed some criteria and some guidelines. For example the athletic department would know when they have a student coming in with a 26 ACT, what he would receive from the university. Then the department could add onto that with scholarship funds of their own. This was positively received. Livingston noted it is a centralized way of controlling. What has happened in the past was the honors program didn't know what the athletic program was awarding, etc. This is a way of bringing things all under one umbrella so that it is a coordinated offering to the student. This way we are not offering more than we should to one student and perhaps we can offer some to students that we otherwise hadn't. Mumm noted by using the new formula, ultimately the proposed approach would extend financial aid to more students and would free about $137,000 in tuition waivers for new allocations. Livingston stated this has been discussed on campus for some time. They also talked about the residential university. Last year at the retreat, they developed the logo - the premier undergraduate residential university. They discussed what that means and how does that make us stand out. Ryan Samuelson, on behalf of Student Senate, talked about things that could be done. Kearney used to be known as the suitcase school - everybody would leave on the weekends. The students noted if there is nothing to do here on the weekends, they will go home. It used to be that things were not planned for the weekends because no one was here. So they are going to try to have a push to have some activities so students don't leave campus. The athletic department is willing to develop clubs - like hockey, rugby, bowling. They talked about a freshman level course, similar to the Foundation's course, where every student would take this course which would encourage participation in university events and encourage students to get to know the clubs and the groups. It would be a get-to-know the university course. They also talked about the cohort effort. The College of Business and the College of Education tried to get cohorts together to live in Ludden Hall and they were supposed to take two courses together. That didn't happen this fall. That push will be made again for this recruiting class for the fall 2001. Where students would live together and take courses together, they are in hopes they will get to know each other better and that connection would help them. Livingston thought the College of Education is doing a pilot program also where they are not living together, but are taking two courses together. As the two colleges are trying this out, they are hoping to expand on this in the future. They have had positive response from other colleges. This way students would get to know more people in their classes and their field of study.
The last part had to do with academic evaluation and prioritization. Earlier President Smith had given a charge to the campuses to come up with an evaluation and prioritization procedure. A committee has been meeting and they have setup the basic guidelines that all the university will adhere to. The charge of the commission was to develop criteria by which academic programs of the University of Nebraska will be evaluated and prioritized. The criteria developed should address attributes of the academic program such as quality, importance to the overall mission, centrality to the core admission of the appropriate campus, faculty productivity, physical considerations and the need or demand for the program. This program will be the academic side and the Burns Commission will be addressing the business side. This committee has now come up with nine criteria by which we are going to evaluate the programs. Now it is coming back to the campuses to determine how each campus is going to assess these criteria. At UNK this will go through the Strategic Planning Committee. During this next academic year the process needs to be set up by which we would decide what a program is, set up what the process is going to be, and set up how things can be quantifiably measured as well as quality. There is a timeline for each portion of the process and by the end of the year, we can say this is how UNK is going to go about this process. It was left up to each university within the Nebraska system to setup their own process even though each university has the same criteria. The idea then is to be able to identify outstanding programs and maybe put more money into those programs. By the same token, you may identify programs that are weaker, but need funding to bring them up. Also programs could be identified that are no longer needed. Just because a program has high enrollment doesn't mean you are at the top. There are other criteria - for example the value to the university, etc. They have asked for a representative from Staff Senate to sit on this large committee. So if any one is interested let Mumm know. Mumm concluded that it was an interesting retreat. Although there were not a lot of specific things for staff, it involves us all.
The next meeting will be September 19, 2000, at 10:30 a.m. in the Art Gallery of the Nebraskan. The October meeting will be moved to the 24th due to Making A Difference being on the normal meeting date.
The meeting was adjourned at 11:55 a.m. Bargen (Hines).