December 6, 2007 Minutes

1. Call to Order - A regular meeting of the Staff Senate of Missouri State University was called to order at Plaster Student Union, 311 at 1:30PM.

2. Roll Call

Present: Kelly Barnts, Chair, Casey Comoroski, Chair-Elect, Cathy McFall, Parliamentarian, Rebecca Woodard, Steven Lowery, Donald Clark, Debbie Branson, Dennis Perry, Emily McGee, Cindi Barnett, SuzAnn Ferguson, Dale Moore, Konya Knackstedt, Patrick Day, John Avery, Marian Green, William Hade, Ron Boaz

Absent: Dianna Thimesch, Secretary, Lenord McGownd, Roger Duclos, Patrick Byers, Norm Griffith, Sue McCrory, Sheila Morris

Guests: Jana Estergard, Christina Hicks

3. Approval of Minutes - The minutes of the open regular meeting held on November 1, 2007 were approved as printed.

4. Business

  • Officers Report - Kelly Barnts, Chair, provided the officers report and spoke on the tri-senate meeting and would be providing a report to the Board of Governors at the December meeting.
  • Guest Speakers - Jana Estergard and Christina Hicks from Equity and Diversity spoke on "In Their Shoes" training. It is three of four of the online training that everyone must have completed by January 11, 2008. It takes approximately 20 minutes to complete. This training helps to show MSU's commitment to non-discrimination.

5. New Business

  • Konya Knackstedt presented information regarding "Free Tuition" including a list of benchmark institutions showing a comparison with other universities. Current Missouri State University policy allows a fee waiver of 12 hours per academic year. A discussion was held to possibly amend the policy in the future. A Staff Senate committee will be formed to research ideas that possibly could further benefit university employees. A discussion with the Staff Senate Executive Committee will take place with Dr. Nietzel to gain more knowledge of past conversations on this subject.
  • Pat Day, Senator, brought several topics to the floor for discussion: Smoke free campus, tuition banking hours, more tuition hours, more personal days, four day work week, (Holiday and summer breaks), and free commuter parking for employees. Kelly Barnts, Chair, opened the floor for discussion. Senators present discussed options regarding summer operational hours and if Staff Senate could research and come up with a suggested plan for summer hours. Benchmarking similar institutions will be researched this topic will be presented to the President before proceeding.

6. Committee Reports

  • Work Life Committee - Dale Moore
    Dale reported that survey results were currently being analyzed and gathered that will be able to provide input and be a meaningful tool. It was reported that focus groups were being developed and to begin in January 2008. There were 681 responses to the survey - 37% is a great response rate.
  • Budget & Priorities Committee
    Casey Comoroski will be the Chair of the committee and will be soliciting membership. In addition, there was a discussion if the committee should be renamed to Issues and Concerns.
  • Parking Advisory Committee - Dale Moore, Co-Chair
    Reported on the Parking Advisory Committee and its charge - to look at parking issues and concerns on campus as well as the parking fee. There has been no increase in the parking fee over the past 3 years, looking at the possibility of freshman not being permitted to have a vehicle on campus in first year, etc.

7. Staff Senate Goals for 2007-08

Staff Senators discussed numerous goals. Some of the discussions included a smoke free campus, tuition fee waivers and banked hours, more tuition hours, more personal days, sick leave bank, summer hours, parking for commuters, meal plans for faculty and staff at a discounted rate, shuttle service between Mt. Grove and West Plains campuses.

8. Next Meeting - The next regular meeting will begin at 1:30 on January 10, 2008 in Plaster Student Union, Room 308.

The next Staff Senate meeting will include revisions of the committee list updating to current Senate membership. In addition, Senate openings will be determined based upon previous applications submitted last March 2007. It was also suggested that the Staff Senate website be updated and photos be made current.

9. Adjournment- Meeting was adjourned at 2:40PM

Submitted by Casey Comoroski