February 7, 2008 Minutes

1. Call to Order

2. Roll Call

Present: Kelly Barnts, Casey Comoroski, Lenord McGownd, Cathy McFall, Cindi Barnett, Ron Boaz, Debbie Branson, Donald Clark, Patrick Day, Roger Dulcos, Marian Green, Norm Griffith, Konya Knackstedt, Steve Lowery, Emily McGee, Dale Moore, Sheila Morris, Rebecca Woodard

Absent: John Avery, Patrick Byers, SuzAnn Ferguson, Sue McCrory, Dennis Perry, Orlando Hodges

Guests: Lisa McEowen, Ann Fuhrman, Rob Viau, Ben Boslaugh

3. Announcements

  • Kelly announced that there will be a joint session of the Faculty and Staff Senates on April 22, 2008 at 3:30PM in Glass 101. Dr. Nietzel will be at this meeting and he will present the FY09 budget. All senators should attend this meeting and anyone else is invited to attend. Kelly made a statement that early projections about a salary increase for FY09 looked good.
  • Kelly also announced that Dr. Nietzel has sent a memo to all Department Heads, Directors and Deans encouraging participation in the Staff Senate. This memo should enhance the Senate’s standing in the Missouri State Community.
  • Kelly said that the officers of the Senate recently had a very productive meeting with Dr. Nietzel. Some of the topics discussed were:
    --Summer work hours --Creating a Sick leave bank
    --A smoke-free campus --Shuttle service to Mtn. Grove and West Plains
    --Reduced fee or free parking --Creating an employee of the month award
    --Increasing the number of personal days --Creating a MSU Recognition Day each month
  • It was reported that Dr. Nietzel indicated that some of these topics were viable and others were not. Topics that were not viable were: reduced or free parking and shuttle service to the other campuses. Topics to be considered are: a change in the summer work schedule, increasing personal days from 1 to 2, and the possibility of creating a sick leave bank. Kelly indicated that they expressed a concerns about the manner in which the University Service Awards had been issued, but pointed out that Greg Burris, VP of Administrative and Informational Services would be attending the March meeting of the Staff Senate to address that issue and have an open discussion about the concerns from the staff on campus.
  • Kelly pointed out that everyone should have received the recent self-study report given by Dr. Bruce Johnson to the Board of Governors regarding the Athletic Department at Missouri State.

4. Approval of Minutes - Kelly asked for the minutes to be approved and Pat Day made a motion to approve the minutes. It was seconded, by someone I didn’t see, and they were approved.

5. Committee Reports

  • Tuition Committee: Konya Knackstedt, Chair reported that her committee had met. After the committee’s meeting it was discovered that the University’s Work Life Committee was examining the benefit all employees receive of free tuition for 12 credit hours per year. Konya expressed a concern that this committee may be stepping on the toes of the Work Life committee and in some cases duplicating effort. She expressed a concern of sending a confusing message to the Administrative Council or whoever would be dealing with this issue. Dale Moore, Chair of the University’s Work Life committee, stated that he did not feel it would confuse the issue, but would be considered a separate report supporting the outcome. He was in favor of the committee assisting as needed with this process and welcomed the assistance. It was determined that this committee would assist the Work Life committee as needed, but who not necessary meet again.
  • Work Life Committee: Dale Moore, Chair reported that his committee was coming closer to being able to have focus groups as a following up of the survey conducted last year from all employees of the University. He indicated that a sub-committee had been formed and examined the questions to be used during the focus group. The sub-committee was very pleased with the question and they are prepared to start forming the focus groups during this month. Dale indicated that 22 focus groups will be formed to follow up on this survey and then the results will be presented. More to follow….
  • Summer Work Hours Committee: Cindi Barnett, Chair reported that her committee had met and had a good working meeting. Cindi said that her committee this week will be examining what policies are in place at our peer institutions and all of the Missouri public institutions. Cindi stated that this topics had a lot of variables and several different options that could be implemented. She stressed that this issue would probably ultimately reside with each Department or Cost Center Head and with each area deciding what is best for their operation. Ultimately, all offices need to be open and conducting business Monday – Friday, 8am – 5pm. Cindi stated that once they are able to gather some information from the benchmark and peer schools, that they will look at options that might best fit MSU. Additionally, the committee will have to show that there is a difference between this proposal and the current flex plan that
    the university has in place. More to follow….
  • Social Committee: Debbie Branson, Chair reported that the committee was in need of members and if you are interested in serving on this committee to please contact her. Planning needs to start on various events for the Senate to enjoy, including the annual summer picnic that will be held in July.
  • Dianna Thimesch is no longer able to be the Secretary of the Senate. Lenord McGownd was nominated and appointed as Secretary.

6. Discussion Topics

  • Posting and Recycling: Konya Knackstedt brought up the fact that as employees we receive a ton of printed material each week. This printed material includes announcements of retirements, upcoming events, HR notices, etc. She suggested that there be a move to more of these announcements being distributed electronically. Dale Moore pointed out that not all employees have access to a computer and printed material addresses that issue. Pat Day spoke up that more material is not sent electronically now because we don’t want to have our inboxes bombed with e-mails. A lot of employees delete e-mails now without opening them. The newsletters sent by the President and Provost and the Faculty/Staff E-bulletin are rarely read. Konya suggested that one copy be sent to the Direct or Department Head for posting to cut down on the paper being generated. This discussion then branched off into a discussion about
    paper recycling and recycling in general. It was determined that we need to have someone who deals with recycling on-campus to come speak to the Senate. There are many different opinions about what can be recycled.
  • ADPs and Service Component for Staff: Lisa McEowen started a discussion about how staff members volunteering time and effort to assist the University are not being reflected in the evaluation/compensation process. It was stated that there was not a clear place for this service to be reflected in the current Appraisal Development Plan (ADP). Several people stated that they have a service statement in their own Section 1 to reflect their volunteerism to the University. Also, several people said they volunteer to make the system better and they didn’t want that to be a factor in their evaluation/compensation. During this discussion we moved to another discussion about how the ADP is not being processed consistently from Department to Department. It was stated that one Department presented Section 1 to their employees without any input from the employee. Another Department said that no one would receive a
    rating higher than 3 and the employee(s) questioned what needed to be done to receive a rating of 4 or 5. It was stated that this process was much better than what we had previously, but we needed to give this process a year or two to smooth out and to work out the rough edges. Ben Boslaugh pointed out that Section 1 was to be completed in conjunction with the supervisor and employee and that it can be amended or changed at anytime. He also pointed out that Section 3 allows for comments from both the supervisor and employee. This area could be used by the employee to note their service and volunteerism. Employees are also encouraged to clarify issues and what steps need to be taken for an employee to be marked as a 3 or higher. For example, what counts towards professional development? It was pointed out that the third column of section 1 should be used to outline resources needed for the
    employee to be successful. There is a lot of concern about the “grading” variance from department to department. It is hoped that these inequities will be addressed further up the chain as time goes on. It was pointed out that by not having a service/volunteer component indicated in the ADP, that the University may be not supporting staff members volunteering. It was brought up that the President and Provost should make a statement supporting staff members volunteering their time and effort to better the University. There was an inquiry as to what an employee(s) should do if they feel that the evaluation process was not followed correctly. No one had an answer to this question.
  • Don Clark from Residence Life and Services indicated that there is an employee within the Department who is experiencing a severe medical issue and his medical expenses are adding up. Cathy McFall said that they had a good experience with the Commerce Bank in the Union to set up an account to assist a fellow employee. Recently Human Resources approved some new policies in regards to catastrophic leave and these policies are designed to assist all employees.

7. Adjournment - The meeting ended at 2:39PM.

Submitted by Lenord McGownd