February 5, 2009 Minutes

1. Call to Order - Meeting called to order on February 5, 2009 at 1:31PM by Staff Senate Chair, Casey Comoroski.

2. Roll Call

Present: Casey Comoroski, Konya Knackstedt, Lenord McGownd, Cathy McFall, John Avery, Cindi Barnett, Kelly Barnts, Debbie Branson, Corbin Campbell, Donald Clark, Patrick Day, Marian Green, Norm Griffith, Tabitha Haynes, Lisa Langston, Steve Lowery, Janelle Melton, Dennis Perry, Terry Plank, Teresa Steele, Jaimie Trussell, Lynette Walker, Christopher Herr

Absent: Ron Boaz, Orlando Hodges

Guests: None

Our meeting was moved from the Parliamentary Room due to the Sustainability Conference being held in the Union today. The meeting was called to order at 1:31PM by Casey Comoroski, Chair of the Staff Senate. The meeting was started with a moment of silence in honor of Bob Holmes who would have had 34 years of service at the University in March. Bob passed away suddenly on January 17. He requested no service or recognition, but Dr. Tammie Jahnke, Dean of the College of Natural and Applied Sciences said a few words on his behalf.

3. Approval of Minutes - After some discussion the minutes for December 2008 were approved. Motion to approve by Pat Day seconded by Cindi Barnett

4. Guest Speaker: Dr. Alexander Wait spoke to the Senate about the upcoming Public Affairs Conference 4/21- 4/24. He passed around a brochure and spoke about the conference. The Keynote Speaker this year will be Jessica Flannery from Kiva.org. Kiva loans money to entrepreneurs across the world in micro-lending. The theme of the conference is Simple Solutions for a Sustainable Future. You may find more information at: http://publicaffairs.missouristate.edu/conference/ The question was asked about what could Senators do for this conference? Dr. Wait said that all volunteers are welcome! If you would like to volunteer for this conference, please e-mail Dr. Wait or Candace Fisk.

5. Representative from Staff Senate at Employee Orientation - E very Monday the Human Resources office conducts an orientation session for new employees. HR would like for someone from the Senate to go speak to the group of new employees each week. Konya passed around a sign-up sheet for Senators to volunteer to speak. The training session begins every Monday at 9:30 AM in CAR 104 and it takes about 5 minutes. Please see Konya if you are interested.

6. Staff Senate Picnic - The Staff Senate hosts an annual Picnic in July. Debbie Branson will be chairing it again this year. If you are interested please contact Casey or Debbie. At this picnic, the outgoing Chair is recognized and the Chair-elect takes over the Senate’s operations.

7. Staff Senate Scholarship - Casey and others will be writing past members of the Senate to ask for money to donate to the Staff Senate Scholarship Fund. They are hoping for a good response so we can get closer to endowing the scholarship.

8. Committee Reports

  • Executive Budget Committee Report - Casey reported on the Executive Budget Committee. She felt that the memo from Dr. Nietzel last Thursday was very reassuring to the University community. There are still some unknowns, but the impression is that we are better off than we thought at one time. Casey will keep the Senate informed from the weekly EBC meetings.
  • Rec Center - Cindi Barnett gave a Rec Center update. She brought pictures for everyone to see and talked about the renovation as a whole. To see these pictures and the description of the project, please go to: http://www.missouristate.edu/reccenter/ Cindi said that MOHELA money has been placed in a holding pattern for the revision of Hammons Student Center. She stated that the Rec Center is funded by students and not affected by the budget. It is still planned to open Fall of 2011. On a side note, Cindi said that her area is bringing fitness and wellness classes downtown at the lunch hour. They are interested in holding more classes downtown. Contact Cindi for more info.
  • Casey went over the Staff Senate committees and that everyone should be assigned to a committee. Chairs will be getting the committees together soon. We need to get the committees functioning and determining their charge and if the committee is needed. For a listing of the committees and their memberships, please go to: http://www.missouristate.edu/staffsenate/Comittees.htm

9. University Staff Luncheon - The topic of the Staff Recognition Banquet in January was brought up for discussion. The luncheon was well attended. This was the biggest luncheon ever! It was suggested to have staff members RSVP for the event in the future. Several Senators expressed concern over the Staff Recognition Awards that were awarded during the luncheon. The concerns expressed were the same ones mentioned last year after the ceremony. The concerns were: 1. The award criteria are too vague. It was recommended that a more defined criterion be set for the award. 2. Why did the staff member receive the award? 3. How was each recipient picked? Based on what factors? 4. There needs to be Staff Senate representation on the Selection Committee. 5. The staff members who were nominated were not aware that they had been nominated and may not have attended the luncheon or could have left early. Casey said she would bring this issue up to the President again.

Janelle Melton brought up the issue of developing a sick leave pool for employees to use during catastrophic leave. It was stated that this issue had been brought up before and it was determined to not be feasible by HR and others.

10. Adjournment: The meeting was adjourned at 2:17 when Pat Day made a motion to adjourn and it was seconded by Norm Griffith.

11. Next Meeting: The next meeting is March 5 in the Student Union.

Submitted by Lenord McGownd

Minutes approved March 5, 2009