July 7, 2011 Minutes

Meeting Date: 2011-7-7

Person Presiding: Michael Frizell

Members in Attendance: Sandra Arthur, Scott Fiedler, Sandra Johnson, Nadine Jones, Peggy Jones, Charles Klarr, Matthew Stublefield, Erin Trotter, Andrea Weber, Dixie Williams, Mary Ann Wood, Kyle Yates

Proxy Members in Attendance: Allison Overmeyer on behalf of Erin Parrish, Jennifer Hames on behalf of Kirk Whittington,

Guests in Attendance: Catherine Beck, Sharon Lopinot, Steve Turner, Brenda Stewart, Beth Bruner, Cindy Caddy, Catherine Holley, Vicki Anderson, Kelli Farris, Leta Moler, Jennifer Yanders, Kelly Cara, Susan Willingham, Enid Harris, Yvette Medley, Donna Hanley, Kelly Barnts

Actions of Meeting

Agenda Item: Call to Order

Staff Senate has quorum, and was subsequently called to order by Chairperson Michael Frizell

Agenda Item: Approval of Agenda

The agenda was emailed in advance of the meeting. Nadine Jones moved to approve, which was seconded by Andrea Weber. The agenda was approved unanimously.

Agenda Item: Approval of Minutes (6/2/2011)

The minutes were emailed in advance of the meeting. Andrea Weber moved to approve the minutes, which was seconded by Scott Fiedler. The minutes were approved unanimously.

Agenda Item: Announcements

Michael Frizell, Chairperson, announced the new Executive Board of Staff Senate. He introduced himself and added that Staff Senate needs more members, which will require an amendment to the bylaws so we can address open seats more quickly.

Dixie Williams, Chair-Elect, introduced herself after Michael.

Matthew Stublefield, Secretary, introduced himself in turn.

Andrea Weber was introduced as the new Director of Staff Relations.

Dixie Williams gave an update on the Faculty/Staff Baseball night.

The game is July 7th at 7:07 p.m.Over two hundred tickets were sold The Bear-Spangled Singers would present the National AnthemIt is Dollar Brat NightTickets are available in Carrington 204 if people haven't yet picked theirs up

Agenda Item: New Business

Resolutions to Amend Bylaws

Matthew Stublefield presented three amendments to the bylaws.

Eliminate the two month delay for appointing staff members to vacant Senate seats. Extend a senator's term by one year if they are elected to Chair-Elect for their third year of serviceAdd the Director of Staff Relations to the Executive Committee

These amendments were referred to a new workgroup formed by Michael Frizell for consideration. This committee will report on the proposed amendments at the next meeting. The members of this committee are:

  • Scott Fiedler
  • Kelly Cara
  • Sharon Lopinot

Michael Frizell announced that there will be a special Faculty Senate session on Tuesday the 12th at 3:30 p.m. Two resolutions will be presented at that meeting that are of particular interest:

  • Administrators and Fiscal Responsibility
  • Resolution to eliminate Department Heads and institute Chairs

Discussion about Staff Senate's goals, mission, and future

Michael Frizell proposed a discussion regarding the direction of Staff Senate. He invited senators to raise ideas, give suggestions, ask questions, and generally brainstorm about what work Staff Senate ought to be doing in the upcoming year.

  1. Andrea Weber asked why Staff Senate requires one year as a staff member at Missouri State University before they can join Staff Senate.
    1. Matthew Stublefield replied that this would help a person represent staff better
    2. Michael Frizell added that it is hard to get to know Missouri State University in a short period of time
    3. Brenda Stewart observed that Staff Senate is introduced at the new employee orientation
    4. Charles Klarr pointed out that people can contact their senators and attend meetings if they want to participate
    5. Matthew Stublefield stated that if senators wished to amend this in the bylaws, they could certainly do so. He went on to state that, should the time restriction be reduced, it should not be made shorter than six months which is when a staff member has their six-month probationary evaluation and their probationary period ends.
    6. Marian Green reiterated that all staff members can attend meetings
    7. Kelly Cara observed that requiring a longer time limit is good because it helps new staff prove that they're committed to the University
  2. Michael Frizell shared that the Executive Board met and wanted to spend time discussing where Staff Senate is going. This is the Senate's senate, not the Executive Committee's, so we want everyone's input. Over the last year, Staff Senate was very self-reflective as it worked on the new bylaws. Now the University is facing uncertain times with an interim president and provost; no raises over the last three years; and concerns about equity. Michael observed that Clif Smart, Interim President, stated in his first messages that salary is important, but it's still a point of concern.

    Michael went on to say that the Executive Committee can meet with Administration and discuss the Staff Senate's concerns or ideas, but we first need to know what those are. Staff seem to have been hesitant in the past, but we want to do our best to represent staff. He asked, "What can we do? What's next?"
  3. Andrea Weber said that she'd like to see Staff Senate attended by more people.
  4. Sharon Lopinot would like us to send a survey out to staff to better represent everyone on campus.
  5. Scott Fiedler wants to make sure he represents his constituents, but he isn't sure who all the people in Job Family 4 are. He would like a recent list of email addresses for those people.
    1. Sharon Lopinot pointed out that senators can split up people within a job family to make sure staff members are not receiving multiple emails or being contacted too frequently.
  6. Charles Klarr would like to see people at the top (Administration) bring changes to the Staff Handbook to Staff Senate in advance of making those changes. At the least, he would like them announced to Staff Senate in advance. By way of example, Charles referenced the Inclement Weather Policy.
    1. Michael Frizell echoed this sentiment, particularly regarding the announcement of Dr. Cofer stepping down as president. He wasn't notified until the morning of the press conference alongside the Student Government Association representatives. Faculty Senate was notified further in advance.
    2. Brenda Stewart pointed out that the Inclement Weather Policy was already in place, the new changes just clarified the policy.
    3. Charles stated that the change was regarding pay.
  7. Andrea Weber observed that there is an issue with the legitimacy of Staff Senate and asked how the Senate should promote its legitimacy.
    1. Michael Frizell noted the steps already taken in the last year: meeting with Administrative Council, changing the bylaws, and beginning to use parliamentary procedure. He stated that we now need to begin dealing with more substantive matters.
  8. Kelly Cara would like Staff Senate to develop a partnership with Faculty Senate to build legitimacy and strength. A better relationship, she said, would help us address concerns with expanding staff.
  9. Peggy Jones asked about Staff Senate's place in the organization compared with Faculty Senate.
    1. Matthew Stublefield answered that Faculty Senate has control over curriculum and has the right/power to present resolutions directly to the Board of Governors. Staff Senate is more of an advisory and communication group which serves to communicate the desires of staff to Administrative Council (the president, Vice President of Administrative and Information Services, and the Chief of Staff) as well as to our constituent groups. Matthew also stated that Faculty Senate is largely autonomous while Staff Senate is under the Vice President of Administrative and Information Services. This is perhaps because AIS has the most staff at the University.
    2. Peggy observed that until this changes, Staff Senate will lack legitimacy. She asked if Staff Senate can at least write resolutions, to which Matthew replied in the affirmative.
  10. Kelly Cara observed that the last time she had heard about Staff Senate was at the new employee orientation. She wonders if we need different methods for communicating about meetings. She also asked if we should create a staff directory that is linked somehow to job descriptions to help people know to whom they ought to go with questions.
    1. Donna Hanley said that she has been here two years and doesn't always know who to contact.
    2. Charles Klarr observed that things are constantly changing too.
    3. Kelly Cara recognized that Administrative Assistants are invaluable in this respect.
  11. Scott Fiedler raised a concern about the mileage rate at Missouri State University. His office pays about $100,000 a year, but Missouri State University pays less than anywhere else. While Missouri University reimburses at a rate of $0.52 per mile, Missouri State University reimburses at $0.37 per mile.
  12. Scott Fiedler also suggested that Staff Senate build a listserv, similar to UDIG but with a more constructive focus that serves staff and promotes discussion and perhaps solutions rather than being so negative and filled with complaints.
    1. Scott Fiedler also stated that a "classifieds" listserv, like Drury University's USELL, would be nice to have.
    2. Michael Frizell explained that UDIG was a mailing list operated by Kishor Shah, a faculty member in the College of Natural and Applied Sciences, and the content is often the complaints of faculty about administration or some other matter.
    3. Beth Bruner stated that she isn't sure the University can support a listserv for buying or selling things due to concerns about competition with local businesses.
    4. Matthew Stublefield stated that the senate can research the feasibility and legality of a classifieds listserv. He stated that, technologically speaking, it can be easily done.
    5. Kelly Cara noted that she receives something similar already, but that it appears to be run by a third party and is targeted at students.
  13. Yvette Medley observed that she was on SGA and she raised the concern that if Staff Senate starts opening its door for more feedback it might be inundated.
  14. Brenda Stewart expressed excitement about the new Staff Senate, and she shared that Staff Senate being more productive will make a big difference regarding its perceived legitimacy.
  15. Enid Harris asked if Staff Senate had a website.
    1. Matthew Stublefield stated that it did, and that its web address is http://www.missouristate.edu/staffsenate
  16. Enid Harris asked if Staff Senate had an email address.
    1. Matthew Stublefield stated that it does, and that its email address is staffsenate@missouristate.edu
  17. Enid Harris asked if all Staff Senators can view the mailbox.
    1. Matthew Stublefield stated that only the Secretary generally checks the mailbox. He also talked about the MyIdeas program that came out of last year's USA group and is currently being finished up. This program will let staff submit ideas and suggestions to the University.
  18. Nadine Jones asked if people can see which senator represents which job family.
    1. Matthew Stublefield replied that he will work on updating the roster on the Staff Senate web site and make this change so it is more clear who represents which area.
  19. Andrea Weber indicated that we need more introductions in Staff Senate so everyone knows who everyone else is. This will help build trust and lead to more discussion.

Michael Frizell thanked everyone who participated and encouraged people to email any further thoughts or ideas.


Motion to adjourn was moved by Andrea Weber and seconded by Kyle Yates.