PROFESSIONAL COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES February 19, 2003 Members Present: Leslie Schmidt, Glenn Puffer, Jim Mitchell, Jim Manning, Becky Ward, Clyde Carroll. Members Absent: None. The regularly-scheduled meeting was called to order at 2:00 PM by Chair Leslie Schmidt. The minutes of the January 15, 2003, meeting were approved as distributed. Chair's report - Leslie Schmidt. - As requested at the January 15 meeting, Leslie contacted the Ombudsman, Nancy Dodd, to gather information about the use of this mediation process. - A small number of visitors has come to the Ombudsman. - One-third of them have been professional employees. - The Ombudsman is attending faculty meetings within academic departments to make them aware of the service. Professionals have been invited to the first part of the meetings to hear discussion by the Ombudsman. - During discussion by the Council, it was suggested other divisions of the university, such as Student Affairs and Services, ask the Ombudsman to come to one of their staff meetings to publicize the process. - Leslie met with Faculty Council Chair Rich Howard to discuss a web site. Possibilities include working with faculty on a site, developing a site independently, or piggy-backing on the Faculty Council site. - During discussion by the Council, there was consensus that a Professional Council site should be developed with a format similar to Faculty Council's. - Leslie will contact Terry Dysart, who is working on the Faculty Council web site. - University Governance Council Steering Committee met with President Gamble on February 13. Topics discussed included the legislative session and probable effects on the university's budget. Enrollments and other related issues were discussed as well. UPBAC update - Jim Mitchell. - The vice presidents have submitted budget amendments, but the amendments are still to be prioritized. - A matrix has been developed for academic departments. However, in Jim's opinion, it may be too late to be useful for FY 04. Health benefit issue. - A proposal has been submitted to the Inter-unit Benefits Committee that employees making more than $50,000 subsidize employees making less than $25,000. - There was not much support for the proposal by Professional Council. Although members were sympathetic to the issue of low pay and rising health insurance costs, it would be very difficult to administer the program in a way that is fair to everyone. Combined family income, number of dependents and other factors influence the ability of low-paid staff to pay the premiums. Nomination and election procedures for new Professional Council members. - The terms of Clyde Carroll (Academic Affairs) and Jim Mitchell (Student Affairs) end September, 2003. Jim Mitchell is eligible for re-election. - The following schedule for elections was agreed upon. - By the end of February, solicit nominations from the two constituencies by e-mail. A reminder will be sent before the nomination deadline of March 12. - Ballots will be distributed to the two constituencies by March 19. - Ballots are to be returned to the Faculty Council/Professional Council Office by April 3. - It was agreed professionals outside a particular constituency may nominate an individual within that constituency. Other. - There continue to be problems with MAP, particularly in the area of progression pay. - During discussion of issues that may require legal advice, it was pointed out that MSU Legal Counsel Leslie Taylor represents professional employees. - A discussion was held regarding regular attendance by PC members at the UGC Steering Committee meetings. It was agreed that our presence was important even if PC business was not always a topic of conversation. Becky Ward, Leslie Schmidt and Glenn Puffer will share this responsibility. As there was no further business, the meeting adjourned at 3:10.