Montana State University

Meeting Minutes for January 18, 2012

415 Reid Hall

Minutes from Professional Council Meeting, 1/18/12, 10:00 am

Present: Jeff Littlefield, Nora Smith, Julie Tatarka, Jeanne Wilkinson, Betsey Pitts, Pat Lane, Elizabeth Brock for Carolyn Plumb

The meeting was called to order at 10:10 am by Chair Wilkinson. The minutes from the 01/04/2012 meeting were reviewed and unanimously approved.

Andy Sablowsky's term as the professional employee rep for the Campus Sustainability Advisory Committee ends June 2013, but he is leaving campus. Chair Wilkinson will send out a call for nominations via the professional council list serve.

Professional Development Tatarka has scheduled a public speaking seminar on February 7 and 14, 2012 at 11:00 am in EPS 103. Tatarka will contact Joann Lindstrom about conducting a lab safety tour for employees who might not work in a lab environment and are interested.

Past Professional Council Member Get Together - Pitts will craft a memo to send to former PC members, inviting them to a social gathering, after spring break, to discuss what their visions were as PC participants, as well as their current view on important issues that professionals may participate in. Locations for the event were discussed and Pitts will reserve a room in the SUB.

MSU Committee Representatives General Email Erika and Adam are working on a general email to send to all professionals, which will contain an attached database of the councils and current reps on university committees, for their information and communication.

Professional Employee Categories Smith has been communicating with Letendre and Fastnow about how to categorize professional employee other than by pure data sets; narrative descriptives may also be needed. As an aside, Smith relayed her discovery of 2001 archived information that referenced employee categories. Pitts informed PC that she, and former PC member Scott, conferred with legal counsel about the employee categories by reviewing all definitions and verbiage that was currently available in 2009. Pitts will send the correspondence to Smith. For voting purposes on Professional Council former PC Chair, Rognlie, categorized the professional employees according to who they reported to. Wilkinson believes categories of professionals are important and a clearer distinction between administration and researchers is needed. Littlefield queried where Extension and Outreach employees should fall, and he was referred to Fastnow.

BOR Meeting Jan 19 Wilkinson and Smith will be attending the BoR meeting tomorrow. They will discuss, with Classified Staff Chair, Kevin Thane, how professionals might be included in the Classified Luncheon with the BoR since no formal invitation has been extended to them. Wilkinson would like to ask the BoR members how professional employees, from their home districts, might communicate with legislators or, continue discussions from the November BoR meeting about employee recruitment and retention before budget commitments. Smith noted that Clay Christian was queried during the last listening session about the high turnover of classified employees. Clay Christian will be sworn in as the new Commissioner of Higher Education.

Other Business Discussions continued about noon-hour office coverage by employees across campus. PC believes employees should approach their supervisors to get a clear expectation of what their job entails.


Smith and Tatarka will attend the President's Listening Session today and report back to PC.

Wilkinson will forward the Employee Recognition Award reminder to PC. The VP for Admin search continues; many applicants have applied. Candidates will be brought to campus after spring break. Wilkinson reminded PC members to participate in the online discrimination and harassment training.

As there was no other business, the meeting ended at 11:00 am.

Gale R. Gough
Administrative Associate