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October 12, 2005

Roll Call

  • Voting Members:
  • Genevieve Burmeister, Chair
  • Mary Engel
  • Michelle Larsen, Chair-elect
  • Sheron McIlhattan
  • Matt Blazicevich
  • Steve Burk
  • Dan McGuire
  • Ray Byerly
  • Janae Heap
  • Non-voting Members:
  • Kerry Evans
  • Sue Martin
  • Carol Shannon
  • Others Present:
  • Cindy Tirrell
  • Sue Ward
  • Darcy Halpin
  • Beth Littlefield
  • Sara France, CEPAC Administrative Associate


Genevieve Burmeister moved that the minutes of the September 14, 2005 meeting be approved as written. Michelle Larsen seconded and the minutes were approved.

Apologies for Absence - Eileen Baker.


Greg Young and Courtney Stryker had requested time to discuss the continuation of professional development/customer service/informational lunches offered to classified staff last year. Genevieve Burmeister welcomed Greg and Courtney to the meeting. A four-member team (Greg, Courtney, Susan Alt and Rhonda Russell) heads the organization of periodic lunches for classified staff, aimed at discussing service issues, student recruitment and retention and how the university presents itself. Attendance was very good last year and some 150 people requested notification of future events. Greg and Courtney want volunteers willing to meet two or three times a year to arrange the lunches, and to determine worthwhile topics for discussion. Staff with input into the themes for the lunches should email Greg or Courtney. CEPAC noted how well such events blend with its own efforts to improve recognition of the classified contribution to the university mission, and will contact Greg regarding committee members for this project.


  • Shared Governance Council - Genevieve Burmeister reported that parking issues had dominated the University Governance Council Steering Committee meetings recently, and no further discussion has been held on this topic.
  • Board of Regents :
    Meeting in November - The Regents' 16-18 November meeting will be on the Bozeman campus. Most of the discussion is public, and the agenda will be on the web in due course. CEPAC will circulate information about the classified staff agenda time.

    Genevieve Burmeister, Michelle Larsen and Sara France have participated in a conference call with CEPAC-equivalent organizations within the MUS (the "Senates") and reviewed research into the Pooled Resources idea for staff professional development and training. Sara combined each campus' input into a draft report which has been sent to Kevin McRae, from the Commissioner of Higher Education's office, for his feedback. When finalized, the report will go to the Regents in advance of the November meeting.

    Regents' goals and objectives for the Montana University System - Besides discussing the Pooled Resources project above, CEPAC intends to talk about its work in the context of the Regents' goals and objectives: (1) increase the overall educational attainment of Montanans through increased participation, retention and completion rates. (2) assist in expansion and improvement of the state's economy through the development of high value jobs and the diversification of the economic base (3) improve institutional and system efficiency and effectiveness. MSU's University Planning Budget and Analysis Committee (UPBAC) is currently working on recommendations in this regard, and CEPAC has offered some classified information which it hopes will be useful to UPBAC's deliberations.

  • University Club - responses to CEPAC's questions about the organization of the University Club have been received and some of CEPAC's concerns appear to have been addressed. Some members remain unsure about CEPAC's role as "sponsor" but the issue was closed with no further action requested.
  • Outreach and Goals Update - Genevieve Burmeister, Michelle Larsen and Sara France have been making outreach presentations. Currently, they have 8 appointments performed or booked, and another 9 in the offing. As a direct result of the feedback received via CEPAC's 360 Review last Spring, CEPAC is attempting to increase staff awareness of its work. Genevieve is hopeful of extending these short, departmental visits across campus.

    Also resulting from the 360 Review, CEPAC will be writing to department heads in encouragement of supervisor support for classified participation in Shared Governance activity. President Gamble has expressed particular interest in this idea.

    Sara reported that the first "Monthly Bulletin" (email announcement drawing attention to CEPAC's current "hot topics") had drawn a little over 200 visitors to associated pages on CEPAC's web site. The next Bulletin will go out with publication of these Minutes.

    Sara had previously circulated a proposal for improving outreach and publicity, following a meeting of Cathy Conover, Genevieve, Michelle, and Mary Engel. There was insufficient time at today's meeting to discuss the proposal in depth. Genevieve's idea of "spotlighting" a classified staff member, and their contribution to MSU, on the CEPAC web site was however approved. The concept involves staff members, co-workers, supervisors, supervisees submitting a short blurb on the staff member concerned, for publication on the web. The name of a willing staff member, as identified by co-workers, etc may also be submitted for CEPAC to interview for this purpose.

    CEPAC's goal for 2005-06 of collaborating on the campus introduction of the new performance evaluation system, and the MUS Staff Compensation Plan was welcomed by Susan Alt at last month's meeting. Work has not yet started, however, pending reorganization of the MUS Labor Management Committee.

    During reports on outreach and university/Regent goals and objectives, a discussion took place about classified experiences across the university system, Shared Governance, the continued need for supervisor training, and MSU's and CEPAC's on-going efforts in these areas.


  1. Concerns Raised via the Comments Box - comments related to the recent temporary closure of parts of the Gatton parking lots had been raised, and delivered to the appropriate parties by CEPAC. There was insufficient time, in today's meeting, to discuss this further but the topic is active with CEPAC and its Shared Governance partners. Visitor parking for the Regents' meeting in November will be in the pay lot.


There was nothing new to report.


All committee updates may be reviewed via our Committees Page. Below are specific discussions held at today's meeting:

Parking Issues:
University Governance Council Steering Committee - Genevieve Burmeister and Sara France reported on parking issues discussed with CEPAC's Shared Governance partners, at Steering Committee. These are on-going (please also see the Parking Task Force note below).

Parking Task Force - CEPAC has been approached by the Parking Task Force to revisit the Parking Garage concept, and a meeting is scheduled, between members of the two committees, for the end of the month. Meanwhile, CEPAC has solicited (both by email and hardcopy, as appropriate) staff input into campus parking issues in general. A summary of the feedback will be presented at the Parking Task Force meeting.

University Facilities Planning Board - Sheron McIlhattan reported that her submissions from Board meetings are on-line, and urged everyone to review them.


Nancy Dodd, University Ombuds gave a lively and informative presentation about the ombuds service. Briefly, the University Ombuds is a neutral, independent and confidential resource providing informal assistance to MSU professional staff, faculty and classified employees in addressing work-related issues. More details are available in Nancy's handout and the Ombuds' annual report 2004-05. Nancy offers individual, group or departmental consultation, any time (on or off campus) and is also happy to visit remote employees in the vicinity of their workplace. The service also encompasses departmental training (e.g. conflict and conflict resolution, communications, group dynamics, issues of personality - often utilizing the Myers Briggs Type Indicator).

The University Ombuds program is currently pursuing permanent funding, and housing. Nancy can be reached at extension 6195 or at home: 587 8961. Email communications are insecure, but if you wish to send a discreet message, Nancy's address is

In addition to this responsibilty, Nancy is an associate professor with the College of Business, teaching predominantly management classes, and has wide-ranging expertise in areas pertinent to ombuds.

Following Nancy's description of her work, several questions were asked, and much enthusiasm for the service expressed.


At 11:00 am, Michelle Larsen moved that the meeting be adjourned, Sheron McIlhattan seconded and the motion passed.


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