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April 12, 2006
(These minutes are as yet unapproved by CEPAC)

Roll Call

  • Voting Members:
  • Genevieve Burmeister, Chair
  • Michelle Larsen, Chair-elect
  • Matt Blazicevich
  • Dan McGuire
  • Ray Byerly
  • Kristine Mashaw
  • Bob Monnin
  • Steve Burk
  • Non-voting Members:
  • Darcy Halpin (representing Human Resources, Personnel and Payroll)
  • Sue Martin
  • Mark Reinholz
    joining the meeting at 10am for committee reports:
  • Carol Shannon
  • Others Present:
  • Rose Cain (elected to CEPAC as of 7/1/06)
  • Rich Stafford (elected to CEPAC as of 7/1/06)
  • Jamie O'Callaghan (elected to CEPAC as of 7/1/06)
  • Beth Littlefield
  • Jen Friar
  • Sara France, CEPAC Administrative Associate

Minutes of the Last Meeting

Genevieve Burmeister moved, and Michelle Larsen seconded, that the minutes of March 8, 2006 meeting be approved. The motion passed unanimously.

Apologies for Absence

Sheron McIlhattan and Eileen Baker sent apologies.

Guest Speaker: Craig Roloff, VP Admin and Finance

Craig kindly visited CEPAC to give an overview of MUS / MSU budgetary matters. He explained how the level of State financial support for the university system has waned, from as much as 75% of general operations 15 years or so ago, to the current level of 34%.

MSU has utilized the services of a Denver-based, specialist organization to produce comparative peer data (small, mid-sized, land grant, research institutions, predominantly in the west/northwest). Results show that MSU's committed and loyal employees provide a quality education for about $9,500 per student per year, compared to an average of around $13,000 among these peer institutions.

Recently, the Board of Regents has become more actively engaged in campus budgeting and deciding how state monies will be distributed. The FY06-07 approved budget for MSU Bozeman reflects the Regents' decision to reallocate a little over $1 million, from MSU, to other, smaller campuses. This directly affected students by increasing MSU's budgeted expenditure over revenue, for FY06/07, to about $5 million - a shortfall which had to be covered by tuition. The FY08/09 budget is currently in production with information being provided to the Governor's office in preparation for the next legislative session. The current status of MSU's FY08/09 budget (assuming a State contribution at similar levels to those of the recent past, and an allowance for inflation and other increases) indicates a figure of around $3.6 million to be covered by tuition. Of course, the Governor, Legislature, or Regents may alter the assumptions made in the draft FY08-09 budget, the consequences of which will affect the students.

The Board of Regents has already asked campuses to reduce their proposed initiatives for FY08/09 to about one quarter of the list solicited last Fall (please see CEPAC minutes of November 9, 2005). Craig confirmed that the original proposal to finance the CEPAC office remains on the revised initiatives list. CEPAC's recommended initiative (supporting the classified tactic from the Five Year Vision for an electronic process for job applications) will not be forwarded to the Regents at this time, but remains part of the 2-4 year strategic plan for the Division of Administration and Finance covered by the MSU 4-campus Business Process Redesign project (BPR).

After his presentation, Craig was asked about cost analyses in connection with employing new processes such as electronic applications. Craig described a software being used by Admin and Finance which models time and resources and determines best efficiency. Another question related to State funding for the MUS and whether there is any indication of an improvement in the State's financial contribution. Craig explained the impact on funding of any priorities the Governor or Legislature may have. For example, the current apparent emphasis on two-year colleges. While the principle of 2-year courses quickly providing training and workers to support the economy was acknowledged in today's meeting, it was recognized that it is the 4-year institutions that fuel the economy, creating those jobs. Therefore, continued and committed State support is essential. One short-term solution might be for funding to go directly to the campuses concerned. This, while not increasing MSU's revenue, might minimize reductions resulting from the requirement of passing funds on to other campuses. In the long-term, the projected State surplus might be tapped. However, the Governor has yet to commit much of this money to base budgets (treating it, for the time being, as one-time revenue).

CEPAC thanked Craig for attending today's meeting and sharing this information. His continued support and encouragement of our work was gratefully recognized.

Shared Governance Update

Genevieve Burmeister reported that the Shared Governance Steering Committee continues to meet weekly and, tomorrow, Professional Council have arranged for various Administration experts to discuss salary issues.

CEPAC Administration, Budget and Accounting

  1. Membership Elections - Membership elections (for terms starting July 1, 2006) are complete. New members (Rose Cain, Service Maintenance; Jamie O'Callaghan, Technical Paraprofessional; Rich Stafford, Skilled Crafts) will be formally introduced at the May meeting. Meanwhile, Ricky Holland, Skilled Crafts, has resigned from CEPAC. His term will be completed by Bob Monnin, with immediate effect. CEPAC was pleased to welcome Bob, Rose, Jamie and Rich who all attended today's meeting.
  2. CEPAC Budget - Sara France reported expenditure to be within budgeted limits and projections. The membership elections, originally thought to be conducted electronically, resulted in some unexpected copying and bulk mailing costs. These have been covered by allocations for in state travel which will go unused.
  3. By Laws - The proposed amendment to the By Laws is underway and will undergo the usual process of adoption. The proposed change reads:
    "If for any reason, during a member's term of appointment, that member's employment category changes (e.g. as a result of a change in existing job duties or acceptance of a different position), but they remain a classified employee, that member may choose to complete the term, representing the category of employees that elected him/her, rather than resign his/her membership. Subsequent eligibility for re-election of such a member would fall within his/her actual employment category at the time the election process commences.

    "If, during a member's term of appointment, that member's employment changes such that they are no longer a classified employee, that member shall resign from CEPAC effective at commencement of his/her employment status change. The resulting vacancy will be filled through usual channels (230.60 CEPAC Vacancies)".
    This results from such an employment category change for a current CEPAC member.

  4. MUS Staff Associations (MUSSA) and the Pooled Resources Project - CEPAC, as a member of MUSSA, continues to participate in progressing the Pooled Resources concept. A MUSSA conference call on March 29 with University of Montana HR Director, MSU Bozeman HR Director and the Director of Labor Relations from OCHE was very productive. CEPAC feels confident that the facility will be created with a launch likely in the Fall.
  5. Performance Evaluation - CEPAC has received inquiries related to MPEA's recent emails concerning performance evaluation, and the appropriateness of the associated forms. In response to CEPAC's questions Susan Alt, Director of HR/Personnel sends this message: "Thanks for letting me know of the questions. Folks, both employees and supervisors, should proceed using the forms provided on our web site, or in the alternative, HR approved forms. There will be a joint memo (from Quint and Kevin McRae) going out over the MPEA list serv, that will speak to the joint collaboration (by labor and management)and development of future forms. Bottom line, proceed as previously requested in my memo to campus".
  6. Outreach Update
    • visiting with Animal Range Science staff, on April 20, will complete this year's scheduled outreach meetings - 29 visits in all.
    • CEPAC's Spring Bulletin has been distributed, and will also serve as an informational handout for this quarter.
    • As a gesture to remote staff who cannot attend campus presentations and events which CEPAC is asked to publicize, CEPAC is endeavoring to publish associated handouts and other information. Today's classified luncheon (sponsored by the Office of the Provost, and arranged collaboratively by Academic Affairs and Student Affairs with the assistance of classified staff representatives) is a good example. Nancy Dodd, University Ombuds presents "Top Five Things That Can Help You Be A Good Manager/Supervisor". CEPAC has obtained the presentation handouts and published them on-line. An announcement of the URL will be sent to staff later today.
    • CEPAC continues to encourage organizations holding staff events over the noon hour to recognize those valued employees who cannot attend by virtue of their job responsibilities and, perhaps, accommodate this in some way. As an example, food service workers' contributions to MSU will be publicly acknowledged by the organizers of today's sponsored lunch.
    • A new Spotlight submission has been received and will be published later today. It is the first to feature an MSU staff member working off campus (in this case, Great Falls).

Committee Reports

CEPAC-nominated committee representatives have scheduled agenda time, at 10:00 am, to personally report on their committee work. CEPAC believes this enhanced communication will greatly benefit the staff and campus, and looks forward to continuing both on-line reporting and this personal contact. Below are summaries of reports given at today's meeting, with full information available by clicking on the name of each committee:

  • Strategic Planning Committee - Mark Reinholz reiterated Craig Roloff's earlier comments regarding classified initiatives, and Sara France mentioned CEPAC's continued involvement in progressing the classified tactics of the Five Year Vision.
  • Long Range Campus Planning - CEPAC members declined Walt Banziger's offer of a further, special meeting at this time.
  • Benefits Committee - Carol Shannon reported on the upcoming CHOICES enrollment period (packets will be sent to employees around the end of the month) and encouraged everyone to attend the upcoming information and help sessions:
    • CHOICES re-enrollment help sessions - Monday, April 24, 1:00-2:30 pm, SUB 275 (this is the OCHE employee information session in which the Commissionerís Office will go over changes to the plan this upcoming benefit year and UNUM will be there to give a presentation on the Long Term Care insurance). Regular information sessions: Thursday April 27, 7:30 am and Noon in the the President's Conference Room (Montana Hall), and Monday, May 1, at Noon and 3:00 pm in SUB 276.
    • Allegiance information sessions - Monday, April 17, Noon and 1:00 pm in the President's Conference Room (Montana Hall)
    • New West information sessions - Tuesday, April 25, 7:00 am and 9:00 am in the President's Conference Room (Montana Hall)
    • Blue Cross Blue Shield information session - Tuesday, April 25, Noon in the President's Conference Room (Montana Hall)
    Carol noted that Allegiance is now offering a managed care option.

    Recently, CEPAC was asked to investigate a hitch in which a secondary insurance claim apparently did not reach Medicare. HR/Personnel and the MSU Benefits Committee have incidated that problems of this sort are now resolved with, perhaps, the obvious possibility of individually unique circumstances. At today's meeting, Rich Stafford explained the administration of Medicare in Montana (as handled by Blue Cross Blue Shield) as related to a specific secondary insurance claim problem. To ensure that no employee be inconvenienced by issues as described by Rich, Carol Shannon undertook to consult with the MSU Benefits Committee and obtain confirmation that the overriding Medicare administration problem is now resolved. If employees experience individual billing issues, they should contact Kerri Marx at HR/Personnel.

    Any Other Business

    Carol Shannon offered information about the HRDC (Gallavan) and MSU transit collaboration over a community bus system for the Fall. The two organizations are pooling resources and applying for Federal grants. They are looking to purchase unique, stylish buses to provide hourly service on a number of routes. A business plan is being prepared for presentation to potential sources of additional funding. A copy will be sent to MSU since this service potentially offers some employees an alternative to parking on campus. The bus service organizers hope that MSU will contribute funding in addition to that already committed by the students.

    At 10:55 am, the meeting adjourned.

NEXT MEETING: MAY 10, 2006 IN SUB 106E AT 9:00AM

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