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July 12, 2006

Roll Call

  • Voting Members:
  • Michelle Larsen, Chair
  • Mary Engel, Chair-elect
  • Genevieve Burmeister
  • Kristine Mashaw
  • Non-voting Members:
  • Kevin Thane
  • Gail Weidenaar
    joining the meeting at 10:00am for committee reports:
  • Carol Shannon
  • Joe Carnes
  • Others Present:
  • Mary Hardy
  • Lorri Brenneman
  • Ron Ramsfield
  • Sara France, CEPAC Administrative Associate

CEPAC By Laws stipulate a quorum as "50% of the total number of voting members". Since there are 11 voting members, a quorum has previously been considered to be five. Due to the fiscal year-end, orientation, and other pressures, together with the nature of today's meeting agenda, the voting members present elected to proceed with the meeting.

Minutes of the Last Meeting

Genevieve Burmesiter moved and Michelle Larsen seconded, that the minutes of the June 14, 2006 meeting be approved. The motion passed unanimously.

Apologies for Absence

Rose Cain, Sheron McIlhattan, and Jamie O'Callaghan sent apologies prior to July 12. Apologies were received on July 12 from Dan McGuire, Rich Stafford, and Bob Monnin.

CEPAC Administration, Budget and Accounting

  1. Introduction of FY07 officers and voting members - Michelle Larsen and Mary Engel ran the meeting: their first as Chair and Chair-elect, respectively. Michelle thanked past-Chair, Genevieve Burmeister, for her initiative and dedication to CEPAC during her tenure as an officer. Rose Cain, Jamie O'Callaghan, and Rich Stafford were acknowledged as new members, in their absence.
  2. CEPAC's MUSSA activity - CEPAC is facilitating a meeting of the Montana University System Staff Associations (MUSSA), on the Bozeman campus, July 13. Members from the University of Montana, MSU Northern, MSU Billings, and CEPAC will participate. Unfortunately, UM Western representative is unable to attend due to fiscal year-end obligations. However, Montana Tech, and UM Helena are sending staff members. (MSU Great Falls declined our invitation to attend this time). The focus of the meeting is the implementation of the Pooled Resources facility for staff development and training.
  3. CEPAC's Shared Governance Activity Shared governance partners are meeting monthly over the summer. The last meeting was June 21. ASMSU were not present.CEPAC displayed artwork for the Supporting Student Success buttons and relayed President Gamble's and PEC's enthusiasm for the concept. Faculty and Professional Councils agreed with CEPAC that buttons should be ordered at a total of twice the fall semester payroll headcount (6,000). CEPAC will distribute buttons for Move In Day and the Welcome Back Picnic, in August. Copy for the Welcome Back Picnic Shared Governance "bookmark" was also reviewed. ASMSU, Faculty and Professional Councils later provided final textual descriptions of their organisations, to CEPAC, and the bookmark was sent to print. CEPAC was thanked for its work on these projects.
  4. Researching WIC on Campus - last month, CEPAC reported that the Gallatin County Health Department was exploring the feasibility of expanding its WIC (woman, infant, child) program by adding an office on campus. MSU and Health Department representatives have met and are currently researching numbers of potential campus-based program users. Those present at CEPAC's meeting today noted their belief that single male parents are also eligible for WIC.
  5. Input from Constituents - Mary Hardy and Lorri Brenneman attended today's meeting and asked to present their research and observations regarding classified recruitment and retention at MSU. They were encouraged to do so.

    Mary and Lorri's chief concerns were (i) the number of loyal and valued staff reporting having no choice but to take up better paying employment opportunities off campus in order to make ends meet, and (ii) persistent recruitment difficulties evidenced by the large number of vacancies regularly posted by MSU. Lorri gave some startling examples of MSU / State / Federal wage comparisons, along with source material, which CEPAC is keen to pursue.

    Some history of CEPAC's efforts in regards to recruitment, retention, and salary was described, as well as the relevance of current activity. CEPAC's union/bargaining unit boundaries were also noted. Issues, such as the extraordinary housing and employment markets locally; the low level of State funding of higher education; implications for the University System; and the cost of tuition, were also raised. Discussion ensued.

    Mary and Lorri asked how they could help pursue these issues, both in the short and long term. Suggestions included: maintaining the flow of information to CEPAC and the MSU Administration; encouraging MSU employees to participate in awareness efforts (such as the Spotlight Program, wearing the Supporting Student Success buttons), attending CEPAC meetings, and keeping information flowing; emphasizing the advantages of working at MSU; and broadcasting the benefits rendered by MSU, locally and across the State.

    Mary and Lorri were thanked for their motivation and contribution thus far. Input such as this is greatly valued by CEPAC as vital to its work. CEPAC members encouraged Mary and Lorri to keep collecting ideas and information, and to keep in touch. The staff's loyalty and genuine concern for the university, its students and employees was also acknowledged.

  6. CEPAC Budget - CEPAC rolled over the funds earmarked for the production of the Supporting Student Success buttons into the IT replacement fund and will purchase a new computer in the next couple of months. The FY06 budget is anticipated to close, on target, with a balance of about $40.
  7. Annual Report FY06 - the FY06 annual report is being compiled and will be published next month. Through outreach this year, CEPAC has gleaned a wealth of information about the scope of the classified contribution to MSU and, of course, general input of great value to our work. A summary will be included in the annual report, with the logistics of sharing and utilizing the data to the maximum being addressed separately.

Committee Reports

CEPAC-nominated committee representatives have scheduled agenda time at each meeting to personally report on their committee work. CEPAC believes maximum communication to greatly benefit the staff and campus, and so also maintains on-line reporting as well as personal contact.

New committee representatives - Carol Shannon (Office of Facilities Services Advisory Board), Gail Weidenaar (MSU Benefits Committee), Kevin Thane (Personnel Board, union-exempt rep), and Joe Carnes (Personnel Board, union-covered rep) were introduced. Jen Friar was acknowledged as the new rep on the Marketing Advisory Committee, but had sent her apologies for missing today's meeting.

Below are summaries of reports given at today's meeting, with full information available by clicking on the name of each committee:

  • Office of Facilities Services Advisory Board - Carol Shannon reported on her attendance at her first OFSAC meeting. Official minutes will be available soon. Meanwhile, Carol mentioned the Board will soon begin work reviewing various campus services, as well as collecting information about the needs of users of certain buildings.

New Member Orientation

A "tour" of CEPAC's web site was given, and project updates were offered relevant to each page visited.

After a reminder that next month's meeting is on the third, rather than the second, Wednesday, there being no other business Mary Engel moved to close, Michelle Larsen seconded, and the meeting adjourned at 10:50 am.


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