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CEPAC-Staff Senate


MINUTES
March 26, 2008


Roll Call

  • Voting Members:
  • Kevin Thane, Chair-elect
  • Diane Helgeson
  • Jeannette Radcliffe
  • Kristine Mashaw
  • Rose Cain
  • Gale M Kinzie
  • Non-voting Members:
  • Ron Brekke
  • Kathy Sobrepena
  • Sherry Garner
  • Beth Littlefield
  • Carol Shannon
    Others present:
  • Tom Jewell
  • Casssandra Lewis
  • Sara France

Apologies for Absence

Michelle Larsen and Mary Engel

Minutes of the Last Meeting

Gale Kinzie moved that the minutes of the February 27, 2008 meeting be approved and Diane Helgeson seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

General Business

  • Shared Governance - Key topics of recent conversation among the shared governance partners have centered around distribution of faculty, professional and union exempt classified salary increases due October 1; the possibility of a faculty union at MSU; and employee recruitment and retention.
  • MUSSA Activity - MUSSA is awaiting feedback (requested by May 1) regarding Pooled Resources. Meanwhile, arrangements are being made for the May Board of Regents meeting in Havre.
  • Supplementing Staff Salaries survey outcomes are now on-line.
  • Outreach Update - Kevin Thane reported on his meeting with Facilities Custodians at 11:15 pm on February 28. Jeanette Radcliffe and Diane Helgeson spoke of outreach with the College of Engineering on March 19. Appointments are imminent with: Hannon Dining Room; Harrison Dining Room; Plumbers; Painters; Heating, and Refrigeration; SUB Administration. Further meetings in the pipeline include: Electricians; WTI; and Microbiology.

    Discussion of feedback received during outreach, and submitted by staff members subsequently, ensued. Issues include tuition waivers, dental plan coverage, salary compression, medical benefit plan changes. Answers to specific questions will be sent to those who posed them. Meanwhile, all staff members are encouraged to raise issues with CEPAC-Staff Senate (either at monthly meetings or by email, letter, or phone) or with the appropriate committee representative.

  • Committee Representative Recruitment, and CEPAC-Staff Senate Membership Elections - volunteers will soon be solicited to fill thirteen slots where classified committee reps' terms are ending. Information, and application details, will be emailed shortly and in hard copy (in the case of Technical Paraprofessional, Service Maintenance, and Skilled Crafts employees).

    Meanwhile, Steve Burk, Mary Engel, Michelle Larsen, and Kristine Mashaw's terms as voting members of CEPAC-Staff Senate expire June 30. The electronic nominations/elections process will take place in April and notification of how to participate will soon be circulated to Classified Professional (email), Secretarial/clerical (email), and Technical Paraprofessional employees (hardcopy).

Guest Speakers: Cassandra Lewis and Tom Jewell, Financial Aid

Cassandra and Tom kindly agreed to talk about financial aid, following recent questions arising from outreach meetings. They gave a very informative general overview, and referred more specifically to both the staff and faculty tuition waiver, and the partial dependent tuition waiver. It was stressed that these waivers apply to tuition and not to fees. A student's overall cost of education budget (tuition, fees, books, etc) is created by the Financial Aid Office. The Expected Family Contribution calculated from the filing of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), is deducted from the cost of education, and the remaining amount is the figure which may be covered by financial aid. Some students may be entitled to need-based grants such as Pell (which are not required to be paid back). Non need-based aid (eg scholarships) may be applied to students' direct and/or indirect costs, but the total value of any aid cannot exceed the overall cost of education. Third party billings and tuition waivers must be matched against a specific charge. Waivers reduce tuition, thereby lowering the eligibility for other types of aid.

Committee Reports

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

Benefits Committee - Ron Brekke spoke of the upcoming premium reduction, but stressed that this cannot be expected every year. He also outlined plan changes, and CHOICES enrollment procedures. A discussion followed, largely arising from feedback received at outreach meetings, about how staff might give input (via classified committee representatives, or CEPAC-Staff Senate) into policy changes, and the need for greater notification of such amendments, as well as effective dates.

Parking Appeals Committee - Carol Shannon reported that the number of appeals has increased, perhaps due to the increased fine for parking violations. Many appeals cite an unfamiliarity with parking policy and Carol asked those present at today's meeting how the campus community might become better informed. Some suggestions were offered.

Recreational Sports Advisory Board - Kathy Sobrepena reported that the students voted in favor of a $5 student fee (for fitness equiment). Meanwhile, the facility has now been secured such that members only have access to the building. It is not anticipated that fees (other than for lockers) will increase this year. A question was raised about the availability of the walking track in Romney Gym. Its status wasn't known for sure but, as an alternative, walking is permitted inside the fieldhouse.

Provost-Sponsored Classified Luncheon Steering Committee - Beth Littlefield stated that the March 7 luncheon was well attended. There were some logistical timing difficulties, but the presentation was very well received. The podcast should be available via the CEPAC-Staff Senate web site soon. Beth encouraged suggestions for topics for next semester's luncheon.

Other Business

  • As a result of feedback from outreach (requesting the CEPAC-Staff Senate meeting notice and agenda be emailed to staff shortly before each meeting) Jeanette Radcliffe moved that the already existing CEPAC-Staff Senate monthly update email (which contains this information as well as the highlights from the last meeting) be sent within a week of the upcoming meeting rather than upon publication of the minutes of the current meeting. Other staff feedback had discouraged CEPAC-Staff Senate's previous practice of sending the update immediately as well as a reminder one week ahead of the next meeting (due to email messaging overload). Gale Kinzie seconded and the motion passed unanimously. Sara France was asked to send the update upon publication of the minutes as usual this month, with an explanation of the new circulation routine.
  • Leslie Taylor has drawn CEPAC-Staff Senate's attention to the porposed Public Participation Policy which calls for various meetings, including CEPAC-Staff Senate's monthly meetings, to be open to the public and for public attendees to be given opportunity to speak and participate. CEPAC-Staff Senate already encourages public participation and will ensure everyone has opportunity to give input.

    There being no more time, Rose Cain moved to adjourn. Jeanette Radcliffe seconded, and the meeting closed at 11:05 am.


NEXT MEETING: APRIL 23 IN SUB 276, AT 9:00AM


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