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CEPAC-Staff Senate

June 11, 2008

Roll Call

  • Voting Members:
  • Mary Engel, Chair
  • Kevin Thane, Chair-elect
  • Jeannette Radcliffe
  • Gale Kinzie
  • Diane Helgeson
  • Bill van Horn (voting member as of 7/1/08)
  • Ellen Hall (voting member as of 7/1/08)
  • Non-voting Members:
  • Ron Brekke
  • Michael Dean
  • Sherry Todd
  • Beth Littlefield
  • Carol Shannon (at 10:00 am)
  • Sheron McIlhattan (at 10:00 am)
    Others present:
  • President Gamble, guest speaker (at 10:00 am)
  • Deb Harrison, by telephone (at 10:00 am)
  • Sandra Tetro
  • Sara France

Apologies for Absence

Michelle Larsen, Rose Cain, and Steven Beasley sent apologies.

Minutes of the Last Meeting

Sara France thanked Jeannette Radcliffe for identifying three typographical errors. Bill Van Horn moved that, with the correction of the errors, the minutes of the May 28, 2008 meeting be approved. Kevin Thane seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

General Business

  • Follow Up From Last Meeting
    • The CEPAC name has been changed to Staff Senate at the University Business Office, a new name plate is on the office door, and members' name badges were handed out last meeting
    • In requesting topics for discussion with the President, a couple of issues were raised that were not put on the agenda for today, but pursued through other avenues: (i) "What is the justification for having raised the parking violations fines from $15 to $45"? Kurt Blunck's, Parking Manager, complete answer (email) will be forwarded to CEPAC-Staff Senate members but the gist is that most fines have not been raised to $45. The $45 fines (for what are considered the most egregious violations) are failure to register; parked in a reserved stall, tow away zone, or fire lane. Fines are set the way they are for three primary reasons: to serve as a deterrent to undesired behavior; to provide an incentive to undertake desired behavior; to cover enforcement costs. In 2006 the legislature granted the universities the right to set their own fines. Since there hadn't been an increase since the mid 1990s the decision was made to raise fines to the level they would have been had there been regular inflationary increases, and to a level where the price would begin to influence behavior.
      (ii)"Does the hospital contribute to Streamline"? Colleen Lindner responded that Streamline is working on the hospital but it doesn't contribute at this time.
    • Since last meeting's discussion about direct deposit, HR/Personnel & Payroll has issued a monthly informational email (on May 30). Among other items was a piece on "Paycheck Distribution" which includes the announcement that as of August 11, 2008 checks will be held in HR/PP for 60 days/2 payroll cycles and then will be mailed. And that employees may pick up their checks at the front desk during regular hours with a picture ID (check distribution hours on payday are 7am-5pm). Sherry Todd offered answers to some further questions from last month: in May, HR/PP handled 1320 checks on payday - for employees not participating in direct deposit. Sherry said about 4149 checks are handled through direct deposit (76% of the payroll). She also commented that one of the considerations in determining the feasibility of implementing twice monthly pay checks is direct deposit participation (handling more than 1000 checks on a twice a month basis would obviously add considerably to the labor intensity of the payroll process).
    • FY09 Meeting Schedule - rooms in the SUB (predominantly 274) are reserved from 9-11 am on the fourth Wednesday of the month (second Wednesday in December and June). It was noted that SUB106E currently has no active telephone jack (for Deb Harrison's participation) but Conference Services later confirmed that this will be rectified shortly, and certainly by the time we have the room allocated (in August, November 2008 and June 2009).
    • Parking - at last month's meeting, Robert Putzke mentioned in passing that it might be possible for Parking Services to consider allowing vehicles displaying any hang tag to park in any lot when classes are not in session. Kevin Thane moved that CEPAC-Staff Senate formally request that such consideration be made (respecting reserved and handicapped spaces). Discussion ensued about the benefits of similarly allowing free visitor parking when school is not in session. Kevin amended the motion: CEPAC-Staff Senate formally requests that, preserving the usual restrictions related to reserved and handicapped spaces, Parking Services permit any vehicle (with or without a hang tag) to park in any parking lot when classes are not in session. Jeannette Radcliffe seconded and the motion passed unanimously. Sara France will submit this to Robert.
  • Shared Governance - Shared governance partners meet next on June 18 and will continue working on formalizing the status of their meetings and function.
  • Board of Regents Meeting Roundup - CEPAC-Staff Senate and our MUSSA colleagues met in Havre and participated in the May 29-30 Regents meeting. In summary of our full report, MUSSA was greatly encouraged by Regent discussions of budgetary issues; remains optimistic for revisiting Pooled Resources in the future; and is ready to move on with other initiatives. Further to CEPAC-Staff Senate's April 23, 2008 motion to ensure a presence at at least three Board of Regents' meetings, and Commissioner Stearns' encouragement in Havre of classified networking, MUSSA will hold its 2008 retreat to coincide with the September Regents meeting, in Butte and encourage maximum participation. Comments and queries at today's meeting led to a short review of Regential procedure and activity - especially in regards to recruitment and retention and fiscal matters.
  • Outreach Update - No outreach appointments had been arranged since the last meeting.

Guest Speaker President Gamble

CEPAC-Staff Senate welcomed President Gamble to the meeting. We mentioned the decision to change CEPAC's name to Staff Senate, and went on to give a brief overview of our activity this fiscal year:
    Our main focus has been on following the Recruitment and Retention Task Force outcomes, placing much emphasis on:
  • Shared Governance (weekly meetings with Faculty Senate, Professional Council, and ASMSU); MUSSA interaction (4 meetings, 8 conference calls and much email communication); and Board of Regents meeting attendances (3 meetings, participating in non-MUSSA activity). The tremendous collaboration and cooperation within these interactions was noted
  • Production of our 2007 Update to MSU Within the Community research; and participation in community events such as the President's community forum, and the Bozeman Chamber's Business Expo
  • 2008 Supplementing Staff Salaries research update
  • ensuring we keep on a track deemed relevant by our constituents - including the biennial 360 Review of our own performance (which indicates increased interest and support for shared governance, and in the staff's knowledge of what CEPAC-Staff Senate does, as well as elevated overall performance ratings)
  • outreach - in addition to networking around campus generally, we conducted eleven departmental meetings reaching about 150 people. We also undertook an ambitious week-long Supporting Student Success campaign, and other events on MSU Fridays
  • recommendations from our research remain still to be pursued - employee recognition/mentoring; the possibility of recruitment open houses or a presence at more job fairs, and targeting certain candidate groups; and professional development and training.

Feedback from our interactions with all constituencies this year continues to convey significant salary and housing cost issues. It also describes employees as struggling with budgetary and recruitment and retention problems, resulting in stretched workloads that leave little time for non-prioritized duties challenging, particularly, shared governance participation, and growth. This was a theme of MUSSA's at last month's Regents' meeting and featured significantly in the decision to postpone development of Pooled Resources (the belief that staff would be generally too busy to use the program sufficiently to keep it running at this time).

CEPAC-Staff Senate invited President Gamble to comment on the overview, and also on the status of Pooled Resources. The President recognized the appropriateness of the change of name. He commended the group for our intriguing concepts, and acknowledged CEPAC-Staff Senate's role in bringing about the formation of the Recruitment and Retention Task Force. He encouraged a presentation of our recruitment ideas (mentioned in the overview) at President's Executive Council. President Gamble remarked that he thought that the logic of MUSSA's presentation on Pooled Resources to the Regents was well put such that the Board clearly understood the status. He said he had not given up on the idea of Pooled Resources and joined our sentiment that the time will come to revisit it again.

As CEPAC-Staff Senate continues to look at day care and affordable housing, we were interested in more details of the President's vision of MSU as a "family friendly employer" (as mentioned in his state of the university speech earlier this semester). President Gamble shared information about his continued dialogues on various housing possibilities, potential for partnering in development, and the MSU Tomorrow plan. Expansion of 19th Ave, shuttle and other transportation issues etc also came up. The President didn't know when MSU's status in this regard might alter but guessed it likely wouldn't be in less than five years.

As to child care, the President regretted the cost and complexities of its potential provision but remarked they needn't preclude pursuing the concept. A discussion ensued and those present at today's meeting acknowledged how difficult it is to meet everyone's needs: providing adequate service for the number of potential users, as well as balancing such a benefit for employees without child care needs. A question was raised about the extent of employee usage of the Dependent Care Spending Account (offering a tax break on child care and disabled dependent adult care which allows the employee to work). Sara France undertook to inquire about this. The President was asked what would be the appropriate avenue through which to pursue child care and he described the UPBAC process for budget requests (sponsorship of the proposal - possibly via partnership of an academic and nonacademic department - and UPBAC's approval of where within the budget finance could be found).

Next, the conversation moved to sustainability and President Gamble spoke of a current analysis of MSU's carbon footprint, and of the university's commitment to the Governor's 20 By 10 plan, etc. Work is diligently underway, but it is early in the process. CEPAC-Staff Senate expects full formation of associated committees (with staff representation) in the fall. Campus water conservation and building noise reduction were also discussed. Various suggestions for energy and gasoline savings were spoken of (including shift work, and mass transportation). The President went on to refer to MSU's sustainability research, partnerships with laboratories such as Laurence Livermore and Los Alamos, the carbon dioxide sequestration demonstration site west of campus, and the work with hydrogen fuel cell technology that's underway here.

The President was next asked how campus summer events (such as the Wally Byam gathering) were attracted to MSU and about any financial benefit. He explained how the university is approached by organizations such as this, MSU's expenses are covered by the group, and events of this kind bring significant revenue to the community.

Finally, President Gamble responded to questions about University Leadership and other programs, speaking of employees as MSU's most valuable asset and the different aspects of professional development. He referred also to MSU's sponsorship of some employees to the Bryn Mawr Summer Institute for Women.

CEPAC-Staff Senate thanked President Gamble for his time and the information he'd shared, and the meeting proceeded.

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.

UFPUB - Sheron McIlhattan reported on recent activity including a State A&E camera, mounted on the Fitness Center, taking regular still photos of the Gaines renovation; a request for an additional antenna (Verizon) on the Johnstone roof; a presentation by Jeff Davis, Facilities, on sustainability; a donor sign in the Chemistry Building.

UPBAC Subcommittee - Kevin Thane reported that the subcommittee addressing MSU and Streamline funding is working electronically towards a decision deadline later this month.

Public Comment

There was no public comment.

Running over time, the meeting adjourned at 11:10 am.


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