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Staff Senate


MINUTES
July 23, 2008


Roll Call

  • Voting Members:
  • Kevin Thane, Chair
  • Jeannette Radcliffe, Chair-elect
  • Bill Van Horn
  • Steve Beasley
  • Diane Helgeson
  • Mary Engel
  • Rose Cain
  • Gale Kinzie
  • Non-voting Members:
  • Michael Dean
  • Ron Brekke
  • Beth Littlefield
  • Judy Van Andel
  • Mandy Hansen (at 10:00 am)
  • Others present:
  • Deb Harrison, by telephone
  • Sandy Tetro
  • Sara France

Apologies for Absence

Donna Kelly.

Minutes of the Last Meeting

Jeannette Radcliffe pointed out some typographical errors in the Minutes of June 11, 2008. Bill Van Horn moved, and Jeannette Radcliffe seconded, that the Minutes be approved as corrected. The motion passed unanimously.

Briefing New Members

Handouts listing voting and non-voting members, and committee information, were passed out (emailed to Deb Harrison). Kevin stressed the importance of staff participation in campus committees, and spoke of his aims to enhance this during the coming year. In this respect, and as a general administrative procedure, the Staff Senate Bylaws will be reviewed (and amended as needed) in FY09. Kevin called for those present today to review the current Bylaws and bring suggested amendments to the next meeting. Kevin also encouraged committee reps to check in with their committee chair before the next Staff Senate meeting to ensure reps are up to date and actively involved.

General Business

  • Follow Up From Last Meeting
    • Dependent Care Spending Account - Sara France has requested information about usage and will report back to Staff Senate when it arrives.
    • Parking - Staff Senate has formally requested 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. There has been no response as yet.
    • President's Executive Council presentation
    • . Jeannette Radcliffe, Mary Engel, Sara France and Kevin Thane are working in response to President Gamble's invitation to speak to PEC regarding MSU's participating in job fairs and open houses. Sara has researched various elements relevant to outreach in recruitment including: (i) local employment markets in light of current economic situations, (ii) the continued need for active recruitment, (iii) and ways to dispel misconceptions about MSU as an employer. Discussion has covered how to address diversity within the demographics of our locality, and within the range of classified jobs available at MSU. Under close consideration is what Staff Senate's role might be within any proposal made to PEC. Discussion ensued at today's meeting, and the majority of those present agreed that the concept of outreach in recruitment should be pursued. However, bearing in mind campus budgetary and staffing limitations, it was thought likely that Staff Senate would need to offer to take the initial lead coordinating role for any initiative to be quickly feasible. Bill Van Horn spoke of the appropriateness of Staff Senate participation of this kind. He pointed out that, through Staff Senate, MSU classified employees have a voice with the administration - a very desirable advantage, and something not available with all employers. Potential campus collaboration in initiatives of this kind was discussed, and Rose Cain made some public relations suggestions. Concern was expressed at the amount of work this would entail and that Staff Senate may not be able to fulfill something of this scale. However it was agreed that the responsibility would be largely organizational and, with sufficient campus support, Staff Senate's role needn't be overwhelming. A presentation plan has not yet been produced but, once available, this will be shared with those present today.
  • Shared Governance - Shared governance partners met on June 18. Most of the meeting was devoted to discussing the July Board of Regents meeting. All participants supported Staff Senate's request that the August 13 meeting focus on completing documentation requesting formalizing the status of shared governance meetings and function.
  • MUSSA Activity - discussion of the MUSSA 2008 retreat (to coincide with the September Regents meeting, in Butte) took place. It is hoped that maximum participation from all campuses will be possible. MUSSA's immensely collaborative relationship was reiterated.
  • FY08 Goals Update - The 2007-08 draft annual report is complete and with the Staff Senate officers for review. It will be circulated next month prior to approval at the August meeting.
  • Preliminary Discussion of FY09 Goals - Suggestions from which goals may be formed include: reviewing the Staff Senate Bylaws; continued focus on recruitment and retention; affordable housing (Michael Dean spoke of some research he has undertaken and demonstrated a tool from First Interstate Bank that shows the loan amount considered affordable on various incomes); and sustainability.

    In connection with this discussion, it was noted that Staff Senate is currently recruiting for the Senate-nominated representative on the campus sustainability committee (those interested in participating, please send a note of your interest to Sara France sfrance@montana.edu by July 31). Also HR/Personnel & Payroll's recent announcement of the Benefits Calculator was discussed, and the feature applauded. The concept originated with Staff Senate at a Board of Regents meeting in 2006 and Staff Senate is delighted to see it come to fruition. It was agreed that awareness of the Benefits Calculator should be further promoted, and Sara France will confer with the appropriate people and suggest perhaps an article in MSU Today. (It was agreed, separately, that Staff Senate exposure in MSU Today was desirable as part of this year's outreach efforts and Sara will follow up on this also).

  • Outreach Update - Jeannette Radcliffe and Sara France met with Laborers, and Refrigeration staff yesterday. Participants were enthusiastic about the meeting. Matters arising included recruitment, retention, competitive salaries, and benefits (predominantly coverage issues).

Committee Reports

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

UFPUB - Mandy Hansen reported on the July 22 meeting: Leon Johnson brick replacement going out to bid (a project started 10 years ago that ran out of funding); finish materials on Gaines Hall remodel presented (informational); bike pad sites and elimination of no ride zones; nine emergency call box locations; methods to prevent an area behind the SUB, reserved for emergency access, from being used inappropriately(informational); the reactivation of the UFPB Sculpture subcommittee; plans for a noise abatement study and future standard-setting.

International Programs Judy Van Andel will be involved in setting up a global studies minor.

Space Management Bill Van Horn reported that SMC has been focusing mainly on Romney Gym and reallocated space there.

Benefits Committee Ron Brekke spoke about the WellAward program in which participants (faculty, staff, and spouses) can earn $100 for participating in health-related activities. Details will be circulated in September.

UPBAC Sara France reported that UPBAC had passed the Subcommittee's recommendation for a one time only donation to Streamline by MSU. Some weekend service, and a limited route to/from Livingston will be added for FY09.

Any Other Business

Supporting Student Success at Move In day. Due to the unpopularity of the pin-type (and the anticipated cost of magnetic) buttons, Staff Senate's button supply has not been renewed. Focus will be placed this year on posters and table tents. Campus participation will be encouraged in the usual ways.

Public Comment

Emails have been received expressing enthusiasm for car pooling, and a considerable amount of research on various other institutions' methods has been submitted to Staff Senate. This is much appreciated and will be used appropriately as Staff Senate's sustainability and other goals are identified.

Public comment was called for from the floor. The need for active recruitment and to accurately promote the culture of MSU's working environment was reiterated.

There being no other business, Bill Van Horn moved, Rose Cain seconded, and the meeting adjourned at 10.55 am.


NEXT MEETING: please note change of date due to Move In Day: AUGUST 20th IN SUB 272, AT 9:00AM


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