March 25, 2009

Approved - April 22, 2009

Roll Call

  • Voting Members:
  • Kevin Thane, Chair
  • Jeannette Radcliffe, Chair-elect
  • Bill Van Horn
  • Diane Helgeson
  • Gale Kinzie
  • Steven Beasley
  • Donna Kelly
  • Rose Cain
  • Mary Engel (left at 9:45 am)
  • Non-voting Members:
  • Michael Dean
  • Ron Brekke
  • Kathy Sobrepena
  • Shari Curtis
  • Beth Littlefield
  • Carol Shannon (arrived at 9:55 am)
  • Others present:
  • Sandy Tetro

Apologies for Absence
Shana Wold
Minutes of the Last Meeting
Bill Van Horn moved, Mary Engel seconded approval of January minutes.
Bill Van Horn moved, Diane Helgeson seconded approval of February minutes.
General Business – Follow up from February meeting:

  • Ron Brekke called Barb Wheeler and she offered that anyone having questions about Wellness points call her directly at ext. 6333.
  • Program Coordinator update – application are in and there are a good pool of applicants.  Search committee is meeting this afternoon to review applications.  Search closed last Wednesday.
  • Board of Regents – Kevin passed around a drawing of the roundabout slated for the intersection of College and 11th Ave.  The agenda of the Board of Regents was shuffled to accommodate members’ conflicts.  “Kindergarten to college” connection to address the flow of students in the education system.
  • Request for Authorization by MSU in the amount of $7,500,000 to make buildings north of new Chemistry building permanent.  Funding is coming from stimulus money.  Mandy Hanson is our UFPUB rep, but did not attend today’s meeting due to a family emergency.  Sheron McIlhattan volunteered and was unanimously supported to be Mandy’s backup at UFPUB meetings.  Sheron will contact Mandy.
  • Donna Kelly explained that she contacted (emailed) President Gamble about the temporary buildings north of Chemistry.  President Gamble responded by assuring her that they were only temporary and would not become permanent.  The students (at the BOR meeting) protested that action and the loss of the green space.  Michael Dean pointed out the buildings don’t meet the standards architecturally set by MSU.  Kevin’s sense of what the issue is, is that the buildings would be used for research – not classrooms.  Therefore, operations and maintenance funding will come from the VP of Research.  Bill Van Horn suggested we support the students’ position on this matter.  Generally, Staff Senate is supportive.  No one indicated disagreement with this position.
  • Governor’s presentation – on Thursday, Steve Barrett (Chair, BOR) circulated a letter in support of a tuition cap.  Students said they weren’t necessarily in favor of a tuition cap, they were more supportive of the health of the institution.  Projections say enrollment in the near future is going to spike.  Governor is strongly pushing for a tuition cap. 
  • Shared Governance (ASGL) – new ASMSU president has been elected.  Shane Colvin, past president, was very active and a good leader.  ASGL exists because of President Gamble’s support.  Each member of ASGL has approved language supporting shared governance.  Michael Dean suggested BOR should include support  of the culture of shared governance in the search criteria for the new president.
  • MUSSA – not much going on.  Sara France was the primary coordinator of this group.
  • Outreach – Kevin will facilitate an outreach with Financial Aid on April 20th from 10 to noon.
  • New Employee Orientation – Kevin is still doing this, but there are very few new employees.
  • Legislative Update – Appropriations has just finished work on the stimulus bill (HB 645) and has passed it on to the Senate.  At this point twenty million is slated to go to cities and towns.  The direct impact to Gallatin County is about one million.  3.5 million is designated for tribal education; 15 million for K-12 education; 13 million for higher education;  Allocations will change as the legislature continues to work on the bill.

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.
Benefits Committee – Ron Brekke distributed minutes from the MSU Benefits Committee meeting held on March 5.  A complete report of that meeting can be found on the web.  There will be a podcast in EPS 128 at 1:30 p.m. today by Paul Bogumill for informational seminars about health coverage.  There was also discussion about employees’ medical ID cards with social security numbers printed on them.  HR’s website has a form to complete to request an alternate ID.  It is the employee’s responsibility to contact each provider they have ever seen and ask to have your SSN removed from their records.
Recreational Sports & Fitness – Kathy Sobrepena reported the new climbing wall is complete and being used.  Butch Leone, who was the intramurals director, is retiring.  The question was addressed of youths being able to use the gym without a parent being present and the group decided to table the discussion.  Recreational Sports is struggling financially and it looks like they will be promoting a fee increase.
Provost Sponsored Luncheon – April 9 is the next scheduled Provost sponsored luncheon.  Duane Morris is doing a presentation on “What it’s like to put events together from behind the scenes” at the Fieldhouse.

General Business

  • UPBAC  hasn’t met – next meeting is April 7.

Any Other Business

  • VEBA – Kevin gave a brief explanation of what VEBA means, and who are the members.  Sheron M. suggested we need to have a presentation by PERS to explain VEBA from their perspective.  Kevin asked for volunteers to serve on an ad-hoc committee to investigate this issue further and contact people to gain more information.  Carol Shannon, Diane Helgeson and Sandy Tetro volunteered.
  • Classified Staff Survey – discussion focused on Staff Senate section questions.  Most of the responses indicated that the responders chose “neither agree nor disagree” (which could also mean, don’t know?).  It was generally felt that those who attend Staff Senate meetings and know about Staff Senate, agree with the answers.  So, based on responses, more work needs to be done with outreach to classified staff to let them know what we do and what has been accomplished in the past.  Bill wondered what more we could do to inform classified staff.
  • The next Staff Senate meeting will be April 22 in SUB 236.

Public Comment
Bill Van Horn moved, Steve Beasley seconded and the meeting adjourned at 11:00 am.