Staff Senate Minutes - (Approved, June 10, 2009)

A regular meeting of the Staff Senate was held on Wednesday, May 27, 2009 at Strand Union Building SUB #236 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.  The following, marked with an X, being a quorum of elected members, were present.

Elected Members:

 

 

Term Ending

 

 

Term Ending

 

Steve Beasley

6/30/2010

X

Rose Cain

6/30/2009

X

Mary Engel

6/30/2011

A

Diane Helgeson

6/30/2009

A

Donna Kelly

6/30/2010

X

Gale Kinzie

6/30/2010

 

Robert Monnin

6/30/2009

X

Raechell Nielsen

6/30/2011

X

Jeannette Radcliffe

6/30/2010

X

Kevin Thane

6/30/2010

X

Bill Van Horn

6/30/2011

 

 

 

Attendance Code Key:  X = Attended     A=Apologies for Absence       Staff, Joan Ford, was in attendance.

Appointed Committee Members:  Shari Curtis, Sandy Tetro, Michael Dean, Beth Littlefield, Mandy Hansen, Ron Brekke, Kathy Sobrepena, Kristine Mashaw, Carol Shannon, and Deb Harrison (via phone), were in attendance.

Approval of the April 22, 2009 minutes will be held until the June 10, 2009 meeting.

Business:
Temporary Chemistry Building Labs are scheduled to be removed in September 2009.  A grant from the President’s office needs to be submitted for the new building.

Kevin Thane, Jeannette Radcliffe, and Joan Ford will be attending the Board of Regents (BoR) meeting in Great Falls on May 28 and 29.  Kevin noted that the main topic for decision at the BoR meeting is tuition and fee rates.  The Montana state legislature reduced the Montana University System budget by $18 million dollars.  At a recent University Planning Budget & Analysis Committee (UPBAC) best case (3-5% tuition increase) and worst case (0% increase) budget proposals were discussed.  UPBAC is seeking creative ways to reduce the overall budget some ideas being discussed are furloughs, pay cuts, and more.  MSU is expecting to have a large freshman class FY 09/10.  But this large class will not increase the overall tuition base due to the large graduating class in 2009.  The Members reported many departments, in anticipation of the economic situation, have either not re-hired when an employee left or has cancelled job postings.  It was noted MSU currently has 6 classified and 23 professional job postings.  Members further noted that staffing is lean and in many areas staff reduction may have a negative impact on students.  Kevin will relay these concerns to the BoR.

Dependent fee waiver issue is still a concern from the recent Choices benefits enrollment.  Employees receiving a raise that pushed their income above $28,314 per annum lost the waiver.  With this loss the employees take home pay is less than before the raise with the waiver applied.  Discussion was held.  Members noted identifying and notifying employees ahead of time next enrollment period may aide employee who could lose this waiver.  Kevin will continue to pursue this issue with Human Resources.

Shared Governance, Phyllis Bock, Dir/ASMSU Attorney-JD Associated Students of MSU has been selected for the Presidential search committee as the Classified Employees representative.   Jeannette, Mary, Ron, Mandy, Kathy, and Phyllis met with Academic Search Consultant, Dr. Bill Franklin on Thursday, May 21.  Dr. Franklin reported that they will solicit over 1,000 potential candidates; the committee has received 200 emails regarding this opening to date, and estimates the candidate pool should be narrowed to 9-10 prospects by January 2010.  Candidates should  understand the distinctiveness of MSU, major challenges and opportunities, what key things need to be addressed in the next 2-3 years, and what qualities and skills the new president needs to be successful.

Elections will soon be distributed both electronically and manually shortly.

Montana University System Staff Associations (MUSSA) held a conference call to discuss the upcoming BoR meeting and establishing the message MUSSA wanted to present to the Regents.  Bozeman, Missoula, and Northern were represented on the call.

Outreach: 
Jeannette made a new employee orientation presentation on Friday May 22.

Committee Reports:

A motion, made by Raechell and seconded by Gale, to adjourn the meeting at 11:13 a.m., was unanimously approved.

Next meeting:  Wednesday, June 10, 2009 Strand Union Building SUB #168 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.