Montana State University

Staff Senate

Staff Senate Minutes (approved 8/18/10)

A regular meeting of the Staff Senate was held on Wednesday July 28, 2010 in SUB 236 9:00 to 11:00 a.m.  The following, marked with an X, were present.  Guest present, Jeannette Radcliffe.

Elected Members:

X Steve Beasley A Jan Bradley A Deb Harrison A Neil Jorgensen
A Donna Kelly X Wendy McCarty X Raechell Nielsen X Kevin Thane
X Justin van Almelo X Bill Van Horn X Deb Wilke    

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

Appointed Committee Members: Shana Wold, Kristine Mashaw, Beth Littlefield, Molly Anderson, Shari Curtis, Pam Fraser, and Ron Brekke. 

Apologies received from Jan Bradley, Mandy Hansen, Deb Harrison, Neil Jorgensen, Donna Kelly, Sheron McIllhattan, and Merry Paceley. 

A motion, made by Bill and seconded by Kristine, to approve the June 23, 2010 minute with corrections was unanimously approved. 

Committee Reports:

  • Association of Shared Governance Leaders – does not meeting during summer.
  • Debt Planning and Management – no report.
  • Facilities Services Advisory –no report.
  • International Program - does not meeting during summer.
  • MSU Benefits & IUBC – did not meet in June.  There will be a plan change meeting August 25. There will be an IUBC meeting September 30 and October 1 in Helena.
  • Parking & Transportation Advisory – met June 23 per Molly.  The committee has received estimates for the next stage of paving for the F-Lot on the corner of Kagy and 11th.  The proposal is to pave the next section of the lot, adding an estimated 312 parking spots (this will roughly double the current paved portion size).  The estimated total cost is $360,000.  Full report at
  • Space Management – met July 2 per Bill. Discussion centered around a possible space inventory and utilization study for Culbertson Hall following the move of the College of Technology into Hamilton Hall. There was also talk about standardizing procedures for space requests and proposals to the Committee, which will be brought up again at the August meeting.  The Office of International Programs delivered a presentation regarding their need for expanded classroom access. It was determined that the Committee would ask the Registrar’s Office to look into the issue of classroom availability.  Finally, an update was presented regarding the renovation of the elevator and restrooms in Reid Hall to bring them into ADA compliance.
  • University Facilities Planning – did not meet per Mandy’s email.  However, at the July 20th Board of Regents meeting, UFPUB was presented a request for consideration of a new building on campus. Full report at
  • University Marketing – does not meeting during summer.
  • University Planning, Budget & Analysis Committee – did not meet in June.

New Business:
Raechell proposed that the Staff Senate meeting day be changed from the fourth Wednesday to the third Wednesday of each month.  It was noted that the current meeting time falls during payroll preparation and there are a minimum of two meetings, November and December, which are rescheduled to the third week of those months.  Discussion was held.   A motion, made by Raechell and seconded by Molly, to change the Staff Senate meeting day to the third Wednesday of each month was unanimously approved. 

Bill noted he made a terminology change on the agenda from Staff Senate Committees or Subcommittees to Task Forces because it better fits the way we operate.  His reasoning was that, according to the MSU Committee web page, a committee has an ongoing advisory function and a task force has a specific charge to accomplish in a specified amount of time.

Bill proposed a Public Relations Task Force, to develop a Staff Senate logo and motto, update the web site, improve communication with constituents, etc.  He agreed to be chair and noted that most meetings would be held via email.  Shari, Molly, Deb Wilke, Shana, and Rebecca Duran-Barnick volunteered to be on the Task Force.  Others wishing to volunteer to be on the PR or other Task Forces may contact the office at 994-6895 or

Old Business:

  • Prescription Benefits Task Force – Ron, Raechell, and Bill, met on July 19.  Ron brought a draft document requesting employees review their prescriptions and the process for the Plan Exception form.  Bill agreed to draft an introduction for the document.  The group agreed that running both items past President Cruzado would be appropriate before it is sent to all classified employees.  Bill estimates this will happen the week of August 2.
  • Training Task Force – no report.
  • MUSSA – did not meet in June.
  • Board of Regents – there was a Regents meeting in Helena on August 20, Staff Senate did not attend.
  • New Hire Policy – the issue has been added to the MUS Staff and Compensation subcommittee agenda, no action was taken at the August 20 Regents meeting.
  • Leave without Pay, Jeannette spoke with Jo Oudshoorn in July.  Jo noted that the Policy is in the process of being rewritten.  It was noted that deleting Section 1045.00 – Sick Leave Fund, bulleted item, “take five days of leave of absence without pay following the exhaustion of all accrued leave and compensatory time”, would remove the confusion and eliminate the problem. Jo commented that removing that bulleted item was among the changes they were considering.  A motion, made by Kevin and seconded by Raechell, to support removing the wording of the bulleted item noted above in Section 1045.00, was unanimously approved. 

Jo also discussed having new employee orientation be mandatory and scheduled over multiple meetings.  The current orientation overwhelms new employees.  Discussion included breaking orientation into modules, scheduling modules over time similar to Banner training, having basic and intermediate levels.  Jeannette agreed to meet with Jo to get a better understanding of what she needs and wants. 

  • Pedestrian Safety – Kristine, Ron and Joan met with Facilities and Planning regarding bicycles and skateboards in regards to pedestrian safety.  It was noted that the Bicycle Regulations can be found at:  The mall is currently considered a “Shared Use Corridor,” opened to wheel traffic near the end of 2008, to promote alternative means of transportation and increase the ease of their use.  To that end, improvements were also made to bicycle parking via bike pads and additional racks (see Reid Hall).  The decision to remove the “no bicycle zone” from the mall was voted through UFPUB and greatly supported by ASMSU.  University Police reported only two minor incidents between pedestrians and bicycles in their records.  If you encounter any problems, notify University Police immediately.  The Long Range Campus Development Plan shows trails, dividing use between pedestrians and wheels in the “Commuter Corridor” only – all other areas will be considered “Shared Use.”
  • VEBA – no update.
  • MSU within the Community Context – no update.
  • Committee vacancies and Committee changes – no replacements for expired terms or vacancies are being sought until President Cruzado’s changes to the committee structure have been finalized.
  • University Budget – no update.
  • Temporary Chemistry Labs – no report, Kevin agreed to follow up and email any information.

Other Business:
Deb Wilke inquired about the Dependent Tuition Waiver guidelines.  It was acknowledged that Tuition Waiver is an employee benefit negotiated through the collective bargaining package.  Bill volunteered to contact Craig Roloff to get information regarding the economic impact of reducing the waiting time from five years to two or three years.

Shari and Molly raised the issue of cardboard recycling.  They are trying to get a cardboard recycling bin near Renne Library where they estimate they recycle 100 boxes per month.  They made an appeal to ASMSU, who funds the recycling effort at MSU, but were denied a bin based on the cost.  Kevin noted that ITC also recycles a significant quantity of boxes and would want a reuse area as well as a recycling bin.  Discussion included is cardboard recycled locally, where did EPC get its bin, and what is MSU’s position on recycling.  Molly and Shari will explore these issues.

Kevin reported that the Provost Search Committee is progressing.

A motion to adjourn was made by Raechell and seconded by Molly at 10:50 a.m.

Next meeting:  Wednesday August 18, 2010 from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. in SUB #236