Montana State University

Staff Senate

Staff Senate Minutes (unapproved)

A regular meeting of the Staff Senate was held on Wednesday November 17, 2010 in SUB 236 9:00 to 11:00 a.m.  The following, marked with an X, were present. 

Elected Members:

X Steve Beasley A Jan Bradley X Deb Harrison A Neil Jorgensen
X 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.

Committee Members present:  Carol Shannon, Ron Brekke, Shana Wold, Molly Anderson, Beth Littlefield, Pam Fraser, Sheron McIlhattan.  Also in attendance was guest, Jeannette Radcliffe.

Apologies received from Jan Bradley, Shari Curtis, Neil Jorgensen, and Kristine Mashaw.

A motion, made by Pam and seconded by Molly, to approve the October 20, 2010 minutes was approved with one change to the apologies section. 

Committee Reports:
Association of Shared Governance Leaders – the members agreed to change their meeting time from weekly to biweekly. Professional Council is pursuing a meeting with the Board of Regents, Faculty Senate is working on unionization, and ASMSU is working on the end zone EZ stadium changes.

Debt Planning and Management – has not met per Sheron.

Facilities Services Advisory – Jan expressed an interest in participating on this committee.  Kevin volunteered is Jan is unable to fill this seat.

International Program – has not met per Pam.

MSU Benefits & IUBC – 3-year projections of the increases in medical expenses was share with the senate. 









Total Expenses ($M)




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EE/Ret Contribution ($M)




% Change in EE/Ret Cont.




Parking & Transportation Advisory – Molly missed the meeting, she will report at next month’s meeting.

Space Management – per Bill meeting was cancelled.

University Facilities Planning – Mandy missed the meeting but Sheron reported that she attended part of the meeting.  A gate, to be located by EPS and Student Health Services, was approved.  Full report at

University Marketing –meet per Shana.  The committee is working to coordinate and minimize in-house requests for donations.  The end zone EZ campaign has raised its first goal of $4 million and a request at the BoR meeting will request matching funds.  Senators raised a concern that students would be moved from fifty yard line seating to the end zone and requested Bill to follow up with ASMSU.  MSU will be advertising with be on the radio, a paint job on a Horizon Airlines plane, and other media.  The committee is pursuing discounted Bobcat merchandise at the MSU Bookstore.

Budget Council –Sheron reported that the committee had its first meeting.  President Cruzado outlined her vision for the group.  Full report at

Planning Council – Raechell reported that the committee met.  They explored the vision and mission statements and strategic plan as they were governed by the budget.  Full report at,

University Council – Bill reported that the incoming Provost Potvin attended the meeting.  It approved the alcohol and tobacco, and IT security policies.  It was noted that MSU is committed to increasing the number of online programs available by fall 2011.  Full report at

Other Committee reports – Donna reported that the Traffic Appeals Committee is seeing “E” parking pass violations, students are reporting “E” parking shortages.

New Business:
No new business was raised at the meeting.

Old Business:
Prescription Benefits Task Force – Bill, Raechell, and Ron reported on the URx plan change survey results.  30% of classified staff participated in the survey.  Ron will be taking these results to the MSU Benefits Committee and IUBC.  Bill will share this information with MSU faculty and professionals, and the UM Staff Senate.  The survey noted an increase in out of pocket spending on prescription medications for more than 50% of those taking the survey.  Of note was 25 individuals were spending $150 or more per month on their medications verses one person saving $150 in the same time period.  The most reveling question regarding the financial impact of the plan change was regarding stopping or considering stopping taking prescribe medications.  Thirty seven individuals said they stopped taking their medications and another 52 are considering stopping their medications in the future because of the increased cost and impact on their personal finances.  Senators wanted to know how our survey results compare with MUS benefits statistics.  All members agreed a follow up survey in April should be conducted.

New Hire Policy – per Kevin it was not discussed at the last BoR meeting.  Bill agreed to contact UM Missoula.

Leave without Pay – Jeannette met with Jo Packham.  HR is looking into a training plan; she requested the senate contact her with suggestions for training areas.  Senators suggested that a class on retirement geared to classified staff would be very useful.  Also employees on shifts, that do not require parking passes, asked about getting a parking passes to attend classes offered during the day.  The issue of training for supervisors was discussed.  Per Jo, it is not required and therefore supervisors do not have to attend these classes.  HR is looking to provide job specific training such as Accounting Associates, Administrative Associates, etc.  Jeannette reported that the current policy that requires a one week waiting period before sick leave pay starts will not be removed from the policy.  Individuals that are affected can request the waiting period be waived by contacting HR. 

Other Business:
Jeannette announced her retirement party on December 20 from 2 to 4 p.m. in SUB Leigh Lounge and asked everyone who could to attend.

A motion to adjourn was made by Donna and seconded by Shana at 11:13 a.m.

Next meeting:  Wednesday December 15, 2010 from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. in SUB #236.

Staff Senate motto