Staff Senate Minutes

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

9:00-11:00 a.m.

Strand Union Building, Rm. #168

In Attendance

Ramie Pederson,

MSU Benefits/Chair

Wendy MCarty,


Ron Brekke,


Jennifer Nesbitt,

Rec Sports

Milana Lazetich,


Kerri Marx,

MSU Benefits

Keely Holmes,

Planning Council/PAC

Candace Mastel,


Joe Robbins,

Skilled Craft

Andrew Board,

Skilled Craft

Dorie Seymour,


Glen Steinhoff,

UFPB, Parking Appeals

Kasia Maison,


Lyle Williams,


Sylvia Sparkman,


Sarah Rieger,

MSU Benefits



Hayley Tuggle, Lisa Hespen


I.  Call to Order

The meeting was called to order by Chair Ramie Pederson.

II.  Approval of Minutes

The December 20, 2017Minutes were approved.

III.  New Business

a.  Guest Speaker

Hayley Tuggle spoke regarding the Emergency Management System.  Most students and staff members do not currently use the MSU Alert System.  The MSU Alert System is only used when there is an existing danger to life, such as an active shooter, earthquake, bomb threat, severe weather, etc.  There is also an email notification system which sends notice after an event has occurred.  Currently the Gallatin County and MSU systems do not communicate with each other, so if the County sends out an alert we do not receive notice, even if it is transpiring close to campus.  The MSU Alert System is joining together with the Gallatin County system.  All students, faculty, and employees will automatically be opted-in to receive alerts.  Those that do not wish to be included can then opt out.  The new system will be brought up before the Board of Regents for their approval. 

b.  Staff Senate Scholarship

A committee for the Staff Senate Scholarship was established.  The application process will begin mid-February and go until the end of March.

c.  The President's Commission on the Status of University Women Opening

Kasia Maison was unanimously voted to replace Sylvia Sparkman as The President’s Commission on the Status of University Women Staff Senate Representative. 

IV.  Old Business

a.  Merging Professional Council with Staff Senate

Staff Senate decided they would participate in a SWOT Analysis to discuss possible pros and cons of merging Staff Senate with Professional Council.  Said Analysis will be conducted during the February Staff Senate Meeting. The Senate simultaneously voted to table all agenda items until the March meeting.

b.  6 Mill Levy

Ramie has contacted the legal department regarding the possibility of inviting Regent Nystuen to speak at MSU to discuss Mill Levy 6.  Ramie was informed that so long as the presentation is informational only there shouldn’t be any issues with hosting such a presentation. 

V.  Committee Reports

  • Association of Shared Governance Leaders (ASGL)- did not meet.
  • Budget Council (David Reese)- did not meet.
  • Campus Sustainability Advisory Council (CSAC, Dave Clark)-no report.
  • MSU Benefits (Kerri Marx, Ramie Pederson, Sarah Rieger)- a subcommittee met regarding the MUS insurance plan.  It was advised there shouldn’t be any substantial changes to MUS’s benefits.  There will be more information available at the next meeting.  Things are looking better this year than they did last year.  The reserve is healthy, which means we should not see any changes to the deductible.  Wellchecks will be offered in March. 
  • Outreach & Engagement Council (Deb Chiolero)- no report.
  • Parking & Transportation Advisory Council (PTAC, Candace Mastel)- the design and proposal for the new residence hall was approved. The new hall, which will accommodate 480 beds, will go in the space currently occupied by the Antelope parking lot.  Construction is projected to begin this fall.  A smaller parking lot will be included in the building of the new residence hall. 

   A small group was formed to discuss transportation demand strategies and there was considerable conversation on “peak spreading” wherein the hours
   people work or go to classes are spread out therefore minimizing impacts to traffic congestion.  The group is looking into whether or not there are areas
   where work hours can be adjusted (i.e. working 5 a.m.-12 p.m. rather than 8 a.m.-5 p.m.).  The goal is to ease the amount of people commuting to and from
   work at the same time.  Not all departments would be able to adjust employee hours.  It was suggested Cathy Hasenpflug be invited to speak on this topic to
   address possible compliance concerns with state and federal laws. 

   Discussion then moved on to a park and ride system.  It was noted that the bus services are not lined up with working hours, so employees either arrive much
   earlier than they start work or are late to work.  There is a group of people looking into approaching surrounding buildings, such as churches, that aren’t really
   open during the week to see if they would be interested in allowing employees to park in their parking lots during work hours, using a bus to commute to and
   from the lot.  It was also noted that the bus services currently do not have any lines running on the southern side of town. 

  • Planning Council (Keely Holmes)- the December meeting was cancelled, however Keely shared her notes from the November meeting- Renee Reijo Pera, Vice President for Research & Economic Development spoke to the Council regarding research at MSU and discussed the importance of research to campus and how much research is under reported and faculty go unrecognized. 
  • The President’s Commission on the Status of University Women (Sylvia Sparkman)- no report.
  • Recreational Sports & Fitness Advisory Board (Jennifer Nesbitt)- did not meet.
  • Space Management (Milana Lazetich)- the health advising office is looking at potential space in a house located behind Hannon Hall. A few labs are being moved and it was recommended a request for a physics instruction lab be approved. 
  • Tobacco Free Task Force (Peggy Lehmann)- no report.
  • UFPB University Facilities Planning Board (Glenn Steinhoff)- parking spaces will be added between the Bison parking lot and the family housing bungalows, along with a future pedestrian walkway, in conjunction with the new residence hall. Work on the new parking lots is projected to begin this spring and will most likely retain the name “Antelope.”  The space on the corner of 15th and Lincoln was approved to be used for a new multi-use field.   Said field’s measurements will be based on rugby field dimensions, used year-round, and will support facilities such as bathrooms, locker rooms, and education spaces. 
  • UFPB Public Arts Committee (Keely Holmes)- did not meet.
  • University Council (Rami Pederson)- Bob Mokwa chaired the meeting this week.  The Space Management policy was approved along with 4-5 changes- mainly regarding language items.  There was discussion on training managers and supervisors to ensure they know how the process works, let them know there is a lot of flexibility in the plan, and to advise them they need to give the proper notifications. It was noted there is a 90-day deadline to fill an open space, after 90 days an appeal can be requested for another 90 days.  The sooner managers and supervisors speak with Space management, the easier it will be.  MSU will be recognizing Athletics this month in conjunction with MSU’s 125th  Twenty-five awards were handed out at Convocation this year.  The Sports Facilities Policy was passed.  Members were encouraged to attend the Know your MSU presentation regarding Biofilm Engineering Center by Director Matthew Fields and were advised MSU is a national leader in Biofilm Engineering and currently has more published citations than Harvard. 
  • Other: HR Policy Task Force (Milana Lazetich & Sylvia Sparkman)- meets every two weeks.  Currently focused on legal and editing. 


The Annual Report was submitted to the Board of Regents and can be found on the BOR website.  Said Report brought up the possibility of supplementing the faculty and staff section in the strategic plan.  MUSSA will begin working on their May presentation to the BOR which will include the items mentioned in the Annual Report. 

VII.  Informational Items

Staff Senate has been tasked with creating a time capsule in relation to MSU’s 125th Anniversary.  Ramie has contacted Royce Smith regarding the possibility of a student designing the capsule.  Ramie has also drafted a letter to departments and units requesting donations for the capsule and is awaiting approval from the President to move forward.  The time capsule will be presented on Founder’s Day and memorabilia will be collected throughout the year.  When completed, the capsule will be stored in the library vaults. 

VIII.  Updates & Other Business

a.  Professional Development & Training

There are multiple trainings currently available to staff.  Please visit the HR website for a list of upcoming training opportunities. 

Next Meeting:  February 21, 2018 9:00-11:00 a.m. in SUB Rm. #168 (Note:  this meeting time will be used to conduct the SWOT Analysis and there will be no agenda nor will any business items be discussed.)


Meeting was adjourned.