Staff Senate Minutes

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

9:00-11:00 a.m. 

Strand Union Building, Rm. #168


In Attendance

Ramie Pederson,

MSU Benefits/Chair

Wendy McCarty,


Kasia Maison,


Joe Robbins,

Skilled Craft

Milana Lazetich,


Keely Holmes,

Planning Council/PAC

Andrew Board,

Skilled Craft

Lyle Williams,


Kerri Marx,

MSU Benefits


Guest:  Chris Fastnow

 Minutes taken/prepared by Lisa Hespen

I.  Call to Order

The meeting was called to order by Chair Ramie Pederson.

II.  Approval of Minutes

Due to the S.W.O.T. Analysis performed at the February meeting, there were no minutes to approve.

III.  New Business

a.  Guest Speaker

Chris Fastnow, Director of the Office of Planning & Analysis-  Discussed the status of strategic plan and employee data.  The objective of the strategic plan is to steward our human resources as best as possible.  The goal is to include professional development and opportunities to grow.  The current strategic plan is very broad and covers almost every unit.  The Strategic Planning Committee is currently working on a new strategic plan that will be more targeted and specific.  Not all groups or individuals will be included in the new strategic plan by name.  They will be concentrating on ‘smart goals’ that are specific, measurable, and accurate.  Chris encouraged everyone to visit the website ( to review the plan and provide input. 

In regards to salary data and benchmarks, Chris Fastnow spoke of the surveys the Office of Planning & Analysis participate in using the broad data they collect- which does not include titles or names.  The issue of wages was also discussed.  Chris noted people in authority are aware of the issue and are trying to do all they can to help, but their hands are tied by boundaries they are required to stay in.  It is a priority to the extent of what they can do.

b.  Peggy Lehmann’s Retirement

Peggy Lehman, appointed member of the Tobacco Taskforce is retiring and consequently resigning her appointment. Her appointment on the Tobacco Taskforce will be filled during the upcoming elections. 

c.  6-Mill Levy

Ramie Pederson spoke with President Cruzado regarding the possibility of setting up a presentation regarding the 6-Mill Levy.  This presentation would be informational only in which no opinions for or against will be addressed.  President Cruzado conveyed she would love to see a presentation be provided for students, faculty, and staff and encouraged Ramie to proceed.  The next step is contacting Tracy Ellig.  Ramie will keep moving forward and will continue to update the senate as things progress. 

d.  2018 Officers Elections

The positions of Staff Senate Chair and Vice-Chair will be up for election this spring.  A nominating committee will be formed and will provide recommendations to the senate at the April meeting.  Elections will be held at the May meeting. 

e.  2018 Staff Senate Elections

Voting for Staff Senate nominations will open Monday, April 23, 2018 at 5 a.m. and run until Friday, April 27, 2018 at midnight.  The voting for the Final Ballot will open Monday, May 7, 2018 at 5 a.m. and run until Friday, May 10, 2018 at midnight. 

IV.  Old Business

a.  Merging Professional Counsil with Staff Senate

The Chairs and Vice-Chairs for Professional Council and Staff Senate met to discuss the SWOT Analysis results.  Both groups expressed the same concerns and strengths.  It was reiterated that no decision has been made.  The next step is for both groups to meet in April to discuss this matter.  A date will be set in April for a presentation and discussion. 

V.  Committee Reports

  • Association of Shared Governance Leaders (ASGL)- did not meet.
  • Budget Council (David Reese)- will send out minutes for review.
  • Campus Sustainability Advisory Council (CSAC, Dave Clark)-has money to fund sustainability projects for the university. Past projects include research, sending a team to Europe to study active transport models, new lighting techniques to save energy, etc.  If anyone has any ideas or projects that would be student-led with faculty involvement, please contact Kristin Blackler.  Also, the new dining hall will only serve coffee in reusable cups.  You will be required to bring your own mug our purchase a mug for a minimal fee (right now looks like it will be $1).  Can donate mugs for the dining hall to sell.  Miller Dining is currently using plastic cups until their shipment of new cups comes in (students were breaking the old ones so sturdier cups were ordered).   
  • MSU Benefits (Kerri Marx, Ramie Pederson, Sarah Rieger)- did not meet.
  • Outreach & Engagement Council (Deb Chiolero)- no report.
  • Parking & Transportation Advisory Council (PTAC, Candace Mastel)- no report.
  • Planning Council (Keely Holmes)- strategic planning and the doctoral program prioritization (if they can amp up their program they can attract better faculty to attract more students) were the main topics of discussion. The library has been working on the strategic plan.  Planning Council is also trying to decide what direction they need to go this upcoming year. 
  • The President’s Commission on the Status of University Women (Sylvia Sparkman)- no report; meeting next week.
  • Recreational Sports & Fitness Advisory Board (Jennifer Nesbitt)- no report.
  • Space Management (Milana Lazetich)- LRES requested space in Leon Johnson, which was granted and WSARE requested 2 spaces in Linfield in which 1 office suite was approved. The UPD proposed an addition to the Huffman building for weapon storage, which was also granted.  This will provide a secure location with 24/7 protection, better control and lessen gun theft.  Two units want space in the storage room located in the parking garage.  No decision was made.  There was discussion on software for reserving conference rooms.  Looking at Ad Astra vs Outlook vs. system that hasn't yet been purchased.  They will decide at a later date.  Moving towards a system where anyone who wants to reserve space can do so rather than going through individual units.   
  • Tobacco Free Task Force (Peggy Lehmann)- no report.
  • UFPB University Facilities Planning Board (Glenn Steinhoff)- no report.
  • UFPB Public Arts Committee (Keely Holmes)- did not meet.
  • University Council (Ramie Pederson)- Legal Counsel has hired an associate, Blake Christensen. There were votes regarding the university retroactive withdrawal policy (passed), academic misconduct policy (passed), and commemorative tributes (passed-any changes to the policy must now be made at the MUS level).  Kylar Clifton (ASMSU President) spoke to the council regarding a medical amnesty policy.  This policy would ensure student seeking medical attention due to alcohol/drug use will not be subject to the typical consequences.  There are steps in place in the plan to prevent the policy from being abused.  The Council will be vote on this policy at the next meeting.  There was another Knowing Your MSU presentation by Dean Adams and Royce Smith regarding trips to Curitiba regarding designing, building, and firing a kiln.  Chris Fastnow spoke about the engagement and stewardship sections of the strategic plan.  Megan Bergstedt Lasso from the University Budget Office discussed the new Budget Model.
  • Other: Staff Senate Scholarship Committee (Keely, Deb, Sarah)- The deadline to submit applications is March 30th.  Once the deadline has expired, the committee will begin reviewing the applications. 


The BOR presentation in May will consist of each campus reporting on 5 areas they are working on to improve and 3 goals for the upcoming year. It was decided the goals for MSU Bozeman would be 1) providing information and resources on MSU policies & procedures, 2) improving staff morale (and linking it to retention), and 3) improving staff engagement- have senators customize the information to their EEO groups. 

VII.  Informational Items

a.  Compliance Hotline

Ramie briefly spoke regarding the Compliance Hotline. The hotline is for employees to anonymously report concerns or issues and the link can be found on the Audit Services webpage.  (Link:

b.  MSU’s 125th Anniversary

April’s Focus- College of Art & Architecture


Next Meeting:  April 18, 2018 9:00-11:00 a.m. in SUB Rm. #168


The meeting was adjourned.