January 2003 Minutes


Meeting Minutes
Wednesday, January 8, 2003
11:30 a.m. - Athletic Department Conference Room 3695


Informational Staff Association President, Connie Smith, called the business meeting to order at 11:50.

ISA Council Members present: Grettie Bondy, Debbie Copp, Dan Hough, Susan Lauterbach, Debra Levy-Martinelli, Johnnie-Margaret McConnell, Sophia Morren, Bill Moakley, Dawna Nelson, Annette Schwiebert, Marko Sherbon and Connie Smith
ISA Council Members absent: Kevin Blake, Judy Cain, Anna Launer Love, Jon Lunardi and Marilyn Nicely.
ISA Members present: Lenore Arlee, Joan Goth, Beth McCoy, Pam Neal, Susie Skaggs, Sarah Soell and Jane Travis.
Guests: Theta Dempsey, Parking Administration and Barbara Perry, Staff Senate Office.

Introduction of Guest Speaker, Theta Dempsey, Director of Parking & Transportation Services. Connie pointed out that in addition to all that Theta does for OU staff in terms of parking, Theta is also to be appreciated for her efforts to secure the benefits and retirement that staff enjoy today through her hard-work with the Employee Benefits Council and other groups.

Theta opened by thanking ISA for lunch, especially since the choice of food would keep anyone from getting in her face this afternoon. In response to having a two week holiday break, Theta said that a member of her staff indicated that it was not long enough because she spent the entire time doing nothing and was not finished doing it yet… The good news is that the new parking facility next to the stadium will open Monday, although minor construction work will be on-going. Susan asked if drivers will be able to get to the garage and Theta said that the intersection improvements at Asp and Lindsey will not be finished (due to a utility tunnel being taller than anticipated) but that the entry point for the garage will be off Lindsey at the South Oval since Asp will remain one-way from the practice field to Lindsey.

In addition to parking, the new facility will house the University Bookstore and Athletic Ticket Office. The bookstore will move either during spring break or the summer. Being located in the parking facility will allow for more student parking than available at the current Hester-Robertson Hall location. Grettie asked about a rumor going around among the students that when the bookstore moves, the current metered parking will be removed. Theta said that this is not true because short-term parking will still be needed for Financial Aid Services and the Parking Office. Revenue from the retail operations will benefit the entire university while revenue from parking for the retail customers and football fans will be used to help retire the bonds for construction of the facility

Metered parking will not be installed in the new parking facility until the next week or two, but the garage will contain faculty, staff and student designated parking. Theta asked that everyone parking in the new garage pay extra attention to the signage because the traffic patterns are not the same as in the Elm Avenue garage. The parking facility design allows drivers to bypass full, lower level parking to reach the upper decks. Parking staff will be available in the facility on Monday and Tuesday to help direct traffic and answer questions. This new facility should alleviate parking difficulties on the east side of campus, and other areas that have experienced an influx of drivers entering campus from the east. In addition, a new surface lot south of Sarkeys Energy Center will open on Monday for faculty and staff parking. This lot lacks only landscaping and historical lighting (functional lighting is already in place), which will be installed soon.

On a related note, Felger Street closes on Monday, including the parking on this street, for a 6 week project to properly resurface the street. This is a project that has been needed for quite some time and although the financing was secured in the fall, the project was delayed until new parking was available.

The construction projects for the Gaylord College of Journalism and Price College of Business are anticipated to begin mid-April. The Journalism project will permanently affect student parking, while the faculty/staff lot will be closed only during construction. For the Business project to take place, substantial utility work must occur first; therefore, the major construction will not begin until after the spring semester. When this phase of construction begins, it will require the permanent closing of portions of Asp & Brooks. Designs for traffic turn-around will be included in the closing of these streets. Next fall, designations in the parking garage will be changed to accommodate the parking closed in the spring/summer due to the construction projects.

When the stadium expansion is finished, more student parking will be added and the following summer the current graveled parking lots will be paved (it is more cost-efficient to wait until all the lots can be paved at the same time). Student parking in the amount of 200-250 spaces will be added near housing, as well. These spaces will be located where the Wilson Center is currently located.

Barbara asked when the intersection of Brooks and Jenkins would be opened and Theta indicated that she was unsure of that information, but that it probably would not be until the stadium construction was nearly complete. Debbie added that the stadium in supposed to be complete by the first home game, which is expected to be August 30.

Sophia asked about the price of staff parking permits and Theta said that although it will increase, she did not know by how much but that convenience comes with a price. However, we are only 7th or 8th in the Big 12 for price of employee parking. Debbie asked Theta to talk about the price of parking construction and Theta provided the following examples. Although the Elm Avenue parking garage was built for $9,000 per space six years ago, today it would cost $11,000 per space. For surface lots, if you own the property and do not have to remove buildings sometimes requiring asbestos abatement, the price can be $2,000-2,500 per space. However, if the lot must be purchased and structures removed and prep-work required, like south of the Energy Center, the price can run $11,000 per space. For the new parking facility with extra amenities like higher ceilings, the final price is unknown at this time but will be more than $11,000 per space. It was the group consensus that the new facility looked very attractive though.

1. Introduction of members and guests - Each person was asked to introduce themselves and tell what they did over the break. See appendix for the responses.

2. With a motion by Grettie and a second by Debra, the minutes were accepted with the correction of the title of the guest speaker, Bill Moakley, which was listed as Special Events Coordinator and should have been Special Projects Coordinator.

3. Reports -
Presidential, Connie Smith. Staff merit award forms will be distributed soon, due February 10. Connie recommends nominating eligible, outstanding staff so that they may receive the recognition they deserve. Connie also called for volunteers to serve on the ISA Staff Awards Committee. Debbie, Marko and Bill agreed to serve in this capacity.

Staff Senate, Connie Smith. Nick Kelly, Administrator III for Human Resources updated Staff Senate on benefits. Unfortunately, OU is looking at a 20-25% increase in costs next year. The consulting firm William Mercer, Inc. has been hired to examine OU's health care plan. A short-term disability insurance policy has been selected and the cost will be $3-8 per month, depending on the amount of leave an employee has. At least 1,000 employees must sign-up for this new insurance for it to work. Connie recommended that ISA ask Nick to be a guest speaker at a future meeting. She also asked if anyone had heard complaints about how Schaller-Anderson handled claims, because the business office at her doctor's office had mentioned problems to her. Suzy indicated that she had heard of staff experiencing problems in this area and Johnnie-Margaret had a personal example where her pharmacy was not paid because Schaller-Anderson had an incorrect birth date for her, which Benefits said would be fixed but it has not been.

To view the entire minutes from the Staff Senate Meeting, please see http://www.ou.edu/staff_senate/minutes.html

Faculty Senate, Susan Lauterbach. Nick Kelly, Benefits Manager; Julius Hilburn, Human Resources Director and David Carnevale, Employee Benefits Committee Chair discussed benefits with Faculty Senate, including the consultants to be hired for examining long-term health care strategies.

The Faculty Senate Chair, Professor Ed Cline, pointed out that the Norman Transcript had reported higher education cuts next year of 10-20%.

Professor Fred Striz, chair of the Faculty Compensation Committee reported on the committee's recommendations for handling the budget shortfall, which include voluntary retirement, phased retirement, leaves of absence without pay, and full-year sabbaticals at half pay. Much discussion about this issue occurred and a revised document will be drafted.

Susan asked if a similar Staff Compensation Committee existed and Debbie answered that the Personnel Policy Committee and Employee Benefits Council serve this function for staff and that she is not worried about the administration consulting staff on these issues because they have in the past.

To view the entire minutes from the Faculty Senate Meeting, please see http://www.ou.edu/admin/facsen/minutes/1202jrn.htm

5. Old Business

Information Technology Council (ITC) Information Systems Security Policy, Dan Hough. The latest version of the policy (Dec. 16) is available on the ITC web site at http://www.ou.edu/committees/itc/ and can now be found through the OU search engine. Changes in the policy include:

1) Removing the word "disclaimer" from the Information Systems Security Policy and moving the more positive information toward the beginning of the document.
2) In this same document, the monitoring by the university, CIO and legal council were more clearly spelled-out.
3) In the Acceptable Use of Information Resources Policy, a reference to the Policy on Password Sharing was added. This policy will be drafted in the future.
4) In the same document, under the enforcement section, the notification of users whose system or account is temporarily removed was reworded.
5) Finally, the grievance procedure was amended to require that a vice president other than the affected employee's vice president handle the grievance.

Dan indicated that Legal Council and Dennis Aebersold of IT had both approved the policies. ITC members are now going to staff member groups for discussion. Suzy asked how faculty, staff and students would be informed of the policy and Dan said that ITC had not considered this issue, and was not sure if it was even the role of the committee. Debbie asked that we encourage Staff Senate to recommend that the policies be added to the staff handbook and be sent to each individual staff member and staff instead of through AB distribution, which is unreliable for reaching each employee.

Connie mentioned a related state law of the personal use of state property and Marko brought-up Administrative Affairs' cell phone use policy.

6. New Business
Several members mentioned that they had heard rumors about a university shut-down and forced leave during spring break. Although most staff seemed happy to take the extra days over the winter break, Connie thought that not enough notice was given, especially for those employees without much leave time and Pam agreed. Joan said that employees of OSU knew two months in advance of the extra leave requirements. Here at OU, people without accumulated leave were offered the option of working on essential projects during the break at their current rate of pay, but most did not take advantage of the opportunity. Debbie recommended asking Staff Senate to send a request to administration for more than two weeks notice if required leave time will be necessary.

Connie said that she thought it was important that staff have the option of taking leave without pay, even if leave time exists and others indicated that this was an option this past break.

7. Miscellaneous & Announcements
Connie passed out posters for 1964, which is a really good Beatles tribute band that will be in Norman January 31 and February 1. The opening band will be MidLife Crysis, a rock band that Connie's husband is in.

Meeting adjourned.

Respectfully submitted,
Sophia Morren, ISA Secretary

NEXT MEETING: Wednesday, February 5, 2003.


Each person was asked to introduce themselves and tell what they did over the break

Grettie Bondy went to five movies over the break, a special event since her husband does not like going to movies. Three were in one day!

Debbie Copp nursed an injured knee for 10 days and enjoyed the Rose Bowl, especially the parade.

Theta Dempsey said that a two week break from work itself was exciting.

Joan Goth watched kid movies.

Dan Hough oversaw the completion of new siding and windows for his house and hosted his wife's aunt over the break.

Susan Lauterbach went to the YMCA and saw movies over the break.

Debra Levi-Martinelli spent the time with her husband, two whole weeks without getting on each other's nerves!

Johnnie-Margaret McConnell drove with her family to the Rose Bowl, with a side trip to the Grand Canyon, which turned out to be quite an adventure because a snow storm blew through while they were on the road. While in California, she also went to Disneyland and recommends the movie Adaptation.

Beth McCoy painted over the break.

Bill Moakley enjoyed his sister being home from law school in Oregon and saw Gangs of New York, which he recommends if you do not mind violence.

Sophia Morren reported not doing anything exciting over the break, although she did see almost every movie mentioned by the other members…

Pam Neal visited her parents in Washington, D.C. and her son went to the Rose Bowl - as she watched it on TV, she wondered why she did not go, as well. She also saw the movie 8 Mile to try to stay in touch with her students, but it did not work.

Dawna Nelson did the same as Barbara, as little as possible.

Barbara Perry did as little as possible over the break.

Annette Schwiebert is happy that the ISA president has been located and enjoyed playing mother and grandmother for two weeks.

Marko Sherbon saw friends over the holiday and recommends the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding.

Suzy Skaggs saw movies and replaced a fence.

Sara Soell went to the Rose Bowl and enjoyed seeing Elizabeth Taylor's house and the birthplace of Marilyn Monroe.

Connie Smith, who only worked 8 days in December got into more trouble than she could report.

Jane Travis saw movies over the break.