Wednesday, October 17, 2007



Chair Beth Gatewood called the meeting to order at 1:33 p.m. in the Scholars Room of the Oklahoma Memorial Union.


Officers present — Beth Gatewood, Chair; Linda McCarty, Chair-Elect


Officers absent — Betty Love, Immediate Past Chair


Staff presentBarbara Perry, Administrative Coordinator; Shanika Bivines, Administrative Assistant


Representatives present — Hourly Employees Council: Diana Fitzpatrick, Ed Fontaine, Robert Murphy, Jack Shoopman, Melanie Wilburn, Donna Stephens, Dee Hayes, Ben Stapp, Troy Schmidt; Informational Staff Association: Anna Love, Debbie Copp, Lisa Bowles, Elaine Bradshaw, Michael Goodwin; Organizational Staff Council: Cathy Brister, , Kathy Gross, Jannie Porter; Administrative Staff Council: Mike Montgomery (proxy)


Representatives absent — Hourly Employees Council: Carolyn Irons, Kim Haddad, David Kizer; Informational Staff Association: Debi Gentis; Organizational Staff Council: Sandi Emond, Cathy Trujillo, Matt Berry; Administrative Staff Council:  Sue-Anna Miller, Robbie Wahnee


Guests present —Susan Grossman, College of Continuing Education; David Houck, Physical Plant; Linda Smith, Price College of Business; Dan Hough, Oklahoma Biological Survey; Lezlie Pilkington, Administrative Affairs




Beth reported that the town hall meeting with President Boren was held on October 3.  She said the turnout was fantastic and a lot of good information was provided.  She thanked Communications Committee Chair Susan Grossman and her committee for organizing the event.  Beth reported she had attended the Vice Presidents Advisory Council dinner on the evening of October 3 as well.  On October 11, she met with Vice President for Executive and Administrative Affairs Nick Hathaway for their monthly meeting and they discussed insurance concerns. 




In the absence of  Matt Berry, Cathy Brister made a motion to accept the minutes of the September 19, 2007, meeting.  The motion was seconded and minutes were accepted as written. 




Hourly Employees Council:  President Diana Fitzpatrick reported that HEC met on October 10.  Human Resources Assistant Director Nick Kelly briefed the group on the healthcare issue and answered their questions regarding insurance and retirement.  HEC decided to adopt two children to sponsor for the upcoming holiday season.   


Informational Staff Association:  President Anna Love reported that ISA had three speakers for their meeting on October 3.  HR specialist Renda Passek was present to answer questions regarding retirement; Nick Kelly attended to address insurance matters; and Annette Schwiebert from IT attended to update the group regarding the IT Store and the products that are available through it.  After the meeting, Debi Gentis, Michael Goodwin and Anna planned meetings for the rest of the year. 


Organizational Staff Council:  President Cathy Brister said OSC met on October 4.  Their entire meeting was taken up with discussion of the healthcare issue.  Nick Kelly was their guest speaker.  The OSC conducted their own survey regarding insurance issues.  The survey was tallied and sent to President Boren and the Health Care Options Committee.


Administrative Staff Council:  ASC Proxy Mike Montgomery reported that the ASC met on October 16.  Vice President Nick Hathaway spoke to the group on several topics.  He touched base on the budget and said the University was expecting about the same amount of money from the State as they received last year.  He said this year’s freshman class was larger than last year and they anticipate this incoming freshman class we will also see an increase.  That is starting to put a strain on the University’s system as a whole.  Nick talked about the buildings on South Campus and the research area - the Life Science Building, Stephenson Research, and they are looking at another research building on South Campus, predominantly to be involved with light industrial to coincide with research initiatives going on there.  ASC will provide gifts for some University families that have special needs during the holiday season and the group talked about how that process would work and how those families could be identified.  The last item ASC discussed was its Staff Week event.   ASC discussed trying to develop a picnic and holding it at the Armory.




Communications Committee:  Chair Susan Grossman said the Communications Committee had met earlier that day.  She thanked everyone for coming to the town hall meeting.  The committee is trying to get on the President’s schedule for an event for 2008. 


Personnel Policies Committee:  Chair Linda Smith said the PPC met on September 24.  They discussed several topics they would like to investigate further this year, including the extended sick leave policy.  Linda said most of the time was spent discussing insurance and benefits.  Linda announced that the next PPC meeting was set for October 25 at 3:30. 




The following reports were linked to the September agenda:


Staff Senate Foundation account report.




Election of Recording Secretary to fill vacancy:  Chair Elect Linda McCarty thanked the members of the Nominating Committee for serving:  Deb Wollenberg; Diana Fitzpatrick, Debi Gentis and Matt Berry.  Linda said the committee was recommending Kathy Gross to fill the position of Recording Secretary.  Linda asked if there were any other nominations or volunteers for the position.  There were none.  Debbie Copp then moved that Kathy Gross be elected by acclamation.  The motion was seconded and passed on a voice vote.   


Consideration of recommendations to change guidelines from Staff Professional Development Committee:   This item was linked to the agenda.  Dan Hough, Chair of the Staff Professional Development Committee, explained that eleven unclaimed awards that were more than a year old were being carried forward on the books.  These old, unclaimed awards reduce the amount of money that can be provided for new awards.  The SPD committee suggested a modification to the guidelines that would allow an applicant a six month time limit after their conference to process their reimbursement.  Dan said applications already approved for payment but not paid yet would be grandfathered under the original guidelines and paid if someone requested payment and presented proper documentation.    The committee wanted to change the form to state that priority would be given to first-time applicants and wanted to do some additional publicity to advertise the program.



Debbie Copp suggested contacting those with unclaimed awards, instead of grandfathering them under the old rules, and informing them that they have six months to apply for their funds.  That would bring everyone under the same set of rules.  She said a letter could be sent letting past applicants know they had six months to turn in their paperwork and apply for their award. Everyone seemed to support this idea.   Debbie made a motion to accept the recommendations from the SPD Committee and to apply the new rules to applicants with encumbered awards from the past.  The motion was seconded and passed on a voice vote.





“Fill the Trolley” Participation


Beth informed the Senate that a box from the “Fill the Trolley” campaign would be delivered to the Staff Senate Office and would be available at the Scholars Room at the November meeting to be filled with gifts by Staff Senate members.  [NOTE:  Staff Senate Office will send a notice reminding members to bring a gift or donation of some type to the meeting in its regular meeting notice reminder.  Let’s try to fill the box as a gift from Staff Senate.  This will take participation on all our part!]


Change of Regular Meeting Date


The group discussed whether to hold the regular meeting on November 21 or to move it to Wednesday, November 28, at 1:30.  November 21 is the day before the two-day Thanksgiving Holiday break begins.  Barbara Perry had confirmed that the Scholars Room would be available on the November 28 at 1:30.  Cathy Brister made a motion to move the regular meeting date to November 28.  The motion was seconded and passed on a voice vote.   


Shared Leave Program


Ed Fontaine asked for a contact person for the Shared Leave program.  He said a coworker who had recently had a second heart attack was accepted for 208 hours, but he was told there was no money left to fund the hours.  Linda McCarty said she was not on the committee, but she had an employee who had received some hours from the pool.  She referred Ed to Trinia in Payroll. 




As there was no further business, the meeting adjourned at 1:55  p.m.


Respectfully submitted,


Barbara Perry

Administrative Coordinator


Shanika Bivines

Administrative Assistant