Wednesday March 20, 2013



Chair Chris Cook called the meeting to order at 1:35 p.m. in the Scholars Room of the Oklahoma Memorial Union.


Officers present – Chris Cook, Chair; Amanda Pai, Chair-Elect; Fran Stephens, Immediate Past Chair; Cathy Trujillo, Recording Secretary


Staff present – Melissa Lane, Administrative Coordinator


Representatives present – Hourly Employees Council: Carolyn Taylor, Cindy Simpson, Cecilia McEwen, Jack Shoopman, John Bishop, Carmen Eppler, Sena Golden; Informational Staff Association: Gordan Carrie, Connie Smith, Bruce Alcock, Elaine Bradshaw; Organizational Staff Council: Reta Tarver, Nancy Matthews, Jackie Downing, Betty Love


Representatives absent — Hourly Employees Council:  David Houck, Julie Hamburger, Laura Shoopman, Kim Haddad, David Kizer; Informational Staff Association: Priscilla Crawford; Organizational Staff Council: Justin Daniels, Chris McNabb;  Administrative Staff Council: Jennifer Doughty, Robbie Wahnee


Guests present — Debbie Copp




On motion by Carolyn Taylor, the minutes of the February 20, 2013, Staff Senate meeting were accepted.




Chris met with Nick Hathaway, Vice President for Executive and Administrative Affairs briefly and discussed how quiet the implementation of the Governor's tobacco use ban has been. Then they discussed the budget, it appears that funding from the capital may be slightly up over last year. If the slight increase holds, Nick said another budget reallocation is unlikely. Nick is not sure how this affects the President's wish for a salary plan this year.


Nick also said that it is looking like our Health Care Costs are likely to go up significantly next year. We may be looking at 10-13% or more depending on the plan.


Finally, Nick said he would be happy to facilitate bringing the new VP & CHRO Les Hoven to a future Staff Senate Meeting. We were thinking the May, or possibly June, meeting.


The Chair also received the 2012 Annual Report of the Norman Campus Shared Leave Committee. In summary, the committee approved 2160 hours to 8 individuals.




Administrative Staff Council:  President Jennifer Doughty reported by email that they meet next week.


Hourly Employees Council:  President Carolyn Taylor reported that she handed out information on Parliamentary Procedure and Roberts Rules of Order and asked everyone to take some time to look over the information.  Kim Haddad reported that she has spoken with Blue Bell and has lined up some scoopers for the Ice Cream Social. Food Services are on board with their contributions.  The Staff Merit Awards Committee met on Friday, March 15th and all winners were selected.  Election Committee Chair Susie Brewer reported that all nominations have been received and things are on track for selecting new members.  It was noted that they still need to fill vacancies in groups 4 and 6 and an Ad Hoc committee has been formed and will meet to look at re-aligning departmental groups so that they can have more active representation in each.


Informational Staff Association:  President Gordan Carrie reported that they discussed preparations for Staff Week. Priscilla Crawford is researching possibilities for a summer fundraiser, and will report later. They also informally discussed leave and salary policy.


Organizational Staff Council:  Representative Betty Love reported that they met at the Max Westheimer Airport Terminal for the March meeting. They began making arrangements for BINGO volunteers and prize shopping. There were some recommendations to improve the new website, so those were passed along to the Website Coordinator, Justin Daniels. Kristi Wright confirmed that they do have a Federal Tax ID Number so it was decided to look through the past meeting minutes to see if they can find it. Lastly, Fran Stephens is looking at the lunch options for the April Staff Award Nominee’s luncheon.  After the business meeting Ken Carson, the OU Aviation Department Director, gave a brief talk on their program then gave a tour where some of the members were able to use the flight simulator.




Awards Committee:  By email Chair Liz Cooley reported that they met via email.  They are on schedule according to the task time-line.  They will be contacting the Merit Award Winners later this week to get their photos done sometime next week.


Communications Committee:  By email Chair Gina Powell reported that the committee did not meet in March but took care of business via email.  Currently they are working on a newsletter to announce Staff Week events.  They have completed the Staff Senate Facebook page.


Staff Initiatives Committee:  Chair Dan Hough reported that they have not met since the last Staff Senate meeting.  They are meeting next Monday.


Staff Week Committee:  A new Chair was selected, Jessie Tate. 




Employee Benefits Committee:  Debbie Copp reported that they discussed: I. HR Changes and Wellness Initiatives; A number of personnel changes in HR. Julius Hilburn retired in December and has been replaced by Les Hoven as Associate VP and Chief Human Resources Officer. There are other staff changes including an expanded role for Breion Rollins.   Additionally, there are upgrades to the wellness initiatives. Watch for more news as the year goes on.  For the latest updates on HR, checkout the department’s online newsletter:!&descriptions=on&Menu=off&headertext=Human_Resources_News  II. Fidelity Fee Disclosure; We should be receiving these soon ($78 per person for the first year) and we can anticipate that fees will go down as we continue to work with Fidelity. Also, if you haven’t yet filled out the survey on your experience with Fidelity, please do so before Tuesday, March 26 at:  III. OTRS Changes for part-time employees; The changes that they talked about last year related to part-time employees, go into effect on July 1 and the OU HR offices are working with people on all three campuses who will be affected by this change. Essentially, employees who are employed at OU at less than .50 FTE will now have to make the OTRS or not decision by July 1. They will still be non-benefits eligible under OU rules. Also, the selection is a one-time selection. HR staff is working with the folks this affects to make sure everyone has the info they need to make an informed decision. IV. BC 2014 Renewal; They have started conversations about the 2014 plan year, the first full year of the Health Care Reform program. Trends at this point, which are VERY preliminary, are looking higher than last year but last year ended up being only a 2% increase. The time frame for the process will include discussions and information throughout the spring and early summer. The final proposals will be presented and voted on at the August EBC meeting so that it can go to the September Board of Regents meeting. There will be more to come on this one as they meet with BCBS and the consultants. As we see what the HC Reform impacts are, the thinking is that 2015 may be the year to go out on a RFP.  V. Dependent Attestation Update; They are getting good response back from employees on this with up to an 80% return. There will be follow up with those who do not respond. The form does not ask for actual proof and features a check off box. We have had some people drop dependents (probably 10-15) and employees have worked well with HR to get the information back.  IV. Retiree Medical Opt-out; We have begun allowing retirees to opt out with the option to come back in one time as long as health insurance coverage is continued (typical opt-outs: people working at another job with coverage after retiring from OU, people who are covered by spouse who is still working with coverage). We have had a few people select this option.




The following reports were linked to the March agenda:


Staff Senate Foundation account report


Minutes of Employment Benefits Committee meeting for September 2012


Shared Leave Report for 2012


Employee Benefits Report for 2012










As there was no further business, the meeting adjourned at 2:11 p.m.




Respectfully submitted,


Melissa Lane

Administrative Coordinator


Cathy Trujillo

Recording Secretary