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Wednesday December 17, 2014


Chair John Bishop called the meeting to order at 1:33 p.m. in the Regents and Associates Room of the Oklahoma Memorial Union.
Officers present – John Bishop, Chair; Debbie Copp, Chair-Elect; Chris Cook, Immediate Past Chair; Cecilia McEwen, Recording Secretary;

Staff present – Melissa Lane, Administrative Coordinator

Representatives present – Hourly Employees Council: Eric Grubbs, Karen Stark, Cecilia Holmes, Kim Haddad, Jake Wetherington, Julie Hamburger, David Kizer, Carolyn Irons; Informational Staff Association: Dan Hough, Richard Snelling, Sarah Connelly, Priscilla Crawford; Organizational Staff Council: Jackie Downing, Matt Rom, Deborah Skeel, Julia Rouse

Representatives absent — Hourly Employees Council: Suzie Brewer, Synthia Petross, Ross Mehl, Brandie Wright; Informational Staff Association: Corey Helms, Gordan Carrie; Organizational Staff Council: Justin Daniels, Jackie Downing, Kristi Wright; Administrative Staff Council: Michael Giesecke, Paul Arcaroli

Guests present — Sue Anna Miller


On motion by Jackie Downing, the minutes of November 19, 2014 Staff Senate meeting were accepted.


We are still working on rescheduling the Staff Governance Meet and Greet and hopefully we will get set sometime in January.

Besides having two more home games between the last meeting, many of us have had yearend projects that have taken up most of free time. 

Nick Hathaway, Vice President for Executive and Administrative Affairs and I did not meet in November and December. 

The University of Oklahoma Board of Regents recently approved enhancements to tuition assistance for dependent children of OU Employees. The new Dependent Child Tuition Waiver program waives tuition for undergraduate students who are also enrolled as dependents in the university’s medical insurance plan. The waiver will cover the full cost of tuition, excluding associated fees. This program supports the university’s commitment to family and community values, recruiting and retaining high performing employees, and remaining competitive with other comprehensive research institutions.

To be eligible for the Dependent Child Tuition Waiver program, students must be admitted to the university in a program of study leading to their first baccalaureate degree, must meet the academic requirements of their specific program, and must remain covered as dependents in the university’s medical insurance plan. The forms and procedures to take advantage of this program are currently being developed and more information will be distributed in 2015. Contact the Office of the Bursar on your campus with any questions.

I want to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Administrative Staff Council:  By email President Michael Giesecke said that Frank Henry, the director of university food services, was their guest.  They discussed the almost $2 million that was spent by university departments on food and beverage not purchased through university catering. The majority of these purchases violate the regents’ rule that university food services is supposed to have the right of first refusal and more importantly alienates food services, that donates and supports hundreds of events across campus including many Staff Senate events like Staff Week. They then discussed ideas for the Staff Picnic itself.  They are still working with the office of development to secure outside sponsorship for the Staff Picnic that would potentially make the event free to staff or further discounted from the traditional $5 ticket. And lastly, they have reserved the Brooks Mall for the picnic and made the appropriate arrangements with Facilities Management to supply the tables and chairs for the event. 

Hourly Employees Council:  President Eric Grubbs reported that they decided to extend their raffle ticket sales and will draw winners after the Staff Senate meeting.

Informational Staff Association:  President Elect Dan Hough reported that They had a regular business meeting and conducted organization business including discussions following reports from Staff and Faculty Senate reps including a discussion on the dependent tuition fee waiver related to health care enrollment and upcoming renovations to Bizzell Library. They talked a bit about the three children they adopted through Secret Santa and talked up fund-raising in their departments as well as from the ISA Council.  Elf chefs Priscilla and Sarah brought homemade cookies and hot drinks for us to share during the meeting.

Organizational Staff Council:  President Justin Daniels reported by email that they had their annual holiday potluck.  They discussed nominations received last week for OU staff needing help during the holidays.  They decided to help all 6 nominated individuals and are moving forward with finding out their needs and getting items or funds to them.  They also began planning the Bingo session for Staff Week and assigned individuals to the Bingo subcommittee.

Awards Committee:  By email Chair Liz Cooley reported that they did not meet.

Communications Committee:  By email Chair Gina Powell reported that they met and completed the newsletter to invite staff to join their Staff Senate Member Group.

Staff Initiatives Committee:  By email Chair Kristi Wright reported that the first agenda item was about faculty/staff tuition waivers. Sam Fellows researched several of the Big 12 schools’ tuition waiver policies for faculty/staff and presented this information to the committee. Discussion was held and the committee decided to collect further information on some outside corporations’ tuition wavier policies so that we can write up a proposal to staff senate requesting a change in The University’s support of tuition waivers for faculty/staff. The current policy a full-time university benefits-eligible faculty or staff member enrolling in regular coursework will be eligible for a waiver of one half of the resident tuition for up to six hours per semester or three hours per summer session except as noted below. Faculty and staff enrolling under the reduced tuition charges will not be required to pay the facilities fee, cultural & recreational fee, transit fee, special event fee, activity fee & health fee, nor will they be eligible for the services covered by these fees. Student ID cards of persons not paying the fees will be coded to show they are not entitled to the services for which the fees are charged. The tuition waiver does not apply to special fees or to special academic programs, such as those in the College of Continuing Education (ie. Advanced Programs and other self-supporting programs) which have special regulations regarding tuition waivers.  Non-resident tuition charges will not be waived.   They also talked about the new initiative The University is starting in the fall, which offers tuition waivers to employees’ children that are enrolled in our health insurance programs. This was just an informative discussion on the benefits to employees.   The committee also discussed diversity training and ways of increasing offerings to The University community. They talked about seeing if One Sooner training can be added to the HR training schedule and are going to follow up on the issue. Also they are trying to see if some diversity training can be added to the Foundations of Management trainings’ schedule. Contact will be made to various offices to see if training can be added to both areas.
Staff Week Committee:  Chair Paige Smith reported by email that the logo was selected but will need to be edited. The person who submitted it is currently doing so. Melissa will send the logo, once it is approved by licensing, to University Silkscreen to make mock ups of shirts. They will have them by their next meeting and decide on colors of shirts then as well. Melissa met with Kevin Barker from housing and food services and we will be having the same food as last year. The Friday food is not certain yet, but it will be similar to last years also.  


Employee Benefits Committee:  Debbie Copp reported that they discussed the following: I. Enrollment Update : Things seem to be going smoothly. Reminder that those who sign up for PPO will get new ID cards before the break while those on HMO will not.  II. Consulting Services: RFP will go out after the first of the year for consulting services. Important to have the consultant group in place before we look at doing any RFPs on providers.  III. Dependent Tuition Fee Waiver: Expect it will be for full-time undergraduate studies only and may only impact OU campuses. Was approved December Regents’ meeting.  IV. Wellness Update: Have the “Five Questions for your Doctor” cards ready and have begun distributing. Move More challenge appears to have been a success based on feedback. Did 1,000-plus health screenings in 2014. Still finalizing the standing desk proposal. More to come on this one.  V. Updates from the Director: Reminded everyone about using and signing up for Flexible Spending Accounts. Will offer the high deductible plan to the to be insured 30-plus hour employees based on the Affordable Care Act regulations that go in effect Jan. 1. Based on review of records to do date, it doesn’t appear to be that many people who will have the option to be added. Will continue to watch this one.

Health Insurance Working Committee:  Sue Anna Miller reported that they had not met since the last report.


The following reports were linked to the December agenda:

Staff Senate Foundation account report

Minutes of Employment Benefits Committee meeting for October 2014



Merit Award Form:  The Molly and David Boren Award for Excellence in Housekeeping and the Molly and David Boren Award for Excellence in Landscaping will now be on a separate form from the Merit Awards.  Since there is the possibility that the nominees could be from various member groups the Staff Senate Executive Committee will select the winners for the two awards.  After this year the process will be examined by a new ad hoc committee to see how to proceed in the future.



As there was no further business, the meeting adjourned at 3:00 p.m.

NEXT REGULAR MEETING:  January 21, 2014

Respectfully submitted,

Melissa Lane
Administrative Coordinator

Cecilia McEwen
Recording Secretary

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