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Wednesday January 20, 2016



Chair Debbie Copp called the meeting to order at 1:32 p.m. in the Sooner Room of the Oklahoma Memorial Union.
Officers present – Debbie Copp, Chair; John Bishop, Immediate Past Chair; Cecilia McEwen, Recording Secretary

Officers absent – Matthew Rom, Chair-Elect

Staff present – Melissa Lane, Administrative Coordinator

Representatives present – Hourly Employees Council: David Kizer, Ross Mehl, Judy Oliger, Emilie Bozek, Sharrie Sanders, Stephanie Gerhard, Dennis Erfourth, Eric Grubbs; Informational Staff Association: Dan Hough, Sarah Connelly; Organizational Staff Council: Betty Love, Kristi Wright, Chase Abbott, Marissa Pierson, Julia Rouse; Administrative Staff Council: Sue-Anna Miller, Paul Arcaroli

Representatives absent — Hourly Employees Council: Kristen Holmes, Sharrie Sanders,Liz Cooley, Cecilia Homles, Donna Stephens; Informational Staff Association: Carl Sinclair, Corey Helms, Richard Snelling, Priscilla Crawford; Organizational Staff Council: Rhonda Hill

Guests present — Fran Stephens and David Corbly


On motion by Dan Hough, the minutes of December 16, 2015 Staff Senate meeting were accepted.


Debbie Copp reported: (1) Sent a reminder to emphasize Merit, Housekeeping and Landscape award nominations.  She challenged the Senate reps to work with co-workers to have record numbers of nominees, especially at a time when morale is not very good. She will also be sending out reminders on the awards and deadlines to Executive Committee to pass along to their groups. (2) Referred the retirement questions that came up in December to Staff Initiatives Committee. She will be sending an email to HR administrators to give them a heads up on the discussion.


Administrative Staff Council:  President Sue-Anna Miller reported that they met early in December and have not met again since our last Staff Senate meeting.  They will meet in January on our normal schedule following the January Staff Senate meeting.

Hourly Employees Council:  President John Bishop reported that they asked for thoughts and prayers for the family and friends of OU Housing and Food Service employee Jerry Vincent.  Jerry passed away sometime Monday night or early Tuesday morning.  Jerry has worked at OU for twenty five (25) years and was an exemplarity employee.  HEC has read the memo from the Staff Senate Chairman Debbie Copp for the call for Staff Merit Award Nominations and Excellent in Housekeeping and Landscaping Award Nominations.  John appointed Donna Stephens to Group IV to fill a vacancy and as a Staff Senate Representative.  HEC is launching a Facebook page and will explore other social media outlets to help spread the word and communicate with HEC members.  Their website is outdated and they plan to have it updated very soon. For the Staff Week Ice Cream Social they are working on donations for ice cream (checking the availability of Blue Bunny to donate) the Election Committee is preparing for the elections.  It was suggested that HEC review and possibly reassign the departments in the six member groups of HEC.  OU HR will be asked for a list of eligible hourly employees by department and we will discuss changing the groups to make them equal in numbers and hopefully get a greater pool of HEC representatives.  David Kizer briefed HEC on the Staff Senate by-laws review.  Term limits were discussed.  It was suggested that HEC review our by-laws and look at our term-limits and ways to improve recruiting and retention of HEC representatives.

Informational Staff Association:  President Dan Hough reported that they met and toured the Galileo's World Exhibit in the History of Science Collection.  After the tour we had a short business meeting where we filled our Awards Committee and discussed the proposed changes from the Staff Senate ad hoc committee on the constitution and bylaws.

Organizational Staff Council:  President Betty Love reported that they met Thursday, Jan. 14th in the Houston Huffman conference room.  Malinda Williams from Fitness & Recreation was their guest speaker.  She shared information about the programs and amenities of the fitness and recreation center.  She informed us of the benefits of being a member of the facility.  They learned that camping equipment can be rented from them by OU members and other equipment; such as flag football or volleyball can be checked out at no charge.  Expect an invitation to a new boot camp in an email in the near future.  They  talked about their Staff Week event of bingo and it was announced that Clarke Stroud has agreed to be our “caller” in the morning session.   They are excited about that and know that everyone should have a great time with having an entertaining caller!  They don’t promise prizes to everyone who attends, but will offer a cheap lunch and a barrel of laughs with Clarke at the helm!  Operation Comfort & Joy was discussed.  With the help from OU employees, four families received helped.  They were able to give each family gift cards to Crest Foods and Walmart for food or items needed. The family that needed a heater repair ended up needing a furnace replacement.   With the outpouring of the big hearts of OU employees they were able to take care of the additional cost.  The support from OU employees for others who were in need was overwhelming.  They didn’t have a quorum by the time they discussed the Ad Hoc committee on Staff Senate Governing documents, so they couldn’t take a vote.  A motion was made for the Chair to send out a request for a vote via email.  They also decided to put out the request for nominations for Staff Senate recording secretary in the same fashion.


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

Communications Committee:  By email Chair Gina Powell reported that the committee did not meet.

Staff Initiatives Committee:  By email Chair Marilyn Korhonen reported that they met and discussed employee/dependent waivers, outreach strategies to enhance staff members’ awareness of key policies and benefits, and the recent enactment of the University’s policy regarding health insurance benefits for retirees. We accepted two resignations. 
Staff Week Committee:  By email Chair Cathy Brister reported that due to heating and construction issues in DAHT, the Staff Week Committee did not meet in January.  All subcommittee are working on their various  assignments (health fair, craft fair, prize solicitation) and we will meet in February.  The logo for Staff Week has been approved by licensing.


Ad Hoc Committee for Staff Senate Constitution:  Chair Matt Rom asked the members to report back to their individual member groups for feedback. Once their meet, let him and Melissa know if there were any comments/concerns/etc. Once all member groups have met and they know their concerns, if any they will decide if they need to meet again.  The committee suggests the following to the Bylaws: 1.)    No changes to Article II: Representatives, Section 1 2.)    Article III: Officers, Section 7 Currently reads:  Section 7. In the event of a vacancy in the office of the Chair-Elect, the Executive Committee shall present a nominee for the office of Chair-Elect at the next Senate meeting.  Committee recommends adjusting to:  Section 7. In the event of a vacancy in the office of the Chair-Elect or Recording Secretary, the Executive Committee shall present a nominee for the office of Chair-Elect or Recording Secretary at the next Senate meeting.  3.)    Article III: Officers, add section 8:  Section 8.  In the event of a vacancy in the office of the Immediate Past Chair, the Executive Committee shall appoint a nominee taken from the preceding four years of Immediate Past Chair at the next Senate meeting.  If no such candidate is available, the Executive Committee shall present a nominee for the office of Immediate Past Chair at the next Senate meeting.


Employee Benefits Committee:  Debbie Copp reported that they did not meet.


The following reports were linked to the January agenda:

Staff Senate Foundation account report

Minutes of Employment Benefits Committee meeting for August 2015


The discussion on the retirement benefit matrix was sent to the Staff Initiatives Committee.


Election of Recording Secretary for remaining 2015-2016 term: Debbie Copp said that HEC was nominating Emilie Bozek for the position of Staff Senate Recording Secretary for the remaining 2015-2016 term.  Debbie Copp called for nominations from the floor.  There were none.  Dan Hough moved to accept the nomination by acclamation.  The motion was seconded and passed unanimously.


Best wishes were given to Cecilia McEwen on her upcoming retirement.


As there was no further business, the meeting adjourned at 2:03 p.m.

NEXT REGULAR MEETING:  February 17, 2016

Respectfully submitted,
Melissa Lane
Administrative Coordinator

Cecilia McEwen
Recording Secretary

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