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Wednesday, September 21, 2016



Chair Matthew Rom called the meeting to order at 1:35 p.m. in the Scholars Room of the Oklahoma Memorial Union.
Officers present – Matthew Rom, Chair; John Bishop, Chair-Elect; Debbie Copp, Immediate Past Chair

Officers absent – Emilie Bozek, Recording Secretary

Staff present – Melissa Lane, Administrative Coordinator

Representatives present – Hourly Employees Council: Kristen Holmes, Ross Mehl, Cecilia Holmes, Suzie Brewer; Informational Staff Association: Carl Sinclair, Elaine Bradshaw, Sarah Connelly, Chris Cook; Organizational Staff Council: Kristi Wright, Jackie Downing, Daveena Stratton, Julia Rouse, Betty Love; Administrative Staff Council: Breion Rollins

Representatives absent — Hourly Employees Council: Dalton Brassington, Crystal Ary, Liz Cooley, Christopher Slinker, Stephanie Gerhard, Julie Hamburger, Hope Abraham, David Kizer; Informational Staff Association: Corey Helms, Francey Freeman; Organizational Staff Council: Marissa Pierson; Administrative Staff Council: David Goodspeed


The agenda was adopted with an addition to Old Business of FLSA in member groups, on motion by Kristi Wright.


On motion by Daveena Stratton, the minutes of July 20, 2016 Staff Senate meeting were approved as written.


Meet the Staff Senate Chair newsletter published last week. While meeting staff on campus, it became evident that many do not read emails sent through the Staff Senate email account. Increasing viewership of this account should be a priority of the Senate. Matthew also reported that he did not meet with administration this month. Meetings will begin in October.

Attended the September Faculty Senate meeting as well as the September Norman Chamber of Commerce Weather Committee meeting. Members of the Faculty Senate are concerned how staff within their department will be impacted by the FLSA changes. They are requesting human resources provide an explanation of why changes are being made. The Weather Committee meeting focused on the ten-year anniversary of the College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences and the National Weather Center. Special events will commemorate the anniversary during the fall semester.

The Senate was advised to look out for changes to health insurance plans and were informed that a representative from human resources will attend the October Staff Senate meeting to discuss the transition to the university’s new provider. Finally, Matthew discussed his goal of attending as many group and committee meetings as possible. He believes there is great work happening within the Senate and would like to see it firsthand.



Administrative Staff Council:  Vice President Breion Rollins reported that they met and toured the new renovations in the stadium.  They also talked about what they would like to do for future meetings and how often they should meet.

Hourly Employees Council:  President Kristen Holmes reported that they met last Wednesday but did not have a quorum.  They did take volunteers for each of their committees and discussed the possibility of a name change for the Hourly Employees Council.

Informational Staff Association:  President Carl Sinclair reported that they were able to fill their vacancies for Staff Senate as well as found new volunteers for Faculty Senate. There were reports from the ISA constitution review committee and the ISA website team.  They discussed October Security Awareness Month.  Additional discussion included future topics for the group’s October and November meeting including a visit with the Student Veterans Association and a tour of the new Innovations Hub in 3PP.  They also had a question related to state funding. Group members would like to know with the money the state found and returned to the agencies from which it was cut, how much of that came back to OU?

Organizational Staff Council:  President Kristi Wright reported that they reviewed their Staff Senate representatives and OSC representatives to make sure all openings were covered.  The members discussed whether they still need to conduct their annual fall fundraiser or if they should look at different fundraising events. They decided they would see if they need a fundraiser and will revisit the topic in the spring. The group also discussed their staff assistance fund and whether they would like to change the name. The meeting concluded with a review of the new federal overtime rules and effects the rule may have on OSC members. 


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

Communications Committee:  By email Chair Patricia Koonce reported that they met via email to review the Staff Senate Chair welcome newsletter to offer approval or suggestions.

Staff Initiatives Committee:  Chair Daveena Stratton reported that they met and discussed the old business topic of the Shared Leave Program. Currently, the Regents Office donates a set budget for the Shared Leave Program. However, OU staff may donate hours to the program to match Regent’s Office donation. Qualified staff, if approved, can use leave from the pool or from donations that have been requested by the staff’s department. Members of the committee proposed collecting hours through campaigns, allowing employees to donate from their extended sick leave balance, or allowing staff to donate one hour from each paycheck to the shared leave pool. Additionally, committee members wanted clarification on verbiage in the Staff Handbook related to the Shared Leave Policy as to what constitutes a qualifying event. The committee will request Tammy Porter attends their next meeting to discuss the topic and proposals further.

Staff Week Committee:  By email Co-Chair Cathy Brister reported that they discussed the responsibilities of each subcommittee and members volunteered to chair the various subcommittees. The CCE Forum can no longer accommodate the Staff Week health fair as it is turning into a multi-purpose building due to the closure of the Cross Buildings. The committee is exploring different options.  


Employee Benefits Committee:  Debbie Copp reported that they discussed:

I. Fringe Benefits RFP
The review committee has selected the finalists and will be making a presentation to administration sometime during the last days of August. The plan is to have a vendor selected for each of the benefits – medical, dental, life insurance and disability – so that a recommendation can be made at the September Regents’ meeting. The committee could not share the preferences since they had not been approved. Employee Benefits Council will discuss plan designs at the September EBC meeting so that they can be recommended to Regents in October.

NOTE: The Regents did receive the recommendations at the September meeting and have selected Cigna for medical (active and pre-65 retirees), Blue Cross and Blue Shield (Medicare eligible retirees), Delta Dental for dental coverage, and Lincoln Financial for life insurance and disability insurance. All agreements were for one year with an option to renew for two additional one-year periods.

II. Wellness
We will be adding Weight Watchers on campus in response to campus survey. Flu clinics are ramping up and the Fun Run is Sept. 24. Registration is open through Sept. 23.

III. Retirement
Plan to begin a concentrated effort to get employees to name beneficiaries. Right now, less than 50% of enrollees have a named beneficiary.

It appears we are coming to closure on the expedited IRS ruling (that has been going on since 2005) concerning OTRS and the time that employees have to make the irrevocable selection. Currently, it appears as if the period will be 30 days.


The following reports were linked to the September agenda:

Staff Senate Foundation account report

Minutes of Employment Benefits Committee meeting for April 2016


Discussion of FLSA changes on member groups.

Matthew Rom outlined how the Senate will respond to changes in employee classification as a result of the FLSA changes. Member groups will remain consistent with employees assigned to their respective member group based on their internal job classification. Doing so will place employees paid on an hourly basis in groups other than the Hourly Employees Council. Matthew suggested changing the name of the Hourly Employees Council to avoid confusion. Members of the Hourly Employees Council are discussing possible name changes and will report back to the full Senate once a new name is chosen.




As there was no further business, the meeting adjourned at 2:22 p.m.

NEXT REGULAR MEETING:  October 19, 2016

Respectfully submitted,
Melissa Lane
Administrative Coordinator

Emilie Bozek
Recording Secretary 

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The University of Oklahoma Staff Senate, Norman Campus, 905 Asp, Norman, OK 73019 (405) 325-4672  | 
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