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Wednesday November 19, 2014



Chair John Bishop called the meeting to order at 1:34 p.m. in the Scholars Room of the Oklahoma Memorial Union.
Officers present – John Bishop, Chair; Cecilia McEwen, Recording Secretary; Debbie Copp, Chair-Elect; Chris Cook, Immediate Past Chair

Staff present – Melissa Lane, Administrative Coordinator

Representatives present – Hourly Employees Council: Eric Grubbs, Karen Stark, Suzie Brewer, Kim Haddad, Synthia Petross, Julie Hamburger, David Kizer, Ross Mehl, Brandie Wright; Informational Staff Association: Corey Helms, Richard Snelling, Sarah Connelly, Priscilla Crawford; Organizational Staff Council: Matt Rom, Deborah Skeel, Julia Rouse; Administrative Staff Council: Paul Arcaroli

Representatives absent — Hourly Employees Council: Cecilia Holmes, Jake Wetherington, Carolyn Irons; Informational Staff Association: Dan Hough, Gordan Carrie; Organizational Staff Council: Justin Daniels, Jackie Downing, Kristi Wright; Administrative Staff Council: Michael Giesecke

Guests present — Cathy Yeaman and Lezlie Marsh


On motion by Corey Helms, the minutes of October 16, 2014 Staff Senate meeting were accepted.


October was a busy month.  After the Staff Senate meeting I began working on the Staff Senate Resolution for President Boren’s 20th Anniversary (November 17, 2014). 

On October 28, 2014 the OU Regents decided to move their meeting from Lawton to Norman.  On October 29, 2014 I was informed that I would be addressing the Board of Regent’s to read the OU Staff Senate’s Resolution for President Boren’s 20th Anniversary.  There is a long list of people that helped make the resolution happen.  First and foremost is the Chair Elect Deborah Copp.  She has written several resolutions in the past and wrote the one presented to President Boren on behalf of the OU Staff Senate.  Danielle Steely edited, printed and presented our resolution to Burr Millsap several times before we had our final draft of the resolution.

The Regent’s Meeting was well organized and a very nice tribute for President Boren’s 20th Anniversary.  First Lady Molly Boren was present and also recognized for her dedication and service at the University.  While reading the Staff Senate Resolution a flood of memories with President Boren and the many dignitaries he brought to OU came flooding back to me.  I was a little choked up realizing that twenty years has flown by so fast.  The resolution was professional and personal and it was a great honor presenting the resolution on behalf of the Staff Senate.

The next day I received the following email from President Boren.

Dear John,

Thank you and your staff colleagues for making yesterday’s celebration so special to Molly and to me.  We are deeply grateful.


David Boren

Our committees are hard at work for Staff Week and the Awards Ceremony.  2015 marks the 125th Anniversary of the University, which is being incorporated into Staff Week.  In addition, our Staff Awards Ceremony is being held on President Boren’s 71st birth, which will be incorporated into the awards ceremony.

This past Monday, November 17, 2014 the Staff Senate was scheduled to host the Staff Governance Meet and Greet with the Faculty and Student Senates.  As you know, OU was closed for a snow day and we will reschedule the Meet and Greet.

Our member organizations have already begun their fund raisers for the Christmas Holiday Projects.  If you are able to help out, please do and give generously. 

I hope that everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving and survives the Black Friday crowds and events, safely.

Administrative Staff Council:  By email President Michael Giesecke said they had their last meeting on October 22, they heard from Rhonda Cannon, Associate Dean of University Libraries and toured the new Helmerich Collaborative Learning Center.  They also went over the updates to benefits that were covered in the prior Staff Senate Meeting.  They had planned an Okotberfest Social Hour in the Union on Oct. 29 for ASC members, but were forced to cancel when shortly before the event the Board of Regents scheduled a meeting and event in the same space during the same time. 

Hourly Employees Council:  President Eric Grubbs reported that they have decided to move forward with their annual HEC raffle fundraiser. Eric will be in charge of seeking donations for the raffle and Kristen Holmes will be in charge of collecting the money from ticket sales. Suzie Brewer will create a flyer to be distributed. Tickets will be sold for $1 each or 6 for $5.  Eric will distribute tickets at the Staff Senate meeting on November 19 (meeting begins at 1:30p) or you may call/email him for ticket delivery.  At this time, they do not have a list of the prizes.  All proceeds from the raffle will benefit the Regional Food Bank’s Backpack Program.  They will meet at Davenport’s in Couch Cafeteria at noon for their December 10 meeting. We will purchase our lunch individually and then go upstairs to Davenport’s to eat and have their meeting and will draw the raffle winners at this time as well.

Informational Staff Association:  President Debbie Copp reported that they had a regular business meeting and conducted organization business including discussions following reports from Staff and Faculty Senate reps.  They discussed the ISA Staff Week Art Show and Priscilla Crawford has agreed to chair it this year. She proposed a budget which we approved to submit to Staff Senate.  They also agreed to participate in the Secret Santa program again this year and will adopt three children.

Organizational Staff Council:  President Justin Daniels reported by email that the meeting was at Couch – Davenports and Dot Flowers with Food Services provided information on healthy eating during the holidays.  They raised over $300 at their annual Applebee’s flapjack fundraiser and all of that money will be going to OU families in need during the holidays.  If anyone knows of someone that needs assistance, please contact me or Betty Love. 


Awards Committee:  By email Chair Liz Cooley reported that they made final changes to the budget and turned into Staff Senate. They tabled the menu changes until next year, decided to add some decorations to the stage for 2015, and we will have a birthday card made for President Boren for all the staff to sign at Bingo or just before the Awards Ceremony.  The card will be presented to President Boren since the Awards Ceremony is on his birthday.

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

Staff Initiatives Committee:  Chair Kristi Wright reported that Marcy Fleming, HR committee rep discussed the finalized updated version of the personal vehicle use policy, Section 5.12.1 in the Staff Handbook. The policy was updated to state it is recommended that employees use a car from fleet services. However if a university employee or authorized volunteer is requested or permitted to use his or her personal vehicle for university business, the liability coverage outlined above extends to that employee while operating their personal vehicle just as if it were a university-owned vehicle, except as otherwise specified herein. This updated version of the policy should be in the staff handbook before Thanksgiving. It will also be going out in an upcoming HR newsletter. Also the Liability Forms are now on the Parking Services webpage. Discussion was held about new issues and Insurance Coverage for Spouses due to Marriage Equality in Oklahoma. Additionally they discussed diversity training based on marriage equality and are researching whether this is a part of The University’s training program. They mentioned that it used to be part of Foundations of Management training but it is not a part of it any longer. Discussion was also held about the Sooner Ally program and further information was going to be requested so that we can relay their information. One last topic we discussed was faculty/staff tuition waivers and what this entails. One point that was discussed is that faculty/staff are charged for a fee to use Huston Huffman but we also can pay a faculty/staff membership so some employees might be paying a duplicate fee. You actually have to ask for a waiver to not pay the health fee. They also are going to check out other fees that are waived and maybe request that additional fees be waived that we receive as an employee. The committee is also going to look into what other schools covered in regards to tuition for their employees.

Staff Week Committee:  Chair Paige Smith reported by email that they voted on the theme for staff week, the winner was "OU Staff-125 years of excellence".  They discussed how prizes were handled at the craft fair and decided to put a $10 minimum on donated door prizes. They discussed the events for the week and decided to keep it the same as last year. Monday is bingo, Tuesday is the awards ceremony and then the art show in the afternoon, Wednesday is the heath fair, Thursday is the craft fair and ice cream social and then Friday is the picnic. Tommy, the chair of our website committee, told us that IT wants to update our website and make it more mobile friendly. They voted between three different mock ups of the new layout of the website that he provided us and choose one of them. He will then turn this into IT and help organize our staff week website. 


Employee Benefits Committee:  Debbie Copp reported that they discussed the following: I. 2015 Renewal: Moving forward with self-funding for the PPO plan and indemnity plan. Approval of plans will be on Regents’ October Agenda.  II. Cameron Representative: Memo has been sent to President Boren for his approval to add a representative to EBC to represent Cameron employees who become a part of our insurance plans on January 1. III. ACA Update: ACA booklet is complete and will be distributed to departments in the next few days. IV. Same Sex Benefits Coverage with Change in Recognition of Marriages: Legal Counsel is reviewing and will address the issue as well as determining what OU’s response will be. V. Wellness Update: Fun Run went well … had about 2,500 register online and 1,900 pickup packets. Move More program has 210 registered participants and are getting positive feedback. Also look at a pilot program involving stand up desks and in a discussion phase. They are also exploring another pilot program that would involve an HES professor and her graduate students providing one-on-one health coaching. Completing the Five Questions to Ask Your Doctor cards. Biometric screenings going well on Norman and OKC campus and working to improve participation on Tulsa campus. Also working to address issue of students thinking program is open to them. IV. Updates from the Director and Others: Wants to find a way to put more emphasis on some of our benefits -- Long Term Disability, AD&D and Short Term Care – during New Employee Orientation. Also wants to look at ways to increase participation is FSA as a benefit for employees. Goddard Health Center staff is updating the pandemic plan for OU in response to all the concern with Ebola. Also forming a committee to work with International Services as it relates to OU people traveling abroad.

Ad Hoc Committee for Staff Merit Award Form:  Debbie Copp reported that they plan to have a draft available for Staff Senate’s approval at the December meeting, and are still working on online option.

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


The following reports were linked to the November agenda:

Staff Senate Foundation account report

Minutes of Employment Benefits Committee meeting for August 2014




Lezlie marsh reported that in regards to the Bicycle Resolution that the Staff Senate wrote 2 years ago, that the resolution has been fulfilled.  It was completed before the 5 year time frame.


As there was no further business, the meeting adjourned at 2:15 p.m.

NEXT REGULAR MEETING:  November 19, 2014

Respectfully submitted,

Melissa Lane
Administrative Coordinator

Cecilia McEwen
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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