Wednesday November 21, 2012



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


Officers present – Chris Cook, Chair; Cathy Trujillo, Recording Secretary


Officers absent – Amanda Pai, Chair-Elect; Fran Stephens, Immediate Past Chair


Staff present – Melissa Lane, Administrative Coordinator


Representatives present – Hourly Employees Council: David Houck, Cecilia McEwen, Laura Shoopman, John Bishop, Sena Golden, David Kizer; Informational Staff Association: Connie Smith, Priscilla Crawford, Bruce Alcock, Elaine Bradshaw; Organizational Staff Council: Nancy Matthews, Chris McNabb; Administrative Staff Council: Jennifer Doughty, Robbie Wahnee


Representatives absent — Hourly Employees Council: Carolyn Taylor, Cindy Simpson, Linda Smith, Jack Shoopman, Carmen Eppler, Kim Haddad; Informational Staff Association: Gordan Carrie, Shawn Gralla; Organizational Staff Council:  Reta Tarver, Jackie Downing, Betty Love, Justin Daniels


Guests present — Debbie Copp




Brian Ringer, Judy Robinson, and Leney Ellisor from Student Media




On motion by Connie Smith, the minutes of the September 19, 2012, Staff Senate meeting were accepted.




On motion by Connie Smith, the minutes of the October 17, 2012, Staff Senate meeting were accepted.




Chris met with Nick Hathaway, Vice President for Executive and Administrative Affairs they discussed state appropriations, and sequestration or planning for the "Fiscal Cliff". Nick indicated that planning is underway, but there isn't much to go on at this point.


Chris attended the Faculty Senate meeting November 12th, where, President Boren spoke to the faculty on the State of the University. As with his presentation to Staff Senate, his remarks focused on the achievements of the University in trying times, and the importance of state appropriations to not only higher education, but common education as well. He did acknowledge compensation as an area he'd like to improve. The Faculty Senate later took up the Staff Senate resolution supporting Domestic Partnership Job Protection Benefits.  They are voting next month to add Faculty Senate support for our resolution.




Administrative Staff Council:  President Jennifer Doughty reported that they briefly discussed the menu plans for Staff Week and the upcoming holiday meal.  Danny Hilliard came and spoke to the group and explained the role of the University and how it is impacted by state and federal legislation.


Hourly Employees Council:  Representative Laura Shoopman reported that students from the IBC, (Integrated Business Core) presented their products for sale. They filled the Group 6 vacancy and continued to add volunteers to the committees. They discussed their holiday project, which is to donate to the Help yOUr Neighbor Fund that supports OU employees that have sustained a loss due to recent fires. They will also support the Norman Backpack Program to aid needy local children.  They will sell raffle tickets for chances to win a football signed by Barry Switzer and Bob Stoops. The drawing will take place at their meeting on Wednesday, December 14.


Informational Staff Association:  Representative Priscilla Crawford reported that they enjoyed an interesting presentation from Master Police Officer/K-9 Handler Greg Vollmer, and K-9 companion Caesar. ISA approved appointment of Kendall George to the ISA Council, discussed recent changes in leave policy, and decided to participate in the Citizens Advisory Board Secret Santa program. They will seek participation in other charity events during Spring Semester. Priscilla Crawford volunteered to help set up the Staff Week art show.


Organizational Staff Council:  Representative Nancy Matthews reported that Doug Myers gave an update on all the great things going on in Parking & Transportation. They are still working on the new OSC website, but the OSC Facebook page is now live. They kicked off the fall fundraiser on November 1st and decided to support Big Brothers Big Sisters and the Center for Children & Families, Inc. The information gathered on the initiative to incentivize blood donation was passed along to members of the Staff Initiatives Committee.  They also distributed a call for nominations of OU families that could use extra support during the holidays.




Awards Committee:  By email Chair Liz Cooley reported that they met last week, decorations, flowers and entertainment are set.  Budget has been sent to Melissa.  The committee will not meet again until January.


Communications Committee:  By email Chair Gina Powell reported that they completed the newsletter to announce the Staff Senate Member Groups. The committee also discussed the possibility of creating a Facebook page that all committees could post notices concerning Staff Senate.  The committee will not meet in December.


Staff Initiatives Committee:  Chair Dan Hough reported that they discussed three items: 1.  Robert's Rules of Order training -- committee member Kristi Wright talked to Communications Department Chair Michael Kramer who is willing to work with HR to teach the course.  Eric Sourie says he will follow-up with HR.  2.  Car Pooling -- Doug Myers, Parking and Transit Director, attended the meeting and updated us on carpooling plans.  The University has joined so that faculty/staff and students can register with the system to find carpooling partners.  Doug also mentioned that it will permitted for staff who are in a car pooling group to share a parking pass (although it will need to be purchased by an individual).  They will be publicizing the system after return from Winter Break.  They will try this for a year and see how it goes.  He does not see the need for reserved carpooling parking spots at this time.  Also, Doug mentioned that staff/faculty will be able to purchase individual daily parking permits (up to 10 at a time at $3/day) for those who usually do not  drive to campus but may want to when weather, etc. makes driving more preferable.  That program will also start after Winter Break.  3.  Using paid leave time for blood donations -- OSC member Cindy Clark mentioned that her group is interested in looking to see if the University could allow staff to donate blood at on-site drives without needing to use paid leave time.  Cindy will do some research on policies at other institutions and work on a proposed policy change.


Staff Week Committee:  By email Chair Terri Smith reported that they voted on the theme.  This year’s theme is “OU Staff-Celebrating Sooner Spirit”.   They have sent out the call for logo to staff members and should be voting on the logo at the next meeting.  They discussed the concession fundraising and that they would be circulating an online survey to make sure they have enough volunteers to cover the stand for the games they will work. They now have the schedule of events/days for Staff Week, which follows past events, Monday-Bingo, Tuesday-Awards/Art Show, Wednesday-Health Fair, Thursday-Craft Fair and Ice Cream Social, Friday-Picnic.  They are in the beginning stages of planning all the venues/logistics.




Employee Benefits Committee:  Debbie Copp reported I. Health Care Reform Presentation: The Health Care Reform discussions are all around us and can be quite confusing. Our HR staff is monitoring closely what additional impacts, if any, pieces of that legislation will have on the employees at OU. The first impact is that limits were put on the amount a person could hold out on a Flexible Spending Account, effective Jan. 1, 2013. Also effective on Jan. 1, 2013, women’s health screenings will be provided as part of our health care. Other changes are on the horizon; but right now there are too many things that are still being worked out. HR will continue to monitor and will share with EBC. They shared a website with us that is a good source on unbiased, un-politicized information on Health Care Reform. It is from the Kaiser Family Foundation and here is the link: II. Employee Assistance Program (EAP): Review of the program is underway including how many visits a person can make at no charge to the individual. The plan is to expand the number of visits when EAP involvement is required for an employee to keep their job. Other situations also may get an expanded number of covered visits. There will be more to come on this one as well. III. Enrollment/Dependent Attestation: Enrollment seemed to go very well with few complaints (let me know if you all hear of any and I will pass it on to the HR folks). Please remind those you represent and interact with on campus that in late January or early February, anyone who covers a dependent or spouse on our health insurance will be asked to verify the eligibility of that person to be on the plan. This is being required since OU is now paying a portion of that coverage.




The following reports were linked to the October agenda:


Staff Senate Foundation account report


Minutes of Employment Benefits Committee meeting for May 2012










As there was no further business, the meeting adjourned at 2:30 p.m.


NEXT REGULAR MEETING:  December 19, 2012


Respectfully submitted,


Melissa Lane

Administrative Coordinator


Cathy Trujillo

Recording Secretary