Wednesday October 15,  2008



Chair Linda McCarty called the meeting to order at 1:32 p.m. in the Scholars Room of the Oklahoma Memorial Union.


Officers present — Linda McCarty, Chair; Diana Fitzpatrick, Chair-Elect; Beth Gatewood, Immediate Past Chair; Elaine Bradshaw, Recording Secretary


Staff present — Barbara Perry, Administrative Coordinator; KeYonna Wynn, Student Assistant


Representatives present — Hourly Employees Council: David Houck, Linda Smith, Bobby Hardcastle, Carolyn Irons, Mary Peters, Donna Stephens, Cindy Simpson, Troy Schmidt, David Kizer; Informational Staff Association: Michael Goodwin, Chris Cook, Dick Trim, Dan Hough, Debi Gentis, Debbie Copp; Organizational Staff Council:  Sandi Emond, Nancy Matthews, Fran Stephens, Cathy Trujillo, Tami Kinsey; Administrative Staff Council:, Terri Sarsycki


Representatives absent — Hourly Employees Council: Tim Winkelman, Kim Haddad; Informational Staff Association: None; Organizational Staff Council: Debbie Hubbard; Administrative Staff Council:  Robbie Wahnee


Guests present — Misty Rhodes, College of Continuing Education; Pamela Reagan, College of Continuing Education; Rennie Cook, Alumni Affairs; Lezlie Pilkington, Administrative Affairs; Betty Love, Parking and Transportation Services; Margaret Vennochi, College of Earth and Energy; Reporter, The Oklahoma Daily




Misty Rhodes and Pamela Reagan provided a handout listing the project management courses offered through CCE University Outreach programs.  Misty said the courses help participants improve management, leadership and communications skills.  Introductory rates are being offered, plus staff receive an additional 20% discount.  Classes are held at the Forum.  For more information visit




Rennie announced that a chili cook-off had been held at noon that day, October 15, as the kick-off for OU’s United Way campaign.  He said OU’s goal was to raise $205,000.  Rennie said he realized this was a difficult time to raise money for any campaign, but pointed out that the agencies and people depending on United Way donations needed our support more than ever.  He said a $100 donation would provide groceries for the Women’s Resource Center for the entire shelter for a week.  Some ways to participate are to purchase a t-shirt for $10.  $3.50 covers the cost of the shirt and $6.50 goes directly to the campaign.  One entire day is set aside for the campus to wear the shirts, Friday October 24.  The t-shirts are available at the Bookstores.   He said a fun walk would be held on October 30.  It would be a one-mile walk around campus.  He said the last week of the campaign would be recognized as the week to “Give United.”  He remarked, “We eat United today, we dress United next week, we walk United on the 30th and we Give United.”   Rennie encouraged everyone to participate and send in their donation. 




Chair Linda McCarty said she had a short meeting with Vice President for Executive and Administrative Affairs Nick Hathaway.  Nick told Linda it was too early to know whether any more cuts to next year’s budget would be necessary, but advised that people should hold back on spending if possible and spend wisely.  Linda passed out a flyer for Fill the Trolley.  Staff Senate will have a box to fill at the November meeting.  Linda reminded everyone of the health care meetings coming up.  A town hall meeting will be held on October 27 at Meacham Auditorium and the Benefits Fair will be held on November 5 in the Armory.  Open enrollment will run November 4 through November 16.




On motion by Sandi Emond, the minutes of the September 17, 2008, Staff Senate meeting were accepted as written.




Hourly Employees Council:  President David Houck said HEC met on October 8.  They discussed the Staff Senate position regarding speaking to reporters — if you choose to comment, make it clear that you are speaking from a personal standpoint and not on behalf of HEC or Staff Senate.  HEC discussed the Hourglass Newsletter and gathered some interesting, new ideas to include in the publication.  David invited everyone to send in their recipes or stories to him.   The group would like to have an issue out before Thanksgiving.  Service pins were presented to members who had completed their first full year with the HEC.


Organizational Staff Council:  President Sandi Emond said OSC met on October 2.  Nick Kelly gave an update on health insurance.  A budget was formulated for bingo, 2009.


Informational Staff Association:  President Michael Goodwin said ISA met on October 1.  The group discussed the Art Show budget and chose members for the Awards Selection Committee, Elections Committee and Art Show Committee.  A collection was taken for the Angel Food Ministry program.  After the business meeting, the group toured the new IT Store at the corner of Jenkins and Lindsey Streets. 


Administrative Staff Council:  Vice President Terri Sarsycki said ASC met on September 23 and would hold future meetings on the 3rd Tuesday of the month.  34 people attended the September meeting. Clarke Stroud was the guest speaker and spoke on motivational leadership.   This year, the group is offering a series of meetings on leadership and networking.  Krista Pettersen volunteered to fill the ASC vacancy on the Staff Professional Development Committee.   Nick Kelly updated the group on health benefits.  The group will discuss their holiday charity event at their next meeting.




Thank you note from United Way organization regarding Day of Caring was linked to the agenda.




The following reports were linked to the October agenda:


Staff Senate Foundation account report.


Minutes of Employment Benefits Committee meeting for August 21, 2008.




Awards Committee:  Chair Dan Hough inquired about the Awards Ceremony schedule.  Chair Linda McCarty told him we had not yet been able to secure a date with the President.


Personnel Policies Committee:  Chair Margaret Vennochi said the PPC met on October 24.  Members signed up for subcommittees and decided to continue investigating the issue of using extended sick leave for care of dependents.  The subcommittee investigating funding for staff promotions is continuing its research as well.


Employment Benefits Committee:  EBC Committee member Debbie Copp said they had met and were supposed to meet again on October 16, but the meeting had been moved back a couple of weeks in hopes they would have a first draft from the retiree insurance committee to review by that time.  After the EBC reviews the report, other groups, including Faculty and Staff Senates will be able to review it.  Debbie said throughout the process staff have been hearing the term “near retirement”, but no one knew exactly what that meant.  She said at President Boren’s State of the University Address at the September Faculty Senate meeting, President Boren explained that term.  She said the President told the Faculty Senate it was “anyone … eligible to retire or who will be eligible to retire within 5 years.”  She said now that we know what the word “near” means, we should share this information to help ease concern. 


Debbie said the new Delta Dental will be somewhat different from the Delta plan we were on before.  Check out the details.  She asked members to help get out the word about the benefits of using the flexible spending accounts.  As an example, she said a $15 deduction which comes out of the paycheck in pre-tax dollars may amount to a reduction of only $10 in your paycheck, yet you would be reimbursed for the full $15 worth of health care claims or over-the-counter medications.  She said everyone would  need to enroll in the new insurance plans this year because we are changing to a new carrier.  Debbie said there would be new enrollment for the long term care insurance this year and there was no medical qualifying unless you had applied for it before and had been turned down.  There was some confusion as to whether the insurance in question was the long term disability or long term care insurance. A member asked about the lack of providers in the BlueLincs HMO.  He was told they are still in the process of enrolling providers and  was advised to check the list again closer to the enrollment date; however, there will probably not be a large number of providers in the Norman area. 




Linda noted that the next Staff Senate meeting would be held on November 19 in the Associates Room.




As there was no further business, the meeting adjourned at 2:17p.m.


Respectfully submitted,


Barbara Perry

Administrative Coordinator


Elaine Bradshaw

Recording Secretary