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Wright State University

Unclassified Staff Advisory Council


Minutes

September 26, 2002

The meeting was held in Room 158 University Hall.  USAC Chair, Carol Vuckovich called the meeting to order at 2:30.

Attendees were:

Mary Lou Baker-Jones, University Libraries
Tom Brookey, Raj Soin College of Business
Jeff Bowman, CaTS
Jim Davis, Lake Campus
Michelle Feichtner, Financial Aid
Kathi Herick, University Libraries
Tamara Jones, Human Resources
Cheryl Lauricella, University Libraries
Melissa Minor, Human Resources
Sharon Powell, CaTS
Linda Sykes, Payroll
Donna Totten, VP Business and Fiscal Affairs
Carol Vuckovich, Internal Audit
Pamela Wallace-Johnson, University College Advising
Susan Wehmeyer, University Libraries
Rick Zech, Budget Planning and Resource Allocation

WELCOME

Carol welcomed and introduced new council members:  Donna Totten, Kathi Herick, Sharon Powell and Michelle Feichtner.  New council member Dan Andrews who was elected to represent Student Affairs has left the University and will need to be replaced.

APPROVAL of MINUTES

The minutes of the USAC meeting of June 11, 2002 were approved as posted on the web site.

COMMITTEE REPORTS

Rick Zech, Athletic Council, Wellness and Recreation
The first meeting of the Athletic Council will be held September 27, 2002.   The Retirees Picnic was well attended by about 1,000 employees and 60 retirees.  Weight Watchers on campus is continuing.  WSU employees have lost over 2,000 lbs. this year.

Michelle Martin, Parking Services
No report.  Michelle was not present
.

Carol Vuckovich, University Dining Services
The first meeting of Dining Services will be held in October.

NEW BUSINESS

Carol called for nominations for Chair-Elect and Secretary.  Donna Totten was nominated as Chair-Elect.  Susan Wehmeyer was nominated as Secretary.

Carol called for volunteers to serve on the Dining Services Committee.  Sharon Powell and Jeff Bowman volunteered to share a position as one of two USAC representatives on the committee.  Any unclassified staff member who is interested in serving as the second representative should contact Carol.

Future of USAC
Carol reported that various staff have expressed concern over the loss of representation from USAC on  the Building and Grounds, Calendars and Elections, and University Budget Review committees.  Both Vicky L. Davidson, Associate Vice-President, Facilities Planning And Management and Matthew V. Filipic, Vice President For Business And Fiscal Affairs have expressed willingness to meet with the USAC council or representatives from the council on a regular basis as an alternative to committee representation.

Tom Brookey offered his opinion that USAC representation on these committees has not been of high value as they are not really decision making bodies.

Susan Wehmeyer reviewed the purpose of USAC as described in the Charter: “The purpose of the Unclassified Staff Advisory Council shall be to represent its members to the university by:

  1. promoting their general welfare;
  2. advocating for unclassified staff through active participation in university governance structure;
  3. reviewing, initiating and making recommendation on relevant university policies and procedures;
  4. encouraging and facilitating communication among members; and
  5. encouraging professional development opportunities. ”

She expressed concern that USAC could not very well fulfill its purpose if participation in university governance is denied.  Pamela Wallace-Johnson seconded these concerns.  Tom stated that the governance structure has changed since the charter was written, particularly since the faculty unionized.    Susan pointed out that the faculty senate has retained an ex-officio student representative as a member of the Building and Grounds Committee and that many staff have strong interest and involvement in Building and Grounds issues.  Carol said she will bring our concerns about loss of representation to Bill Rickert, Associate Provost.  Discussion of how USAC should react to this change will be continued at the next meeting.

Guidelines for New USAC Representatives
Carol said that various USAC representatives have requested more direction about the duties and responsibilities of the position.  Carol asked that the representatives jot down ideas about what should be expected of USAC representatives for discussion at the next meeting. [As part of this initiative, each USAC Representative received a list of their constituents earlier in the meeting.]

Business Core Hours
Bill Rickert asked USAC for feedback about the possibility of changing core business hours from 8:30-5:00 to 8:00–4:30.  This issue was prompted by a change in the start time of the first class of the day from 9:00 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.  Faculty would like their departmental offices to be open at least 30 minutes before the start of class.  In addition, an influx of students, faculty and staff to campus all at 8:30 may cause traffic and parking problems.  An informal poll by various USAC representatives indicated that many student service departments already maintain longer hours or stagger start times and would expect to maintain that procedure.  Carol will find out how actively USAC is expected to pursue this issue.  Human Resources has software to construct a survey if needed.

Vacation and Sick Leave Reporting
A constituent asked USAC to investigate whether more information could be added to the pay advices so that employees could see how much was earned and how much used in the pay period.  Tom Brookey pointed out that vacation and sick leave use is not reported on the pay advice until the month following the use.  Linda Sykes, Payroll, advised that the software used by Human Resources offers no extra fields to add information to the pay advice.  She stated that Human Resources will audit sick leave and vacation balances on request.  If the balance does not match what the employee expects, he/she should call Human Resources.  Doug DeFrain stated that each unit on campus has a record-keeper who is responsible for tracking sick leave and vacation use and reporting it monthly.  

Human Resource Liaisons
Carol asked whether USAC has received any concerns, complaints or questions about the Human Resource Liaisons appointed for each unit.  None were reported.  Doug DeFrain stated that the liaison program is working as it was designed to do.

Merit Leave
Carol reported that a constituent asked USAC to look into whether additional leave time could be offered as compensation for exceptional performance in light of the minimal increases available for merit pay.  Doug DeFrain said that merit pay is becoming less common in the public sector.  He stated that concept of merit leave has been discussed before and remains a gray area for state employees because the Ohio Revised Code restricts compensation to pay for time worked.  He said the Board of Trustees has the authority to increase the leave time allotted, but suggested that if USAC wishes to pursue this issue that we ask for legal advice.

New Business
Cheryl Lauricella raised the issue of fee remission for part-time staff who want to attend classes at the Kettering Center.  Doug will look into it and report back to USAC, but stated that most universities do not permit fee remission for non-credit courses.

Doug also announced that Human Resources will begin a new service contract with a Advanced Benefits, a benefit consulting firm at the end of October to assist employees with insurance issues.  Advanced Benefits will work with employees who have already discussed an issue with the insurance carrier and failed to reach a resolution.  The service will be more confidential than any help Human Resources could provide and offers the benefit of broader experience in dealing with insurance issues.  This service will be offered at no cost to employees.  Further information will be forthcoming from Human Resources.

Doug also announced a new program from October 28th to November 15th called “Above and Beyond.”  This program was planned to address the concern revealed by a survey of employees that Wright State does not do a good job with employee recognition.  The program allows staff to recognize one another.  Any employee can nominate any other employee at any level.  Human Resources will verify the nominations and review them for completeness.  The nominator will be given a certificate and small gift to personally present to the employee.  No supervisors or other staff will be involved in the process.  If someone is nominated multiple times they will receive multiple certificates, but they will only receive one gift.  This will be a very informal process run for only three weeks overall.  Recipients will be announced in Dialogue, on the announce list and on websites.  A brochure with more details will be forthcoming from Human Resources.

 The meeting was adjourned at 3:15.  

 NEXT MEETING
The next meeting of USAC will be held Thursday, October 17, 2002, 2:30 p.m. in Room 158 University Hall.

 Minutes submitted by Susan Wehmeyer, USAC Secretary, 9/2702. 


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Revised: 27 September 2002