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Wright State University

Unclassified Staff Advisory Council


Minutes

October 17, 2002

The meeting was held in Room 158 University Hall.  USAC Chair, Carol Vuckovich called the meeting to order at 2:33.

Attendees were:

Tom Brookey, Raj Soin College of Business
Solomon Cooper, Disability Services
Doug DeFrain, Human Resources
Karin DuChesne, Accounts Payable
Michelle Feichtner, Financial Aid
Kathi Herick, University Libraries
Tamara Jones, Human Resources
Mary Kenton, University Honors Program
Cheryl Lauricella, University Libraries
Virginia Lewis, Public Safety
Sharon Powell, CaTS
Jacqueline Robinson, General Accounting
Wendy Satterthwaite, Public Safety
John Skarzynski, CaTS
Donna Totten, VP Business and Fiscal Affairs
Carol Vuckovich, Internal Audit
Chris Watson, University Libraries
Jeff Wehmeyer, University Libraries
Susan Wehmeyer, University Libraries
Karen Wilhoit, University Libraries
Rick Zech, Budget Planning and Resource Allocation

APPROVAL of MINUTES

The minutes of the USAC meeting of September 26, 2002 were approved as posted on the web site.

COMMITTEE REPORTS

Rick Zech, Athletic Council, Wellness and Recreation
The first meeting of the council was held September 27th.  A coaches corner with Men's Basketball Head Coach Ed Schilling was held. His discussion included recruiting, scheduling and the new season.

Council was provided the spring sport schedules and discussion of the number of days missed due to games. At the end of Spring 2002, the cumulative average of  WSU student athletes was 3.045. This compares to 2.932 for the general WSU student population. USA Today article ranked WSU 7th in the nation of Division  I-AA, I-AAA for percentage-point difference between graduation rate of athletes and student body (+27%).

The committee will replace the chairs of two athletic council committees who were not members of the council. 

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

Solomon Cooper, University Dining Services

Solomon Cooper from Disability Services was introduced as the new representative to the Dining Services Committee.  Carol announced that it was discovered that USAC has only one seat on this Committee.  She thanked Sharon Powell and Jeff Bowman who had also volunteered to serve but yielded the position in favor of Solomon who is was not already serving USAC. 

Solomon’s report on the Dining Services Meeting of 10/17/02 are appended to these minutes.

OLD BUSINESS

Student Affairs Representative

Council member Dan Andrews who was elected to represent Student Affairs has left the University and will need to be replaced.  The USAC Charter calls for a replacement to be appointed.  Carol will ask candidate receiving the second highest number of votes from the last election if he is still interested in serving.  If not, she will select someone else to fill the vacancy.

Business Core Hours

In Fall 2003, the typical start time for morning classes will change from 9:00 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.  The university administration is considering a change in core business hours (the hours that most university offices are open) to 8:00 to 4:30 from the current 8:30 to 5.  The administration may conduct a survey to gather input from staff on this decision.  USAC will wait to respond with an opinion pending the results of this survey.

Governance

Carol Vuckovich, Tom Brookey and Susan Wehmeyer met with Associate Provost Bill Rickert.   They reported that Dr. Rickert expressed strong interest in receiving USAC input on campus issues.  CSAC has suggested a university advisory council with broad representation from administrative officials to replace the representation lost on various university committees.   Another alternative might be to invite administrative representatives to monthly USAC meetings.  Members expressed interest in the establishment of a council.  An opinion was expressed that a council provides the opportunity for administration to bring forward issues to USAC on a regular basis which the other suggested alternative does not.  A suggestion was made that USAC should consider whether the addition of a faculty representative or representatives to the composition of a council would be helpful. 

A question was raised about whether USAC should consider sending a representative to the public meetings of the faculty senate.  Response was generally unfavorable.  Some USAC members receive email of the faculty senate minutes distributed by faculty in their divisions.  Carol will ask Dr. Rickert if the minutes of the faculty senate might be more widely distributed on campus. 

Carol asked for a show of hands of those present in favor of pursing the idea of a Council.  13 responded affirmatively.  Carol will meet with Dr. Bill Rickert and CSAC Chair, Micki Stamps to discuss the idea further.

 Comprehensive Leave Reporting

 Discussion continued on the question raised by a constituent about whether more information could be added to the pay advices so that employees could see a real-time account of leave balances.   Members were advised in the meeting of September 26th that programming constraints prohibit additional information on the pay advice.  A suggestion was made to investigate a web-based system so that employees could access the information online.  Doug DeFrain responded that although such a change is possible, it would require a major programming change and require more staffing.  The question was raised whether USAC should promote this issue as a priority at this time.  A suggestion was made that USAC gather more input from all unclassified staff on this and other current issues via a survey.  Human Resources has software which can be used to help us conduct a survey.  Carol asked for a show of hands in favor of working with Human Resources on a survey of unclassified staff.  11 responded affirmatively. 

 Merit Leave

Carol has requested more information from Wright Patterson Air Force Base about how they implemented  a system of “merit leave” compensation but has had no response.  The office of legal affairs has responded to USAC’s inquiry that the Ohio Revised Code does not prohibit a system of merit leave, but that such a change would require action from the WSU Board of Trustees.  A suggestion was made to add this issue to our survey as well. 

Fee Remission

 Discussion resumed on the issue brought forth by a constituent about extending fee remission for courses at the Kettering Center to part-time staff.  The opinion was offered that many of the development courses formerly offered in-house by Human Resources have been transferred to the Kettering Center.  Many of these courses deal with core competencies that staff should have.  Doug DeFrain said that Human Resources could reevaluate this policy with relation to job-training courses.  He expressed the opinion that there would be no major opposition to a change.  Carol asked for a show of hands in favor of asking HR to pursue this issue.  12 responded affirmatively. 

Above and Beyond

Doug reported that brochures about the new program called “Above and Beyond” will be distributed shortly.  [ from the minutes of September 26th:   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.]  The program will run for a three week period from the time of announcement sometime in early November.

Council Representative Guidelines

Carol reviewed the charge to USAC.  No members brought forth suggestions for accomplishing these objectives or proposed guidelines for new members.  A suggestion was made to include this issue as part of our survey. 

Strategic Plan

Carol has been appointed to the strategic planning committee.  She distributed the agenda and goals from the planning meeting of September 27th.  Members were asked for input specific to these goals that should be brought forward as a priority from unclassified staff.  Suggestions were presented to emphasize the need for improved staff training, to make WSU the first choice for students, faculty and staff, and to implement a service initiative to get staff out into the community.  A suggestion was also made to ask CUPA to expand the feedback reports from the staff focus groups to include more details.

Pay Scale Study

The last time unclassified pay scales were reviewed was 1985.  A survey of classified staff pay scales is currently being conducted.  Historically pay scales have been based on point factors such as job knowledge and level of responsibility.   Unclassified positions include more variables and would be much more complex than a classified study.  At present no formal decision to conduct an unclassified study has been made.  A suggestion was made to add this issue to our survey.  A long-term staff member cautioned that the last unclassified staff survey was not well received:  it was not perceived as being to the advantage of most staff.  Very few changes resulted.  The impetus to conduct the study came from areas that received very few upgrades.

OTHER BUSINESS

A question was raised about when information would be available about changes in health care benefits and costs.  Doug DeFrain stated that new rates have just been approved.  Some increases in employee contributions will occur, but employees will assume far less of the increase than the university.  Overall costs increased about $2 million.  An announcement from Human Resources will be forthcoming in 2-3 weeks.

Carol summarized topics to be included in our proposed survey.  Donna Totten will work with Doug DeFrain on construction of the survey.  Topics to be included: 

  • Core business hours

  • Merit leave

  • Expectations of USAC representatives

  • Pay scale survey

  • Comprehensive leave reporting

Adjournment

The meeting was adjourned at 3:30 p.m.

 NEXT MEETING

The next meeting of USAC will be held Thursday, November 21, 2002, 2:30 pm -- Room 158 University Hall.

 Minutes submitted by Susan Wehmeyer, USAC Secretary, 10/18/02. 


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Revised: 31 October 2002
with changes to Athletic Council Report