Staff Council Meeting summary
February 13, 2013
Staff Council met February 13, 2013 at 2:00p.m. in 267 University Hall
Members present: Craig This, David Bringhurst, Audwin Jones, Kym Sellers, Elizabeth Styers, Mary Raider, Vickie Slone, Susan Wehmeyer, Lena Friend, Pat Fox, Megan McCurdy, and Jill Puthoff and Mark Hibner by phone
Guest: Henry Limouze, Associate Provost for Faculty & Staff Affairs
1) It was asked if there would be an Interim Associate Provost when Henry retires. Henry does not see that happening and believes that the new Provost will be able to select his replacement.
2) Winter Leave Proposal
A number of questions, concerns and suggestions from staff regarding Winter Leave were presented.
a. The specific dates for Winter Leave in the next 3 years need to be listed.
b. Some buildings during the recent Winter Leave were observed to be hot rather than cold during the break.
c. Leave policy needs to specifically state that unpaid leave may be taken at the discretion of the employee. Also Henry will check with HR to be sure that unpaid leave in this instance will not impact benefits. Policy needs to make clear that unpaid leave cannot be taken in exchange for paid leave at a later date.
d. Leave Policy needs to clarify that during Winter Leave, other types of leave cannot be used (e.g. sick leave for funeral attendance) in order to take Winter Leave at a later date.
e. Staff have asked why we are closing during this time and what savings were realized. Other universities are closing over this time frame and many employees take time off during this time. One rationale for closing is that not much productive work would take place during this time. The actual savings realized from closing were less than $100,000 and the costs for paying employees while closed was approximately $350,000 per day. It is not defensible to continue paying all employees for all four days of leave each year.
f. It has been communicated that departments/units worked with employees very well during this past Winter Leave to cover those functions considered essential.
g. There are issues with students who need advising during the leave period since grades are not posted until just before the break. Students who have failed a class need help and have to wait until after the break.
3) Faculty and Staff Appreciation Night
The problems with late communication of the event were detrimental to the 50/50 raffle effort. As this was the first year for this event, it was considered a trial run and much was learned which will aid in better and earlier planning for the event in future years.
4) Staff Development Day
Lena reported that the feedback was very positive from Staff Development Day. There were 241 employees registered for Staff Development Day which set a record. SDD was over budget by $130 due to the videotaping of the sessions. The over budget costs will be split evenly by USAC, CSAC and the Provost’s office. A discussion of whether it was more appropriate for the SDD Chairs or the USAC and CSAC Chairs to speak at SDD took place. The feeling was that the SDD Chairs should speak. Concern was expressed that SDD may be getting too big to manage. The opinion was expressed that SDD should not be run by volunteers who lack the time to commit to such a large project, and that it should be a function of OD&L with “advisors” from Staff Council. Henry asked for a proposal to take to the administration that SDD needs to be taken on by some unit. The proposal should not include names of individuals or units, but the type of support that is needed and a brief history of SDD. Lena and Cheryl were asked to work on this proposal.
David reported that Vickie has researched the bylaws of the staff organizations of other universities. David has drafted about one half of a set of bylaws. Bylaws will become a regular agenda item. There is a disconnect between what Staff Council says it does and the items that are on the agendas, and so a need to look at the original purpose of Staff Council and decide if it still represents what Staff Council is.
The meeting was adjourned at 4:06 p.m.
The next scheduled meeting of Staff Council is Wednesday, March 13, 2013 from 2:00 – 4:00 in 267 University Hall.