Governing Body for Staff at the University of Kansas


Executive Committee Minutes

Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018

Noon-1:30 p.m.

Discovery Room, Burge Union


Call to Order

President-Elect Robert Waller called the meeting to order at 12:01 p.m.

Edward DeLaTorre of Information Technology presented on Microsoft Teams; Waller said Staff Senate would like to serve as a test or beta group for the tool, which will eventually be rolled out to all of KU.

Approval of Minutes

Motion: To approve the Sept. 5, 2018 Executive Committee minutes, with no corrections needed. Motion made by Chris Wallace. Motion seconded by Michelle Wilson. Motion passed.


President-Elect – Robert Waller

President Michelle Ginavan Hayes was not present; President-Elect Robert Waller provided a report. During the last regular meeting, the Provost expressed support regarding the draft inclement weather policy. They discussed the broad topic of being able to use professional development funds for certificates through the LinkedIn Learning with Lynda system, as well as general efforts on the Staff Fellows recommendation project. The interim dean of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, Clarence Lang, is especially interested in the employee hiring process and how the Staff Fellows project will deal with that topic. They discussed the timing of the Provost Town Hall budget meetings and student concern that they haven’t been at a convenient time for them, and the idea of perhaps conducting future Town Halls in a different format, such as via podcast. It was recommended the in-person format be retained and to potentially add communication channels, but that they should not be replaced by only electronic options. The next Town Hall is Oct. 11 and will focus on Athletics and KU Endowment Association (KUEA). They met with the Chancellor, who indicated there would not be additional money from Athletics or KUEA to cover any budget challenges; the 6% cut seems to be on the backs of staff and faculty. They had a discussion about potential state funds going forward in relation to who might be elected Governor in November; there would likely be more opportunities with candidate Kelly as candidate Kobach has indicated potential additional cuts to higher education. Waller asked if the Staff Senate Executive Committee wanted to send any formal communication about the budget to upper administration in response to any of the topics or with any additional solutions. Teri Chambers indicated a concern with notices of non-reappointment. Waller said staff would be affected first in regard to budget cuts. Waller said to be thinking of other possible solutions, especially going forward when the cut becomes one to the base. Ranu Pal asked about the faculty voluntary separation program and if those faculty positions would be refilled; the response was that they would not be.

Treasurer – Melody Lawrence

Lawrence was absent.

Diversity & Inclusion – Michelle Wilson & Jeff Severin

Severin sent the most recent committee meeting minutes to Holly Shriner this morning to share. Emily Gullickson asked about publication of events in the broader Lawrence community beyond campus. The Office of Multicultural Affairs has a Lawrence 101 guide; anyone interested can contact Gullickson.

Legislative Affairs – Jenny Flinders

Flinders was absent, but e-mailed Shriner with a committee update. Flinders indicated a meeting was scheduled for Monday and the meeting will be run by Ginavan Hayes. Flinders hoped by then the committee would know the results of the Staff Senate survey on Staff Fellows recommendation project priorities and what they want Staff Senate committees to focus on, as the committee is ready to jump in and get to work.

Professional Development– Abby Ehling

The professional development award application is available and information will be published in the Staff Senate newsletter. It will be open continuously with applications being reviewed once a month. The committee will monitor the number of awards granted each month, though it likely will be two each month. The next meeting is Oct. 17 and the future meeting schedule has been established.

Personnel Affairs– Ranu Pal & Annette Delaney

The committee worked on the draft inclement weather policy. Waller asked that the document be provided to Shriner for distribution to the Executive Committee. If it is approved by the committee it would then go to the full Staff Senate. Delaney said some members of the Executive Committee had received it and wondered if Legislative Affairs needed to see it again? Waller said the full Staff Senate should vote on it before it goes to HRM. Wallace said it should go from Executive Committee to full Staff Senate and the earliest that is likely to happen is November. The committee submitted content for the newsletter. A regular monthly meeting has not yet been set but Pal and Delaney plan to do so.

Public Relations– Mary Murphy & Teri Chambers

Mary Murphy provided copies of the newsletter to the Executive Committee. This is the final version. After the meeting Murphy will send the document to Waller and Ginavan Hayes for final approval, and then it will be provided to Kathy Reed in Governance for distribution to all staff. A December date has been set to begin discussing the spring newsletter. Murphy will send the newsletter to Andy Jackson to be added to the Staff Senate website.

Elections– Chris Wallace

Wallace presented the names of two staff for two open Staff Senate seats. Susan C. Shaw works in Parking and is a past senator and would be member at large until April 2020. Elissa Stewart of the Public Safety Office would be member at large until April 2021. 

Motion: To approve Susan Shaw and Elissa Stewart as Staff Senators. Motion made by Chris Wallace. Motion seconded by Teri Chambers. Motion passed.

Jackson will add them to the e-mail distribution list and Shriner will add them to the Outlook Staff Senate meeting series.

HRM – Ola Faucher

Open enrollment is the full month of October. You will be defaulted if you do not enroll during the open enrollment period. Faucher was interested in the next steps for the inclement weather draft; after HRM it would go through a policy process. Watch for the various announcements about how the Aspiring Leaders program is being expanded and is available for staff. Waller asked about the inclement weather policy and if it could be sent to the Executive Committee for review with the caveat that if there is no feedback provided that it could pass as written and it could be moved to the full Staff Senate next week.

Motion: That the draft inclement weather policy be emailed to the Executive Committee, and if there are no objections raised about it after individual member review that it be moved as passed and presented to the full Staff Senate for a vote at the next meeting. Motion made by Robert Waller. Motion seconded by Jeff Severin. Motion passed.

Gullickson asked Faucher about shared leave mentioned in a recent HRM newsletter; there was a link for more information, however a new staff member asked if there was more information available. Faucher said those who needed parental leave but did not have a balance of leave from which to draw they can apply for shared leave for parental purposes. As a follow-up to a past discussion about a new process to reimburse a small subset of staff in relation to staff tuition assistance, Faucher indicated that the reimbursement would be made after the staff member had paid the amount due, not after course completion. Waller asked if the tuition assistance was taxable? Faucher said the current program is not, according to analysis.

Faculty – Kirk McClure

McClure echoed some of Waller’s comments regarding the meeting with the Chancellor about topics including Athletics and KUEA and the budget issue. McClure said there was a push for answers about additional contributions and the answer was no. McClure asked what do we do next? Faculty are of split opinion and there is debate. None seem ready to say quit the fight. There is concern about the ability of academic units to absorb the loss of people, including faculty. Faculty would like staff to weigh in on what to do, including weighing in on if the budget issue should be taken external to the university. Information could be provided to the Kansas City media, but there could be ramifications and there are concerns that such a move could further damage the university reputation. McClure is concerned about the institution’s AAU status. A loss of AAU status would mean the brightest young people will not stay in Kansas for education and go elsewhere. The upcoming election could help guide possible actions; if the election does not go the way of higher education this could be the first of many more budget cuts. McClure welcomes any ideas. Wallace said staff is somewhat hindered in approaches – for example, staff cannot strike. Chambers asked if a student strike was possible. Waller wondered how much students knew of the budget situation and how concerned they were. How could we motivate them? Gullickson wondered if some kind of visual representation could be developed regarding the effect of the budget cuts on the student experience.

Unfinished Business

Waller addressed the Employee Value Proposition Staff Fellows project and the Staff Senate survey results regarding priority order. How does the group want to move forward? What do we want to present to the Provost? Wallace suggested starting at the top and working the way down. Should the results be presented to the Staff Senate as is? Ehling suggested taking the survey results and priority sorting back to committees and have them provide feedback and come up with a gameplan. Waller said the document was an initial pass at assignments; this is the beginning of the effort and an attempt was made to spread the workload.

Call to Adjourn – Chris Wallace made the motion to adjourn at 1:31 p.m. Seconded by Teri Chambers. Motion passed.

Next Meeting Schedule


Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018, 12:00 PM ‐1:30 PM, Forum A, Burge Union, with Provost


Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2018, 12:00 PM ‐ 1:30 PM, Governors Room, Kansas Union

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