Governing Body for Staff at the University of Kansas



Executive Committee Minutes

Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018

Noon-1:30 p.m.

 Watson Library, Room 455


Call to Order
The meeting was called to order by President Brian Moss at noon.

Approval of Minutes – Dec. 13, 2017

Motion: To approve the Dec. 13, 2017 Executive Committee minutes, with no corrections needed. Motion made by Michelle Ginavan Hayes. Motion seconded by Annette Delaney. Motion passed.


President – Brian Moss

Moss said there are now 10 copies of the Common Book for employees of the month, though they are not signed by the Provost. Moss will invite attendees to next week’s meeting, and get the books to them if they cannot attend. We hope to give next year’s book during the spring. Robert Waller and Moss spoke to the Douglas County Legislative Caucus recently and discussed the tuition assistance proposal; the main goal was to remind them of staff at the university in addition to faculty and students. They seemed interested in the tuition proposal; Waller said he will share the proposal with them and it is the same that will be presented to university governance soon. Moss and Waller said it was a good meeting. Moss updated them on the changes with unclassified/professional staff and addressed the misconception that existed that spouses and children already had tuition assistance through KU. The appreciation event at the Chancellor’s residence has been scheduled; Ginavan Hayes said she added it to the Staff Senate calendar. Waller asked about rescheduling the March meeting; Moss said it would just be an extra meeting and this way the event at the Chancellor’s is only about gathering. The UPS call was yesterday with other Regents schools and they are brainstorming what to present next week at the KBOR meeting. Ginavan Hayes is going and will not be at the full Staff Senate next week.

Treasurer – Susan Shaw

An updated version of the budget was provided. There are now two accounts; no changes have occurred in the main account. The professional development account does have charges in the works. Deb Deering said we might need to provide a few reams of paper for the spring newsletter. Moss asked if the full Senate needs to vote on this purchase? Deb Deering made a motion to purchase paper based upon what’s needed/necessary for the spring and fall newsletter; Waller seconded the motion. There was no discussion and the motion carried. Deering will talk with Kathy Reed in Governance. The purchase of the paper will need to go to full Senate next week, so Deering will check on what will be needed and provide that information for that meeting.


Diversity & Inclusion – Jeff Severin & Michelle Wilson

Severin said the meeting schedule is set for the spring for the first Tuesday of each month at 1:30 p.m. and there has been no meeting since the last Executive Committee meeting. One committee group is working on training for all Staff Senate members and there was a question raised if it could be required that Staff Senate members take the training. Chris Wallace said that for it to be required would need to be written into code; if code is changed it needs to go through legal. Ola Faucher of HRM said it might need clarification if training could be required for a volunteer position; required training is typically compensatory. Severin said the training would be during normal meetings. Faucher said the meetings are voluntary but that a mandatory training would not be and isn’t voluntary and there could be a conflict. Moss said perhaps training could be very strongly encouraged. Moss said the easiest route would be to strongly encourage it. Moss said if there were a group event it might be easier for people, as opposed to individual training that is easy to put off. Faucher said the only required training she’s aware of is regarding sexual harassment; there aren’t other required institutional trainings. Moss said he’d lean toward strongly suggested and approach trainings as a group event during normally scheduled times if that works with whomever is doing the training. Severin said the goal was to align it as much as possible with the meeting times and not set up extra training. Moss said to please include him on any meetings as he’d like to attend. Moss said there was a question of how to handle co-chairs and if they’re both required to come to Executive Committee as Severin had asked if he and Michelle Wilson could switch off; Moss said if there is a vote required only one of them should vote; Moss has asked Waller if the code needs to be updated regarding co-chairs as it doesn’t address that. Waller said he didn’t think there was a need to change the code. Waller encouraged any co-chairs to make the effort to be on the same general page as much as possible. He asked if Executive Committee wanted to write into code vice chairs. Wallace said there have been past co-chairs and it’s always been that one needs to attend Executive Session and that the committee gets one vote, not both co-chairs. The committee vote needs to represent the committee. Ginavan Hayes asked if it was added to code if it could be generic such as “in the event of co-chairs…”. Waller said perhaps the word “chair” could be edited to be “chair(s)” to capture the possibility of the duality. Waller said he would take that the Legislative Committee and ask about adding the “s”; Ginavan Hayes asked if we needed the verbiage of only one chair voting; Waller said he didn’t think it needed to be that definitive. Moss said that if co-chairs did disagree, anything actionable would need to go through Executive Committee and full Senate and would get resolved along the way. Waller said any co-chairs could bring forward any disagreements between chairs. Waller asked if the “s” was OK with the Executive Committee and it’s believed it’s a technical edit and matches the past practice of the body.

Legislative Affairs – Robert Waller

The committee meets in two weeks; the Legislature has returned and is two days in to its session. The Governor hasn’t provided feedback yet on what’s been presented budget wise; it’s suspected the biggest issue will be school funding and how that ends up impacting higher education. The tuition proposal is proceeding and at some point it will be provided to HRM. On Jan. 23 there will be a presentation at FacEx and if it’s approved it will come back to Legislative Affairs and then Executive Committee and then full Staff Senate and then Ginavan Hayes and Moss would begin working on it with upper administration.

Professional Development – Abby Ehling

The spring award is open with information and availability to submit applications. The deadline is Jan. 26. There is a new online form for submission. Ehling said she’d spoken with the committee about awards three times a year and members are in favor. Waller and Wallace asked if the money was divided into thirds; Ehling said that they will monitor the budget to make sure there are remaining funds for the future application periods. Waller asked how the committee would handle it if there was a time when the money was gone; Ehling said the committee would be monitoring the awards and that the fund is large and it’s not expected that there would be challenges in not having money to provide. Spring seems to be the heaviest. Delaney said she was happy to see there be money available for the whole year. Ginavan Hayes said there had been that kind of coverage previously. Ehling said they could increase the scoring of the applications if needed if fund awards needed to be more restrictive. Waller asked what the limitations of travel requests were; Ehling said it would remain limited during each period with travel through a specific end date. Moss said he’d share that information with the Provost and get it in writing that that funding will roll over annually. Ehling said she’d put information on the website about the process and what the schedule is. In regard to the Mini Wheat State tour, the committee has narrowed the options to two – the Eisenhower Presidential Library in Abilene and a Kansas State University campus tour; they’ve reached out to KSU. The committee wants to make sure that the event can clearly be linked to professional development. The committee was trying to look at options within about a 2-hour radius. There are number of places in Abilene that could be interesting. Wallace asked how many buses were planned; Ginavan Hayes said there have been 2 in the past. Wallace said there could be additional budget money this year as the professional development fund isn’t taking as much from the regular budget, so the budget is healthy and there are lots of possibilities. Another meeting will happen late January/early February.

Personnel Affairs – Annette Delaney

The committee has four draft HR policies that it is looking at and members will provide feedback by next week for responses to HR by Jan. 19. They relate to break periods, retiree rehires, alternate work location agreements and alternate work agreement guidelines. The next committee meeting is Jan. 23 and the third Tuesday of the month will be the meeting dates going forward. The committee will return to discussions about the virtual handbook. Moss said he’d looked at the policies and said he didn’t see any immediate concerns; Faucher said some of the policies put common practice into policy. The retiree issue came up as some who wanted to provide contract services so HR needed to define how a retiree could provide consultant services. Moss said the break policy was appreciated because that question comes up frequently. Delaney said she was glad to see these policies in writing as well as it helps define issues. Waller asked if the retiree issue dealt with KPERS; Faucher said no, it was those who were retiring one day and wanted to go on contractual services the next. Moss asked if those with KPERS were being taxed while they were working with the KPERS contributions as taxable income for current employees; Faucher said she’d ask/follow up. Deering said she is now being taxed with Kansas qualifying that contribution as income. It’s believed the TIAA contribution/withholdings are not experiencing the same issues. Moss asked regarding the retirees policy about the paragraph regarding temp employees and if there’s a term limit as written in the draft; Faucher said she’d look at the draft policy. If you retire and come back as a temp you’d probably still be eligible for insurance and there would be a need for fringe coverage by a KU department.

Public Relations – no current chair

Moss asked if Deb Deering and Mary Murphy were willing to be nominated as co-chairs next week; they said yes. Mary Murphy said they’ve begun efforts for the spring newsletter and have reached out to some committee chairs. The focus will be on elections and it’s hoped it will be done in February. There will be information about the Mini Wheat State tour and when people should expect more information. If there are suggestions for stories, let them know. They want it to be 2 pages, front/back and not have it longer, to encourage staff to read it. Waller asked if any legislative information was needed/desired, especially any information about the Legislature at large; Murphy said yes. Delaney asked about a calendar; Murphy said they’d discussed it. The newsletter could perhaps contain a piece on what types of employees are represented on Staff Senate and it could include information about the meeting schedule. Murphy has drafted some content in this vein already. There is some information on the Staff Senate website that could be used. Faucher said if specific job titles are needed in the Staff Senate categories those are available online as well. The goal is early February for production in advance of March election activity. Deering asked if they are made co-chairs what their charges would be or what they’d be involved in/with. Wallace mentioned Facebook and keeping it up to date. Moss said he’d add them as admins to that account; Ehling has also been added recently.

Elections – Andy Jackson

The committee met last week and created a tentative roadmap. They completed the staff census. Staff Senate will go up by one seat. Next week’s full meeting will be a reminder for nominations for February nominations for President-Elect. The March election ballot will open and be open for two work weeks, likely around the middle of March. Information about results will be shared and then there will be the transition Staff Senate meeting. The committee’s first planning meeting will be early February. Wallace asked if emails would be sent to Senators who had terms that were expiring; Jackson said he’d add that to his list. Severin asked about the diversity issue in relation to Staff Senate; Faucher said there were university workforce profiles on OIRP, but Severin said D&I is curious about current membership. Faucher said she could provide numbers based on Senate membership. Jackson said he’d send this year’s roster and Jackson said he could include employee IDs. Waller asked if committee members who are not on Senate would be included; Ehling said that could be difficult as that subset can be fairly fluid. Faucher asked how that committee was defining diversity; Severin said that’s one of the things that they’d like to look at. Faucher asked for definitions for the data. Severin said the committee would like to identify any gaps and then address any gaps. Moss asked about committee chairs and their terms; Jackson said it says code says chairs are for two years but it doesn’t specify if someone takes over from someone else if it’s finishing out a term or if it starts a new two-year term. Ginavan Hayes asked if committee chairs could stagger. Wallace said staggering chairs wouldn’t need to be in code. Ginavan Hayes said she likes the idea of the rotation/stagger. Jackson said more firm election-related dates will be determined soon and shared.

HRM – Ola Faucher

Online orientation has been launched for those hired Jan. 1. You can self-assign it to yourself if you’d like; Phase 1 isn’t very jazzy but there will be a Phase 2. Faucher said all approval of time centrally will cease after the holidays. The last round showed that most errors were related to individuals who didn’t put their hours in, not that supervisors weren’t approving them. Moving expenses are likely to be taxable moving forward, which will impact faculty, but if you get money to move it will be a taxable fringe. There was a recent HR newsletter; please read it. Applicant pages have been changed and a new landing page has been created about working at KU. Deering asked about the Leadership Summit and if there was any virtual attendance possible. Faucher said some sessions have been streamed before, but she’d share the question and see what streaming plans were for the 2018 event. Moss said the UPS KBOR presentation might include some hard numbers about staff; the group was looking for positions not filled due to budget constraints. Faucher said that wouldn’t be centrally tracked and isn’t data she could provide; it would need to come from individual units. Waller asked if SSCs had that information; Ginavan Hayes said they wouldn’t necessarily know why a position didn’t get refilled. It was suggested that climate survey data could be used; Moss said he’d pulled some data from there. Wallace asked about the tobacco free campus; it goes into effect on July 1. Ginavan Hayes said she’s seen some signage being added to campus. People can smoke in their personal cars, but they should not be smoking in state vehicles.

Faculty – Kirk McClure

Discussions continue on how to proceed with responses to the consultant report; opinions are diverging instead of converging. Deering said as a member of the Planning committee they haven’t met this year but that she’s been told the charges come from the University Senate and folks want a change in what the committee does that it needs to go back to those charges.

Student – Position vacant

Moss will work to get a student replacement.

USS report from Wallace: there will be a call tomorrow or Friday. He and Todd Carpenter will go to Topeka next week for that meeting; they continue to work on some kind of survey.  

Unfinished Business - none


New Business
Staff Senators Kim and Tim Spencer had a baby who was early but doing well, but remains hospitalized. Ginavan Hayes will personally get a card to be passed at next week’s Staff Senate meeting.

Call to Adjourn – Robert Waller made the motion to adjourn at 1:26 p.m. Seconded by Deb Deering. Motion passed.

Next Meeting Schedule


Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018, 12:00 PM ‐ 1:30 PM, Kansas Union, Alcove F


Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018, 12:00 PM ‐ 1:30 PM, Kansas Union, Alderson Auditorium


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