Governing Body for Staff at the University of Kansas

Staff Senate Minutes, January 17, 2018

Staff Senate Minutes

Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018

Noon - 1:30 p.m.

Malott Room, Kansas Union


Rules of Engagement

Be on time

Be respectful

Ask questions

State your name for the Senate before initiating conversation

Meeting is recorded


Call to Order

President Brian Moss called the meeting to order at 12:05 p.m.

Approval of Minutes – Dec. 20, 2017

Deb Deering provided a correction regarding information about the Planning and Resources committee. She emailed the corrections to the Secretary.

Motion: To approve the Dec. 20, 2017 Staff Senate minutes with the corrections noted by Deb Deering. Motion made by Anna Paradis. Motion seconded by Kevin Liu. Motion passed.


President – Brian Moss

Moss passed a card purchased by President-Elect Michelle Ginavan Hayes for Senators to sign. The card is for Staff Senate members Kim and Tim Spencer who welcomed a son in December.

Moss said Hayes was attending the Kansas Board of Regents meeting, and a Kansas State University employee was to have given the UPS report. However, this morning that KSU employee said they were ill, so Hayes will give the report to KBOR. Moss reminded the group of the Staff Senate appreciation event with the Chancellor on March 28 at The Outlook, the Chancellor’s residence. Moss will send more reminders as the date approaches. Please let Moss know if you cannot go and if you have any dietary needs. If you are attending don’t worry about letting him know, but please let him know if you are not attending.       

Treasurer – Susan Shaw

Staff Senate now has two accounts. The balance in the main account is $4,702. The new Professional Development Funds has monies in flux as awards are distributed. The balance after the pending distributions are made is $7,000.

Deb Deering said paper was needed for the Staff Senate newsletter. Greg Smith asked where the paper would be stored. It will be stored in the Governance office.

Motion: To purchase a case of paper for $31.72 for Staff Senate newsletter production for a number of years. Motion made by Deb Deering. Motion seconded by Jane Tuttle. Motion passed.

Diversity and Inclusion – Jeff Severin/Michelle Wilson

Severin reported that meetings are set for Spring, and will be held the first Tuesday of the month at 1:30 typically in the Union. There has been no meeting since the last full Senate meeting. There are events he’d like to mention happening this week. It is MLK celebration week. The MLK Day celebration was very nice. It was a march from Strong Hall to the Union for a musical performance. It was a great event and folks marched despite the cold; it was a great celebration. Today is a Common Book discussion for new students and this evening at Lawrence Public Library is a panel discussion on communities of care and justice and a number of community representatives will be there; it will be moderated by Clarence Lang of African and African-American Studies.  Tomorrow at The Commons is a visiting professor speaking on approaches to teaching and learning African American history; he’s also presenting tomorrow night at Lawrence Public Library. There is a showing tomorrow night of the movie Moonlight here at the Union. Severin suggested keeping an eye out for the calendar of events for campus and community events. Emily Gullickson said the OMA calendar will be going up today.

Elections – Andy Jackson

The Elections Committee met on the 3rd and went over charges and created a rough roadmap for the next few months of election season. Following the meeting the committee started the staff census to determine how many Staff Senate seats we will have this upcoming year. Jackson thanked Ola Faucher and Pam Burkhead for their help in getting the data. Once elections committee meets again and goes over the numbers Jackson will report them to everyone.

We have a total of 17 senators with terms ending in April of this year. Jackson will work with Moss to send out notifications to those with terms ending this year so they are aware and can plan to nominate themselves for election if they choose. The president elect is also elected by the constituents during the main election, this means that we need to gather nominations for that position. He will officially call for nominations during the February all-Senate meeting, but if anyone wants to nominate by email feel free to email Moss or Jackson. You can nominate yourself or someone else.

This is the tentative roadmap for the election season:

  •  In early February, in coordination with the newsletter, the committee will be sending out the call for nominations email to all KU staff with a deadline for nomination in late February.
  •  At the February all-Senate meeting he will call for nominations for president elect.
  •  Once the deadline has passed for general Senate nominations in late February/early March the elections committee will work with the governance office, our Staff Senate technology officer Leland Wilson, and KU IT Web Development to build both the ballot within the elections system, and a web page on the Staff Senate website containing short biographies on each candidate up for election.
  •  Once the ballot and webpage are created and tested an email will be sent to all staff notifying them that the ballot is live and voting is open. This email will include a link to the ballot, a link to the Staff Senate page containing the bios, and the deadline for voting. The tentative timeline for voting is from March 12 through March 23. This would give two full work weeks. Historically the majority of voting occurs directly after our emails. Because of this the committee would like to send out a second email toward the end of the second week reminding everyone that the vote is coming to a close.
  •  Once voting has closed the results will be sent to Kathy in the Governance office and then sent on to the elections committee.
  •  Those who were not elected will first be contacted by the incoming Staff Senate president to let them know they did not get elected, but to let them know about our vacancy filling procedure and that turnover does happen.
  •  Once all those who were not elected are notified, we will post the results of the election on the Staff Senate webpage and send out a final email with a link to the results.
  •  The final part of the committee is during the transition meeting in April, when the committee will facilitate voting in committee chairs, officers, and other Senate members.


A note on committee chairs: All committee chairs serve a two-year term. Also, Senate code states that when a committee chair steps down the replacement will take over the remainder of their un-expired term. This combined with the fact that when we combined UPS and USS senates two years ago we elected all new committee chairs means that all committee chair positions will need to be elected at the transition meeting in April. For anyone interested in being a committee chair, the Staff Senate website has descriptions of each committee. Anyone with questions about what’s involved with being president elect or president, feel free to ask Moss or Ginavan Hayes.

Legislative Affairs – Robert Waller

The committee will meet next Thursday; it continues to look at tuition assistance and at Staff Senate code in regard to the singular “chair” and or “chairs” with an S vs. looking at calling out specifically co-chairs, and then working on updates on legislative bills with information.

Personnel Affairs – Annette Delaney

The committee is meeting on Tuesday the 23rd and at this point it has received three HR draft policies that it will be reviewing electronically and the deadline for response is tomorrow and Delaney will get responses to Faucher by Friday. The polices deal with break periods (defining and putting in policy those definitions); retiree re-hire policy; alternate work location guidelines and agreement form for working outside of normal environment. Waller asked a break policy question, does it define lunches and how many breaks there are and if a smoke break or walking break is included? If you’re getting very specific to incremental breaks will people be in violation of policy? Delaney said it’s defining the break. Moss asked Faucher about the parameters. FLSA covers lunch breaks only; if a person works 6 hours they need to have a lunch break. Most folks don’t work 6 but work 8 so they recommend a lunch break be taken at the middle of the shift. The 30 minutes is University policy, which is a minimum for hourly staff. A one-hour lunch break is fine; they have to have a half-hour break mid-shift. Moss asked about Waller’s question; Waller said he was making sure it was a definition of the minimum and not defining a maximum defined in policy. We are going smoke-free; how will that impact breaks? Faucher said non-lunch breaks are paid and are generally 15 minutes; you do whatever you want with that time and that it should be 15 minutes in the first 4 hours and 15 minutes in the next 4 hours. Policy doesn’t recommend combining those two. Moss said that regarding the lunch break it’s requested that employees not work through and shift it to the end of the day to leave an hour “early.” Moss said the draft policy doesn’t appear to be too restrictive.

Professional Development – Abby Ehling

The Spring professional development award application is posted and open and the deadline is Jan. 26. The committee is discussing having an application and award period three times a year and it could potentially be posted again in April. The application has moved online. The committee is starting to work on Mini Wheat State; ideas are the Eisenhower Library and another is an on-campus visit to Kansas State. No dates have been set yet but Ehling hopes to have more information by the end of the month. Adam Braun asked what would a day at KSU look like? Waller said they have a Homeland Security lab, you could tour lots of interesting parts and pieces, the agriculture side is very interesting. Ehling said they offer programs KU doesn’t offer and it could be a chance to explore that. Faucher said they make great ice cream. Deb Deering said they have free ice cream on Fridays for students. Moss said at KSU we’d definitely need to break into smaller groups. Ehling hopes to hear from KSU soon and will take it back to the committee and she hopes by the end of the month that there would be more information, or potentially early February, and then a date will be determined. It was Stop Day at one point, then it moved to June. Do people like it later? Andrea Pitt said Stop Day precluded her going as there are departmental activities she attends. Deering said the end of June is a logistic nightmare for accounting. Ehling said it would need to be early June. Moss said late May could be a possibility. Late May or early June seems to be the focus.

Public Relations – position vacant

Moss said Mary Murphy and Deb Deering have essentially been serving as co-chairs of the PR committee and said he’d ask for it to be formalized. Murphy and Deering nominated each other as chairs. There were no other nominations. No vote was needed; Deering and Murphy are chairs of the PR committee. Moss thanked them for the previous newsletter. Murphy said a new newsletter is in the works. This newsletter is focused on Elections and is closely aligned with those timelines. The goal is it will go in early February with an emphasis on elections, and will also include additional information. If committees have updates they’d like to include, please contact Deering and Murphy. They’ll go to the PR committee for ideas on what else to include; they could potentially include information on the Mini Wheat State tour, etc. The Leadership Summit will be included, potentially more information about professional development fund. Michelle Wilson asked about the deadline for the newsletter. Murphy said it was the end of January or the first few days of February. The email will be shared via a link through KU Today.

HRM – Ola Faucher

There is no in-person new employee orientation, it is all online now in the Learning tool. Anyone can take it. This is Phase I and there will be a Phase II. The grievance policy has been posted to the Policy Library; it had run through Staff Senate previously. Payroll is responsible for tax information and is working with the state; Payroll is the source for any questions about taxes; HR is working with others to make sure it’s understood what’s taxable; Moss asked about the professional development fund and she’s asked for that to be considered, as well as employee awards. They think tuition assistance is OK for now, at a preliminary look. Moss asked about the self-evaluation performance evaluation tool; is there any help available? Someone who struggles with depression reported that having to do a critical self-assessment was difficult for her personally. Faucher said they can call her and they’ll figure out what they can do to help. They’re happy to help through as they can. Moss said others have said it is hard and perhaps it could be a workshop to consider, the psychological aspect of how to do it. Delaney said she hears similar feedback and she advises people that none of us likes it but it helps us know what people have done throughout the year and focus on accomplishments. Waller asked about changes to the evaluation process; Faucher said the core competencies are no longer required to be addressed and some comment requirements have been lessened. Waller said perhaps that will help, as less is required to be submitted. Gullickson asked if there is information at orientation about evaluation. She said she’s had some concerns. There are videos on the webpage. Faucher said they’d do a unit visit if needed to discuss the evaluation. The Leadership Summit is approaching and fills fast; the sessions in Woodruff will be recorded and streamed. Delaney said PowerPoints are typically available after the event. Moss said many of the past years are on the website. Shaw asked about a recent email about background checks. Anyone hired since 2008 has had checks; an audit was conducted 1.5 years ago and it was indicated ALL employees must have checks. HR is now going back to those before 2008 who haven’t had background checks. They started with Administration and Finance and are now working through other units. Right now it’s Campus Operations. Shaw said there was some concern because they asked for birth date and Social Security Number and it concerned people. It does need to be provided to the vendor; that vendor does take security measures and it is being shared in a secure environment. What happens if someone doesn’t pass the check? Faucher said it goes back 7 years. If it comes back with a conviction, HR would look at the information and take it into consideration and look at the issue, and they may visit with the individual, and will make a determination. So far no firing, counseling or discipline on anyone had occurred. The Senate wondered who paid for the background checks? Departments are paying for the background check; HR ask for an account number to pay for that and there is no central fund. Delaney asked what departments were in rotation; Faucher said not yet, but more will be worked out; Delaney asked for a heads up. Gullickson asked about the cost; Faucher said it was $32 each. How was the 7-year term determined? That was the standard time listed in the contract with the vendor, according to Faucher. Waller asked is it strictly convictions? Yes, convictions only, not credit, etc. Moss said the Fall staff employee of the month award recipients need to be given their books; he has the list now and they will be invited to the February meeting.

Faculty – Kirk McClure

McClure was not at the meeting, but Moss said there faculty has been gone for winter break. McClure has a class conflict this semester but will be back. Amalia Monroe-Gulick should be coming in his stead going forward for the short term.  


The previous student can no longer attend because of their class scheduling; Moss will begin the effort to get another student.

Unfinished Business


New Business

Robert Waller presented the tuition assistance proposal, which had been provided to the body prior to the meeting. 

Call to Adjourn

Motion: To adjourn, at 1:24 p.m. Motion made by Deb Deering. Motion seconded by Greg Smith. Motion passed.

Upcoming Meeting Schedule

Executive Committee

Wednesday, Feb. 14. Noon - 1:30 p.m., Alcove F, Kansas Union

Full Senate

Wednesday, Feb. 21, Noon – 1:30 p.m., Alderson Auditorium, Kansas Union


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