Governing Body for Staff at the University of Kansas

Executive Committee 10/11/17

Executive Committee Minutes

Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017

Noon-1:30 p.m.

Kansas Union, Alcove G

 

Call to Order
The meeting was called to order by President Brian Moss at 11:59 a.m.

Approval of Minutes – Sept. 13, 2017

Motion: To approve the Sept. 13, 2017 Executive Committee minutes, with no corrections needed. Motion made by Michelle Ginavan Hayes. Motion seconded by Robert Waller. Motion passed.

Reports

President – Brian Moss

Kevin Farrell was introduced as the Student Senate representative. Farrell is a graduate student in the Higher Education Administration program from Chicago. Moss said it was helpful for there to be both Faculty and Student Senate representatives participating in Staff Senate, and that Staff Senate was appreciative of information shared by those representatives. Moss and Ginavan Hayes met with the Provost and thanked her for the professional development funding. The Provost encourages staff across campus to attend the TGIT for faculty and staff events held at the Adams Alumni Center; there are six receptions during the 2017-2018 school year that include drink specials, snacks and giveaways. Receptions will be on the third Thursdays of the month on the following days: Oct. 19, Nov. 16, Feb. 15, March 15 and April 12 from 4 to 6 p.m. and are a chance for faculty and staff to interact and participate in an event intended to recognize them. Moss said it was a good chance for staff to interact with others across campus; Ginavan Hayes said she would add the events to the shared Staff Senate Outlook calendar. Moss asked if committee chairs were able to add meetings to the shared calendar, as it was a good spot to keep track of committee meetings and to make sure committee meetings weren’t being organized in conflict with other committee meetings. Robert Waller asked if other campus meetings could also be added, including Faculty Senate and Moss/Ginavan Hayes monthly meetings with the Provost. Moss said they’d also mentioned to the Provost concerns about funding accommodations, referencing the large accommodation cost incurred last academic year by the Student Senate due to needs of a deaf and blind student; Moss shared that there was no way the Staff Senate would be able to fund accommodations given the group’s small budget. Farrell said the Student Senate was discussing proposing that accommodation funding be covered via student fees and managed from a KU administrative office. Moss also indicated the concern about individual units on campus having difficulty funding accommodations; while there might be ways for units to request help with funding accommodations, there is an overarching concern about funding accommodations across campus at a unit level when KU institutionally is responsible by law for meeting certain accommodation needs. Ola Faucher of Human Resources said that on an ad hoc basis the Provost’s office has been asked for funds related to accommodations on behalf of units or departments. Moss asked Faucher about a subset of employees being paid late recently; Faucher said some student employees had been impacted, but that special arrangements were made to get advanced checks available from KU Endowment and that 87 individuals took advantage of those advanced checks. Those individuals were contacted and told about the availability of the check. Faucher said there were a number of contributing factors, including late paperwork, new employees being onboarded not taking care of all of the specific items they needed to, departments not taking care of employment issues in a timely manner, a peak time of year and HR staffing issues related to the keying of important employment data, and systems speed issues. Faucher said there was a review process underway to analyze those contributing factors and to implement processes so that such a “perfect storm” doesn’t happen again. Moss mentioned concerns about potential late payment due to no centralized HR backup/approval of staff time and what will happen if employees report time after deadlines or if supervisors do not approve time. Moss said he had reached out to Precious Porras in the Office of Multicultural Affairs to discuss a potential co-chair along with Jeff Severin for the Staff Senate Diversity & Inclusion committee. Porras suggested someone, and that person and Severin are speaking about the position, time commitments, etc.; Moss will share more soon. Chris Wallace is stepping down as chair of the Public Relations committee; Andy Jackson will send an email to Staff Senate indicating a new chair will be voted on and if anyone wants to self-nominate or nominate another can do so at next week’s Staff Senate meeting.

Treasurer – Susan Shaw

The balance is $4,702. Farrell asked if that was for the semester or the year; that is the Staff Senate budget for the year, with additional funds for professional development awards. That money from the Provost’s office will be $2,000. The request has been submitted to the Provost for the professional development award funds. Moss also mentioned the Mini Wheat State tour typically organized by Staff Senate for staff members on campus. 

Diversity & Inclusion – Jeff Severin

Severin was not at the meeting, but indicated via email to Moss that he had no current changes to the committee charges.

Legislative Affairs – Robert Waller

The committee continues to work on staff tuition assistance, including that for dependents and spouses and members are currently investigating what other Kansas Board of Regents institutions do, how they describe and/or manage any waiver of tuition, how the senior citizen audit waiver works at KU, etc. There is limited data available on how many dependents or spouses might be currently enrolled at KU, but the committee is working to determine if it wants to change the scope of their potential proposals to university administration in relation to the issue. Moss thanked the committee for their efforts to date. Moss mentioned that he should have referenced during his report a call with him and Amalia Monroe-Gulick, the Faculty Senate President, and Human Resources about various HR items as they related to the recent Gender Equity report (http://governance.ku.edu/sites/governance.ku.edu/files/files/GenderEquityReportFinal.pdf). Among the topics were extended/shared parental leave, especially for new employees who don’t have sufficient balances for leave and additional on-campus childcare options (though this issue might not be specifically related to HR). Faucher said other topics related to that report include gender-neutral restrooms on campus and campus climate and support regarding gender issues. Moss asked Waller about the committee’s charges; Waller indicated he would submit suggested changes.

 

Professional Development – Abby Ehling

Ehling was not present, but had previously submitted to Moss minutes from the most recent committee meeting. Ginavan Hayes reported. A subcommittee was formed for the professional development travel awards. Updates to the application were made and information is ready to be distributed and posted to the website; information will be provided to Leland Wilson who will help coordinate both a website update and an email communication. Applications will close on Oct. 29, after which applications will be reviewed. The first awards will have a travel-by deadline of March 31, and the committee hopes to have a second round of applications/review for spring/summer professional development travel awards. While no subcommittee has been formed for Mini Wheat State tour planning, the committee began discussing ideas for that event, as well as for other potential on-campus events to encourage staff interaction and engagement. Annette asked if a potential second round of professional development travel awards could be referenced now. There is a total of $2,000 and typically there is money remaining after a first-round of applications and distribution for remaining funds to be distributed through a second-round process. The committee typically doesn’t divide the $2,000 immediately, but makes the first-round distribution and then opens a second round for spring/summer distributions if there are remaining funds. There are no expected changes to the committee charges.

Personnel Affairs – Annette Delaney

Delaney will set the regular meetings on the calendar, likely during the last week of each month. Regarding the specific charge to work with University Senate, Delaney would like to do more regarding this aspect, and would like to delve more deeply into the Gender Equity report, as there are times when staff become parents where there are cumbersome KU processes and challenges related to probationary periods, etc. Faucher indicated there is a process by which faculty in the tenure process make adjustments based on FMLA usage, and perhaps such a process could be mirrored or followed for any necessary subset of academic staff, which while not a large percentage of staff could ultimately potentially benefit from process changes. Delaney will look into the issue to learn more and gather information. There are no changes to the committee charges. After committee meetings are established she hopes to involve KU IT to learn more about what is possible in streamlining searches and online availability of staff resources. There was a general discussion about various resources in a variety of places specific to people new to KU and how there is a large amount of information generally available but not in a centralized location. Perhaps there could be a new webpage like staffhandbook.ku.edu that could be a central repository.

Public Relations

Chris Wallace is stepping down as chair of the committee. Moss indicated no changes to the committee charges were necessary. Regarding Wallace’s involvement with the USS council, he indicated that group was working on a survey regarding differences at various Kansas Board of Regents institutions, what group members would like to see, etc. Moss said the UPS council group indicated the last USS council report to the Regents seemed to go well; Wallace agreed. The report referenced how staff costs related to employment (health insurance, parking, etc.) have continued to increase while pay has not. Moss would like to do a Staff Senate newsletter; a new committee chair is needed.

 

Elections – Andy Jackson

There are three vacancies, one will likely be filled by the Diversity & Inclusion co-chair who will need to be named to the Staff Senate. All of those seats are past the 30-day period so can be appointed at large by the President. The seats are in Research, Operations and Support. Jackson will communicate the open PR committee chair position. There are no changes to the committee charges.

HRM – Ola Faucher

Faucher referenced the Gender Equity report and conversation previously referenced by Moss. The State of Kansas has a new website for reporting accidents and injuries that is designed for supervisors. That will go live Nov. 1. Based on feedback to the evaluation process, changes have been made; an upcoming notice will be sent to staff telling them to being their self-evaluation and providing the deadline. The change is related to core competencies; previously a rating was required and now those ratings and comments related to the core competencies will be optional. Additionally, attachments can now be added to evaluations. Faucher reminded staff that everyone has to go through October’s open enrollment for benefits. There could be a few draft policies for input soon. 

Faculty – Kirk McClure

Items from University Senate were shared, including conversations regarding the recently issued Planning & Resources committee report. There are two major issues within the report receiving attention from University Senate. One is the topic of the KU fleet of airplanes and how appropriate the current fleet is for the institution’s needs; the report has been forwarded to the Provost and the Chancellor asking for their input. The other topic relates to university consultants in recent years, including what is viewed as discrepancies in the reported amount of money related to the Huron consultation group; it seems $9 million might ultimately be the amount Additionally, there are concerns about the return on the investment or the benefits to the institution from that consultancy/partnership based on the $9 million expenditure; are there clearly identifiable benefits received for that expenditure? Those benefits have not been provided by administration to the committee. There is concern about a fund identified as the “Provost’s swap fund” and how money is put into or taken out of that fund. The committee has asked for information about the use of that fund. When the committee went to the administration to seek information for their report, members were asked to sign non-disclosure agreements. The university is a public institution and members of the committee included faculty, staff and students and there are concerns about secrecy and non-transparency of information at a public institution. These issues will likely be the basis of the working agenda for the University Senate for the upcoming year. The administration has been asked for feedback or response to the report and its contents.

Student – Kevin Farrell

A resolution was sent to the Provost and Chancellor regarding the gun found in the restroom at Wescoe at the beginning of the semester and the bullet casings found at Strong Hall, specific to notification procedures. Student Senate has been working to fund various campus organizations and groups, and working to make changes to Student Senate rules and bylaws and election code; currently the bylaws are more than 200 pages and there is an effort to strike redundancies, etc.   

 

Unfinished Business - none

 

New Business – none

Call to Adjourn – Kevin Farrell made the motion to adjourn at 1:26 p.m. Seconded by Annette Delaney. Motion passed.

Next Meeting Schedule

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2017, 12:00 PM ‐ 1:30 PM, Kansas Union, Alcove G

 

FULL SENATE

Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017, 12:00 PM ‐ 1:30 PM, Kansas Union, Malott Room


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