Governing Body for Staff at the University of Kansas

Staff Senate Executive Meeting 12/13/17

Executive Committee Minutes

Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017

Noon-1:30 p.m.

Kansas Union, The Parlors

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

Approval of Minutes – Nov. 8, 2017

Motion: To approve the Nov. 8, 2017 Executive Committee minutes, with no corrections needed. Motion made by Robert Waller. Motion seconded by Michelle Ginavan Hayes. Motion passed.


President – Brian Moss

Moss and Ginavan Hayes met with the Provost three weeks ago; the main discussion was to thank her for securing the extra funding from Pepsi for the staff professional development, as well as for the newsletter that featured staff. There was also a discussion of the common book and providing a copy of it to the staff members of the month. They talked about ways to show appreciation to staff that was no or low-cost; one idea Moss shared was for women’s basketball games. Wallace said Athletics used to give a discount to staff but the ticket price differential had to be made up and was covered by the Chancellor’s office; when budget hits occurred those were the types of things to first get cut. The Provost said she’d talk to Athletics to see if they’d consider it. Moss said a staff member reached out via email to Staff Senate after having ordered some pharmaceuticals to be delivered to campus and the delivery person got turned away at the campus check point and the staff member asked why some deliveries can be made on campus but others can’t; it turned out that the delivery should have been allowed and perhaps an error was made by the person working at the parking gate. Waller asked how those decisions were made. Susan Shaw said parking staff asks why they’re coming on campus and they get a 30-minute pass; if they have a legitimate delivery need they typically get 30 minutes. Moss also asked about noon on Wednesday, March the 28th for a Staff Senate appreciation event at the Chancellor’s home; we have not yet heard back. From University Senate: there have been lots of debates about how to time/manage those meetings; Kirk McClure added that there are still those debating faculty rights issues, especially in regard to conceal carry. Some think their rights to talk are being violated, while it really is just a time management technique for keeping the meetings moving. Moss said there has been a report from the Planning & Resources committee from last spring asking about the fleet of planes and consultation fees and the response needs to be looked at more completely, it appears that perhaps the questions had not been directly answered and the response needs to be looked at more completely. McClure said the response said the fleet had been looked at recently; the other response indicated state funds were being used for the fleet, but if they’re being used to fly for athletic recruiting trips, that will need to be examined. When it comes to consultants, administration is saying increased enrollment is part of the savings. Conversations in Staff Senate indicate there haven’t been big savings in facilities zoning, while the response indicates millions have been saved. McClure is concerned about just trading letters back and forth.

Treasurer – Susan Shaw

The balance is $4,702 in the Senate Account. The balance in the Professional Fund Development Account is $10,000. There will now be the two accounts. The Senate account needs to be used in a given fiscal year but the professional funds can be rolled over. Waller asked about Fall and Spring awards for that fund; Abby Ehling said this year was essentially divided but hopes to in future years have a more uniform August open date and January open date with money divided in half. There have been discussions about front-loading and just awarding money until it’s gone, but there were concerns about people potentially not knowing early enough about conferences they wanted to go to. The goal will be to have the Fall process happen earlier.

Diversity & Inclusion – Jeff Severin & Michelle Wilson

Severin said the last meeting was right before last month’s Exec Committee, but next year’s meeting schedule will be changed to be more aligned with Exec Committee. They will meet next week. The group is working on action plans. One group is focused on training for Staff Senate and looking at how to incorporate that beyond the current all-staff training. They have been testing some online modules and providing some review of online modules for all staff, but then building beyond that for Staff Senate. One group is looking at increasing collaboration with Staff Senate meetings; and one on how to support campus-wide initiatives. One committee member has been elected to serve on the campus equity implementation committee, so there is not a liaison for that committee to both the D&I committee and Staff Senate. Next week they’ll begin to dig into implementation steps for the plans going forward. Moss asked what happened with the Staff Fellows report from last year and its recommendations for training for staff. Severin said that the goal was to not have ideas just be developed. Waller asked about changing the name of the committee. Severin said Michelle spoke to Dr. Hamer, whose office might be changed to Equity & Inclusion and Dr. Hamer’s advice was to stick with what the committee name is for now and potentially change later if there are changes to Dr. Hamer’s office’s name. Faucher said the Learning Management System could be used for training and training can be developed for groups, so it could be specific for Staff Senate, etc. There are so many activities, groups, trainings, etc., and efforts are underway so there is a consolidated place for information. There is a link in the recent newsletter that leads to a good calendar with events.

Legislative Affairs – Robert Waller

Waller presented a tuition assistance proposal. This is the same presentation that would be given to full Staff Senate. The program is adding spouses and dependents. There are definitions of spouse and dependents in the proposal and includes qualifications. Spousal qualifications include degree- or certificate-seeking; on Lawrence or Edwards campus only; online courses would not be covered. Other qualifications for dependents. There is a suggestion that the overall number of credit hours be increased to up to 12 credit hours per semester. The current is up to five hours per semester. On the presentation slide that references those offices or groups that would need to be most involved in the management, it included HRM and Enrollment Management. Ehling mentioned need for admissions to be involved (especially graduate, because Graduate Admissions isn’t part of Enrollment Management as is undergraduate). The process would be for Executive Committee feedback to the presentation; if it moves forward it would go to full Staff Senate; it would be presented to Faculty Senate in January; it would go to Student Senate; more review would occur, it would go back to Staff Senate Legislative Affairs and then back to Staff Senate Executive Committee, then to Full Staff Senate and then to administrative offices. Moss asked about University Senate. Eventually when it’s all done at the governance level it would be presented to the Provost for administrative consideration. The ultimate message is for administration to show their support of staff. This was one of the big issues in the climate study (benefits like health insurance and things like tuition assistance). Waller motion to move the tuition assistance waiver program as written to the full Staff Senate next week; Shaw seconded. Motion carried.


Wallace said Support Staff Council is working on a survey to be sent to schools to get feedback; the group is trying to determine how to get the survey out to all schools.

Professional Development – Abby Ehling

Regarding funding awards: 19 applications were received. 17 qualified based on a scale system, 3 were questionable in regard to HR eligibility, in relation to the requirement of six months full time employment at the time of application. What counts as the six months for eligibility? Faucher suggested using appointment to a regular position. Ehling will get some clarification on a few nebulous ones. The committee hopes to start announcing fund recipients. Ehling anticipates more in the spring semester. She estimates 15 receiving $300 each. There is a meeting next week after Staff Senate and the committee will begin working on the Mini Wheat State tour. Ehling hopes to get the next round of funding open in January and that going forward there will funding offered each August and January. The committee is looking at having a monthly meeting where different offices on campus could learn about what each does, etc., like a Lunch and Learn. Moss about restrictions about the conferences (conferences, workshops and seminars); someone has asked about a day of advocacy for international students in higher education. Moss said Kathy Reed had pointed out that the name of the fund was very lengthy. The name is honorific. There are no plans to change it at the current time.


Personnel Affairs – Annette Delaney

The committee met yesterday and Moss attended; after a lot of discussion it determined it might create a Staff Senate owned webpage that is a go-to resource/virtual handbook that would contain links to different resources and often-used websites. A draft could be looked at by Staff Senate and then shared with staff for feedback. The committee’s opinions are wide ranging. The main KU site has the best search functionality. The committee is working to determine what is the best option without causing too much work? Whose responsibility would it be to maintain it? Moss said perhaps it could be a charge of the Personnel Affairs committee. Leland Wilson asked if the resources could be in the portal. Faucher said the portal pulls from various websites; it’s up to the departments hooked into the portal. Delaney said perhaps the portal is the best place to build something.


Public Relations – no current chair

Moss said the Staff Senate newsletter was completed thanks to Deb Deering and Mary Murphy. Kathy Reed was instrumental in getting it distributed to staff. Moss hopes to use the basic format going forward so there can be another newsletter produced. Moss said we are very limited in the number of all-staff email blasts that can go. Ehling asked if there could be a distribution list that staff could opt into? Faucher said the central administration manages the all-staff list. Faucher asked about list servs; Jackson said list servs are more for ongoing conversation. Distribution lists – someone in IT has to do it or can be used; someone would have to add and remove people.

Elections – Andy Jackson

Elections efforts will increase, in January they’ll do a census to figure out the total seats in each category and then a president-elect nominee will be the next position of focus.

HRM – Ola Faucher

A benefits blast regarding financial planning seminars just went out. If you haven’t used your discretionary day, do so by Dec. 30. HR is revising its online orientation for new employees and will be the only form of new employee orientation. Jan. 8 is the target date. There will be no in-person orientations.


Faculty – Kirk McClure

There was nothing further to report.

Student – Kevin Farrell

Not present; Moss will talk to Student Senate about a new representative. Moss asked about any knowledge of Student Senate activities; Severin said there were efforts for an on-campus food bank for student and staff access; some potential sites are being investigated. Severin is trying to identify a potential start-up location on campus.

Unfinished Business - none

Moss said he would work on the timing of Staff Senate appreciation event.

New Business
Reminder: the Chancellor’s holiday party is tomorrow.

Call to Adjourn – Michelle Ginavan Hayes made the motion to adjourn at 1:29 p.m. Seconded by Jeff Severin. Motion passed.

Next Meeting Schedule


Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018, 12:00 PM ‐ 1:30 PM, Watson Library, Room 455


Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2017, 12:00 PM ‐ 1:30 PM, Kansas Union, Malott Room

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