Governing Body for Staff at the University of Kansas

Executive Committee Minutes

Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018

Noon-1:30 p.m.

 Kansas Union, Alcove F

Call to Order

The meeting was called to order by President Brian Moss at 12:01 p.m.

Approval of Minutes – Jan. 10, 2018

Motion: To approve the Jan. 10, 2018 Executive Committee minutes, with the suggested changes emailed by Mary Murphy. Motion made by Mary Murphy. Motion seconded by Deb Deering. Motion passed.

Moss introduced the new Student Senate representative, Thomas Wilkinson; the Staff Senate Executive Committee members introduced themselves.


President – Brian Moss

Employees of the month have been invited to the full Staff Senate meeting next week, and the Common Books are ready to distribute to them. Chris Wallace wanted to mention that USS Council folks from Board of Regents schools had discussed a survey similar to the climate survey regarding employees at all KBOR institutions, now UPS is included. Someone then mentioned faculty, but the scope seems to be USS and UPS; the survey is still in the planning stages. Moss and Michelle Ginavan Hayes had a conference call with Provost and brought up complications of emailing all staff, and general concerns about Staff Senate communications and newsletters going through Public Affairs. They have another meeting with the Provost next week. Perhaps Staff Senate email communications could be routed through Governance instead. Abby Ehling said perhaps we could provide a list of our expected/planned communications and get those approved, so that both administration knows we’re not sending excessive communications and that Staff Senate can send without some of the current burden. Mary Murphy agreed and said perhaps let the Provost and Public Affairs know we’re not bombarding staff and that perhaps submitting a communications plan would be helpful.

Treasurer – Susan Shaw

Ehling checked with Kathy Reed in Governance on when the funds are expected to come in annually for the staff travel awards. She indicated they are set for the beginning of each fiscal year, but there could be up to 90 days for the actual transfer, so it could be October before the money transfers. It is not recommended to encumber or go into the negative. The annual funds are available through the length of the Pepsi contract. The Professional Development committee is currently thinking of accepting applications twice a year with standard distribution schedules, with the money split in half per each six months. 

Diversity & Inclusion – Jeff Severin & Michelle Wilson

D&I met last week and the group talked about the charge to recruit a diverse Staff Senate body; the committee got data from HR for some federal categories and talked about how they’d want to use it. Severin said they don’t want to necessarily tie efforts to a statistic or a quota or measurement, but they do want to check in occasionally at how the Staff Senate looks and how it represents staff constituency. They talked about recruitment and making sure all staff are invited to participate, but not necessarily tying to a statistic or quota. Dr. Hamer suggested to tie it to national percentages but numbers might not necessarily correlate. Ola Faucher said staff councils would be a good internal source for recruitment and that the data shows current Staff Senate membership shows we’re tracking pretty close to the campus populations as far as the categories of legal definitions. Faucher said she took the list of senators and used OIRP profiles data to compare. The D&I committee began using a Sharepoint site to share information more easily. They continue to talk about opportunities for training with Staff Senate. They hope to have more information soon, most likely at the next meeting.

Legislative Affairs – Robert Waller

The Legislative Affairs committee approved a recommendation from FacEx suggesting that the tuition assistance proposal be 15 hours and not 12. Moss made a motion asking the Staff Senate Executive Committee to approve the change in the proposal from 12 to 15 hours. The motion was seconded by Susan Shaw. The motion was approved unanimously. Waller said that while faculty support was great for the tuition assistance proposal it was felt there should not be a joint committee formed with faculty governance on the issue, because that could extend the timeline and potentially dilute the staff initiative to drive the proposal. The strong support by the faculty was noted. The committee additionally looked at Staff Senate code to determine if there should be changes related to chair or chairs with the additional “s”, but it was determined existing code was appropriate and no changes were recommended.

Professional Development – Abby Ehling

In addition to the information during the Treasurer’s Report about the staff professional development fund, Ehling said there had been 27 applications for the latest round of fund distribution and 21 were awarded. Funds will reset at the beginning of the new fiscal year and the committee with decide what deadlines should be for FY 2019. The application process is much easier with the new online form. Work continues on the Mini Wheat State tour; the committee has decided on a trip to Manhattan/KSU/Flint Hills Discovery Center. She will ask for funds soon for the $6 per person ticket for the group rate to the discovery center. There will be a tour of KSU, with a focus on seeing things that aren’t offered at KU. Lunch will be on-your-own for attendees in Aggieville. Last year’s buses were just under $2,000, and it’s projected the cost for the discovery center will be $600, so Ehling will likely request $2,600 at the appropriate time. Moss asked if there were requests of the Provost? He said he would update the Provost and see if she suggested anything. If there is money left in the general Staff Senate fund that isn’t needed for Professional Development/Mini Wheat State tour budget purposes, Moss wondered if we could open the professional development fund again, or if Executive Committee members had ideas for how to spend the money. A donation could be made to the gardens at KSU; a stop at the gardens was part of what the committee plans for the event.

Personnel Affairs – Annette Delaney

The committee reviewed the four policies from HR and provided feedback to them. Work on the virtual handbook has turned into work on improvement of search engines on KU webpages, and the committee has a blurb in the Staff Senate newsletter to try to get additional feedback.

Public Relations – Deb Deering/Mary Murphy

The Spring newsletter is drafted; the main message is elections. There will be some hard copies for distribution at the Staff Leadership Summit. The newsletter will be emailed. Governance will print the copies. It was determined 75 copies should be printed.

Elections – Andy Jackson

The elections committee is focused on getting elections ready to go.

HRM – Ola Faucher

Faucher said various policies are working their way through the process. She reminded the group that the events in Woodruff during the leadership summit will be streamed.

Faculty – Kirk McClure

There was no report, though there was a reiteration of faculty support for the tuition assistance policy.

Student – Thomas Wilkinson

Student Senate is engaged in working through its line and block funding process. There are efforts related to block funding allocations for various efforts, including for Spencer Art Museum, especially in regard to adding student support staff. That block funding will be reviewed at a meeting tonight.

Unfinished Business - none

Ehling said she wondered if there was money left in the budget that potentially the group could look at promotional materials for Staff Senate (coffee mugs, pens, reusable bags, etc.). The group discussed how it’s clear there is a strong desire for professional development opportunities for staff, as things such as the leadership summit fills up so quickly.

New Business


Call to Adjourn – Deb Deering made the motion to adjourn at 1:24 p.m. Seconded by Jeff Severin. Motion passed.

Next Meeting Schedule


Wednesday, March 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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