Executive Committee Minutes
Wednesday, March 14, 2018
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 – Feb. 14, 2018
Motion: To approve the Feb. 14, 2018 Executive Committee minutes, with no corrections needed. Motion made by Robert Waller. Motion seconded by Michelle Ginavan Hayes. Motion passed.
President – Brian Moss
The Staff Senate event with the Chancellor is now April 13 at 11:45 a.m. at The Outlook. There have been continuing discussions about the University Senate Planning & Resources committee report, which referenced the university fleet and the university’s use of consultants. Upper administration had been asked to provide details about numbers related to savings from the work of the consultants. A response was received from the Chancellor’s office earlier this semester but some felt it was not detailed enough a response and that it was short on specifics, and more clarification was requested. A response was received on the 9th with some additional answers, though there are still outstanding questions. SenEx discussed yesterday what to do next, but some hope that the back-and-forth communications will end and that there can be a sit-down meeting/conversation about the questions. More information will be provided as there are updates. Michelle Ginavan Hayes is looking at the meeting dates for the next academic year Staff Senate and is considering having executive meetings during the first week of the month and full senate the second, rather than the current second and third scheduling. There is no rule that says when we need to have them. Andy Jackson said that as long as the Staff Senate meetings didn’t conflict with other governance committees or bodies that he wouldn’t think there would be a problem. Everyone was in agreement, so meetings will likely be scheduled for the first and second weeks of each month. There will likely be some meetings at the new Burge.
Treasurer – Susan Shaw
There are no changes from last month.
Diversity & Inclusion – Jeff Severin & Michelle Wilson
The report was provided by Michelle Wilson. The committee met March 6 and continues to discuss how to provide diversity training for all senator members. The current model is to do a brief overview training in April or May, one that is 30 minutes or less, and then conduct a full training in June or July. Detailed plans are to be determined and more will be confirmed in early April. The committee has discussed a survey for senators to determine what diversity and equity training is needed. The committee also talked about a recent campus event that was held at The Commons. Unpacking Whiteness was about the meaning and history of whiteness; it was based off an essay by Ta-Nehisi Coates called “The First White President.” Several members from the committee attended, and they were asking the question about what role this committee should play in regard to addressing issues, encouraging conversations about race identify and whiteness, and if they should continue the dialogue. Robert Waller asked more about the context; Wilson said there wasn’t a tremendous amount of dialogue at the event and committee members were wondering if they could or should continue that dialogue. Waller asked if the committee was wanting to work on or toward any kind of policy? Wilson said the committee wasn’t thinking along those lines, but if they should encourage a continuation of the dialogue. Waller said if the committee was working toward diversity and inclusiveness that he wondered why the committee wouldn’t want to continue any necessary conversations. Wilson said another question that arose in the committee was if there was a way for Staff Senate and/or the committee to work with HR to encourage supervisors and directors to support staff participating in diversity and inclusion activities. The committee is working on a list of diversity and inclusion training across the university, as they can be spread out, and to make a comprehensive list and develop a more formal resource that could be provided to new supervisors and new staff about diversity and inclusion opportunities and efforts. Waller ask Ola Faucher about a mandatory training. Faucher said sexual harassment was the only mandatory training she was aware of. Waller asked if the committee was just looking at a list of events or about going to administration and asking that a training be added that was mandatory along with sexual harassment? Wilson said the current effort was more about compiling the list and not suggesting a mandate for new supervisors, but to assist them in knowing what trainings were available so they could participate and/or encourage their staff to do so, or to be supportive of them doing so. Faucher said HRM was willing to brainstorm about collecting that information. Wilson met with Dr. Hamer of the Office of Diversity & Equity and said Dr. Hamer indicated she was looking at the potential of some kind of certificate program, or some kind of module build around cultural competency, with layers of trainings that could result in a certificate. Faucher said the learning management system can handle that; it has the ability to do certificates. Wilson encouraged the group to visit the diversity.ku.edu webpage, and to list any diversity and inclusion events or trainings on that website. There is a social justice resources area on the KU Libraries page: https://guides.lib.ku.edu/socialjustice. This is a good resource for information about this topic. The committee will meet again April 3. Brian Moss said there was a question raised today in regard to the walkout at Lawrence High School, and if staff who wanted to support the students could participate. He said he believed that if staff had their supervisor’s approval to be out, and if they had plans to make up the time or take the time that staff could attend. Faucher said certainly staff can take an hour off with their supervisor approval. Jackson said he worried that a training for the senate in April could be difficult as it is the transition meeting and it can be busy with outgoing senators and incoming senators; he suggested May might be better, especially since it would be the first regular meeting for the new senate.
Legislative Affairs – Robert Waller
The committee didn’t have a meeting scheduled because of the Staff Leadership Summit, but that event ended up being canceled. The tuition assistance proposal is moving along. Faculty Senate approved it and the effort is continuing to move it to a presentation to administration. As a reminder, the proposal was increased from 12 credit hours a semester to 15 and includes spouses and dependents. Waller expects negotiations to continue as the proposal is presented and evaluated. Moss wondered what the best way to move it forward was, specifically if Waller should be there for any presentation to administration. Waller said his recommendation was to first work with HRM and Enrollment Management and make sure all of the logistical pieces were in place before it was presented to administration. The committee wants to make sure that it partners with those who will be doing the work and that it doesn’t want to make decisions or suggestions without the input of Enrolment Management or HRM. Waller will set up time with staff in those departments. Moss said Faculty Senate had raised the question about how the tuition assistance process might have positively impacted recruitment and retention at Kansas State University; Waller said he could reach out, but that such information could be difficult to quantify. Faucher said at KU there is no central office that knows why people might turn down an offer of employment, so if potential staff is turning down an offer at KU due to tuition assistance that information would be difficult to obtain because it’s not tracked centrally. Moss asked if there were any legislative action in the works. Waller said the legislature expected to look at bills regarding students and free speech, as well as a tax bill related to Internet sales. The main issue will be K-12 funding. Moss asked if the Kansas Board of Regents had asked KU to come up with contingency plans for an 8% cut. Waller said generally all budgets submitted have a 5% reduced resource package to quickly identify initial areas to cut; the legislature starts with that reduction package as their base.
Professional Development – Abby Ehling
Plans have been confirmed with Kansas State University and the Flint Hills Discovery Center in regard to the Mini Wheat State Tour. An estimate from Crossroad Tours was received for $2021, and one is anticipated from Arrow Bus Lines, though they have indicated they have not been able to locate our previous account. It’s suspected that quote would also be around $2,000. Ehling asked if the group was OK with proceeding with Crossroad. Hayes said we had used them most frequently. Ehling said they’d likely proceed with Crossroad. She will request at an upcoming Staff Senate meeting the money for the bus and about $600 for the Discovery center, from Staff senate funds. Susan Shaw asked if that amount was for one bus or two. Ehling said it is 2, though the quote sheet isn’t broken down by 2 specifically, but has the total. One bus is ADA accessible and one isn’t. Moss confirmed that the $2,000 was around what it had previously been. Hayes said yes. Moss made a note to touch base with the Provost on the updated plans as she had indicated she might want to contact the KSU president. Ehling said a save the date email will be sent in April, with availability to sign up for the event in early May for the June 1 date. Each bus holds 56 people, so there could be a total of 112 participants. Moss asked about a waitlist and about problems previously with empty seats even though staff had signed up, and wondered if the committee had thought of ways to avoid that? Hayes said last year the committee worked through the wait list and encouraged attendance but there were still empty seats due to those who didn’t show. Ehling said the committee did talk about moving sign-up closer to the actual event, because signing up earlier might be part of the problem: people see the invitation, respond with a request for a seat and then calendars fill up in the interim and they end up not attending even though they signed up. The committee also wants to avoid doing sing-up during finals week. They plan to impress upon staff to only sign up if they can go. Annette Delaney asked if perhaps the first five people on the waiting list should be encouraged to be there for departure the morning of the event in case there are empty seats for them, and asked if there was an average number who don’t show. Hayes said last year 17% of attendees did not show, and that those on the waiting list had been told to come to be able to take any available seats. Last year was worse than the year before in regard to people not showing up. The committee will work on the staff communications. Moss wondered if those who signed up but didn’t show should be moved to the bottom of the waiting list instead of immediately securing a reserved space again.
Personnel Affairs – Annette Delaney
The committee met March 6 and talked about the virtual handbook project, which is now an effort focused on improving search engines on KU websites. They’ve also discussed how it’s possible to save searches and customize content in the myKU portal. They wonder if a link to the policy library could be added in one of the empty spaces on the portal homepage. They also discussed how the people search works on the site and wondered if it could pull names if only a partial search string is entered. It was discussed that this an IT subject, and members of the executive committee wondered if changing the way the people search works was realistic or possible. Faucher said Alex Wong in IT might be able to provide more information. Jackson said the KU directory is its own database. Moss said he would follow up with the Provost about a potential inclement weather committee, as she had indicated if a committee was formed that she wanted staff representation. Waller said the Legislative Affairs committee wants to take up that topic at their next meeting. Chris Wallace said the Provost should lead. Moss said the Provost had previously suggested seeing what the top 10 things are that people search for and having that information publicized on a website for easy access.
Public Relations – Deb Deering/Mary Murphy
Elections – Andy Jackson
Elections are soon. He is working with someone in IT to test the election ballot. When it is ready for additional testing Jackson will send it to the Executive Committee, and later it will distributed to all staff. The deadline will be the end of March. Every category but one has at least enough candidates for the available seats. Wallace asked if Operations had an open seat and said Peggy Robinson retired a couple of weeks ago. Members of executive committee said that wasn’t known to them. Jackson said he would check regarding that particular seat. Leland Wilson is helping with the webpage that contains the bios of those running for seats; the email to staff will have a link to the bios and information about election deadlines. We might want to build in a periodic check with HR regarding senators and their employment status.
HRM – Ola Faucher
Faculty – Amalia Monroe-Gulick
Monroe-Gulick is at the Kansas Board of Regents meeting.
Student – Thomas Wilkinson
Student Senate last week did pass the block funding bill, which will fund a lot of student services on campus. There is an ongoing legal issue related to the Multicultural Student Government; MSG will be able to continue to operate, however.
Based on feedback, a question on the USS Council survey, one question is being reworked. Initially the cost for the survey was divided six ways, but Wichita State University has declined to participate as the survey will not be sent to faculty, but only to staff. The fee for KU’s participation will likely be $300. It will be sent by the Docking Institute. The president of the committee is confirming with WSU that they do not want to participate. They are working to have the survey go out with a deadline of the end of April. Executive committee discussed having that charge come out of the Staff Senate budget. Wallace asked for a motion for the funds to come out of the Staff Senate budget; Moss said he would ask the Provost as well.
Motion: To approve a $300 expenditure from the Staff Senate budget to pay for KU’s portion of the USS Council survey. Motion made by Annette Delaney. Motion seconded by Susan Shaw. Motion passed.
Though there was an Executive Committee vote, the request will need to be taken to the full senate next week. The committee members were all in favor of the request being posed to the full Staff Senate next week. Holly Shriner will add it to the agenda.
Call to Adjourn – Robert Waller made the motion to adjourn at 1:13 p.m. Seconded by Andy Jackson. Motion passed.
Next Meeting Schedule
Wednesday, April 11, 2018, 12:00 PM ‐ 1:30 PM, Kansas Union, Alcove F
Wednesday, March 21, 2018, 12:00 PM ‐ 1:30 PM, Kansas Union, Malott Room