Governing Body for Staff at the University of Kansas

Executive Committee 04/12/17


Executive Council Meeting Agenda, Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Noon-1:30 p.m., Alcove G, 3rd Level, Kansas Union


Call to Order

Meeting was called to order at 12:00 pm by President Liz Phillips. 

Approval of Minutes – March 8, 2017

Motion:  To approved March 8, 2017 minutes as submitted.  Made by Chris Wallace.  Seconded by Robert Waller. Motion passed.


President – Elizabeth Phillips.  President Phillips and President Elect Brian Moss discussed the upcoming meeting to be held with Provost Neeli Bendapudi on April 13, 2017.  The discussion of the meeting would cover the acquisition of more common books for staff.  It was noted that common books are current all UPS.  Mr. Moss stated that a request to 24 books for the upcoming year would be made during the meeting.  An additional meeting would take place with in-coming President elect Michele Hayes with the attorney for the Kansas Board of Regents (KBOR) regarding the decision to recommend the removal of a direct report to KBOR by Staff Senate, rather making that report to the Council of Presidents (COPS) instead. 

Lastly, it was announced that Chancellor Gray-Little’s retirement celebration will be May 4, 2017.  Tickets were available for staff, with a maximum of 4 per person.  The tickets were available at the Lied Center or on the Edwards campus, contact David Cook.  It was noted the musical guest was Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Booker T. Jones. 

Secretary – Deb Deering

Ms. Deering was absent, no report was offered

Treasurer – Michelle Hayes

Ms. Hays submitted the following the treasurer’s report.

reasurer's report for 3/8/17 Executive Council meeting



General Senate funds





general senate funds for FY17




Funds spent for August KBOR USS meeting hosted at KU




Battery Charger purchase approved in Nov. Exec Council meeting




Extension cord purchase approved in February Exec Council meeting




Anticipated FY17 Budget Rescission (still pending)








Approved in 1/18/17 full senate meeting to go to Prof Dev travel awards




Approved in 1/18/17 full senate meeting to go towards Mini Wheat State Tour




Remaining balance currently uncommitted from general funds




Pending approval - estimated expenses for May 11 KBOR meeting (115+28)




Current remaining uncommitted funds in general state funds



Professional Development





Provost funds specifically for Prof Dev




committed to fall 2016 PD travel awards




Uncommitted/available for PD






approved from general use Senate funds for Prof Dev travel awards




approved from general use Senate funds for Mini Wheat State Tour







committed for spring 2017 PD travel awards




Currently available to Prof Development allocated to MWST


Ms. Hays stated the $840.04 of the funds are not committed, with $2,000 is directed toward the Mini Wheat State tour.  Discussion continued relating to the need of a plan to address the uncommitted funds.  Elections Chair, Andy Jackson suggested that purchase of a new laptop computer would be something to consider.  It was noted that the funds could not be carried forward.

Motion:  Direct Mr. Jackson and Leland Wilson to provide price and specification for the purchase of a new laptop for review during the next Executive Committee meeting.  Made by Robert Waller.  Seconded by Michael Chavez. Motion passed.

Diversity/Equity Chair – Michael Chavez

Mr. Chavez stated that the Committee’s printed agenda was revised in lieu of a discussion of the recent University of Kansas climate study.  Based on that information, the Committee will review the initial “charges” (duties) made of the Committee, and invited Dr. Jennifer Hamer, Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Chair, to discuss strategies for better collaboration on campus.  Mr. Chavez noted that the Committee is reviewing mandatory reporting rules and regulation, training on how to report those issue, so the Committee could assist those on campus who are experiencing diversity and inclusion issues but do not have a comfortable outlet to express those concerns. 

Mr. Chavez continued by pointed to the Committee’s decision to address the “Wet” Coalition.  The Committee is opposed to said request.  Lastly, Mr. Chavez explained that the Committee continues to discuss matters involving the Student Senate including rules, coalitions, and involvement.  It was noted that history, in particular the protests in the 1960’s, may continue to perpetuate a lack of involvement in government involvement.

Legislative Affairs – Robert Waller

Mr. Waller began his discussion by review and updating the Staff Senate on Legislative Bills.

The Legislative Affairs Committee begin its discussions with an update on Legislative Actions.  The Committee was informed the Legislature was in the process of reviewing the FY 2018 and FY 2019 budgets.  Particularly, Senate Bill 189 was passed with a provision to provide a 2.0% pay increase to state employees.  However, the chairman explained that he was unsure whether the term “state employee” also applied to Regents institutions due to varying definitions.  However, the provision had not been passed by both the House and Senate Conference Committees.  Discussion was also held on the various “gun control” bills and the exemption of Regents institutions and other state agencies from current law.

Discussion continued relating to the full Senate charge of reviewing a resolution relating to parking cost increases.  The chairman explained that although the resolution is in draft form, a conclusion as to whom the resolution should be directed and what is being requested to be done have not been finalized.  The Committee discussed the resolution, both in terms of the parking fees, health insurance costs, and other increases and recommended the following:

Due to the finalization of the climate change study, the Committee would recommend a resolution addressing all issues, i.e. health insurance, parking fees, merit increases, and other concerns.  The Committee understands the concerns relating to an increase in parking fees, but does not believe a resolution addressing, singularly the parking fees, and ignoring the other concerns brought forward in the climate study is a prudent action.  The Committee recommends the Executive Committee discuss the climate change report, and a comprehensive resolution be drafted.

Lastly, the Committee continued with its discussion on revising the Tuition assistance policy.  The Committee discussed the Tuition Policy town hall meetings, and the waiver system policy the Committee is favoring.  The Committee discussed the “bumping” issue, the ability to audit a class, and whether the other Regents Institutions had a “waiver” system, or a budget for the program.  Committee members agreed to review and/or contact the other Regent institutions to ascertain that information.

Mr. Moss asked a question regarding conceal carry legislation.  Mr. Waller explained there are numerous bills that have been introduced relating to exempting the University of Kansas (all Regent schools), hospital, mental institutions and other locations.  However, there had been no action taken in relation to passing those bills.  He did note the Legislature is on ‘spring break” and would return at Omnibus to review the FY2018/FY 2019 Budgets, tax package, K-12 reform, and all remaining legislation.

Professional Development Chair – Tanya Spacek

Ms. Spacek began by discussing the Mini Wheat tour.  She explained the registration page would be opened on April 24, 2017 with the cost currently at $1,966.  Committee members continued by discussing the uses of the remaining amount for other purposes during the tour.  Those purposes (providing lunch, tickets, others) would be further reviewed.  Ms. Spacek noted that the tour is estimated at a limit of 100 staff members.

Personnel Affairs Chair – Annette Delaney

Ms. Delaney informed the members the Committee met on March 31, 2017 with Ola Faucher, Director of Human Resources to discuss the virtual handbook. She explained the Committee is approaching the revision of the handbook by going to the University of Kansas website, conducting searches to determine if documents are referenced correctly, and coordinating with the Policy Library to ensure what is searchable.  Mr. Moss noted that some documents are saved via PDF, and thus not searchable. Ms. Delaney added that various acronyms utilized by Departments/Schools will also need review. 

Ms. Delaney updated the Executive Committee on the conceal carry meetings.  She explained the workgroup is reviewing the various types of insurance, and contemplating the request of an insurance policy controlled by the University.  Ms. Delaney noted that she was put in contact with representatives from the University of Texas (UT), since Texas has conceal carry, to ascertain how the UT campus operates under the provisions of law.  Ms. Phillips offered an explanation of “constitutional” carry versus “conceal” carry, of which there is a distinct difference, and the workgroup should keep in mind as discussions continue.

Public Relations Chair – Chris Wallace

Mr. Wallace informed the Committee of continued Facebook posts. While not related to the PR committee but to another group with which he is involved, Wallace mentioned the meeting of the USS Council on May 11, 2017.  He noted the USS Council is request the revision of its mission statement, although KBOR already has a description of the council.

Elections Chair – Andy Jackson

Mr. Jackson explained the transition meeting for the Staff Senate would occurring at the next regularly scheduled meeting.  The Secretary and Treasurer positions are 1 year terms, and the Technology position is appointed by the President.  He noted that Committee chairs are subject to 2 year terms, and thus would not have to be elected during the next meeting.  During the upcoming meeting, Mr. Jackson further noted that the 11 voting representatives and University Senate Executive representatives would have to be elected.  However, due to a lack of persons volunteering, Operations would need to be backfilled.  Lastly, Mr. Jackson stated he would be absent from the upcoming meeting and Greg Smith would facilitate the election.

HRM – Ola Faucher

Ms. Faucher began by discussing legislation signed into law by the Governor:

  •  The J1 Visa Bill
  •  The Work After Retirement (WAR) bill.

    Ms. Faucher explained that the WAR bill would apply to KPERS retirees, not subject to employer fringe, and a “pre-arraignment” discussion could not be in place if a person is retiring and then being re-employed by the University.

Continuing, Ms. Faucher discussed the revision of Staff policies relating to marginalized groups, reporting requirements, and the Diversity and Equity committee (or sub-council) to assist in resolving those concerns.  She noted that HR is developing a training session to address conflict resolution, context, step, and solutions.  Mandatory reporting requirements would be clarified with any changes.

Ms. Faucher discussed the Tuition Assistance proposal and noted that policies for the Summer session were available.  She noted that the Provost, in reviewing the Tuition Assistance Town Hall meeting comments, was reviewing funding for the program.  Additional policies changes being implemented are: Employment condition, Staff evaluation, USS evaluation appeal, and UPS evaluation appeal.  However, the following are being prepared for public review:  Notice of non-reappointment, Councils, Grievance, and Disciplinary Action.  It was noted that a statement of “…in the best interests of the University of Kansas” can only be used in relation to Notice of non-appointment.  Ms. Faucher provided further detail and explained that the three reasons for Notice of non-appointment are: Budget reasons, Serve at the pleasure of, and Best interests.

Lastly, Ms. Faucher and the members discussed a past proposal that allowed the evaluation of supervisors through a pilot program.  Mr. Moss noted that the Library had conducted the pilot program, but it did not move forward.  Ms. Faucher noted that with the online evaluation program the University implemented has the capability of implement this type of program.

Faculty – Amalia Monroe-Gulick

Ms. Monroe-Gulick discussed the climate study and the review by the Office of Institutional Research and Planning (OIRP) of the data and the next steps in addressing the findings of the report.  She noted a template is being created at the unit level.  The Steering Committee that directed the study is no longer active, and there will be a delay in the data being released (June 15, 2017).  She noted there was some concern with the privacy of the data due to the data collection corporation (Rankin) sending the raw data to OIRP instead of a redacted file.

Student – Justin Moen
Mr. Moen informed the Committee that students were in the middle of their election cycle.

Lastly, Ms. Philips thanked the Committee for the outgoing year of service, and offered her appreciation to the Committee as her term as President will expire in April.

Unfinished Business


New Business


Call to Adjourn

Motion.  To adjourn the April 12, 2017 meeting at 1:16 pm. Made by Chris Wallace.  Seconded Michael Chavez.  Motion approved. 

Next Meeting Schedule




Wednesday, April 19, 2017, 12:00 PM ‐ 1:30 PM, Kansas Union, Malott Room, 6th Level


Deb Deering

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