Governing Body for Staff at the University of Kansas

Staff Senate Minutes 08162017

Staff Senate Minutes
Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017
Noon - 1:30 p.m.
LEEP2 2415

Call to Order

The meeting was called to order by President Brian Moss at 12:02 p.m.


Approval of Minutes – May 17, 2017


Motion: To approve the May 17, 2017 Staff Senate minutes, with no corrections needed. Motion made by Chris Wallace. Motion seconded by Mary Murphy. Motion passed.


President – Brian Moss

He and President-Elect Michelle Ginavan Hayes met with Chancellor Girod. The two had talking points, but not a formal agenda. Among the discussion items were the Kansas legislature-mandated raises (while recognizing this was not a KU-led initiative or singular issue); the Staff Senate in general, including who is represented, as the Chancellor comes from the Medical Center which has no Staff Senate, and the Chancellor recognized that staff keep the university functioning on a daily basis; and staff morale, with issues including guns on campus the switch from Coke to Pepsi, the climate study, etc. The Chancellor brought up diversity on campus as another key topic. He indicated his top priorities were enhancing the student experience, getting the word of KU out more broadly across the state and research efforts. Moss mentioned the USS and UPS councils and potential changes in reporting lines to the Kansas Board of Regents, with the desire for the access line to remain directly to KBOR for reporting; KBOR has since indicated those reporting lines will remain. He mentioned that everyone will need to participate in benefits open enrollment this upcoming cycle, even if there are no desired changes to individual plans, so please make sure to read email communications about open enrollment as those communications contain important information. The former Coke scholarship for dependents has been replaced by a Pepsi scholarship with the campus change, there are details on the student financial web page/scholarship pages if more information is needed. He reminded Senate about the Staff Senate website; a picture is planned for the September full Senate meeting. Ginavan Hayes is finishing Senate binders for new senators to be distributed after the August meeting. The two will set meetings with the Provost, which are typically once a month during the academic year, meetings in which they relay requests or input from Staff Senate to the Provost.


The position was vacant during the August reporting period; no money had yet been allocated, so there was no report.

Diversity and Inclusion – position vacant

The chair position was vacant during the reporting period, and a report was given by Jeff Severin, the committee’s acting secretary. The committee is looking at how to be most effective, and what they can influence within the Senate and how they can impact the diversity of the Senate. They’ve looked at the 2016-2017 Staff Fellows report, which is entitled “Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion: Recommended Next Steps for a Comprehensive Staff Educational Approach”, as the committee would like to use that group’s recommendations and work, especially regarding issues of implementation and accountability specific to staff at the university. The committee is working on how to integrate diversity trainings for the Staff Senate, but also how to provide exposure to resources on campus to foster conversations, as meaningful conversations are important. The committee plans to meet with Jennifer Hamer, vice provost for diversity and equity, to gain a sense of what she thinks the Staff Senate committee should do an concentrate on, how it fits with overarching university diversity and equity efforts and how it can be most effective. Part of the challenge is to make sure training opportunities are promoted while making sure staff who want to participate in those trainings can be supported if they meet with supervisor resistance; they need a space to bring that up without fear of retaliation. Jenny Flinders, also active on the committee, said that after the release of campus climate survey results the committee felt the need to rethink and recalibrate, as sometimes the work can feel as though training upon training upon training is being added yet we’re not having the important conversations that are meaningful and intentional. The committee would like to dig more deeply into some of the results from the climate survey and then have a day to map and plan the approach going forward.

Elections – Andy Jackson

The Diversity and Inclusion chair position is open; those who are interested should submit a statement regarding their qualifications and interest to Brian Moss as Staff Senate president. Moss and the office of Diversity and Equity will evaluate submissions and bring candidates forward to the full Staff Senate for a vote. Anyone interested should submit their statements.

The Treasurer position is vacant. There was one nominee, Deb Deering. Chris Wallace self-nominated. Susan Shaw was nominated by Mary Murphy. Susan Shaw won the vote. Michelle Ginavan Hayes will help with the transition and will share information with Susan.

The Professional Development chair is vacant. Abby Ehling self-nominated. As there were no additional nominations, Abby Ehling will assume the chair position.

Secretary Holly Shriner will update documentation and add both Shaw and Ehling to the Executive Committee meetings scheduled for the academic year.

There are a few additional senate seat vacancies that will be focused on in the coming weeks.

Legislative Affairs – Robert Waller

The first meeting of the academic year is schedule for Aug. 31 via teleconference. The committee has been charged with going over Senate code related to the technology officer description to establish parameters of the position, the scope of what we want that position to deal with in regard to computers and policy. This is an enhancement of code to give a bit more emphasis to certain areas. The committee will also go over the staff tuition assistance program, as it has been working on not only augmenting the current tuition assistance for staff but also working on a proposal for spouses and dependents through an open-seat concept.

Personnel Affairs – Annette Delaney

The committee has been working on a virtual handbook, as the former USS handbook no longer exists though it is helpful to have information staff frequently use in one spot and KU’s website search engine sometimes doesn’t return the most effective results. Delaney mentioned a report regarding faculty concerns about concealed carry and she will bring that report to the Staff Senate in September. Brian Moss reminded the body about, which includes FAQs and listings of presentations and meetings. Michelle Ginavan Hayes mentioned three upcoming information sessions for GTAs, GRAs, faculty, staff and Student Senate.

Professional Development – position vacant

Brian Moss has a list from Governance of those who were interested in being on committees and will distribute to existing chairs; he will meet soon with Michelle Ginavan Hayes about those interested in serving on University Senate committees.

Public Relations – Chris Wallace

There is no PR report. The USS council has recently had discussions about how the state-mandated raises were implemented across Regents institutions. 

HRM – Ola Faucher

There are numbers available from the state with the ultimate results of the state of Kansas salary increases. The number of employees statewide that received the 5% increase were 3,272. The numbers statewide who got the 2.5% was 15,757. Regents folks of that 15,000 were 6,783, so we’re really very close to half of that. Regents employees who got the 5% were 212. People who didn’t get increases statewide was 19,885 for the 2.5% and the 5% were 841. For Regents employees, those who did not get the 2.5% from the 19,000 were 11,418. 5% were none. She thought the comparison from the Regents and the state might be interesting to the body. At KU, 1 person got a 5% increase and about 1,657 got the 2.5% increase out of the total number of about 3,210. Regents still do compose a large percentage of the state work force.  

The KU campus tobacco free policy will be effective July 1, 2018, next year is a transition and education year. Staff feedback to professional development policy will move forward through the policy process.

Greg Smith asked about the enforcement of the tobacco free policy. It will be like other policy enforcement; student violations fall within student conduct whereas faculty and staff would route through disciplinary processes; there is no separate tobacco enforcement process. It does depend upon being able to identify and report individuals who violate the policy, which is not easy (it isn’t now), but that’s the methodology. The existing policy of smoking needing to be 20 feet from the building will be in effect this academic year. There is no police process, etc. There is a state law that can result in a fine if you are in violation within 10 feet.

Brian Moss indicated the Chancellor said the state legislature would be convening for a special session and might address the state employee salary issue.

Robert Waller asked if law enforcement does not enforce the tobacco policy, who will? Faucher responded that it’s like any other policy violation, that it is enforced by supervisors, administrators, etc. Brian Moss asked about visitors to campus; Faucher responded that it would be up to the campus community to provide information about the policy to visitors. Clint Johnston said signage was undecided, it could perhaps be at main entrances or potentially stickers on buildings, similar to those about conceal carry. Faucher said the proposal had been made to university administration regarding the signage at major campus entrances, on buildings and signs at parking lots, but the question is how much money do they have to fund the signs.

There have been structural changes administratively regarding Administration and Finance. Diane Goddard is the vice provost for administration and finance and those two units are now separate with different leaders as senior associate vice provosts. Mike Rounds is the senior vice provost of administration and Jason Hornberger is senior associate vice provost for Finance, so there are two separate divisions with Diane Goddard over both with separate and distinct reporting lines.  

HR has received some questions about the eclipse. Viewing of the eclipse is a departmental decision.

Faculty – Kirk McClure

There was no report as faculty did not meet over summer but will begin meeting soon.

Brian Moss said coincidentally his work space and that of the Faculty Senate president so there are very open lines of communication with faculty and the Faculty Senate.

Student – new student to be named

Moss has been communicating with Student Senate for a student representative, at least to attend Executive Committee. Jane Tuttle of Student Affairs said they always have someone at the Student Senate meetings every other Wednesday and always at their standing committee meetings, and president and vice-president of the student body meet every other week with the vice provost of student affairs. She said she’d be happy to share what the Student Senate is working on. Moss said sometimes things rise up through University Senate, but that any information directly from those involved with the Student Senate would be helpful. Tuttle said this summer they worked on Student Senate election code, which proved to be very difficult, and on some of their platform issues; they’re finding out what they can and cannot do. Some issues were to replace Safe Ride with Uber as well as a third-party vendor for sexual assault reporting.  Student Senate preparing for upcoming year. Their big training is Sunday the 27th, an all-afternoon event in the Union. Moss said he tries to watch the Student Senate streams of meetings.

Unfinished Business

Michelle Ginavan Hayes asked if for the self-nominations for Diversity and Inclusion chair if there was a deadline? Robert Waller asked if there were more detailed qualifications available; it is in the Staff Senate code, a portion of which was read. Moss established a deadline of Sept. 1. Some verbiage is somewhat broad; Moss asked if anyone on the Executive Committee had specific things they’d like to see? Waller wondered if there was something specific being looked for, something in the background that dovetails with diversity and equity? Moss asked if there was anything members of the committee would suggest? Moss likes the verbiage in code. Jenny Flinders said it would be helpful for those interested to show an understanding of what the university is doing with diversity and equity, thought that also is big and broad with a lot of initiatives. The past chair was very good at staying connected with Dr. Hamer and seemed to know a lot about what reports were coming out; it was helpful he was connected with leadership, but another individual might have their own focus or initiatives. Moss said the chair does have to be a sitting senator. Code says that for standing committee chairs, tenure is contingent upon continued service as a senator. Moss would prefer the person come from the elected body. He thanked the committee for continuing to work while the chair position was vacant.

New Business
No new business

Moss reminded the body of the Sept. 20 meeting and its location in Spooner Hall’s The Commons, across from Dyche/the Natural History Museum. The Staff Senate photograph will be taken.

Call to Adjourn

Motion: To adjourn, at 12:53 p.m. Motion made by Chris Wallace. Motion seconded by Michelle Ginavan Hayes. Motion passed.

Upcoming Meeting Schedule

Executive Committee:  Wednesday, Sept. 13, Noon - 1:30 p.m., Watson Library, Room 455

Full Senate:  Wednesday, Sept. 20, Noon – 1:30 p.m., The Commons, Spooner Hall

Senators excused from August 2017 meeting: David Day, Deborah Deering, Emily Gullickson, Melody Lawrence, Anna Paradis. Not present: Kirk McClure (faculty)


Senators absent or not signed in from August 2017 meeting: Michael Chavez; Sean Festag, Bethany Gross, Swathi Pallagurla

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