Staff Congress
MSU Collage Image



DECEMBER 4, 2006


Jeff Adkins Ray Crum* Phillip James Rhonda Mackin Lonnie Morris Todd Thacker
Darlene Allen Chris Hampton* Mary Jerde Rebecca McGinnis April Nutter Jonell Tobin
Lisa Caskey Shannon Harr David Jessie Rick Messer* Darlene Ramey Terry White
Shannon Colvin Rosemary Hinton* Linda Kegley Amy Moore Dallas Sammons Elizabeth Williams
Rhonda Crisp Mike Hopper Margaret LaFontaine Pam Moore Doug Snedegar  

*Denotes member was absent

Guests: Michael Walters, Vice President for Administrative & Fiscal Affairs and Lora Pace, Staff Regent and Director of First Year Programs & Retention.

Chair White called the meeting to order at 1:02 p.m.  A quorum was present.  Chair White then turned the floor over to Vice President Walters to discuss the internal audit that Staff Congress has requested regarding insurance. 

VP Walters stated that he was presently working on a report showing what MSU had spent on insurance claims for the past three years.  The report for 2004 and 2005 has been prepared and he will complete the report for 2006 once he has that information.  He stated that he did not know why Staff Congress had not received reports on health insurance in the past.

Questions for VP Walters:

Rep. Thacker asked if the university still had a reserve line for insurance.  VP Walters replied that when MSU was self insured we carried a reserve line.  However since we are no longer self-insured we no longer carry the reserve line for insurance.  VP Walters added that at the end of December 2005 we had several claims that had been submitted but not paid and the reserve line was used to pay these off.

Rep. Thacker asked why Staff Congress was not involved with the decision making for the insurance plans for 2007?  VP Walters replied that this year was unusual because decisions had to be made earlier due to changing over from AIMS to Datatel.  Due to time constraints this had to be done earlier this year.  They did not have a lot of flexibility with insurance carriers this year.

Rep. Nutter asked what can Staff Congress do to be more involved in the insurance decision making.  How can we help HR select a good plan for staff?  VP Walters replied that we should bring suggestions to the University Employees Benefits Committee.  Rep. Nutter replied that this committee did not meet until after decisions had been made.  Rep. Sammons responded that insurance information did not come to this committee until after a decision had been made.

Rep. A. Moore responded that Staff Congress should begin working on insurance during the summer.  She added that we need to meet with interested groups for ideas.  This year the insurance plans were already set in stone before they were presented to anyone.  She added that until this year Staff Congress has always been able to suggest small changes.  VP Walters stated that Staff Congress should start working now on what we want for next year.  Bring your suggestions to the Employees Benefits Committee and to HR so they can go ahead and present suggestions to the insurance people.  However you will probably not be given exact cost of any of our changes until August or September.  VP Walters added for us not to wait for someone to ask us for suggestions.

Rep. Sammons responded that the timetable for insurance has not been communicated well.  VP Walters stated that communication would be more helpful.  He added that thoughts on ways to cut insurance costs is what Staff Congress should be working on instead of critiquing what we presently have in place. 

Chair White asked if bids will go out next year for a new carrier?  VP Walters replied he was not sure when current contract is up.  He added that the last time it was bided on it was for five years.  He said he would have to check on present contract to see when it is up for bid again.  He added that the last time insurance was bided on that CHA and BlueCross were two who placed bids to be our carrier.  VP Walters stated that we have to compare coverage that is asked for to what it will cost.  For this part of the State CHA has a better network.  Chair White asked if they look at coverage as well as the cost?  VP Walters replied that generally they will say here's what we got bid on that.  Once we have made the proposal then by law we can go back and twick the plan to fit our needs better.  Chair White added that changes is one area that Staff Congress can make suggestions if we can get the committee to start working on this earlier.

Rep. Colvin asked if it would be possible to provide Staff Congress on a date as to when Human Resources begin working on plans for next year.  VP Walters responded sure.

Rep. Thacker asked what role Dan Markwell plays in selecting our insurance?  VP Walters replied that all bids come from insurance brokers and that Mr. Markwell is the broker for CHA.

Chair White asked if bids are only for certain regions?  VP Walters stated no that anyone qualified to do business in the state can bid on our insurance.

Regent Pace asked what Dan Markewll does?  VP Walters replied that Mr. Markwell is an insurance broker.  Brokers respond to RFP's for bids.  Every proposal we receive has an agency attached to it.

Rep. Hopper asked if any of the brokers has a fudiciary relationship with the University?  He added "is the people who submit bids totally outside of the University with no history of doing business with us before?"  He then added are they totally separate from other types of insurance that we have at the University.  VP Walters responded that there is nothing in place that would preclude any broker from bidding on this type of insurance from another type of insurance that MSU has.  He added that we have a insurance brokerage contract with Acordia they help use locate insurance plans and bid them for use but not health insurance.  We have open bids for health insurance which means that anyone with health insurance can bid as long as they are registered to be a broker in Kentucky.

Rep. James asked if the insurance committee was always the same membership and can we have the Chair of the Employees Benefits Committee on this committee.  VP Walters responded yes.

Rep. Colvin asked if the committee could be provided a word document of the process so they can refer back to this process when we discuss insurance.  Something that would explain the process from beginning to end.  Also can Personnel Policies and Benefits committee be provided a timeframe for insurance.  VP Walters replied that they need to share more of the process with Staff Congress so it would take more of the mystique out of the insurance process.  He added that they will start sharing with Staff Congress everything that is involved and not involved with this process.  He agreed that they do not always stop and think that others may be interested in the insurance process.

VP Walters than mentioned the on-line administrators review that was done on-line last may.  They had analyzed the responses received and will share this with faculty and staff sometime in January or February.

VP Walters thanked Staff Congress for allowing him to attend today's meeting to discuss their concerns with MSU's health insurance program.

Chair White asked for approval of the minutes from the November 6 meeting.

Motion: To approve the minutes from the November 6 meeting.
  Proposed:  Rep. Thacker Seconded: Rep. Allen
Called for Vote: Passed


Chair's Report Chair White reported that he had e-mail Staff Congress members regarding St. Claire's fall fund raiser.  He asked that if anyone would like to donate to this fund to see him after today's meeting.  Chair White announced that Rep. Hopper had been added to the Ad-Hoc Committee.  He also welcomed Mary Jerde to Staff Congress
Vice-Chair's Report Vice-Chair James reported that he had uploaded our latest newsletter to the Staff Congress web site.  He added that for the next newsletter he would be doing a Staff Congress spot light on one person from each category.  He also reported that Rep. Nutter had added a Staff Congress link to the main page of MSU's web site. 
Secretary's Report Secretary Reported that for the month of November $62.06 was spent on refreshments  and that $5.00 was spend on a nameplate for Mary Jerde.  This leaves Staff Congress with a balance of $2,309.44 in supplies.


Committee Reports

Credentials and Elections Rep. LaFontaine reported that they had met by e-mail and have offered Donna King's position to William Salazar.  He was the next highest vote getter in the May election.  He has accepted this offer and will begin in January.
University Standing Appointments No report.
Fiscal Affairs Rep. P. Moore reported that they had met with VP Patrick about tuition and fees.  Tuition will be going up 8.3% for students in the fall.  This still keeps MSU as one of the cheapest institutions in the state.  CPE's maximum tuition increase is 9.5%  MSU will be trying to adjust the non-resident tuition rate due to being higher than the CPE allows and we are also higher than other universities.  Also in the fall they will be charging per credit hours for those students taking both undergraduate and graduate courses.  She also reported that beginning next fall the student recreation fee will be incorporated into regular university fees and tuition.  Rep. P. Moore also reported that students taking courses on-line or at an extended campus will pay in-state tuition beginning next fall.  She added that the budget this year would be based on actual number of students enrolled instead of projected number to be enrolled.  She also added that the University is still planning on a 4% raise in July.
Personnel Policies and Benefits Rep. Nutter reported that they met before Thanksgiving break to discuss insurance.  The University Employees Benefits Committee was invited to attend this meeting.  They have two resolutions that will be brought up in New Business.
Ad-Hoc No report.


Regent's Report:  

Regent Pace reported that the Board of Regents will meet this Thursday, December 7.  The 2007/08 tuition and fee schedule is on the agenda to be approved.  They will also be discussing the 8.3% tuition increase for students and a naming policy for buildings and rooms on campus.  Also the President's Leadership Academy will be doing a spotlight presentation.

Parliamentarian Report:

Deferred until the January 2007 meeting due to fire alarm.

Old Business:

No old business was brought forth.

New Business:

Rep. Nutter presented two resolutions regarding health insurance from the Personnel Policies and Benefits Committee. 

Motion: That MSU increase its contribution to employee health insurance to at least 80%, without reduction in benefits.
  Proposed:  From Committee Seconded: Not required
Called for Vote: Passed


Motion: That the Personnel Policies & Benefits Committee of Staff Congress, as well as the University Employee Benefits Committee, be included in the planning and evaluation process for health insurance prior to any decisions being made.
  Proposed:  From Committee Seconded: Not required
Called for Vote: Passed


No discussion was brought forth


Rep. Colvin announced that MSU has a new radio station "The Bird".  Plays office music 8a-4p daily.

Rep. Nutter announced that we have two home basketball games this week.  On Thursday t-shirts will be given out to MSU students and on Saturday foam fingers will be given out.

Rep. Nutter announced that on December 8th there will be a free student event held in ADUC.  There will be free snow globes given out to MSU students.  Students will also be provided a potato and chili bar both free to MSU students.  At 6:30 National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation will be shown.

Rep. McGinnis announced that Winter Commencement will be held on Saturday, December 16 beginning at
10:30 a.m.

Chair White announced that Governor Fletcher will be in Morehead today at 4:15 to discuss the budget surplus.  Meeting will take place at the Conference Center.

Chair White announced that the next Staff Congress meeting will be January 8th at 1:00 pm. in the Riggle Room of ADUC.

Motion: To adjourn.
  Proposed:  Rep. Colvin Seconded: Rep. Thacker
Called for Vote: Passed

Minutes submitted by:  Lisa Caskey, Secretary to Staff Congress