Staff Congress
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October 6, 2008


Jeff Adkins

Rhonda Crisp

Phillip James

Jill McBride

Lonnie Morris

Todd Thacker

Darlene Allen

Chris Hampton

David Jessie

Jewell McCormick

April Nutter

Sharon White*

Patty Carper

Shannon Harr

Kevin Koett

Rebecca McGinnis

Joel Pace

Terry White

Lisa Caskey

Rosemary Hinton

Margaret LaFontaine

Rick Messer

William Salazar


Shannon Colvin

Joe Hunsucker

Rhonda Mackin

Amy Moore

Dallas Sammons


*Denotes member was absent


Lora Pace, Staff Regent representative, Charlie Patrick, Special Operations in charge of SACS, Phil Gniot, Director of Human Resources, and Dan Markwell, insurance representative.

Chair Pace opened the meeting by introducing the guests.  He introduced Charlie Patrick who gave a brief update on the upcoming SACS (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools) reports.  SACS is MSU’s accrediting agency.  Mr. Patrick gave handouts to all members.  Mr. Patrick stated without SACS accreditation, MSU would not be an institution because we would not get federal or state funding without it.  SACS review is normally every 10 years.  However, this cycle is 11 years instead of 10 years due to the number of schools coming up for reaccreditation.  Therefore, our turn will be in spring 2010.  This time we will have a Compliance Certification, instead of the Self-Study that we had 10 years ago.  A new part will be the QEP (Quality Enhancement Plan).  Mr. Patrick reviewed the sequence of events that will occur for the reaccreditation visit. 


To approve the minutes from the September 8, 2008 meeting.  A correction was noted in the minutes in that there were several places where it mentions M. Williams.  This should be corrected to state M. Thompson. 


Proposed:  Lisa Caskey

Seconded:  T. Thacker

Called for Vote:


Chair's Report

Chair Pace reported that he and Vice-Chair McGinnis attended a state meeting two weeks ago at the University of Louisville.   At this meeting there was Staff Congress representation from the University of Kentucky, the University of Louisville, and the Bluegrass Community & Technical College.  It was an informational meeting but a lot of focus was on the Bluegrass Community & Technical College which was in the process of setting up their Staff Congress.  He encouraged members to look at our Staff Congress website.  If there are any changes that you would like to see, please send those to him.  There will be a link to University committees placed on our website.  Next month, Mike Walters and Sharon Reynolds will be guests.  They will give a presentation of the Administrative/Executive survey, which was previously presented to the Executive Committee.  Al Baldwin will be retiring from the Athletics Committee at the end of the month.  Philip James has been nominated to succeed him on that committee.  Philip will currently be a part of that committee in an advisory position but will become an actual member of the committee in November.  Chair Pace next asked the Parliamentarian, Shannon Colvin, to address an issue that came up at last month’s meeting.


S. Colvin talked about the issue of a committee (Standing Appointments Committee) that was not listed in the Bylaws.  She reviewed many of her records concerning Bylaws revisions from October 4th of 07.  That committee was not listed on any Bylaws revision she reviewed on the disc.  She did not know why or how this happened.  The only three committees listed on the disc and any hard copies she had included Personnel Policies & Benefits, Fiscal Affairs, and Credentials & Elections.  Chair James had a copy from 2005 that did have the committee listed in the Bylaws.  She stated she will have to look between 2007 backwards to 2005 and see what happened to the committee between those two points.  She will check with members of that committee or people who were previously on that committee to see what copies they might have, prior to her joining the committee.   L. Pace suggested she talk with Pam Moore, a former member of that committee, to see what records she might have.  S. Colvin stated she will also talk with Doug Snedegar, a former member of Staff Congress and that committee.  M. LaFontaine stated that Stephanie Stewart was also a former member of Staff Congress and that committee and may have some information as well. 

Vice-Chair’s Report

R. McGinnis stated that she had printed and mailed letters to those who were named to University Standing Committees.  She also sent this information to Janet Skidmore who would be updating that website.  She also sent thank-you letters to everyone who completed the Standing Advisory Committee interest forms.  She updated the committees on the Staff Congress webpage and the members list as well.

Secretary's Report

R. Mackin stated that $40.00 was spent on copying charges and $76.37 was spent on refreshments for the month of September, leaving a balance of $2,683.24 in Supplies.

Parliamentarian's Report

No report.

Committee Reports

Credentials and Elections

K. Koett reported that the committee had met and spent most of their time talking about absence policy issues.  They needed to have further discussion with the Executive Council before anything was presented to the Staff Congress body.  There were two vacancies:  one was in the Technical/Paraprofessional category which was never filled in the election and there was also a vacancy in Secretarial/Clerical category, which was vacated by Michelle Thompson who was assigned to a new position.  They have been trying to get some information from Human Resources in order to know what their pool is so they can try to solicit people for these vacancies.  If anyone knows of someone in these categories who would like to serve on Staff Congress, please give their names to Kevin Koett so his committee can follow up on this.  P. James asked if they shouldn’t go back and look at the ballots to see who was next in line.  K. Koett stated they did, that Cindy Edwards was next on the list.  He spoke with Cindy but she was not going to be employed at the University after the next two weeks. 



Fiscal Affairs

Shannon Harr stated he was asked to look into an issue that a congressperson had brought forth concerning being able to do payroll deduction for tuition for dependents.  He found out that this was not possible for various reasons, the most important reason being that this payment is due at xyz date and Payroll deduction is indeterminate.  It was suggested that if this can be foreseen in the future, then a savings account could be set up at the Credit Union the semester before, to save for this tuition cost.


Personnel Policies and Benefits

Amy Moore was attending an out-of-state conference so P. James was representing this committee today.  Amy asked him to announce that she had already seen the presentation that Human Resources was showing Staff Congress today.


Ad-Hoc - Professional Development

No report. 

Regent's Report:   L. Pace reported the Board of Regents had their quarterly meeting on September 11th at the West Liberty Enterprise Center.  General business was discussed at the meeting, including the renaming of Thompson Hall to the Grote-Thompson Hall.  The dedication will be held during Homecoming activities.  A preliminary enrollment report was given, which gave a 9,107 total headcount, which was up .5% over last year; first-time freshmen was 1,275, down 9.5%.  This was expected due to the increase in the minimum ACT score.  However, the average ACT score had increased to 21.6%.  President Andrews talked with them about his goals for 08/09.  The next work session will be in November and the next quarterly meeting will be in December. 

Human Resources Report:  Phil Gniot went over some recent events, stating he would concentrate primarily on the health care for 08/09.  He talked about the strategic objectives for the last couple of years, the strategy in terms of how we got there, what our previous milestones had been, and what the 2009 health care plan recommendations were for this coming year; however, no numbers were available.  The existing health care plan with Humana will be kept.  There will be no changes in these programs.  An Active Wellness program will be introduced for 08/09.  There will be a “point system” that will operate with some quarterly rewards.  It is designed to build up a certain number of points by a range of different activities that will, hopefully in 2010, help employees get some additional discounts in their insurance premium.  For example, an employee would get points for exercise.  There will be an additional plan called the “High Deductible” plan.  He stated they would like to establish a more reasonable limit on the HRA as some accounts are getting quite large.  As it is structured currently, when an employee leaves the university, the accounts don’t end.  The contribution into the account ends but the liability stays there.  It is beginning to build to where we are going to have to do something such as creating a trust or something like that to take care of it.  Suzanne Hogge has done some research regarding what other places of employment do in a similar situation.  She found that most places with HRAs, including universities, the HRA doesn’t carry forward when the employee leaves the company.  She found that some institutions extend the HRA for about 12 months.  P. Gnoit is recommending that when someone leaves the university, they be given 18 months to use up their balance.  The rationale is that this is similar to the continuation rights under COBRA.  The HRA balance can be used to pay premiums for COBRA or other medical expenses.  The plans will remain the same.  There will be no increase in cost for the Delta Dental plans.  There will be a Healthy Body feature added to the plans.  This will consist of one additional free cleaning.  He then turned over the remaining explanation of the High Deductible Health Plan to Dan Markwell.  A handout was given to everyone.  This plan has an individual deductible of $2,500 but pays 100% after the deductible is paid.  The exception is that preventative care is 100%.  Pharmacy and medical costs are integrated into the $2,500 deductible.  There are no separate co-pays.  Family deductible is $5,000.  The employee cost will be less for this plan.  Human Resources will introduce an HSA (Health Savings Account) in 2009 but it will not be implemented until 2010. An employee can put money into an HSA to cover the cost of the higher deductible, whereas, if you put money into a FSA (Flexible Spending Account), you lose the FSA money if you don’t use it by the end of the year.   P. Gniot stated that Open Enrollment this year will be the first three weeks in November.  Information packets will be mailed out the end of October.  J. Hunsucker stated that in his duties as HRA auditor, he noticed that, in some accounts, people have never spent any money out of their HRA accounts.   He asked what would happen to the money if an employee left MSU.  P. Gnoit replied that, if those people left MSU employment, Process Works would send out notification that they had  X dollars in their HRA and that they would have 18 months to use it.  T. Thacker asked what happened to the employee’s HRA if they changed to their spouse’s insurance.  P. Gniot stated that they would still have 18 months to use the HRA.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

Old Business:  None.

New Business:  J. Pace stated that at the bottom of each set of Minutes, there will be a chart showing where a committee is with a particular issue.  T. Thacker asked if there would be any University Games this year.  M. LaFontaine replied there would be University Games held. 

Discussion:  None.

Announcements:  The Bowing Team will be having their next steak dinner on Tuesday, October 14th from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm at the Carl Perkins Center.  The cost is $7.00 in advance for a ticket.  If you want delivery or want to pay at the door, the cost is $8.00.  If you want to contact someone about a steak dinner, is their website or you can contact her.  If you want to call the bowling manager, Eric Spurlock, you can call 783-9579.  P. James stated that Homecoming is next weekend.  The parade will kick off the events on Thursday at 6:00 through Main Street.  Friday will be Blue/Gold Day on campus.  In the community, some of the downtown store fronts will be decorating with blue and gold.  Friday is the welcome reception and everyone is encouraged to attend.  It begins at 5:00 pm on the 3rd floor of ADUC.  The Alumni Hall of Fame Banquet begins at 7:00 pm.  Three people will be inducted into the Hall of Fame:  George Kerr, Physicist; Joyce LeMaster, Emeritus Associate Professor of MSU, and Lisa Palace, who is a singer/songwriter/actress.  The cost for the banquet is $18.00.  On Saturday, there will be a Tailgate by the AAC.  It is free and co-sponsored by Student Activities and the Alumni Association.  There are many other events that can be found on the Alumni website under the Events module.  The Black Gospel Ensemble is having their 40th Anniversary over this weekend and will have their concert on Saturday at 8:00 pm in the Duncan Recital Hall.  R. Crisp announced that tomorrow is the Fall Career Fair at which they have 53 organizations scheduled to attend from 10:00 – 1:00 in the Crager Room.  M. LaFontaine stated that the Residence Halls, Wellness Center, Aquatics and Laughlin Health Building will all be open during the Fall Break.  People should check with each site for specific hours.  T. White said to be sure to check with the Wellness Center as carpet repairs are scheduled to be made during the Fall Break.  The next Staff Congress meeting is November 3rd. 


To adjourn.


Proposed:  M. Williams

Seconded:  A. Moore

Called for Vote:


Minutes submitted by:  Rhonda Mackin, Secretary








Staff Assessment on SC

Kevin Koett/Joel Pace

April, 2009


Direct Deposit of Staff Tuition Billing

Shannon Harr


Deadlines prevent this from being effective.