Staff Congress
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September 14, 2009


Jeff Adkins*

Craig Dennis

Kevin Koett

Rebecca McGinnis

Joel Pace


Becki Alfrey

Shannon Harr

Margaret LaFontaine

Tina McWain*

Jessica Roe


Ed Beam*

Jami Hornbuckle

Rhonda Mackin

Brooke Mills*

William Salazar


Lauren Buck

Joe Hunsucker*

Jill McBride

Amy Moore

Mark Stidam*


Lisa Caskey*

Phillip James

Paige McDaniel

April Nutter

Todd Thacker*


Rhonda Crisp




Barbara Willoughby*


*Denotes member was absent.


Phil Gniot, Director of Human Resources

Mike Walters, Vice President of Administration & Fiscal Services/ Staff Congress Liaison

Dr. Royal Berglee, Faculty Senate Chair


CHAIR Pace introduced new members in attendance, J. Hornbuckle, B. Alfrey, J. Roe.  He charged new members with the duties involved with being a member of staff congress. Mentioned that new members are required to attend all meetings and represent your constituents. There is an attendance policy that members are required to adhere to.  CHAIR Pace also reminded new members to pick up a SC pin and expressed thanks to K. Koett for making appointments.

Chair Pace also welcomed Guests, Royal Berglee, Mike Walters and Phil Gniot.  After the minutes were approved, with changes, the meeting was suspended so that President Wayne Andrews could address the members.

Dr. Andrews began by asking if everyone is doing well and thanked SC for the opportunity to come and speak. 

Dr. Andrews stated that Joel had asked him to come and speak on Shared Governance and he indicated that he would also speak about some other things that the members might want to be involved in this year.  Dr. Andrews indicated that he had the opportunity to speak to Faculty Senate two weeks ago to share his views on shared governance.  Dr. Andrews harkened back to the history of MSU, when shared governance was an idea and where the idea came from and what it has evolved into. Other universities, like MSU, started with one mission, with evolution occurring as we became a regional institution.  He stated that Adrian Doran was president here for 23 years from 1954-1977.  He was the last Imperial President…ruled by command and control.  President Doran used the phrase “the bus goes east and the bus goes west,” “and if you don’t like being an employee here at MSU, then feel free to get a one of these busses and head out of town”.  This in a nutshell characterized an Imperial President.  Dr. Andrews stated that this era came to an end in 1977, and as it was coming to an end Dr. Doran began to understand that the faculty needed to have a voice in the institution.  Dr. Andrews went on to say that Dr. Doran created a university senate, where information could be shared but it was not governing body.  After Dr. Doran’s retirement, the two next presidents worked to create faculty senate and staff congress, which all occurred between the years 1977-1986. Dr Andrews characterized this as such…”if you are in a situation where you have no power or authority and some if offered to you, you are going to take it”. He said that the window had opened and it created a ‘we’ vs.’ they’ situation.  This can be seen in the beginning documents of these two groups, particularly for the faculty senate, Dr. Andrews stated.

Dr. Andrews stated that we are now in 21st century and we have to determine how to define the values of shared governance today and how it can be used to move the institution forward.  Dr Andrews indicated that some don’t like the idea of a corporate identity at an institution where the president viewed as the C.E.O.  Dr. Andrews believes that we have evolved past that view and the reason that most faculty and staff are content on campus is because they believe that their voices can be heard thorough legitimate avenues and there are procedures and systems for re-dress. He state that if things don’t  go as we, the employees,  think they should, then there are ways to address those issues that make sense from a Democratic point of view.  Dr. Andrews indicated that he thinks most employees are comfortable with where we are, but we still have some weaknesses still to explore as we go forward. 

Despite our gains, Dr. Andrews stated, there is still some we/they talk and the University as a whole needs to look at how to become more and more “we”.  What Dr. Andrews says the administration has tried to do at the top is to flatten the organization be reducing the number of vice presidents.  Dr. Andrews indicated that when he came to MSU, there were six vice presidents and now there are five.  As times goes on that number will continue to be reduced.  Dr. Andrews stated that the administration has tried to centralize some departments, and he said the way the University manages people and resources is to relieve faculty of the burden of doing some of that kind of work.  He also stated that we as an institution are continuing to evolve. 

Dr. Andrews asked what we and an institution should do today.  He asked what is the institution doing and what is the vision that we have articulated?  He asked what the mission of the University is, and a member commented that the vision is to be the best public institution in the South.   This vision, stated Dr. Andrews, has been articulated in all of our publications and the University is serious about this vision.  Dr. Andrews indicated that some would argue that the rating by U.S. News & World Report is merely a beauty contest, and he is aware of all that, but he believes in the notion that without a vision the institution will perish. Dr. Andrews stated that his idea of a vision is to put ideas out there that are lofty and that show some imagination, and enables us to say to one another that we could be the best.  In fact, Dr. Andrews stated that there are some programs that MSU currently has that are as good as any public regional university, and some are better than many.  If you want to go to medical school, dental school, or pharmacy school, you could go to a lot of other schools, but if you come to MSU and succeed in our programs, your chance of admission to the next level school are over 80 percent.   Dr. Andrews also stated that MSU’s College of Education is a very good college of education, MSU’s Nursing program has become a very good program, and MSU’s Master’s of Public Administration is a top program.  Dr. Andrews said that we have already made progress toward reaching our vision.  The nature of our business is our Mission and Values…people come first. Dr. Andrews stated that the Board of Regents approved our mission that states that people are our most important asset.  At the end of the day, Dr. Andrews stated, people come first.  Smile…MSU is doing well. Dr. Andrews asked the SC members if it is as good as it can be.  He stated that the answer is no…Dr. Andrews asked if we could do better?  His answer is absolutely, but we have done well because we make sure that people come first.  

Dr. Andrews said that if you look back over his time at MSU, which will be 5 years in January, 2010, there has been a 12% raise pool for our employees. Yes, that is good, Dr. Andrews stated.  Dr. Andrews was speaking with the President of East Tennessee State University earlier today and they have had their General Fund had been reduced by 25 percent over the past two years and the Governor of Tennessee called East Tennessee State’s President  this morning and told him to plan for another  6 percent reduction for this next year.  Dr. Andrews says that MSU would have a difficult time coping with that type of reduction in state funds.  That type of reduction would mean layoffs at MSU. 

Dr. Andrews asked the members how much their health insurance premium has increased over the past year.  Zero percent was the answer.  Dr. Andrews reported that the University absorbed a half a million dollars to cover the increase, and why? Because we, the Cabinet, state that people come first.  Dr. Andrews indicated that there is a lot to talk about what is going on at MSU. He stated that he is open to new ideas, and encourages others to speak out as to what is going well and what is not so good.  Dr. Andrews reported that the strategic plan also has a set of goals and there will be an update this Thursday with the Board of Regents and there will be a planning session on September 30th.  The goal will be to look at the plan and to plan for the future.  Dr. Andrews said that having a plan has allowed the University to remain focused and to move forward.  Dr. Andrews asked the members if the campus looks good.  He said that the campus looks good because we have said to our people that we want the campus to look good and we want a healthy and clean environment in which to work. 

Dr. Andrews also commented on acquiring additional infrastructure, on increasing enrollment and retention rates and on the improvements in residence halls, academic programs, and the academic reo-organization.  All of these improvements, Dr. Andrews stated, are to promote our most important goal, student success. 

Dr. Andrews transitioned onto what MSU now needs to focus on and this includes four major areas; Access, Affordability, Accountability and Transparency.   Dr. Andrews explained these areas as follows:

1).  Access – who gets to come to college.  MSU serves 22 counties in KY with 80% enrollment coming from the 22 counties we serve and some of those counties are really struggling. Some have a 25% unemployment rate.  Dr. Andrews stated that it is hard to think about sending your child to college if you have not had a job in a long time with no future prospects. He went on to comment that 52% of our students qualify for a full Pell grant. 

2). Affordability – MSU’s tuition has gone up  25-30% or so in 4 years.  These increases have taken place because State funding has been reduced, but Dr. Andrews still wants employees to receive raises.  Dr. Andrews indicated that Access & Affordability go hand in hand.  Dr. Andrews went on to say that more than 90% of students are on some form of aid that they will not have to pay it back. Also a significant number of our students do not pay anything for tuition and that is because we serve a lot of poor people, but despite that, having to pay tuition can be daunting.  Dr. Andrews reported that the new tuition model put in place last year seems to be working well because it rewards the student and it encourages them to take and complete more classes per semester.  There is a 70% discount for those taking over 15 hours. Dr. Andrews stated that there is a lot of completion in the marketplace and there are private Propriety institutions that are doing well, despite the cost.  These types of institutions package programs well for the working professional.  The University of Phoenix is on top as far as quality. 20 years ago this university was a fly by night institution and now they are SACS accredited, and have an active alumni association.  All of this is consumer-driven.  Last year MSU saw an increase in online participation of 27 percent.  Dr. Andrews stated that we need to determine how we make sure the quality of online classes are the same if not better than face to face classes. 

3).  Accountability – Dr. Andrews was in Bowling Green at a CPE meeting recently.  He stated that MSU must pay attention to retention rates and graduation rates.  He asked what are the success rates of our freshman courses.  What about classes like PSY 154 – there is only a 50% pass rate by freshmen.  The board members are beginning to hear from general public folks, they want to know how the university is spending their money.  What is the productivity of our faculty and what are the student success metrics that MSU is paying attention to?  All of these questions are very important, said Dr. Andrews.

4).  Transparency – to reveal a plan.  Dr. Andrews stated that we are all stakeholders, and we need to figure out where we are going to put our attention each year.  Right now, the most important place to put our attention is on academic success.  There has been a major shift to bring together these student success areas, including advisement, remediation, and student life.  It is more than just supporting “stuff”. If that is all you do, then you don’t have a mission.  The non-academic units do a lot, but what those units do need to have is an academic focus.  Everything students do should have an educational component at MSU.

Dr. Andrews asked what about IT/Telecom/ and other service areas?  He said that these employees need to be sure that the student has your full attention.  We all need to help students stay on track to be successful. Dr. Andrews discussed a book on “How Disney Does It’s Business”.  – He stated that we need to remember that our competition is anyone who the customer compares us to.  Student Success is the most important thing MSU should focus on.  How do we do it?  Staff Professional Development is a great idea. PD should be focused – books to buy, read, & discuss.  He asked what model should we choose?  Disney, etc….No one should fall through the cracks.  He said that MSU is not organized that way, but it doesn’t mean we can’t be. 

Dr. Andrews went on to state that SC has done a lot of work the past few years, like revising the constitution and bylaws, and focused energy on going green. Dr. Andrews want SC to focus on student support as well. 

Dr. Andrews suggested that SC come up with one or two things that we as a group can do to impact campus.  We should look to partner with faculty Senate.  Dr. Andrews stated that if we are able to keep the students in school that we recruit, it will affect our bottom line.  Dr. Andrews reported that retention was 67% fall to fall 2008.  That meant that out of 10 students, 3.3 students didn’t come back in the fall.  Dr. Andrews asked if that was  acceptable? 

Dr. Andrews reported that this fall, retention rates were 73.5%    He stated that we have created an Early Alert system which allows us to take action on students who may be having issues.  If we wait until we notice that the students is gone, then it is usually too late to do anything to get them back.  There is also the new E-Advising component. Dr. Andrews stated that we need to be sure that we do everything at a high level with integrity….to focus and serve the students.  He is not talking about giving a student an unearned grade.  He wants us to help students learn and focus on their education and to show an interest in their success. 

Dr. Andrews wants SC to pick out something that needs improvement….customer service is not as fully developed as it should be.  Based on the number of complaints he receives in the President’s office, we are not doing all we can from a customer service perspective.  Going green – be better environmental stewards on campus. 

Dr. Andrews stated that we recognize that life does get in the way of our students, but the goal to graduate every student.  He stated that this is “A doable do.”  Our 6 yr. graduation rate is 4 in 10 students.   Dr. Andrews said that is not a good number and he will not be happy until we get to 10 in 10, but he will be happy if we get 7 in 10, or 8 in 10 over the next few years.  


Dr. Andrews fielded a series of questions from the members ranging from customer service, marketing, ways to attract higher-achieving students, probation processes.  Dr. Andrews stated that Dr. Dayna Seelig looked at the probation processes and found that students were being let back easier.  This caused a large pool of students who were not making academic progress.  A review was done and a group of students were academically dismissed because of this.  As a result our enrollment flattened, with the loss of 150-200 students. 

Dr. Andrews reported that our fall 2009 numbers should fall around 9000.  In order to increase our enrollment, we should utilize the most important marketing tool, which is to market academic programs. He also stated that the faculty mentoring is seen as being very important to prospective students and their families as well as safety.  Price falls fourth or fifth on the list.  Dr. Andrews stated that MSU has started to re-frame our marketing to focus on the success of our students.  We should push hard to recruit international and diverse students to make our campus more diverse.  There will be an RFP done to look at our marketing opportunities to enable us to attract more students.  Another reason why enrollment has dropped is that the academic index was raised.  That eliminated some 150 students from being admitted.  We knew we were losing these students, but the data showed that those students were not being successful and were dropping out, stated Dr. Andrews. 

Dr. Andrews also indicated that we need to hold these students accountable.  They must meet with their advisor and document their forward progress.  He also indicated that our Graduate programs have a huge opportunity for growth, as we seem to have lost ground to some other institutions lately. We should begin to see a revival in that area in the future. 

Finally, Dr. Andrews stated that our enrollment should be 12,000. There are enough students in this area that need a college education.  He stated that for the first time in the history of higher education in the United States, the generation of current students is smaller than their parents’ generation.  This means that there are fewer young people who are getting a college education than those who are already educated. We are going in the wrong direction.   MSU needs to look at ways to help our community through education. 

CHAIR Pace thanked Dr. Andrews for addressing Staff Congress and told the members to have a great year. 

SC now moved back into meeting. 


To approve the minutes from the August 4, 2009 meeting.


Proposed:  P. James

Seconded:  W. Salazar

Called for Vote:

Vote was taken and motion passed with corrections noted by R. Mackin.  The new appointees’ term will be a 1 year term ending on June 30, 2010.    

Chair's Report

CHAIR Pace indicated that progress had been made on green committee.  Ann Rathbun is coordinating efforts from Faculty senate and SGA will be identifying a representative as well.

Professional Development day – CHAIR Pace indicated that an email went out for a SNAP survey.  The survey was open for 48 hours and there were 180 responses.  He indicated that he was pleased with the response.  The Executive Committee looked at what was wanted by the campus.  Trends included:

Team building, Presentations, Customer Service, &  Technology –   Outlook/Datatel

CHAIR Pace stated that the survey asked respondents to indicate what might prevent people from attending was lack of supervisor support.  To remedy this, Pace shared this information with President’s Council and asked them to encourage their employees to attend.

CHAIR Pace stated that the survey results will be shared with HR and the committee and it will be posted on SC webpage.

Questions /comments about the PD event  included:

A.      A. Nutter – asked if there would be any incentives or options for those in Career ladders. 

B.      CHAIR Pace indicated that comments were solicited via the survey.  There seemed to be a big push for customer service as a topic.  Pace mentioned that former  SC member R. Hinton had done all of the telephone etiquette sessions in the past, but the survey results showed a demand to look outside of the institution for presenters.  A. Nutter mentioned including an email etiquette class.

C.      CHAIR Pace stated that we would see how the PD Day goes in fall, and it could become an on-going event for each semester. 

D.      A. Moore wanted to stress that supervisor support needs to be obtained for the event to be successful.

E.       M. LaFontaine stated that she was one who indicated on the survey that she would not attend event due to a white-water rafting event for students.

F.       There was concern that First Year Programs was having a session on October 8th, but that was solved because CHAIR Pace stated that SC will be partnering with First Year Programs and one of the sessions will include their speaker, who will address developmental education. 


Other sessions will include:

1). How to give a presentation- looking for those who give a good presentation.  CHAIR Pace asked SC members to let him know who is good in this area.  

2).  Customer Service – looking for the best customer service, here or off campus.  CHAIR Pace wants to know what SC members think.

A. Nutter mentioned that good customer service is stalled because students are sent to the wrong places.  She suggested that all employees utilize the A-Z index more often.  Find out for the student where they need to go, don’t just send them somewhere to get rid of them.

3).  Fiscal/Debt management – to be given my CHAIR Pace

4).  Team building – outside presenter. 

CHAIR Pace commented on the Staff Congress Office – He stated that SC has been in existence for 21 years and the office houses 22 years worth of stuff. Some chairs kept everything, a lot of historical information.  Archives will be kept, but need ad hoc committee to find out archival rules.  Found among the materials were floppy disks and zip disks. 

CHAIR Pace indicated that he would be creating an Archival Committee – a group to work the Library archivist on proper training. He stated a need to re-organize things to be able to find needed items in a timely manner.  CHAIR Pace asked for volunteers for this long-term project. 

Vice-Chair’s Report

R. McGinnis reported that she has added new members to website that were voted in at last meeting. She asked to please double-check to see that your name is spelled correctly.  She stated that the new members have been assigned to a committee.  On the Credential & Elections Committee added   S. McGlone, J. Roe & M. Stiham C. Dennis.  Staff Issues added B. Alfrey and J. Hornbuckle and on Personnel Policies added C. Dennis.

 R. McGinnis thanked  President  and Ms. Andrews for hosting picnic.  442 checked into table and went to picnic.  She indicated that the President was pleased and felt that the event was very successful.  She also thanked units who provided give-aways:  University Bookstore, Communications & Marketing, Alumni, Enrollment Services, coaches Tindell and Ballard, and J. Pace provided some items from MSU at Ashland. 


Secretary's Report

J. McBride reported that the current supply budget was $2925.    

Committee Reports

Elections & Credentials

K. Koett welcomed the new members. He stated that there were still Issues with service/maint.  He reported that M. Stidam is working midnight shift and he has not been able to reach S. McGlone about the appointment.  He indicated that the committee will continue to work to fill these empty positions. 


Staff Issues

S. Harr indicated that when the standing appointments were made the committee inadvertently left off a spot on the Student Disciplinary Committee.  He stated that the committee has placed Sheila Barber Student Disciplinary Committee.  S. Harr also recommended that a Sub-committee be put together to look at attendance of SC members. 


Personnel Policies and Benefits

A.    A. Moore reported that their committee was still trying to get employee benefits together  and have been working on getting faculty appointments together by working with Beverly Klecker to identify members.  A. Moore indicated that she is currently chairing this committee this year.    _______________________________________

Regent's Report:
  CHAIR Pace indicated that Terry White was at a facilities training today.  According to the President, the Board of Regents just completed a training session and there is a Board meeting at the end of the month. 

Human Resources Report:  P. Gniot reported that there would be more to talk about at the next meeting regarding benefits.  He stated that at the end of the month there would be an OHR Satisfaction survey – more info out at end of month on benefits for upcoming open enrollment period.  

Old Business:   None.

New Business:   S. Harr called for a motion to appoint S. Barber to the Student Disciplinary Committee.  There was no need for a second and there was no discussion. All members were in favor.  None opposed.  The motion carried.  

Announcements:  Chair Pace - Strategic Planning Meeting Date – to expand and re-focus Strategic goals.  SC members will receive information on retreat on 9/30 – 10:30 – 2:30 p.m.  Please RSVP in a timely manner. BOR meeting will be meeting before the retreat.  

CHAIR Pace stated that there is an outside vendor to perform Presidential evaluation. There will be representation from Staff Congress as well as a campus-wide opportunity to submit comments.  Walters stated that this is the first time there has been an evaluation process for President Andrews.  The outside vendor will meet with the BOR on 9/30 and will select at random faculty and staff to ask questions and solicit feedback.

R. Crisp – Career Services has moved as of last week.  They are now located across from Baird Music Hall, formerly the Bell House.  Also, 10/6 –  Career Fair – please encourage students to dress professionally, visit the website  to see what vendors are coming.  There will also be a Resume Blitz – 9/23 & 10/2.  Contact Career Services for more information.

A. Nutter stated that there will be two Open Houses, on 10/3 & 11/7.

M. LaFountaine reported on the University Games Bowling- Provosts group beat Facilities group. She also mentioned that the 5K 1 mile walk will be this Saturday and on 9/22 –  3 on 3 basketball and skills shots events will take place.

S. Harr encouraged others to attend the 5K and 1mile walk on Saturday and to have fun walking around the beautiful campus. 


To adjourn.


Proposed:  W. Salazar

Seconded:  R. Mackin

Called for Vote:

Passed.  Meeting adjourned at 2:31 p.m.

Minutes submitted by:  Jill McBride, Secretary