Staff Congress
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MOREHEAD STATE UNIVERSITY

STAFF CONGRESS MINUTES

April 4, 2005

MEMBERS:

Darlene Allen Rhonda Crisp *David Jessie Rhonda Mackin Belva Sammons *Willis Taylor
*Ed Beam Ray Crum Linda Kegley Amy Moore Dallas Sammons Cindy Thompson
Lisa Caskey Kim Fultz *Donna King Pam Moore Rhonda Sloan Jonell Tobin
Joy Cecil Phillip James M. LaFontaine April Nutter Doug Snedegar Terry White
Gaylena Cline Kristie Jenkins Jeffrey Liles Darlene Ramey Stephanie Stewart *Elizabeth Williams

*Denotes member was absent

Guests: Dr. Wayne Andrews, President, Morehead State University; Mike Walters, Vice-President for Administration and Fiscal Affairs; Gene Caudill, Staff Regent & Director of Physical Plant; Roger Barker, Director of Human Resources; Lora Pace, First Year Program & Retention Director; and Jerome Stephens, Student Activities Coordinator

Vice-Chair Tobin called the meeting to order at 1:00 p.m.  A quorum was present.  

Vice-Chair Tobin suspended the meeting for Dr. Andrews to address Staff Congress. 

Dr. Andrews started out by saying that he appreciated all of the hard work that Staff Congress does.  He stated that staff is usually behind the scenes and are not always recognized like they should be.  He continued to discussed with  the budget for next year stating the new money being award to MSU from state appropriations and a 12% increase in tuition, MSU will receive $7 million additional dollars for operating expenses in the 2005/2006 year.  Dr. Andrews announced that faculty/staff will be receiving a four percent salary increase for the coming year.  Three percent of the salary increase will be given across-the-board and the other one percent will be given in merit pay.  Dr. Andrews also stated that the university was looking at the possibility of helping those individuals who earn below $20,000. 

Dr. Andrews continued to discuss the 12 percent tuition increase saying that MSU is still lower than other benchmark institutions.  He also stated that in 2005 the state will be giving families a $500 tax incentive for families with college students and that there would also be a $1,500 incentive from the federal government.  Dr. Andrews indicated that the university needed to make academic improvements by enhancing scholarships to attract top students that the university has been unable to obtain.  Dr. Andrews then opened the floor up for questions.

Lora Pace asked if Dr. Andrews had been able to look at the staff performance evaluations since arriving on campus.  Dr. Andrews said he had not.  However, Dr. Andrews stated that he was a firm believer in merit pay based on employees' evaluations..  He is aware that all of us perform better at some times than other times.  Merit pay gives most employees the incentive to perform well at all times.

Rep. A. Moore asked if Dr. Andrews was committed to health care initiatives, and also if the increase to insurance premiums was eight percent, was the university still willing to cover the entire increase?  Dr. Andrews replied yes, he is very committed to health care.  However he went on to state that as far as health insurance premiums goes the university will cover the majority of the cost but the employees may still see some increase for the coming year.  He stated that we will not know until September or October if there will be any increases to the health insurance premiums.  He stated that employees on campus could do three things that would help to keep the university's health care cost down:  1.  don't smoke, 2.  eat properly, and 3.  exercise more.  He stated that the biggest health care cost the university has is for pharmaceuticals.

Regent Caudill asked what the status was for a student recreation center that students on campus have been requesting.  Rep. LaFontaine stated that she and a group of students had traveled to other universities to see what types of recreation facilities they had.  They saw some good things and they saw some bad things on their trips.  Dr. Andrews stated that students would like for the university to build a recreation center.  He said that campuses that have invested in high quality recreation centers have done well recruiting students.  He said that most of the cost for a recreation center would be borne by the students.

Vice-Chair Tobin asked if the university had considered increasing the rate for reimbursement on mileage, especially with the increase in gas prices.  Vice-President Walters stated that the university has followed the state's rate of 32 cents per mile.  He will look to see what the state has been doing to see if the university needs to be increasing their rate for the coming year.

Regent Caudill asked Dr. Andrews to discuss the rumor that the university may be doing away with Christmas break and Spring break next year.  Dr. Andrews stated this is just a rumor, that there is not a plan to do away with either of these two breaks. 

Rep. Stewart asked Dr. Andrews if he was happy being at MSU.  Dr. Andrews stated that he has been delighted.  He said that this is a really good place to be.  He stated that he has been warmly received since moving here. 

Lora Pace asked Dr. Andrews how had the academic departmental meetings have been going and when was he planning on visiting with non-academic departments.  Dr. Andrews stated that he had met with 19 out of 20 academic department and he is getting ready to start scheduling meeting with the non-academic departments.  He said that he was looking forward to visiting with administrative units.  He said that with the academic departments he has asked three major questions:  1.  Are there some things that you would like to do as a unit that would make this a better place for students?  2.  What have been barriers of improvement?  and 3.  What are you most proud of accomplishing as a department?  Dr. Andrews continued that from these meetings he has discovered that departments are proud of their students and academic programs.  He stated that this is a school that cares very much for its students.  However, he has also discovered that there are some things we could improve such as how we do business with students and their families.  He stated that we need to improve our processes, for example, when students can add/drop classes and when to pay fees.

Rep. Liles asked Dr. Andrews to tell Congress members about communication plans that had been discusses.  Dr. Andrews stated that with any large organization there are always going to be problems with communicating.  He is planning to develop a newsletter that will be sent to everyone on campus on a regular basis.  He stated that he has already expanded the President's council to include members of Faculty Senate, Staff Congress, student groups and administrative units.  He said that he will be taking more advantage of the telephone broadcast capabilities.  He said that we will have no secrets and that he will share information when  time is appropriate.

Rep. Liles asked Dr. Andrews to discuss the investiture that will be taking place in May.  Dr. Andrews said there would be an investiture for him on Friday, May 13 in ADUC.  He indicated that this would be a simple ceremony to install him as the 13th president of Morehead State University.  He said that faculty, staff, students, regents and higher education representatives have been sent invitations to attend the investiture.  He said that 400-500 people may be in attendance.  There will be a lunch served after the ceremony followed by a public reception.  Vice-President Walters stated that this will be an open ceremony which will take place in the Crager Room.  He said that overflow facilities will be available and that it will be streamed live on the web.  Vice-President Walters said that all Staff Congress members are being asked to participate and they will receive a formal invitation within the next few weeks.  VP Walters said that Congress members will need to provide their height, weight and degrees received so a cap and gown can be ordered for them to wear.  Vice-Chair Tobin told Dr. Andrews that it was very considerate and commendable that Staff Congress had been included in the investiture ceremony.

Vice-Chair Tobin asked Dr. Andrews to discuss his vision for the university and if he has any new initiatives for this coming year.  Dr. Andrews replied that initiatives will have to emerge from within the university.  He would like to see items completed that should of been done but for some reason have not.  He would like for the university to focus its energy on making our academic programs excellent.  He would also like for the university to work on how we recruit students.  He would also like to see a change in the learning environment that we present to our students.  He continued, that most students do not leave school because they are failing they leave for other reasons that are making them unhappy were they are.  He wants our campus to be beautiful for students.  He gave as an example, the litter problem on campus.  He stated that it costs roughly $25,000 a year to keep trashed picked up on campus.  Dr. Andrews also discussed that several residence halls are old and need renovating or demolished.  He said that the newest residence hall was built in 1969.  He said that the university has a great reputation and history.  He stated that we have 50,000 alumni, most of whom have highly successful jobs thanks, to the education they received from MSU.  He stated that we needed to talk about our successful alumni more, we need to brag on ourselves more.

Brad Bennington asked Dr. Andrews about transfer students.  Dr. Andrews replied that we needed to recruit transfer students more than we have in the past.  He also stated that we need to develop scholarships for transfer students and to expand our scope of the out-of-state tuition program.  Rep. Liles added that the university has added specific transfer programs that allows these students to qualify for any scholarship offered on  campus now.

Dr. Andrews ended by thanking Staff Congress for inviting him to this meeting and that he would attend any meeting, when invited, in the future.

Motion: To approve the March 7, 2005 meeting minutes.
  Proposed:  Rep. Cecil Seconded:  Rep. Thompson
Called for Vote: Motion was passed with corrections on the first page.  Fields Hall should read Waterfield Hall.

 

Chair's Report No report.
Vice-Chair's Report Vice-Chair Tobin reported that the Executive Council had met to prepare for today's meeting.  Vice-Chair Tobin also reported that Chair Jessie notified Executive Council about the invitation to Dr. Andrews' investiture on May 13 and that she and Chair Jessie encouraged everyone to attend and participate.
Secretary's Report Secretary Caskey reported the following expenses for the month of March:  $62.06 on refreshments, $144.40 on Staff Congress election nomination notices, and $20.20 on Staff Congress Election nominations reminder cards, leaving a balance of $1,868.28.  Secretary Caskey also announced that Staff Congress sent flowers to services for Larry Stephenson's wife.  Larry Stephenson was the person responsible for developing Staff Congress at MSU.

 

Committee Reports

Credentials and Elections Rep. LaFontaine reported that Staff Congress nominations were now closed.  There are 12 candidates for three at-large seats, seven candidates for the two non-faculty professional seats, five candidates for the two secretary/clerical seats, and two candidates for the one service/maintenance seat.  There were no candidates for the skill crafts vacancies.  Rep. LaFontaine also reported that sample ballots have been distributed and should be in mailboxes today or tomorrow.  She also announced that since as she will be running for her seat again, Rep. Snedegar will be overseeing absentee ballots and the election this year.  She announced reported that Staff Congress elections will be held on Wednesday, May 18th.
University Standing Appointments No report.
Fiscal Affairs No report.
Personnel Policies and Benefits No report.


Old Business
 

No old business was brought forth.

New Business 

No new business was brought forth.

Discussion

Vice-Chair Tobin asked Roger Barker if he could tell us anything about next year's health plan.  Roger Barker responded that he did not know anything at this time to discuss with Staff Congress.  He said that there was nothing negative to report and that plans are going as expected for this time of year.

Regent's Report  - No report.

Announcements

Jerome Stephens announced that if anyone would like to make a donation to the University in memory of Larry Stephenson's wife Kay, to make their donation to Student Government, Larry Stephenson's Scholarship program.  Scholarship is based on need and each student awarded a scholarship from this fund will receive $1,000.  Applications are on-line for students to complete.

Rep. James announced that the Spring Gala is April 30.  He also announced that the silent auction for the gala will be open the week prior to gala.  There are 30 items that will remain open through out the auction.  Auction deadline is April 11.

Rep. P. Moore announced that there will be a SOAR on Saturday, April 23 in ADUC.

Rep. B. Sammons announced that pre-registration for fall and summer terms will be taking place April 14-17.

Regent Caudill announced that the air conditioning will be turned on May 1st.

Rep. B. Sammons announced that Rep. Cecil will be graduating with a bachelors degree at the May commencement.  Staff Congress congratulated her on her achievement.

Meeting was adjourned at 2:00 p.m.

Minutes submitted by:  Lisa Caskey, Secretary