Staff Congress
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MAY 1, 2006


Ed Beam Shannon Harr Donna King Pam Moore *Doug Snedegar Terry White
Lisa Caskey R. Hinton M. LaFontaine April Nutter *S. Stewart E. Williams
Rhonda Crisp Phillip James Jeffrey Liles Darlene Ramey Todd Thacker Kristie Williams
*Ray Crum David Jessie Rhonda Mackin William Salazar C. Thompson
*L. Hammond *Linda Kegley Amy Moore Dallas Sammons Jonell Tobin

*Denotes member was absent

Guests: Gene Caudill-Staff Regent & Director of Physical Plant, Candidates for Representative or Regent in the upcoming election:  Lonnie Morris, Kevin Shelton, Shannon Colvin, Laraissa Davis, Lora Pace, Lisa Adkins, & Marquita Bear

Chair Jessie called the meeting to order at 1:03 p.m.  A quorum was present.  Guests were welcomed.

Motion: To approve the April 3, 2006 minutes as submitted
  Proposed:  Rep. Caskey Seconded:  Rep. Thompson
Called for Vote: Passed


Motion: To approve the April 24, 2006 minutes as submitted
  Proposed:  Rep. James Seconded:  Rep. LaFontaine
Called for Vote: Passed


Chair's Report Chair Jessie reported that he met with VP Walters on the two proposals we had pending with the cabinet and also received email from him.  VP Walters informed him in the email that the two proposals were discussed at the cabinet meeting on April 24.  Neither proposal will be implemented this year.  After checking with other schools in the state, it appears that we are one of the few schools that offers an educational bonus or salary adjustment.  The only state school responding was WKU and our educational bonus/salary adjustment scale is very comparable to theirs.  Also, they need additional information to discuss further the retiree waiver program.  VP Walters will work with Staff Congress and internal offices on campus to quantify the potential use of the waiver program in the future.

The President's Council met on Wednesday, April 26.  The agenda included the Aspiring to Greatness Strategic Plan, a presentation by Jeffrey Liles on the University Marketing Plan, a presentation on the Technology Plan by Beth Patrick, and a presentation on Professional Development School Partnerships by Dean Gunn. 

Chair Jessie asked Rep. Liles to explain the Marketing Plan that was submitted to the President's Council.  Rep. Liles explained that the revised draft of the strategic plan which incorporated comments has been posted on the Web site.  It is still a draft.  It will go to the Board of Regents in May and will hopefully be approved in June.  The Marketing Plan is a subset of the Strategic Plan.  The Marketing Plan basically identifies what we are trying to accomplish with our recruitment and retention efforts for key audiences.  The 'Complete Success' effort has been pushed heavily recently and is a part of the Marketing Plan.  The KCTCS students and graduates are a very significant audience.  If you look at where the institution as whole is going to go, increasing our first-time Freshman number is not going to get us there.  We're going to have to get other adults involved.  At the regional campuses there are specific goals to increase adult learners through various programs.  For example at Montgomery County, they are going to offer a nursing program as a new way to generate new students coming to the university who could not come here other ways.  We will focus on traditional age students, but those 'completer degrees' is a way for students to get access to educational programs here without having to give up their jobs.  Rep. Liles thanked Chair Jessie for the opportunity to explain the Marketing Plan to the Congress.

Chair Jessie attended the CPE Committee on Equal Opportunities visit on campus on April 17.  The session he was invited to attend was called Faculty & Professional Staff.  The CPE Committee was here evaluating the work and level MSU is at in reaching the Kentucky goals.  The meeting got off on the wrong foot and never really did get to the topic of the day.  He passed around information for members to view. 

Vice-Chair's Report No Report
Secretary's Report Secretary Crisp reported that $62.06 was spent during April for refreshments, $114.75 was spent to print sample ballots for the election, $10.35 was spent to print the corrected Regent's statement for the election and $241.13 was spent for office supplies.  The total spent was $428.29, leaving a balance of $1447.16 in the supply account.


Committee Reports

Credentials and Elections Rep. LaFontaine announced the 2006 Staff Regent Forum postcards were sent out on Thursday, April 27.  Everybody should have gotten them, but if not, there are some extra ones on the sign-in table.  The Regent Forum will be held on Wednesday, May 3 between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. in the Commonwealth Room on the 3rd floor of ADUC.  She sent an email out to the Regent candidates, Chair Jessie, and the committee members on the suggested format for the forum.  No comments were received back on the format so she assumes everything is okay for everyone.

The event will begin at 11:00 a.m. with a 'mix and mingle'.  The formal program will begin at 11:30 a.m. on the following schedule:

11:30 a.m. - Welcome by Staff Congress Chair David Jessie
11:32 a.m. - Introduction of Regent candidates and explanation of format by Margaret LaFontaine, Credentials & Elections Committee, Chair
11:35 a.m. - Each candidate will be allowed up to five minutes to make an opening statement.  Order of presentation will be decided by drawing numbers.  Rep. William Salazar, a member of the Credentials & Elections Committee, will monitor the time allotted each candidate and indicate to the candidate when the time limit is reached.
11:55 a.m. - Twenty minutes will be allotted for questions and answers using slips of paper and pencils provided by the Credentials & Elections Committee.  Members of the committee, Rep. Cindy Thompson and Rep. Kristie Jenkins Williams, will serve as moderators, collect the question slips, and ask the questions.  Efforts will be made to ensure each candidate receives an equal number of questions.  Candidates will be asked to limit answers to 1-2 minutes.  Question slips have space for the individual/attendee to write a question, then check the box(es) to indicate to whom the question should be addressed.
12:15 p.m. - Each candidate will be allowed up to five minutes to present a closing statement.  During this time, candidates may comment on or rebut any question that was not addressed to him/her in the question and answer session.
12:30 p.m. - Formal portion of Regent Forum concludes.  'Mix and mingle' continues.
1:00 p.m. - Regent Forum officially concludes.

Also, Rep. LaFontaine reminded members that according to the Staff Regent election procedures, there must be a simple majority (50% + 1) to win the election.  (If 200 people vote, it would take 101 votes to win.)  The by-laws state:

  • If a simple majority of the votes cast is obtained by any single individual, the person shall be the duly elected Staff Regent.
  • If a simple majority of the votes cast is not obtained on the first ballot, subsequent balloting shall take place in a location to be determined by the Staff Congress Credentials and Elections Committee.  Policies and procedures of the initial election shall apply to subsequent balloting.
  • Elections subsequent to the first shall take place in not less than five nor more than 15 working days from the previous election.  (That would mean the next election would have to be between May 24 and June 8 because of the Memorial Day holiday.)
  • The Staff Congress Credentials and Elections Committee shall inform all eligible staff by campus mail of the next election.  The letter shall include the time and place of voting, names of the candidates that are to appear on the next ballot, provision for absentee ballots, and the names of the members of the Staff Congress Credentials and Elections Committee, who should be consulted for clarification of rules and procedures.
  • The second ballot shall include those individuals receiving the highest number of votes and whose cumulative votes total at least 50 percent of the votes cast.  (Since there are three candidates, it could be two or three people according to how many votes are cast and the distribution of votes.)
  • Balloting shall continue according to established procedures until one candidate receives a simple majority of the votes cast.

Since there are three candidates, it is very likely we will have to have a run-off.  Martha Patrick, in IRCA, has assured us that we can have as many online elections as we need.

Rep. LaFontaine encouraged all members to bring two friends or constituents to the forum to try to get a good turnout.  She also announced that there have been 12 absentee votes cast as of today.

University Standing Appointments No Report
Fiscal Affairs No Report
Personnel Policies and Benefits Rep. A. Moore said the committee met this month.  It came to their attention that someone wanted them to review the possibility of tuition waivers also covering the new technology fee that will be implemented this semester.  They came to the conclusion and Rep. Donna King helped explain to them that since it is a state tuition waiver, it cannot be used for fees.  Basically, they didn't feel like they should come forward with anything because the tuition waiver has never covered fees previously. 

The committee also discussed the insurance premium that has the Extended Care Rider on it that is coming forward from the Office of Human Resources.  It would be a voluntary plan for persons who want additional life insurance with the Extended Care Rider. 

The committee is coming forward in 'New Business' with a motion regarding faculty & staff getting reduced or free admission to athletic events on campus. 

Ad-Hoc Committee Rep. King announced that the by-laws committee met on April 11.  They were working from a copy of the by-laws they obtained from the Web.  The Credentials & Elections Committee, who was revising the election procedures, found that the by-laws didn't reflect some revisions that had been made in 2000.  After they researched a while, they found that sometime between 2002 and 2003, the by-laws that were posted on the Web were changed back to the pre-2000 revision.  They had to go back and define those revisions.  There were also some revisions made in 2003 and they're not sure they have all of that included at this time.  There are three steps to complete the process:
  • They have to determine the official by-laws as of this date including all the revisions that have been made up to this point.
  • They need to receive input from the Credentials & Elections Committee because they have revised the election process and that needs to be included.
  • They need to go in and revise anything that needs to be updated on the by-laws.

It has turned into a bigger process than they initially thought when they were just going to change the date of the election.  The committee is scheduled to meet again at the end of the month.  At that time they hope to have a clean copy to start from and move along from that.

Regent's Report - No Report

Old Business - None

New Business 

Motion: That all faculty/staff (full-time) receive one free general admission (would use ID instead of providing everyone a ticket) into all sporting events that has paid admission.  The purpose being to generate excitement at the sporting events as well as the potential to increase ticket and concessions revenue.
  Proposed:  Personnel Policies & Benefits Committee Seconded:  None Needed
Discussion: Staff Regent Caudill announced just for everyone's information, MSU is going to start charging admission to all sporting events.  Students should still get free admission with a student ID.
Called for Vote: Passed

Rep. Ramey said that she knew of two groups of people who went to vote, but when they got to the polling place, no one was there.  One group made an appointment, but she didn't know if the other group made an appointment or not.  Rep. LaFontaine asked if the groups had tried to come back since then.  She said that during one of the situations, she was off campus and was delayed getting back to campus, that is why no one was there.  In the other instance, she was at a doctor's appointment.  There are still 11 days left for paper ballots.  With the exception of class time, she should be in her office quite a bit.  No one has been denied the right to vote.  Rep. Thacker asked if there were two voting locations.  Rep. LaFontaine said there is only one location for paper ballots.  It is difficult to have two locations for paper ballots because in theory (not saying anyone would do it), a person could jump from place to place and vote twice.  For reasons of not wanting to compromise the ballots, she has not allowed a secretary or student worker to handle it.

Chair Jessie asked if anyone had any comments about the budget/raise issue.  He said he didn't think the decision was final yet of when the raise would be implemented.  Rep. LaFontaine said her supervisor told her the dollar amount of her raise for the coming year, so she thinks something has been decided.  She asked her supervisor, but he was unsure when the raise would be implemented.  Staff Regent Caudill said that supervisors have received the merit distribution form and were told to do merit pay disregarding a July or January implementation.  He assumed it would be a January implementation since the merit distribution form was based on 4%.  Regent candidate Pace said she felt there were still some unanswered questions.  She said at the budget forum, they were not clear on how this would affect a person who leaves before January.  At the forum they said they were looking into it, but at the Staff Congress meeting they said that person would not have benefit of the raise.  Regent candidate Bear said at the forum she didn't think they were clear about that either and they also talked vaguely about the low-end people.  There were no definite or concrete answers.  Staff Regent Caudill said that he and Faculty Regent Irons asked the President about this and they were given a very definite answer, there would be no benefit to people retiring between July and January.  Rep. Sammons said that she heard for retirement purposes, if they did it for one, they would have to do it for all before the state would recognize it.

Discussion - None


Rep. Thompson announced that the Employee Appreciation Picnic is May 12 from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the Allie Young lawn.

Staff Regent Caudill announced that on May 18, the Office of Physical Plant is hosting the statewide KAPPA (Kentucky Association of Physical Plant Administrators) Conference.  They are expecting 100-200 co-workers for an all day meeting and conference at ADUC.  The governor will be the guest speaker at the luncheon that day.

Rep. LaFontaine announced that the last day for absentee ballots is Friday, May 12 at 4:30 p.m. and the online election is Wednesday, May 17.

Rep. Harr announced that the winner of the Harley-Davidson motorcycle at the Gala was Dr. Bob Coleman from Olive Hill.

Motion: To adjourn
  Proposed:  Rep. Liles Seconded:  Rep. LaFontaine
Called for Vote: Passed

Minutes submitted by:  Rhonda Crisp, Secretary