Staff Senate Meeting
January 21, 2009
The Staff Senate met on Wednesday, January 21, 2009 at 2:00 p.m. in Reynolds 205. Senators in attendance were Wendy Burge, Marcela Brunson, Gaye Calhoun, Brenda Garrett, Charles Honza, Keli Honza, Sarah Jennings, Pat King, Essie Moore, Eric Plummer, Shawana Reed, Becki Talley, Houston Taylor, and Shelly Whaley. Visitors included Scott White and Phil Covington.
Approval of Minutes
The meeting was called to order by President Shelly Whaley. A motion to accept the minutes of December 10 was made by Pat King and seconded by Houston Taylor.
Staff Senate Parking Appeals Committee
Scott White, faculty senate president, asked to address the issue of the merging of the faculty/staff parking appeals committee. White handed out a page from the faculty handbook dealing with the faculty senate that stated the faculty parking appeals committee was a standing faculty senate committee. The paper stated that committee members could only be elected by voting members of the senate. He noted that although the past president of the faculty senate and the parking appeals chairman had agreed to allow the staff to merge with the faculty parking appeals committee, it had never formally been presented to the senate for their vote. There was a discussion about whether the proposal had been brought before Mr. Giles and he had agreed that it would be okay for the two committees to form a joint committee. White again noted that the faculty senate had to approve the merger and also vote on the committee members. He informed the senate that the members could formally propose the joining of the two committees and he would present it to the faculty senate. Following a lengthy discussion, the staff senate decided to form a separate committee to hear staff parking appeals. The committee will meet on an as-needed basis. The committee will include Becki Talley, chairman, Gaye Calhoun, and Charles Honza. Marcela Brunson will serve as an alternate to the committee. There will be a member of the UPD present at each meeting strictly for information dealing with parking issues. The committee agreed to meet soon and work out the rules for the appeals committee and will set up an appeals hearing in the near future.
Election of New Officer to Fill Vacancy
Houston Taylor noted that the election ballots would be ready soon to send out to fill the staff senate position held by Roger Guevara, who resigned for the senate due to job responsibilities.
Shelly Whaley announced that $350.00 had been raised from faculty and staff for the Angel Tree and the Southern Christian Mission before Christmas. $100.00 was sent to the Southern Christian Mission to benefit the children at the mission. $250.00 was sent for the children on the Angel Tree. Shelly noted that the children had a great Christmas because of the donations that were made.
Gaye Calhoun reported on the Fringe Benefits committee meeting.
Eric Plummer reported on the Academic Suspension Appeals committee meeting.
Brenda Garrett reported on the Staff Breakfast committee. The committee will meet later this week to decide on the theme for the breakfast.
Staff Senate Website
The staff senate website has been formatted with new templates and will be updated with important information regarding staff senate and staff information.
There was no new business.
Vice President of Finance
Darrell Morrison had planned to speak to the staff senate today, but was sick. He will be at the February meeting to go over the budget.
Questions from the Senate
Shelly Whaley had spoken to Roger Giles about Charles Honza’s earlier question about unused sick and annual leave being converted to a monetary amount if it wasn’t used. Mr. Giles noted there is no provision for Arkansas employees to be paid for any unused annual leave and that the unused sick leave can be converted to payment at retirement on a limited basis. Charles Honza requested the specific law that addressed the issue and Shelly said she would contact Mr. Giles to get that information.
Shelly Whaley provided an enrollment update. The date to add is January 22. The 11th class day is January 29th.
It was noted that 75 people from SAU had attended the Centennial Celebration at the capitol. There were 25-30 students in attendance. It was the largest group that attended from the four-year universities.
It was also announced that April 1 will be Founders Day on campus to celebrate SAU’s 100 year anniversary. There will be a picnic next to Overstreet and Tracy Lawrence will be in concert that night. There is also a new brochure available that details all the events surrounding the centennial celebration.
Houston Taylor asked Phil Covington whether there could be a channel restriction placed on the TV’s in the Bruce Center so that obscene material or songs would not be playing while parents were visiting students in the Bruce Center. Mr. Covington said he would look into the possibility.
It was questioned whether it was feasible for the Communications Center to be printing the Faculty/Staff Bulletin? He wondered if it was cost prohibitive to have paper copies when it could be e-mailed. There is additional work burden and cost for the Communications Center. The printing of the faculty/staff bulletin was initiated because of the Staff Senate requesting more communications from the administration. It was agreed that this really doesn’t address that issue and probably should be stopped. Several communications issue were brought up, such as never knowing about new employees, legislative acts that concern the staff that are not passed down to employees, any updates that affect staff members from the administration. Shelly advised that she would speak to Human Resources to try and resolve some of the communications problem in that area.
A staff member presented a question to the senate regarding why Nelson Hall was not wireless. It was noted that most buildings on campus are, but not Nelson. Shelly noted that she will check to see if Nelson is on the list of buildings that will be wireless in the future.
The motion to adjourn was made by Houston Taylor and seconded by Marcela Brunson. The next scheduled meeting will be February 11, 2009 at 2:00 p.m. in Reynolds 205.