UofL’s Staff Senate met Monday, John Smith’s first meeting presiding as chair. Smith noted that his goal is to encourage senators to be solution-minded and promote answers as they bring up campus-wide issues.
Gary Becker, from Parking Administration, updated the senate on parking rate increases, which do not affect blue permit holders. He said a decision was made to increase rates because it hasn’t been done in six years.
“Our goal is to balance the budget, not to turn a profit. But we have to pay for things like maintenance and equipment,” he said.
As the university continues to grow, it will cost more to park on the core of campus versus the periphery, Becker added. His team conducted a market study, which shows UofL has considerably lower rates than other institutions. The constant goal is to ensure guaranteed spots for blue permit holders, and parking will oversell spots if necessary to achieve that goal, especially as the university continues to grow.
A Q&A was held in which senators brought up the lack of raises putting pressure on employees with these increased rates, and whether or not parking plans to outsource its operations (no such plans are in the works).
Todd Kneale, director of total awards, provided the FLSA Audit results, which are available online. During the December 2016 FLSA changes, 115 jobs at UofL were reviewed and changed from exempt status to nonexempt status based upon amended guidance from the Department of Labor. There were approximately 700 employees in the 115 jobs that were changed to nonexempt.
Jessie Morgan, manager of outpatient pharmacy services, provided results from the new pharmacy initiatives that were put into place in April and May. These initiatives led to total savings of $296,012. The breakdown is available online.
A prescription drug update is also available online, outlining prescription drug spending at UofL versus the market.
Senators heard an update from Vince Tyra, who was named director of athletics in March.
Tyra said he’s been busy mitigating backlash from various issues that have come up within the past year and is trying to shape the culture to move forward.
“I know where we sit in the food chain and I want us to have a consistent message – not just athletics this or academics this,” he said. “That’s what we’re trying to do and why I took the job, to provide leadership across campus and represent UofL, not just UofL athletics. Being in sync with what (President Bendapudi) wants is important for the success of our university.”
Tyra said he now attends the president’s cabinet meetings, which didn’t happen before. The athletics department has also facilitated summer school aid and provides more money for trainers and managers – who are not restricted by the NCAA – which helps generate revenue for the university. Tyra added that the department has cut $1.6 million and has facilitated meetings with student groups, including the Ville’ns, to generate more engagement and new traditions.
“We have a lot of initiatives going on with our students. I want our fans to see our students in sync,” Tyra said. “It takes time to heel, but we are being patient with the process. I’m excited to get another season going.”
Committee reports from the meeting are posted online. There is no Staff Senate meeting in August. The next meeting is Sept. 10 at 2:30 p.m. in Chao Auditorium.