The Staff Senate met July 11, 2016, in Chao Auditorium, with Chair Angela Lewis-Klein calling the meeting to order. The first item of business was the Staff Senate leadership transition, in which Lewis-Klein provided some last remarks before handing the gavel over to new Chair Will Armstrong.

“I appreciate everyone’s support for the past three years. I’ve loved every minute of it,” Lewis-Klein said.

She will remain in an ex-officio role, will still be present at committee meetings and will remain a strong advocate of UofL’s staff members.

Armstrong called Lewis-Klein a passionate leader.

“There isn’t a moment she isn’t thinking about us. She wears her heart on her sleeve,” Armstrong said, promising to follow Lewis-Klein’s example and maintain the tenacity she brought to the role.

The Senate presented a gavel with her name and years of service to Lewis-Klein before approving minutes from the June 13 meeting.

The new vice-chair, Vickie Tencer, called for committee reports, which included election results that will be available on the Staff Senate website soon.

A vote to seat at-large members was approved to accommodate the new, larger number (99) of senators approved at the June meeting.

Committee preference sheets for those spots will be available online via Survey Monkey.

Other committee report updates include:

Policy, Economics and Development: Did not meet

Services and Facilities: A group was put together to meet with city officials about the Chestnut Street parking garage delays many have had grievances about.

Staff Grievance Committee: Four grievances were filed this semester. Dr. Robert Staat was announced as interim ombudsman.

SHARE: No requests

Staff Morale: Susan Jenkins retired from the Senate. The committee did not meet in June.

Treasurer’s Report

The treasurer’s report was given by new secretary/treasurer Sabrina Haug and includes:

  • June expenses were $1,626.38, with an ending balance of $2,518.69
  • The Staff Senate is under budget for the year
  • SHARE did not incur any expenses, and the balance is $11,404.72;
  • All balances carry forward into next year

Other Business

A Staff Senate retreat survey will be administered soon, according to Armstrong. All meetings moving forward will be recorded digitally in order to better follow Robert’s Rules of Order with regard to maintenance of minutes.

A compensation work group has been formed and it includes two staff senators. The executive committee minutes will be made available to the group.

Faculty Senate Representative Report

Dr. Robert Staat provided the Faculty Senate Report, including a special meeting that was held a week before the regular meeting, where senators drafted a policy statement in response to their concerns about Governor Matt Bevin’s executive orders and new board of trustees.

Interim Provost Neville Pinto provided information about the incoming class and fall enrollment. UofL has 432 students more than last year at this time (21,450 students).

Holds – such as parking tickets or library fines – will no longer prohibit students to register. However, they must be paid in order to graduate.

Projections for the incoming freshman class include 2,925 students and an average of a 3.68 GPA and 25.4 ACT score.

Dean searches include: Law and Speed will start soon. The College of Business will also need to start a search soon. The new deans of Dentistry and Kent are expected to start Aug. 1.

Report from the CFO/COO

CFO/COO Harlan Sands provided an update on a few business items, including searches in his area. He said there has been a $100,000 cut in the administrative budget through efforts such as hiring an AVP instead of a VP. There are four finalists for the chief human resources officer. Three candidates will be interviewed in person for the AVP of finance position.

He also listed recent “small victories,” including:

  • The employee self-service website now includes K-4 and WH-4 tax forms for both Kentucky and Indiana.
  • The travel partner has been switched from Pan Am Travel to Anthony Travel.
  • We are “moving forward” on the new Business Operations Center, with onboarding as the first process to transition.
  • A dependent verification audit is underway.
  • We are moving services provided by the iTech Xpress Store to the new bookstore. This, Sands said, is a long-term vision that will provide a one-stop shop for everyone’s technology needs, including ordering, encryption, service and delivery. “I think the university will be well served if you only have one place to go for all of this,” he said. “It’s advantageous for pricing too because we’ll be buying in more bulk.”

Sands then fielded questions about parking, saying a natural progression is happening to move to much of the parking spots to the “fringes” of campus.

He also did not rule out a future price increase for permits.

“We haven’t had a parking price increase in six years. We’re far below market on this,” Sands said, adding that there are no plans to increase prices next year.

Sands also discussed the SAC renovations, which will include new academic spaces, a new bookstore, a Student Services annex and a Starbucks. Everything, he adds, will be state-of-the-art.

“Ninety-five percent of the SAC will be touched by this renovation. We are including students in this process,” he said. “Everything will be state-of-the-art. There is also the new academic building that is a once in a generation building. It will be a first-class teaching facility.”

Report from the Interim Executive Director of Human Resources

Interim Executive Director of Human Resources Jeanell Hughes provided an update from her area, which includes RFPs underway for a dental and vision insurance provider. We should have these in place before open enrollment in October. The university’s health insurance is staying the same.

Hughes also mentioned her team is “knee deep” in FSLA and OT regulations and is working with deans in every unit to provide an assessment on their workforce. These recommendations are expected next month for the regulations, which will be fully implemented by December.

There will be no Staff Senate meeting in August. The next meeting is scheduled for Sept. 12 at 2:30 p.m.

 

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Alicia Kelso
Alicia Kelso is editor of UofLNews and UofL Today. She joined UofL in 2015 as communications director of the Brandeis School of Law. Prior, she was the editorial director of foodservice media for Networld Media Group, where her work was featured in publications around the world, including NPR, Bloomberg, The Seattle Times, Good Morning America and Franchise Asia Magazine. She continues to serve as a contributor for many publications, including QSRweb.com, FastCasual.com and Innovation Leader.