April 16, 2009

Members Present: Matthew Cullinan [chair], Gary Alwine, Randy Cockerham, Mary Cranfill, Ann Flynn, Nicolle Gaillard, Ann Gordon, Julie Griffin, Cynthia Hall, Bob Hebert, Ellen Makaravage, Patrick Morton, Gale Newport, Carolyn Potts, Jim Rae, Mike Tesh, Jean Trowbridge

Guests: Carolyn Winebarger [recorder]

Human Resources Update

An update was provided on the status of several issues:

  • Benefits Fair will be held April 21 with an open enrollment period for benefits until May 1. A benefits guide book will be mailed to employees’ campus addresses and is also available on the HR web site.
  • Health Insurance Rates – Employees will enjoy a premium decrease of 10 percent for the Value Plan and 4 percent for the Core Plan with no change in benefits. Human Resources staff can provide assistance in selecting the plan best suited for individual needs.
  • Campus Climate Survey – Survey has closed with nearly 900 respondents participating (approximately 62 percent). Outside consultant is in the process of summarizing data.
  • Performance Appraisals/Position Descriptions – HR would like for all performance appraisals to be completed by early May, but will work with supervisors who may have extenuating circumstances. Employees should ensure that job descriptions are accurate and up to date.
  • PTO Donation Policy – A policy has been approved by the President, and staff members are working out the logistics of launching the new policy at the beginning of the next fiscal year. Mike Tesh will provide SAC members with a copy of the new policy.
  • Market Adjustments – In the coming fiscal year, modest funds have been allocated to continue the implementation of the university-wide goal of bringing faculty and staff to market compensation within a merit system. These limited resources will be used to make small investments where the need is greatest to close compensation gaps for meritorious faculty and staff.
  • Child Care – The establishment of university-sponsored child care has been postponed due to economic conditions. HR can assist with identifying local resources to meet faculty/staff needs for child or elder care, and the Employee Assistance Program is also available to provide counseling services.


The group discussed the need for the adoption of formal by-laws to govern the Staff Advisory Council and agreed upon the following plan of action to prepare draft by-laws for consideration by President Hatch:

  • The election of new members will be postponed until by-laws are drafted. The chair will investigate the need for communicating the election postponement to staff.
  • With the exception of Matt Cullinan and Mike Tesh, members of the SAC will serve as a committee of the whole to draft the by-laws.
  • Human Resources will provide a facilitator to assist in organizing and conducting meetings.
  • Background information will be provided to the committee for review, including sample by-laws and staff council data collected from other institutions; by-laws previously drafted by the Staff Issues Committee; the statement of purpose and governing guidelines by which the SAC was established in 2006; and membership guidelines adopted by the SAC in April, 2008.
  • Possible issues to be addressed in the by-laws include:
    • Mission, purpose, responsibilities
    • Leadership: Appointed? Elected? Executive committee?
    • Faculty Senate and Staff Advisory Council as two separate bodies, both advisory in their capacity; cross representation between the Senate and the SAC
    • Membership guidelines, including number of members, term length, ex-officio members and presidential appointees, exempt/non-exempt balance of representation, number and designation of voting sectors. Julie Groves, who chaired the committee which prepared existing membership guidelines, will be invited to share with the group her committee’s process in the development of those guidelines.
    • Frequency of meetings
    • Supervisors’ support of members’ participation
  • The committee will have an initial meeting in May, with a planned completion of proposed by-laws projected for summer. Operating guidelines will be established at this initial meeting and may include the election of a chair, formation of sub-committees, establishment of level of consensus required for approval, and consideration of the offer of input on the proposed by-laws by University Senate leadership.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 1:15 p.m.

Category: Minutes