Minutes for January 05, 2005
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- Pledge of Allegiance
- Roll Call
Senators present: Jana Atkins, Gene Bals, Estella Barron, Ann Bell, Eric Burrell, Jaclyn Byrd, Bryan Carson, Nick Chavez, Robin Cooper, Sandy Ellis, Maria Fernandez, Travis Findley, Brent Guinn, Scott Hall, Patrick Hancock, Lori Hefley, Gary Johnson, Sheri Lewis, Rick Loper, Guadalupe Luna, Amy Martindale, Barbara McArthur, Dawn Moreno, Teresa Neal, Rebecca Owens, Valli Ramanathan, Eddie Ramirez, Carol Ann Stanley, Jake Syma, Richard Verrone, Barbara White, Everne Williams, Tim Wolf.
Senators absent: Louisa Arriaga, Doug Crockett, Gerald Cunningham, Chance Dragich, Rocky Gauna, Sandy Gellner, Virginia Holder, Mike Hurlow, Carolyn Kennedy, Libby Moreland, Donna Perry, Larry Phillippe, Don Roulain
Guests: Buddy Knox, Eric Crouch, Ron Seacrist
- Motion made by Dawn Moreno to accept the minutes
- Seconded by Gary Johnson
- Motion passed
- Last year's money will be rolled over. This will probably be done before the February meeting.
- Motion made by Gary Johnson to accept the Treasurer's Report.
- Seconded by Sandy Ellis
- Motion passed
New Police Chief Ron Seacrist
- Chief Seacrist has a philosophy that a police department is more than just a police department. A police officer will respond to every call, no matter the issue. The objective is to create a safe environment for this community. The Tech community is unaware of the many talented and committed employees in the TTU Police Department. The University environment is unique and calls for more flexibility. It is necessary to develop programs and philosophies dealing with prevention rather than simply being reactive to events on campus. A Student Government Association committee will be formed and dedicated to campus safety and security. The police plan to be more visible and involved with more officers out of their cars and in the buildings. The department, as a service organization, wants to create a friendlier, more interested face.
- Bicyclists are worried about drivers' insensitivity and inattention, but many bicyclists are not following the rules of the road. This issue came up with the SGA committee. This is an educational issue rather than an enforcement issue. There is a move to create bypass areas and broaden sidewalks to handle bikes. Officers do not issue citations for bike violations.
- Student assistants are not hired into enforcement positions, but do work as office help. There are student security programs at other places, but because of the level of staffing Tech has, this is not necessary. Chief Seacrist is open to creating jobs for students and plans to work with SGA.
- The police department will be concentrating on university culture, organizational structure, internal issues, reorganization and reprioritization. The department will be reorganized to provide better service. Then specific issues will be addressed, such as access to sporting events. Traffic is a major problem with basketball games because of Indiana's closure. The new chief is meeting with different groups to learn about different issues.
- The department is preparing to hire and will have a full staff, but 2 officers are retiring this month as well. Recruiting is already taking place, and the department is looking for people who are already certified peace officers so they can begin work sooner.
- Pedestrian traffic around the parking garage is a real problem. Buddy Knox with Traffic and Parking answered this question. The Traffic and Parking Coordinating Council has had this on every meeting agenda. There is a solution, but no money to implement it.
- Chief Seacrist says his door is always open and he's happy to be here - hopefully for a long time.
Buddy Knox, Director of Traffic and Parking
- Traffic and Parking works with the TTU Police and has students who write parking tickets. The department is also involved in the bicycle planning. The department would like their name to be changed from Traffic and Parking to Transit and Parking because traffic is a Police Department function. Traffic and Parking manages parking demand by getting more students to ride buses and bicycles and by building fewer parking lots. Also, parking in all faculty/staff lots is oversold with only a couple of empty spaces left on campus.. Mr. Knox would like to get feedback from staff before going to the Board of Regents with these changes.
- Traffic and Parking has been doing business the same way for 30 years. The department is self-supporting through the sale of permits and collection of citations. The university needs more parking while keeping down the cost of parking permits. Traffic and Parking does not want to give parking tickets and would rather educate those utilizing campus parking. The department collected less in citation revenue last year than the year before because of better education.
- New parking is expensive and sources of revenue are being lost to new construction. The Tech Parkway removed 1,000 parking spaces. Tech received grant money to build 1,500 replacement spaces in satellite parking which meant parking permit costs did not have to rise. However, the grant only allows the permit cost to pay for the cost of the actual parking spaces. No profit is allowed, so the 1,000 revenue-generating parking spaces were replaced with 1,500 non-revenue generating spaces. Another 200 spaces were lost on west side of football field, and the old bookstore lot, which used to be a lucrative lot, has been fenced off for construction.
- These are the ideas Mr. Knox plans to present to the Board of Regent for generating departmental operating revenue for Traffic and Parking. All of these ideas come from other places where they are already in use.
- A department requesting ticket dismissal for individual citations will be billed a $6 processing fee for each void. The process of ticket dismissal costs time, energy, and resources.
- The department will manage commuter parking better by selling commuter permits specific to an individual parking lot.
- Supplemental parking permits (replacing the dash pass) will be available for purchase by departments. Some trips across campus that are using needed interior parking spaces can be eliminated. The first 30 minutes of pre-paid parking is free and will be monitored by an electronic monitoring device. The rest of the charges are progressive by hour. Those using supplemental parking passes will receive parking tickets if the monitoring device is not turned on.
- Paid visitor parking will be expanded. In the first year, all the machines were paid for by the revenue generated by the machines. In subsequent years, these machines are revenue generators. According to Mr. Knox, the public has accepted that you have to pay for parking on campus. The department does not want to single anyone out, so the policies need to be universal. The problem with concerts and other campus events will be dealt with.
- Construction companies will be charged for using parking spaces for construction. This policy applies to parking spaces that will not be lost permanently. For example, asbestos containers are taking up the parking lot in front of the old bookstore.
- Contractors/Vendors, such as Coca-Cola and FedEx, will have to pay to park on campus. Since they are only on campus for a few minutes at a time, they will be issued a hang tag with a pre-paid parking amount.
- Traffic and Parking would like to capitalize on parking by campus visitors. There are some visitors we don't want to charge, such as psychology patients and university donors. This is not meant to hurt anyone's business. If no garage is built, these changes will mean permit charges will rise 5%. Without changes, permits will rise 7%. If a new garage is built, permit costs will rise 45% with the proposed changes.
- The campus Master Plan already leans toward a predominantly pedestrian campus. Accordingly, parking would be available only for handicapped permits, visitors, administration, and service vehicles. All other vehicles would be required to park elsewhere and the money would be spent on a better transit system.
- Mr. Knox would like input from those affected by these changes. Please send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Constitution and Bylaws - Jaclyn Byrd
- Second reading of Bylaws Article IV Section A number 2
- Second reading of Bylaws Article IV Section B number 1
- Second reading of Bylaws Article IV Section B number 2
- Wording changes are shown in the December minutes
- Motion made by Rebecca Owens to accept the changes as read.
- Seconded by Sandy Ellis
- First reading of Bylaws Article V Section B (see Appendix A). This change will be voted on at the February meeting.
- 4 issues have now moved out of the committee.
- Social Security Number issue - The committee made a formal recommendation to the Executive Board to monitor this issue quarterly and to request a seat on the university committee that is working on this. The recommendation was approved by Executive Board
- Part-time staff - The committee made a formal recommendation that nothing needs to be changed. Current policy follows the industry standard. The committee did recommend some information be published for these staff members. The recommendation was approved by the Executive Board and moved to the Communications and Public Relations Committee.
- Non-exempt overtime reporting - The committee proposed a formal recommendation to publicize to managers and employees how to report time worked and what the consequences are for submitting an inaccurate time sheet. This issue has been moved to the Communications and Public Relations Committee for action.
- TTU Staff borrowing privileges at the HSC Library - a letter will be sent to the
HSC Library director requesting borrowing privileges for TTU Staff.
Parking for public events - Despite an assertion that the community has generally accepted paying for parking, this is not the case. The departments within the College of Visual and Performing Arts would like machines stop at 7:00 p.m. rather than 8:00. Any events taking place earlier will require patrons to pay for parking until 7 p.m. This policy was created through a Board of Regents' decision, and Mr. Knox would prefer any changes also to come from the Board of Regents. A resolution will be submitted requesting to change the time from 8:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. A universal change is preferable to avoid the confusion of exemptions for specific events. Mr. Knox has agreed to submit a list of pros and cons of making this change to the Board of Regents, but would prefer not to submit the request to make this change. Instead, the Executive Board will deal with presenting this request.
- Tuition for staff - Dr. Shonrock, Vice President for Student Affairs has agreed to waive all fees under his control, about $170 for a 3-hour class and amounting to around $200,000+ per year, because he believes in staff education. The Issues Committee is continuing to check into the remaining fees such as Graduate and Institutional tuition. State tuition cannot be waived. There is already a $300 staff scholarship available as a separate program that may be able to be used for the state tuition. If all fees can be waived, the entire amount due for a 3-hour class will be less than $300. Using the scholarship in this manner will make scholarship money last longer and pay for more people. There is no set date for implementation yet.
- Telecommuting - Other universities (namely, UT and A&M) have detailed policies about telecommuting. Tech has an operating policy (OP) that says any change in work location must be approved by Chancellor. A more detailed explanation of this policy would make it more accessible when needed. This OP was last revised in April 2004. Jim Brown, Managing Director of Personnel, is open to reviewing and revising this.
- Pedestrian traffic at the parking garage - A campus-wide educational initiative is desired, but this is not particularly effective because pedestrians consider it too inconvenient to go to the crosswalk. Solutions to the problem have been proposed but not funded. Art Glick, Executive Assistant of Site Development, is in charge of all buildings constructed on campus. He has funding and approval for a combination pedestrian and bike path on the east side of the garage which deals with people coming from 19th Street. However, this does not solve the problem on the west side of the garage. Mr. Glick said that the structure he proposed to deal with pedestrians on Flint will cost $150,000-$250,000 dollars. Administration does not consider this a priority. One staff member said that at least three students have been hit by cars in that vicinity in recent months. The Staff Senate can create a resolution to the upper administration that this is a high priority. The Issues Committee will make a formal recommendation for this resolution at next Executive Board meeting. Partnering with SGA and the Faculty Senate may make this issue carry more weight. The campus police do not like to ticket jaywalking because it is too rampant - people would feel singled out for unfair treatment.
- Parking at the Development Office - The lot east of the Student Union and north of Development used to have 30-minute spaces, but now the entire lot consists of pay spaces and is always full. People making deliveries and pickups have nowhere to park. Mr. Knox believes the changes he is suggesting will resolve this problem. The Issues Committee will continue to monitor this.
- Elections - Sandy Ellis - Only seven nominations were received. A TechAnnounce was issued regarding the deadline extension. The lack of nominations is a real problem and nominations for the Service EEO classification is a particular problem. As a result, that group is not being represented very well. The Staff Senate may need to work with department managers about employees being allowed time to attend meetings. The Issues Committee will look into this.
- COPS - Patrick Hancock - New entries are received occasionally. A new TechAnnounce will be issued next week and should highlight seasonal things. The new database will be on the website in a spreadsheet and in HTML format.
- Communications and Public Relations - Lori Hefley - This committee will represent staff at TTU Welcoming Events to disseminate information to new employees. The committee plans to meet with Physical Plant staff about issuing a Spanish-language newsletter.
- Webpage - Eric Burrell - Minutes and the COPS database are posted.
- Scholarship - Robin Cooper - Scholarship applications are due Jan. 15. Three scholarships are awarded each semester for books. The committee has only received three applications so far. A TechAnnounce was issued today and the committee will do more to publicize this scholarship.
- Nominations - no report
- Grievances - no report
- External committees - no reports
- The Staff Ombudsman Search Committee is preparing to begin phone interviews of the final eight candidates in the next few weeks. As of Monday, the committee had received 110 applications.
- Remember to notify Brent Guinn and Richard Verrone about committee meetings so one of them can attend.
- The next Executive Board meeting is January 26 at 3 p.m. in Engineering Center room 104.
- The next Staff Senate meeting is February 2 at 3 p.m. in Escondido Theater.
- Motion by Gary Johnson to adjourn
- seconded by Jake Syma
- Motion passed
Issues - Amy Martindale
Article V. Rules of Order
Section B - Scheduled Duties
Staff Senate meetings shall be held the first week of every month from 3-5 p.m. in the University Center Senate Room. (Meetings to be publicized.) The Staff Senators shall be seated in the first five-six rows. Leaving one row empty, the Alternates and gallery shall sit in the remaining rows.
Article V. Rules of Order
Section B - Scheduled Duties
Staff Senate meetings shall be held the first Wednesday of every month from 3-5 p.m. at a location chosen by the President and approved by the Executive Committee. The Staff Senators shall be seated in the front of the room. Meeting times and dates will be publicized through an official University announcement system.