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TTU Home Staff Senate Home Meeting Minutes May 04, 2005

Minutes for May 04, 2005


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•  Welcome

•  Pledge of Allegiance

•  Roll Call

 

Senators present: Louisa Arriaga, Gene Bals, Estella Barron, Ann Bell, Jaclyn Byrd, Bryan Carson, Nick Chavez, Robin Cooper, Gerald Cunningham, Sandy Ellis, Maria Fernandez, Travis Findley, Rocky Gauna, Sandy Gellner, Brent Guinn, Scott Hall, Lori Hefley, Gary A. Johnson, Marlene Kenady, Carolyn Kennedy, Rick Loper, Guadalupe Luna, Amy Martindale, Barbara McArthur, Teresa Neal, Donna Perry, Eddie Ramirez, Don Roulain, Jake Syma, Richard Verrone, Barbara White, Everne Williams

 

Senators absent: Jana Atkins, Eric Burrell, Doug Crockett, Chance Dragich, Patrick Hancock, Sheri Lewis, Dawn Moreno, Rebecca Owens, Larry Phillippe, Valli Ramanathan, Carol Ann Stanley, Tim Wolf

 

•  Minutes

•  On page 4 of the April minutes, the phrase "new employee orientation" should be changed to " New Employee Welcome Event."

•  Motion made by Gary Johnson to accept the minutes as corrected

•  Seconded by Don Roulain

•  Motion carries

 

•  Treasurer's Report

•  The Treasurer's Report is tabled until next month

 

•  Campus Operations: Max Hinojosa, Vice President of Operations

•  The Operations Division encompasses several departments and employs about 700 people among them. The total campus population rises to 38,000 during the peak times. Tech's facilities need to look presentable so people can be proud of their workspaces. The department's goal is to make everyone's jobs better.

•  Doug Chowning is Director of the Physical Plant. The Physical Plant's job is to take care of all the campus buildings and make sure everything is clean, safe, and functioning normally. Most of the budget and employees in the Operations Division are under the Physical Plant. The budget for the Physical Plant is about $55 million, and employees number around 500. The campus has 189 buildings. About 133 of them are used for education in general: they support the academic mission of the university. The auxiliary service facilities support other university functions that do not directly contribute to the classroom setting, such as the arena, the football stadium. The campus has about 7.5 million square feet, and Operations is directly responsible for 4.7 of them. The services to auxiliary buildings is paid for through reimbursements from the affected departments, such as Athletics and Student Affairs. Tech has two central heating and cooling plants. One is called CHACP 1, and is located by the greenhouses on the west side of campus. CHACP 2 provides all chilled water, air-conditioning for the Health Sciences Center and University Medical Center . The total value of Tech's assets, including education buildings, infrastructure, and auxiliary buildings is around $1.25 billion. The Operations Division's job is to maintain these assets. In 1990 and again in 2001, the Physical Plant received the APPA International Award for excellence. APPA stands for Association of Physical Plant Administrators, now called the Higher Education Facilities Officers' Association. This is a very high honor for university physical plants. CAPPA awards are available at the regional level.

•  Dewey Shroyer, Director of Grounds Maintenance, has been with Texas Tech for a long time. The staff at Grounds Maintenance numbers just under 100, with a budget of $2.7 to $3 million. They have to deal with West Texas weather that provides 7.5 inches of rain one year and 40 inches of rain the following year. Texas Tech is in the process of drilling wells so valuable drinking water is not used for watering the campus landscape. More than just mowing the grass around the buildings, the Grounds Maintenance crew takes care of the athletic fields, off campus maintenance, and snow and ice removal in winter. This past Friday for Arbor Day, the grounds crew prepared all the beds around campus. Last year TTU received the Texas Forest Service award for the community service project for Arbor Day. The department plans to apply for this award again. The Tech campus can be and has been a showcase. Grounds Maintenance also helps maintain the artwork and sculptures that are being added to campus. Soaker irrigation is often used around the art instead of sprinklers to avoid the mineral deposits caused by the water in the area. The department also received an award for the best athletic field in the Big 12. Grounds Maintenance has won the Professional Grounds Management Society's Honor Award for a consecutive three years. Only the Grand Award is a higher honor. Tech must compete with universities where the minimum annual rainfall is 33 inches a year.

•  Art Glick is in charge of the Site Development Workgroup which takes care of identifying the smaller projects on campus such as landscaping design, paving, park benches, etc. and delegating them to the appropriate department for action. Housed within the Site Development Workgroup is the new Space Management and Planning department run by Tom Keaton. The state is interested in how agencies and universities utilize their facilities and state appropriations will depend on how well each agency utilizes its facilities. Another area, GIS or "Geographical Information Systems," was created to visually allow a look at facility data as applied to Tech. This means that anyone can visit the web and find out where to go in each building in the event of an emergency, where are the fire extinguishers and exits are. This will also enable building planners to see the ground contouring and plan for water runoff to avoid flooding. This department has a little over $500,000 in budget and twelve employees.

•  Randy Nix, Director of Environmental Health and Safety, is responsible for occupational safety on campus. They take care of wastes generated on campus as well as taking care of environmental issues such as asbestos abatement and occupational hazards. Their job is to make Tech a safe place to live and work. The department has 18 employees and a $1 million budget. As Tech's research work increases, a lot of those programs will become more complicated and much more expensive, so their budget probably will be increased.

•  Buddy Knox is Director of Traffic and Parking. The department works in 2 different areas: enforcement and permits. Enforcement involves ticketing, booting, and towing, whereas permits involves not only issuing permits, but maintaining the database of everyone parking on campus, etc. Eric Crouch is in charge of the permits operation. Michael Lopez will work with departments to coordinate parking for events on campus including issuing passes, setting up the parking locations, and managing a shuttle system if necessary. Traffic and Parking has 33 employees and a $2.5 million budget. They provide services such as an education program, a motorist assistance program, and bringing mechanics campus just before big class breaks to inspect students' cars and make slight adjustments where necessary. They issue referrals when necessary for larger repairs. Traffic and Parking has been a punitive operation with the image to match. Enforcement was writing tickets to brand new students and their parents as they were moving into the dorms. Now, the new students get a notification that there is a problem and how to fix it. The notification also invites the student to use the notification to have their first parking ticket dismissed. The department now greets returning students with pizza. The objective is to change the face of Traffic and Parking.

•  Jack North is the General Manager of the golf course. The Rawls Course is a new operation. Staffing fluctuates with the seasons, so many of the workers are temporary. The NCAA women's regional golf tournament is being held here, which is a big event. Anyone can come watch. The Rawls Course was named in Golf Week magazine as the number 3 University golf course in the U.S. after being open only 2 ½ years. The golf course is not complete yet. There are still plans to build a clubhouse and a team facility for the golf team. The grill is open to everyone for lunch. The Rawls Course has one of the largest driving ranges in the U.S. at 53 acres. The driving range has the same type of grass as the fairways, so in emergencies, grass can be removed from the driving range to repair the course. The lake is fed with water from a well, and all rain drains to the lake. If the golf course is going to be flooded, Eric Johnson, the course superintendent, can set the pumping station to divert water to the west side of campus to the ponds and rangeland there. Water can also be diverted to the driving range which is easier to replace than the whole golf course. Anyone can take a tour on request by calling Jack North.

•  The system office is working on plenty of new construction. The new Animal and Food Sciences facility has just opened. The English/Philosophy building is just over a year old, and the old English/Philosophy building location will be a pedestrian mall. The old building has been demolished. Murray Hall, an apartment-style residence hall, is being built. The new Experimental Sciences building is behind schedule, but will be a nice facility and a boost to Tech's research endeavor. Tech conducts $40-50 million worth of research every year and has the capability to boost this. One of Tech's goals is to become a tier I research institution.

•  Answers to questions from Staff Senators:

•  Texas Tech University is supposedly the largest campus in terms of contiguous land area. However there are larger campuses in terms of total land area. The Air Force Academy is the largest. New Mexico State is number two. Tech is either number 3 or 4.

•  Texas A&M's enrollment is just over 42,000 or 43,000 and The University of Texas is around 52,000-53,000. Those schools are capping enrollments. Tech's enrollment is just over 28,000 and plans are to expand to between 30,000-32,000, which is what Tech can do comfortably using existing facilities. Dr. Whitmore would like to hire more faculty to ensure our student-faculty ratios and teaching loads remain at a manageable levels.

•  The first step to building a new building on campus is to work with the Dean to develop a needs assessment. Funding is an issue - there are many ways a building can be funded. The Performing Arts Center will be funded through private donations and fundraisers in conjunction with the city. For academic buildings, Tech can request tuition-revenue bonds from the state, and auxiliary buildings can be funded through student referendums. Occupancy thresholds are also an issue. It is necessary that building occupancies are not exceeded, but it is also necessary to make maximum use of a facility before requesting a new one. New buildings will eventually become part of the master planning and will go through Facilities Planning and Construction. Once a financial plan has been approved through Jim Brunjes, the Senior Vice Chancellor, the project moves into planning, schematic design, and ultimately final construction. The new Animal and Food Sciences facility took 6 to 8 years from initial idea to completion of construction.

•  A 5% increase in permit sales will be proposed to the Board of Regents next week. Parking lot maintenance has increased because the cost of asphalt has increased tremendously due to the cost increases in the oil business. A 5-year parking plan will also be presented to the Board along with a plan for the following 5 years as well. Through focus groups and town-hall meetings, it was discovered that many people believe mobility is a key issue. Park-and-ride did not meet with favor among faculty and staff because while the parking is free, the time factor is very inconvenient, especially for running mid-day off-campus errands. The plan is to try to increase area-reserved parking which is the favored type of parking. Visitor parking also is an issue because there are not enough spaces for visitors to campus. Solutions are being developed and Mr. Hinojosa offered to speak at a future Staff Senate meeting to offer an update on this issue. After the current plan is approved next week by the Board of Regents, a plan to finance it must be developed. More town hall meetings will be used to determine the best way to distribute the financial burden equitably so that it does not fall to students, staff, and faculty to finance the new plan.

•  Any of the directors in the Operations Division has an open-door policy for discussing issues around campus. Money is always the biggest issue. There are different committees to look at various issues. Anyone can sit in on any of the committees.

•  Mr. Hinojosa says he has had a chance to respond to some of the Staff Senate resolutions and says to keep up the good work.

•  New business

•  Marsha Sharp Freeway: The President's Office has requested each Senate body (Staff, Faculty, and Student) send a statement of position to the President's office which will be taken to the City Council for a meeting with the Texas Department of Transportation in order to comment on the Marsha Sharp Freeway becoming the Marsha Sharp Tollway. This would evidently shorten the construction time somewhat. There was not enough time to have a full Staff Senate meeting to get everyone's input. However, the Executive Board, with all EEO representatives, met and voted unanimously to send a letter stating the Staff Senate does not support a tollway.

•  Mobility Survey: Although Mr. Hinojosa mentioned that getting to and from work is an issue for employees, this survey deals with mobility while you are at work: going to and from different places on campus. This survey is currently active on the Staff Senate website. Last week, paper format surveys were sent to 500-600 employees in the Service EEO classification and the Crafts and Trades EEO classification. The survey is online for anyone to fill out. The mobility committee has sent out 2 TechAnnouncements and will send out 2 more. A minimum of 351 responses is needed to get a valid data set.

•  Officer nominations and elections will occur at the June 1 meeting. At that time, the Treasurer, Secretary, and next President-elect will be selected. Nominations will be accepted from the floor for those positions and vote will be taken by paper ballot if there is more than one nominee for a position. Anyone can serve as Treasurer or Secretary. The bylaws state the President-Elect must be at the beginning of their second year on the Staff Senate. The President-elect will serve for the following year in that capacity and then become the President the next year (the third year on the Staff Senate). After Brent Guinn's term as President is up, he will then serve as past-president in an ex-officio (non-voting) capacity.

•  The July meeting usually falls during the July 4 th week when many people schedule vacations. The July meeting will instead be held the second Wednesday of July (July 13) where the new officers and new senators will be inducted. Outgoing senators will be honored at this meeting, and President Whitmore is planning to host a reception for the Staff Senate outside this room at 4 p.m. following the meeting.

•  Committee Reports

•  Bylaws (Jaclyn Byrd) - No new changes are proposed this month. The Senate needs to vote on the changes proposed at the April meeting. See Appendix A for the text of the bylaws.

•  Article IV. Executive Board Section C - Attendance

•  Motion carries

•  Article III. Officer Duties and Vacancies Section C - Removal from Office

•  No vote was taken

•  Issues (Amy Martindale)

•  Pedestrian traffic around the parking garage - The Staff Senate passed a resolution requesting a barrier along Flint to direct pedestrians to the crosswalks. Max Hinojosa has said that funding has been secured. The design will be developed and the barrier will be constructed during a time when it will cause the fewest problems. Construction will most likely take place during the winter break.

•  Free tuition for staff - The people in upper administrative are supportive of resolution. President Whitmore would like to establish a presidential-level committee to study some details of implementation. It should be in place either in the fall or possibly the following spring.

•  Telecommuting - President Whitmore intends to designate a presidential-level committee to work on the revision of the policy to make it more accessible to employees.

•  Parking in Development - The committee submitted a letter to Buddy Knox to send out with the renewal notices this year. The letter will request people parking behind Development to move to cheaper area-reserve spaces so their current spaces can be converted to service parking. The committee will keep working on this issue until an equitable solution has been implemented.

•  Employee Mobility on Campus. Jana Atkins is chair of the ad hoc committee. A formal recommendation was approved by the Executive Committee to pursue an online survey to investigate the severity of campus mobility. The ad hoc committee developed the survey and submitted it to Executive Committee. The survey launched last Friday. Please visit the Staff Senate website to participate in the survey.

•  Hot Water in Campus Restrooms. Rebecca Owens is lead researcher. Several persons asked if washing hands in cold water is sanitizing. Other departments have dishwashers and say they are concerned about washing dishes in cold water. Research has indicated that dish and hand washing is effective in cold water, with the proper soap and length of washing. We have requested that Max Hinojosa send a memo to all department heads, letting them know about the availability of under-sink water heaters, at a cost of $700 to $800 to the department. His memo will also notify department heads that using antibacterial soap in dishwashers will properly sanitize them. Max Hinojosa has indicated his intent to notify all departments of proper hand washing procedures and hot water options.

•  Flying Flags at Half Mast. Amy Martindale is lead researcher. Some staff are concerned that lowering the US and Texas flags upon the death of a TTU student, faculty, or staff member is not allowable according to US Code. Only the President of the US or a state governor may direct the flags to be flown at half mast. The University President may direct the lowering of the TTU flag. TTU OP 76.04, governing Flying Flags, coordinates with the US Code. The TTU Police department was unaware of this language in the OP. They will now instruct officers as to proper half-masting procedures.

•  Elections - The nominations were short, so the Elections Committee and the Executive Board met. Only one nomination she has received had the proper signature on it. We are still lacking 14 nominations. Three more are needed in Clerical, five in Crafts and Trades, three in Professional, two in Services, and one in Technical/Paraprofessional.

•  COPS - no report

•  Communications and Public Relations (Jaclyn Byrd) - The committee did not meet this month. Committee members attended the Welcome Event and gave away freebies to the new employees.

•  Web page - Nominations were removed and the mobility survey is up right now.

•  Scholarship - no report

•  Nominations - no report

•  Grievance - no report

•  Outside committees

•  Status of Staff Ombudsman (Brent Guinn) - Committee was formed this year to create the position description and take applications. 110 applications were received and multiple rounds of interviews were held. The search committee had their final meeting on Monday and made its final recommendation to Dr. Anderes, who will be the supervisor for the position. Dr. Anderes is currently in negotiations with a specific candidate who will hopefully become the staff Ombudsman. This came about the help the staff work out issues that affect individual staff members.

•  Announcements:

•  The next Executive Board meeting will be May 25, 2005 at 3:00 p.m. in EE Bullen Room

•  The next Staff Senate Meeting will be June 1, 2005, 3:00 p.m. in Escondido Theatre, Student Union Building Basement

•  Introduction of new Senator Marlene Kenady (Clerical) from the Graduate School .


Appendix A

Article IV. Executive Board

Section C - Attendance

NEW

1. There will be approximately 12 meetings of the Executive Board during the year. All voting members of the Executive Board (President, President-Elect, Secretary, Treasurer and EEO Representatives) are expected to attend each meeting. In the case of a necessary absence, a member must notify the President or Secretary in advance of the meeting or no more than 3 working days after. Only 4 absences per year will be excused for any reason. After the 4 th absence the Secretary will notify the senator in writing that they have reached the limit. After the 5 th absence, the President will notify the member that he/she is being removed from the Board.

2. If an officer is removed from the Executive Board, the position shall be filled in accordance with Article III Section B of the Staff Senate Bylaws. If the member being replaced is an EEO Representative, a special election of that EEO Classification shall be held at the next Staff Senate meeting to choose a new Representative. The new member of the Executive Board will serve the remainder of the year, with a pro-rated number of absences.

 

Article III. Officer Duties and Vacancies

Section C - Removal from Office

ORIGINAL

Any officer may be removed upon two-thirds majority vote of the full Staff Senate. A petition signed by 15 percent of the Staff Senators shall be filed and attached to the agenda for the next meeting at which the vote shall be taken.

 

REVISED

For any reason other than absence at Executive Board, any officer may be removed upon two-thirds majority vote of the full Staff Senate. A petition signed by 15 percent of the Staff Senators shall be filed and attached to the agenda for the next meeting at which the vote shall be taken.