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Minutes for February 01, 2006


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•  Welcome

•  Pledge of Allegiance

•  Roll Call

 

Senators present: Louisa Arriaga, Jana Atkins, Estella Barron, Jaclyn Byrd, Crystal Davis, Lori Dudley, Sheryl Epperson, Maria Fernandez, Scott Hall, Judy Hunter, Donna Hurtado, Teresa Impson, Marcia Kawecki, Marlene Kenady, Carolyn Kennedy, Michelle Kiser, Barbara McArthur, Teresa Neal, Kathy Nordstrom, Rebecca Owens, Patti Perkins, Donna Perry, Eddie Ramirez, Donna Rogers, Don Roulain, Ryan Scheckel, Laurie Smerud, Randy Smith, Carol Ann Stanley, Linda Stracener, Richard Verrone, Barbara White, Leigh Wilson

 

Senators absent: Gene Bals, Joan Blackmon, Eric Burrell, Yolanda Coronado, Gerald Cunningham, Bobby Davila, Travis Findley, Rick Fullerton, Rocky Gauna, Sandy Gellner, Brent Guinn, Rick Loper, Guadalupe Luna, Bill McDonald, David Shuping, Kevin Tunnell

 

Guests: Dave Gruver, Liz Hall, Mary Jane Hurst, Tai Kreidler, Nathanael Haddox, Alice White

 

•  Minutes - stand as approved

 

•  Treasurer's Report

•  covers to December 5, 2005

•  stands as approved

 

•  Speakers

Alice White, Director of Public Relations, Texas Tech University System

Texas Tech is sponsoring a story contest called "From Here, It's Possible." Staff, faculty, former staff, former faculty, students, and alumni are eligible to enter. Staff members are encouraged to enter and to encourage others to enter and share their Texas Tech stories. The contest description can be found at www.possible.texastech.edu . Forty volunteers are available to make the "From Here, It's Possible" presentation and more are needed. [This program was placed on hold sometime following the February Staff Senate meeting.] There will be a celebration for the story contest on Thursday, April 27 at 4 p.m. at the Merket Alumni Center. An 18-page document entitled "Helping Each Other Thrive" also is available at the website above. Dr. White has requested that staff members share any success stories they experience or hear about regarding this document. It contains many community-friendly websites and resources. Dr. White also has offered her services to connect staff members with other resources in many areas and requests that staff members share any resources they find. A new, dynamic, 10-minute DVD about the academic strengths of Texas Tech and the Health Sciences Center is being developed.

 

Elizabeth (Liz) Hall, Vice Provost

The state record names Dr. Hall as the person responsible for access to all facilities. An expenditure of $15-$18 million dollars would be necessary to make TTU completely compliant with all ADA laws, and asbestos abatement is always an unknown factor in building renovations. Since Tech does not have that much money available, the university addresses issues individually as they come up. All new construction is compliant with Texas and federal law. Accessibility is more than just the law. Everybody needs a chance to reach their potential, and the only way to do that is to provide access.

There have been misunderstandings related to what "reasonable accommodation" actually means. What that means is that Tech does not have to go to extreme measures to accommodate someone to allow them to accept a position or do a job. Position descriptions (PDQs) are very important in this case. All job requirements a person should be able to do are to be listed on a PDQ. An employee must be able to perform the simple job functions, so departments are asked to be very careful about stating what it is the employee needs to do. Some people are excluded from certain jobs because they can't perform the essential functions of the job. Accommodations are limited to essential job functions and what can be done to reasonably accommodate people.

Any related issue can be sent to Dr. Hall, and any issue sent to her will receive a response. Art Glick is responsible for university architecture, but he specializes in ADA issues. He also handles temperature exceptions, satellites on the roof of buildings, etc. Dr. Hall is on the Facilities Allocation Council which meets every Thursday and is chaired by Max Hinojosa, Vice President of Operations. She usually brings ADA issues to the council although she is not required to do so. If there is a need for an accommodation, the resources to make it are made available. Money is set aside for ADA issues every year. If this money runs out, more is allocated as necessary. Making these accommodations is a legal obligation. If an accommodation is not dictated by law and there is no more facility money, the accommodation probably will not be made.

Never avoid hiring someone with mobility issues on the premise that your buildings are not compliant. Accommodations will be made. Dr. Hall's phone number is 742-2184, and her e-mail is e.hall@ttu.edu. Complaints from the general community can also be directed to her. Parking issues are forwarded to Max Hinojosa, but generally, Tech is over-compliant with parking, according to the law.

 

•  Committee Reports

•  Grievance (Carolyn Kennedy) - Nothing to report

•  Scholarship (Lori Dudley) - Thirty-two applications were received. The committee is in the process of evaluating all the applications and would like to give twenty $300 scholarships. This would require a little more than $6000 in order to cover all the scholarships plus any benefits that must be paid for graduate students.

•  Motion made by Jaclyn Byrd to allocate $6000 for scholarships

•  Motion seconded by Marlene Kenady

•  Discussion - $5000 was awarded last semester and this is an additional $1000 above that. A current budget sheet would be helpful in determining whether the money is available. The report approved today goes to the beginning of January which is close to what is actually available now. As of January 4, more than $15,000 remains unallocated in the budget, and the newsletter will cost around $1100. $6000 is available for scholarships.

•  Vote was taken and motion carries.

•  A TechAnnounce will be issued naming recipients, and newspaper coverage and a newsletter spot will be requested.

•  Communications/Public Relations (Randy Smith)

•  KTXT is requesting volunteers for their phone bank again this year. Several slots are available. Randy Smith will e-mail interested Senators about which shifts are available.

•  The next newsletter will be produced and distributed around April 1. Any ideas on input are welcomed. Any staff accomplishments should be submitted to Marlene Kenady or Randy Smith so they can be included in the newsletter.

•  Issues (Theresa Neal/Donna Perry)

•  Parking Fees - An ad hoc committee was formed to study this issue but was pressed for time because the new fee structure will be presented to the Board of Regents later this month. A few issues were noted with the original presentation made to the Staff Senate by Max Hinojosa in November. Richard Verrone met with Eric Crouch, Director of University Parking Services. The main concern is that the increase is so large. Verrone provided Mr. Crouch with a list of issues that was developed after his presentation. Mr. Crouch responded to these issues and then met with Verrone to provide more detail. A resolution has been written to address the new fee structure problems.

•  Sick leave pool - A staff member suggested a shared spousal sick leave. Dave Gruver in Personnel said the sick leave pool policy is based on state and/or federal rules and cannot be changed by the university. Sick leave is earned by individuals according to length of service and cannot be given to other employees. A person can donate sick leave to the university-wide sick leave pool, but cannot donate sick leave to a specific employee.

•  Athletic single-game discounts - Dave Welsh, Assistant Director of Athletics says there is a 20% discount for season tickets. For non-conference basketball games, the tickets are only $5, so there is no incentive to offer discounts. The athletic department does not feel the need to offer any other general sales incentives for employees, although they sometimes offer discounts to employees for specific games.

•  Employee dependent scholarship increase - Due to the tuition waiver, the employee scholarship is no longer available. The committee is investigating the possibility of an increase in the dependent scholarship award.

•  Fall break - Rebecca Owens studied how this will affect staff. SGA President Nathan Nash met with the Executive Board and answered questions, but the Executive Board members were not happy with all of his responses. Changing the academic calendar would alleviate some of the problems, but no meeting has taken place to make this happen. An ad hoc committee is needed to study this in more detail, quickly. As it stands, the current fall break starting in fall 2006 is not good for staff because there are still problems. A resolution will be presented for vote on March 1 that says the Staff Senate does not support the fall break.

•  Bylaws (Jaclyn Byrd)

Article VI Section B #7

First reading - see Appendix A for full text with changes

A quorum was not available for voting on readings from previous meetings.

•  Academic Council meets Tuesday

•  Faculty Senate meets next week

•  President's Budget Advisory Committee - The state operates on a biennium, which includes the budget for all state agencies and universities. Rapidly rising energy costs were not considered when the budget was passed in the last session. In order to pay campus energy bills, other areas are suffering. A ½% or 1% raise had been in consideration, at a cost of $1.9 million, but it was suggested that such a small amount would not greatly benefit individual employees. It was suggested that the money could be better spent in other areas, and the university should consider a 4-5% salary increase in the next biennium.

 

•  President's report:

•  Marlene Kenady and Richard Verrone will attend a meeting tomorrow to represent staff on a new initiative to bring high profile speakers and performers to campus. The other issue is that SGA President Nathan Nash, Faculty Senate President John Howe, University President Jon Whitmore, and Verrone talked about presenting a State of the University address. President Whitmore has traditionally presented this every year, but it has been aimed at faculty. Although staff are invited to attend, very few do so. Verrone suggested that the organizational presidents contribute to this through State of the Staff, State of the Faculty, and State of the Students addresses as well. It was proposed that this begin in February or March. It was generally agreed to have it after 5:00 to allow as many people as possible to attend.

 

•  Resolutions

 

1. Resolution of Appreciation for Chancellor David Smith - see Appendix B for full text

•  Motion made by Carolyn Kennedy to adopt this resolution

•  Motion seconded by Jaclyn Byrd

•  No discussion

•  Motion carries

2. Resolution on the Chancellor Search Advisory Committee - see Appendix C for full text

•  Motion made by Carolyn Kennedy to adopt this resolution

•  Motion seconded by Marlene Kenady

•  No discussion

•  Motion carries

3. Resolution on Parking Fees - see Appendix D for full text

•  Motion made by Donna Perry to adopt this resolution

•  Motion seconded by Kathy Nordstrom

•  Discussion - Why does the resolution suggest a 10% cap specifically? The Faculty Senate suggested the 10% cap. The Executive Board discussed this and concluded that a 10% increase in parking fees would not place an unreasonable burden on staff. The Board of Regents Facilities Committee does not plan to discuss parking fees when they meet tomorrow (February 2). A comment from the floor suggested not offering the 10% solution, but Mr. Crouch feels offering a possible solution will be more helpful in having the input taken seriously. It was pointed out that some parking fees may increase 65%. The price of parking is going to increase. Stating what is appropriate, an alternative, might help.

•  Motion carries

 

•  Announcements

•  Please turn off cell phones during the meetings

•  Wear your Staff Senate name tags on Staff Senate business and when appropriate

•  Inform Richard Verrone and Rebecca Owens about committee meeting dates and times

•  The next Executive Board meeting will be February 22 at 3:00 p.m. in the Formby Room at the Southwest Collection.

•  The next Staff Senate meeting will be March 1 at 3:00 p.m. in Escondido Theater in the Student Union Basement.

 

•  Adjourn

•  Motion made by Rebecca Owens to adjourn

•  Motion seconded by Lori Dudley

•  Motion carries


Appendix A

 

Bylaws Revisions

 

First Reading

 

Article VI Standing Committees

B. Organization, Powers and Duties of Standing committees

 

ORIGINAL TEXT

7. The Chair of each Standing Committee shall have the responsibility for the effective administration of the committee. The Chair shall record attendance at each meeting and send a report to the Secretary of the Staff Senate. If the Chair or a member of the committee has a problem with a committee member's attendance, they may go to the Executive Board.

 

TEXT WITH CHANGES (underlined)

7. The Chair of each Standing Committee shall have the responsibility for the effective administration of the committee. The Chair shall record attendance at each meeting and send a report to the Secretary of the Staff Senate. If the Chair or a member of the committee has a problem with a committee member's attendance, they may submit a formal grievance in writing to the grievance committee detailing the frequency of absences and the impact on the committee. The grievance committee will then gather information and make a formal recommendation to the Executive Board.

 


Appendix B

 

Texas Tech University Staff Senate

2005-2006 Resolution 2

February 1, 2006

 

 

Resolution of Appreciation

 

 

WHEREAS Dr. David R. Smith, M.D., served the Texas Tech System as Interim Chancellor from September, 2001 to May 2002; and

 

WHEREAS Dr. Smith has served as Chancellor since May 2002; and

 

WHEREAS during his tenure, the Texas Tech University System had unprecedented and sustained growth in student enrollment; and

 

WHEREAS during his tenure, Texas Tech University institutional development rose by almost $250 million; and

 

WHEREAS during his tenure, Texas Tech received over $100 million in federal appropriations; and

 

WHEREAS during his tenure, he oversaw $500 million in construction of new facilities;

 

 

Therefore, be it resolved that the Texas Tech University Staff Senate, meeting on this first day of February 2006, declares its sincere appreciation to Dr. David R. Smith for his devoted service and exemplary accomplishments as Chancellor of the Texas Tech University System; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that copies of this resolution be distributed to Chancellor David Smith, President Jon Whitmore, and members of the Texas Tech University System Board of Regents.

 

 

Introduced to, and passed by, the Texas Tech University Staff Senate on February 1, 2006

 


Appendix C

 

Texas Tech University Staff Senate

2005-2006 Resolution 3

February 1, 2006

 

 

Resolution on the Chancellor Search Committee

 

 

WHEREAS the Chancellor of the Texas Tech University System has tendered his resignation and the new Chancellor has not been appointed; and,

 

WHEREAS the Board of Regents is forming an Advisory Committee to assist in the selection of a new Chancellor of the Texas Tech University System; and,

 

WHEREAS the inclusion of a broad base of all University constituencies in the selection process will insure that the needs and concerns of all employees and current and former students of the University are represented;

 

 

Therefore BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Texas Tech University Staff Senate, meeting on this 1 st day of February 2006, urges the Board of Regents to include a diverse mixture of students, staff, faculty and alumni in the search and appointment process of a new Chancellor.

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT copies of this resolution be distributed to Chancellor David Smith, President Jon Whitmore, and members of the Texas Tech University System Board of Regents.

 

 

Introduced to, and passed by, the Texas Tech University Staff Senate on February 1, 2006.

 


Appendix D

 

Texas Tech University Staff Senate

2005-2006 Resolution 4

February 1, 2006

 

 

Resolution on University Parking Services' Proposed Parking Fee Increases

 

 

WHEREAS the Texas Tech University Parking Services has indicated an increase in parking fees through a proposed parking fee structure; and,

 

WHEREAS the proposed increase in parking fees is a substantial increase; and,

 

WHEREAS such an increase may cause a financial hardship to a large number of staff employees at Texas Tech University because of various economic factors which include, but are not limited to, the increase in the cost of living, especially in energy costs, the fact that no raise in staff compensation for the upcoming year is anticipated, an increase in employee insurance costs, and the proposed increase in parking fees;

 

 

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Texas Tech University Staff Senate, meeting this 1 st day of February, 2006, urges the Board of Regents to cap the annual increase in parking fees to a maximum of 10% of each year's current fees until the proposed target is met.

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that copies of this resolution be distributed to the Chancellor of the Texas Tech University System, President Jon Whitmore, Vice President of Operations Max Hinojosa, University Parking Services Director Eric Crouch, and members of the Texas Tech University System Board of Regents.

 

 

Introduced to, and passed by, the Texas Tech University Staff Senate on February 1, 2006.