Texas Tech University

Minutes for December 7, 2005


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  • Welcome
  • Pledge of Allegiance
  • Roll Call

Senators present:  Louisa Arriaga, Jana Atkins, Gene Bals, Joan Blackmon, Jaclyn Byrd, Gerald Cunningham, Crystal Davis, Lori Dudley, Sheryl Epperson, Maria Fernandez, Travis Findley, Sandy Gellner, Donna Hurtado, Marcia Kawecki, Marlene Kenady, Carolyn Kennedy, Michelle Kiser, Rick Loper, Guadalupe Luna, Barbara McArthur, Bill McDonald, Teresa Neal, Kathy Nordstrom, Patti Perkins, Donna Perry, Donna Rogers, Ryan Scheckel, David Shuping, Laurie Smerud, Randy Smith, Linda Stracener, Richard Verrone, Leigh Wilson

Senators absent:  Estella Barron, Eric Burrell, Yolanda Coronado, Bobby Davila, Rick Fullerton, Rocky Gauna, Brent Guinn, Scott Hall, Judy Hunter, Teresa Impson, Rebecca Owens, Eddie Ramirez, Don Roulain, Carol Ann Stanley, Kevin Tunnell, Barbara White

Guests:  Eric Crouch, Lanie Dornier, Tai Kreidler, Lee Sonnenberg

  • Minutes
    • Motion made by Bill McDonald to accept the minutes.
    • Seconded by Michelle Kiser
    • Motion carries
  • Treasurer’s Report
    • Tabled until January
  • Speakers

Lanie Dornier, Associate Professor of Health, Exercise, and Sports Science, and Chair of the Gender Equity Council
This is a new council.  It was a different entity for the past two years, under the Provost.  The “council” designation gives more power to the group.  A charge and bylaws have been developed and the Staff Senate is directly involved.  This group consists of five faculty and five staff, and two students - one graduate and one undergraduate; four men and nine women.  The word “gender” is used because gender includes both men and women.  The Council’s mission is to look into gender issues whether they pertain to men or women.
The council plans to collect data and submit a report to the president at the end of the year.  They plan to collect statistical information such as pay for faculty and staff as a function of gender, how many faculty and staff are hired, how many leave the university, etc.  They would also like to study non-traditional information on how gender is represented on this campus and welcome suggestions on the types of data they should collect.
The Council has subgroups that deal with employment, family, and climate issues.

  • The employment subgroup studies pay, workload, responsibilities, and other issues directly related to employment.
  • The family subgroup examines issues such as child care and family leave, as well as how these are handled.
  • Climate is more widespread.  The subcommittee on climate issues came about due to a task force set up by the Provost to look at gay and lesbian issues.  The task force found out there are other issues such as religious tolerance and staff feeling under-represented and under-respected.  The council is willing to study anything and make recommendations about how to make TTU a better environment for everybody.

There were a few questions from the floor:

  • Can the committee look at the grumbling of departments about letting employees take classes?  Yes.  This is the kind of information the council needs.
  • How can those of us who are not department heads or supervisors collect data?  The council will collect the data.  They will not ask anyone else do it for them.
  • Who is chairing which committee, and what do they do?  On campus, women tend to be in charge of the lesser committees.  However, on this council, all subcommittees are currently chaired by women.

Eric Crouch, Director, Traffic and Parking
Mr. Crouch has been at Texas Tech for 15 years.  He has moved up the ranks from student assistant to his current position.
Mr. Crouch plans to take some time to study the department and how things are done, and plans some changes in the coming year.  Some restructuring has already been done.  Lee Sonnenberg is now Associate Director.
There are two areas to manage in parking:  supply and demand, and customer service.  Customer service is the area where the most improvement can be made.  An advisory committee is being developed regarding the issues that faculty, staff, and students are having.  A representative from the Staff Senate will be requested in the next month or so.  This committee will meet regularly.  The frequency will be decided as needed, once a month or quarterly. 
Mr. Crouch says, “My door is open.  We are open to ideas.  E-mail, call, stop by, tour the office.”
There were a few questions from the floor:

  • Employees with H permits have been receiving parking tickets.  Has that policy changed?  No.  There is a shortage of service parking in several areas, and he suggested it is best to keep the system as simple as possible rather than trying to distinguish among different types of service parking.
  • With the big increase that’s expected on parking fees, will employees with reserved spaces be guaranteed an area-reserved space if they choose?  The fees are going up, and Traffic and Parking was looking at equity issues in permits at the Board of Regents’ request.  The staff pass is 12 months and students pay for 9.  Equity would require a 150% increase in staff permit prices.  Those in the residence halls would like constant parking enforcement so the increase in that fee is needed to cover extended hours.  The proposal Max Hinojosa presented to the Staff Senate last month is going to the Board of Regents, but it is not final.  Traffic and Parking will present a final idea before the Board of Regents sees it in the spring.  Any changes would go into effect in May.  At this point, any changes are merely in a discussion phase.
  • With constant residence hall enforcement, can people can get visitor passes outside normal business hours?  Traffic and Parking currently closes at 4:30 p.m. which is tough on staff and evening students.  Temporary visitor permits are available at the University Police Department outside normal hours.
  • Committee Reports
    • Grievance – Carolyn Kennedy – nothing to report
    • Scholarship – Lori Dudley – The committee is currently in discussions regarding updating the application.  The changes should be ready for the spring semester.  Since this is a book scholarship, there will probably be more applications because of the tuition waiver.
    • Bylaws and Constitution – Michelle Kiser
  • Article VI. Standing Committees:  A. Membership/Purpose (Revised order).  See Appendix A for complete text with changes
  • Communications and Public Relations – Randy Smith – The newsletter will be mailed to every staff member, probably on Friday this week.  The committee intends to publish again in April and during the first summer session.  Feedback is welcome and encouraged.  The committee is also considering promotional items and other materials to use at events such as the New Employee Welcome Event.
  • Issues – Donna Perry – Several issue suggestions were received last month and passed to the Issues Committee.  The committee meets next week to go over the new issues.  The Fall Break is the current big issue.  Background:  Students have proposed a fall break.  Nathan Nash is the current SGA president and has been campaigning for this.  If it passes, it will go into effect for Fall 2006.  The Faculty Senate has studied the proposal and put forth their opinions.  The Staff Senate wants to investigate how a fall break would affect staff, such as registrar issues, graduation, and the holidays.  Last year’s Staff Senate did not formally take a position.  Last week in Executive Board, it was decided not to write a resolution, but to examine the issue in more detail and have discussions with the other parties involved to address staff concerns.  At that point, a resolution would be submitted in support or opposition.  Rebecca Owens researched this issue and discovered that the student proposal is not viable for staff in its current form.  Richard talked to Nathan Nash last week and will wait for his response.  He has also asked Nathan to request SGA members not say the Staff Senate supports the fall break at this point.  Mr. Nash’s response is due December 21.  He has asked to address the Executive Board and the general Staff Senate.  The Executive Board will make a decision and have a resolution by January.  Any additional issues should be directed to Richard or the Issues Committee.

 

  • External committees:
    • The Budget Advisory Committee and the Provost Council meet next week.
    • Strategic planning – Jaclyn Byrd– The committee is still working on benchmarks which will be delivered to the Vice Presidents next week.
  • President’s report:
    • The tuition waiver has been approved by the Board of Regents for the Spring 2006 semester.  Verrone has received 40-50 e-mails, mostly positive, since this was announced.  A few concerns have been voiced.  Some are suggesting to allow any staff member to take a course regardless of whether they are in a degree program.  This could be a step to be taken by future Senates.  Right now, employees must be in a degree program to take advantage of the tuition waiver.  An ad-hoc committee in last year’s Staff Senate studied this issue and made the recommendation that this should be just for degree-seeking staff members.  There are plenty of other opportunities for professional development, including course auditing.  By recommending only degree-seeking or certificate-seeking staff members be allowed tuition waivers, people are discouraged from using classes to get out of work or taking classes just for fun.  Although tuition is waived for a three-hour course, staff members must make up any work time missed.  It was suggested that a new committee should study this.  Student Business Services will handle financial matters and should already have staff members’ employee status information.

Ryan Scheckel has met with two staff members who have chosen to take classes, but aren’t sure about a major.  The Advising Center works with people to help them decide which degree would be appropriate.  Students are usually listed as “undecided” major rather than “non-degree-seeking” until a major is chosen.

    • Faculty Senate – Verrone and John Howe of the Faculty Senate have spoken and e-mailed frequently regarding the Fall Break.  The Faculty Senate would like to work with the Staff Senate on a number of issues.  The child care issue has resurfaced.  Howe suggested forming a joint committee to investigate and make recommendations.  Cost and demand were the biggest issues in the past.  Electronic voting is another issue that was suggested.  The Staff Senate has not utilized electronic voting because of staff members who do not have access to computers.  Staff Senators are invited to meet with Faculty Senate at some point.
    • Verrone is trying to relocate Staff Senate meetings.  The Faculty Senate meets in the Matador Room, but it is not consistently available on the first Wednesday of each month.  There may be other spaces available on campus.  The new Senate Room opening is postponed until fall.
    • Verrone has had a couple of conversations with Max Hinojosa regarding some past and present issues.  Hand washing and signs:  Hinojosa says this is a dead issue and suggested the following:  the signs would be quickly abused and defaced and the cleaning people would have to clean them, although it was suggested from the floor that the pest eradication signs in restrooms prove this is not really true.  HSC already has these signs but they would not be appropriate for this campus because they speak to the nature of the health care industry.  Sign pollution is another problem (too many signs on campus).  Hinojosa would like Staff Senate feedback soon on the presentation last month.
    • Staff members in some EEO classifications, specifically Staff Senators, are not being allowed to attend Staff Senate meetings.  This is unacceptable.  Some have been told directly, and this has been communicated to others passively.  It is illegal (according to Hinojosa), to ask people to clock out to attend a Staff Senate meeting.  He does not believe any department heads would allow this to happen and does not think other supervisors would either, but he was open to the possibility that it is happening and promised to address it.  Hinojosa supports allowing Staff Senators to attend monthly meetings.
  • New Business
    • Some staff members have requested a holiday on January 2 to allow staff to attend the Cotton Bowl and support the Tech football team.  A poll among the Executive Board revealed members are overwhelmingly against asking for this.

 

  • Announcements
    • Please wear your name tags on Senate business.  Feel free to wear them anytime you want.
    • Please let Rebecca Owens and Richard Verrone know about committee meetings.
    • The next Executive Board meeting was moved up to December 21 because of the holiday.
    • The next Staff Senate meeting is January 4.
  • Adjourn
    • Motion made by Jaclyn Byrd to adjourn
    • Seconded by Barbara McArthur
    • Motion carries

Appendix A

Bylaws Revisions

First Reading
(changes are in bold)

Article VI.  Standing Committees
A.  Membership/Purpose

ORIGINAL ORDER
1.   Bylaws & Constitution
2.   Nominations
3.   Elections
4.   Grievance
5.   Communications/Public Relations
6.   Other Committees

REVISED ORDER
1.   Nominations
2.   Elections
3.   Grievance
4.   Bylaws & Constitution
5.   Communications/Public Relations
6.   Issues
7.   Other Committees

ORIGINAL
1.   Nominations
The Nominations Committee shall be comprised of one member from each EEO Classification to be chosen within that category. The duties of the committee shall be to seek and recommend nominations for appointments to internal, external, and University committees, as deemed necessary according to Article V, Section 1 of the Constitution.

REVISED
1.   Nominations
The Nominations Committee shall be comprised of one member from each EEO classification to be chosen by a majority vote of those members present of each EEO Classification at the first regularly-scheduled meeting of each year where official business is conducted.  Should no members of the EEO classification present be able to serve on the nominations committee, the president may appoint committee members from within the EEO classification.

ORIGINAL
2.   Elections
The Elections Committee shall be comprised of one member from each EEO Classification to be chosen within that category. The duties of the committee shall be to handle all nomination and election procedures as set forth in Article III, Section 1 of the Constitution.

REVISED
2.   Elections
The Elections Committee shall be comprised of one member from each EEO classification to be chosen by a majority vote of those members present of each EEO Classification at the first regularly-scheduled meeting of each year where official business is conducted.  Should no members of the EEO classification present be able to serve on the elections committee, the nominations committee may appoint committee members from within the EEO classification.

ORIGINAL
3.   Grievance
The Grievance Committee shall be comprised of one member from each EEO Classification to be chosen within that category. The duties of the committee shall be to handle Staff Senate grievances or concerns that may be expressed by any member of the Staff Senate and/or the University community according to Article IV, Section 2 of the Constitution.

REVISED
3.   Grievance
The Grievance Committee shall be comprised of one member from each EEO classification to be chosen by a majority vote of those members present of each EEO Classification at the first regularly-scheduled meeting of each year where official business is conducted.  Should no members of the EEO classification present be able to serve on the grievance committee, the nominations committee may appoint committee members from within the EEO classification.


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