Texas Tech University

Minutes for July 10, 2007

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  • Call To Order:
    • 2006-2007 Senate President Rebecca Owens
      Merket Alumni Center, 3:05 PM
  • Roll Call Dispensed
  • Guest Speaker
    • Highlights of Remarks from President John Whitmore
      • “This is a very important day and a very important ceremony when we, and I in particular, thank each of you and all of you for your service this past year. In a minute now I will just highlight a few things that happened this past year, but I want to personally thank each of you.  It takes extra time to serve in this kind of organization.  It takes extra effort, and I for one appreciate it because with the input from staff, as well as faculty and students, we are a better university. This important body serves in that roll of advising me, advising the university as a whole.  Ultimately advising or giving some of your thoughts to us and to the regents about how we can make this a better university; and that is a noble cause.  Every year we hope when we end the year that we have done things during the year to make this a better university, and we have, and we did, and I thank you for it.”
      • “Just a few examples of things that happened this year, which for me went by extremely fast. I stood before you near the beginning of the year and said that this will be an important legislative session, and that was one of the university’s main agendas. We stand here today and that session is over. In general it was a very successful session, particularly in terms of ongoing funding for student buildings like the Rawls College of Business, the Law School, and to renovate the old business building.  We are exploring renovating sections of the building like we did the Student Union.”
      • “I also said in the beginning of the year that we would be doing a stronger marketing effort, and that our office had taken over that responsibility for what been done in the system before.  We did a lot more marketing in the Dallas-Fort Worth area including some highway billboard posters, including more advertising in local media and on websites in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Part of the reason for that is that this is where our largest group of alumni reside, and is by far the place where the largest cohort of incoming freshmen comes from every year.  That was a successful campaign.  We are looking at record enrollments for this fall, and part of that marketing campaign was designed to help bring more students to Texas Tech University.”
      • “We also had a major increase in what is called Higher Education Assistant Funds, or HEAF dollars.  These are monies that we cannot use to hire people, but we use to buy things with including small renovations or smaller building projects. Some of that funding goes to buy items for the library, and equipment for instructional purposes or for research purposes.  This will go on.  The jump up in funding will stay up.  These funds will be used in many parts of the university, particularly in some renovations.”“We did get some additional research dollars. Not nearly as much as we hoped for, and because we haven’t really grown as an institution the last 2 years, we pretty much stayed the same in terms of number of students, our funding did not go up significantly from the general fund that supports the university.  It is designed first to support additional growth at universities.  With our increase in student body for the coming fall that is anticipated, and likely another increase for the fall following that, we should be in very good shape for the next legislative session to receive more money in that category.”
      • “I was very proud of how our university responded to the Virginia Tech tragedy in terms of holding out our hopes for that community.  It is the kind of unfortunate activity that could take place anywhere.  It has lead us, as an institution, to look harder at how we manage the safety of our campus, and how we might reach out and communicate more effectively so there are a number of initiatives in the coming year which will help us do that.  Just to begin with, the marketing people put out a brochure called Campus Safety. It is primarily for students and parents, but it will be available to the community as well.  It provides emergency numbers, how they can increase safety while walking across campus in the evening, a section on how to be safe in town or during severe weather, and so forth.  This is all on the website. The other, and main thing, we did in regards to safety is purchase a software system which allows people to tell individuals, each of you and your counterparts, how best to communicate with you during some kind of campus emergency. Some want text messages, some want cell-phone calls, some want calls to their office.  This will allow us to differentiate by every single individual how we can reach them in an emergency.  If you don’t give us how to contact you we won’t do any better than we do now, but if you provide that information to that system it can be programmed to reach out to people in very short time periods when  you need it.  Not just in situations like Virginia Tech, but in cases of severe weather or other tragedies.  We have a security committee which Rebecca serves on.”
      • “We opened some new buildings this past year; the Wellness Center, the Human Sciences Addition, the Distance Ed building.  You all participated in this some way or the other, and hopefully you benefited from this different activities that went forward during this past year. You should take pride in those developments as well as many, many others that I am not mentioning today.”“I did think I would name a few things we are going to be working on next year for those of you who are continuing.  We will be hiring more staff in one particular area – enrollment management, which means we are committed to recruiting new students.  The chancellor has submitted a new challenge to us to reach a 40,000 student campus by 2020.  We need to build on that, and it will take more people out in the field recruiting.” “We have two new regents.  John F.  Scovell, and Jerry E. Turner.  Two other regents were reappointed.  They will be at the regents meeting at the first weekend in August.” “Next year as well we do a reaccreditation of our athletic department by the NCAA.  The National Collegiate Athletic Associate requires a recertification of your athletic program every 10 years.  Next year is the 9th year, which is the year in which you prepare materials that will go to the national office. A year from this coming fall they will send a review team.”  “We have a new sister institution, Angelo State.  We will be orienting ourselves to them, and they to us.”“Because we have a plan to grow the institution to a much larger institution over time, we will be planning how to do that. We need more facilities.  We will need places for people to stay, classrooms to teach in, laboratories, etc.  Starting this year we begin exploring what we will need to do to accomplish this, and we will seek information from staff.”“We do have ambitions for the future. We need your help and involvement. I end where I began. Thank you. Its been a good year, and you contributed to that, and I personally appreciate that.  I also want to say thank you to the leadership for this organization which works even harder to prepare, take the minutes and the notes and do all the things that allow this organization to move along as smoothly as possible.” “I started this tradition 4 years ago.  I want to personally thank Rebecca for her service as President this past year. I know it takes a lot of time and effort.  I can guarantee you she worked tirelessly.  She is graduating from being a President.  This is the folder that students receive their diploma in. She is not getting a diploma, but she is getting a certificate that says, Texas Tech University Certificate of appreciation presented to Rebecca Owens for her distinguished service as President of the Staff Senate for 2006-2007.’  Thank you again, Rebecca."
  • Exiting Senators:
    • The 11 senators who were leaving were asked to stand as Rebecca and the Senate expressed their appreciation for their service by presenting them with certificates.  These Senators were Joan Blackmon, Eric Burrell, Jaclyn Byrd, Crystal Davis, Lori Dudley, Rick Loper, Teresa Neal, Rebecca Owens, Donna Perry, Joe Stahmer, and Linda Stracener.  Exiting Senators not in attendance were Jaclyn Byrd, Teresa Neal and Joe Stahmer.
    • Amy took a picture of the exiting Senators with President Whitmore.
  • Rebecca’s Remarks:
    • “One of the things last year that was said to me right after I did my incoming President remarks was, ‘that is the way you are supposed to address the group, very quickly and to the point, so I have tried to maintain that tradition this whole year.  I do have some things to say. The first, obviously, is to President Whitmore.  He has graciously given me, at times, more than an hour of his time.  We had scheduled meetings every month, they were scheduled for an hour, and at times he gave me over an hour of his time.   He also made time for me on an unscheduled meeting day because of the importance of the Staff Senate.  I want you all to know what an advocate we have in President Whitmore, I want him to know how much we appreciate it.
    • I also want to thank my officers this year;  Kathy Nordstrom as President Elect, Jaclyn Byrd  as secretary, Crystal Davis – tireless as treasurer.  I so appreciate that.  The Executive Board is comprised of the officers, the EEO representatives.  Each of you incoming Senators will elect the committee chairs.  I had an absolutely amazing executive board.  They really work tirelessly for the whole group.  We worked very well together, we navigated through some interesting times, and I definitely appreciate your dedication to that process.
    • Lastly, but definitely not least, I want to thank all the Senators that worked with me and during my tenure, worked with me from the time I began 3 years ago. This has been an amazing honor to represent all of you.  I leave it in very capable hands.  Kathy has been a constant presence during my role as President.  She has been a wonderful understudy.  She is much more organized that I am.  You will benefit from her expertise.  Ron Nail is your President Elect and will be stepping up a year from now. I have very mixed emotions, very bitter sweet emotions.  I will be as active as this Senate asks me to be, and as past president I still maintain some role in the Senate.  The forward progress this organization has made since its inception, I think in 1999.  Thank you all. It has been a pleasure and an honor to serve.”
  • Induction of New Officers:
    • Kathy Nordstrom, President
      Ron Nail, President Elect
      Sharon Yeates, Secretary
      Michelle Kiser, Treasurer
    • President Whitmore. “First of all I want to thank you as I thanked the outgoing officers.  We have a lot of things on our plate this year, and staff will be involved in many of them.  I pledge that I will work with you closely.  I will listen to your advice, even if on occasion we disagree on something, I will let you know why we are not doing something that you prefer we do.  Some reasons may be for financial purposes, and so on.  Every year I believe this group has made requests of us, and those that are doable have helped improved life for staff on this campus. I am committed to continuing to do that, and I need your advice in order to do that. I now declare you the official new officers of the Staff Senate.
  • Passing of the Gavel:
    • 2006-2007 President passed the gavel to 2007-2008 President Kathy Nordstrom.
  • Kathy’s Remarks:
    • “I am really excited about being Staff Senate President.  I have some very difficult shoes to fill because of Rebecca’s example, and what she did. Ron and Kathy presented certificates to Rebecca Owns and Crystal Davis to thank them for their service 2006-2007. A certificate was also presented for Jaclyn Byrd who was not in attendance.
    • The officers of the 2006-2007 Senate presented Rebecca Owens with an engraved clock thank her for her service.
    • Ron Nail and Michael Gellner also presented Rebecca with a fruit basket.
  • Incoming Senators:
    • Administrative/Management
      Shannon Crossland – Office of Student Financial Aid
      Linda Jackson – Quality Service and Professional Development
      Gary Johnson – TOSM
      Chris Leisinger – Student Judicial Programs
      Len Markham – Physical Plant
      Elizabeth Massengale – Center for Campus Life
      Pam Tipton – Education
    • Clerical
      Ashley Arenivas – Library
      Becky Evans – Institution Advancement
      Tamara Ginter – Biology
      Michelle Hill – Housing & Resident Life
      Dawn Moreno – College of Media and Communication
    • Crafts & Trade
    • Professional
      Carla Cavender – Research Services
      Virginia Downs – Division of Outreach and Extended Studies
      David Naugher – Physical Plant/Engineering
      Kathy Smith – Office of Registrar
    • Service
      Daniel Perez – Hospitality
    • Technical
      Larry Burks – Physical Plant/Utilities
      Judy Easterwood – Biology
      Randal Lacy – College of Arts & Sciences
      Audrey Pekowski – Telecommunication Services
      Janie Ramirez - Education
  • Dismissed:
    • Kathy officially dismissed the meeting at 4:15 PM.


TTU Staff Senate