Staff Senate

Staff Senate Meeting Minutes
225-B McWherter Library
April 23, 1998

Absent: Carol Brown, Steve Canaday, Gracie Cato, Joan Cesari, Ray Craft, Kimberly Edgar, Linda Heide, Addie Hughes, Richard Jones, Ronnie Logan, and Ethel Moore

Excused: Glenda Barton, Patricia Ehrlich, Norma Price, Vernon Spence, and Patricia Taylor

1. The meeting was called to order and roll was called.

2. Dr. Rawlins addressed the Senate:

Dr. Rawlins expressed his appreciation for the Senate's help during TBR's visit. He commented on how visible the Staff Senate was and how he had received positive reports on the visit.

The budget is good news. The General Assembly approved a 1% pay increase in January of 1999. The proposed longevity increase to $150 has appeared to have died; it never made it before the committee. Capital Projects are on go. All areas could receive some additional funding - contingent upon enrollment. There will be no budget reductions.

Mercer Study: In spirit there is no longer a Mercer Study but a University of Memphis Study. An expanded Project Oversight Committee has been charged with reviewing the proposed plans and making recommendations to the President. The desired result is an evaluation system that is more closely suited to the University's unique needs and circumstances.

Dr. Rawlins invited everyone to attend Convocation and the reception that will follow. He complimented Physical Plant on how well the grounds look.

Meerkat Award: This award is to be awarded to someone who is a team player. Everyone should have received some information on this award.

The Spring Fling was rained out, but the preparation for this event was very impressive.

Questions and Answers:

Q: What about people who are brought in from the outside at a higher starting salary and in-house personnel who apply only get a 7% or 10% increase?
A: Not all come in high, some come in lower. The current 7% for one step and 10% for two steps is very liberal. In reality, what is hard to take is wanting to recruit the best people possible which means you have to pay more to stay alive. The best situation is to hire the best person possible and keep present employees happy.
Q: What about the implementation of Mercer?
A: Previously answered.
Q: Will we still have maximums in the pay range?
A: Yes, but they will be adjusted.

Q: When the 401K comes before the Legislature will the University lobby for it?
A: Yes. It was funded for everyone else but Higher Education and the University is just finding out now how this happened, and is still pursuing it.

Q: What will be done for loyal employees at the top of the range?
A: All scales are looking to be changed.
Q: When will we get a real raise?
A: "Hopefully before I die! , this raise should be a 12½ increase to bring us up." The Blue Ribbon Commission has been appointed by the governor to look at Higher Education. The only thing they can agree on is that Higher Education is under funded.

The Governor will speak at commencement.

Questions from floor:

Q: What about a lottery with funding directed at Education?
A: "People of Tennessee don't want legislators to make decisions about money. People would vote for a tax increase just for Education."
Q: What about the news piece on television in reference to the casinos and The University of Memphis?
A: Tiger Club (not run by the University) raise money for the University. The Tiger Club has an agreement with Horseshoe to sponsor a tournament. Harrahs donated one million dollars to the University when Mike Rose retired (upon his request). You will not see advertisements at University functions from the casinos.

Q: What about the article in the Memphis Business Journal having our faculty in the bottom quartile?
A: Our faculty are not in that quartile.

Q: If there is additional raise money, who designates how it is used?
A: Unless it is handed down across the board, it will be used for merit. If it is not more than 1% we have to find some additional funds within.

Q: For small employee pool areas they do not have the opportunity for merit, what can be done?
A: Because people don't listen to directions this happens. Dr. Rawlins distributes the money to Vice Presidents and Provost who have been told not to have small merit pools.

With the University understaffed and underpaid, people still getting things done deserve a pat on the back.

3. Committee reports:

Finance Committee: Harry Flowers stated the senate account balance is $5,234.74

Election Committee: April 30th is the last day for nomination forms.

AD-Hoc Bylaws Committee: None

Issues Review Committee: Will start meeting each Thursday after each regularly scheduled Senate meeting. The committee currently has two issues: Campus Day Care and snow day equality (a letter is being composed for Dr. Rawlins.)

Standing Committees:

Traffic/Parking Authority: May 8th the Fieldhouse lot will close. McCord Hall is closing. The new lot on Patterson is for Residence only. Some fines are being increased.

Safety Committee: None

Facilities and Services Com.: Janet Mitchell distributed the minutes from the March meeting.

IT Policy Committee: E-mail distributed concerning SCT Management Contract.

IT Admin. Advisory Com.: E-mail distributed concerning SCT Management Contract.

Bookstore Committee: Continually trying to improve. Tony Mettcalf will be the new manager..

Campus School Committee: None.

Food Services Committee: None.

4. March Minutes were approved as amended.

5. Next meeting May 21, 1998.

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