Staff Senate
Meeting Minutes for February 2006

8:30 AM

Senators present: Andrews, Margaret; Ballentine, Jeanett; Barham, Mitch; Beck, Scott; Bekis, Barbara; Boyce, Susan; Butler, Brenda; Carman, Gary; Channell, Jessica; Clarkson, Amanda; Claunch, Reba; Tucker, Ruby; Fullwood, Ann; Hawkins, Roy; Hurley, Nancy; Johnson, Mary; Lim, Lorrean; McMillan, Bev; Mosly, Stephen; O’Bryan, Kathryn; Patterson, Melodie; Swinger, Sandra; Turner, Debra; ; Wheeler, Helen; Wilson, Deborah Farrior.

Senators Absent (Excused): Bragdon, Rebecca; Cantler, Edwin; Fair, Angela; Hawkins, Yolanda; Laney, Carol.

Senators Absent (Unexcused):

Minutes from the February 16, 2006 Meeting:

The meeting was called to order at 8:40. All senators were asked if they had received the minutes, which were revised due to a change in the date for the minutes from the January 19th meeting. All senators that were present had received the minutes. There was a motion to approve the minutes, and the motion was seconded, with the minutes being approved.

Executive Committee Reports

President’s Report (Scott Beck): Present Beck reminded the Senate that  he was still working on the Spectrum Survey, but had since approached the committee in charge of the Spectrum Mardi Gras Celebration (which was held on February 24th) about including a few questions on the survey, which were to be handed out at the end of the tour in the Rose Theatre. There would possibly be two questions on the survey that the Staff Senate would present pertaining to Spectrum. Several Senators gave ideas as to what should be asked. Senator Swinger asked if we, as the Senate, could do anything about common problems between the employees and their supervisors, such as the difference in training.. Senator Andrews mentioned that the supervisors are being trained as well, but is it as detailed as what the employees have received. Senator McMillan posed the question “does the management have a working knowledge of what they are training on?” Some managers may be in that category of those who do have a working knowledge, and this question would be important in the communication process between employees and managers. Senator Channell asked if there was a liaison for the implementation team, and President Beck assured that the Faculty Senate and Staff Senate President were those liaisons.

The questions arose as to where the Mardi Gras Celebration would take place, and it was more than likely it would be in the Rose Theatre, starting at 11:30 am to 1:00 pm. There would be demos pertaining to the Spectrum program, and other information for those who may not be familiar with Spectrum. There was more information about the celebration online. The concept was to have people go through the entire tour and the survey would be their “ticket” to receive the red beans and rice available.

Some suggested revisions to the questions that may be asked were to add does the supervisor “have a working knowledge of Spectrum?”  There was also the suggestion to the leave the question as is.

Vice President’s Financial Report (Mary Johnson): Senator Johnson reported that there is still $7,586.49 in the budget. There has been no change since the last meeting. President Beck suggested that since the outgoing and incoming Senators should be present at the June meeting, and based on our current budget, it would be a good idea to have a breakfast welcoming, congratulating, and send off Senators who are and will serve the University.

Secretary’s Report (Melodie Patterson): There was no report at this time.

Membership Report (Mitch Barham): There was no report at this time.

Public Relations Report (Sandra Swinger): Senator Swinger announced that there will be a meeting about the Staff Senate Appreciation Day. She will send out an e-mail asking for volunteers and give a date for the initial meeting.

Web Site/ IT Report (Debra Turner): Senator Turner reported that she was having issues with logging onto Luminis from her computer, but will try to get the information onto the new U of M server. There will be a new URL for the web page. If the changes take affect, everyone will be notified by e-mail. Senator Turner also mentioned that the Staff Senate tab on Spectrum, and it was asked if all of the Senators should have access to the page. At the time of the meeting, only the Executive Committee members had access. It was agreed that all senators should have access. The page contains a calendar, a bulletin board where the Senators could post information for the Senate. The Senators may access the portal on the U of M web page, and by clicking on the tab marked “Staff Senate” once they have entered the Spectrum web page. President Beck just wants this information, as well as all information contained on this page, to be consistent.

Election Committee Report (Lorrean Lim): No report at this time.

Issues and Reviews (Barbara Bekis): Senator Bekis reported on a concern about the Recreational Facilities’ hours of operation and availability.  Currently, the facility is opened Monday through Thursday from 6:30 am to 11:00 pm, and on Fridays until 6 pm.

There was also the question as to if it was known that there were more items to be presented to employees for their Years of Service to the University. There are more items, other than the usual pens or clocks that are usually given out during the awards ceremony.

Legislative Advisory Committee (Peggy Fitzgerald): No report at this time.

University Wide Committees

Bookstore: No report at this time.

Campus Safety and Security: The committee reported that there is currently a class being offered for people being prepared if a natural disaster was to occur. Several people in Physical Plant, Campus Police, the Fire department, and other groups, are being trained in case there is ever a disaster to occur in the Memphis/Mid-South area.

Facilities and Services: There is no report at this time, but there have been reports that the scheduled construction on the UC has been pushed back to December.

Fee Refunds & Appeals:  No report at this time.

1st Year Experiences: This group has not met yet.

Food Services/Dining: This position had an empty seat. Senator McMillan, however, has volunteered to step into this position.

IT Administrative Advisory: The Committee reminded the Senators about the Mardi Gras Celebration set for February 24th. Also, there have been talks about attempting to create 50 new smart labs across campus. There has also been an issue about all e-mails that end with “edu” being blocked by AOL as spam.

Public Records & Forms: No report at this time

Space Planning: No report at this time

Traffic & Parking: No report at this time.

Old Business: No old business at this time. The question about where the Faculy Senate met (which was brought up in the January 19th meeting) was answered. Currently, the Faculty Senate sometimes meets in Rm. 201 in the Psychology Auditorium, or in small lecture rooms.

New Business: No new business at this time.

Guest Speaker - Linda Harris, Human Resources: Linda Harris came before the Staff Senate to discuss information about sick leave information, the Family Medical Leave Act, and any other questions about annual leave for employees. Currently, the Family Medical Leave Act allows for up to 12 weeks for any major medical problems. The problems may apply to the employee, or an immediate family member that may require the employee’s assistance. The 12 weeks equals up to 450 hours for doctor’s visits (for serious health conditions), children, spouse, or parents with serious health conditions. This Act allows for you to be paid during your time away from work if you have leave time available. If there is no time available, then you will not be paid. In order to receive the benefits of the Act, would have to have been working for at least 1,250 hours. This benefit is only available once a year. If all of the time is not used, can use the benefits until all of the allotted time has been used (don’t have to use it for three months in a row). The Sick Leave bank only allows for three months of use, and any time in the bank can be donated to other people. If you are not a member of the Sick Leave Bank, you may donate your time to other employees, but they must be a member of the Sick Leave Bank. Also, non-faculty may donate to faculty members. For more information on the Sick Leave Bank, or any other information about your leave history, you may contact Linda Harris in the Human Resources Department in Admin 167 at 901-678-3257, or by e-mail at

There were no further reports following Ms. Harris’s presentation. The meeting was adjourned. 

Respectfully submitted,

Melodie V. Patterson
Staff Senate Secretary

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