Staff Senate
March 20, 1997

Absent: Kenneth Clark

Excused: Glenda Barton, Charlie Black, Dianne Cooper, Clyde Corley, John Farrell, Ronnie Logan, David Medlock, Flo O'Connor

  1. The meeting was called to order.
  2. President Rawlins addressed the Senate about the budget. He gave us the same presentation he just gave to the Shelby County delegation of the state legislature, and then answered questions.
  3. The University of Memphis will have about a $4 million budget cut in FY97-98, assuming we get the requested increases in student fees. There will be an across-the-board cut in state appropriations of 4.28% for higher education, which translates to about 3% of our total budget. This is despite the fact that it's been a "good year" for state revenues: the state has to spend an additional $100 million for K-12 by court order next year, and problems with TennCare and the prison system have also been costly.

    Proposed ways of addressing the budget cuts are:

    • Reduce instructional equipment
    • Outsource the motor pool
    • Reduce Remedial & Development Department (absorb courses by departments)
    • Eliminate Chucalissa Museum (we may get funding to provide continued support)
    • Reduce public services and outreach
    • Reduce scholarships
    • Eliminate/defer 80-100 positions (up to 1/3 faculty); most by holding vacant positions
    • Reduce up to 200 course sections
    • Defer building maintenance
    • Reduce student services
    On fund raising (scale of 1-10), President Rawlins gives us a "4". He is working to address this, but it wouldn't solve our problems even if we were at a "10". We only get the earnings from private sector gifts, so $1 million only gives us about $50 thousand to spend annually. There is no more matching funding for additional chairs of excellence, so it's much harder to sell businesses on providing them at twice what someone else had to pay.

    Although most employees won't be directly affected, we all need to pull together. The University will provide as much advance notice and help as it can for employees who may be laid off. A package deal for faculty employees dealing with early retirement or a migration to part time is being worked on; there is not as much latitude allowed by the state in regard to non-faculty employees.

  4. Danny Felker addressed the Senate about mail services and answered questions.
  5. Mail Services currently consists of 9 employees. They hope to hire a manager soon, making a total of 10. Ten years ago, they had 16 employees and half the mail volume.

    Intra-campus mail addressing will be changing this fall. The mail stop will be the 4-digit suffix on the ZIP+4 code. In cases where the same 4-digit code is assigned for two people, an alpha suffix will be assigned to distinguish them for intra-campus mail.

    Bulk mail problems were discussed. You should call Mail Services in advance for any large bulk mailings, so that there will be sufficient funds in our account to cover the mailing. Training for proper sorting and paperwork for bulk mail is available from the post office on Monday mornings at 8:30AM; you need to reserve a place ahead of time.

    Mail Services is hoping to purchase a used paper folder/envelope stuffer to increase their ability to process large mailings. Such mailings should always be coordinated with Mail Services well in advance. Priority is given to payroll and first class mailings over bulk.

  6. Roll was called.
  7. The minutes for the February meeting were approved as written.
  8. Committee reports:
  9. Finance Committee:
    We have $2823.08 remaining in our budget.
    Election Committee:
    We'll be spending much of the above on the upcoming elections. Nomination ballots will be mailed out before the next meeting. President Lippy remarked that he'd like to install the new senators at the June meeting.
    Issues/Review Committee:
    No report.
    Ad-Hoc Bylaws Committee:
    Nothing to report.
    HR Sub-committee:
    Because of time restrictions (the meeting was already over the usual hour), 2 of the 4 issues addressed by the sub-committee were presented.
    1. The 7% (for 1 level promotion) and 10% (for 2 levels promotion) or starting (whichever is greater) salary increase caps for existing employees was addressed with Charlotte Knowles. (Outside employees may negotiate for any salary within the range.) She indicated that Mercer has been asked to look at this policy and Human Resources hopes that this policy will be changed after the Mercer Study is completed to also allow current employees to negotiate a salary within the salary range.
    2. Concern was expressed about the Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System (TCRS) in the face of state cutbacks. Harriet Montgomery, Employee Benefits Manager, responded that funds cannot be taken from TCRS for other use by the state. There are reserve requirements and an actuarial valuation must be performed every two years. TCRS continues to be a fiscally responsible and sound retirement system.
    Standing Committee Reports:
    None.
  10. Old Business:
    • A letter is being sent from Senate President Lippy to President Rawlins to start changes for staff dependant enrollment for the campus school. Currently, only faculty and maintenance workers are given preference, and other staff requests require approval. None of the parties involved had any reservations about changing the policy to include all staff.
    • Human Resources hopes to begin implementation of Mercer Study findings next fiscal year (starting in July).
    • A tentative schedule for the Spring Expo was made available. Any group wishing to have an information table at the Expo should contact Bill Murray at 4585. (The Expo will be held Friday and Saturday, April 18th & 19th.)
  11. New Business: None.
  12. President's Remarks: None.
  13. The meeting was adjourned. The next meeting is scheduled for April 17, 1997.
Minutes respectfully submitted by Harry Flowers
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