Staff Senate
May 31, 2001

1.  Meeting was called to order at 9:32 AM.—President Maurice Williams called the meeting to order and introduced the guest speaker, Dr. Ralph Faudree, Interim President.

2. Guest Speaker--President Williams introduced to Staff Senate and staff Dr. Ralph Faudree, Interim President. Dr. Faudree thanked the Senate for the opportunity to speak to staff.  He began by responding to questions/issues submitted to him by the Staff Senate prior to the meeting. The issues were: employee grievance procedure, training for employee evaluations, employee salaries, upgrading positions and providing information, and University outsourcing.

First, Dr. Faudree addressed the issue of staff salaries. He pointed out that, in comparison, staff salaries on average are about 10% below market. Staff salaries are a number one priority at The UofM. There are basically two ways to deal with increasing salaries. One way is to present a case before the state legislative body trust they will come through with funding. The other is a tuition increase. 

The Senate asked that Dr. Faudree address the issue of employee grievance procedures.  He stated that the university has grievance procedure, and that it is directed through Human Resources. If there is an issue of discrimination, it should be addressed to the Affirmative Action Officer, Ms Michelle Banks.  An employee may have a representative present during the grievance procedure. However, the representative will serve only as an observer.

On the issue of training for persons who conduct employee evaluation, Dr. Faudree said that presently, training is offered, but not required.  He will make a recommendation to the Executive Council that training for persons conducting reviews be required.  Also, he stressed that the review process is not be an event, but a process.

Next, Dr Faudree addressed the issue of in-positions pay increases.  He explained that positions at The UofM are market linked. The salary surveys conducted by the university show that salaries tend to oscillate from year to year. His sense is that the market–based surveys should be studies over three or so years to get clear, accurate information.  There are no plans to do an overall reevaluation of positions on campus.

The Senate asked that Dr. Faudree comment on outsourcing at the university. Dr. Faudree said that there are two primary reasons for outsourcing, cost and level of service.  He agreed that the people involved should not only be informed, but also given the opportunity to provide input concerning the outsourcing. Dr. Faudree was asked whether employee input is actually considered. His response was that business decisions play a large roll in the decision to outsource. It is his desire that employee input would be considered.  After looking at the process followed with the Fogelman Executive Center, he could assure the Senate that individuals and individual positions were reviewed.  This assures him that there is concern for each individual affected by the outsourcing.

The proposed budget includes an increase of 3% for staff and faculty.  It is not clear at this point whether the increase will be across-the-board.  If the proposed budget is enacted, there may be $1.5 million for faculty salaries at The University of Memphis.  .  He reminded the audience that Dr. Raines would make the final decision concerning raises at The UofM. Also, Dr. Faudree mentioned to possibility compensating employees by offering flexible schedules, as long as students are served

Questions from Staff

The staff asked about the possibility of adding a floating holiday, creating a program where staff can be rewarded for beneficial suggestions, lateral moves without pay increases, and the approval process for position upgrades.  Dr. Faudree suggested that the Senate invite Mary Ann Camp, Assistant Vice President Human Resources, to a Senate meeting to address these issues. 

Next scheduled meeting:  June 21, 2001

Recorded by Regenia Ayers,

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