Staff Senate
Meeting Minutes for November 2005

8:30 AM

Senators present: Andres, Margaret; Ballentine, Jeanett; Beck, Scott; Bekis, Barbara; Blake, Margo; Boyce, Susan; Bronson, Terrence; Butler, Brenda; Cantler, Edwin; Carman, Gary; Copeland, Ruby; Fitzgerald, Peggy; Hawkins, Yolanda; Hurley, Nancy; Istre, Penni; Johnson, Mary; Laney, Carol; McMillan, Bev; Merrit, Rebecca; Mosly, Stephen; Obryan, Kathryn; Patterson, Melodie; Swinger, Sandra; Taylor-Strowder, Ora; Wheeler, Helen; Wilson, Deborah; Young-Taylor, Geraldine.

Senators Absent: Ballard, Evell; Barham, Mitch; Bowen, Leslie; Bagdon, Rebecca; Briggs, Angela; Cade, Paul; Channell, Jessica; Clarkson, Amanda; Claunch, Reba; Crawford, Deborah; Daniel, Ashley; Fair, Angela; Fullwood, Ann; Hawkins, Roy Jr.; Lim, Lorrean, Lott, Ruby; Mason, C.E.; McArthur, James; Raiteri, Elizabeth; Stewart, Nancy; Turner, Debra; Woods Keeya.

Minutes from the November 17th Meeting:

The meeting was called to order. There was a change to the minutes for the Issues and Review Committee section. The parking issue was referred to the executive counsel. Also, the issue about children on campus was not reviewed by the Issues and Review committee and it was asked that the phrase pertaining to children on campus be omitted from the minutes. Senator Beck asked to rephrase it, but Senator Bekis reiterated that the parking issue was referred to the executive counsel. The phrase concerning the children was omitted, and all other information from the minutes was approved after the corrections were made.

Executive Committee Reports:

President’s Report (Scott Beck): Senator Beck did not have an extensive president’s report. He has been working with Spectrum training and going live with human resources. Payroll testing will continue as planned.

Vice President’s Financial Report (Mary Johnson): $7,586.49 is in the treasury. No new expenditures for the past month.

Secretary’s Report (Melodie Patterson): No report.

Membership Report (Mitch Barham): No report.

Public Relations Report (Sandra Swinger): There were flyers made and provided for the Memphis Food Bank Can Food Drive. Containers were placed at the Administration Building, McWherter Library, Wilder Tower, and the University Center. There was a form that had to be completed in order to put out the flyers across campus. People could drop off cans at any of the locations between the dates of November 28 thru December 2.

Web Site/ IT Report (Debra Turner): Absent. She is working on the template for the U of M and the staff senate web sites. She was scheduled for Lumis training on the following week. Senator Turner would like to bring up group announcements capabilities in the portal system. (creating a portal that would have information for staff senate meetings). The portal would be on Spectrum and through Lumis.

Executive committees (continued)

Election Committee Report (Lorrean Lim): No report. Attending a Spectrum Committee

Issues and Reviews (Barbara Bekis): A meeting is scheduled, but no report at this time.

Legislative Advisory Committee:  Senator Featherstone will no longer be on the senate, nor will she be the chairperson for the committee.  Senator Beck advised the committee members of the change, and asked for more volunteers for the committee.

University Wide Committees: Senator Beck had memos with committee charges from several University Wide Committees and will send them to the committee members. There were no further University Wide Committee reports.

Old Business: No reports

New Business:

  1. One of the issues brought before Senator Beck was the usage of mass e-mails (different departments sending out mass distribution e-mails across campus). This issue was brought to his attention, and it was suggested that the forwarded e-mails could have a standard of using one word subjects. People who don’t want to get certain e-mails could filter out the information by subject words. There is the possibility of creating a standard of having “One Word” subjects to help indicate what messages will be filtered. There was the suggestion of using one authorized sender.  These procedures, such as either monitoring the e-mails being sent or either people filtering according to key-word, are currently being reviewed. A question that was brought up during the meeting was if this was an issue presented by one individual, or a group. Also, there was the question as to whether this issue was something the staff senate should review. It was then agreed to leave it as a personal issue, and not one to be addressed by the staff senate
  2. The next topic of discussion was Spectrum/Banner feedback. An e-mail was sent out to all senators concerning feedback to a letter Senator Beck formulated to send out to the University Staff. There were questions about any comments about the e-mails. There was the question as to if the information should be done as a survey, and if people would be comfortable sending back concerns rather than as a survey when providing feedback. An anonymous survey would probably get more feedback rather than one allowing the reader to give a biased opinion. The purpose of the survey is not to collect opinions of how much the staff dislikes banner, but rather what they think about it, in a more general sense, and how it has affected the communication lines in each department (any issue, rather than complaints about difficulty). The survey could be used to crunch the data better rather than an opinion senate format. If the letter was sent out, but not in survey form, there were concerns as to there being no way to compare or crunch the data received. It was suggested to have a comment section included in the survey.
  3. Also, there was an idea of putting Spectrum suggestion boxes, rather than a survey, across campus. There was the suggestion of submitting the survey thru the campus mail. The reason for sending the surveys out through the mail is because not a lot of the people across campus trust the e-mail surveys.
  4. There was a question as to what’s the staff senate’s roll in the Spectrum training. This was brought before the senate due to office relationships changing, and some managers not being patient with office workers who are in training. There could be some friction between the manager and the office workers. The “training” was not an issue brought before the senate, but it was brought before the ERP steering committee. Senator Beck believed that it was a good idea to address the stress that may have been brought on by Spectrum/Banner training. There have also been questions from some of the workers wondering if their jobs would be affected by this new system.
  5. There was a side note discussion as to the existence of a current ombudsmen and what were the duties of the ombudsmen, in regards to concerns that any staff/faculty members may have brought concerning the university. There is an ombudsmen position in the faculty senate. This was brought up in a discussion between Dr. Maxwell and Senator Beck about trying to keep communication open around campus – an attempt to boost moral around campus, especially during the implementation of the new system.
  6. Returning to the discussion about the survey, there was a question as to the format. We are not going to submit a survey concerning the validity of Spectrum, but to get the relationships issues out in the opening: mostly the stress levels of what is brought out from the training. Senator Beck wants to know if this is a university wide issue, or departmental only. The concern is to be sure that the questions are not leading, and won’t skew the answers in any way. Also, it was suggested that the survey not only went out to the people who have gone through training, but to everyone because not only are the people who have been trained been affected, but those who work with the trainees as well. Senator Beck suggested that the survey not be just a one-time only survey, but one that is sent out throughout the 3 year process.
  7. There was a question as to the possibility of having a list-serve for Spectrum training purposes (which could possibly be connected with the portal that Senator Turner will work on), but the question that was brought up as to who would be included in the group discussion. There is a team organized to oversee what constitutes a group. There are also people available across the campus that have been through training that may be able to help. Some groups have worked together to remember what was taught during the training.

The presentation from John Wasileski was cancelled.

Bylaws Committee: No report

The meeting was adjourned.

Respectfully submitted,

Melodie V. Patterson

Staff Senate Secretary

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