Staff Senate
September 19, 1996

Absent: Kenneth Clark, Connie Diffee, and Scott McClain

Excused: Ginny Davis, Hazel Haywood, Russell Hunt, Janet Mitchell, Cornelius Stump, Karen Thurmond, and Maurice Williams

  1. The meeting was called to order and roll was called.
  2. The minutes for the August meeting were approved as written.
  3. Committee reports:
  4. Finance Committee:
    The University budget committee will address the problem of our budget at their meeting on October 3. As has been stated since the budgets came out, there are insufficient funds to even hold our regular election this spring.
    Election Committee:
    Nothing to report.
    Issues/Review Committee:
    The campus school issue regarding staff consideration is still being addressed. Problems with salary ranges and current employees will be brought up in New Business.
    Ad-Hoc Bylaws Committee:
    While the committee had a recommendation for changes, President Lippy asked the committee to perform a full review of the bylaws, so that all problems which need to be addressed may be voted on at the same time. The committee already has the following:

    Article V. Section B. Number 3.

    • Current: A quorum shall consist of at least 50 percent of the Senate representatives. Votes shall pass and carry by a two-thirds vote of the quorum. There shall be no proxy voting.
    • Proposed: Votes shall pass and carry by a vote of 51 percent of the Senate representatives. There shall be no proxy voting.
    Section C. These bylaws may be amended, repealed, or replaced in the following manner.
    • Current: The amendment will be proposed to the Senate and shall require a quorum and a vote of two-thirds of the quorum to pass.
    • Proposed: The amendment will be proposed to the Senate representatives and shall require a vote of 51 percent of the Senate to pass.
    Ad-Hoc Election Procedures, Provost Division:
    Bill Akey presented the committee findings. Rather than try to improve what seems to be a fair election process, the committee recommended improving communication could address the problem. A written report of their findings will be given to President Lippy next week. They asked President Lippy to make a trip to the Speech and Hearing Center to encourage their participation. They also recommended a memo being issued about Senate involvement and campaigning before the next election.

    As a related item, Bill Akey turned in his resignation from the Senate today. He's moving to a higher level employee grade within Enrollment Services, and is no longer eligible to be a senator as a result. President Lippy thanked him for his work on the Senate, and we all wish him well!

  5. Old Business:

  6. A memo from Raymond Pipkin, Associate Vice President for Finance, was sent to President Lippy addressing the question which arose from the 401(k) discussions: "When are University employees considered state employees?" Copies were passed out to the Senators, and President Lippy also clarified some points from other conversations he'd had.

    Basically, it comes down to the state legislature. The Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC) is the governing body for the Tennessee Board of Regents (and the University of Tennessee system), which in turn governs The University of Memphis. THEC and some other branches (the state judicial system is one) are not considered part of the "executive branch" of state government. When the Tennessee General Assembly makes decisions about state employees, they may make a distinction between "executive branch" employees and "all" state employees at their discretion. Unfortunately, media reports generally do not recognize that distinction when it is made.

  7. New Business:
    • The $10/visit health center fee for employees was discussed. The health center was created for students, and is now funded from student fees. Providing health services for employees is an added benefit that is subsidized by the $10 fee. First-aid for on-the-job injuries is provided free of charge. The center will begin offering employees flu shots for $10 the end of this month... call personnel for an appointment.
    • The difficulty in career advancement for employees might be lessened if open positions were made available for existing staff before the general public. This is being referred to the Issues and Review Committee for further investigation.
    • Employees moving into new or upgraded positions have salary restrictions placed on them that people being hired from outside the university do not have. Because of their current salary and employee grade, it appears some employees are being discriminated against in new salary determinations, whereas there are no such salary history restrictions placed on anyone who is not a current employee. This issue is also being referred to the Issues and Review Committee.
  8. President's Remarks:
    • Tommie Polk has agreed to be Senate Historian if some others volunteer as well.
    • Most University standing committees now have Senate representation. Senators on such committees should report on them back to the senate. Senators are being sought for two more committees: food services and the University bookstore.
    • Starting off the reports just requested, President Lippy is the Staff Senate representative on the Information Technology Policy Council. A council is different from a committee in that it has decision making authority. A current item of interest is the proposed Technology Standards. One of the recommendations is for Microsoft Word as the standard software for word processing at level 1 support, with WordPerfect support at level 2. [The proposed standards are currently available on the web at:
    • Choose "Technology", then "Technology Standards" from the University home page.]

    • Next month will signal the end of our first year. President Lippy will be writing a report for President Rawlins of the Senate accomplishments for the year.
  9. The meeting was adjourned. The next meeting is scheduled for October 17, 1996.
Minutes respectfully submitted by Harry Flowers
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