STAFF SENATE MEETING MINUTES
December 21, 2016
President Trey Truitt presided over the December 21, 2016, Staff Senate meeting held in the event room at Barnes & Noble at LSU at 10:30 a.m.
A - Matkovic, Igor (’17)
P - Cherry, Aaron (‘17)
P - DeRoche, Jon (’17)
P - Kucharchuk, Kayla (’17)
P- Lemoine, Nathan (’17)
P - Lopez, Ramon (’17)
P - Lowery, Michelle (’17)
P - Millican, Tammy (’17)
Pr - Reonas, Barbara (’17)
P - Spurlock, Maggi (’17)
P - Steib, Summer (’17)
P - Truitt, Trey (’17)
P - Villien, Douglas (’17)
P - Gomez, Jennifer (’18)
P - Linam, Barrett (’18)
P - Ortiz, Shelly (’18)
P - Poret, Elizabeth (’18)
P - Springstead, Jennifer (’18)
A - Waguespack, Darcy (’18)
P - Ethridge, Jade (’19)
Pr - Henry, Rachel (’19)
P - Heroman, Stephanie (’19)
Pr - Rios, Hector (’19)
P - Adedeji, Funmilayo (’19)
P - Corbitt, Brent (’17)
P - Salvadras, Amber (’18)
P - Arnold, Nancy (’19)
Pr - Thibodeaux, Ashley (’19)
A - Indicates Absent
P - Indicates Present
Pr - Indicates Proxy
Ron Moreau, Campus Federal Credit Union
Brian Ainsworth, Campus Federal Credit Union
Roxane Berthelot, Campus Federal Credit Union
Zach Faircloth, Student Government
Vice Provost Dereck Rovaris, Office of Diversity
Special Guest Averi Truitt
CALL TO ORDER
The meeting was called to order by President Trey Truitt at 10:30 a.m.
There was a quorum with four proxies noted.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Special Guest Averi Truitt led the Pledge of Allegiance.
APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES – November 17, 2016, Staff Senate Meeting
Senator Nancy Arnold sent some edits electronically before the meeting.
A motion to accept the minutes as amended was made by President-Elect Michelle Lowery. The motion, seconded by Senator Maggi Spurlock, carried.
GUEST SPEAKER – RON MOREAU, CAMPUS FEDERAL CREDIT UNION
President Trey Truitt introduced Ron Moreau, who is the Chief Development Officer at Campus Federal Credit Union. The Staff Senate has been in partnership with Campus Federal Credit Union for many years now and it has been about three years since they have talked with our group during a meeting, even though they attend the meetings regularly. Ron would like to give us some history and announce what they have done over the past year.
Ron thanked everyone for the opportunity and mentioned that he is serving as a proxy for their CEO, Dawn Harris, who was unable to attend today. He would like to say, “Thank you all for the partnership with Campus Federal Credit Union.” Campus Federal has been around since 1934 which outdates all of us in the room for sure. When you think about those sitting next to you or in your departments, LSU has quite a metamorphosis in change with faces and people over the last eight years. He knows that with his tenure with Campus Federal, which has been nine years, there is a whole bunch of new faces in the faculty/staff world; not to mention, changes that have occurred across the state. And with that said, we are constantly trying to share our identity and mission with the LSU community. Why would someone want to patronize the credit union? What is our value or benefit statement? That’s truly what we try to do every day. We are fortunate to have folks like Brian Ainsworth, Roxane Berthelot and Casey Coughlin who attend the Staff Senate’s meeting on a regular basis and we partner with your events. Also, we cook the jambalaya each year for your staff appreciation event, which is not a lot, but it is part of what we do in giving back. This morning, Brian hosted a meeting at our office for a program called “Service Solutions”, which is a program that really engages the credit union’s employees to give back to the community. They are asked to give sixteen hours of community service as part of their performance plan each year. It’s changed a little bit over the years with budget cuts and LSU’s struggles as well as our struggles. We mirror LSU almost way too close. So when they say when LSU has great times so does the credit union, which unfortunately he hasn’t seen just yet. Being with the credit union for nine years, he has only seen a sort of great depression. They have constantly been making a metamorphosis of their organization.
Campus Federal Credit Union was founded by seven LSU faculty members during the great depression and when you think about that time versus where we have been for the last eight or nine years, there are a lot of similarities. After reviewing our board minutes, it speaks to a lot of the struggles that they have been facing as well. But we can’t be all that we are, without you, your fellow staff members, your family, your friends and anyone who qualifies for membership at the credit union by being on this campus in some way, shape, or form. Once a member, always a member, which can be handed down from generation to generation.
With their Service Solution Program, the credit union employees are asked to give back sixteen hours of community service and they tie that around LSU. Whether it’s a project that the Staff Senate is doing, or the faculty and students are doing, whether is philanthropic with the Greek organizations or with international students or cultural groups or across the state, their employees are partnering with you to help give back. So if there are events or things going on such as the candy grams or any philanthropic elements that is going on to help raise money, please let us know and Campus Federal will help in any way possible, whether it is financial or through volunteerism.
Campus Federal Credit Union also offers financial education. It’s another philanthropic community component. They have a financial education Coordinator, Blaine Grimes, which many of you may know. He works very closely with the Facility Service employees. They also take that across the state and when you think about financial education, we are talking about alternatives to payday lending, stretching the dollar a little further through budgeting, helping family members increase their knowledge of financing. It can also be about investments and bonds or even about just making ends meet. When you think about the LSU economy over the last nine years, we have been doing a lot of financial education. With budgeting techniques and helping members consolidate debt, Campus Federal has helped improve their customers’ cash flow from month to month. If you haven’t patronized or haven’t had a need, keep in mind all the things that they do. It’s not just car loans and mortgages, certificates of deposits or checking accounts, etc., it’s about the other benefits offered as well, which make a difference. With that said, he asks that you help to keep their tradition alive. LSU has a great campus and great tradition and when someone comes to work at LSU they become a part of that rich tradition. Campus Federal has that tradition too but it’s kind of lost; they are located in the Union, off campus, and across the state, but really they exist to serve the community of LSU. If you have a new employee join your department, ask them to check out the credit union. Bank of America, Wells Fargo and a lot of other banks are not in the state. So give a bank that is local your business. He asked for us to be their ambassadors in that realm. There are some people here today that sit on their ambassador team like Trey and Tammy. If anyone is interested, please let Brian or Roxane know.
For those who are members, this past year, they launched one of the best state of the art online banking systems around. It was in the making for about 36 months, developing in part to a lot of feedback from members of the LSU community. They previously had an online banking system and it did o.k. with some of the most common basic functions but now they have their own application (app) which does all of the finer things offered with online banking. Most importantly, it has an online budgeting tool that allows you to categorize all of your expenses and income. It allows you to build some savings goals or even budgeting for a vacation. It has a lot of different functions that they didn’t have before such as transferring money to non-credit union members and budgeting tools to itemize your monthly expenses and track your spending.
Campus Federal Credit Union is in the process of building a timeline of the credit union with the help of Roxane who has been with the credit union for 30 years and Brian who has been with the credit union for 21 years, Blaine has been with the credit union for 24 years and their CEO for about 33 years, so they have a lot of employees with longevity that know some of their history. With all of that, we can’t be successful without your help. If you need anything, please let us know.
President Truitt thanked Ron Moreau for speaking with the full Senate today and is looking forward to the continued partnership between Campus Federal Credit Union and the LSU Staff Senate.
GUEST SPEAKER – BRIAN AINSWORTH, KIWANIS CLUB OF LSU
President Trey Truitt introduced Brian Ainsworth, who is an Assistant Vice President in Business Development at Campus Federal Credit Union. He is also a member of the Kiwanis Club of LSU and would like to speak today about this unique organization which can definitely use some expansion.
Brian explained that one manner in which the Kiwanis Club gives back to the community is through organizations in the community. He has been a member for approximately 6 years of the Kiwanis Club of LSU which is a global organization of volunteers dedicated to improving the world, one child and one community at a time. Some of the fun things they engage in locally is a reading day with some of the Baton Rouge area schools. They get involved with Christian Life and the University Laboratory School already has a Kiwanis Club dedicated to them, located downtown.
Mr. Ainsworth shared the history of the organization. They were founded by LSU faculty about 35 years ago. Every Tuesday, the club meets at The Club at Union Square. They have lunch with a speaker, with a topic related to the environment or something happening at LSU, or even tips of where the best Christmas shopping is located. Members get together once a week, have lunch, talk and share fellowship and then perform service in the community. They volunteer at the food bank and they also raise money for neonatal tetanus, which is a global initiative for Kiwanis. This year they had a George Rodrigue “Blue Dog” painting raffle, with part of the proceeds going to the local food bank but also donating to the neonatal cause as well.
Brian invited everyone to come and have lunch with them. Former Staff Senator Holly Carruth is a member of the Kiwanis Club. At its peak about 45 members were active, but that number is reduced to about 23 members due to retirements and some of their other members passing. So, if you are looking for a way to get involved with a service organization here on campus, please consider the Kiwanis Club of LSU. He circulated a handout with some additional information. If you would like to be included on their email distribution list about what is going on, please sign in on the sheet (also circulated). He encouraged everyone to come to their lunch as his guest and learn about how to get involved.
Q: Is the Kiwanis Club connected with the student organizations on campus?
A: Circle K is the student level four Kiwanis. They have reached out to Circle K and they are waiting to hear back from them to see how they can get more involved with them.
Q: Is the Kiwanis of LSU the one that hosts the pancake breakfast at the PMAC every year?
A: That is the downtown Kiwanis Club. He explained how the Kiwanis Club of LSU was formed: years ago, there were only forty faculty members on campus and only faculty members were allowed in the Faculty Club. Once the Faculty Club opened its membership, the Kiwanis Club of LSU came to be, but prior to that, many LSU staff members joined the downtown club. The Cortana Kiwanis, who used to meet at Cortana Mall, now meets at the Piccadilly on Sherwood and sponsors the downtown Kiwanis Christmas parade. There is also an Early Risers group. So pick your passion, as there are six Kiwanis Clubs in Baton Rouge, Zachary and Denham Springs who meet at various times, whether it be early in the morning or late at night, or even on Saturdays.
Q: Did Kiwanis cook for Fall Fest in the past?
A: Back in the day, the Kiwanis Club manned the pits and cooked for Fall Fest, and although no longer filling that role, they do still volunteer for Fall Fest. One of their founding members, Dr. Joe, worked in Food Sciences, so when they started cooking, he was the one who stuck the thermometer in the hamburgers and hot dogs to make sure they were cooked properly.
President Truitt thanked Brian Ainsworth for speaking with the full Senate today about the Kiwanis Club of LSU.
President Truitt announced that he has updated his shared spreadsheet through Microsoft Office 365, “One Drive”, with his attended meetings, to keep the full Senate informed throughout the month.
President Truitt shared that on November 29, he attended Holiday on Campus which was a huge success. He thanked all of the committee members who planned and hosted the event. He was truly pleased with that effort. For the first time, he felt that we were much more in unison with the Holiday Spectacular committee. Things seemed to flow well. Senator Jennifer Gomez mentioned that about 200 people attended the performances in the theatre. There were about 450 people who attended Holiday on Campus. Trey mentioned that there were some changes on event day, requiring us to divide the Union event between the lobby area and the ballroom. Senator Jennifer Springstead mentioned that next year, the entire event may take place in the ballroom to keep everything together. The parents seem to like the event in one place, as their kids were not spread out. We had a beautiful tree lighting. Some of you may not know that our talented Member-at-Large Aaron Cherry built the star on top of the tree this year. Hand-made, one of a kind, state-of-the-art LED star that is absolutely wonderful and can be seen across the parade grounds. That night, LSU President King Alexander hosted the late night pancake breakfast at The 5 and The 459 dining halls. President Truitt had a chance to participate and represent Staff Senate. It was a wonderful event. He believes about 1100 students were fed. It was not as well attended as in the past, so hopefully with the Holiday Spectacular as a bigger group, we can work on getting more students to attend. It seems to really only attract first year students. It is scheduled on the last Tuesday before exams (before dead week period) which has been very consistent.
On December 1, he attended the Provost’s Breakfast. There was an update regarding TOPS and Strategic Plan updates.
Also, on December 1, he attended the Joint Budget & Finance/Governmental Relations Committee meeting. He will ask Chair Ramon Lopez to report during this meeting.
President Truitt has participated on many of the College of Engineering Dean Search meetings and interviews. He has yet to hear that a selection has been made.
On December 7, he attended the Campus Master Planning presentation with NBBJ. He thanked Past-President Tammy Millican for hosting those meetings.
On December 9, he participated with making the TOPS telephone calls to students. The university reached out to all 14,000+ TOPS award recipients to find out whether or not they are aware of their payment options that the university offers, and to get some feedback to determine whether they may or may not be coming back to the university. He made about 80 phone calls for most of the morning. There was one student who was unaware of any TOPS funding changes, but everyone else seemed very knowledgeable about what was going on and had no concerns. Even the parents that he spoke with seem to have very little issue with what was happening. What is interesting, the university typically experiences some attrition from the fall to the spring. There is always a reduction in enrollment numbers from one semester to the next. But from the numbers that have been currently reviewed, we were just over 88% returning which is less than 1% than where we were year-to-date. Despite all of the information that is out there, the current numbers are showing that it is not too traumatic. For those in the academic world, he is not sure if they are seeing things differently; but that was some surprising information.
On December 9, he attended the Board of Supervisors meeting which was, by all accounts, not too outside of the norm. A vote was taken on the partnership for the Companion Care Center with The School of Veterinary Medicine and the AgCenter.
On December 12, he attended the LSU Foundation Staff Outstanding Service Award ceremony where our very own Senator Nancy Arnold was recognized as a recipient.
On December 13, the Executive Committee met to prepare for the December Staff Senate meeting.
President Truitt mentioned that it has been a long and difficult semester with the flooding. Hopefully January 1, we will get this all behind us and continue to move forward. He hopes everyone has a wonderful Holiday break.
President Truitt requested that standing committee updates be provided.
President Truitt reported that the Communications Committee did not meet today prior to the meeting. The committee will resume meeting in January.
Budget & Finance/Governmental Relations
Senator Ramon Lopez reported that the joint committee met on December 1. There was no written report submitted for the meeting packet. Jason Droddy was unable to attend due to traveling to Washington, DC after the Presidential Election. Zac Lemoine attended on his behalf and thanked the Staff Senate for all the work we are doing to advocate for staff. In the spring, they will be calling on us to help with planning for LSU Day in April once the budget is worked out. Tommy Smith did attend the meeting and the same issues that we’ve heard about for the past eight years seem to be at play. Proposition 2 did not pass, so we still lack tuition autonomy. President Truitt mentioned there is still a lot of unknowns. Compared to where we were a year ago and meetings being held, there was a clear strategy. At this meeting, that information was just not there. The presidential election went in another direction than was expected. That is why some representatives went to Washington, DC, and if there is going to be any changes on a federal level with regards to funding on the research side. There are a lot of unknowns about the budget. When the new Governor came into office, it went from no budget cuts to $600 million to $900 million in a short time frame. Past-President Tammy Millican sent out the Executive Orders as to where the reductions were. And while he hasn’t seen an official announcement regarding that, it seems that budget reduction looks to be significantly shorter than what we were hearing two weeks ago. There was no formal report due to the unknowns. The Higher Education Panel met on December 14 but we have not heard an update from that. On the Executive budgets, a clear answer will not come until January 17. LSU will host an LSU Day at the State Capital on April 18, 19 or 25.
SPECIAL AD-HOC COMMITTEES
President Truitt requested ad-hoc committee updates be provided.
Senator Elizabeth Poret reported that the Marketing Committee met on December 6th. The written report was included in the meeting packet. She asked if anyone needed to amend or add to the apparel order. If not, she will go ahead and send to Melonie to place the order in January. President Truitt will follow up with Strategic Communications regarding Senator Dominic Adedeji’s request to include orders for an LSU Staff logo as well.
President-Elect Michelle Lowery mentioned that Sadie Wilkes from the Manship School of Mass Communications attended the committee meeting as well. She will be teaching the marketing campaigns class during the spring semester and has offered to include the Staff Senate as one of the featured class campaigns. The Marketing Committee will meet with her class in January for a brief overview of who we are and what we would like to accomplish. Please submit any feedback that you would like to include to her or Senator Poret. The four steps of the project will include research, an action plan, implementation and an evaluation. President Truitt asked how the social media engagement plan was coming along. President-Elect Lowery confirmed that it is going well.
Past-President Tammy Millican explained that the committee is also thinking about putting together a Staff Senate Cookbook from current and former Staff Senators. The sales would also benefit the Staff Fee Support Scholarship. Senator Maggi Spurlock knows of a company who could bind the cookbook in a professional manner at a minimal cost, which would look better. We could also take recipes from staff who would like their recipes included as well.
Senator Jade Ethridge reported that the candy gram sales were great this year, thanks in part to Campus Federal Credit Union who purchased 100 candy grams. We sold about 480 candy grams for a total of about $984, the cost of the candy was $332.11, so we raised $651.89 to benefit the Staff Fee Support Scholarship. She thanked everyone who purchased and encouraged people to purchase. President Truitt had a really great idea on expanding the candy gram sales for not only the Baton Rouge Campus which helped. The committee will plan a spring candy gram sale soon.
The Holiday Decorating Contest was also held. We had ten entries this year. There was an entry fee of $20 this year which raised another $200 to benefit the Staff Fee Support Scholarship.
The winners are:
1st place - Middleton Library, Room 30, ‘Tis the Season to Be Merry and Bright
2nd place – Budget & Planning, Room 311 T Boyd, ‘Tis the Season to be Charlie Brown/SEC
1st place – Office of Sponsored Programs, Room 202 Himes Hall, ‘Tis the Season to Be Cajun
2nd place – Coastal Sustainability Studio, Room 212 Design Building, ‘Tis the Season to Listen to the Wind, It Talks; Listen to the Silence, It Speaks; Listen to your Heart, It Knows. (Native American Proverb)
1st place – Office of Sponsored Programs, Room 202 Himes Hall, ‘Tis the Season to Be Cajun
2nd place – Kinesiology, HP Long Fieldhouse, ‘Tis the Season to Renovate the HPL Fieldhouse
Best in Show
Office of Sponsored Programs, Room 202 Himes Hall
The Scholarship Recipients for the year will be recognized during the spring semester. The recipients will be chosen after the 14th day of class.
President Truitt mentioned that the candy grams went out earlier this year and thanked the committee for all their efforts in making it a success. Next year, hopefully the Foundation can help with collecting payments online.
President Truitt asked that liaison committee updates be provided.
Senator Maggi Spurlock reported that the Dining Advisory Committee met on November 30. The report was included in the meeting packet. She encouraged everyone to fill out the dining survey that went out. Honesty with regard to your feelings about dining is important. They want everyone to be reminded that there are employee meal plans that can be purchased during the year. They are also in the process of trying to find contractors to finish the new dining facility in Patrick F. Taylor Hall and an additional dining hall, but because of the flooding and the hurricane on the east coast, the current price quotes are triple what they should be. Hopefully those locations will be online by the fall of next year.
She mentioned that Chick-Fil-A will now be serving breakfast and milkshakes in the spring. The students will be very excited about that. They are working on getting a new food truck on campus as well as working with other food trucks in the community. The insurance issues will need to be worked out but they do a have a pizza truck coming which will be parked on Tower Drive close to the Union. They are working to get a food truck by the Design Building but City Pork will be in the Design Building. They won’t offer their full menu but they will have some of their culinary favorites.
Senator Barrett Linam reported that the Faculty Senate met on December 12. The written report was included in the meeting packet. Senator Brent Corbitt was able to attend as well. They discussed smoking on campus and how there is no actual punishment, because it is not actually a crime. It seems only staff and students are smoking on campus. The Faculty Senate wants to partner with the Staff Senate to help get the word out to refrain from smoking in front of the no smoking signs. They also discussed increasing international students and the opportunities that are available on campus. They also discussed increasing the insurance fee for international students, but that has been put on hold for now. The Mike the Tiger live mascot discussion has also been put on hold because they have not been able to get with President Alexander as of yet.
President Truitt asked Student Government President Zach Faircloth how the security detail partnership went with regards to the 24 hour study hall in the Union. Zach mentioned that the idea was to open the Union for 24 hours during finals week which meant that they had to work shifts from 11pm -7am every single day during finals week. They were broken down into 2 hour shift increments. They had 175 Student Government volunteers that took time to do that as well as some Staff Senators. There ended up being between 300-400 students there each night which is about 1200 students who utilized the Union to study that week. It was a great turnout. They will probably do something very similar during the spring semester. McDonald’s stayed opened until 2am for two of the nights that week. President Truitt mentioned that this is clearly a service that our students need and we should try to do this every semester. It was a great idea.
Senator Doug Villien mentioned that during the last meeting, they met with Human Resource Management representatives, Gaston Reinoso and Mimi Singer Lee. The committee expressed how poorly communication is relayed to faculty and staff on campus. Human Resource Management assured us that they are working on enhancing their communications. There was a suggestion to implement a customer service triage for issues that need to be submitted, to which they are open. Service Now for Workday was discussed which was inundated when Workday was launched. Ultimately, the discussion focused on how to better communicate ideas to faculty and staff and where you would receive a response. Any issues or concerns should still be submitted through the APIC website.
Staff Senate Budget
Treasurer Kayla Kucharchuk gave a report on the updated balance sheet for the Staff Senate accounts. A copy was circulated to the full Senate.
She reported the following:
Bursar Account (Gift Fund) - $207.22
LSU Foundation Accounts:
Fee Support Scholarship - $13,894.64
Holiday on Campus Support Fund - $1,357.31
Scholarship Award - $4,493.09
Support Fund – $299.42
State Account (Operating Budget) $5,934.19
Total Budget: $26,185.87
Staff Senate Gift Fund
Treasurer Kayla Kucharchuk and President Trey Truitt encouraged senators to contribute to the Gift Fund. Voluntary contributions are $10 per year, per senator.
Staff Senator Nancy Arnold
President Trey Truitt announced that Senator Nancy Arnold was recognized as one of this year’s recipients for the LSU Foundation Staff Outstanding Service Awards. Congratulations!
Staff Senator Appointments
President Truitt announced that the Staff Senate has two new members. Anand Ramachandran who is a Business Manager for the School of Veterinary Medicine. He was certified by Human Resource Management and approved by the full Senate for appointment to fill the vacancy in the Professional/Non-Faculty category through June 2017. He was our Santa Photographer this year at Holiday on Campus. He was also the Christmas tree character the year before last. We also have Jake T. Henry who is Director of Admissions for the Paul M. Hebert Law Center. Jake was certified by Human Resource Management and approved by the full Senate for appointment to fill the vacancy in the Professional/Non-Faculty category through June 2018. Jake mentioned that the Law Center is one of four in the State. They are one of the two state supported law schools in the state. They currently have about 550 students with about 74% incoming students who are in state and about 24% out of state. It is a three year program. He is responsible for bringing in the new classes each semester which is about 200 students. They have about 130 employees. The Law Center is also ranked the 8th best value in the country out of 196 approved law schools. President Truitt mentioned that one of our goals with our Strategic plan is to have more representation across campus and this definitely does that. Truitt also mentioned that the Staff Senate has been trying to host the general meetings at different campus venues, so we may want to hold a meeting at the Law Center next semester.
Staff Senator Birthdays
President Trey Truitt announced that Senator Ashley Thibodeaux celebrated her birthday on December 4th, Senator Hector Rios celebrated his birthday on December 6th, Senator Jennifer Springstead celebrated her birthday on December 13th, Senator Shelly Ortiz celebrated her birthday on December 18th and Senator Stephanie Heroman celebrated her birthday on December 19th. “Happy Birthday!”
President Truitt thanked all of the people who volunteered for Commencement which was held last Friday. He heard we had a great turnout. Unfortunately he was unable to attend but he appreciates those who took that charge and represented the Staff Senate so well. Those planning meetings for the next commencement will begin in January.
Vice Provost Dereck Rovaris mentioned on behalf of President Alexander and Provost Koubek that we thank you all for your service. This has been a very trying year with everything that has happened but we are looking forward to a better year for 2017. Our institution continues to succeed, despite budget cuts, to shootings and all kinds of other things. As far as the campus is concerned, so much as to why we succeed is due to staff members. He thanked everyone for the work that we do. You are recognized. Keep up the great work!
MOTION TO ADJOURN – With there being no more business, Member-at-Large Aaron Cherry moved to adjourn. The motion, seconded by Senator Shelly Ortiz, carried. The meeting adjourned after noon.
Barbara Reonas, Secretary