MINUTES 4/14/05

8:30AM – Holmes Student Center 406


Present:    Elizabeth Buck, Gay Campbell, Marcia Dick, Margie Foshe, Linda Jennings, Glenda Jones, Joe

    Koch, Jay Monteiro, Nancy Schuneman, Donna Smith, LaRonda Thuestad, and Rachel Turner.  


Absent:     Sara Clayton, Michele Crase, Theresa Kinniry and Andy Small.


Guests:     Jodi Tyrrell, Dr. Brian Hemphill, Dr. Donna Simon, Dr. Steve Cunningham, and Deb Haliczer


I.                    Call to Order


President Donna Smith called the regular meeting of the Operating Staff Council to order at 8:40 a.m. on Thursday, April 14, 2005.


II.         Approval of Agenda


A motion was made to accept the agenda.  The motion was seconded and passed.   


III.        Approval of Minutes of March 10, 2005, Meeting


A motion was made to accept the minutes with no changes. The motion was seconded and passed.


IV.        Treasurer’s Report


The treasurer’s report was presented for discussion. A motion was made to accept the Treasurer’s report. The motion was seconded and passed.


V.         Announcements/Correspondence


1.         LaRonda Thuestad shared two handouts Larry Salberg sent from SURS.


2.         Glenda Jones passed around some literature of the Journalism Award, the Strickland Award, and information about a Mother’s Day Gift.


3.         Smith said there was a workshop that she planned to attend later in the day entitled “E-mail for You.”  She will also be attending the Northern Star Reader Advisory Board meeting on 4/29.


4.         Smith shared correspondence from a constituent regarding the 4-day workweek.  Discussion followed and comments were made about the timeliness of notification in regards to day care, elder care, and second jobs.


5.         Smith received two e-mails from Debbie Haliczer.  One reported that Shey Lowman is home recovering from a detached retina.  The other dealt with future ethics training and that state agencies have been asked for input.


6.         Abby Chemers’s husband died of cancer.  Smith sent her a card from the Council.


7.         The ISU newsletter was routed.


VI.        Committee Reports


A.                  Personnel/Staff Developments/Benefits  - Did not meet.


B.                  Elections and Appointments.


1.  Rachel Turner passed out ballots for the OSC election that will take place.  They are ready

     for the printers.  They should be in everyone’s mailbox next week.


C.         Public Relations.


1.       There was discussion about the Outstanding Service Awards.


2.       Theresa Kinniry has made the changes to the Council handbook for new members.


3.    There was discussion about the Wellness Fair.  The door prizes were claimed. 

The 50/50 drawing brought in a total of $59.  Half of that amount went to the winner.  Turner will post the winner on the web page.


D.         Visiting Committees/Guests


1.    Dr. Brian Hemphill and Dr. Donna Simon from Student Affairs gave a PowerPoint  

       presentation.  The presentation began with the four goals for Student Affairs:  1) Student-

       centered service, 2) Partnerships focused on student learning, 3) Establishing an inclusive 

       community, 4) Actively building collaborative relationships.


                   Areas for improvement include:  1) Teamwork, 2) Good to GREAT, 3) Enhancing student-

                    centered culture, 4) Re-gaining prominence on the national scene.


                   Potential barriers are:  1) Provincialism, 2) Fear, 3) Selfishness, 4) Potential lack of



                   Student Affairs has a 90-day initiative to:  Review Student Affairs organizational structure,

                    present a new organizational chart, develop a Vision Statement and develop a Mission



       Dr. Hemphill’s Philosophy:  1) Open door policy for staff and students, 2) ALWAYS act in

       the best interest of students, 3) Work hard and play hard, 4) Be passionate about



      “We will have successes and failures, but we will succeed and fail together.”


      The presentation was followed by a question and answer session.  Dr. Hemphill and Dr.

      Simon have been visiting departments across campus.  If anyone has questions, please

      call Dr. Hemphill at his office.


2.   Deb Haliczer spoke about the upcoming Ethics Training.  It could be September 15-October

      16 or October 27-November 29.  It will be Internet based/online training once again.  Every  

      person who receives a paycheck has to go through the training.  If we have any suggestions

      for possible scenarios for the training, please send suggestions to Haliczer by April 26.


3.   Steve Cunningham spoke about the governor’s proposed changes to the state’s pension

      systems.  President Peters sent an e-mail update to all employees regarding the six 

      proposed changes.  No legislation has been filed as yet.  It is important to let legislators

      know our feelings.  He does not know if the plans are to cover current employees or newly

      hired employees.  He acknowledged the scope of the budget problem.  The current

      governor did not create the problem but is attempting to deal with it.  There is $500 million in

      debt service along, $1.7 million is actual yearly contribution.  In 2016, the state would have   

      to contribute $4.2 billion.  Two of the six proposals deal with the SURS.  The SURS

     accounts for 23% of the total state retirees, TRS and SERS are the others.  The SURS

     would have 38% of cuts with fewer members than SERS.  We will see a lot of activity as

     legislation moves forward.


     It is important to let the governor and your representatives know how you feel, but do not use 

     NIU computers, letterhead, phones, or any NIU resources to send your personal opinion. 

     Use home computer, write a letter, or call from your home phone or cell phone with



The presidents of Faculty Senate/SPSC/OSC will work with Dr. Peters as to the appropriate time to respond to the governor.  Communication with employees was also discussed.  It was noted that the OSC has the greatest number of constituents without Internet access at work and don’t receive e-mail notes and memos.  Haliczer reported that the memo on Ethics Training will be sent to everyone in hard copy.


Cunningham was asked about the summer schedule/4-day workweek and it was stated that people need to know as soon as possible so they can plan for day care, elder care, or additional jobs.  Cunningham stated that this is budget driven, but the administration believes the university community is in favor of the 4-day week.  Margie Foshe pointed out that gas savings could be a huge consideration.  Cunningham noted that last year the announcement was made on April 20.  There should be something coming about the same time this year.


                             Marcia Dick reported that 53 people in the library are very happy with the equity raise.


Linda Jennings asked about retirement legislation and are there any changes that we need to be aware of as some people might need to retire now to take advantage of current options.  Cunningham replied that if anything is changed, it will only affect the new employees.  However, the money purchase calculation may be eliminated.  Sixty-six percent of retirees retire under money purchase.  Cunningham also reported that “30 and out” would be eliminated if the proposed changes are approved.  Any unconstitutional legislation would be challenged in court immediately.


E.         EAC  No report.  Sara Clayton was attending the EAC meeting.


F.         UAC  -


1.  Smith passed around minutes from the Legislative, Audit, and External Affairs Committee of 

     the Board of Trustees.  One point of interest is House Bill 476 – naming rights – that gives

     the state the ability to name buildings, endowed chairs, etc., at any state institution.  Smith

    also shared the packet from the Board of Trustees meeting from March 24, 2005, at which

    they approved items previously approved at the BOT committee meetings.


            G.         University Council .


1.       See attached report from Sara Clayton.


H.                  Special Events


1.   LaRonda Thuestad reported that Dr. Williams gave Smith permission to include extra help

      people in this year’s StaffFest.  We figure there will be an extra 450 (about 60% of the 753

      extra help currently employed) people attending this year.  Smith passed out an estimate of

      attendees and costs that she shared with Dr. Williams.  Thuestad was only going to send

      invitations to retirees that live in Illinois, but the Council said that all retirees should receive

      an invite.  We already have one door prize, a signed copy of a book written Ralph Wallis.  If

      any one knows someone who has a business and would like to donate something, they are

      to contact Thuestad.  We have24 hats and 16 visors, which should be sufficient for our 

      servers for this year’s event.


VII.       Old Business


A.                   Retirees on Committees – Council discussed retirees on committees.  There was a consensus that a person elected or appointed to a committee finish out their term if they happen to retire during their appointment.  But when possible, current staff members should serve on committees.  Smith will write to Cunningham regarding the SURSMAC and asked Joe Koch as parliamentarian to look at rewriting the Council’s bylaws to reflect this opinion.


VIII.      New Business


IX.        Adjournment – The meeting adjourned at 11:05 a.m.


Respectfully Submitted,


LaRonda Thuestad

Acting OSC Secretary