OPERATING STAFF COUNCIL MEETING
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
President Donna Smith called the regular meeting of the Operating Staff Council to order at 8:40 a.m. on Thursday, April 14, 2005.
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.
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.
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
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.
Acting OSC Secretary