MINUTES 1/12/06

8:30AM – Holmes Student Center 406


Present:    Elizabeth Buck, Gay Campbell, Sara Clayton, Marcia Dick, Margie Foshe, Jason Hutchison,

    Linda Jennings, Glenda Jones, Theresa Kinniry, Joe Koch, Nancy Schuneman, Julia Sober, 

    LaRonda Thuestad and Rachel Turner.  


Absent:     Jay Monteiro and Andy Small


Guests:     Dr. Tom Krepel


I.                    Call to Order


The regular meeting of the Operating Staff Council was called to order at 8:40a.m. on Thursday, January 12, 2006, by President Rachel Turner.


II.         Approval of Agenda


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


III.        Approval of Minutes of December 8, 2005, Meeting


A motion was made to accept the minutes with one change. 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


A.         Turner passed around a copy of an e-mail about the next NIU Benefits Committee. All Council members are invited.


B.         Turner also passed around a holiday card from Tim Griffin to the Council.


C.         Turner spoke to Ruth Murphy from Building Services regarding the letter about mail distribution problems.  Murphy said the foremen are responsible for making sure mail is distributed to building service workers.  Murphy said generally mail with individual’s names on it is placed in a mailbox for the individual and more generic mail (i.e., Credit Union flyers) are placed on a table in the common areas for employees to read.  Turner also got an e-mail from Michael Coakley.  Turner asked the Council if they knew of specific instances so they could be relayed to Coakley.  The Council will continue to monitor the situation to see if mail distribution improves.


D.         Turner spoke to Steve Cunningham at HRS to ask if Kathy Buettner’s new title, Vice President of External Affairs, is part of a new division.  Cunningham said it is a new division, but it is such a small division that it being considered as part of the President’s office.  There was some concern that if a new division had been formed, an Operating Staff representative from that division should be on the Council.  Turner pointed out that the constitution states that every effort should be made to find representatives from each division, but if that is not possible, members of the Operating Staff at large can serve.



VI.        Committee Reports


A.         Personnel/Staff Developments/Benefits – No Report.


B.         Elections and Appointments – No Report.


C.         Public Relations.


1.         The Public Relations Committee is working on updating the OSC brochure.  Nancy Schuneman also pointed out that the Operating Staff Outstanding Service Awards Nomination letter is in the mail and flyers have been sent out to departments encouraging employees to nominate an operating staff employee for the award.  The deadline for nominations is February 28.


            D.         Visiting Committees/Guests.


 Dr. Tom Krepel, Assistant to the President, attended the meeting to share some of his background in education and to answer questions from the Council.  Dr. Krepel previously served in a number of administrative positions and most recently as president at Chadron State University in Nebraska.  Chadron is a small institution with a total of 2700 students. Krepel said his job here at NIU is to assist President Peters with the day-to-day questions/problems/issues that arise.  These can range from concerned parents to state legislators and numerous other issues. 


Krepel said he believes the role of administrators at state universities is changing drastically from the traditional role.  He referred to the president’s position as that of CEO.  He said that due to the large budget cuts, the funding climate for NIU is shifting from a primarily state supported institution to one that will have to rely more and more on fundraising and alumni support.  Krepel referred to the five points emphasized in Peters State of the University address – Sustainable, Engaged, Responsive, Global and Accountable.  Krepel also pointed out that there is currently a new commission being formed at the federal level called the Spelling commission, which will be charged with evaluating post secondary education throughout the country.  He said this may lead to testing as a means of assessing academic achievement.


            Krepel said that his experience with civil service employees was primarily with those civil service in negotiated positions.  He said that shared governance has really been embodied at NIU.  


            When asked about outsourcing, Krepel said that initially outsourcing looks good, but over time it can cost more.  He said that once something is outsourced, and then the institution tries to take back the operations, it ends up being more expensive to start over. 


            On accountability, Krepel said that NIU is accountable to a number of state agencies and also that departments and divisions within the university are accountable through various mechanisms. 


            Krepel told the Council that he used to be a lobbyist and he feels that lobbying in general is honorable and necessary.  Krepel said that lobbyists often get a bad reputation in the press and he feels that is an unfair portrayal.  He said that if a lobbyist works hard and has integrity, they are invaluable. 


            Krepel also said that community and junior colleges are important and that those students transferring to NIU from a 2-year institution tend to be more prepared for the demands of the university because there is a sort of self-selection process. He said if a student has completed a two-year course of study and then chooses to continue, it is usually because the student is serious about obtaining a degree and is therefore more likely to be successful.


E.         EAC – No Report.    


            F.         UAC – No Report.


            G.         University Council – No Report.


H.         Special Events – No Report. 


VII.       Old Business


A.         Bylaw Change 1.25


1.         The bylaw change was presented for second reading.  The change relates to the duties of the Vice President of the Council and reads “Will assume the Office of President in the event the elected President cannot fulfill the elected term.”


B.         Bylaw Change 5.1


1.         The bylaw change was presented for second reading.  This change is added to clarify the attendance policy for Council meetings.  The change reads, “Attendance at monthly Operating Staff Council meetings is mandatory for all Council members.  After three absences in the period of July 1-June 30, a written notification of absenteeism will be sent to the offending Council member.  Upon a fourth absence, the member will meet with the Executive Committee of the Council, which will bring recommendation for any action to the OSC.


C.         Ride Share Program


1.         Jodi Tyrrell contacted Turner prior to the meeting and said that Human Resource Services would be willing to facilitate some type of ride share program.  Two employees from HRS, Marius Morosanu and Al Mueller have agreed to participate in establishing the program.  It was suggested that a member of the Council also participate in the development of the program.  LaRonda Thuestad agreed to work with HRS to establish the program.


VII.       New Business – None.


VIII.      Adjournment – The meeting adjourned at 10:40 a.m.


Respectfully Submitted,




Theresa Kinniry

OSC Secretary