MINUTES 3/9/06

8:30AM – Holmes Student Center 406


Present:    Elizabeth Buck, Gay Campbell, Sara Clayton, Margie Foshe, Linda Jennings, Glenda Jones,

                 Theresa Kinniry, Joe Koch, Nancy Schuneman, Andy Small, Julia Sober, and Rachel Turner.  


Absent:     Marcia Dick, Jason Hutchison, Jay Monteiro and LaRonda Thuestad


Guests:     Tim Griffin


I.                    Call to Order


President Rachel Turner called the regular meeting of the Operating Staff Council to order at 8:40 a.m. on Thursday, March 9, 2006.


II.         Approval of Agenda


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


III.        Approval of Minutes of February 9, 2006, Meeting


A motion was made to accept the minutes with a few 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


A.         Turner said she, Shey Lowman, Paul Stoddard and Ken Zender met with President Peters on February 27.  She said it appears there will be a 1.4% increase in the General Revenue base in the budget for state universities for FY07.  For NIU the increase will actually be closer to 1.2%.  Peters said that increase would likely be earmarked for salaries.


B.         Turner had a request from Sara Clayton asking that the Council pay her hotel fees for expenses incurred as part of the interview process for the new provost.  As the OSC rep to the Provost Search Committee, Clayton is required to travel to the airport for the interviews.  Clayton said the president’s office might pay the expenses.  A motion was made and seconded that if the president’s office did not pay the Council would.  The motion passed.


C.         Turner said that it looks like there will be no capitol bill for the university for the third year in a row.  Peters said that deferred maintenance is an important issue, and funds are going to be set up for these types of things.


VI.        Committee Reports


A.         Personnel/Staff Developments/Benefits


            1.         Clayton passed around a draft of a flyer for the Benefits Fair, which will take

place on May 11.  The flyer has been sent to Deb Haliczer for review. 


2.         Clayton also said that an e-mail from a constituent regarding additional benefits was forwarded to the University Benefits Committee.


B.         Elections and Appointments


Joe Koch is working on the flyers about Council vacancies.  The flyer will be sent out on March 17 to all operating staff.  Koch will advertise the vacancies in available media including the website, the OS newsletter and Northern Today.  Candidate interest sheets are due back April 7, ballots are sent out April 21.  Completed ballots are due back May 12.  Ballots will be counted May 19 and letters to the winners will be sent May 23.  The new members will be invited to sit in on the June meeting.  Koch will determine vacancies on committees.


C.         Special Events – No Report.


D.         Public Relations.


Nancy Schuneman reported there were 17 nominations for the OSC Outstanding Service

Award.  The rankings are due March 17. The awards committee will meet again March

23 to choose the winners.  Schuneman also pointed out that a member of the awards

committee had written a letter of support for one of the nominees. There are currently no

guidelines in the bylaws regarding this issue, but it was decided that even the

appearance of favoritism on the part of the committee member might taint the entire

judging process.  It was decided that the committee member should resign from

the committee at least for this year.  An update to the bylaws will also be considered.


            E.         Visiting Committees/Guests. - None


            F.         EAC


1.         Merit Board had one discharge hearing.  The accused chose not to have union representation.  The accused had six prior disciplinary hearings against him and he was dismissed.


2.         Discharge and demotion revisions have gone to JCAR.  A final report to the Merit Board will be on May 24.


3.         Hearing officers expenses were increased from $300 to $500 per day.


4.         Tom Morelock testified at the IBHE meeting.  Morelock is asking for a 1.4% increase in the Systems Office budget.     


            G.         UAC


1.         Legislative Audit Committee – Committee discussed the 1.4% (1.2%) increase in General Revenue funds.


2.         Academic Affairs – Recommended the BOT approve several sabbatical leaves. There was also a request for a new minor in Cognitive Studies.


3.         Finance & Facilities Ops. – Recommended the following fee increases to BOT. Student fee structures increase 7.8%; A 13.2% increase in health insurance.  Huskie Bus increase is 7.1%  and Room and Board up 9%.  Some Capitol improvements projects include installing sprinklers in the resident halls, a new lab in Davis Hall, Neptune Hall roof, work on Swen Parson and Zulauf Hall.  The full BOT will meet on March 23.





            H.         University Council


1.         Linda Jennings reported that the president acknowledged March as women’s history month. He also spoke about the 25th anniversary of women’s studies on campus.    


2.         The president talked about the success of both the men’s and women’s basketball teams.


3.         The president sees the 1.2% increase as a turnaround in the budget situation.


4.         The president said the provost search is going well.  There are about 35-40 serious applicants.


5.         The IBHE is focusing on students with disabilities this year as they are one of the underrepresented groups on campus.


6.         There is currently a bill in the legislature regarding textbook costs and how they continue to increase.  The bill is not expected to pass. 


7.         The Academic Policy Committee talked about changes to the manual regarding student evaluations of professors. The new language will allow students to write additional comments on a separate piece of paper.


8.         New members of University Council were elected.  Joe Grush was re-instated as Acting Dean for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.  Art Young is retiring as director of the library.  Mary Munroe has been named acting director.


9.         There is talk that a Roth IRA 403B might be made available to employees at NIU. It is not known when they will be available.


VII.       Old Business


A.         Wellness Fair


Clayton will bring the display board.  Thuestad has the sign and the 50/50 raffle can and

Turner will bring candy. There will be no door prizes this year, other than the 50/50 raffle.

Set up is between 9 a.m. and 9:30 a.m.  A sign up sheet was passed around so that

Council members could sign up for which time they want to work.


            B.         Springfield Trip


Turner asked if anyone was interested in going on the trip to Springfield for the lobby day

 about pension issues on March 15.  Koch said he has an account to pay for the car if

any Council members wanted to go.


VII.       New Business  -


            A.         President Visit


President Peters was supposed to come to the Council meeting in April but cannot come

because he will be in Springfield.  He also can’t come in May. The president’s secretary,

Jo Abbott said it might be easier if the Council could reschedule their meeting to a

different Thursday since the president is often not available on the regular meeting date.

It was decided that June would be an ideal month for him to come because the new

Council members will be there as guests and the old will be there too.  Turner will try to

set it up for June.  If the president is unable to attend the meeting in June, the Council will

consider other dates.



            B.         Four-Day Work Week


Jennings asked if there had been any response regarding the Council’s letter requesting

the summer work hours begin earlier and end later.  There has been no response yet,

and it is not known if the university will adopt the four-day work week this summer. 

Turner will contact Steve Cunningham about this issue.


VIII.      Adjournment – The meeting adjourned at 9:30 a.m.


Respectfully Submitted,




Theresa Kinniry

OSC Secretary