MINUTES 12/14/06

9 AM – Holmes Student Center 406


Present:    Elizabeth Buck, Judy Burgess, Gay Campbell, Sara Clayton, Marcia Dick, Linda Jennings,

Glenda Jones, Theresa Kinniry, Joe Koch, Jay Monteiro, Dorothy Razniewski, Nancy Schuneman, Andy Small, LaRonda Thuestad, Rachel Turner  


Absent:     Julia Sober


Guests:     Mary Crumbacher, Dawn Ericksen, Julia Fauci, Tim Griffin, Sandy Sosnowski, Jodi Tyrrell


I.                    Call to Order


President Rachel Turner called the regular meeting of the Operating Staff Council to order at 9 a.m. on Thursday, December 14, 2006.


II.         Approval of Agenda


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


III.        Approval of Minutes of the November 9, 2006, Meeting and the Minutes of the Special Meeting of November 16, 2006.


A motion was made to accept the minutes with minor changes.  The motion was seconded and passed.  A motion was also made to accept the minutes from the Special Meeting on November 16.  That 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 letter from Dependent Award winner Stephen Clark. Clark apologized for missing the previous meeting and thanked the Council for the award.


B.                  Turner passed around a Christmas card from Tim Griffin. 


C.                  Turner also passed around a letter from Joe Koch officially resigning from the Council.  Koch will retire on December 31.  Koch has served on the Council for 28 years.


D.                  Turner passed around the Secretarial Advisory Council minutes and annual report. 


E.                  Turner said that Bobbie Cesarek from the SPS Council pointed out that the Employee Indemnification Act is something that many people don’t know about.  The act states that if a person is acting as a faculty or staff advisor for a student group and it is not part of their job description, they must fill out a separate form for insurance purposes.


F.                  Turner passed around the minutes from the Faculty Senate meeting.


G.                 Andy Small presented each Council member with a glass ornament from the Chemistry Department.  The blown-glass ornaments are made in the department and sold as a fundraiser for the Chemistry Club.  


VI.        Committee Reports


A.                  Personnel/Staff Developments/Benefits  No report.


B.         Elections and Appointments


Sara Clayton said letters were sent out to Donna Mathesius from the University Council and also to Tom Krepel for those individuals nominated for commissions and committees.  She also pointed out that there will be a special election to fill the vacancy left by Koch’s retirement. 


C.         Special Events  No Report.


D.         Public Relations –


Nancy Schuneman reported that the flyers for the Outstanding Service Award will be

going out in January just after the break.  The deadline for nominations is February 28,

2007.  Jay Monteiro reported that work is continuing on the brochure.


            E.         Visiting Committees/Guests


Dawn Ericksen and Julia Fauci from the Strategic Planning Task Force were present to provide an update on the work of the Task Force and also to solicit input from the Council about issues that the Operating Staff would like the Task Force to address. 


Some of the topics discussed included:


            - Community and university relations.


            - Alternative funding sources as appropriations dwindle.


            - Crime on campus.


            - The continuance of the shared governance system.


            - Transportation and infrastructure concerns.


            - Employee benefits.


                                    - Meeting students needs in both services and curriculum.


F.         EAC


Clayton reported that the Merit Board Meeting was held at the System’s Office in Urbana on November 15.


- There was one discharge from UIUC because the employee was drinking on the job and was belligerent with a supervisor.


-There were 16 written cases for discharge last year.  There were 5 hearings, 3 were settled, 1 hearing and 1 pending.  The Board adopted an amendment to Section 80 of the Illinois Administration Code, Section 250.110. 


- Starting in January 2007 the Board will need a forum of 6 members in order to do business.  They hope to have video conferencing available for members soon


- The Merit Board gave authority to the System’s Office to establish temporary demonstration projects, pilot programs to gather information and feedback on new human resource operational procedures.


- The Board approved the FY 08 budget.


- Board members will be given a secure website to view previous discharge cases. This should assist them when considering future discharges.


- In 2007 the Board will meet on February 14, May 23 and November 14 at the Urbana office and on August 22 in the Chicago area.  The Council of Councils meeting will be held at Chicago State University next year.


- Jodi Tyrrell said the HR Directors Committee also met with Tom Morelock.  She said they are mostly concerned with procedures within the Civil Service System.  They also discuss things that are going on at other campuses.


H.                  UAC 


The BOT meeting was held December 7. 


- Coach Novak, Athletic Director Jim Phillips, Garrett Wolfe, and Dustin Utschig were present at the meeting in recognition of the NIU football team’s invitation to the Poinsettia Bowl.


- The Board also discussed the construction of the proton therapy facility.  The university is currently seeking bids on the project.


- President Peters said the decision to close the University on December 1 was made primarily because of the inability of the Huskie buses to run due to the snow.


- The Board talked about enrollment numbers.  Fall 2006 enrollment numbers represented the largest freshman class in over a decade.


- President Peters talked about the gift from the Yorden family for the new Athletic and Academic Performance Center, which brings the total amount of gifts for the center to over $9 million.  That makes over $100 million in donations to the university over the last 6 years.


- Northern View Community was approved as the name for the new Student Housing for Dependents. Dr. Hemphill gave a presentation on the community plans, which include 1, 2, and 3-bedroom units, as well as a clubhouse, study rooms, computer labs, and a playground. 


- Approved the budget for renovations for financial aid office to provide for more privacy to patrons.


- Approved construction on Lot W.


- The Board also discussed FY2008 Programmatic Budget Request, Illinois Public Acts that may affect higher education, and members attending the BOT meetings via satellite from other campus locations. 


- Ken Davidson is now Vice President and General Counsel. 


- The Board voted to approve the purchase of the property between the library and the parking garage (previously the Wesley Foundation).


- President Peters said the mid-year increments will be 1% across the board and 1% for those on the approved list. 


- Scott Peska presented a report on the University REACH Program, which helps under prepared students by having upperclass students contact at-risk first-year students for support.


H.                  University Council 


- There was concern about pensions, CMS, and about the minimum wage increase because that will translate into about $1 million for NIU.  This will limit the number of student jobs available. 


- There was also discussion of the affordability of higher education.  Non-tuition costs are having the biggest impact on affordability.


- There was discussion about Fit Gap issues related to NIU Connect.


VII.       Old Business


A.                  Strategic Planning Task Force


Members of the Task Force will return to give periodic updates.  Information about the Task Force’s activity is also posted on line.


B.                  Old Photos for Website


Old photos will be placed on the new OSC website to provide a historical perspective of the Council.  Turner will begin training in January for Council members on maintaining the OSC website. There will be an archive section for old photos.


                        C.         Increments


All employees will get the 1% mid-year increment and Turner handed out a list of classes who will get the additional 1% supplemental increment.  Supplements were based on looking at the averages of the salary ranges statewide and comparing it to NIU.  A total of 832 Operating Staff and 441 SPS positions will get the additional 1%.


VIII.      New Business  -


A.             Leave Policies for University Closures.


Many people are asking why they had to use benefits on December 1 when the university was officially closed.  The matter was referred to the benefits committee for further investigation.


IX.        Adjournment – A motion was made at 11:55 a.m. to adjourn.


Respectfully Submitted,


Theresa Kinniry

OSC Secretary