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K-State Today

February 18, 2014

Classified Senate Feb. 13 meeting highlights

Submitted by Susan Erichsen

Here are the highlights from the Feb. 13 Classified Senate meeting. A draft of the meeting minutes is available.

Guest speakers: Jo Maseberg-Tomlinson and Ron Jackson, program coordinators from the Division of Continuing Education, presented information about the On Track Program for full-time employees taking college classes. Postcards will be sent to employees regarding upcoming information sessions. Their human resources representative also will be in attendance to answer questions about tuition assistance. 

Senate standing committees:

Campus affairs committee

  • Carol Marden reported members of the committee attended the alternative service committee meeting yesterday and will continue to attend the monthly meetings until the transition is complete.  Gary Leitnaker, along with President Schulz and Cindy Bontrager, are preparing a letter to update employees on the status of the transition. Bontrager is willing to do Q-and-A sessions with departments if they are interested in what alternative service committee is doing.

Legislative affairs committee

  • Lesa Reves reported eight representatives from K-State attended the Day on the Hill in Topeka on Jan. 30. We will be serving K-State cookies and ice cream at Cats in the Capital all day on Feb. 19.
  • Nominations for Classified Senators are taking place Feb. 1-20. Elections will be March 1-15.  The terms will be from June 2014 thru May 2017.

Recognition ceremony committee

  • Pam Warren reported funds have been donated from Varney's Bookstore, the Campus Bookstore and the president to purchase door prizes for the Employee Recognition Ceremony on April 30.

Public relations committee

  • Lindsay Thompson reported that the best times to have an open forum for classified employees with the president on budget matters would be the end of February or the first part of March. Discussion was held on the best time of day, location, how long the forum would be, video streaming, employees submitting questions prior to the event if they can not attend and alternating times each year.

Classified Employee Opportunity Fund

  • Annette Hernandez reported one Meritorious Service Award was paid last month along with three textbook purchase requests.

Associate vice president, human resources and parking services report

  • Gary Leitnaker reported that emails will be sent either weekly or bi-weekly regarding all training sessions held by human resources. 
  • The Peer Review panel had one hearing and one hearing was averted prior to mediation.  
  • Regarding the inclement weather leave for last week, per PPM 3035.040, employees on authorized leave, holidays, or off days are not affected by these emergency procedures and will continue in that status. 

New business:

After a vote via email from the Classified Senate approving the social media resolution, President Jan Taggart signed and forwarded the document to Julia Keen, president of faculty senate, for her to present to Kansas Board of Regents on Feb. 12.

Regarding a name change for classified employees effective July 1, the legal name the state will recognize is university support staff. However, we can have our own working title for K-State employees that differentiates us from faculty and unclassified professionals. Discussion was held on what this should be. Carol Marden, chair of campus affairs and alternative service committee, will send out a request for all employees to come up with a name. The top four or five titles will be submitted for employees to vote on. The result will be announced at the awards ceremony April 30, and the person(s) submitting the winning title will receive an award.

When the bylaws are updated this year we will look at changing the names of all committees to show a better representation of what they are accomplishing along with updating responsibilities. Carol Marden recommended that campus affairs include oversight of alternative service committee.

Mike Seymour requested that the new policy manual address the concerns regarding how the use of inclement weather is granted and how essential employees are defined.

Campus committee reports:

Alternative service committee

  • Carol Marden reported the handbook has been updated regarding mandated placement of university support staff, flexible working hours and performance reviews.
  • The Appeals Board will be housed under the vice president for administration and finance until the vice president for human capital is hired. If you wish to serve on this board, contact Susan Thomas in the vice president for administration and finance office. They are looking for classified and unclassified employees.

Climate survey committee

  • Kerry Jennings reported they are looking for individuals to participate in a 90-minute focus group meeting to determine the best questions to use in the survey.