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March Staff Senate Overview

by UofL Today last modified Mar 18, 2011 07:55 AM

The Staff Senate is part of UofL's shared governance system, which also includes the Faculty Senate and Student Government Association. Senators are elected by their peers.

The full body met in regular session March 14 at the Health Sciences Center. Chair Brent Fryrear presided. Here is what happened:

Action Item:

The Policy, Economics and Development Committee made numerous recommendations to the senate for consideration based on the results of a survey sent to constituents about salary increases, changes to the tuition remission program and other budget cost-savings measures.  More than 1,500 employees participated in the survey, which was sent via e-mail in February.

Staff senators voted to endorse the following proposals shown below. Chair Fryrear sent the recommendations to President James Ramsey, Provost Shirley Willihnganz, Sam Connally, vice president of human resources,  and Michael Curtin, vice president for finance, on Tuesday March 15. The recommendations will be considered as the university's budget continues to be formulated and raises are considered.

Salary Recommendation:

The university is considering a 2-3 percent salary pool increase as part of the 2011-2012 budget.  Constituents were asked in the survey how they would like to see that money distributed. Based on survey results and comments, Staff Senate recommended a flat dollar amount for all who earn satisfactory or better performance evaluations. Senators also recommended that when salary distribution guidelines are published, they include the wording "employees otherwise eligible should not be disqualified from the university salary increase because of job transfer, promotion, etc."

Tuition Remission program:

In an effort to cover the cost of a possible salary pool increase, units across campus have been asked to consider ways to save money. In February Connally asked Staff Senate to consider a number of changes to the tuition remission program for employees and their dependents.

Among the tuition remission policy changes supported by staff senate:

  • Require employees to pay student fees for tuition remission hours for themselves and dependents

  • Clarify the definition of eligible children in policy, add legal wards and establish the age limit at 26. Verify dependent eligibility the first semester a child enrolls.

  • Re-establish a waiting period of 12 months of continuous service for dependents of employees hired after the effective date of policy change.

  • Establish a service requirement of five years of credible service for continuing dependent children eligibility for employees who die in active service or become permanently disabled. This would apply to employees hired after the effective date of policy change

Staff Senate was also asked to consider several other cost savings measures and they endorsed the implementation of a five-year vesting period for the retirement benefit plan. This would affect future hires.

All of the policy changes and cost savings measures considered by Staff Senate, including how the Senate voted, can be downloaded here.


Reports to the Senate

Larry Owsley, vice president for business affairs, updated senators a number of campus projects

  • Cardinal Towne, the development on the former site of Masterson's, should be complete by Aug. 1. The complex will include student housing and over 30,000 square feet of retail space.
  • Renovation of the dental school should be completed this fall.
  • About $25 million in energy conservation projects are about to begin at the Health Sciences Center. Work at Belknap, about $21.7 million in projects, was recently completed.


Connally announced the holiday schedules for 2011 and 2012. The updated is schedule is available online at

The next Staff Senate meeting is April 11 at Ekstrom Library.


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