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Officer elections, partnership with HR focus of June Staff Senate meeting

by UofL Today last modified Jun 14, 2011 02:59 PM

The Staff Senate June 13 elected its first new chair - UofL police officer David James - since Brent Fryrear took the post four years ago.

James ran on a slate with Dhiane Bradley, College of Education and Human Development, and Lisa London, Undergraduate Affairs, who are the new vice chair and secretary/treasurer, respectively.

“I’m looking forward to sitting out there,” Fryrear said in his final chair’s report, and “to being able to vote again.”

Fryrear will open the July meeting and turn the gavel over to James.

Besides electing new officers, the Staff Senate also received its monthly report from Sam Connally, vice president for human resources.

Connally reviewed again details of the first salary increases staff and faculty will have received in three years and of changes to UofL’s tuition remission policy, both of which passed the Board of Trustees at its June meeting last week.

He also gave senators a list of university policies Human Resources has reviewed and revised with Staff Senate input since July 1, 2010. They include:

  • Enhancing the leave donation options for the catastrophic shared leave policy
  • Offering a UofL 457(b) deferred compensation plan (rather than only having an outside company provide the plan)
  • Increasing parental leave from three to six weeks
  • Providing three months health benefit during short-term disability to bridge to the time long-term takes effect
  • Evaluating cost-saving strategies for retirement and tuition remission

“HR wants to be an effective partner with the Staff Senate,” Connally said. “In a shared governance system like ours, partnership is key.”

Connally said he appreciates the relationship he has with the Staff Senate, which brings staff concerns to HR for HR to find solutions.

“Staff Senate is the body that administration looks to on finding solutions,” he said.

Going into the next fiscal year, Connally said that HR will continue to work on policy reviews that it has started with Staff Senate. Other priorities include:

  • Reviewing and rejuvenating the employee suggestion program
  • Implementing flexible scheduling guidelines that have been proposed
  • Reviewing the RIF policy and practices and adding value where possible
  • Reviewing internal promotion practices to add value where possible

“It’s nice to see HR come to the table with what they want to work on and ask ’What do you want to work on?” Fryrear said. “If not for Sam, we would not be where we are HR-wise.”

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