Staff Senate Meeting Overview, July 2014
The Staff Senate is part of UofL's shared governance system, which also includes the Faculty Senate and the Student Government Association. Senators are elected by their peers.
The full body met in regular session July 14 at Ekstrom Library. Chair Angela Lewis-Klein presided. The following are highlights from the meeting.
By voice vote, the Senate ratified the members of standing committees. A vote on members of university-wide committees was tabled and moved to the September agenda.
Secretary/Treasurer Gary Southard reported a balance of $2,200 in the Senate’s General Fund and about $13,000 in the SHARE fund.
Heather Parrino and Sharon LaRue briefly gave an overview of the university’s AlcoholEdu/Haven program, which is required for all incoming freshmen. The web-based alcohol and sexual assault prevention program is designed to help college students balance their new freedom away from home with their need to establish a healthy and safe lifestyle as young adults. Heather said a university task force worked for three years to find the right program for UofL, and that AlcoholEdu/Haven is used in more than 500 institutions nationwide. She said emails with the first AlcoholEdu assignments were sent out this week; students were being asked to take a survey that would assess the level of their risk of drinking. She said while the program is “not a silver bullet,” it will give the university data so “we can be more intentional about what we’re doing.” She added the university signed a four-year contract for the program and is working statewide to get it in every high school and college in Kentucky. The other Kentucky postsecondary schools that already use AlcoholEdu/Haven are UK, Murray State, Centre and Bellarmine, she said.
Sharon said Haven is the component that focuses on prevention of sexual assault. She added it’s “not just for safety for myself, it’s about safety for my neighbors.”
Sharon also announced that she was leaving UofL to become executive director of the Kentucky Foundation for Women.
Angela Lewis-Klein reminded senators to wear their name badges to meetings because there are so many new members. She also noted the Staff Senate is marking its 40th anniversary and an event may be planned for the fall. Also, the Senate is considering a half-day retreat this year instead of a full day out of the office. More details will be shared as plans are finalized.
Provost Shirley Willihnganz told senators that she understands about concerns about possible job losses as the university converts to a shared services center business model. She said while no decisions have been made, there will likely be 20 centers university-wide with a minimum of five employees each. She said while the change means some jobs may not be needed, “that doesn’t mean you won’t have a job.” She also reiterated that she does not envision “mass layoffs.” However, she added that “all of this assumes people are doing their jobs.” Willihnganz said it will be a year before any decisions are made.
The Provost discussed general ideas from committees for the 21st Century Initiative and said the next step was to bring the committee reports to the steering committee to be integrated in a single report.
Sam Connally, vice president for human resources, said “fiscal control is the No. 1 driver” this year.
The next Staff Senate meeting will be September 8 in Ekstrom Library’s Chao Auditorium.
--Prepared for the Staff Senate by Janet Cappiello, UofL Today editor, communications specialist, UofL Office of Communications and Marketing.