Office of the Vice President
for Administration


Salaried Staff Advisory Council

Minutes October 20, 2005

Please submit agenda items for the December 14, 2005 meeting to Julie Skeen by December 7, 2005.

The meeting was called to order at 2:30 p.m.

SSAC members present were:
Member District Member District
Marge Hadden1 James Elfers 10
Susan Katz 3 Marlene Osborne 10
Katherine Kuck 4 Gwen RoBison 11
Mayra Focht 6 Mark Ressler 12
Michael DeMauro 7 Kimberly Doucette 14
Maggie Brumit 8 Mary Ann Brown

16
Wanda McCracken 9

Members Absent: Kaci Madison-Beasley (#2), Patti Hall(#13), Charlene Mylin (#15)

Members Excused: Paige Seppanen (#17)

Others Present: President Roselle, Maxine Colm, Thomas LaPenta, Julie Skeen

Minutes
The August 15, 2005 minutes were approved as written.

Old Business
None

Constituent Concerns
A constituent of Ms. Brown wanted to know why a freeze continued on salaried staff positions, limiting reclassifications. Mr. LaPenta stated there was no freeze, that operational fine-tuning through reclassifications is on-going as dictated by the needs of the units. Dr. Colm concurred, recommending that the constituent contact either Richie Holland or Chris Ulrich, Human Resources, with their particular concern.

Another constituent of Ms. Brown suggested that a menu board at the Figure Eight snack bar at the Fred Rust Ice Arena would be of service to customers. Currently, menu selections are not posted. Mr. LaPenta will follow up with Dining Services.

Ms. Brown also raised a constituent’s concern regarding their home address being published in the UD Campus Directory when the constituent expressly elected not to make it available. Such election is made online on the HRMS form Employee Demographic Data under Contact Information. It was suggested that the employee contact Anna Bloch of Human Resources with details.

Ms. Hadden inquired about the progress of the classification review project. Dr. Colm stated that the consultants will return to campus the first week in November with a status report.

Ms. Kuck related that a constituent, who works in Wilmington and was here on business, locked her keys in her car. Public Safety was called for assistance, but could not help because the vehicle was not in their jurisdiction. A suggestion was made to contact the City of Newark, but they were unable to help because they no longer provide this service. The constituent felt she should have been assisted even though she works off-campus. Captain James Grimes, Public Safety, responded that Public Safety officers are unable to provide off-campus lockout or jumpstart assistance due to University insurance requirements. He noted that the department will contact a locksmith or garage for an employee if they are off campus.

Another of Ms. Kuck’s off-campus constituents complained of the difficulty in obtaining appropriate parking permits to accommodate quick pickup and drop-off trips to campus as well as meetings that are far from parking garages. Jenni Sparks, Public Safety, suggested that day passes would be a solution for this particular situation. The passes can be purchased in advance by the department and used as needed for gold lot parking. A suggestion was made by a SSAC member to utilize Public Safety’s messenger services.

President's Comments
President Roselle reviewed recently completed, on-going and future campus construction projects. He addressed the current state of the football field and outlined its planned renovation, which will be completed in the Spring. As an aside, the President noted the numerous player injuries which have impacted on the team’s overall performance so far this year.

President Roselle noted with pleasure the many national recognitions given to UD faculty for their academic achievements, noting that our faculty are strong and becoming more so. Combined with rising student SAT scores, the pleasing campus, the strong library system, the computing center, and good geography, faculty achievements contribute a great deal to our competitive position in higher education.

Ms. Hadden expressed concern about the impact the rising cost of fuel will have on University operations. President Roselle responded that a conservation plan has been initiated through the Public Relations Office to educate faculty, staff and students. The President noted that current projections indicate an overall increase in the millions of dollars and conservation education will be of paramount importance. As an example of the new conservation initiative, Dr. Roselle pointed to a recent UDaily article which asked users to turn off their computers and monitors. He also noted that the mileage reimbursement amount has also been increased for employees who must use their personal vehicles to conduct University business.

Ms. Hadden asked if employees with long commutes to work might be afforded a four-day workweek to save a day’s gas as a conservation measure. Dr. Colm stated this would be a unit-specific decision. Dr. Roselle reminded everyone that our purpose here is to serve the students.

Mr. Elfers inquired about unfunded projects that the President would like to see completed. President Roselle cited as two examples a large capacity concert hall for the Center for the Arts and a multidisciplinary undergraduate science laboratory facility which would free up existing laboratories for research purposes.

Mr. Elfers asked if there is any consideration for starting a law school at the University. President Roselle said that the matter has been discussed, but there are no plans at this time.

Ms. Kuck noted that viable MBA Program candidates are being lost to other institutions due to current tuition rates. She asked if these rates might be lowered. President Roselle said the tuition is set by the College of Business and Economics administration and any change would be at the College’s initiation with review and approval at senior levels.

Ms. Doucette asked how many students had been accepted by UD as a result of schools being closed due to Hurricane Katrina damage. President Roselle said 20 had been enrolled, most of whom had been accepted previously by UD but had elected to attend elsewhere. The President noted that the UD community has done a lot of nice things in terms of raising money for the hurricane victims.

Wellness Update
Leslie Kling, Health Sciences, addressed the group to briefly discuss upcoming Wellness programs. Programs include a lecture on lower back pain, employee health screenings, an effective 30-minute workout, and another American smokeout day. She noted that while all slots for flu shots are filled, the Wellness Center Web page offers a link where one can locate a flu clinic. To preregister for programs or to locate a flu clinic, visit www.udel.edu/wellness/ or call ext. 8388.

Office of Pensions Short & Long-Term Disability Insurance Nancy Wallace and Chris Ulrich, Human Resources, outlined the upcoming changes in the State of Delaware’s group disability insurance. New coverage will become effective automatically on January 1, 2006 for new and non-vested employees. Current vested employees (having five years or more pension creditable service) will have a one-time option to either keep the current coverage or switch to the new plan. The enrollment period is October 17 to December 15 and enrollment can be accomplished online at http://disability.pensions.omb.delaware.gov/. Letters of notification are being sent by the State to pension participants at their home addresses. Employees are strongly urged to attend an information meeting on Thursday, November 10, or Monday, November 15, where representatives of the State Office of Management and Budget will explain the plan and can answer your questions.

Mr. Elfers asked Ms. Ulrich why a multiple step promotional increase amounts to less than one step increases. Ms. Ulrich replied that increases are set by UD policy.

Announcements
None

The meeting adjourned at 4:20 p.m.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Thomas LaPenta

Reviewed by Marge Hadden as authorized by SSAC.



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