Office of the Vice President
for Administration


Salaried Staff Advisory Council

Minutes April 8, 2009

Please submit agenda items for the June 10, 2009 meeting to Cindy Delaney by June 5, 2009.

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

SSAC members present were:
Member District Member District
Michael DiMauro 1 Blaze Dougherty 6
Patti Hall 2 Cheryl Cunningham 10
Kimberly Doucette 3 James Elfers 11
Marge Hadden 3a Susan Zarebicki 12
Diane Thisell 4 Karren Helsel-Spry 13
Sharon Webb 5 Catherine Corsi 14

Members Excused:  John Gleasner #9
Alternates Present:  Jamie Kerestes #9
Members Absent:  Paige Seppanen #7
Others Present:  Thomas LaPenta, Nancy Wallace, Joan DelFattore, Sue Fox, Lynn Brock

Introductions
Ms. Wallace introduced Joan DelFattore, Director, MALS Program, and Susan Serra, Office of Service Learning and graduate of the MALS Program.

Minutes
The February, 2009 minutes were approved as written.

New Business
Ms. DelFattore spoke to the group about the MALS (Master of Arts in Liberal Studies) program.  This program is ideal for mid-career and retired persons.  The program is multi-disciplinary with student ages ranging from 22 to 88.  The program consists of eight courses and a thesis or project at the end.  There are no time restrictions around completion of the program.  Classes generally meet from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. one day a week.  Having graduated from the program, Ms. Serra finds that her writing skills have significantly improved.  Please visit the following web site for additional information about the program http://www.udel.edu/mals/.

Ms. Helsel-Spry asked if a ten month employee paid over 12 months is eligible to retire with 30 years of credible service.  Ms. Wallace stated that part-time, benefits-eligible employees who are paid across the year receive service credit for the full year.  In the example mentioned above, the employee would be eligible to retire.

Old Business
Ms. Wallace stated that even district elections were delayed last year and are typically held in spring for a July effective date.  “Odd” district elections are coming up and constituents can anticipate receiving nomination requests followed by the elections.  As requested at the February 11, 2009 meeting, LaPenta addressed the group about dependent sick leave, military family leave, as well as the new changes to the FMLA policy and how these changes will affect FMLA here at the University of Delaware.  The United States Department of Labor website for the latest regulations about Family and Medical Leave Act follows; http://www.dol.gov/esa/WHD/fmla/; University of Delaware policies and procedures manual link to Family and Medical Leave; http://www.udel.edu/ExecVP/polprod/4-37.html

Constituent Concerns
Ms. Helsel-Spry and Ms. Hadden have had similar constituent concerns about job losses, parking costs increasing 10% and about the Blue and Gold Club closing.  Mr. LaPenta said that the B&G Club has unfortunately been losing money for some time and that membership has been decreasing.  He will ask Mr. Grimes about the parking increase and request that Mr. Grimes come to the next SSAC meeting to break down parking services budget.  As a reminder, there are free parking alternatives near Clayton Hall and the football stadium.  Ms. Wallace stated that health care premiums will see an increase this year and reiterated that there is a health care plan available to UD employees that is free (First State Basic).  Ms. Wallace noted that the new rates for fiscal year 09-10 may be found at http://www.udel.edu/Benefits/changes09_10.html.  Additionally, there is no decision at present to adjust the double state share benefit.

Ms. Hadden mentioned the early retirement incentive rumor that people are hearing.  Mr. LaPenta said that this rumor is about one of 200+ ideas under review by state legislators.
Ms. Webb asked where or to whom should employees with cost-saving ideas for the university send their suggestions?  For the present, employees may email Tom LaPenta at lapenta@udel.edu.  Those suggestions will be distributed to the appropriate departments.  Ms. Webb’s constituent also asked if there is any recourse if the employee feels as though their performance appraisal has been handled unprofessionally.  Mr. LaPenta suggests that if the employee feels comfortable talking with the next in command that they should do so.  If not, Mr. LaPenta would meet with the employee.  Ms. Webb inquired about a bus stop and shelter at Townsend Hall.

Ms Hadden asked if the University of Delaware would ever be closing during spring break.  Mr. LaPenta said that he did not see it happening for many reasons; some of which are that the library remains open, graduate students remain on campus, Perkins student center is open during spring break.

Committee Reports/Matters
None

Announcements
The Benefits Fair will be held on Thursday, May 7th this year.

Meeting adjourned at 4:20 p.m.

Respectfully submitted by,
Lynn Brock
................................................................................
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