March Meeting – March  23, 2015

1. Call to Order:  

The March 23, 2015 (March) meeting of the University Senate was called to order at 4:00 p.m. in the Ropp Center, Room 105, by President Michael Swanbom.

2.  Roll Call:  Sandi Richardson

A quorum was met. Those absent without excuse or proxy are: Travis Atkison, Rhonda Boyd, Will Lancaster, Rich Mancil, Shane Puckett, and Sanjay Tewari.

3.  Approval of Minutes:  December 2014, January 2015, and February 2015

The minutes for December, January, and February were called for vote; A motion to adopt minutes as presented was made by Jeff Pike and seconded by Ernie Rufleth. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

4. Business

  • Mike Swanbom informed the Senate that the faculty/staff have voted in support of the Constitutional Amendment to enhance leadership continuity. The vote was 85% positive – 293 for/43 against. He will draft a letter to Dr. Guice stating the facts and asking for his approval of the initiative.
  • Conference of Louisiana Colleges and Universities (CLCU) report (Mike Swanbom)
    • Budget commentary: of the $26 billion dollar state budget, $23 billion dollars are bound by statute, leaving only $3 billion to absorb shortfall; however, not all of that money is constitutionally protected.
    • Until the legislature concludes the current session, the budget cuts to higher education will not be announced.
    • The UL administrators as well as the system president seem to be advocating for faculty involvement to apply pressure on the legislative body in the hopes the budget cuts will not be crippling to higher education.
  • SACSCOC (Kim Barlow) The final rule regarding the SACSCOC visit will be released in December 2015. The process will go through stages and information will be released along the way at each of those stages.
  • Salary adjustment project (Bill Stammerjohan)
    • Dr. Stammerjohan released a spreadsheet of raise data across the Louisiana Institutions and also for out-of-state peers. There seems to be three techniques for establishing raise metrics: flat amount, fixed percentage, and a hybrid (standard raise schedule plus a % that allows for cost of living adjustment).
  • Hotel Planner
    • Suggestions were made to draft a strong resolution to get away from the Hotel Planner vehicle. LSU is not using this at present, so there may be a way to make a compelling case to get out of this contract. Leiland Weiss is to attempt to find ways to reduce some of the handling. The first mission is to determine what can and cannot be changed.
  • Patrick O’Neal presented an overview of the direction he would like to see the University Senate move in the 2015-16 academic year. He shared a few possible projects that fit inside the mission of the Senate body (i.e. salary rank compression, standardize feedback, work-life policies, tenure and promotion procedures, unclassified staff considerations).

5. Voluntary Remarks:


6. Adjournment:  The meeting adjourned at 5:00 p.m.

Sandi Richardson, Recording Secretary