August 2004

Staff Advisory Council Minutes 

Thursday, August 12, 2004

1:00-3:00 p.m., 234 Grace Hall
Present: Don Anglin, Dawn Bell, Bettye Bielejewski, Lisa Buckland, Karen Casey, Jim Gloster, Sharon Harwell, 
Jennifer Ihns, Annette Klimek, Barb Klowetter, Stephanie Maenhout, Susan McGonigal, Bobbi McMahon, Jane Nielson, Janic Owens, Joy Schosker, Irene Stines, Kathy Stopczynski, Tony Williams 
Absent (Excused):Becky DeBruyn, Sharon Konopka, Holly Webb, Troy Webb, Lisa Yates
Absent (Not Excused): Julann Bauer, Maryellen Fetherolf
HR Liaisons: John Whelan, Kathy Fischer
•  Call to Order 
The meeting was called to order at 1:00 p.m. by chairperson, Stephanie Maenhout.
Stephanie offered congratulations to Kathy Stopczynski who was recognized at the August 11th Awards of Excellence Luncheon as recipient for the Award of Merit. This award is presented to employees who "exemplify exceptional performance and demonstrate integrity and service to the Notre Dame community."
•  Approval of the July 15, 2004 Council Minutes 
Jane Nielson made a motion to accept the minutes as written.  Don Anglin seconded the motion.  The July minutes were approved and stand as written.
•  Announcements
Stephanie announced that Angela Miller-McGraw had her status changed to Exempt and therefore resigned from SAC.  An election will be conducted for District 7.
Janice Owens, the new representative for District 21, was welcomed to the Council.
District 27 is without a representative.  Stephanie will pole the constituents in that district to see if anyone would be interested in running.
•  Guest Speakers 
Denise Murphy attended the meeting to follow up a question posed to her last month when she spoke about Notre Dame benefits: "How do our medical insurance premiums compare to other local companies?"  At today's meeting she distributed a benefits survey from the Chamber of Commerce that reflected how Notre Dame's medical insurance premiums compared favorably to the average premiums in St. Joseph County.  Those not at the meeting will be receiving a copy of the survey results through campus mail.
Stephanie introduced John Affleck-Graves, Executive Vice President, who gave a background sketch of his career.  He recognized the importance of SAC representation as a vital communication link between staff and administration.  He assured everyone that he is very approachable and encouraged representatives to feel free to bring to his attention any concerns the campus community may have.
He addressed several concerns he has heard on campus:
Salary increases - John Sejdinaj will be attending a future SAC meeting to address this issue 
Continuing increase of Benefit premiums - Costs are increasing for all companies, not just Notre Dame.  Notre Dame is determined to give competitive high quality benefits to employees. 
Paying for parking - Of the schools that ND has surveyed, we were the only one that didn't charge for parking.  With the current budget crunch, the parking committee has put this issue on hold. 
Search for Associate Vice President of Human Resources - The search is beginning and the committee would like to fill it by December.  However, it is willing to wait for the right person. 
John then asked for questions from the floor:
How does financial aid impact the budget?  Notre Dame is a need-blind school and is obligated to meet the financial needs of every admitted student.  Endowments play a large part in the financial aid process.  This past year the university spent $57 million on financial aid -- $32 million of which came from endowments. 
Where are the new dorms going to be located?  On the south campus near McGlinn and near Juniper Rd. once it is closed. 
Will outside help be brought in to replace custodians?  There has been no talk of this happening. 
The power plant has a new boiler going in 2007.  Will there be enough funds for this?  The committee has projected budget money to cover this purchase. 
Is there an effort to force employees to take early retirement?  No. Eighteen months ago there was offered an incentive program to certain areas to see if anyone wanted to retire early.  Some employees took advantage of that offer.  Normal retirement age is 65. 
Will the price of football tickets decrease?  No, but our tickets are less expensive than other universities. 
Will graduation ceremonies be held outside?  There are no plans to hold graduations outside. 
•  Committee Reports 
Promotions:  Susan McGonigal reported the committee did not meet.  Human Resources will fund a full color brochure on SAC.  This brochure will be included in orientation packets.
Parking Appeals:  Stephanie Maenhout reported only a small number of appeals have been made, but the committee is expecting that to increase once school is in session.
Ad hoc Committee on Women's Issues:  Last month's Joyce Center tour was well attended.  Some topics for future Lunch 'n Learns are: a tour of Landscaping, Football 101, Holiday decorating.
Benefits Committee:  Susan McGonigal reported the next meeting between the Benefits Dept. and this committee is August 17.
•  Open Discussion 
John Whelan asked the representatives for feedback on the Awards of Excellence luncheon. 
Responses were:
This year's video was better than last year's; however, it was difficult to hear it.  Could audio be improved? 
Can the names of those people nominated for an award but who did not win be mentioned? 
Could the names of the Spirit Award winners be printed in the program? 
People would rather have a picnic as it provided a better opportunity to mingle with colleagues. 
Could the time of year for the ceremony be changed?  August is too busy for some employees - too close to start of school year. 
Can temporary/on-call and student workers be allowed to attend the luncheon? 
Ceremoony was too long.  Perhaps the program could start while people are still eating. 
Could there be an awards ceremony by itself with no luncheon.  All those receiving awards would be recognized in ND Works. 
Is there a cost differential between the luncheon and a picnic?  (Answer: the picnic is cheaper) 
The luncheon diesn't seem to be for staff, whereas a picnic does. 
Can the spouse of someone receiving an award be invited to the ceremony? 
•  Adjournment 
Without further business by the Council, a motion to adjourn was made and seconded to adjourn.  The meeting adjourned at 3:00 p.m.
Respectfully submitted, 
Human Resources