March 2004

Staff Advisory Council

Thursday, March 18, 2004

1:00 – 3:00 p.m., Notre Dame Room, LaFortune 
Present: Don Anglin, Dawn Bell, Bettye Bielejewski, Lisa Buckland, Karen Casey, Maryellen Fetherolf, Jim Gloster, Sharon Harwell, Jennifer Ihns, Annette Klimek, Barbara Klowetter, Sharon Konopka, Stephanie Maenhout, Susan McGonigal, Roberta McMahon, Jane Nielson, Terry Oxender, Joy Schosker, Irene Stines, Kathy Stopczynski, Troy Webb, and Lisa Yates.
Absent (Excused): Julann Bauer and Becky DeBruyn.
Absent (Not Excused): Angela Miller McGraw, Terrell Ward-Thomas, and Holly Webb.
HR Liaisons: Barbara Villarosa and John Whelan.
I. Call to Order
The meeting was called to order by Stephanie Maenhout at 1:05 p.m. 
Stephanie distributed copies of the article that appeared in the March 17th issue of NDWork entitled “Staff Advisory Council tackles issues large and small.” The article highlighted major accomplishments of SAC as well as quotes from Melodie Wise and Stephanie Maenhout, respective outgoing and incoming chairpersons. Stephanie expressed her appreciation for the coverage and the opportunity to increase public awareness of SAC and its activities.
II. Approval of the February 19, 2004 Council Minutes
A recommendation was made to change the minutes to accurately reflect the members in attendance. A motion was made by Roberta McMahon and seconded by Jane Nielson to approve the February 19, 2004 minutes as changed. The minutes were unanimously approved.
III. Committee Reports
Promotions Committee: Susan McGonigal distributed postcards to each district representative for dissemination to constituents. The postcard was created in an effort to increase public awareness and to help staff understand SAC’s purpose and who to contact in their district. Representatives should contact Susan if additional cards are needed.
Susan then distributed copies of the threefold brochure that was developed for inclusion in the new hire packets. Because much of the information is outdated, she asked representatives to review the contents and bring their comments and recommendations for changes to the next meeting. 
Parking Appeals Committee: Stephanie Maenhout gave no report but indicated that this committee continues to meet regularly. 
Ad hoc Committee on Women’s Issues: Susan McGonigal reported that the committee is short a few members and nomination forms were recently distributed to solicit interest and bring the committee to full capacity. She updated representatives on upcoming activities as well as ideas for future events, e.g., CASA lecture, Stadium tour, Joyce Center tour, campus tour, learning to dance the Salsa, Football 101 lecture, end-of-summer fashion show, and a Hospice event. 
Web Page: Stephanie Maenhout reported that Sharon Harwell has volunteered to maintain the SAC website and representatives should contact Sharon if they do not want their e-mail address posted on the web. Also, if representatives need a copy of the updated e-mail list for all district representatives, they should contact Stephanie.
Other: As a result of the recent review and purging of old SAC files, Stephanie Maenhout suggested that all district representatives create and maintain a binder of SAC material containing such items as the SAC Bylaws, meeting minutes, and district lists so that when representatives leave their post, they have something to share with their successor. Stephanie offered to develop the binder tabs for representatives without computer access. 
IV. Review Goals for 2004
Benefits: Denise Murphy, Director of Benefits and Applied Technology, Office of Human Resources, updated representatives on recent developments in Benefits and provided an update on programs and services, including the results of the 2004 Open Enrollment survey, the newly formed Benefits Committee, and other topics identified by SAC members requiring additional discussion. 
Denise reported that many of the same topics and issues identified by SAC are also on the roster for review and discussion by the newly created Benefits Committee. She announced that Susan McGonigal as been selected to serve as a member of the committee and will represent the interests of SAC. Denise highlighted the information provided in the handout regarding the committee’s charge and membership and indicated that this committee will be instrumental in making recommendations to the Officers and the Board of Trustees on changes and/or additions to the University’s benefits programs. 
Denise provided a statistical overview of the 2004 participation in health, dental, vision, and flexible spending accounts. She encouraged representatives to share this information with members of their districts. 
Denise then reviewed the Executive Summary of the 2004 Open Enrollment Survey and highlighted the results. The following suggestions were made by representatives to improve the process: (1) provide training on the online enrollment process by appointment; (2) send personal letters notifying staff of the locations of the computer stations across campus; (3) eliminate some of the reminder flyers; and (4) attend regularly scheduled department meetings to conduct online enrollment training. Denise encouraged additional comments and suggestions to improve the process for 2005.
Denise reported that staff members of Human Resources are developing training modules that will be available to all employees via the web. These modules will provide additional information about such programs as Long-Term Care and Long-Term Disability. Also, Human Resources will be conducting training sessions on University Retirement Programs with the first being coordinated with the distribution of Annual Pension Statements sometime in March. She indicated that the statement will show coverage as of December 2003. She also clarified that self-service on the web is updated daily and that until the new system is in place, establishing new vacation banks will continue to be delayed to mid January. A discussion regarding tuition benefits ensued. Denise indicated that Holy Cross College is an eligible institution for tenure staff only.
Denise reviewed the new process for Flexible Spending Accounts and distributed an overview providing further details. She indicated that each transaction requires the completion of a form with the Explanation of Benefits (EOB) and provider receipt attached. This information should then be submitted to NAHP for reimbursement. Items for reimbursement include prescription drugs, eligible over-the-counter medicines, and eligible medical expenses. Co-payments are automatically reimbursed, requiring no action by participants. She noted that expenses incurred through December 31, 2003 will be accepted for reimbursement until March 31, 2004. Also, a list of prescription drugs purchased through Medco can be obtained through Medco’s website for ease in submitting prescription reimbursement claims.
Denise offered to attend department meetings to present additional information regarding benefits programs. Stephanie encouraged representatives to relay this information to their constituents.
Budget Process/Annual Pay Increase Update: John Whelan indicated that the University is still in the budgeting process. Once the budget has been approved, John will invite someone from the Budgeting Office to speak to SAC regarding the annual pay increase.
Employment Opportunities: John Whelan discussed the process currently in place for hiring new employees and completing in-house job transfers. He stated that the philosophy of Human Resources is to hire the best person for the job. Even if hiring managers think they have the right person for the job, until they go through the interviewing process and meet other candidates, they don’t really know. Human Resources is in the process of finalizing an extensive review of the hiring process, which included numerous discussions and feedback from staff across campus. John stated that the ultimate goal for Human Resources is to be actively involved in every job that becomes available, and with the proper tools, to assist hiring managers in hiring the best person based on objectivity and facts. He explained that the University’s policy is to post internally every position, and if there is not a good enough pool of candidates, then the position is posted externally.
In response to a question regarding the possibility of staff conducting performance reviews on their immediate supervisors, John indicated that he does not know how frequently this method called the 360 Review is used on campus. Ideally, for this method to be successful, staff members need to be reviewed by their immediate supervisors, peers, and any direct reports. He noted that this can be a tedious process, resulting in a lot of time spent on writing reviews.
John explained that if a position’s responsibilities should change and the person performing the new responsibilities is successful, then the job would not need to be posted and the person would be automatically promoted in accordance with the new position. However, if there is significant change in a position’s responsibilities, it may be necessary to post the new position and have the person apply for a different job that is more in line with their skills and abilities. 
John offered to continue the discussion regarding the employment process at the next meeting.
Presentations: Discussion postponed to next meeting.
Professional Development: Discussion postponed to next meeting.
Reward Systems: Discussion postponed to next meeting.
V. Open Discussion
Stephanie indicated that districts are determined by building. There are a few buildings that need representation, such as Legends. She will follow-up with John and ensure that all buildings are represented appropriately.
VI. Adjournment
With no further business to come before the Council, motion to adjourn was made by Irene Stines and seconded by Joy Schosker, and unanimously approved. The meeting adjourned at 3:00 p.m.
Respectfully submitted,
Barbara Villarosa, Recorder