August 2009 Minutes

Date:  August 20, 2009

Time:  10:00 am

Place:  McKim Hall, VP Conference Room 3001

Representatives in Attendance:  Terry Bennett, Della Marsh, Shae Berghuis, Andrea McNeely, Nancy Kriigel, June Wade, Tina Fulter, Cathy Pasternak, Ruth Dudley, Lynn McCutcheon, Leslie Youell, Ida Garrison

I. Call to Order: Meeting was called to order by Terry Bennett.

II. Reports: none

III. Guest Speakers: Leonard Sandridge, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer

Leonard Sandridge, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer

Mr. Sandridge focused on three items for discussion today; the presidential search, the status of the budget and health insurance.  The presidential search committee, comprised of members of the Board of Visitors, students and faculty, will meet with various school deans and vice presidents in addition to focus groups to discuss the various characteristics the new president would need to have to lead the University.  There is a website where employees can make suggestions and comments regarding the search process.  Mr. Sandridge noted that he is not part of the presidential search committee.  He also emphasized that even though there are no staff employees on the search committee, the members will hold staff interests in high regard.  Open forums for the public and university community will take place at Alumni Hall on Saturday, September 12 and at the University of Virginia's campus at Wise on September 29th.  In light of the economic climate, a council representative questioned the cost of the search to which Mr. Sandridge reported that the budget would most likely not exceed $100,000.  Additionally, council members were concerned about employee turn-over with the advent of a new president and Mr. Sandridge responded that he believed there would be a more natural turn-over of employees.  BUDGET STATUS:  The University only receives about 11.5 % of its budget monies from the State.  So, with the additional cut of funds from the State, the impact will not be great.  There is a possibility of a mid-year tuition increase to help offset budget short-falls.  We could also employ the 2nd half of the stimulus money given through the federal government.  Mr. Sandridge reiterated that the University is committed not to have any lay-offs.  There have been several sustainable changes that will positively impact our budget especially in the Department of Athletics.  Currently, the football program has cut expenses by $2 million.  HEALTHCARE PLAN:  Both plans; the high premium and low premium plan copays will increase to $20 and $40 for a specialist visit.  The high premium monthly premiums will increase $5 for a single person and $43 per month for the family plan.  The low premium plan participants will have no change in their monthly premiums.  Also, regarding employee benefits, constituents asked if there would be options to buy-out unused leave time.  Mr. Sandridge explained that the classified staff system is managed by the state and would not have the opportunity to exercise this option.  It is possible to buy-out leave time if you are a member of the University Staff.  Mr. Sandridge addressed a recent article that stated the COO position will lapse once he steps down.  Mr. Sandridge will retire at the end of 2010.  He assured us that such news is unfounded and that the position would most likely be realigned once he vacates the seat.  Recruitment for his position will be announced simultaneously with the announcement of the new president and staff will be part of the search committee. 

IV. New Business:  September's meeting will focus on the new bi-weekly payroll system.  Anne Broccoli will visit in October to discuss employee benefits open enrollment.  Della Marsh proposed council to participate in a holiday food drive again this year.

V.  Old Business:  Beth Reinhard reminded us that employee self-service time and leave begins September 14.  She also brought a schedule of demos for employees and managers.  Council members discussed which demonstrations were helpful, in particular, the lab simulator for timekeepers recertification.

VI.       Committee Reports:  None

VII. Adjournment:  Terry Bennett adjourned the meeting.  The next meeting is scheduled on September 17th, 2009 at 10:00 am.