January 8, 2014

Summary of the Committee's regular monthly meeting.

2:00-3:00 p.m. – 331 Ag Admin. Bldg.
Summary Meeting Notes

Present:  Heike Betz, Colleen Bloom, Joyce Cingel, Angela Clark, Keith Diehl, Renee Kennedy, Elizabeth Matthiesen, Renee Miller, Heather Read, and Diane Yoder

Absent:  Bruce Grinder, Wendy Harter, Joyce Brungart (Retired)

Review of Meeting Notes
Notes previously sent out to all members from the December 4th meeting were approved.  Colleen will add them to the SACD website, and asked all members to share them within their units.

Follow-Up on $100 Surcharge Question
Colleen shared the response she received on 12/10/13 from the Office of Human Resources downtown as a follow-up to the surcharge question asked the committee by an employee:

PSU never announced the surcharge until August 2013.  Employees never knew until then that it existed.  A whole population of employees had a spouse whose enrollment time had passed prior to the announcement.  They are not able to now get back on their plan because the enrollment period has passed.

If you answered YES to the question during open enrollment (that enrollment had passed for spouse), you were granted a one year grace period until 2015 to cover the loophole.  Example:  If a spouse enrollment ended in March 2013, it’s not fair to charge the employee if their spouse had decided not to choose their plan.  But, the spouse is expected to enroll in March of the following year (2014) or in 2015 the surcharge will be in effect if not changed.  By 2015, they anticipate this will have been worked out.

If you answered NO to the question during the open enrollment (that open enrollment is still open and had not passed), PSU assumes you still have November and December enrollment time left to join their own plan (because they are aware of the surcharge announcement made in August).  If they choose not to join and stay on the PSU plan, the surcharge will be in effect in January 2014.

Call OHR at 867-4549 if you have questions or need further clarification.

Dean Candidate Meetings
The committee has been invited to meet with the two Dean candidates to ask questions.  Colleen asked the members to send her questions, and she will compile a list to use at the interviews on January 20 & 23.  The committee will meet prior to the interview for one last review.  The open forum dates/times for the candidates were also announced for all staff in the college.  Colleen reminded the committee who are able to attend to confirm with Alicia Cornali in the Provost Office for lunch choice.

Committee Member Retirement
Joyce Brungart (member of Group Two) retired in December 2013.  A new member needs to be chosen as a replacement to serve out the remaining portion of her term, which expires May 2015.  Colleen will contact the areas in the group to see if anyone is interested in serving on the committee.

Questions for Quarterly Meeting with the Dean (Rescheduled to 2/19/14)
The committee developed a list of questions to review with the Dean at the quarterly meeting on January 22 (this meeting needed to be rescheduled to February 19 due to a conflict).  Some of the topics for discussion were:

  • Strategic plan update
  • Student enrollment numbers for FA14
  • Time wasters – request from Vice-Provost to departments
  • Wage employee time cards
  • Exit interviews – no advocate
  • End result of SRDP process
  • Suggestions for our committee
Spring College-wide Meeting in April

Preliminary agenda items:

  • Staff Laureate award presentations
  • Mary Wirth – guest speaker – eLearning overview
  • SRDP update – Melissa Bard (no longer here – replacement??)
  • Questions for Dean
New Busines

A question was asked if there could be an ombudsmen for the college staff.  This person would be neutral and could provide informal help to staff who experience difficulties in the workplace by gathering information, making referrals to other resources, or help to resolve issues through increased communication.  This person would be the first contact in the resolution of departmental/employee issues.

The committee also felt the new employee orientation should return.  One suggestion was to have it once a year as an information session.  It could be like a staff retreat with different areas of the university (PSU ID card, HR benefits, retirement, wellness programs, COA overview and tour, etc.) who could set up booths to present important information.   The committee will discuss further next month.


With no further discussion, the meeting adjourned at 3:10 p.m.  The next meeting will be on February 5, 2014.

Respectfully submitted,

Colleen Bloom, Chair