Hello, everyone, and happy New Year! I owe y'all an update from the December Board of Trustees meeting, and here it is. :)
There were a handful of items that were of particular importance/interest to me. The complete agenda, etc., can be found at the Board's web site: http://www.uky.edu/Trustees/.
The University Relations Committee is one of the Board committees on which I serve, and we reviewed the issue of dedicated Board elevators (in POT) on Board days, as well as the proposed changes to Administrative Regulations 1:2, “Policy Relative to Requests for Appearances Before the Board.”
Elevators: There was a question about the need for one Board-dedicated elevator in POT on Board days. There has been a restricted elevator on Board days for years, and the non-Board members who wander into it are told in no uncertain terms that they must find another elevator, as it is reserved for Board members only. Faculty trustee Joe Peek had heard complaints from faculty members about the practice, and he brought the issue to the Cmte.
After discussion, it is my understanding that the reserved elevator does serve a security purpose, and needs to be held in reserve in the event of a threat. So, the end result was no change in the elevator policy. I did ask that a more prominent sign be put up on Board days, to perhaps minimize the number of people who are embarrassed when they (unsuccessfully) try to get on the restricted elevator. Other Cmte members agreed, and I assume a better sign will be posted from now on.
Appearances before the Board: The current language about appearing before the Board was created in 1970, and my assumption is that it was intended to insulate the Board from any contact with the public. The language has been under review for the past year or so, and the Cmte discussed the revised language. The chair of the Cmte thought the language was too confusing, and commented that as an attorney, she could probably use the language to actually prevent someone from appearing before the Board. There were also concerns that the language affected how guests would appear before Board committees. Finally, it was stated that the language really ought to be a Governing Regulation, in section II.
It was determined that the trustees shepherding this proposal (Joe Peek, me and Ryan Smith, student trustee) should do some editing, take the changes back to our constituencies for review, and then come back to the University Relations Cmte. We have worked on it, and the proposal is almost ready to be reviewed by constituencies again.
Neither the elevator or Board appearance issues were voted on by the full Board, but the Cmte's deliberations were reported to the Board during the full meeting.
(“FCR” stands for “Finance Committee Report”)
FCR 4 (Approval of [$5.5 million] Investment in Coldstream Laboratories, Inc.)
In my opinion, trustees never did receive any concrete information about where past transfers of money went, specifically, or what the day's transfer would be used for. The transfer was approved, but I was very happy to see at least two trustees comment that additional, future transfers would not be approved without significantly more information being offered. I do believe that the bevy of questions I ask about all kinds of things (both large and small), along with faculty trustee Joe Peek's constant questioning, has created a good foundation for an atmosphere where questions from trustees about various matters will come to be expected. Having two trustees who ask one question after another does change the environment!
FCR 5 (“Authorization To Lease Four Acres To KMSF On Which To Construct A Childcare Facility”)
I voted against this item, primarily because the childcare center was intended for use by health care employees (with a few slots available for non-health care folks), and that the center was going to charge market rates. I haven't had a child in a regular childcare center for over five years, and even five years ago, with a UK discount, the prices were almost crippling.
I would have voted in favor of the proposed center if it would have more equally benefited all UK employees, and if it would have offered a discount to employees.
Other items of interest….
Regarding the search for UK's next president - there will be an open forum for staff, sponsored by the Presidential Search Committee, on Friday, January 28 at 12:30 pm, in the Auditorium of W. T. Young Library. The event will be live streamed, so you can watch AND ASK QUESTIONS from your desk! (http://www.uky.edu/PresidentialSearch/forums.html)
In addition, the Staff Senate is holding two open forums for staff to comment upon what we want to see in our next president. Those two forums will be held on Wednesday, January 19. The 11:30 am forum will be held in the Student Center's Centre Theater, and the 4:30 forum will be held in the Auditorium of the W. T. Young Library. I hope you will attend at least one of these forums!
Finally, the Staff Senate will be holding elections this spring for new members. If you are a regular, full-time employee with at least one year of continuous UK employment, you are eligible to run in the elections! After a conversation with your supervisor about time away from your desk, you should consider throwing your hat into the ring – because everyone's ideas are important! The Staff Senate will be sending out information about this in the next few months, and I encourage you to participate!
I enjoy serving as your representative to the Board, and I am interested in your comments /concerns /complaints. As always, please feel free to contact me via email (email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org), by phone (7-5872), or through comments left here.