Staff Senate President speaks at weekly SGA meeting


Staff Senate President Bob Duffy spoke at the Student Government Association meeting on Thursday. 

Collaboration between Staff Senate, Faculty Senate and Student Government Association has been a priority this year. Duffy offered insight into the Staff Senate and the difference between them and Faculty Senate.

“Faculty are typically the teachers, and we’re (staff) kind of almost everybody else on campus,” Duffy said.

Staff Senate represents over 500 custodians, administrative professionals, certified public accountants and even nurses who work on campus. 

Faculty members operate under 10-month contracts negotiated by the American Association of University Professors. Staff members do not have a collective bargaining unit. 

“We kind of serve at the will of the president,” Duffy said. 

Duffy noted that while individual contracts may be more negotiable, as a whole, staff members have less negotiating power than faculty.

The Kansas Board of Regents recently conducted a Workplace Climate Survey for staff members at all Regents universities. The results of the survey will be released to the public on Tuesday, but Duffy said he anticipates pay to be an issue. 

“I’ve never seen a survey about work environment where pay isn’t the number one issue,” Duffy said.

Despite this, Fort Hays has fared well on surveys like this in the past. In 2019, FHSU staff members reported higher workplace morale than any other Regents university and were above the state average. 

Duffy said once results from those surveys are published, the senate will review the findings and take steps to improve low-scoring areas.

The Division of Student Affairs in Staff Senate has also been looking to raise student worker wages.

“There’s a lot of offices that are looking for student help, and looking at the rate of pay, compared to what’s on campus to what’s off campus, student workers could use a raise,” Duffy said.

This is a goal that Duffy sees Staff Senate and Student Government Association working together on. 

The SGA President, Faculty Senate President, Staff Senate President and Tisa Mason, the University president, also meet regularly for presidents’ roundtable discussions and Duffy plans on bringing the issue up at a roundtable. 

“Even though it’s students that are getting paid and we want to raise their pay, that also affects budgets that affect people and all of a sudden, you have people earning about as much as a student,” Duffy said.

Other announcements:

  • Loren Faurot was elected to serve as student justice on the Student-Faculty Court
  • There was the first reading for a resolution recognizing November as American Indian Heritage Month and acknowledging that Fort Hays State University sits on the original homelands of the Kiowa Tribe.
  • The Docking Institute released this year’s Kansas Speaks survey results
  • Across Cultures – an international students panel will be held on Nov. 8 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. in the Cody Commons

The next SGA meeting will be on November 3 at 7 p.m. in the Black and Gold room.

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