Past President Gene Henley’s thoughts…
…On Staff Council:
In terms of delivery of services to students, we have a very big role as staff. Everything from making sure they get paid to making sure there are classrooms available and those classrooms are clean.
Staff is the one of the largest constituencies. So, in terms of who is impacted and to what degree, issues like health benefits and pensions affect more staff than it does others. The more engaged staff are in matters that impact the University, the greater role we would have. When all parties work together – retirees, staff, faculty – good things happen.
…On his presidency:
A result of the funding issues regarding health benefits for retirees was the Voluntary Employees Benefit Association (VEBA). Staff and faculty voluntarily agreed to pay a percentage of their salaries to take care of the accrued liability. That was one of the biggest things that happened during my time. That particular issue consumed about six or seven months of my term. Staff, faculty, retirees and everyone else who was involved had to approve the document and then it was approved by the administration and regents.
It is a hallmark of cooperation and accepting that no one was going to get everything that they wanted but still trying to get the best possible compromise. I thought it was a significant accomplishment and it addressed a significant problem.
…On current challenges facing staff:
To say that these are unusual times might be an understatement, but we as a people and as a University have weathered these experiences and they only prove how resilient we are. Lobo strong, Lobo Proud!