Take me out to the ballgame!

MLB news by week through the eyes of Ricky Rivera.

Month: October, 2015

A Chat with Dr. Graham

After attending the last Board Of Governors meeting I met a lot of interesting and important people here at UCM. It gave me an opportunity to interact with some of the governors and a couple of vice provosts. One of those was Dr. Jim Graham, a vice provost of technology here on campus.

Graham is responsible for overseeing the team that has responsibilities of technology resources deployed around campus. Resources such as work stations, classroom technology, residence hall etc. Some of the challenges he faces daily are the constant change in technology, security is a huge deal to him, this security includes viruses and hacks so his job is to protect the student/employee information and monitor it daily to make sure it is safe. Graham also mentioned budget being a big challenge in his and his teams daily life. This because technology is expensive and requires constant updates. On the other side of it Graham mentioned how proud he was of his team for the work they put in daily, “my success is depending on the success of the other people” said Graham.

Every vice provost has a role to play during every Board of Governors meeting. Graham mentioned that he won’t be infront of the Board unless there is an immediate need. During the last meeting Graham let the Board know about the annual update of technology. So in order to be prepared for that, he has to meet with his team of workers and talk about accomplishments of things installed, update on budget situation and information that needs to be informed to the Governors. Graham also presented to the Board the need of a renewal of contract with the company Oracle, which is one of the database systems on campus. Every single problem or necessity he feels that the technology team needs on campus Graham reports to Dr. Deborah Curtis who is the chief provost on campus. As in things to be aware of for the future, that will most likely  be brought up in future Board of Governors meeting, Graham, mentioned that our current phone system needs to be replaced. “It will require some dollars and some man power to make this happen” said Graham. Building some relationship with the vendors is a huge task to make this happen, but it will be all hands on deck for this one.

As we can see members of the UCM faculty are doing everything they can to make UCM the place to be and keep the tradition of being a great University alive.

UCM Calender Year Health Insurance plan

After covering last months Board of Governors meeting I got all the paperwork for everything that was presented and accepted. After several days of going through the paperwork I noticed the new calendar year for the Health Insurance plan UCM has. I figured I would talk about it and post it on this weeks blog because it is helpful information to have and know.

The document was prepared and presented by Mr. Rick Dixon who is the director of the Human Resources office and by Mr. Rob Charlesworth who is a healthcare consultant.  The objective of this was to inform the Board of Governoirs on the status of UCM’s health plan rates and options and also provide a recommendation for the renewal of UCM’s health insurance plan for the calendar year 2016. UCM’s current health plan consists of two plans. Plan A is a 500$ deductible plan with various co-pays and a maximum out-of-pocket expense of $3,250. Plan B is a $2,600 qualified high-deductible plan with a health saving account option. All UCM employees contribute to their health insurance premium. The university uses a three tier structure to measure how much UCM employees contribution to their healthy insurance premium. The main goal that Dixon and Charlesworth presented was an effort to encourage greater Employee Accountability in their own healthcare by implementing and employee premium contribution differentials ” for EE to pay an added amount if not participating in annual Health Risk Assessment.  In my opinion I thought it was a big deal that after last years health insurance renewal with Blue KC, UCM asked the company to explore the possibility of bringing their successful medical home program to Warrensburg. They have engaged in that process and are “well on their way to having a medical home established and certified in Warrensburg early in the 2016 plan year. Management recommended the Board of Governors to approve renewing their health plan with Blue KC for 2016 but then rebid the health plan for 2017 to see what better offer they can get although they will still have a year remaining with Blue KC.

Update on New Legistlation’s Approved in September

After meeting a couple weeks ago with Dr. Curtis she told me that she would be presenting some new legislation’s for the Board of Governors in Septembers meeting. So I decided to follow her and ask people about the meeting and I ended up meeting with Dr. Jeff Murphy for a quick minute in which he provided me with all the legislation’s that were approved by the Board of Governors on the September 17th meeting. So I will be talking about some of the important new legislation’s passed this passed month on this blog.

One of the first new legislation’s presented and accepted was the approval for a new minor in leadership studies. This was presented by Dr. Curtis and it is designed to provide students with leadership skills and knowledge. “The major fits UCM’s strategies of Engaged learning, Culture of Service and Worldly Perspective” said Murphy. It looks to be a Minor that can be easily attained without having to add extraneous credit hours that could delay graduation. This next one I found interesting and the Legislation that was presented was a proposed academic transcript fee increase from what it is now 5$ to 10$.  This cost has been maintained by UCM since 2003 year in which it was implemented. The reason given for this legislation being proposed was because of the cost of postage, envelopes, and transcript paper has risen substantially. Increasing the fee would allow UCM to enter into contract with a vendor to issue pdf transcripts and enable the Registrar’s office to meet the budgeted 90,000 in generated revenue. The proposed legislation that got my attention the most was UCM Aviation seeked a Board approval to get a contract for Aviation fuel. The contract proposed was a one year deal through September 30th 2016 with a UCM option to renew four additional one-year periods.  This was very interesting to me because I enjoy learning new information everyday and I have always been curious of how the Universities Aviation area works. The school’s contract with Avfuel Corporation ended this past Tuesday and the average price for gas is around 415,000 a year. An invitation for bid on our fuel company were placed on important newspapers but only three fuel providers responded and those were AvFuel Corporation, Epic Aviation LLC and Ascent Aviation Group LLC. The UCM management recommended to award contract to Epic Aviation LLC which gave the cheapest deal for the University. Fuel expenses will be paid from Airport Operations with flight fees and customer sales providing source of funding.

Reaching a conclusion every week I enjoy more and more this assignment, this because of the amount of information I have collected so far and will keep getting. Again thank to Dr. Jeff Murphy who has always been there to help me get the right information at the right time.