John Smith was re-elected as chair of UofL's Staff Senate in June 2019.
John Smith was re-elected as chair of UofL's Staff Senate in June 2019.

John Smith on Monday was re-elected as chair of UofL’s Staff Senate, as the group met in the Thornton’s Academic Center of Excellence in Cardinal Stadium.

Smith will maintain his position after winning the three-candidate election, the major action item on the agenda. The 32-year veteran, including eight as a senator, is UofL’s assistant director of Intramural and Recreational Sports. He was first elected in June 2018.

Andrew Grubb, a senior academic coordinator in the University Honors Program, unseated Marian Vasser for the vice chair position.

Grubb graduated from UofL with his bachelor’s degree in 2005 and his master’s in 2007. He returned to Louisville from Connecticut in 2010 in a temporary role before he was hired permanently in May 2011. During his time at UConn, he first experienced the administrative side of higher education when he was voted president of the graduate student senate.

“What I’m hoping for in fulfilling my duties as vice chair is to highlight the contributions of staff on campus, raise the profile of staff, a distinctive class of human who do invaluable things here to make the university work,” Grubb added.

Rhonda Gilliland held on to her role as the secretary-treasurer in a two-person race.

Each candidate had five minutes to share his or her campaign. Once the group for that position finished their presentations, senators were given time to ask questions about their stances on key issues.

In between secretary-treasurer race, director of gift administration and training for advancement, Judy Singleton, presented an update on Quasi Endowment. She mentioned during her time on the floor that the University foundation is putting out a request for proposal for an investment group, as the current unit has gone unchanged for the last 18 years.

Todd Kneale, director of total rewards in human resources, shared an update on health benefits. He is part of a group of consultants across campus focused on building a four-year strategy for health benefits, restricted to medical and prescription drugs. He said the group is benchmarking not only other institutions but also competing organizations.

The meeting wrapped up with senators sharing updates from their various units.

Smith started his report by informing senators that the strip mall, across from Cardinal Towne that previously housed Gray’s Bookstore, has been sold to a developer. The University is in talks with the new owner, who is proposing to build a more than 400-bed student-housing facility on the south side of that property. The developer is aiming to put a major retailer on the north side of the space. Smith said there is no proposed timeline at the moment.

Smith also informed the senators that an RFP is on the market for a craft beer partner, and the beverage would be sold in areas that have high concentrations of UofL alumni.

Following a notice that was sent out previously, Smith reminded those in attendance that Canon agreed to buy out the remaining leases on Xerox equipment and that more than 200 new Canon machines will be delivered to campus in the near future.

Additional committee reports from the meeting are available online.