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Staff Council gets look at UCCS Events Center

Members also complete input on university's guiding principles

By Cynthia Pasquale

Members of the systemwide University of Colorado Staff Council reviewed policies and toured the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs Events Center during their monthly meeting Feb. 4.

The Events Center, which officially opened in January, was designed for Division II athletics, but also will be used to host everything from concerts and weddings to political meetings, convocations and business events. Updated technology, more seating and the ability to quickly flip the National Collegiate Athletic Association-approved wood floor into a carpeted space has allowed the university to book a variety of events throughout the year, said Susan Szpyrka, associate vice chancellor for administration and finance and UCCS chief of staff.

Revamping of the old gymnasium began this week. That space will primarily serve as a banquet hall; short-term plans include a new pub, called Clyde's in honor of the UCCS mountain lion mascot. The pub, scheduled to open this fall, will have restaurant seating for 95 and include a performance stage and large broadcast screens.

In other business, the council:

  • Reviewed the university's guiding principles and suggested several changes. The principles, which help define the mission of the university, were drafted by the regents in July and updated according to campus feedback. The amended document now goes back to the regents for approval (see related story).

  • Discussed the presidential search process. Out of several proposals suggested for determining appointees, two are still in the Laws and Policy Committee. Both would include a search committee comprising faculty, staff, students, alumni and Board of Regents members. The number of members and specific steps in the process still are under discussion.

  • Discussed a revamped Staff Council Web site that would increase communication abilities by adding such features as a blog.

  • Approved a calendar for all campuses that combines meetings and other events in one place.

  • Heard from Mark Stanker, assistant vice president and director of payroll and benefit services, concerning the dependent verification audit. Stanker said the university could save between $2 million and $4 million each year by clearing the benefit rolls of ineligible members. The university is uncertain how many dependents are not eligible to participate in the plans. But Secova, the company conducting the system-wide audit, estimates that as many as 5 percent to 16 percent of enrollees could be determined to be ineligible. The estimates come from the results of other audits of large employers around the nation, which also have conducted screenings in order to help manage costs.
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