Schooley listens, acts on staff needs

Staff Regent Phil Schooley said he is passionate about many things – one of which, is the University. Michelle Grimaud/The News

Staff Regent Phil Schooley said he is passionate about many things – one of which, is the University. Michelle Grimaud/The News

Phil Schooley, staff regent and online adviser, is passionate about many things, but one of the most significant to the University is his desire to advocate for every staff member.

With more than 1,000 staff members, he said it is important they have a voice within the administration and in regards to policy making.

“I want to be a strong voice to promote and protect the interests of the Murray State staff members,” he said. “I work with Staff Congress, the administration and the Board of Regents to assure that projects and policies are in place to aid the staff.”

Schooley, elected for staff regent this September, said during his first term he was part of a compensation study of the staff, which determined the University’s staff was not being compensated appropriately.

Over three years Schooley and others, including President Randy Dunn, worked to acquire pay raises for all non-certified staff members and those who worked based on hourly wages.

The staff counts both hourly and professional staff. The big difference between faculty and staff, negating the instruction factor, is the staff is not guaranteed tenure.

Schooley said the Board of Regents has several priorities, the largest he said is to serve its students. He also acts on behalf of the students, but said his personal responsibility was to the staff – his constituents.

“I enjoy my position as staff regent,” he said. “I want my constituents to know that I am here, to talk, to help, to do whatever I can.”

The board is most effective, he said, when it has a common goal, and that is to make the University the best it can be for everyone.

“The three constituent regents have to work well together in order for appropriate growth to be made across the University,” he said. “Jeremiah Johnson, Jack Rose and I work well together and it is because of that we have been able to achieve so many things.”

Schooley said this year has been busier for him because of the necessary budget planning and review teams, which were established at the beginning of the semester to accommodate statewide cuts to higher education.

“I try and make an appearance at as many of the budget meetings as possible,” he said. “I want to be able to help and of course to try and keep as many of the outstanding programs that we have. The other regents and I are trying to be as involved as we can.”

He said a lot of research and planning goes into the decision-making process of the board and that no decision is so little it has no impact.

Schooley has been employed by Murray State for 11 years.

During his time at the University he has served as the president of Staff Congress from 2008-09, and has served on several University committees, including the faculty and staff insurance benefits committee, which he has been a part of since 2008 and is currently the acting representative of the committee.

Written by Chris Wilcox, News Editor.