25 February 2009

Staff Advisory Council
Meeting Minutes for 25 February 2009

Members Present:

Mary Marissen, Tami Gura, Brady Gonsalves, Anna Headley, Betsy Durning, Terry McGrath, Pat Hearty, Lynn Grady, Mimi Weiler, Carolyn Vance, Brad Rumsey, Lois Falzone, Cathy Pescatore, John Dukes Jr.

HR Representative:

Melanie Young

All Staff Meeting

All staff meeting proposed for March 17. Mary will check on scheduling.


  • Welcome - Mary, SAC moderator
  • Budget presentation - Sue Welsh, VP finance
    • How our finances are in comparison to those of other institutions
    • Specifics about the budget - some things have not been decided.
    • Q + A
  • Sustainability - Carr Everbach, Prof. of engineering, will give a 40 minute presentation
  • 10 minutes for HR announcements, Melanie Young, VP Human Resources
  • Recognition of Al

HR/Board Meeting News (Melanie)

  • Rebecca Chopp has July 1st start date.
  • Parts of the budget were approved but not others, most notably staff salary items.
  • Q from a constituent: Would people getting paid in top tier be willing to forego raises in order to support those who don't make as much money? A: Anything instituted would be across-the-board.
  • Capital projects and facilities budget were cut. ADA work will slow down - Dpt of Justice has approved. This money is going into regular operating budget to keep from cutting there. Sue will cover everything at All staff meeting.

Spring Fling (Melanie)

  • Will probably be cut this year due to budget concern as it costs about $25,000.
  • Comparisons: what else is being cut on campus? Faculty has been asked to scale back events around honors examiners. Departments have been asked to scale back end of year picnics. College has scaled back on leave replacements for faculty. Festivities relating to graduation? Melanie will look into the live stream proposal. We have never done this before and it is quite expensive.
  • Scaling back spring fling to a $10,000 budget would mean:
    • Food - only hot dogs, hamburgers, soda, water. (Beer?)
    • Entertainment - less for kids which may cause safety issues
  • Scaling back might be depressing. Skipping it would be symbolic for community.
  • After much discussion about the importance and value of Spring Fling, SAC agrees with All-or-nothing approach: skipping this year seems the best course of action.
  • Melanie will send an email out today.

New Business

  • SAC reviewed policy changes to Staff Handbook. They are few and small. Campus will receive details in email.
  • Question: What is up with the sign that says "Shame on Swarthmore College" Answer: Contractor did not hire union carpenters for the greenhouse project and local carpenter's union members are unhappy. College always tries to balance union and non-union in its hiring. This project only has 2 carpenter jobs. Sign is unspecific because it is an unofficial action.
  • Constituent concern: There has been a supervisory alarm in Communications Center that has malfunctioned since October and has been going off for no reason on a regular basis. Repairs have been repeatedly delayed. Staff worries they may experience loss of alarm sensitivity. Is supposed to be fixed by Monday, but repair has not been complete to date. This is more accurately a safety issue and not a SAC issue. If the problem is not fixed next week, John will contact Melanie and issue will move up the administrative chain.
  • SAC elections coming up - we will communicate via email. Our web site indicates that Lynn Grady and Mimi Weiler finish their terms in spring 2009.

Submitted by Anna Headley