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17 September 2019.


Staff Advisory Council Meeting 

Tuesday, September 17, 2019 

Listening to and lifting staff voices to build an informed community


Attendees:  Trish Tancredi, Shirley Slaughter, Gary Beauford, Christie Ashton, Carl Benner, Jenna Rose, Oliver Hollocher-Small, Roderick Wolfson, Jean Nilan, Steve Lockard, Lynn Grady, Nabil Kashyap, Pamela Prescod-Cesar, Melanie Leeds, Pamela Borkowski-Valentin, Ashley Turner, Diane Fritz, Felicite Gibson, Paula MacDonald, Susan Eager, Pam Harris


Tuesday, Oct 15 SAC meeting, 101 S. Chester Room 002, 9-10:00 am

  • Updates from sub-committees

  • Theresa Maguire, Human Resources Manager, would like to discuss reimagining large scale community events.

  • Discuss Questions #7 in more detail

Tuesday, Nov 12 Fall All Staff Gathering, Lang Concert Hall, 10:30 am – Noon

Tuesday, Nov 19 SAC meeting, Sharples Room 209, 9-10:00 am

Tuesday, Dec 17 SAC meeting, 101 S. Chester Room 002, 9-10:00 am

For Discussion: 

Guest: Paula MacDonald, Associate Director of EO & Workplace Relations. Welcome day #2 at Swarthmore! Paula is formerly from Syracuse University.

  • Focus on career progression and development at Swarthmore. 

  • Institutional framework review with departments, identifying the skills needed to meet goals. 

  • Workplace relations [formerly ‘employee relations’]. 


1. Here is the link to the College's records management policy which was approved in 2016 and it looks like rolled out with some PowerPoint slides in 2017.  I'd guess that there is great variation in departments' compliance with the records management policy.  This seems like something that is in the staff's control and risk for the College could be reduced if the Staff Advisory Council worked to improve adherence to the policy. 

  • College Archivist will soon to be hired by the Libraries and data management

  • Each department has their own set of retention rules

2. Many colleges/universities offer additional benefits - either while still working or in retirement - to staffers who have worked 25 years or more. Does Swarthmore offer such staffers anything and, if so, what?

  • This question was responded to by John Cline earlier this year, please refer to previous minutes. 

3. The committee received an inquiry regarding the lack of service in a specific building. After discussion, the resolution is that all service issues and requests should be first brought to the attention of EVS management by contacting


4. "This calendar year it has been difficult to get a timely [or any] email response from HR. I have not resorted to picking up the phone. Usually, after a second email, I do receive a response. But, sometimes without a reminder, there can be no answer. Although this lack of timeliness in responding has been an issue, of late it is worse. What are the best practices for HR regarding timeliness for responding to emails? Does HR recommend using the phone instead of email? What should we expect and will staff be informed of how to contact HR, and whether or not to expect a response?"

  • Please be patient during this time of staffing transitions.  The HR Department is committed to providing timely responses and services to community members. As communicated in various emails over the past several months, the HR team has been in transition this year as key staff members moved on to elevate their careers. This is not an excuse for delays in responses, however, it is a direct impact on the service level. We currently have active searches for the Director of EO and Deputy Title IX Coordinator, Benefits Manager, and HR Administrative Assistant. We are thrilled that Paula MacDonald has joined our team (this week) as the Associate Director for Organizational Development and Workplace Relations. Paula will replace Tony Natale, who is away the next couple of weeks and will end his appointment with us on October 31. During our transition, Michele Mocarsky, Director of Compensation and Benefits is also overseeing Talent Management. We ask for your patience during this school year as we move through these changes. Please Pamela Prescot Ceasar or Michele if you encounter any extraordinary delay in service.

5. HR will implement a ‘benefits service line’ for additional support during Open Enrollment season. Why can't employees with a lot of sick time, in danger of losing hours ever, donate their time to a colleague who is dealing with a major illness and needs to be out long term? 

  • The College already offers a generous SCP and LTD plan for employees. We explored this suggestion a few years ago and reported back that the College would not pursue this program given the number of complexities associated with the administration of this type of program including tax implications.