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18 October 2016

Staff Advisory Council Meeting Minutes



In attendance: Diane Fritz, Ben Wilson, Susan Lewis, Jessica Brangiel, Meg Gebhard, Trish Tancredi, Julie DiPietro, Danie Martin, Elizabeth Stern, Christie Pappert, Domenic Porrini, Lauri Courtenay, Luis Alvarez, Zenobia Hargust, Lynn Grady



The all staff meeting will be held on Nov 10 from 10:00am-11:30am in Lang.  Available SAC members should arrive 15 minutes early to welcome staff as they enter the building. 


Magnolia Circle has an opening for a SAC rep.  Email asking for a new volunteer will be sent to Magnolia Circle staff.  George Darbes has agreed to stay on as the other Magnolia Circle SAC rep.  He is handing off SAC website maintenance to Diane Fritz and Jessica Brangiel will back up Diane if needed. 



SAC is working on sending staff nominations for 2 staff members to attend commencement.  Staff members need to be available from approximately 9am (earlier to get parking on campus) until approximately 1pm on May 21st. 



SAC voted via an anonymous Qualtrics survey and Annette Newman is the new staff member appointed to the Benefits Committee.  The first meeting of this committee is 10/25.  Thank you to all of the staff that expressed interest. 



All Staff meeting agenda will include an update from President Val Smith, an update on the One Card system, an update from Greg Brown on the campus visioning exercises, an update on the sustainability energy audit and an update on the new advancement campaign. 



Open enrollment will be held between Nov 1-Nov 15th with new benefit elections effective as of Jan 1, 2017.  Staff is encouraged to keep an eye on their email for HR announcements about open enrollment, the upcoming benefits fair and an upcoming compensation workshop. 



Diane is working on putting together a list of staff members that participate on various campus committees. 


Next SAC meeting will be November 15th, 3rd floor Matchbox.   

Winter Gathering is December 6th. 



Questions submitted to SAC with answers:


Question:  The new HR Grade structure on the website was compared to the previous structure and it appears that the only increase in the structure are for exempt employees.  The exempt employees and the hourly employees made the same hourly rate except that salaried employees were based on 40 hours and hourly employees were based on 35 hours.  "My question is why did the exempt employees salaries go up but the hourly employees salaries remained the same?" Some of the salaries went up 14%.


Response: (Michele Mocarsky, Director of Comp and Benefits)


As you are aware the College performed an extensive compensation study in consultation with Mercer Consulting, one of the top human resources consulting firms in the country, to conduct the study.


The new structure is based on current market data for the positions that fall into each category. The data for exempt and non-exempt positions are different based on the particular jobs in each classification. This is the reason that the ranges for each grade will not be identical. Periodically, the market will change for positions in each grade, which at that time ranges, may be adjusted. Please join us to learn more at a workshop,  Understanding Your Compensation to be held in November.  More details to follow. 


Question: A question was submitted to SAC regarding timing of sending out notification to the College Community regarding safety incidents on campus.  This was in regard to a theft of property that occurred on campus but was not reported to the community for several days and only after the staff member alerted public safety that no campus wide notice had been sent out. 


Response: Greg Brown, VP Finance and Administration


First of all, let me assure you that our Public Safety Department is in full compliance with all federal, state and local requirements regarding the reporting of crimes and providing notifications to the community.


To the specific question being raised, there is no time limit or specific requirement for putting out notices about thefts.  No notice is required unless the thefts are based on bias of a protected group or there is a belief that there is a pattern of similar incidents.  Under the Clery Act, Mike Hill is required to send what is known as a Timely Warning for crimes such as murder/manslaughter,  arson, sexual assault, stalking, harassment and any crime that evidence of bias can be shown. Those notices are sent out as soon as pertinent information is available.  He can at his discretion send Timely Warning notices about other crimes if they pose an ongoing threat to the community, such as a series or pattern of incidents in a particular area on campus.


On the same day as the thefts in Kohlberg, Mike was notified by his counterpart at Haverford College that one of their students had been groped by an unidentified man who was still at large. This behavior constituted a serious safety concern because of the sexual nature of the incident and therefore required a notification to the community, which Haverford College sent out. Since the incident took place at Haverford and our students take classes there, he felt it necessary to inform our community as well. To do this, he issued an Awareness Bulletin, which is the

lowest-level alert that is used on our campus. He intended to send out another awareness bulletin about the thefts in the morning, rather than sending two in one day, because he was mindful that sending two might confuse the community, or that some might not open a second bulletin. He also made an assessment that the two thefts did not constitute a pattern. He is *required by law* to provide resources to crime victims. The information he shared with the victim is consistent with the resources that are shared with students and others under similar circumstances.



Question: A question on the location of the fire horn on top of the heat plant. Does the horn need to be placed there?  Could it possibly be moved?  It could be a nuisance to


guests at the Inn and is particularly bothersome to folks located in the south part of campus.


Response: (Stu Hain, Vice President, Facilities and Capitol Projects and Greg Brown, Vice President for Finance and Administration)


The College shares your concerns about the fire horn and has been working with the Borough to resolve them. The fire horn is used to notify volunteer firefighters about on­ going incidents, and supplements an emergency pager system currently in use.  The leadership of the Swarthmore Fire Department believes that the use of the fire horn is necessary when volunteers may not be able to hear their pagers, such as when they are cutting their grass or involved in other outdoor activities.


As a first step towards resolving this issue, the Fire Department has agreed to limit the hours when the fire horn is in use, which should prove beneficial to guests at the Inn and residents of the Borough. We expect a formal announcement of these reduced hours in the next few months.


Question: Why does the College not observe Memorial Day?


Response: Pamela Prescod-Caesar, Vice President, Human Resources


The College appreciates the importance of recognizing significant holidays and strives to ensure that as a community we have an opportunity to celebrate them appropriately. The academic schedule varies somewhat each year and usually Commencement falls during the Memorial Day weekend. Last year, the College made the decision to observe Martin Luther King Day as an official holiday and retain the alternative day that may be used to observe Memorial Day , or another day of your choice. Please see holiday schedule: