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21 January 2009

Staff Advisory Council
Meeting Minutes for January 21, 2009

The Staff Advisory Council (SAC) of Swarthmore College was called to order at 9:35 am on Wednesday January 21, 2009 by Moderator Mary Marissen.

The following members were present: Pat Hearty, Lynn Grady, Tami Gura, John Dukes, Joe Deasey, Lois Falzone, Terry McGrath, Carolyn Vance, Brad Rumsey, Betsy Durning, and Mimi Weiler.

Representing Human Resources was Marty Cormican

Representing the Equal Opportunity Office was Shar LaMar.

The following items were discussed:


  • Carolyn Vance was welcomed as a new member, representing the South Circle.

Giving Tree

  • Tami Gura reported that over 50 gifts were donated by employees of the College during the Giving Tree, a charity drive that was held in December.
  • The gifts were given to the Family Centers of Delaware County and the College has received several thank you notes from the gift recipients.

Human Resource Update

  • Marty Cormican reported that there were no Human Resource items to report on as most of the College recently returned from the Winter Holidays.

Cost Savings Initiative

  • Shar reported that she spoke with Carr Everbach about speaking at the All Staff Meeting about cost savings initiatives and that he is enthusiastic about the opportunity to talk about the "green" initiatives on campus.
  • The sustainability items that Carr will talk about can also be applied to employee's homes to create cost saving opportunities there.
  • On campus, the recommendations previously published by the IT Department should be followed.
  • A suggestion box has been placed by Carr's group in the Post Office area so that employees can contribute any cost savings ideas that they may have. Suggestions are also welcomed via the Sustainability web page:
  • All ideas for cost saving opportunities will be gathered by Carr's group and presented as a formal report.

Self Study Report

  • A draft of the Self Study Report which will be part of the Middle States Evaluation has been released. The deadline for comments is Friday January 23, 2009.
  • It had been previously discussed that a group from SAC and coordinated by Melanie Young would evaluate the Staff piece of the Self Study Report. After reviewing the draft report, SAC members were not interested in reviewing the report further.
  • Wording regarding the amount of tuition reimbursement (page 55) was questioned. Tuition reimbursement is limited to $4,000 per year and not $4,000 per course as ambiguously indicated in the report.
  • A group from SAC will meet with the Middle States Visiting team when they come to campus.

All Staff Meeting

  • A date for the All-Staff Meeting needs to be determined.
  • A tentative agenda for the meeting will be:
    • A budget/economic update from Sue Welsh (needs to be confirmed)
    • Sustainability/cost saving (green) initiatives from Carr Everbach
    • Emergency preparedness update from Jenny Shiffer and Susan Smythe (needs to be confirmed)
  • It was noted that when sensitive topics are to be discussed at an All Staff meeting, the agenda could be announced prior to the meeting and index cards handed out so that employees would not have to raise their hands to ask questions.

New Business

  • Tami Gura stated that she had been asked about raises for next fiscal year. Marty Cormican replied that the College is in the process of preparing the budget for next year and information on raises would not be released until the Board of Managers approved the budget.
  • A question was asked if the College had imposed a hiring freeze. Marty replied that it had not but that all positions being posted were reviewed by Senior Staff.
  • A question was asked about the progress of the Presidential Search. At this point there is not an update available.

Being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 10:12 am.

Respectfully submitted,
Beth Baksi