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23 October 2018

Staff Advisory Council Meeting

Agenda for Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Listening to and lifting staff voices to build an informed community

Attended:  Diane Fritz, Carl Benner, Trish Tancredi, Pam Harris, Nabil Kashyap, Steve Lockard, Lynn Grady, Domenic Porrini, Pam Borkowski Valentin, Zenobia Hargust, Pamela Prescod-Caesar


Thursday, Nov 1                      Fall All Staff Gathering, 10:30 am – 12:00 noon

Tuesday Nov 20                       SAC meeting, Sharples Room 4

Thursday, Dec 6                      Winter Gathering, 10:00 am

For Discussion:

November All Staff:

            Val – Welcome, Introduction of Chief of Staff, Update on Executive Searches

            Mike Hill – LiveSafe Demonstration

            Andy Feick – Construction update

            Nathan Graf/Sustainability

            Jeff Jabco – Crum Woods Committee update


SAC Committee Assignments/Charges

Moderator/Co-Moderator - Diane, Domenic

Secretary(ies) – Pam Harris, Susan Eagar

Web Site Admin – Nabil, Ben, Pam BV, George

Communications – Diane, Pam H., Steve, Susan

Staff Discounts – Trish, Julie, Lauri

Community Building – Susan, Ben, Lynn, Carl

Recruitment – Domenic, Luis, Meghan

Not assigned to a committee yet:  Emily


Upcoming Circle openings

See attached list

These questions continue from last month, we didn’t finish them:


Questions to SAC [from separate individuals]:

Question #1

“Swarthmore College is committed to sustaining our position as a competitive, private, liberal arts College through the purposeful selection, and ongoing development, of our internal talent.”  Swarthmore HR Website

The college has stated a commitment to staff development, devoted time and expense to staff development activities, and encouraged employees to participate. Why doesn’t it also have policy and procedures that encourage promotion from within the college community? Staff development is inconsequential unless it is also accompanied by changes to the workplace that result in advancement for current employees. The ability for staff to move up or across in an organization is paramount to good staff morale and performance.

Some of the changes could include:

Internal advertising of open positions, when there is a reason to believe that there are qualified internal candidates, then advertising externally if no viable internal candidate applies.

Weighting internal candidate applications and taking into account their term of service to the college.
Allowing campus community members to see how job openings are graded so they are able to evaluate if the job opening is a promotion for them.

Clear information for staff that outlines what they can to advance in their jobs and become qualified for promotion.

Clear and concise grading of positions, to make transparent the skills and knowledge that are needed for each pay grade.

Make clear the results of the Campus Climate Survey (i.e. personnel low morale) and make transparent the changes as a result of the survey

I am sure others will have additional suggestions.

Question 1 response(s):

The College is committed to sustaining a competitive position in higher education, through the purposeful selection, and continuous development, of our workforce. As such, continued learning and development is an expectation of all members of our community.

Several opportunities for professional development are offered each year, in support of both career and personal development.

Internal candidates are encouraged to apply for positions in which they qualify. Those who meet the qualifications of the position are granted an interview. The internal candidate is assessed on several factors for the position including relevant experience and service to the college.

Upon request, guidance is available to internal candidates seeking positions at the college. HR will provide consultation to candidates on the interview process and career coaching as needed.

Each search committee and hiring managers, receive training and guidance from Human Resources on best practices in recruitment and equal opportunity. The hiring manager makes the final decision of the successful candidate for the position.

Position classification and grades are typically not posted on external job sites.

If an internal candidate is interested in a position and would like more information regarding the salary or job classification, inquiries should be made to the Manager of Talent Management or a HR representative. An updated internal job grade chart is in process, to make this information more easily accessible for internal candidates.

Career progression and promotion opportunities are dependent on various factors including the nature of the position, needs of the department and job performance. Managers, in consultation with HR, review and assess recommendations for promotions or significant changes in job descriptions.

Departmental structures (flat organizational charts), may limit opportunities for upward mobility. However, we encourage openness to continued development in broader and more imaginative ways to foster continuous learning.

The Campus Climate Survey updates can be found at:

Question #2

AAs have low morale on campus

AAs have no advocate, no voice for promotion or salary discussion [faculty chair are not responsive as supervisors]

AAs have a lot of responsibility and no authority [often serve as unofficial student advisors] - not compensated for the job being done

Qualified candidates for advertised positions drop out of searches due to low pay, or quit after a year

AAs have multiple new systems to learn and manage but they are not consulted when new systems are being considered (25Live); no-one to turn to for help with systems; current systems are hard to locate on the different college webpages (resort to using Google)

Question 2 response:

Low morale amongst AAs:

The Provost will host a meeting with the academic area AAs, to hear concerns and ideas for improvement.

On an annual basis, Faculty chairs receive supervisory orientation to guide their supervisory responsibilities.


Potential SAC Circle rep openings for Fall 2019

Chester Rd Circle

2 (Julie DiPietro/Pam BV terms ending)

Lang Circle

1(2) (Diane Fritz term ending; Lauri Courteney MAY resign due to schedule conflicts)

Rose Garden Circle

1 (Ben Wilson term ending)

Sharples Circle

2 (Lynn Grady/Elizabeth Stern terms ending)

South Circle

1 (Domenic Porrini term ending)

Whittier Circle

1 position open now; Meghan Gebhard is kindly staying on until replacement is found