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March 19, 2015

SAC Meeting--Thurs, March 19th

Attendees: Rose Maio, Trish Tancredi, Luis Alvarez, Ben Wilson, Michael Kappeler, Pattie Kim-Keefer, Paula Dale, Danie Martin, Pamela Prescod-Caesar, Zenobia Hargust, Christi Pappert, Lynn Grady, Dorothy Kunzig, Sue Wigo


1. All Staff Meeting Thursday, April 16th (Change of Date).

  • Proposed agenda should include:
    • Sustainability- Laura Cacho
    • Financial Report- Greg Brown
    • Climate satisfaction survey- Lili R.
    • Background clearances update- Jillian & Zenobia (Agenda not finalized.)
  • All Staff Meeting has been changed April 16 (10-11:30am) because of conflicts with senior staff.
  • SAC Members--If you can, please come early (9:50am), to greet and hand out cards and pens to the audience to write down their questions to be shared in the Q and A session. SAC runners will collect those cards.
  • Climate satisfaction survey won't be presented at the All Staff Meeting.

2. Since the All Staff Meeting is April 16th the same day as our SAC Meeting, can we reschedule to April 23rd?

  • We will be canceling April's SAC meeting. 

3. Climate Survey – Live on Wednesday

" If you don't mind mentioning our climate self-study survey :
And the website that can answer any questions: "

Please encourage your circles to fill out the Campus Climate Survey. The survey will be open until enough of the campus community has responded. Must be done in one sitting--takes about 20 minutes.

4. Follow-up from last month – Comparison of time off

It would be helpful if SAC did a comparison study to provide to HR of paid time off/holidays at peer institutions. This way Swarthmore would have something to measure against in regards to additional holiday time. (specifically Memorial Day, Labor Day, MLK day) This study could then be relayed to the new president.

  • Lynn Grady, Trish Tancredi and Jessica Brangiel are looking for volunteers to help them delve more deeply into this benchmarking survey with about 30 institutions. If anyone is interested in helping, they are looking for volunteers, please contact Lynn Grady at

Questions received:

1. Have found all the communication about the Act 153 stuff incredibly confusing - if HR could somehow clearly summarize what the average, non-priority staff member is to do, that would be very helpful. I attended one of the meetings, and have read the e-mails, and I’m still a bit lost.

  • HR website has FAQ section:
  • Consent forms are all electronic
  • HR has been working with the Dept of Ed and Public Safety to do the finger print scans as well as bring vendors to campus to aid them.
  • Everyone will be "scheduled" to go through the background checks. There is priority order, so Jillian Theorgood will be contacting you directly once you need to complete the checks.
  • Pretty much all current employees need to go through the checks, so it will take some time.
  • If your department or yourself still have questions, feel free to contact HR and they will schedule a time to meet with you one-on-one.
  • Jillian Theorgood is the main contact person for this project.

2. There are many times when staff folks hit the top of their vacation time and are forced to take a day off or lose the time. My department head has raised this issue before with HR and hit a stone wall. I would like to have you raise it...requesting the opportunity for staff to cash out 1 week per year of unused vacation time which may allow them to get on top of things financially and perhaps actually manage to take an actual vacation for a few days. Having employees take off days to avoid losing time is not an effective way to run a department....doing this service would possible avoid this problem...and it would certainly raise morale for disgruntled employees that don't have the money to pay their bills let alone vacation...especially in winter when heat is expensive and working is necessary.

  • Swarthmore does not have a policy towards this--other than you can only accrue up to 240 vacation hours.
  • Pamela Prescod-Caesar of Human Resources asked that SAC’s “Comparison of Time Off” study be extended to include whether other colleges allow their employees to buy back vacation. She also noted that ultimately this decision must be made by President’s staff, and asked that the department head take the request to its representative on President’s Staff .

3. When we are closed because of snow, why are we not notified via the emergency system (phone, text).

  • Response from Stu Hain - As to weather notifications they go by voice mail, a web posting and email. We do not want to use our emergency system for something that is not truly an emergency.

4. This may not affect many of us in Whittier, but am interested in any news we can get about parking situation in 101. Communications will be moving there sometime next year, but am hearing there are already issues with parking. Just curious if you (or anyone else in SAC) have heard of any solutions/resolutions.

  • The faculty-staff parking spaces closest to 101 include the 101 parking lot, spaces behind Palmer Pittenger and Roberts, the Facilities parking lot, spaces along Field House Lane, and the West Field House Lane parking lot across from the Matchbox.
  • There is enough campus parking for everyone with a parking permit, but it may not be the closest to where you work.

5. I’d like to request that all future Staff Development presentations be recorded and be made available on-line for later playback by interested staff that might not have been able to attend the sessions in person. This way we could build up a library of coherent development opportunities for folks who’s schedules might not allow them to attend, and for situations in which the space limitations of the presentation location prevented greater attendance. Sent to FSDW Planning Committee – they are addressing this.

  • Media Services has purchased equipment to be able to record sessions in some of the bigger spaces such as Sci Ctr 101. Hope to get that running soon.

Next meeting will be Thursday, May 14th in Sharples Room 4