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July 27, 2017

Staff Organization Poised to Rebrand, Increase Engagement with Employees

Staff Association Council is “SAC” no more. The campus’ staff organization, begun in 1970, is changing its name to University of Pittsburgh Staff Council as it rebrands – and revamps how it functions.

At its July meeting, the group’s vice president for public relations, Alex Toner, announced that the name change will become official after a vote by members in September.

“A common problem that we see” stemming from the name Staff Association Council, Toner said after the meeting, “is misconceptions about what the organization is and does. The name, while it has served us well for the past 30-odd years, is a little redundant. And honestly, ‘SAC’ has a harshness when you say it.” Thus, he added, “University of Pittsburgh Staff Council better represented our mission.”

The name change is part of a larger effort, begun last year, to make Staff Council function better, become more visible across campus and engage more fully with all segments of Pitt staff. The organization surveyed its entire membership, created internal focus groups, talked to gatherings of non-members and met with Provost Patricia E. Beeson and other senior campus leaders to pinpoint how to accomplish those goals.

Through the reevaluation effort, Toner said, the organization hopes to “make sure we’re best meeting the needs of the classified staff throughout the University. We feel that we’re poised to continue to do so. And we want to make sure we represent all constituencies across the University to the best of our ability – because that will lead to all staff having a voice in the shared governance of the University.”

Staff members may not realize, for instance, that they can attend Staff Council meetings – even many of its committee meetings – without being a member, if they wish to bring an issue to the group’s attention and prompt potential action by the group. Staff members may also contact the group with concerns via its new website address (, email address (, and social media accounts (Twitter: @UPStaffCouncil; Instagram: @upstaffcouncil; and Facebook:

Toner pointed out that two-thirds of the organization’s current members joined within the last five years. “There is a lot of fresh energy and new ideas, and we as an organization feel we are poised to broaden Staff Council’s impact at all levels across the University,” said Toner.

“We hope that people see an active and vibrant organization that represents all interests and concerns of staff across campus,” he continued. “We hope that we are viewed as an open and inclusive organization so that all staff members, whether they are a voting member or not, feel comfortable to come to us with comments, questions, points of concern, so that we can advocate for solutions to those issues on behalf of them.”


Marty Levine,, 412-758-4859

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