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June 28, 2012

Budget woes suspend plans for staff appreciation day

Budget concerns have forced the suspension of a planned Staff Appreciation Day.

The Staff Association Council (SAC) had proposed holding the day as an alternative to the SAC-sponsored Pitt Kennywood Day, an annual event since 1982. (See May 17 University Times.)

The one-year suspension of Kennywood Day was due to budget constraints, SAC President Deborah Walker said. However, discounted tickets for Kennywood are available for purchase with a Pitt ID at the William Pitt Union ticket office.

At the June 15 SAC meeting, Walker said that budget concerns also were behind the decision to suspend the staff recognition day. She hoped that a staff day could be held sometime in the fall.

Walker also announced the retirement of three current SAC members who are participating in the voluntary early retirement program (VERP). (See related story this issue.)

A 42-year staffer in Community Relations and former SAC president Gwen Watkins accepted the VERP offer. Also participating are Dewi Wong, a staff member for 33 years in Facilities Management, and Carol Neuner of the School of Education. Neuner, who has worked at Pitt for 42 years, also is a former officer of SAC.

In other business:

• SAC announced that Walker recently was commissioned as a member of Gov. Tom Corbett’s Advisory Commission on African American Affairs. The commission advises and makes recommendations to the governor on policies, procedures, legislation and regulations that affect the African-American community.

• Jennifer Poller of Institutional Advancement was welcomed as a new SAC member. New members serve for six months as non-voting associates who sit on one or more of SAC’s standing committees.

• SAC will not meet again until Sept. 12.

—Peter Hart

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