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November 21, 2013

SAC membership grows to 68

The Staff Association Council (SAC) has gained 22 new members since its last monthly gathering, and 21 of them helped fill tables from one end of the William Pitt Union Ballroom to the other at the group’s Nov. 13 meeting. Some of the new members have been Pitt staffers for as many as 26 years.

The new members are Peter Adams, plastic surgery; Valerie Asbury, geriatrics; Camille Burgess, College of Business Administration; Lucy Cafeo, biomedical informatics; Margaret Clements-Dawson, Magee-Womens Research Institute and Foundation; Tricia Connell, institutional advancement; Karen Dicks, computer science (CS); Angela Ellis, CS; Anita Gallagher, University Center for International Studies/nationality rooms; Christine Jackson, occupational therapy; Michele Kiraly, Computing Services and Systems Development; Janet Littrell, Swanson School of Engineering; Christopher March, financial information systems; Mindy Peskie, Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences; Pamela Rikstad, Office of the Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs/Swanson school; Rebecca Roadman, Office of Graduate Studies/Dietrich school; Lori Schmotzer, School of Pharmacy; Megan Soltesz, School of Social Work; Clayton Steup, physician scientist training program/School of Medicine; Michele Tschannen, Pitt Program Council; Jonna Vallance, Office of General Counsel, and Michael Wahl, Office of the Dean/School of Dental Medicine.

SAC now has 68 members. Regular full-time or part-time staff members who are not in their initial provisional period or under a performance improvement plan or equivalent performance or disciplinary plan or status may become members by filling out an application available on the SAC website.

“Can’t say we don’t represent all areas of the University,” remarked President Rich Colwell. He said it’s the largest membership he has seen in his 26 years on SAC.

He credited the external relations committee and its chair, Andy Stephany, for recruiting the new members, as well as SAC’s  increased use of digital communications.

“This is the first time in years, decades even, that every officer, chair and vice chair position is filled,” added Executive Vice President Monica Costlow. That now includes committee vice chairs Fiona Seels, external relations; Pamela Rikstad, health, safety, IT and transportation; Hillary Koller, operations, and Adriana Maguina-Ugarte, staff relations.

Operations committee head Tammeka Banks said SAC sent letters to 15 members concerning lax attendance. One member resigned in response, one requested leave for medical reasons, two pledged to attend more often, and the remaining 11 did not respond.

In other news:

• Colwell was not able to address alleged discrepancies in the distribution of staff raises — a charge he made at the last meeting — because he said not enough staff members had responded to his call for information about the actions of individual schools and departments throughout the University. Colwell reiterated his request for reports.

• SAC also set the date for the 2014 Pitt Kennywood Day: Sunday, July 20. It will be similar to the 2013 event, said Stephany. His committee will begin planning specifics in January.

• SAC’s brown bag series returned today, Nov. 21, with a session on retirement benefits. The first one of the current series, held at noon in the William Pitt Union Ballroom, was fully booked with 150 people.

The series continues at the same time and location on Dec. 3, with speakers from human resources presenting information on Pitt’s educational benefit.

• Monika Losagio, vice president of finance, said the SAC Endowed Book Fund, which gives textbook funds to staffers’ children attending Pitt, had received 22 applications.

SAC is hoping to make five awards at the chancellor’s annual staff recognition ceremony and reception on Dec. 5.

• SAC also is collecting socks, hats, scarves and gloves for the community and governmental relations winter clothing drive. Donations should be made at SAC’s next general meeting, Dec. 11, at noon in 102 Benedum Hall.

—Marty Levine

Filed under: Feature,Volume 46 Issue 7

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