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October 23, 2014

SAC officers meet with chancellor for 1st time

Staff Association Council (SAC) officers have had their first meeting with Chancellor Patrick Gallagher, President Rich Colwell reported at SAC’s Oct. 15 meeting. Although the meeting with the chancellor was confidential, Colwell said that, based on the gathering, “I believe shared governance is going to work out at the University.

“I was impressed and I believe the other officers were impressed too,” he said.

SAC will honor Chancellor Emeritus Mark A. Nordenberg with a new scholarship, offered to the most qualified candidate for the organization’s annual book fund awards. Last year five $500 book fund awards were given to Pitt undergraduates who are the children of staff members. SAC will announce a still-to-be-determined number of these book awards in December. The deadline to apply was Oct. 17.

The group still was collecting Nordenberg scholarship money as of Oct. 15 but, according to Colwell, this scholarship “is already above the $500 award” level.

In other news:

•  SAC welcomed 10 new members who had participated in SAC’s orientation the previous week:

  • Samantha Stephens, human resources coordinator, Athletics;
  • Matthew R. Richardson, coordinator of fraternity and sorority life, Cross Cultural and Leadership Development;
  • Kathleen Hansell-Prigg, administrator, Systems Neuroscience Institute;
  • Mary Ellen Carey, education and compliance coordinator, Education and Compliance Office;
  • Corey James, financial aid coordinator, School of Information Sciences;
  • Nicole Hudson, administrative assistant to the dean, Katz Graduate School of Business;
  • Donna Snyder, administrator II grants assistant, neurology;
  • Alex Toner, archived records manager, Office of the University Registrar;
  • Barbara R. Stolarz, administrative coordinator, Office of Child Development, School of Education, and
  • Katy Zorich, neuropsychology technician, neurology.

• Ken Doty, health, safety, IT and transportation chair, said his committee is studying how to make sure pedestrians can cross Fifth Avenue safely, given the counter-traffic bus lane. “Every year, somebody gets hit by a bus because they don’t look left,” Doty said. Although Pitt may need to rely on city government to erect new road signs as warnings, SAC could consider publicizing the issue on its website or, as Doty has seen elsewhere, “LOOK” signs could be painted on the ground at each crosswalk entrance, with an arrow pointing left. “Texting while walking — I think that’s a big thing and people aren’t looking,” said Doty.

Members also suggested using the City of Pittsburgh’s 311 line or web suggestion form to push for new signage.

• Staff relations chair Tammeka Banks announced that, as a result of a SAC survey soliciting people’s expertise and needs, her committee will begin matching individuals who can help each other better navigate working at Pitt.

At SAC’s next meeting, on Nov. 12, her committee also will seek approval of a proposed all-staff survey asking Pitt employees what they want from SAC, with the intention of distributing the survey in December.

• Lindsay J. Rodzwicz, vice president of public relations, said SAC is gathering data with the aid of Ron Frisch, associate vice chancellor for Human Resources, to complete a study of the relationship of gender to wages at Pitt.

—Marty Levine

Filed under: Feature,Volume 47 Issue 5