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June 12, 1997

Hart re-elected SAC president

In a surprise move, Staff Association Council (SAC) at its meeting yesterday, June 11, re-elected Brian Hart to a third term as its president. Hart was selected over Rich Colwell, SAC's vice president for steering, in a secret ballot. It was the first such ballot for SAC in about five years, according to several members. Recent SAC elections have been uncontested. Since SAC by-laws call for an election winner to be announced without vote totals, Hart's margin of victory was not disclosed by SAC's election committee.

Although a SAC president can serve three consecutive terms, Hart's re-election came as a surprise because he had announced at SAC's spring assembly on May 8 that he would not seek a third term. At the assembly, Hart said he was stepping aside because job duties had caused him to miss several recent SAC meetings and he did not feel he was fulfilling his job as president.

A staff member in the Office of Computing and Information Services, Hart has been extensively involved in the University's switch to the Oracle computing system.

Because Hart had said he would not seek another term as SAC president, Colwell's name was the only one on the ballot. Hart was nominated from the floor. Noting that his ability to attend meetings has "changed substantially," Hart accepted the nomination.

"I have available to me a third term, if I choose to run for it, and I choose to do so," said Hart prior to his re-election.

After Colwell, who is a staff member in the School of Engineering, was defeated in his bid for the presidency, he was nominated from the floor to serve another term as vice president for steering. He was re-elected to that post over Carol Neuner, who works in the Provost area.

In the race for vice president for communications, Jeannette Norbut, health sciences, was elected over Neuner, the current vice president of communications, who was nominated from the floor, and Robert Arlia, Provost area.

Gwen Watkins, a staff member in the Office of Governmental Relations, became the only candidate for treasurer when Neuner declined to accept a nomination from the floor. Watkins will replace Andrea Loughner, Business and Finance.

In other business, SAC also:

* Voted to send to senior administration a recommendation concerning release time for staff.

The recommendation calls for implementation of a policy that grants release time to regular full-time and regular part-time staff who want to attend SAC meetings, SAC's spring and fall assemblies or take non-credit and/or personal development courses and workshops offered through the Office of Human Resources.

* Hart announced that SAC will oppose any move toward a purely merit-based salary increase system. Such a system has been informally discussed by various University budgetary committees and has stirred concern among many staff members, Hart noted.

* Recognized several SAC members whose terms have ended: Don Bonidie, Jen Daugherty, Norma Dothard, Matt Fletcher, Gary Guydosh, Meg Havran, Liza McNally, Katie Seiders, Rob Shepherd, Audrey Sites and Laura Zullo.

–Mike Sajna

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