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January 8, 2009

SAC to establish fundraising group

The Staff Association Council (SAC) will establish a fundraising arm.

SAC also announced it will seek to have a council member assigned to a standing provost’s committee.

Those were among the developments discussed at SAC’s Dec. 10 meeting.

The SAC steering committee, which comprises officers and standing committee chairs and co-chairs, has formed an ad hoc committee dedicated to raising money to fund SAC’s charitable activities.

Jennifer Welton, who chairs the research and information committee and works in the School of Engineering’s development office, will chair the new ad hoc committee.

The staff group also discussed a web-based survey Human Resources will conduct this month on employee satisfaction with Pitt’s benefits package. (See related story this issue.)

SAC’s benefits committee, which developed the survey proposal, hopes to collect data on which benefits are most important in employee hiring and retention, and whether certain benefits can be added to Pitt’s package.

SAC also will request having a member assigned to the provost’s advisory committee on women’s concerns (PACWC), a committee formed in 1983 to investigate the situation of women at Pitt and identify areas in which the University could improve responsiveness to women’s concerns.

According to SAC President Rich Colwell, the staff council had a member on PACWC more than a decade ago, but following a retirement, the position was not continued.

In other developments:

• SAC’s 2007-2008 annual report has been completed by the research and information committee. The report is expected to be posted this month on SAC’s web site:

• SAC’s spring assembly is scheduled for April 8. The assembly will feature a marketplace of organizations centered on the theme of “a healthy University.” Representatives from organizations such as UPMC Health Plan, TIAA-CREF and Vanguard, and the fitness for life program are expected to attend.

• Colwell announced this year’s winner of the SAC Endowed Book Fund for Children of Staff. Sarah Bronson, a junior majoring in human relations at the Titusville campus, was awarded $250 for book purchases. Bronson’s mother, Lisa Mabray, is coordinator of mail services in the Office of Business Affairs at Pitt-Titusville.

Beginning in 2001, SAC partnered with Institutional Advancement to establish the $10,000 endowed book fund, a goal that was reached in 2005.

At the Dec. 10 meeting, Colwell said the book fund needed more publicity to drum up a bigger applicant pool. He charged SAC members with getting the word out to staff regarding the book fund. (For more information, go to the SAC web site.)

• Monika Losagio of the salary and job classification committee reported that the committee temporarily suspended its investigation of the redress procedures for staff members who are dissatisfied with their salary increase, pending a report expected at the University Senate’s budget policies committee. (See Sept. 11 University Times.)

BPC is responsible for monitoring whether University units’ planning and budgeting committees have procedures in place for employees who wish to contest their pay raises and that those procedures are disseminated to the units’ employees.

The BPC report is expected sometime early in 2009, Lasagio said.

• SAC announced nine new associate members, who are expected to be affirmed at the Jan. 14 meeting:

Nam H. Do, Center for Innovation in Clinical Learning; Melissa Grzyb, Department of Neurology, School of Medicine; Deborah Keelan, Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences; Jon-Paul Matychak, Career and Leadership Development Center, College of Business Administration; Chianti S. Powe, basic research, School of Medicine; Gail Podobinski, Center for Research and Evaluation, School of Nursing; Carmela Rizzo, Learning Research and Development Center; Mary Sylvia Sanderlin, School of Law, and Jean Zamzow, Department of Neurology, School of Medicine.

Associates serve the first six months as non-voting members, but are required to join at least one of SAC’s nine standing committees.

—Peter Hart

Filed under: Feature,Volume 41 Issue 9

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