STAFF MATTERS: Come to council meetings to talk to Pitt’s top administrators


The new year offers Pitt staff member’s opportunities for growth and engagement across our institution. As our University continues to advance, it is important that staff, students, faculty and University administration work collectively to achieve positive solutions to challenges that may arise.

While managing work responsibilities, personal obligations and professional engagement can feel like a juggling act, there are plenty of time-efficient opportunities to add your voice to our shared governance process at Pitt.

Staff Council general meetings, held once a month at noon, are open to the University community. While useful in staying up-to-date on Staff Council-led projects and initiatives, our general meetings provide added value in the form of direct engagement with University stakeholders.

We’re pleased to host Cheryl Johnson, vice chancellor for human resources, at our Jan. 16 meeting in 102 Benedum Hall, and Assistant Vice Chancellor Derek Smith, also of the Office of Human Resources, on Feb. 20 in 102 Benedum. We also are looking forward to our first visit from Provost Ann Cudd. She has welcomed direct engagement with the University community by offering Provost’s Office Hours. Finally, on March 20, Staff Council will be joined by Angie Bedford-Jack, the University’s first-ever Digital Accessibility Coordinator.

Staff Council encourages all staff members to take the opportunity to ask questions and learn more about the ways Pitt staff can continue to power our University.

Chancellor Patrick Gallagher has issued a second annual call for Pitt Seed Project proposals, a unique initiative funded by the Office of the Chancellor that offers staff, students and faculty an opportunity to “directly and actively contribute to the University’s strategic transformation.” Individual staff members, or groups, are encouraged to submit an idea for “transformative projects that are directed toward supporting … the Plan for Pitt.”

As staff members engaged in the daily operations of the University, we can answer that call. What a terrific opportunity to receive funding toward innovative staff-identified process improvements, research or partnerships. Learn more about the application process by attending the last of three information sessions at 1 p.m. Jan. 15 in room 630 of the William Pitt Union.

Stay tuned for Staff Council sponsored Town Halls in 2019. Last year, we were fortunate to collaborate with the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid, as well as with Dr. Audrey Murrell, to provide some great open forum programming. Take advantage of University-organized opportunities for feedback and insight on topics like strategic planning, University officer searches, or the Oakland Campus Master Plan.

Staff Council is strengthened by a more closely engaged staff body across our institution. Contact and let us know how we can make Staff Council your vehicle for engagement in 2019!

Andy Stephany is president of Staff Council and associate administrator of the Vascular Medicine Institute.