May 16, 2018

Staff Advisory Council

Wednesday, May 16, 2018   |   202 LRC   |   10:00 a.m.


Present: June Aiken, Essie Auker, Cindy Beauchamp, Michele Bettwy, Sue Dodson, Debbie Flaig, Michele Kennedy, Billie Lewis, Rebecca Moran, Rikki Pentland

Absent: Debbie Burroughs, Jeff Covino, Troy Johannides, Scott Kelly, Russell Pentland



Call to Order:

Meeting was called to order at 10:00 a.m. by:                                   Chair, Rebecca Moran

Meeting Minutes Approval:

            Meeting minutes from 3/14/18 were approved via email by SAC members.


  1. Salute A Champion                        Chair, Rebecca Moran

                        March 2018                                                 April

Genie Hanelly                                              Toni Feret

Dan Kerch                                                    Dorothee Goodman

Hiedi Manfed                                               Deb Hommer

  • e A Champion recipients from the program’s inception last year to April 15, 2018, were included in the printed program at the Faculty and Staff Awards Ceremony earlier this month. Chancellor and Dean Bechtel-Wherry referred to the recipient list during her remarks.
  1. All-Staff Retreat            Chair, Rebecca Moran
    1. A special thank you was given to the planning committee members, including staff members outside of the Council: Shannon Hawkins, Patti Jurcik, and Courtney Kantoski.
    2. Debrief – All Council members present who participated in the retreat agreed that it was a great inaugural event. Rebecca Moran explained that she plans to send a post-event survey to all who attended and will schedule a formal debrief meeting with the planning committee to discuss plans for next year.
  2. 2018–2019 Staff Advisory Council Elections            Chair, Rebecca Moran
    1. Chair Rebecca Moran reviewed the composition of the Staff Advisory Council: the Council “shall be composed of 14 members of the exempt and nonexempt staff. The Staff Advisory Council shall consist of 6 exempt staff, 6 nonexempt staff, and 2 part-time staff.” Members with terms ending June 2018 are: Cindy Beauchamp, Debbie Flaig, Troy Johannides, and Past-Chair Michele Kennedy.
    2. Moran announced the new members joining the Council beginning July 1, 2018: Donovin Lindsay, assistant director of Admissions; Toni Feret, associate director of Development; and David McGreal, men’s basketball coach. (They are all exempt.) The open part-time seat needs to be filled but Moran explained that it was difficult finding someone to fill this seat. Moran motioned to update the bylaws before next year’s election to include only one part-time staff member (not two).
  1. Penn State Staff Advisory Council USAC Summit Past-Chair Michele Kennedy
    1. Overall experience at first-ever Summit
      • Past-Chair Michele Kennedy and Council members present, June Aiken, Sue Dodson, and Debbie Flaig, attended the inaugural Summit event at University Park. They noted what a wonderful day and experience it was and explained that they learned staff at other campuses and colleges are facing many of the same challenges we face at Penn State Altoona.
      • The term “job creeping” was explained. This term came up many times during the Summit. It refers to the effect that occurs when staff members retire or leave and the duties previously assigned to these individuals are given to existing staff. Existing staff members end up with additional job duties as a result.
      • A discussion surrounding a follow-up to the Summit and other forums, such as the visit this year by the University Faculty Senators, ensued and it was recommended that staff have an official Ombudsman to hear their questions and concerns and report back appropriately.
    2. Positive Paws Program
      • The new “Positive Paws” program was unveiled at the Summit by the USAC. Each group was given sticky notes with a “positive paw,” and groups were encouraged to use them to write short notes of thanks to their colleagues.


  1. Nominations for Executive Committee (Chair, Chair-Elect, and Secretary)

Chair, Rebecca Moran

  1. Chair Rebecca Moran explained that the Council needed to elect members to the positions of Chair, Chair-Elect, and Secretary for the 2018–19 year. She noted that Debbie Flaig had previously indicated her willingness to serve as chair.
  2. In response to Moran’s request for members to serve in these open positions, Debbie Flaig confirmed her desire to serve as chair and Michele Bettwy offered to serve as secretary.
  3. Moran motioned for Flaig and Bettwy to be accepted as new officers of the Executive Committee. Cindy Beauchamp seconded the motion. All were in favor. Moran noted that the position of chair-elect needs filled and we will add this subject to “new business” for the June orientation meeting.
  4. SAC Budget
    1. Those who attended the USAC Summit learned that other campuses and colleges work with their chancellors/deans to formulate a formal budget at the beginning of each year to plan for retreats and other programming. A discussion with Chancellor and Dean Bechtel-Wherry is needed. More information to follow.
  5. New Staff Orientation
    1. Another idea as a result of the USAC Summit was the implementation of a general staff orientation day where each department has the opportunity to speak about the services they offer, where they are located, how to utilize their services, etc.
  1. Faculty and Staff Awards
    1. A discussion ensued about the decision process of the Long Staff Awards
    2. Following the discussion, it was agreed that the process for nominations should begin as early as September.
    3. It was also recommended that all nominees should be recognized for their nominations in the printed program with a small token of appreciation, such as a certificate of nomination and/or a notepad and pen.
    4. It was agreed upon that a formal discussion with the awards committee is needed. It is important to note that no one present at the meeting could confirm who makes up the award committee.
    5. The Council agrees that transparency about the awards process as a whole could lead to more staff submitting nominations for these awards. More information to come.
    6. It was also recommended that a Staff Advisory Council member be added each year to the awards committee.



Next meeting: Wednesday, June 13, 2018, in LRC 202 at 10:00 a.m. (New Member Orientation)

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