October 19, 2001

Minutes of the Pleasantville Briarcliff Administrative Staff Council
Meeting on October 19, 2001
Butcher Suite, Kessel Campus Center

Marie Petrocelli, co-chair, welcomed everyone and thanked those who attended the September meeting which occurred during a very busy and stressful time for us all.

Introductions and announcements were made.

  • Karen DeSantis, secretary, announced that Debbie Dempsey, who is a part time employee at the Environmental Center, was inducted into the Westchester County Sports Hall of Fame in September for her achievements in swimming and downhill skiing competitions at the Special Olympics.
  • Deanna Vatan reminded everyone that there will be a Blood Drive in the Gottesman Room on October 30 from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and October 31 from 12:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Heather Novak announced that Make a Difference Day will be Saturday, October 27th. There are 3 events that Pace will be a part of that day. Eighty-eight people have already signed up for the ninety slots. If you cannot participate but would like to reward the volunteers, please donate desserts for the afternoon party. You may drop off any goodies on Friday, October 26th at the Center For Community Outreach office. For those who are signed up to participate, the Buses will leave Braircliff at 12:30 p.m. and Pleasantville Campus at 12:45 p.m. Buses will return at 4:30 and a party for all volunteers will be from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Karen Lolli announced that there will be a Health Fair held on November 15th in the Tudor Room on the White Plains Campus from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Free massages and a $20 Bone Density Screening will be included in the event.
  • Geoff Harter announced that on October 2nd, Young Jae Lee, one of the ELI students, passed away in Martin Hall. We will receive further information about this incident but it appears that the cause of death was an undiagnosed medical condition that was not contagious. A memorial service will be held on October 31st in front of Martin Hall where a tree will be planted in this student's memory.
  • Geoff also wanted to compliment everyone who participated in organizing and helping in making Homecoming such a success. It was a wonderful event.
  • A Community Meeting will be held on November 7th during Common Hour from 12:20 to 1:15 p.m.

A motion by Heather Novak to accept the minutes from the September meeting was seconded by Mary Ann Petock and passed.

Barbara Cunningham, co-chair, thanked Deanna Vatan for representing the Pleasantville and Briarcliff Staff members by speaking at the Remembrance Ceremony.

Marie Petrocelli explained that the council would like to have co-chairs for many of its committees and that it would benefit everyone to stagger the terms so that one person will have the experience of co-chairing the committee for one year and the second will bring new ideas. This proposal would effect the representatives or chairpersons for the Benefits, Service, and Picnic committees as well as the co-chairs for the Administrative Staff Council. A motion made to stagger the co-chair terms by Deanna Vatan and seconded by Kathy Fiorentino was passed.

The second proposal was that all committee chairs for the following academic year would be selected at the May council meeting. Motion to accept this proposal was made by Deanna, seconded by Kathy and again passed.

We have been asked to provide two representatives to serve on the Campus Employee Recognition Committee. Deanna Vatan, Mary Ann Petock, and Barbara McCarthy all volunteered for these positions. A vote was held and Deanna and Barbara were selected to represent the council.


Benefits Committee: Barbara McCarthy. The Benefits Committee will be meeting Monday, October 22 and there will be a report at the November meeting.

PUAC: Ken Schneck. PUAC has not met this fall.

Faculty Council: Reola Clark. Faculty Council met on October 5th.

  • A new position for a Vice President for Philanthropy will be announced.
  • Marilyn Jaffe Ruiz was inducted into the Columbia University Hall of Fame.
  • The Joint Faculty Council met over the summer and a resolution was made stating that regular means of communication between the Board of Trustees and the Faculty should occur.
  • A lawyer has been named to represent the faculty on questions of Intellectual Property Rights.
  • President Caputo discussed the costs of the terrorist attacks. He also mentioned that this will have a significant effect on how we recruit students and that there is a possibility that student visas may be suspended temporarily.
    • The students from the East 55th Street dorms have been relocated to the East village and have been given stipends to replace some of their possessions.
    • The University has donated $25,000 each to the United Way, Widows of Fire Fighters, and the Red Cross.
    • Seventy Five full tuition scholarships have been set up for children of the Pace University Alumni who were lost in the disaster.
    • At the beginning of the semester total enrollment was up.
  • The Teachers Learning Technology Roundtable asked that a resolution be made to request that a full time person be hired to oversee room scheduling. The faculty are very upset about the scheduling of inappropriate sizes or layouts for their classes.
  • Rebecca Martin suggested that the Distance Learning Committee be dissolved as it has outlasted its needs.

Service Committee: Karen Buckwald. This committee is still looking for volunteers. At this time the committee plans to continue the Toy Drive and Daffodil Days. Please contact Karen, or her co-chair Danielle Salvo, to become a part of this committee or to make suggestions for future service projects.

Picnic Committee: Nikki Atkinson. This committee still needs a co-chair as well as volunteers to help the day run smoothly next spring.

Communications Committee: Karen DeSantis. This committee will be comprised of individuals within each building who can be contacts for information distribution and flyer posting.

Featured Speaker
Yvonne Ramirez-Lesce

Yvonne began by extending Jim Marshall's, Director of Compensation, apologies for not being able to attend the meeting.

  • Recent changes to the compensation structure and grade levels were prompted by a discussion in June of 1996, which want to raise awareness for a study on salaries. This was presented to President ewers in 1997 and in the summer of 1998, a study was done by Towers Perrin company.
  • The study focused on analyzing the need to be competitive with the market and looking at ways to reward and acknowledge contributions, as well as find a means for how to implement changes to the current structures.
  • January 2001 began the first phase of the implementation.
  • Six competency levels were decided upon and 125 benchmark positions were selected based on their counterparts in the market and that they would be easy to survey. The new salary structure was built around these 125 benchmark positions.
  • The new grade level positions are not directly comparable to the old ones. There are now nine non-management positions which are denoted by a single letter grade. There are also eight management levels which have a double letter grade. These positions are not all hierarchical. The management component is not applicable for all job descriptions.
  • All changes to the current grade levels were given to the Department heads who were to pass on the information to their employees.
  • The goal for this year is to move people into the appropriate salary range. If you received a letter, that would mention only the bottom of the range. Managers will have the complete range for your job as well as a copy of the letter you received.
  • Human Resources is currently working on adapting the Performance Appraisal process to reflect the same competency levels and skill levels that are appropriate for each job. This may be completed by the spring. All Pace employees will receive new drafts of the appraisals in advance of the change in procedures. The Performance Appraisal will continue on the same cycle and not on an employees anniversary date. It will still contain self-assessments, results, and competencies.
  • All job descriptions will be reviewed and new reward strategies will be discussed over the coming months. Questions that need to be answered include: What type of rewards will be available? and Will they be one time rewards?
  • Career paths are also being discussed. What types of management steps will be made available? What type of growth within each position is possible?
  • There is a three year outlook to complete the salary structure. As of September 1st, everyone is within the appropriate salary range.
  • Currently vacation time is not tied with grade levels. The two levels of vacation are Exempt (employee may begin with 15 days and add one day per complete academic year to 22 days) or Nonexempt (employee begins at 10 day and add one day per complete academic year to 22 days). The department is currently reviewing other universities and other vacation policies.
  • Yvonne encourages you to e-mail her with any specific questions about your position.

As a gentle reminder, the September 11th events have greatly disrupted the lives of everyone on the Pace New York campus, please be understanding with our PNY colleagues. Counseling services will continue on campus. Yvonne urges you to speak with a counselor if you feel the need to talk with someone. They are here for you so please take advantage of them.

A new dental plan has been approved and we are moving ahead to replace Aetna with Delta Dental. Delta Dental focuses solely on dental plans and has a better network access plan. There will be more services for the comprehensive plan. You will be receiving notice of the change soon. Continuity of coverage will be arranged for those who need it.

Open enrollment will begin the first week of November and continue through the first week of December.

There has been a slight change in the retirement plan. Your retirement deposits will now occur on a semimonthly basis. You will see twice as many deposits in you statements. The dollar amount will be the same.

Please be aware of new tax policies beginning January 2002. These may effect your retirement plans. You will receive notification of the changes in the upcoming month.

Surveys will be sent out later this semester or early in the spring semester to find out concerns and comments from Staff and Faculty members. Focus groups will also be conducted in November.

The Flu vaccine program is scheduled to begin on November 5th. The Health Care Unit has only 500 doses total for all campuses. Watch for notices for drop in times and dates.

Kathy Fiorentino wanted to let Yvonne and all of Human Resources know that she was very impressed by how supportive the department was for the staff at PNY. She said that one of the people she speaks with regularly from PNY told her how important it was to help the staff get through the past weeks.

Heather Novak asked if there was any further discussion about President Caputo's statement during Robert Putnam's visit that a day off to do service projects or civic competency might be available. Yvonne replied that ideas are currently being considered but there is no formalized policy at this time.

Yvonne was asked about the number of drop outs after the tragedy. At this time, the majority of student have returned. Some have decided to defer their enrollment to spring term. Fifteen students have transferred to the Westchester campuses.

President Caputo is interested in hearing feedback about the University's Emergency preparedness. Security procedures are currently being reviewed as well. Please return Joe Morreale's survey, if you have not already done so.

Next meeting: November 16th.
Michelle Russo will discuss Benefits.
Gottesmann Room, Kessel Center

3:00 p.m.

Meeting adjourned at 4:38 p.m.

Respectfully submitted
Karen DeSantis, Secretary