December 2, 2011

Westchester Administrative Staff Council Meeting
December 2, 2011
Butcher Suite, Kessel Student Center


The meeting was called to order at 9:05AM by Pat Carolan.

Robina Schepp, Vice President of Enrollment Services, was originally scheduled to speak but had a conflict. Frank McDonald, Associate Vice President for General Services graciously accepted our invitation.

Picnic Committee

Anna Fishman is chairing the picnic. Volunteers are needed. Interested parties should contact

Benefits Committee

Nothing to report at this time.

Faculty Council

The Faculty Council meeting was very short. The question was raised as to what we are we doing to help students understand the debt they are incurring. There is a calculator to help determine this on the Financial Aid website.

Jason Roth, head of Student Veterans Association spoke and noted that there are 300+ students who are also veterans.

President’s blog will be posted (ask Karen for link).

Minutes from the last Administrative Staff Council Meeting were approved and seconded.



The School of Education reports that NCATE renewed.

Pleasantville Holiday festivities will be held December 9 from 3-5PM in Setters Café.

A question was asked about academic and staff calendars (i.e., why were students going home by Dec 21 and staff working through Dec 23?). The staff does not follow student schedule.

Luciana Ziegler from Employee Relations noted that the nominations database is open for awards for the March ceremonies. They are accepting volunteers for the nominations committee. All information is on HR website.

Regarding the Provost’s search, five candidates were brought forward to the committee; three were brought back to meet with community and President. Decision is forthcoming.

The InsideTrack with President Friedman and Mario Gabelli will be simulcast in the Gottesman Room for December 13.



Frank McDonald, Associate Vice President for General Services

AVP McDonald handles Security, Environmental Health and Safety, Mail Services, and Transportation


Guidelines for Weather Closing Decisions

The University Director of Safety and Security, Vinny Beatty, will begin to monitor forecasts provided by two contracted weather services (ACCU Weather and Fleet Weather) and send updates to the decision makers at regular intervals.

The Pace Security Dispatcher and the Security Coordinators contact area Police and Highway Departments regarding road conditions, road closures and storm related accidents.  Radio and television stations will be monitored to ascertain closings at area colleges and Universities.

Each campus Security Supervisor will report on campus roadway and walkway conditions as well as snow removal progress on campuses.

The Provost, in consultation with the Senior Vice President and Chief Administration Officer and other designated administrators, will make decisions regarding the cancellation of classes and the closing of operations.

Decisions are based on:

  • Whether classes are in session
  • Existing and projected snow and/or ice accumulations
  • Road conditions in NYC and Westchester
  • Campus condition
  • Ability to maintain safe Transportation services in NYC and Westchester
  • Academic scheduling issues
  • Closing or delays at other institutions
  • Internal and external special events
  • Whether a separate decision should be made for the NYC and Westchester
  • Whether a separate decision should be made for the Law School based on their academic schedule

Once a decision is made it will be relayed via the Pace Alert system. (email, voice and text), our website and voicemail, and to external sources such as local radio and television stations.

Essential services such as Residential Life, Safety and Security, B&G, and some IT may need to remain on campus.

Management will release employees at effective time of closure decision whenever possible. Transportation continues for 90 minutes following closing if possible.

Employees and managers should use their best judgment regarding weather situations. Employees may opt to take personal days or vacation time, or may be able to work from home depending upon their circumstances.

The following comments were made by meeting attendees:

When there is a partial closing, the switchboard is only in BRM, so they have to stay to staff it.

Parking lots in BRM has spaces reserved for snow. Can the snow be moved onto the grass to open up more spaces? AVP McDonald noted that plans are being developed for alternatives.


Business Continuity Plan

An Emergency Plan was developed in 2002 post-9/11. On 9/11, we didn’t know where our off-campus students were; had no communications; no emergency contact rosters; no contingency plan for displaced students; didn’t know how to provide academic services. We got through it, but it was nip and tuck. Studies show if you don’t have a plan in place, chances are your institution will fail.

The plan was revised in 2010 and was more streamlined and focused on individual responsibility. The Business Continuity Plan identifies each department’s critical functions and the personnel required to continue critical functions in an emergency. 59 critical functions were identified and contingency plan developed to continue functions

Question: What is the effect of Indian Point on us if we were told to evacuate?

NYS Office of Emergency Management has elaborate plans, We are in the 11-mile radius. We follow directions of OEM. The Health and Fitness Center is an assembly area.


Question: Do we have emergency drills? We’ve had three drills: crane collapsing on Pace Plaza in NYC; tornado in PLV; and drill for first responders.

It was suggested that an effort be made to get emergency contact info from more students, faculty and staff, and noted that a lot of families are signed up for Pace Alert System.


Regarding campus crime, the Jeannie Cleary Act is named for a Lehigh student who was raped and murdered by a predator. Her family advocated for the Act, which is posted on our website. Campus crime rates must be reported annually, including: murder, rape, robbery, assault, sexual assault, vehicles, drugs, guns, and alcohol. We were ranked 14th safest campus in the US. We also ranked high as a party school, which is not the case. A lot of people have been written up and based on those statistics, we were called a party school.

Question: If we have a student working for us, what kind of alcohol is allowed at a departmental function? No alcohol is allowed at functions before 5PM.

Question: If share info regarding an emergency with families, do we provide them with follow-up info to let them know things are okay? We have a bank of 800#’s on reserve that we can use to field calls – it’s all hands on deck.

Question: How do we communicate our status externally? It’s part of the University Relations continuity plan.

Question: What if there is no Internet, email, phone, etc.? Odds are both campuses wouldn’t go out at once.

We send a final notification to people not in area and to students who have left the area. The last text we send should say that all is okay.

This was the Administrative Staff Council Meeting’s last meeting for 2011.

The meeting was adjourned at 10:01 AM.