April 2004 Meeting Minutes

Minutes of the Pleasantville/Briarcliff Administrative Staff Council Meeting

Wednesday, April 7, 2004

Butcher Suite, Campus Center, Pleasantville


At 8:53 am Karen Geldart, co-chair, called the meeting to order and all attendees were asked to introduce themselves.  This was followed by a motion by Maureen Doddy, and second by Fran O’Gara, to approve the minutes of the March meeting.



Karen Geldart asked all attendees to remind any and all students, who may be in their employ, of the April 21st deadline for selecting dorm rooms for the following semester.

Carolyn Lengers reminded everyone that performance appraisal training was on-going and that “Empowering the Workplace” was scheduled for April 27th.

Pat Kelly announced that April 22nd was “Take Your Children to Work Day”

Karen DeSantis advised that the library sponsored “Read Aloud Day” was scheduled for April 22nd.

Maureen Doddy stated that the University’s, employee picnic for the Pleasantville and Briarcliff Campuses will be conducted on June the 18th.


Faculty Council – Karen Geldart reported the following highlights from that meeting: A discussion is on-going about the creation of a joint council to represent all the campuses; Student enrollment for the fall semester in on target.  However, concerns for student retention and methods for improvement still persist; The S.G.A. president shared his opinion and believes - among the many causes influencing the loss of students - a lack of school spirit is prominent; Yvonne Ramirez and Daniel Esakof both gave updates on the union election process from their respective points of view.

President’s Commission – Karen DeSantis reported that open sessions designed to gather information from the Pace Community on opportunities for improving costs are on-going.  Some ideas under consideration include: `printing and mailing expenses.  The commission’s focus is not to reduce expenses through job elimination, but on areas such as energy, heating, etc. The final draft of the commission’s recommendations is due to the president by April 30th.

Election Committee – Karen Geldart reported on the nomination and election process to replace the out-going members of the current Admin. Council’s executive board.  Nominations are needed and elections have to be carried out before June.  All are encouraged to participate in recruiting and/or nominating candidates for the positions of Secretary, Treasurer and Co-chair.


Susan Merritt, Dean of Computer Science, spoke on behalf of CLOUT and our annual, holiday toy drive.  Dean Merritt wanted to thank the many members of the admin council and the employees, as a whole, for their generous efforts in gathering gifts and making such a worthwhile cause so successful. Dean Merritt gave an overview of the history and mission of the CLOUT program and the many beneficial effects it fosters on those who are economically challenged.  Dean Merritt believes the toy drive dove tails well with the CLOUT program in helping those less advantaged improve their lives as well as their economic plight.

Subsequent to Dean Merritt’s presentation and departure, a brief discussion was held on the some of the concerns and questions regarding the future continuation of the Holiday toy drive in its current form.  Questions and concerns raised include:

                        -Are the gifts being requested too extravagant or costly?

-Should another type of humanitarian effort be considered?       (Clothing drive)

-Is it appropriate to always focus on one group, organization or charity?

No decision was reached. However, the executive-board decided to reconvene on the issue with the possibility of using the list-serv to poll all the members of the council on the direction for next year’s Holiday fund drive.  The board also stated it would give CLOUT administrators advanced notice if any change were to take place in the admin council’s support of the CLOUT toy drive.

John Barkat, University Ombuds, presented a comprehensive outline on the role and scope of the Ombuds’ Department.  Using graphics and charts, Dr. Barkat described the various issues, functions and areas of responsibility for which his organization serves. Essentially, the Ombuds works to:

·        To clarify and help illuminate policies that are in place

·        Serve as go-between, on all campuses, in helping members of the student body, staff and/or faculty find solutions to issues or inconsistencies.

The Ombuds position was created in 1997 and reports directly to the president, thus allowing it to operate outside the ordinary lines of management.  Highlights of Dr. Barkat’s presentation indicate that interpersonal issues represent 67 percent of the cases his offices receives, versus policy and procedural issues, which represent 33 percent of the cases.  Overall, students represent about 7 percent of the total case load.  The most dramatic change and improvement since his office’s inception has been in the area of cases classified as incivility – rudeness or attitude. They were the highest single issue in 1997 and are now among the lowest issues for the university.


The meeting adjourned at 10 am.