It’s just the beginning of the 2019–20 year, but the College of Charleston Staff Advisory Committee to the President (SAC) is already in full swing with new and existing initiatives meant to strengthen connections and communication among staff members and create a stronger voice for staff within the College’s administration.
The purpose of SAC is to advise the president about staff opinions concerning matters of importance to the staff and institution, to receive the president’s requests for advice and counsel regarding matters relevant to the staff, to increase awareness of the staff’s contributions to the College and to promote the recognition of outstanding staff. The committee meets with the president a number of times throughout the academic year, and the committee’s chair presents to the College’s Board of Trustees at each of its quarterly meetings to provide updates on committee activities.
Elections for the 2019–20 SAC were held during the spring 2019 semester, with the new members beginning their term on July 1, 2019. The newly elected at-large members are Melantha Ardrey, director of residence life; Ana Gilpatrick, business process project coordinator for the provost’s office; and Lance Laidlaw, classroom support technician for the Division of Information Technology. The new temporary-employee representative is Rachel Spivey from the Department of Residence Life. The newly elected divisional representatives are Dawn Brandt, senior budget manager in the Office of Budgeting and Payroll Services (business affairs); Darcie Goodwin, senior director of advancement communications (marketing and communications); Pam Grant, therapist in the Counseling Center (student affairs); and Stephanie Smith, office manager in the Office of the Registrar (academic affairs). The full-time staff representatives will serve for three years, and the temporary staff representative will serve for one year.
“We are really looking forward to working with our new members to continue the momentum of the past year,” says Ardrey, who has been elected SAC chair for a second term. “They are a dedicated and enthusiastic group of staff members who represent a broad range of departments and areas.”
The committee held its first meeting of the academic year on July 31, 2019, to onboard new members, discuss ideas and elect members to committee leadership posts. The following members have been elected to leadership positions for 2019–20 and will constitute the SAC Executive Subcommittee: Ardrey (chair); Josh Bloodworth (vice chair), associate director of accreditation assessment in the Office for Institutional Effectiveness and Strategic Planning; and Michael Kling (treasurer/secretary), electrician apprentice for Facilities Management.
SAC meets as an entire committee at least once a month, and subcommittees also meet at least once a month. They represent SAC at staff drop-ins, the Staff Awards Luncheon in June and other SAC initiatives throughout the year. Divisional representatives communicate SAC initiatives with their divisions, encourage their division to participate in SAC-sponsored events and solicit action items for SAC to work on.
Last year, SAC took on many initiatives, establishing the following for College of Charleston staff: free fitness classes, a dedicated dining space for staff and faculty at Liberty Street Fresh Food Co., expanded staff drop-ins, a staff and faculty social media/news page, professional development grants for staff and a health and wellness panel series.
“We’ve been able to accomplish a lot on behalf of the staff at CofC, and, along with our new members, we are eager to continue to look at ways we can improve the staff experience,” says Ardrey, noting that SAC is looking at the staff survey from last spring to help inform its focus for the coming year. “We really want to be a voice for the staff as a whole. We are also looking forward to being involved with the strategic planning process and how we can give staff a voice in that process. I’m also working to reach out to the faculty senate to help us work together on both sides. It’s a bright future for us at CofC!”
Check the Faculty & Staff News page on The College Today, the Faculty & Staff News Yammer feed and the @cofcfacultystaff Twitter feed for updates about future staff drop-ins and other SAC announcements.