In the spring of 1990, a small number of Case Western Reserve University staff members formed an advisory group to make recommendations regarding policies and procedures affecting staff.
Twenty years later, the Staff Advisory Council (SAC) has grown into an influential organization with direct lines to senior administration and the Department of Human Resources. Staff members serve on committees representing everything from fringe benefits to community service.
SAC marked its 20th anniversary on May 24 with a celebratory luncheon and recognition ceremony. More than 150 people attended, including former SAC leaders and President’s Award winners. They were the first to view 20 Years of Building Bridges, a video produced for the event.
“We’ve been able to locate most of the past chairs, vice chairs and secretaries to hear the stories of the past first hand,” said Kathleen O’Linn, current chair of SAC. The half-hour video presentation featured familiar faces who shared touching or humorous stories about getting the organization up and running, along with well wishes for the next 20 years.
During the luncheon and in the video, Case Western Reserve President Barbara R. Snyder spoke of the group’s influence. “Members of SAC have worked collaboratively with administration…to serve as a voice for staff. The responsibility is significant, and the members of SAC have provided insight and perspective.”
Senior Vice President for Administration John D. Wheeler echoed those sentiments. “An institution can only be as good as its staff. “ He said staff members are generally the first to interact with students and parents, and that at Case Western Reserve, “we have a terrific staff.”
Wheeler, President Snyder, Vice President for Human Resources Carolyn Gregory, deans, former SAC leaders and leaders representing areas of collaboration on campus were each presented with a special key holder from SAC.
O’Linn said the video came together as a result of the recent collaboration between the Women Staff Leadership Development Initiative and the Council. An ad hoc committee included Lynne Ford, who retired in 2007, and Theresa Grigger of Enterprise Application Services.
University Archives staff members were instrumental in locating material, and the committee worked to uncover the history and write the story. Others stepped forward to be included either as narrators or actual “performers.”
Throughout the years, SAC has built relationships with other university groups and departments, including Faculty Senate, the Flora Stone Mather Center for Women, the Division of Student Affairs, the Inamori International Center for Ethics and Excellence and more.
In addition, SAC members have been instrumental in implementing and assisting in a variety of initiatives throughout the years, including:
The luncheon was the kick-off for other events planned to celebrate SAC’s 20th Anniversary. All campus members are invited to attend the following events:
STEPS 4 STAFF on June 11
President Snyder is scheduled to speak at the event. Campus members are invited to bring a friend or their entire department to join in the fun as participants walk around campus. All proceeds will benefit the Staff Educational Enhancement Fund. Register online.
20 Years of Building Bridges on June 23
A screening of the Staff Advisory Council video for the campus community. Learn about the history of the Council as told by those who know it best. Show times are noon, 12:30 and 1 p.m. in the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing theater. Light snacks will be provided. Register by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Case Western Reserve University is committed to the free exchange of ideas, reasoned debate and intellectual dialogue. Speakers and scholars with a diversity of opinions and perspectives are invited to the campus to provide the community with important points of view, some of which may be deemed controversial. The views and opinions of those invited to speak on the campus do not necessarily reflect the views of the university administration or any other segment of the university community.