Staff Advisory Council Meeting Minutes – March 2016

SAC Agenda – March 17, 2016 – Lee Hall 412

Guest Speaker

Michelle Crowe-Dolby


Introductory Film

Gari Melchers was educated in Germany and Paris, and also lived in Holland.  He was famous for painting the common people, and was one of the first Americans to win awards for painting in Europe.  He moved to the US at beginning of WWI.  He had a studio in New York City, and later purchased the estate in Falmouth.  He and his wife, Corinne, remodeled the house.  Melchers was hired by the Smithsonian to help create a National Gallery of Art.

Belmont will hold a beeping egg hunt on Sunday (is for visually impaired children and their families).  The Melchers held Easter egg hunts for local children.  This event is open to the public and is free of charge.  There will also be a petting zoo, and staff will bring the tractors out.  There will be 3D printed objects for children to feel.

This is the 5th year they’ve done this.  Started small with just invitations to the local schools.  This year did social media, free-lance star and Ted Schubel.

Belmont holds a Spring open house, a holiday open house and educational programs throughout the year.  There are monthly classes for preschool students (read a book and tour the garden, and then do a classroom project).  There are monthly woodland walks led by a naturalist.  All events are on the UMW calendar.  There is a new exhibition of interpretations of scenes at Belmont by local artists.

Belmont is on twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, etc.  You can sign up for the newsletter.



The University Budget Advisory Committee is in a working phase, and have met with everyone.  They are hoping to start making decisions in April.

Michael thanked Julie for handling things while he was gone.

Excellent Eagle Award – A past members has handled moving the sign by himself.  Robin Jones in Parking Management has taken this over.  She will be in charge of moving the sign when she is notified of the new recipient.   The sign does need some stabilization; we will pay for the modifications needed.

Vice President

Julie reviewed information about the 16 hours of community service we have.  It is leave but can only be used during the working week.  Chris had an idea about making it a competition (See which department could turn in the most volunteer hours).  Christina Eggenberger will talk to us about opportunities.  A summary document has been shared with everyone.


Have paid for Sam’s pizza and Flash drives. Currently, we have:

$212 in foundation

$1453 at our disposal


The Chili Cook-Off was very successful.  We had 14 pots of chili.  We will encourage all attendees to vote.  We are going to try to get Erma to do the big vendors with us.

The committee wants to hold one more mixer before Hurley leaves, and are looking at a Thursday in April.  They are hoping that Jonathan and Keith will provide entertainment.  A date will be announced.

Activities has been approached about holding an ice cream social.  More information will be provided.

Members of the UMW Community are encouraged to send nominations for the Excellent Eagle award to


Is not our busy time of year – so nothing to report.


Christina Eggenberger is our speaker in May.  She will talk to us about United Way and volunteer opportunities.  Other topics / speakers that are being considered:

  • Kevin Caffery
  • Library
  • Anand Rao (UFC)
  • Paino

The Suggestion Box has been updated the suggestion box.

Sometimes we receive concerns that are held by lots of people and sometimes it is one person with a loud voice.  Need to encourage the open dialog with everyone.

We received approval from Univ. Relations to send out a news letter to all staff.  Michelle Miller is working hard to get this done.  We plan to send the newsletter out on the 4th Wednesday of the month.  The newsletter will contain hot topics, guest speakers, brief meeting notes, Excellent Eagle, Announcements of upcoming events.  Univ. Relations has asked to see the email before it is released.

The group is moving all documents to SharePoint.

Michael handed out flash drives to all of us.  Has SAC documents on them.

Old business

Bereavement leave / Emergency leave / Leave Bank / Leave Sharing

We are aware that as part of our classifications we receive leave, but we do not have a specific category that is for “bereavement”.  A member called around other state universities.  Most of them she talked to indicated that bereavement leave falls under “family/personal”.  One university has that it is a separate category.  People who have had such leave at other places of employment wonder why we do not have it at UMW.  We may consider setting up an ad hoc committee to look into this matter.  Is this is a state regulated issue?  If so, we have to use what the state gives us.  Research will be done for next meeting.  What are our options:  leave sharing, etc.

Julie made a motion to create an ad hoc committee to study this.  The motion was seconded.  The motion was passed.

Break room for employees.

There have been several issues with people who work on the front line.  There is no place to go when you need a break after dealing with a problem or just to unwind.  Also there is no place to eat lunch.  Are there options available in Lee Hall (a tiny break room up in the admissions area, a 5th floor, space in the basement)?  It would be nice to have one in every building.

Approaches to consider:

  • Lee Hall Operations committee is made up of managers in Lee Hall. Julie has their meeting schedule and will work on this.  Needs to be for everyone in the building.
  • Discuss this with Rick Pearce and maybe Sabrina Johnson.

It was suggested that we may want to talk to other buildings about the need for such space.

There may need to have areas for nursing mothers.  There is designated space in Hamlet House.

Fitness Center Proposal

The feedback about the fitness center information was positive.

New business

Old Laundromat Tanks

There are concerns about the tanks from the old laundromat sitting underneath the William St parking lot. The concern regards leakage and environmental sustainability, especially as the soil is in close proximity with UMW residences. Two articles were provided as reference:

Joni Wilson was a huge part of all of this.  She would know what is going on about this.

Tuition Reimbursement

There is disappointment that the tuition reimbursement program for employees is not only unavailable to new participants, but was also revoked from employees who made significant progress in their programs. Certain staff members would like to see the program reinstated in some part, either to local community colleges like Germanna, or at least let those who started degree/certificate programs complete what they started.

The waiver program is in place for UMW classes only.  Michael will ask HR/Sabrina where we are in getting this program back.

One member stated that his children got a better price elsewhere.


The academic calendar for 2016 includes no working days between the last day of finals (Fri. December 16) and the University closing for winter break (Mon.  December 19), which puts both faculty and certain UMW departments in a bind for end-of-the-term grade and academic progress processing. What is the possibility of changing the two holidays from the week of the 19th to another time of year?

Amy will ask Jonathan and Kimberley what is up with this.

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