SAC Outlines Agenda

October 30, 2002

Arthur Nead

The Staff Advisory Council began the academic year with a cadre of new officers and a set of new and familiar goals. The SAC chair for this year is Mary Little, a medical research specialist at the primate center and a 34-year Tulane employee.

She is joined by vice chair Bobby Guntner, an investigator with downtown security services; recording secretary Kathleen Brumfield, section administrator in the medicine/ adult infectious diseases department; corresponding secretary Maria Gulden, library technician at the Howard-Tilton Memorial Library; election coordinator Gilbert Estrada, applications specialist in the biochemistry department; and immediate past chair Maury Duplantis, medical research specialist at the primate center.

The SAC, an advisory group that assists communications between staff and Tulane's administration, has laid out a set of objectives it will work toward during 2002-2003, said Little. Among the ongoing goals for the organization is the betterment of staff compensation and benefits, particularly focusing on getting faculty and staff retirement benefits on a par. Another priority is to try to ensure that departing employees are given an exit interview.

The SAC is working with human resources to make this a reality, said Little. Data gathered with exit interviews would serve both human resources and staff. The elections committee has drafted a proposal for a major restructuring of the way staff are represented by the SAC. This proposal entails replacing 33 representatives, plus 33 alternates, with fewer representatives who will represent larger areas of the institution.

In essence, every representative will be a member-at-large, said Little. The SAC will continue to encourage staff participation in community outreach projects, according to Little. This last holiday season, staffers gave generously to the Book Giving Tree project, and they are being encouraged to join this November in the Rally for Public Schools.

"We are expanding our electronic communications," Little said, "and anyone who has a question or an issue can call the SAC information line, (504) 862-8000 ext. 1706, and they will get a response. The council welcomes input from the entire Tulane community," said Little.

Staff interested in serving on the council should contact Gilbert Estrada at To share ideas or concerns, staff should contact their SAC representatives, or go to ~tsac/sacform.htm. To send questions by campus mail, write SAC, Tulane University Medical School, Box SL-8, or place suggestions or comments in the SAC suggestion boxes (located in the University Center lobby, medical school lobby and the first floor of the Tidewater Building).

Among upcoming events sponsored by the SAC is the yearly staff-recognition luncheon to be held in the Health Sciences Center on Jan. 31.

"The Staff Advisory Council is dedicated to working closely with administration to preserve staff jobs in our present soft economy," Little said. "We strive to maintain a good working relationship with Tulane administration and human resources. Because of this good working relationship and the unwavering dedication of the membership and officers of the Staff Advisory Council, I'm extremely optimistic about reaching our objectives."

Arthur Nead may be reached at

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