October 9, 2002

Pace University’s
Pleasantville/Briarcliff Administrative Staff

Minutes of the Pleasantville/Briarcliff Administrative Staff Council Meeting on October 9, 2002
Butcher Suite, Campus Center, Pleasantville

The meeting began promptly at 8:45am. Karen Geldart welcomed those in attendance. Introductions were made.


Connie Serafin, from the Health Care Unit, confirmed the dates and times the flu vaccine would be given on each campus. Reminder: The Pleasantville campus dates for the flu vaccine are from Monday, November 4, 2002 to Friday, November 8, 2002 located in the basement of the fitness center. The Graduate Center dates and times are Wednesday, November 6, 2002 and Thursday, November 14, 2002 at 3:45pm to 5:30pm. On Tuesday, November 5, 2002 the Health Care Unit was onsite at the Briarcliff Woodward snack area from 8:30am to 12:00pm. In addition, the Health Care Unit went to the Law School on Thursday October 31, 2002, from 11:00am to 2:00pm. After 2:00pm If you have missed these dates, please call the main office @ x 3760 to schedule an appointment. The cost for the flu shot for Faculty and Staff is $10, all others $15. Connie Serafin confirmed that there should be no shortage of the vaccine this year.

Dr. Kevin Banks-, New Dean for Students, spoke about putting a search committee together to find a diversity program candidate. The search committee will be given an opportunity to help select a candidate for this position.

Deanna Vatan- made a brief announcement about the free raffle. Then the meeting proceeded to the rules of the free raffle that, i.e., “you must be present until the end of the meeting in order to win”, and the recipient will receive a $20 gift certificate from Barnes & Noble.

Marie Petrocelli- requested a motion for an approval of the minutes. Everyone was in favor of the minutes, and Phyllis Bradbury approved the motion. Deanna announced events on campus that the Pace Community can attend. Diversity Day, Blood Drive which was Tuesday Oct 29,2002 from
11:00am-4: 30pm & Wednesday Oct 30th 2002 12:30pm – 6:00pm. The location was the Gottesman Room. Joyce Papa from Human Resource - spoke about interoffice memo regarding Employee Recognition Day. Just a reminder to all employees to think about a colleague you would like to nominate for this prestigious award.

Committee Reports:

Benefits update: Phyllis Bradbury announced: Employee Assistance Program is not just for alcohol and drug abuse (which has been a misconception). This program is very broad. It deals with many different everyday life issues. TIAA CREF had an investment workshop to help those who may be concerned about the market and their mutual funds. One- on -one sessions were being held. Further details were emailed. The University’s tuition exchange program will be enhanced to add additional Universities to the tuition exchange program list. The benefits committee is in favor of this new change, however, further information will be available at a later date. Phyllis Bradbury stated President Caputo, discussed at the benefits meeting a savings program, which will start in November. This program would be geared to full-time and part-time employees. The program consists of a savings program for college for young children and grandchildren and the beneficiary could receive a tax right off for these funds. The Post retirement update is that no changes have been made at this time. The board and the consultant need to review the insurance preliminary policy and the part-time adjunct pay group rates. The Wellness Program is a grant that maybe going into effect. More details at a later date.

Karen Geldart- spoke about (PUAC) the Pace Univeristy Advisory Council. The committee meets once or twice a semster. Meetings are video conferenced. Please sign up and support a great cause.

Faculty Council: Deanna Vatan gave a well-deserved compliment to Reola Clark of the Lubin School Of Business for her dedication to going to faculty council meetings over the years. Everyone applauded in agreement. Deanna spoke on the highlights of the faculty council meeting, due to the extensive announcements, Deanna informed all members that if they would like a copy, please don’t hesitate to contact her @ x3777 or via email dvatan@pace.edu. Some of the high lights of her announcements are as follows:

  • Betty Torrence is still head of the faculty council meetings. Introductions were made to welcome new faculty and staff to Pace University.
  • The Health Care Unit will have a Nursing Fair.
  • Dr. Banks is looking for a diversity officer.
  • Betty Torrence discussed an assesment of an administration handbook.
  • Neal Bianco chairs issues of the committee and works with the trustee on financial concerns such as how faculty will be funded.
  • President Caputo spoke at the meeting and welcomed everyone in attendance. He spoke briefly on the use of the fitness center. He discussed NAT (National Actor Theater). He also discussed the Who’s Who Play. The Pace Academy is a big initiative for downtown New York City. Ideas will be discussed with the board. Convocation was a great success.
  • Marylin Jaffe-Ruiz will be going on sabbatical.
  • Commencement ideas are tentative at this time. Some ideas that are in mind however, is having commencement at the Pleasantville Goldstein center. Instead of one commencement the idea is to have three commencements. The New York City Campus commencement could change from Radio City Music Hall, to a downtown New York City location.
  • President Caputo touched on briefly retirement issues and the resolutions but all discussions are still tentative.
  • Community meeting November 6, 2002 in Gottesman room during common hour.
  • New hiring policy is on a pilot bases. Some concerns are problems with deadlines and how much authority does administration have.
  • 10% of our student population has passed the honors program.
  • The President discussed retention.
  • President Caputo gave a few highlights on the Employee Assistance Program, Employee Recognition Week and project Sparta.



Karen Geldart introduced President Caputo to the council. President Caputo began by thanking the Pleasantville/ Briarcliff Administrative Staff Council for the opportunity to address the council. President Caputo thanked everyone in attendance.

President Caputo stated that he would be covering five issues:

Post retirement benefits. The board of trustees last June discussed present and future cost. They discussed possible ways to reduce cost for the retirement benefits plan. The plan was reviewed over the summer and is at a standstill. The Board at the September meeting agreed that changes and input would be made during budget time. Concerns: The University gives 100% to the post retirement plan. The cost shows that 2/3 is given to this program. Health costs have risen. If we don’t do anything about the cost, we will have a problem with funding within the University. This makes a difference when we want to build new facilities, hire new employees and increase raises. There will be a series of public announcements soon. Right now no one wants to talk about possible reduction in benefits. Therefore the Board is trying to work out the kinks now such as: what would have to be cut, what will faculty have to pay if anything, whether employees hired after 2000 are part of the post retirement plan, or do they fall in a different category.

Question & Answer Forum:

  • A Counseling Representative asked a question about the post retirement plan. The question was would the post retirement plan be grand fathered or if the individual retires will they be covered under the post retirement plan? President Caputo stated that there is a possibility this change could impact everyone.
  • Christine Stephens asked if there is something in place for faculty/ staff members who need long term care and are in a nursing facility? Would Pace University pay 100% coverage? President Caputo stated current long-term care insurance is available at this time. For medical the individual is fully covered. For non-medical he is not sure. No one on the Board is excited about possible changes but everyone is working together to make the best decision possible.
  • Phyllis Bradbury asked about the consultant hired, in terms of our benefits. Is the person looking at numbers or post retirement? Hewitt & Associates is the consulting firm Pace University is using. They are looking at post retirement benefits compared to other institutions and what other institutions are doing regarding this issue. President Caputo stated our current benefits and retirement package is much better and higher than our competitors. President Caputo wants this to remain the case, but this issue still remains to be seen. Sharing of medical cost, post retirement, and those retired, the Board seems to believe its’ legal but the decisions must be made across the board or we do nothing. However, this remains to be seen. When the May meeting took place it was an agreement known to everyone that no changes would be made right now and if any changes are made the adjustments would made right now and if any changes are made the adjustments would not go into effect until a year or so from now. The real concern right now is individuals who have or have not retired yet, and where they stand.

President Caputo stated Fall 2002 enrollment is very strong and we have met our goal. However, tuition collection will give us a final report in the next couple of weeks on where we stand. Congratulations to all Enrollment Management employees. Excellent retention please keep up the good work.

President Caputo would like commencement back on campuses. Idea of an outside commencement is a great idea but very problematic at the same time. President Caputo shared that a former college he worked at (Hunter College) there was a commencement at Central Park. The commencement went very well despite the fact that the Vice President of Hunter thought it was very risky. Unfortunately, when the commencement took place it rained and tents were used as a shelter. These adjustments will not take place right now. President Caputo stated there are approximately 5000 prospective student graduates. If a change is made the idea is as follows: two undergraduate commencements on a Monday. One graduate commencement on a Sunday. The numbers to accommodate commencement candidates outside of campus he is not sure, but the advantage would give students and their families the opportunity to a small refreshment before and after commencement. Commencement on Pleasantville campus could possibly be at the Fitness Center. Commencement on the New York City campus could possibly change from Radio City Music Hall to a downtown location. Another possible idea is having commencement at the South Street Seaport. Commencement could take place right on the pier. If it rains, a rain tent could be an option. However, these are just ideas to look at about one year or so from now. Julie D’Erasmo, Director of Special Events helped practice a dry run of a commencement, Sunday using a tent when convocation took place. The problem was parking. If a commencement took place on Pleasantville campus the morning commencement people would have to be gone so that the afternoon people could come in. Please inform the President as well as his Administration. Ideas for Commencement: There would be two undergraduate graduations. The graduation would be divided into the different schools. The first graduating classes would consist of the Lubin School Of Business and Lehinard School Of Nursing. The second graduating class would consist of Education, Dyson Arts and Sciences, and CSIS. However this idea solely depends on numbers. A suggestion is to just have one commencement but tickets would go too fast. Having two commencements it gives the student the opportunity to receive more tickets. Instead of two tickets about four tickets. By having one commencement once a year causes many problems. The January candidates are very upset because they do not get a graduation and have to come back to Pace in May in order to participate. Then the scenario is having three to five hundred students graduating in May and we would not know the number of students who graduated in the spring. Some schools have a summer graduation as well. The problem for the student is the longer they have to wait to go to commencement or they have to go before they have finished classes. President Caputo informed the council that this issue will be reviewed and a solution will be made at a later date.

President Caputo thought the Cruise Commander was very nice. The boat went from Bear Mountain Bridge to West Point. Pace Academy is getting on its way. The idea is to focus on environmental issues in the valley all the way up to Albany. The discussion has been going on since this past summer regarding the Pace Academy. Right now all audits have been completed.

Fitness Center- So far President Caputo noticed that the Fitness Center has been a big success. Programs to accommodate full-time staff will be put into place very soon.

Strategic Plan Handbook- President Caputo is looking to complete the plan and give to the Board by November meeting. If anyone has issues or concerns, send information to President Caputo. The draft represented everyone, however, President Caputo’s goal is to make sure a wide discussion can be addressed for the entire University.

Hate incidents and tolerance on campus Statistics show that hate crimes have increased on many University campuses. Fortunately, for Pace University, this issue is not a problem. However, President Caputo is asking the community to help report anything that may arise. Please contact Lisa Miles’ office immediately. As a university, passionate ideas get across. But harassment or any examples of intolerance is unacceptable.

The students will be able to participate in an evaluation of deans and administration. All information given is confidential. Pace has hired a company to do this because as a disinterested party it’s the best way. There are no signatures required and the results would be published on the online website. This plan is set to go by the week of spring break.

President Caputo has heard from the students that the Briarcliff cafeteria is lacking in service. The service operation starts at 11am and closes at 3:00pm. The reason this is occurring is due to funding. On the Pleasantville campus they are open earlier and there is a large variety of food available as compared to the Briarcliff campus. Suggestions were made for Briarcliff to provide better food, that is appealing, and discounts to staff and more funding. President Caputo agreed to look into the matter. Frank that is in charge of overseeing food service has certain restrictions and permits that their contract allows. All suggestions will be reviewed. Right now the number of complaints from students is large. There are approximately 500 dorm and commuter students that go to café 101. In Briarcliff, during the morning hours many of the students do not eat breakfast only lunch. Soxdeho noticed that from the hours of 9pm to 11pm in the evening there would be more students when the best quality food would be available. Christine Stephens commented that the cafeteria is not available to staff while the students are in class. Her view is that the staff are working and have a lunch hour and the café should be a resource available to staff when the student are in classes. The café needs to accommodate both staff and students. Christine Stephens suggested there should be an incentive for staff. For staff, purchase food with free chips or free coffee. Andy is the general manager of food services. President Caputo stated they both will make some inquires. Connie Serafin stated that you can no longer get coffee or juice; it does not take place at Briarcliff any longer. Gwen stated there are now vending machines to accommodate for drinks. A council member stated that after you leave your office and drive to go get food you lose your parking space.

Barbara Cunningham stated parking has been better, but the other concern is the problem when the snow arrives. A snow plan would be very effective. Phyllis Bradbury interjected that when you lose your parking space or the parking lot is full you have till 10am to find a spot before security comes by to give out tickets. President Caputo stated that emergency closing are done way in advance. Emergency test go on well before snow occurs. It's monitored better because Westchester is different than New York City. President Caputo stated the weather forecast is given on-line and a decision is tried to be made early enough. President Caputo stated he is called at 5:00am. The same with regards to closing. All information is based on what is told by LOCAL authorities and then the University heads try and make the best decision.

The number of concerns regarding safety is not perfect but it is getting better. A ring road is in mind. A traffic light for entrance three is a possibility but there is some opposition from the community. Many council members were in agreement that entrance three is very dangerous, visibility is awful and trying to make a left turn out of entrance three is difficult. Linda Ward asked about the ring road by Choate. Pace needs to open road so that traffic can move smoothly for staff and students.

Alba asked about a traffic light on Briarcliff campus, 5:00 dark in all lots. President Caputo will ask and give an update soon.

Alba stated also that Convocation was wonderful and the beautiful bagpipes were awesome. President Caputo confirmed that the bagpipes will be used every year.

Fulltime staff pays to use the fitness center and they are fulltime students. Jeannie Mulqueen asked President Caputo why full-time employees who are fulltime students have to pay to use the Fitness Center. President Caputo stated that since the employee is getting full tuition paid for then the student exemption is not available. He also asked if an employee is a full-time fulltime student then maybe the standard would be different. Jeannie Mulqueen stated she is full-time student. President Caputo stated that her question was very interesting and he will have to get back to the council with an update to this issue.

President Caputo thanked everyone for their support this year and is looking to continue to work with all of us again in the upcoming future.

The council raffle was won by Margaret from bookstore, she graciously declined and the new recipient was Joyce Papa of Human Resource. Next meeting November 13, 2002.


Nikki Atkinson

ADDENDUM: I just want to make two corrections to the minutes. The Pace Academy is not for the New York City campus, but the Pleasantville campus only. New York City has the Center For Downtown Development. The evaluation of Deans and Administrators will not take place by the students but by staff.