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Staff Council Reception Well Attended

By Mike Unger

Lunch was on the Staff Council Nov. 14 at its annual fall reception.

Hundreds of full- and part-time staff enjoyed turkey sandwiches at the Mary Graydon Center while chatting with their coworkers and listening to President Neil Kerwin discuss the fiscal state of the university.

“The financial condition of this university is the strongest it’s ever been in my 33 years here,” Kerwin said. “Our enrollment remains very strong, and that’s a key to our financial health.”

New applications have remained steady, and early decision applications are up 25 percent from a year ago, he said. Graduate applications for the fall are running “well ahead” of last year.

“We have no way of knowing how this emerging recession will affect the families of our undergraduates,” Kerwin said. “But we’ve built up reserves now to where we could absorb significant reductions in enrollment. I can’t predict where this economy is headed, but we can prepare, and I think we have.”

Kerwin thanked the staff for its part in the university’s success.

“We are a strong institution because of you,” he told the crowd. “We’re an institution whose reputation has increased dramatically because of the work you and your colleagues, and the faculty do every day.”

The Staff Council is an elected body that represents full-time and permanent part-time staff members. The council’s mission is to serve the interests and needs of the staff pertaining to their daily activities and work conditions as they strive to support the university’s goal of quality education. This year’s council is working on issues including wellness and well being, and making the university more green.

“We work closely with [Human Resources] and the administration on any issue that pertains to staff,” said Amir Tejani, the council’s chair. “The staff is the engine that drives a lot of the university.”