Advisory Work Group on Staff Climate Matters Formed

The new Advisory Work Group on Staff Climate Matters will begin meeting this month to address areas identified by staff in the Universitywide survey Climate Assessment Survey conducted during the Spring 2016 semester. Staff participating in the advisory work group include a broad representation across the campus from schools, colleges and administrative units at many levels.

Throughout the academic year, the advisory work group will examine and form recommendations on staff-related issues identified in the survey. Topics that may be addressed include staff morale, staff retention, career pathways and training opportunities, as well as avenues for addressing confidential matters.

The advisory work group will work with Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer Andrew R. Gordon. “Staff, along with faculty and students, are an important part of the University community. They undertake many crucial responsibilities that are vital for the institution’s continued success,” Gordon says. “I look forward to engaging with this dedicated team to identify ways of improving our community and address the issues raised in the climate survey.”

 Some 6,000 students, faculty and staff participated in the survey. Formation of the Advisory Work Group on Staff Climate Matters was one of five recommendations presented by the University’s Climate Assessment Planning Committee and approved by Chancellor Kent Syverud as an outcome of the survey project.

 Advisory work group members are:

  • Rebecca Bostwick, managing director of the Lerner Center for Public Health Promotion in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs
  • Susan Dean, office coordinator in the Martin J. Whitman School of Management
  • Patrick Kelly, parking services technician in Parking & Transit Services
  • Amy Kennedy, academic advisor for the International Relations Program in the Maxwell School
  • Heather Ketcham, operations specialist in the physics department in the College of Arts and Sciences
  • Joseph Lee, director/general manager of WAER
  • Laura Marra, administrative assistant in the David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics
  • Joseph O’Connor, community services officer in the Department of Public Safety
  • Craig Powers, machine repair technician in Physical Plant
  • Pamela Peter, assistant dean and director of the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities in the Division of Enrollment and the Student Experience
  • Rob Pusch, interim director of the LGBT Resource Center

Syracuse University Community Invited to Help Make Holiday Season Brighter for Local Families

Photo: people wrapping gifts for holiday giving

The employee Holiday Sharing Program is again partnering with PEACE Inc.’s Adopt-a-Family Program and the Salvation Army’s Christmas Bureau to make the season brighter for local families. University departments and groups are invited to register now to participate in the program, which provides gifts, food, toys and more to families in need.

Visit the University’s Holiday Sharing website for full details on each program and to register your group or department to participate. The deadline for departments to sign up is Friday, Nov. 17. The online form to sign up for the program can be accessed here.Participation options through PEACE Inc. include purchasing gifts for an assigned family, providing a basket of household supplies or donating food. PEACE Inc. will assign families to participating departments. Individuals, departments or groups may also elect to donate food or toys to the Salvation Army. The items will be distributed at the organization’s annual Christmas Bureau event at ShoppingTown mall.

The Syracuse University Holiday Sharing program is voluntary. In 2016, 31 University departments participated in Holiday Sharing. Their efforts provided food and gifts for 28 families in the Syracuse region and an additional 10 baskets of food, toiletry items and grocery store gift cards.

Open Enrollment Has Ended – Don’t Forget Important Application Deadlines

Child Care Subsidy

The child care subsidy—$1,000 per child younger than age 6, up to a maximum of $2,000 per year—is available to eligible faculty and staff with gross household incomes of $100,000 or less. Applications [PDF] are due to Human Resources by Friday, Dec. 8.

Reduced Medical Contributions

Depending on an employee’s household size and income, reduced medical contributions are available through Schedule B. Learn more online and apply by Friday, Dec. 8.

Supplemental Life Insurance and Long-Term Disability

If you chose to enroll or increase your supplemental life insurance, please remember to complete your statement of health. If you chose to enroll in long-term disability insurance, please remember to complete your medical history statement [PDF].


Please visit the benefits website or contact the HR Service Center at 315.443.4042 or

Open Enrollment Ends Tomorrow: Don’t Miss Out

Tomorrow, Friday, Nov. 10, is the last day to make your benefit selections for 2018.

This is your opportunity to:

Learn more about your benefits at


Contact the HR Service Center at 315.443.4042 or

Learn About the Valuable Benefits Available to You

Open Enrollment is a good time to learn about the total rewards for working at Syracuse University. The following benefits are available all year long at no cost to you:

Carebridge Work-Life Resource

Through our Faculty and Staff Assistance Program partner, Carebridge, counselors are available anytime for confidential consultation, assessment, and referrals at no cost to you. Some of the helpful work-life benefits include financial experts, work-life services, counseling benefits and money management specialists.

Financial Planning Services

Your benefits provide you with free financial advice from a TIAA consultant to help you plan for your future. Call 855.842.CUSE (2873) to set up an appointment for personalized investing advice. You can adjust your contributions any time of year, but it’s easy during Open Enrollment because you make the changes through MySlice.

Will Preparation Services

If you already are enrolled in or are considering supplemental life insurance through MetLife, remember that with enrollment, you can take advantage of will preparation services at no cost.

Emergency Travel Assistance

Supplemental AD&D enrollees have access to a variety of travel concierge services, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year free of charge.


Visit the Open Enrollment website or contact the HR Service Center at 315.443.4042 or

Flexible Spending Account: A Great Way to Save Money

You can save hundreds of dollars in taxes through effective use of a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) for health or dependent care expenses–and WageWorks makes reimbursement easy. You must sign up during Open Enrollment to elect the FSA benefit and set your 2018 contribution level.

Learn more on the Open Enrollment website: Update your benefits online by logging into MySlice through Nov. 10.


Contact the HR Service Center at 315.443.4042 or

Nominations Sought for Advisory Work Group on Staff Climate Matters

Members of the University community are invited to nominate staff members for the Advisory Work Group on Staff Climate Matters, one of the accepted recommendations from the University’s Climate Assessment Planning Committee (CAPC). The deadline for submission is Monday, Nov. 6.

Learn About Excellus BlueCross BlueShield

Open Enrollment is a great time to learn more about the strengths and capabilities of Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, the Syracuse University medical plan administrator effective Jan. 1, 2018. The Upstate New York-based provider offers:

  • Dedicated, local customer service team that will deliver superior member support;
  • Comprehensive health management programs that ensure exceptional patient care;
  • Largest nationwide provider network;
  • 24/7 Nurse Line provides employees with free access to trained medical professionals around the clock; and
  • Comprehensive online and mobile resources.

Learn more on the Open Enrollment website. Update your benefits online by logging into MySlice through Nov. 10.


Contact the HR Service Center at 315.443.4042 or

Skills-Focused Professional Development Opportunities Available

Continuous learning is a hallmark of higher education. The Office of Human Resources is pleased to offer two upcoming professional development opportunities that will help build a skills portfolio vital to career advancement and personal growth.

Dependent Tuition Presentation Is Oct. 19

Benefits-eligible employees with children approaching college age can learn more about Syracuse University’s dependent tuition benefit at a presentation Thursday, Oct. 19, at noon in 304 Schine Student Center.

The presentation will provide an overview of the University’s three dependent tuition programs: SU Tuition Waiver, Cash Grant and Tuition Exchange. The brief presentation will be followed by time for questions and answers.

American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation and Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) will be available for each event. If you have requests for accessibility and accommodations, please contact the Equal Opportunity, Inclusion and Resolution Services (EOIRS) office at 315.443.4018.

There is no need to register, but those attending are encouraged to review the Dependent Tuition Benefits online. Employees also may want to review the University’s Dependent Tuition Benefit Policy. The deadline to apply for the dependent tuition benefit is Nov. 15, 2017.

If you have questions or would like more information, please contact the HR Service Center at 315.443.4042 or