The mission of the Staff Affairs Council (SAC) is to facilitate collaboration and communication between University leadership, faculty, and staff. The SAC recognizes the diversity of identities and roles held by staff across campus. It has the responsibility of advising the president and the cabinet on staff concerns, questions, and ideas and is responsible to report outcomes of these meetings back to the staff at large. The SAC is a resource to the president and University administrators to offer staff feedback on university affairs upon request. The council will work to identify inequities within the staff experience and elevate them to the appropriate department/division for resolution, and will intentionally consider how the work of the SAC impacts all staff across campus.


The objectives of the Staff Affairs Council are to:

  • Increase the sense of belonging, recognition, and value of staff members in their relationship to the University.
  • Identify staff concerns and propose recommendations.
  • Promote the development of inclusive policies aimed at retaining current staff members and attracting talented new staff members.
  • Integrate staff members more fully into University affairs while fostering a culture of mutual support, respect, and professionalism.


The Staff Affairs Council is an elected body composed of officers, division representatives, affinity representatives, non-voting liaisons, and at-large members. The council seeks representation across positional authority and employment category (exempt and non-exempt; part-time and full-time; supervisory and non-supervisory), and social identity. Elections are held in June. 

In addition to the mandates laid out in the draft charter and bylaws, the Staff Affairs Council will work closely with human resources and the cabinet.

2024–25 Staff Affairs Council Officers

  • Sue Burdick, Deputy Registrar; SAC Vice Chair for Governance and Representative for Provost & Dean of the Faculty
  • Andrew Diehl, Leadership Gifts Officer - Athletics Fundraising; SAC Exempt Co-Chair and Advancement Division Representative
  • Jill Dinski, Director of Operations for the Division of Finance & Administration; SAC Treasurer and Representative for Finance & Administration
  • Jasmine Kellogg, Associate Director for Internal Communications; SAC Vice Chair for Communications and Representative for University Communications
  • Helen Leonard, Data Coordinator - Alumni Relations; SAC Non-Exempt Co-Chair and LGBTQ+ Representative
  • Esther Rosbrook, Director of the ALANA Cultural Center; SAC Vice Chair for Membership and Representation and At-Large Representative
  • Mary Williams, Director of Environmental Health and Safety; SAC Secretary and At-Large Representative

2023–24 Committee and Working Group Membership

  • Communications (Jasmine Kellogg, Ahmad Khazaee, Helen Leonard, Mary Williams)
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (Nicole Carvell, Christine Moskell, Esther Rosbrook)
  • Family Care (Sue Burdick, Jill Dinski, Aurelius Henderson, Ahmad Khazaee, Jill LaRussa, Christine Moskell)
  • Membership and Representation (Nicole Carvell, Andrew Diehl, Jill Dinski, Aurelius Henderson, Ahmad Khazaee, Jill LaRussa)
  • Nominating (Sue Burdick, Bryan Klobucar, Tristan Leinen, Sarah Sparber, Lora Valentine)
  • Professional Development for Staff (Jill Dinski, Ahmad Khazaee, Tristan Leinen, Helen Leonard)
  • Staff Excellence Awards (Nicole Carvell, Jasmine Kellogg, Ahmad Khazaee, Helen Leonard)
  • Staff Morale and Campus Culture (Andrew Diehl, Aurelius Henderson, Sarah Sparber, Lora Valentine, Mary Williams)

Feedback for any of these groups can be sent directly to a member or can be submitted using the SAC comment / question form. Please be sure to note in your response if you would like it to be shared with a specific group.

Staff Excellence Awards

Nominated by fellow staff and faculty members, the Staff Excellence Awards are presented annually in the spring to recognize staff members who demonstrate outstanding achievement in Colgate’s commitment to fostering a creative and expansive learning community.

  • The Employee of the Year award is selected from among the recipients of the Individual Excellence Award and Outstanding Contribution Award.
  • The Individual Excellence award recognizes members of staff who demonstrate sustained outstanding achievement in one or more of the following areas: effective communication, creativity and innovation, leadership and teamwork, change management, diversity and inclusion and sustainability
  • The Outstanding Contribution award recognizes a member of staff for a single, outstanding achievement above and beyond their job responsibilities.
  • The Multi-Departmental Team Excellence award recognizes a group of staff members (multidepartmental and cross-functional) that demonstrates exceptional teamwork.
  • The Departmental Team Excellence award recognizes an internal, departmental team of staff members for exceptional work in support of the University.

This program applies to all full-time and part-time benefit-eligible staff members as well as casual wage employees. Vice presidents, members of the President's Cabinet, and academic faculty are ineligible for consideration. Library and athletic faculty, including coaches, are eligible for consideration.  

All employees are encouraged to nominate persons for recognition. Stories on recent past recipients can be found here: 20202022, 2023, 2024.

Contact Us

You may email any SAC representative directly with concerns, questions, or feedback. You may also send an email to staffaffairscouncil@colgate.edu. The SAC officers have access to this account and check it several times per week. If you wish to submit your concern anonymously you may do so here. Please note that you will be prompted to enter your Colgate credentials but your email address will not be recorded. 

Staff Affairs Council Mailing Lists

If you would like to receive updates from the SAC affinity group representatives, please sign up below. You are not limited to one affinity group.

Please note that your contact information will not be shared with anyone except the SAC representative affiliated with the affinity group(s) you sign up for.

This policy establishes guidelines for the support of the Staff Affairs Council (SAC) from the University. 

The SAC does not engage in issues of compensation and conditions of employment, but does offer recommendations on the experiences of staff members to the University, and in this way supports Colgate’s mission.  That being the case, the University has created the following policy to both enable and recognize the value of the work being done by the SAC. This policy will also facilitate conversations that will inevitably arise in balancing the demands of SAC members’ University jobs and their service on SAC.

This policy applies to all elected members of the Staff Affairs Council, including but not limited to its officers, upon the beginning of their service. It also applies to any employee appointed to the SAC filling a slot that would normally be held by someone elected to the position. All SAC members, as all employees, have a responsibility to comply with University policies, including state and federal law. Activities of the SAC and its elected members must likewise be consistent with University policy, and with state and federal law. 

This policy is specific to the SAC, and does not apply to staff serving on other University committees (see the Colgate Staff Handbook, Section V: Compensation, Acting/Temporary Pay/Extra Compensation).

SAC Paid Time Policy

  1. Colgate shall allow regular full-time and regular part-time employees serving as elected or specially appointed members of the SAC, whether hourly or salaried, to use a reasonable amount of paid work time (though not overtime) to attend SAC meetings and participate in SAC activities. Paid work time relating to the SAC should generally not exceed 48 hours in a year. Normally no more than five hours should be spent in any given week (though SAC members, particularly officers, may be able to exceed the weekly limit with permission of their supervisors.)
  2. Colgate will additionally allow regular full-time and regular part-time employees serving as named officers of the SAC (Co-Chair (Exempt), Co-Chair (Non-Exempt), Vice Chair: Governance, Vice Chair: Communication, Vice Chair: Membership and Representation; Secretary; Treasurer) to use an additional 24 hours a year, as may be required by their roles.
  3. When using work time to participate in SAC activities, employees shall request prior approval from their supervisor in order to allow departments to ensure adequate staff coverage. 
  4. Supervisors shall approve employee requested time for SAC participation unless the operational needs of the department cannot be readily met without the employee’s attendance during the requested time.
  5. Human resource officers are available as a support to the work of the SAC, including being available to help mediate disagreements between SAC members and their supervisors about hours devoted to SAC work, though SAC members should make every effort to resolve these directly first.
  6. Human resource officers are also available to support supervisors who experience challenges meeting the requirements of their departments or divisions while supporting employees who are SAC members.