December 2014: Vol. 2, No. 4

Council News

Call for SAC Officer Nominations

February 27, 2015

SAC Officer Elections Opens

April 17, 2015

The Council has formed an ad hoc Constitution Review committee. The Committee meets on the first Wednesday of every month from 1:30-2:30pm in Adelbert M3 for all who are interested.

Community Service Committee News

Thank you to all university and community members who supported the SAC Basket Raffle held in conjunction with the November Health Benefits Fair. $6,000 in proceeds were donated to two charities: Seeds of Literacy and the American Heart Association (in honor of Robin Kramer). These funds could not have been raised without your help and continued support. Please enjoy this presentation of the basket winners.

Communications Committee News

The Communications Committee has divided University staff members into constituencies for our elected members. Each member has an email alias that will allow them to send pertinent information to their constituencies as requested by the SAC Chair. This serves to keep open the lines of communication between schools and their elected representatives. If you are not currently assigned to an elected SAC representative in your area, please contact

Staff Training and Development Committee News

The Staff Training & Development Committee of the Staff Advisory Council would like to extend our most sincere thanks to everyone who donated to and/or participated in our October 3rd Steps 4 Staff fundraiser walk!  This year's we collected an impressive $550 for the Staff Educational Enhancement Fund! In addition, the Office of Administration matched our fundraising efforts for a grand total of $1,100! This has a great impact on staff development within the University and we are grateful for the continuous support from the entire university for staff who choose to further their education.


This newsletter is published by the Communications Committee of the Staff Advisory Council. To provide comments/feedback,

Committee Highlight: Staff Policy

Suggesting, commenting and providing feedback on issues related to policies that may affect staff

The concept of “shared governance” is what drives the SAC Staff Policy Committee. The committee works closely with Human Resources Department to collaborate by “suggesting, commenting and providing feedback on issues related to policies that may affect staff”, thereby giving voice to employees of the institution. While a comprehensive list of committee initiatives/resolutions can be found on the SAC website (, some recent highlights include:

  • Endorsement of Benefits Equity for LGBTQ employees
  • Collaboration with the SAC Fringe Benefits Committee to increase the university tuition reimbursement benefit
  • Recent proposal: that the university create an Ombudsman position at CWRU

One does NOT need to be an elected member of SAC to participate in committee meetings. Staff are invited to participate in the monthly SAC Staff Policy Committee meetings occur on the third Thursday from 4:00pm-5:00pm in the Astronomy Conference room in Sears Hall, 5th floor. Questions? Email co-chairs: Karen Romoser ( or Johnny Sams (

Member Highlight: Karen Romoser

Champion for the cause with a passion for equity

picture of Karen Romoser

Karen Romoser is an activist at heart. A consummate learner, Karen says that she has a passion for equity, and she champions causes she believes in. When asked how this deep sense of morality and fairness developed, Karen mentions that her dad was a college professor who moved his family from the northern United States to areas in the South where things were just different.

Not long after joining the Case Western Reserve family eight years ago in Information Technology/ Enrollment Operations, she has immersed herself in helping to make a difference at Case through her involvement in the SAC Policy Committee, which she now co-chairs. She is quick to encourage people to get involved and believes that bringing new voices to the table is a surefire way to ensure that everyone’s concerns are heard and to effect change when necessary to address those concerns.

Karen’s memory fondly recalls a Staff Advisory Council meeting in which she witnessed a transformation in one of her fellow representatives. Someone who had traditionally been quiet and reluctant to speak out “found her voice” in a discussion. Karen is a firm believer that “No one should be afraid to say what they think when they believe something could be done a better way.”

Karen holds a degree in biology from Oberlin College, and is a couple of courses shy of earning her MBA from the University of Findlay. Karen loves horses and has a part-time job at a local horse farm.

Thank you, Karen, for your passion, conviction, and your tireless work to make CWRU a better place!

Fringe Benefits Highlight: Greater Circle Living

The Staff Advisory Council Newsletter will now include a regular column, Fringe Benefits Highlight. As part of the new series, there will also be a short survey designed to gauge staff members’ experiences and solicit input regarding fringe benefits available at CWRU.

The Greater Circle Living program offers a housing financial assistance benefit for CWRU employees who are looking to move to, or already live in, homes or apartments in the University Circle area.

There is a short survey at the end of this report to gauge your personal experiences and solicit input regarding the Greater Circle Living program. Please take a couple minutes to respond to the survey. Your responses are valuable to us in determining your benefit needs.

Greater Circle Living: What benefits are available through the Greater Circle Living program? CWRU employees may receive a one-time only program benefit in one of the following forms. Please note that these benefits are taxable.

  1. Home Purchase Assistance
    A forgivable loan of $20,000 – with an additional $10,000 available to employees based on household income ("Working Families Supplement") to apply towards the down payment of a primary residence within the specified geographic area.
  2. Rental Assistance
    A one-month rental reimbursement of up to $1,400 for designated apartment buildings in the specified geographic area.
  3. Homeowner Exterior Home Repair Assistance
    A grant up to $8,000 for exterior renovations to an existing primary residence in the specified geographic area; all renovations (which include landscaping) must be done to the front of the structure or property.

Who is eligible to receive the program’s benefits? Generally, all Benelect-eligible CWRU employees are eligible to receive a one-time program benefit. Additional eligibility criteria exist for the exterior home repair assistance benefit. Candidates who have received and accepted employment offers from CWRU can also be eligible for certain benefits. Employees not eligible to participate in Benelect may be eligible for the Working Families Supplement. Please note that eligibility for a benefit does not guarantee that an employee's application for a program benefit will be approved. View program eligibility details.

Please take a minute to complete the short survey on your use of and experiences with the Greater Circle Living program.

Did you know?

The following are applicable to all staff members:

Benelect Open Enrollment

Benelect Open Enrollment confirmation statements for 2015 are now available online through the PeopleSoft HCM system. To access the 2015 Benelect Open Enrollment confirmation statement, log into HCM, then navigate through Self Service to the benefits enrollment system. A link titled Print Open Enrollment Confirmation Form will be at the bottom of the text. Please contact Benefits Administration at 216.368.6781 or by Dec. 17 if any errors are discovered.

Seeking Donations

The Staff Advisory Council (SAC) once again will collect and make items for homeless men, women and children and donate the items to the Care Alliance Health Center in Cleveland. Hats, scarves, socks and gloves will be accepted by Kathleen Dowdell at the Department of Anthropology in Mather Memorial Building, Room 238, or by Kathleen O’Linn at the reception desk at the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing. The Crafters @ Case, a needlework group led by Brinn Omabegho in the School of Medicine, will donate handmade warm winter items. The group will accept donations of yarn, money and store coupons (Pat Catan’s, JoAnn Fabrics or Michael’s) to aid this cause. Donations will be accepted through December 18th.

Telephone Upgrades

On Wednesday, January 7, 2015, Information Technology Services (ITS) will upgrade the university’s telephone and voicemail systems. The upgrade will occur after the close of business and will ensure the ongoing reliability of our voice communication tools. Action is required for voicemail users before and after the upgrade. For complete details, see this recent announcement in The Daily:

Loaner CWRU ChromeBooks Support Data Privacy when Traveling 

When it comes to traveling internationally with computer devices containing yet-unpublished research data or other private information, the University Compliance Office and CWRU Information Security Office urge you to “travel clean.” Consider leaving at home devices containing research data or other sensitive information which may be vulnerable to loss, theft, or export-licensing-related considerations.

The University Compliance Office and CWRU Information Security Office have partnered to make clean ChromeBooks (laptops containing no hard drive) available for loan to individuals travelling abroad on CWRU business. The ChromeBooks are integrated with CWRU’s Google Apps services, and are available for loan from Kelvin Smith Library on a first-come, first-served basis. Visit the Circulation Desk to check one out.

If you are unsure about any data or materials you plan to bring as you travel abroad, call Lisa Palazzo, Director of Export Control and Privacy Management, 368-5791, or Boyd Kumher, University Chief Compliance, Export Control & Privacy Officer, 368-0833, or email  If you have questions regarding information security, call Tom Siu, Chief Information Security Officer, 368-6959, or email

Google Drive storage now unlimited for Case Western Reserve users

Google Drive for Education now offers unlimited storage to university students, staff and faculty members, as well as alumni and active affiliates. With Drive, users may access files from the nearest smartphone, tablet or Web browser, and upload individual files as large as 5 terabytes in size. The unlimited storage also applies to Google Apps Mail (, Google+ and Google Sites.

At Case Western Reserve, Drive may be used to store Public and Internal Use Information. It may not be used to store Restricted Information. Examples of Restricted Information include:

  • Legal investigations conducted by the university
  • Clinical research information associated with identified research subjects
  • Social security numbers associated with a person's name
  • Driver’s license numbers associated with a person’s name
  • Credit card transaction data and CVV numbers

For additional examples of restricted data, read the Information Security policy pertaining to Google Apps.

No individual action is required to take advantage of the unlimited storage. Access the storage by downloading the Drive mobile app from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. Want to learn more about using Drive? Navigate to LinkedIn Learning and type “Google Drive” into the search field or contact the ITS Service Desk at 216.368.HELP (4357).

SAC General Council Minutes

Minutes are posted on the SAC Website (read the 10/24/2014 minutes). All staff are invited to attend General Council Meetings. The 2014-2015 meeting schedule is as follows:

  • February 27, 2015, 10:00-11:30, Toepfer Room
  • April 17, 2015, 10:00-11:30, Toepfer Room
  • June 12, 2015, 10:00-11:30, Toepfer Room
  • August 14, 2015, 10:00-11:30, Toepfer Room

Upcoming Events

Crafters @ Case Sale - Tuesday, December 16, 2014, 11am-1pm, in the Biomedical Research Building lobby

SEEF Bake Sale Fundraiser - Friday, February 13, 2015, 9:00am-1:30pm (3 locations: Biomedical Research Building, Tomlinson, and Peter B. Lewis lobbies)