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University leaders address staff questions in virtual town hall

“Every single one of you is playing a role in our recovery,” President Sarah Mangelsdorf said in recognition of the work of staff employees.

While the University of Rochester is seeing some positive indicators this summer as the institution deals with the coronavirus pandemic, President Sarah Mangelsdorf and other University leaders say that staff employees deserve the institution’s thanks for their sacrifices in the effort to recover from the pandemic and for helping address other important issues.

Speaking during a virtual meeting with about 2,400 staff employees, Mangelsdorf thanked staff employees for their commitment and dedication to the institution.

“I want you to know how much I appreciate your sacrifices,” Mangelsdorf said. “I sincerely wish we did not have to ask this of you. But as we all know, we are truly in unprecedented times.”

Video & transcript

A video recording (with captions) of the Leadership Update for University Staff is available online.
An accessible transcript (PDF) of the conversation can also be downloaded.

In an hour-long live-streamed panel discussion, Mangelsdorf and other leaders updated employees in issues such as the impact of furloughs and financial savings plans on staff, restart plans for the fall, opportunities for staff to have more voice in decisions that affect them, and steps the University is taking to address systemic issues that disadvantaged BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) employees face.

The panel addressed several of nearly 300 questions submitted by community members before and during the June 29 event.

“The senior leadership team and I are working hard to plan our path forward and every single one of you is playing a role in our recovery,” Mangelsdorf. said, noting that the health and safety of the University community will continue to guide decisions.

The event, which was recorded, was facilitated by Caterina Caiazza, director of career curriculum initiatives at the Gwen M. Greene Center for Career Education and Connections and cochair of the Genesee Staff Council.

In addition to Mangelsdorf, panelists included Mercedes Ramírez Fernández, vice president for equity and inclusion and chief diversity officer; Tony Kinslow, associate vice president for human resources and chief human resources officer; and Kathy Gallucci, vice president for human resources at the Medical Center and executive director of human resources for the University of Rochester.

Caiazza encouraged anyone whose question was not answered during the course of the program to contact the Office of Human Resources or the Office of Equity and Inclusion, depending on the nature of their question, for further information and resources.

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