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Support-staff group honors members, accomplishments

The MIT Working Group on Support Staff Issues held a special meeting on June 10 to honor several of its members, including the outgoing senior co-convener, Edward A. Jacobson, and to celebrate the group's accomplishments over the past year.

Mr. Jacobson, office administrator for MIT's Consortium on Financing Higher Education, received a Distinguished Service award for his two-year tenure as co-convener, and the incoming senior co-covener, Kate Schenck, administrative secretary in the President's Office, announced the appointment of Heather Mitchell, a senior secretary in the Energy Lab, to the junior co-convener position.

Three other members of the group received special acknowledgment: Margaret Ann Gray of Personnel, and Ronnie Beth Rump of the Human Resources reengineering team, for managing and facilitating the recent reorganization process, and Joan Farrell of Personnel for administrative support of the Working Group.

The meeting also included an interactive workshop on "Negotiating Job Flexibility," led by Kathy Simons of the Family Resource Center and Sharon Bridburg of the Office of the Dean of Students and Undergraduate Education.

During the past year, the Working Group developed a new mission statement to guide its efforts, and refined guidelines for membership and task groups to improve the identification and implementation of support staff programs. Membership in the group is open to MIT support and administrative staff members who wish to address issues of concern to the MIT community.

Some of the past recommendations of the Working Group that have been acted on by the MIT administration are revisions and improvements to the Retirement Plan; the creation of a "Tell Someone" brochure, a resource guide for identifying harassment and other problems; the Artists Behind the Desk series; and major input on the Spousal Equivalent Benefits for MIT employees. News about ongoing work can be found on the Working Group's web site at

The next meeting of the Working Group on Support Staff Issues will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 9 from noon-1:30pm in the Bush Room. Please contact Heather Mitchell at x3-9474 or for additional information.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on September 26, 1998.

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