May TUSS News for Staff

The Towson University Staff Senate (TUSS) is the advocate body for all university staff employees. All TU staff are general members of the senate and are encouraged to attend meetings. Meeting agendas and minutes are posted to TUSS SharePoint. 

Highlights from the recent TUSS Meeting 

  • West Village 1 and 2: New names are going through final approval channels. Hoping to announce new names before the end of the fiscal year. 
  • Budget: TU received approximately 16.5% of USM’s additional funds. TU is working on plans to distribute it, likely targeting financial aid for incoming transfer students. We are starting discussions about FY2024. 
  • Commencement: Volunteer opportunities are available at 
  • Performance reviews: The process officially kicks off May 31, to be completed by the end of June. Support supervisors by actively participating in getting your review completed. 
  • Pay: The Chancellor’s pay guidelines were received. More information will be coming regarding pay structure, COLA and merit. 
  • Procurement: Reach out to Joselyn Johnson ( for urgent procurement questions and help. 
  • Leadership: Dr. Steve Eigenbrot (Director of Athletics) and Dr. Boyd Bradshaw (VP Enrollment Management) introduced themselves, including comments on their goals/vision in their roles. 
  • STRATUS: TU is replacing PeopleSoft Financials with a new cloud-based system. July 11, 2022, is planned go-live date. TU will close out FY22 in PeopleSoft. Business processes will change campus-wide. Staff members are encouraged to pull annual reports out of PeopleSoft as soon as they are available in preparation of the eventual cutover. FY23 will be handled exclusively in STRATUS. For project updates, newsletters and FAQs, go to 
  • TechHelp: A more user-friendly TechHelp is being developed, which will also track projects and provide a Knowledge Base. Target launch date is June 13, 2022. 
  • eFax: The eFax project to digitize the fax functions on campus is coming along. 125 traditional fax machines are being phased out.  
  • Policy review: The TUSS Personnel and Policy Review Committee reviewed revisions to the policy on Time, Place and Manner for Expressive Activities as requested by University General Counsel. 
  • TUSS Executive Board Terms: Senators discussed term lengths for TUSS Executive Board members and will vote on a By-Laws change in a future meeting.
  • TUSS Election: We are pleased to announce the newly elected senators who begin their terms in July 2022: 
  • At-Large Exempt: Brian Jara 
  • At-Large Exempt: Felicity Knox 
  • At-Large Exempt: Bethany Pace 
  • At-Large Non-Exempt: Edwin Todd 
  • Contingent: Kristin Pinkowski 
  • Administration and Finance Non-Exempt: Deniz Erman 
  • Executive Exempt: Keiwana Perryman 
  • Operations and Human Resources Non-Exempt: Siobhan Keplinger 
  • Student Affairs Non-Exempt: Karen Gempp 
  • Student Affairs Exempt: Adam Melfa 
  • University Advancement Non-Exempt: Barbara Czajkowski
  • USM: USM Board of Regents have appointed Dr. Carolyn Ringer Lepre as the tenth president of Salisbury University. 
  • Library Access: Construction of the Academic Commons continues. For more information about the project, including a mock-up of the space, see Academic Commons website. 
  • USM Women’s Forum Staff Development Award: The application deadline for these professional development funds is June 15. See 
  • Reminders: 
  • Affinity groups are ways to connect with other staff and faculty. Learn more at 
  • USM training is posted at . 
  • Next TUSS meeting is June 15, 2022. Send agenda items to before June 7, please. 


Top Tiger 

Join us in congratulating Top Tiger Award recipients: 

  • Dr. Alessandra “Alex” Pieraccini – Assistant Director, Clinical Director for the Counseling Center 
  • Dr. Abram Fox – Coordinator for the Honors College  

TU faculty, staff and students can nominate TU staff members for a Top Tiger award by submitting the Top Tiger Nomination Form 

Mark Your Calendar 

TUSS Meeting: June 15, 2022, 1 p.m.
Zoom Direct Link:
Meeting ID: 987 0275 2003
Passcode: TUSSZoom 

Notify by Monday before the meeting if you need to attend in person, please. 

Faculty and Staff Appreciation Picnic: NEW DATE: June 23, 2022, 3-7 p.m.
Join colleagues for carnival-themed fun, food, games, and prizes as we celebrate you and all you do at TU. Find out more and RSVP at 

Senator Spotlight 

This month features At-Large Exempt Senator, LaVern Chapman, who works in the Office of Inclusion & Institutional Equity. 

What is your department and what does your position entail? 
The Office of Inclusion & Institutional Equity (OIIE) provides a variety of educational venues in discrimination and Title IX; diversity, equity, and inclusion; accessibility & disability; and hate crimes and bias for faculty, staff, and students. Our office is comprised of the Accessibility & Disability Services (ADS) which provides accommodations and services to students with disabilities; the Center for Student Diversity (CSD) which is predominantly student focused, provides advocacy and support for underrepresented and marginalized populations; Compliance where Title IX, hate/bias, and discrimination investigations are conducted, and Education & Training. We also oversee seven faculty & staff affinity groups, Dialogue @TU in collaboration with the Provost’s Office, the Diversity Strategic Plan, and the President’s Inclusive Leadership Institute. 

My role is coordinating and managing the President’s Inclusion Leadership Institute and Faculty & Staff Affinity Groups, facilitating DEIJ workshops, conducting DEI sessions related to faculty/staff searches, and Affirmative Action (AA) reporting. Additionally, I represent OIIE on internal and external councils including the Residency Committee and Council of University System Staff (CUSS). 

What do you enjoy the most about your job?
I like championing strategy and culture. I am invested in the university’s mission, so meeting people (staff, students, faculty, alumni, and more), hearing and assessing their needs helps me look for ways to provide options and opportunities to make an impact. To achieve the benefits of DEIJ, there should be inclusive recruiting, hiring, retention, and promotions. Ultimately, I enjoy creating space for workshops, training, and advocacy to achieve these benefits. DEIJ touches every aspect of university life, personal lives, culture and intersects with all constituents on and off campus. Subsequently, having the space to continually learn, educate others of the business case for DEIJ is gratifying. Working with a supportive, knowledgeable, and fun supervisor and team is the proverbial icing on the DEIJ cake. 

Why did you decide to get involved with the TUSS? 
I was looking for opportunities to connect with colleagues across campus and learn from their experiences. As a result, my interest in TUSS grew with wanting to advocate for and advance the needs and interests of staff, as well as gain a better understanding of university organization and functions. Ultimately, making recommendations that have a direct impact on staff was important to me. 

What do you do to relax?
I LOVE to read mystery and historical novels and watch “film noire” movies. If I do these things near the water, it just adds to the total relaxation! 

If you could have any one skill or talent that you don’t already have, what would it be?
Architectural skills because of the problem solving, analytical, and creative aspects. When you look at some structures around the globe, you have to wonder, ”how is that building still erect – it’s defying the laws of gravity?” or “who conceived that idea and why?” I find it fascinating. 

What’s one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
Although I wanted to teach high school (and did for while), I also had an interest in media. So, I auditioned for a weekend radio opportunity and did a stint as a weekend commentator.   


Please visit the website for more information about TUSS, details about upcoming meetings, the list of senators, and details about staff awards: 

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This post was written by Karp, Robert J.