SPAC Update

Vol. 5, No. 1 | November, 2009 


Note from the Chair |Service Professional Brown Bags | Adopt a Family Project | Conflict of Interest Policy Under Review | Service Professional Spotlight | Give to SPAC!

Note from the Chair

Dear Colleagues,

I’d like to take this opportunity to bring to your attention some information available on the SPAC website that may be useful to you.

Benefit Change Survey Results
Shortly after the news of benefits changes was made public, the question was raised whether SPAC should take an advocacy role on this issue. So, we developed a survey to solicit input from service professionals. We asked the following question:

Should the Service Professional Advisory Council advocate for President Haeger to consider ways by which NAU can continue to provide health insurance for those losing coverage: domestic partners, dependents of domestic partners, non-students 19-25, disabled dependent children 19 and above, and students age 23-25?

Of approximately 575 service professionals, 224 responded (39%). Of these, 187 said yes; 37 said no. We also gave service professionals the opportunity to offer suggestions and to include comments or concerns.

The full results of the survey are posted on the SPAC home page.  I have removed from the document those data rows that merely recorded a yes or no and offered neither suggestions nor comments. Thus, the attached document includes only those rows in which a vote was accompanied with additional feedback. The raw data are saved elsewhere and available if needed.

Compassionate Leave Requests
If you are in need of compassionate leave, or if you know someone else who is, we have added to our home page information about the processes and forms involved. As always, our colleagues in Human Resources are the best sources for answers to questions you might have, but we thought adding a link here would reinforce the availability of this potential solution to a difficult situation.

Arizona Board of Regents
Last month, President Haeger visited with SPAC to explain the relationship between NAU and the Arizona Board of Regents. At the bottom of the left-hand corner of our home page, we have a link to the ABOR web site. I encourage you to check the site periodically; particularly, when meeting agendas are posted (the next meeting is at the U of A on December 3–4). There is no better way to stay abreast of the issues and initiatives involving higher education in Arizona. I know it can sometimes feel as though it’s one Big Surprise after another, but, in fact, the ABOR site gives us a heads up as to what’s coming.

In closing, I hope you will find our newsletter and our website useful.

Yours in Service,

Tom Carpenter, Chair
Service Professional Advisory Council


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Service Professional Brown Bag Discussions


All employees are welcome to attend the upcoming Brown Bag discussions.  Bring your lunch, and stay tuned for upcoming topics.

Staying Engaged in Unsettling Times
Date: Tuesday, November 17, 2009, Noon to 1:00pm
Presented by: Marcia Warden and Matt Tantau
Location: Extended Campuses True Blue Room

NAU's Culture of Sustainability
Date: Wednesday, February 17, 2010, Noon to 1:00pm
Presented by: Heather Farley
Location: ARD Large Pod Conference Room

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Adopt a Family -- Learn How You Can Help!

Last year SPAC decided to participate in the Adopt-A-Family project to make the holidays just a little bit brighter for two families in need. The project was such a rewarding success we have decided to participate again. This year we will be partnering with The W. A. Franke College of Business and the College of Health and Human Services. With these partners, we should be able to provide five families with gifts of holiday joy.

Several of the local schools will be providing us with holiday requests for the needy families. Once we have the families, we will be posting on our website their needs such as clothing, toys, and baskets of food or gift certificates to local grocery stores.

We will send an email before Thanksgiving explaining how you can participate in making the holiday season brighter for five Flagstaff families.  


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Conflict of Interest Policy Under Review

Conflict of interest (COI) issues in academic research have come under increased scrutiny over the past few years. Last year, the Arizona Auditor General’s performance audit of technology transfer highlighted NAU’s lack of policy and procedures with respect to COI in research matters. The university must take appropriate actions to respond to these findings. This policy may also apply to YOU!

The Office of the Vice President for Research has primary responsibility for identifying and managing COI.  Dr. Laura Huenneke (VP-Research) has identified several problematic areas across the NAU community: multiple definitions of conflict, multiple existing forms for disclosure, and the lack of established mechanisms and practices of handling COI issues. She has called together a campus-wide working group to develop a comprehensive policy for NAU, including representatives from administration, sponsored projects, purchasing, faculty, service professionals, and classified staff.

As a first step to demonstrate progress in addressing the Auditor General’s concerns, an interim policy on requiring “disclosure of financial interests for investigators submitting proposals for external funding” became effective September 15, 2009. She is requesting comments, feedback, and reactions from affected constituencies (including service professionals and faculty) on this interim policy before it is finalized this semester.

This interim policy is posted online at COI POLICY 9-15-09 FINAL.pdf

Your input is critical!  Consider the following questions as you read through the policy:

  1. How is this policy likely to be perceived?
  2. Does the background and purpose sound compelling and sufficient?
  3. Does the process and the response to any disclosures sound workable and fair?

Please take a few minutes to review the 4-page document and send your feedback directly to MaryLynn Quartaroli ( or 523-1026) no later than November 17, 2009.


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Service Professional Spotlight: John Michael Acedo, Jr.

John Michael Acedo, Jr.“All my life I’ve always been involved in communities that I’ve lived in.”

John Michael Acedo, Jr., Director of the Office of Community Engagement in the College of Education has found a career “home” doing what comes naturally to him…providing positive learning experiences for students and adults.

Beginning in August, 2008, John’s primary responsibilities include planning and directing COE’s Summer Enrichment Program and a Weekend Enrichment Program (during the academic year).  But his connection with NAU has been much longer. John has been continuously involved with SEP since its beginning in 1999, while he was a NAU undergraduate student in music education (‘04), working as a teaching assistant, RA, and tech specialist for multiple sessions of the week-long, residential educational program. Even after graduation, he was the SEP Residence Hall Coordinator during his summer vacations from teaching 4th-8th grade general music and choir in the Alhambra Elementary District.


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Give to SPAC!

Contributions to the Service Professional Advisory Council will help support initiatives to advance Service Professional communication, development, and involvement. To find out how to give, visit the NAU Foundation:

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