March 27, 2015

Feature articles

March Forum meeting focused on shared governance, campus decision-making

In the wake of the UNC Board of Governors' recent decision to close the Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity, the Employee Forum debated what role staff should have in shared governance. Professor Stephen Leonard, chair of the Faculty Assembly, and Izaak Earnhardt,  member of the BOG Democracy Coalition, led the discussion. To read more about the meeting, head over to the University Gazette website

Photograph courtesy of Jackie Overton.

Staff spotlight: Forum recognizes administrative professionals

This month's staff spotlight is dedicated to acknowledging our hardworking administrative professionals. We've profiled a few of our outstanding department administrators here so you have an opportunity to get to know them a little better. Please remember to mark your calendar for Administrative Professionals Day on April 22, and thank your department administrator for all the work they do behind …

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Employee Forum seeks nominees to run in 2015 elections

If you’d like to learn more about how the University works, run for office to become an Employee Forum delegate. Delegates have reported that serving on the Forum is one of the best experiences of their University careers. Nominated staff employees (EPA non-faculty and SPA) should expect to commit eight hours a month over a two year period, which counts as worktime. Prospective candidates should consult with their supervisors about this expectation before standing for office. Please nominate yourself or someone else for a delegate position here.

Peer Recognition Awards call for nominations

 The Employee Forum will honor UNC-CH permanent full-or part-time staff members in the following categories: Back Office Activity, Big Buddy, Call of Duty, Congeniality, Customer Service, Rookie, Self-Improvement, and Unsung Heel. The deadline to nominate is April 15, 2015. Winners will receive a small monetary gift and a signed certificate at the annual Peer Recognition Awards Ceremony. For full descriptions of the awards categories and to submit a nomination, please go to http://employeeforum.unc.edu/peer-recognition-awards-2/

Photograph courtesy of Charles Streeter.

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

The Employee Forum reaffirmed its commitment to creating a safe and inclusive campus at its March meeting. The body unanimously adopted Resolution 15-01 Concerning Sexual Assault and Harassment. The resolution calls on a number of university departments to increase prevention-based training, to evaluate the effectiveness of the current online, web-based training and to "support the imposition of strong and appropriate sanctions for perpetrators" of sexual violence and harassment. 

The Employee Forum joins other university departments and organizations in recognizing April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month. In order to raise awareness about sexual violence and its prevention, a coalition of campus organizations is hosting events throughout the month. The full calendar is available at http://saam.web.unc.edu/.

Additional resources for reporting, training and support can be found at the redesigned Safe at UNC website, http://safe.unc.edu/

Save the dates: New 2015 book club selections announced

The Employee Forum book club is pleased to announce that we will continue with new selections through February 2016. All book club meetings will take place at Bulls Head Book Shop on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus. Lunch will be provided with registration, which is free to all UNC staff. Check back in coming months for more details and registration for …

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Staff, faculty learn about social media at co-sponsored event

This past month, the Association for Women Faculty and Professionals and the Employee Forum collaborated on a lunch-time workshop to educate the campus on how to use social media. The seminar, titled "Facebook, LinkedIn and Your Personal Brand," was led by Journalism graduate student Andrea Patino. 

Patino focused her presentation on the ways that personal brands can be developed and used online to convey a sense of professionalism and attract employers or collaborators. 

The event was organized by Susanna Trotter, an undergraduate student and APPLES intern, and Public Relations and Communications Committee chair Kathryn Turner. If you are interested in learning more about social media, consider signing up for our next workshop, "Social Media Best Practices."

Photograph courtesy of Susanna Trotter.

Careers in Higher Education Panel Recap

As part of a new initiative by its Education and Career Development Committee (ECDC), the Employee Forum hosted its first-annual “Careers in Higher Education Administration Panel” on March 18, 2015. Current staff, graduate students, and undergraduates were invited to attend and learn about the professional pathways, day-to-day responsibilities, and career insight …

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Carolina Community Garden celebrates 5 year anniversary

Volunteers weed and harvest cabbage, collards, turnip greens, Swiss chard, lettuce, spinach and kale at a recent Carolina Community Garden workday. Photograph courtesy of Clare Lorch, Community Garden and Education Coordinator (clorch@email.unc.edu).

April 1, 2015 Employee Forum meeting agenda now posted

UNC-Chapel Hill Employee Forum Agenda 9:15 a.m. Pleasants Family Assembly Room, Wilson Library NOTE:  This is a draft agenda and is subject to change without advance notice. I. Call to Order & Opening Remarks—Chair Charles Streeter  (9:15 a.m. - 9:20 a.m.) Open call for announcements and questions for the end of the meeting II. Welcome to Guests & Members of …

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Forum asks staff to consider giving to 2015 Faculty-Staff Campaign

This year, the Employee Forum agreed to be the home for the Carolina Family Scholarship Fund, an income-based program that allows Carolina faculty and staff the opportunity to apply for scholarships for their dependents. However, we are in need of funds in order to sustain and grow the program. We ask that you consider giving what you can to this worthwhile program.

Administered by Carolina Annual Giving, the Faculty-Staff Campaign enables UNC employees to support any part of the University. Be it for an area that has had a particular impact on your life or just something you have a special affinity for, rest assured that your gift will be much appreciated—and much needed.

Faculty and staff can join the campaign by completing the employee gift form. You can give via payroll deduction, check, credit card, stock or bank draft. Opportunities include programs designed to directly benefit Carolina faculty and staff, such as the Carolina Family Scholarship Fund, the Carolina Campus Community Garden and the Sustainability Seed Fund.

UNC Board of Trustees requests input on Saunders Hall renaming

The UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees asks the campus community to submit thoughts and ideas about a request to rename Saunders Hall and the larger question of fully understanding the University’s 221-year-old history.

This outreach is part of the trustees’ months-long effort to seek input from the Carolina community. In May 2014, the board welcomed the opportunity to hear students’ concerns about Saunders Hall. Trustees explained the University’s current naming policy and committed to follow up that has since included researching the issues and gathering facts. Trustees have listened to a wide range of interested people – current and former campus leaders, alumni, student groups, faculty, historians and policy experts – during hundreds of conversations.

All submissions are subject to disclosure since UNC-Chapel Hill is a public institution. Submissions will be accepted through April 25, 2015 at http://bot.unc.edu/comments/.

National High School Ethics Bowl looking for UNC staff volunteers

The Parr Center of Ethics is hosting the third annual National High School Ethics Bowl (NHSEB) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on April 10-11, 2015. Twenty-one teams from across the country and one team from Canada will compete for two days for the National championship. This is our largest National bowl to date!

We need your help! Specifically, we rely on our community members to volunteer as judges, moderators, and staff. As a volunteer, you would be ensuring the success of the NHSEB and playing a crucial role in helping students understand complex ethical issues.

 I hope you will consider serving as a judge, moderator, or general volunteer for one or two days on April 10-11, 2015. Please send a confirmation email if you would like to participate to Katelin Kaiser, kskaiser@unc.edu, with your full name and professional title. Additionally, since one day of the event does happen on a Friday, employees would be allowed to use their community service time since this event qualifies as community service under HRs policies, procedures, & systems.

 About the NHSEB:

The NHSEB brings together high school ethics bowl teams from across North America—18 states, the District of Columbia, and Manitoba, Canada—for two days of intensive examination and discussion of pressing ethical issues. Participating in ethics bowl develops students' intellectual abilities and capacities, deepens their ethical understanding, and reinforces their sense of ethical commitment. For more information about the National High School Ethics Bowl, please visit http://nhseb.unc.edu/

Photograph courtesy of Rachael McClain.

Input requested for UNC's Strategic Sustainability Plan

This is your chance to provide input on sustainable transportation options. Learn more about how you can participate at sustainability.unc.edu/ssp.

How to check whether you are impacted by the Anthem Data Breach

Some UNC employees are concerned about the recent Anthem Data Breach. Those who were impacted will receive notices in the mail that offer a free credit reporting and monitoring service for two years. For more information on the data breach, go to www.shpnc.org/newsRoom/news_20150226.aspx.

Tax Preparation available at State Employees’ Credit Union

Since 2008, State Employees’ Credit Union (SECU) has helped members and taxpayers in North Carolina save almost $50 million in tax preparation fees! If you haven’t participated before, take a look at the options to see if SECU can save you money! The Credit Union has two tax preparation programs available, along with a self-service online option; the cost, if any, will depend on your program eligibility.

 Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) – Through this IRS-sponsored program, SECU tax preparers can complete and electronically file your basic tax return free of charge! To qualify for this program, your household income must be $53,000 or less and all of your tax documents must be within the tax law scope of the program.

 SECU’s Low-Cost Tax Preparation Program – Members who do not qualify for free tax preparation through VITA may be eligible for the low-cost program at a flat fee of $75.

 Members interested in completing their own taxes may utilize TurboTax® at a discounted price through SECU's website, www.ncsecu.org

Tax preparation services for the 2014 tax year are available in all SECU locations through April 15th.  Contact your local branch for more information.

State Health Plan enrollment system change 

On June 1, 2015 the State Health Plan will change to Aon Hewitt, a new Eligibility and Enrollment Services partner. This transition will require no change for most members, however some members will be required to take action. The new system mandates that some member provide the social security numbers of their dependents. Click here for more information on the new Enrollment System change

Find out more about Worksite Wellness programs

Worksite wellness programs focus on health and safety, but also provide so much more. You and your co-workers could make a program that fits your specific needs. For more information on Worksite Wellness, click here 

YMCA offers UNC employees membership discount, summer camp enrollment

UNC employees can receive 50 percent off the fee to join the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Y through April 17, 2015. In addition, employees get 10 percent off monthly membership rates.

The YMCA is currently enrolling children in their Summer Day Camp program. The YMCA offers financial assistance for programs based on need and availability. For more information or to register for camp, visit www.YMCATriangle.org or stop by the Y.


Upcoming Events

Employee Forum sponsors two Notary Public certificate courses

The Employee Forum is sponsoring two Notary Public certificate courses this spring. Registration for both classes is available through Connect Carolina. Click on Self-Service, Training Enrollment, and search for the courses below to get full course descriptions and enroll. 

Notary Public Certification
April 15, 2015 (8 hour course) at Administrative Office Building

This course prepares participants to be certified in the state of North Carolina as a Notary Public, and it includes specific instruction as to: requirements and qualifications for this office; General power and limitations of the office; oaths and affirmations; and depositions and affidavits.

Electronic Notary
April 29, 2015 (4 hour course) at Administrative Office Building

You must be commissioned as a Notary to attend this class. This course prepares participants to be certified in the state of North Carolina as an Electronic Notary, and it includes specific instruction as to: requirements and qualifications for this office; General power and limitations of the office; oaths and affirmations; and depositions and affidavits.

Join us for Social Media Best Practices

All faculty and staff are welcome to join us for a workshop titled "Social Media Best Practices." The workshop will be led by Lu Wu, a graduate student in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. The workshop is free with registration. Most everyone wants to stay connected with students, coworkers and friends, and social media allows us to connect, …

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Book Club: Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

UNC staff are invited to join the Employee Forum book club on April 30, 2015 from 12pm-1pm at Bulls Head Book Shop. We will discuss the book Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides. The book can be purchased at a special discount online here or in the store at Bulls Head Book Shop. Lunch will be provided with registration. Please email employeeforum@unc.edu …

Read more.

Connect Carolina user groups address special topics

Connect Carolina users are invited to attend any of the newly launched user group meetings. These monthly meetings are designed to dive into special topics and seek feedback on system enhancements from participants. A full list of topics and meetings is available at http://ccinfo.unc.edu/user-groups/.

State Health Plan to host retirement health plan infosessions

You're invited to attend a State Health Plan informational session regarding how to maximize your health plan options in retirement.  The State Health Plan is holding these informational sessions to help with your planning. Please note that these sessions are designed for people who are approaching 65 in the next year or are working beyond age 65 and planning retirement, and for those who are already retired and approaching 65. For a list of the sessions, go to www.shpnc.org/PreRetiree/

Anne Litwin to speak on the "New Rules for Women"

Dr. Anne Litwin, author of the recently published New Rules for Women, reveals how the masculine, hierarchical culture of many organizations creates special challenges for women at all levels: executives, managers, and employees. These challenges cause major frustration for many women, damage working relationships and friendships, derail women leaders, and prevent women from bringing their best talents forward in the service of the organization. Her practical and interactive presentation focuses on tips, tools and exercises that will give women ways to push back on negative stereotypes, reclaim parts of the workplace experience that have been misunderstood and devalued, and work together to change workplace cultures to be more inclusive.  Male participants will gain new insight about how to avoid problem-causing behaviors and be more supportive colleagues and leaders. She offers powerful solutions and tools that result in better relationships and communication foreveryone in the workplace.

There will be two opportunities to hear Dr. Litwin speak: 

• March 31 lunch talk, 11:45-12:15, Hitchcock Room in the Stone Center; lunch provided, RSVP required (http://tinyurl.com/klrftmg)

• March 31 keynote: 3:30-4:30, Kirkland Auditorium, Koury Oral Health Sciences Bldg, reception to follow

What Is the Future of #Altac?: A Public Lecture by Dr. Brenda Bethman

With full-time, tenure-track jobs increasingly scarce, more Ph.D.’s are going into #altac (alternative academic) positions. As a result, altac professionals are becoming essential personnel upon whom universities and faculty rely; however, it is not always clear what the role of Ph.D.-credentialed #altac staff is (or should be) within the university and what value they bring to the research and teaching missions. This talk will examine the role of #altac staff and suggest strategies for how universities can better understand the contributions of this cohort and support them. The talk will take place on April 9, 2015 from 5:00 p.m.-6:30 p.m. in Hyde Hall. Click here for more details.

Learn about UNC Digital Services

Communicators, web developers and anyone interested in learning about how UNC Digital Services is impacting the campus community is invited to attend the webmaster meetup on April 2, 2015 from 2-3:00 p.m. at the Graduate Student Center. Kate Hash from ITS Communications & Digital Services will present on some of the new exciting offerings/projects coming from UNC Digital Services team. Please join us to hear about current mobile development, new plugins and other initiatives that the group is working on.  

Winston-Salem State to host UNC-system black faculty, staff and graduate student summit

In light of the transformations currently taking place in higher education, this year's summit will explore real opportunities for achieving success in the academy. The event is free and open to all UNC-system faculty, staff and graduate students.

Possible topics for the 2015 summit include:

• African American Women Scholars:  Challenges and Opportunities

• Beyond the Ivory Tower:  Realizing a University without Walls

• Critical Strategies for Diversifying the 21st Century University

• Developing Research and Teaching Synergies across the Academy

For more information and registration, please visit  www.wssu.edu/thesummit2015

Diversity in Higher Education Spring Seminar

In partnership with the Provost’s Committee on Inclusive Excellence and Diversity (PCIED), Diversity and Multicultural Affairs will feature Daryl G. Smith, Senior Research Fellow and Professor Emerita of Education and Psychology at Claremont Graduate University as the keynote for a seminar and facilitated discussion on Exploring the Institutional Diversity Framework at Carolina.

The rescheduled seminar will take place on April 14, 2015 in the Chancellors’ Ballroom, Carolina Inn from 9:00-12:30 pm. Go to http://diversity.unc.edu/daryl/?+2014+Newsletter for more information.

Other events of interest

• March 28: 28th Annual Carolina Indian Circle Powwow

• March 30: Yoga in the Galleries

• March 31: Bound: African vs African Americans

• March 31: Gender at Work: Insights from New Research

• April 1: American Indians in North Carolina

• April 7: Art + Feminism

• April 8: African American Soldiers in U.S. Wars

• April 9: Designing and Conducting Surveys of Businesses and Organizations 

• April 10: SafeZone Training

• April 12: Carrboro Open Streets

• April 16: Women in Science 

• April 17: Haven Training

• April 19: Carolina Campus Community Garden Tour of the Honeybee Hive

• January 29-May 11: Ritual + Time Travel = Rebirth

• May 6: Save the date: Association for Women Faculty and Professionals Luncheon

• May 15: Save the date: Peer Recognition Awards Ceremony

• May 21: SafeZone Training

• May 26: Email and Records Management (Register through ConnectCarolina)

Also check the Carolina Campus Community Garden website for workdays.



Employee Forum Community Award (3-Legged Stool) call for nominations

The Employee Forum Community Award (also known at the Three Legged Stool Award) is designed to recognize distinguished contributions by individuals who work to promote cooperation and collaboration among faculty, staff, and students.

Any member of the faculty, staff, or student body of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is eligible to be nominated and to vote for this award, except current members of the Employee Forum Recognition and Awards Committee. Nominees should be individuals who inspire creativity; promote harmony and partnerships within the University community; inspire teamwork, cooperation and participation; demonstrate new approaches to current processes; encourage, mentor and build bridges; form alliances to work collectively; or any other significant community building activities.

 The award will be presented at a future meeting of the Employee Forum.

Past winners include: James Peacock, Paul Hardin, Rachel Windham, Elson Floyd, Laurie Charest, Jack Evans, Linwood Futrelle, Susan Ehringhaus, Tommy Womble, Eric Mlyn, Archie Ervin, Willis Brooks, Bob Henshaw, and Glynis Cowell. 

Go to http://employeeforum.unc.edu/the-employee-forum-community-three-legged-stool-award/ to submit a nomination for 2015. The deadline is Thursday, May 16, 2015 at 5:00 p.m.


Tell us how we are doing

Do you like the new newsletter? Is there something we can improve? What content would you like to see in future issues? Send your suggestions and feedback to Katie Turner, Employee Forum public relations and communications chair at katie_turner@unc.edu.