Career Corner: Work/life balance with Community Service Leave

May 29, 2016

Forum delegate Ronda Manuel recently went with her daughter’s entire second grade class to the North Carolina Zoo–and got paid by UNC to do it!

Manuel was able to spend this important (and fun!) time with her daughter by using the Community Service Leave (CSL) benefit. Community Service Leave “is a paid time off program to participate in the educational process of children through the high school level and to support other community service volunteer activities for non-profit organizations.” Because the “University recognizes the importance of community involvement and encourages employees to participate in volunteer activities,” CSL “provid[es] flexibility in work schedules and paid leave opportunities,” enabling employees to take time during normal work hours to contribute to educational institutions and give back to their communities.

Working with her supervisor, Manuel scheduled her CSL to accommodate her job responsibilities. She said, “I am grateful for the opportunity to use to serve as a chaperone for my daughter’s field trip to the NC Zoo. Not only did I get the chance to give back to my daughter’s school, but I also made lasting memories with my child and her classmates.” In this instance, CSL allowed Manuel to balance her family commitments while also supporting UNC’s mission of public service.

Brandy Flickinger, leave administration manager in the Office of Human Resources, presented information about CSL at the May 4 Employee Forum meeting. CSL comes in three options. Option A, which Manuel used, grants employees up to 24 hours of paid leave in one calendar year to take part in their child’s education (e.g., meet with a teacher or attend a school-sponsored event—not including athletics) or to volunteer with a recognized community service organization. Option B allows eligible employees up to 36 hours of paid leave per calendar year (1 hour/week while school is in session) to volunteer as a mentor or tutor with a formal, standardized program. Option C grants employees up to 45 hours of paid leave per calendar year to volunteer in a literacy program through a public school. There are additional types of community service leave such as Disaster Recovery and Emergency Services and Organ Donorship leave that may allow for more hours of paid leave under certain conditions. If you are interested in taking CSL, you should discuss the options with your supervisor.

Flickinger’s presentation included five frequently asked questions about CSL, which she’s shared here:

Q: Can I use CSL for volunteer service outside of NC?
A: No, service must be provided within the state of North Carolina and must benefit the citizens of North Carolina. Employees can use approved vacation leave. The exception is for Disaster Recovery and Emergency Services [http://hr.unc.edu/policies-procedures-systems/epa-non-faculty-employee-policies/leave/community-service-leave/#Disaster_Recovery_and_Emergency_Services], but there are very specific conditions for eligibility.

Q: Can I use CSL for on-site visits to colleges with my child?
A: No. The “child involvement” provision of the policy is limited to child day care, elementary school, middle school or high school involvement. A parent cannot, for example, use community service leave for on-site visits to colleges for the purpose of selecting a college, or to attend college orientations or assist with moving the child in and out of the on-campus housing, or for attendance at college graduations.

Q: Is service for a fundraising event eligible for CSL?
A: It depends. Playing in a golf tournament, such as the UNC Staff Assembly Chancellor’s Cup Golf Tournament [http://uncchancellorscup.com/] which raises money for the Janet B. Royster Memorial Staff Scholarship Fund, would not be eligible for CSL. However, setting up tents, handling parking and registration, or serving at the food tent at the fundraising golf event would be considered a volunteer activity and would be eligible for CSL.

Q: Can I use CSL to vote?
A: No. Employees may not use work time for voting. Bbecause polls are open for 12 hours or more on Election Day, employees are to vote on their own time either before or after their regular work schedule. Management does have discretion to allow flexible work scheduling to accommodate voting employees or to allow the employee to use vacation leave, bonus leave or other accrued paid time off for the absence.

Q: Must I use CSL to participate in UNC’s campus blood drive?
A: No! As an exception to the CSL policy, participating in the semiannual University-wide blood drives as either a donor or volunteer counts as work time for both permanent and temporary employees. (Participation does require prior approval, though.) Donating or volunteering other times, whether during another on-campus blood drive or at a Red Cross Center, is eligible for CSL (again, with prior approval by your supervisor).

Using CSL is a great way to balance your work responsibilities and your other interests and commitments. It gives you a way to contribute to your child’s education or to participate in other volunteer activities that are important to you. Do you volunteer at a (recognized 501(c)(3) non-profit) animal shelter or coach your child’s robotics team? Would you like to take part in a Habitat for Humanity build day? Participating in the bi-annual Carolina Blood Drives counts as regular work time, but giving blood or volunteering to help with other blood drives, on or off campus, are both are eligible for CSL hours!

For questions about what can count for CSL, contact the Leave Administration team (leave@unc.edu/ 919.843.2300).

Story contributed by Kelli Raker and Clare Counihan. Photograph courtesy of Ronda Manuel.

Staff across campus thank their administrative professionals

May 29, 2016

On April 27, Employee Forum Chair Charles Streeter sent an email to all staff on campus encouraging them to thank their administrative professionals in honor of Administrative Professionals Day. He also asked that departments tweet out pictures of their administrative professionals so we could also thank them. We were overwhelmed with tweets and gratitude for all the hard working administrators we have on our campus. Here are some of the many tweets we received:

We received a shout out to the “rockstars” in UNC’s housekeeping department: Nancy Burton, Jewel Golson-Roberts and Juanelle Bartlett. They keep your work orders moving through the system and provide excellent service with a smile!

Victoria Dowd in the Ombuds Office receives a gift of appreciation from her coworkers.

Dr. Belinda Locke, coordinator for assessment & strategic planning in Student Affairs, thanked Cornelia Burch for all of her wonderful work. Ms. Burch is also a safety coordinator for Carr Building and is known for being well-stocked with supplies and ready for any emergency.

Ashley Langley shows her appreciation for Administrative Assistant Faye Fogelman. Both work at the North Carolina Area Health Education Centers Program (NC AHEC), a program that works to improve the health of North Carolinians, especially underserved populations.

School of Public Health Admissions Coordinator Johnston King thanked Business Services Manager Natiaya Neal with a bouquet of beautiful flowers.

Check out this neat animated greeting from UNC Academic Advising!

Here’s another great tweet from Dr. Locke with the administrative team in the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs. 

Last but not least, the award for the best Administrative Professionals Day celebration goes to the School of the Nursing!!!* Thanks to Anne Webb for this fun photo collage!

*We don’t actually have a prize for the best celebration, but maybe next year. In the meantime, don’t forget to thank your administrative professionals all year round.

Staff celebrate Earth Day in the Carolina Campus Community Garden

April 25, 2016

 

Garden

Last week, 33 eager volunteers (including several staff members in honor of Earth Day) turned compost pilesmodified a pea trellis for tomatoes, built a new trellis and planted cucumbers. Volunteers planted purslane for a chemistry research project next spring with Professor Eskew’s APPLES students. Volunteers harvested 35 pounds of spinach, lettuce, kale, Swiss chard, turnips, radishes, strawberries, mint, cilantro and parsley that were distributed to 18 appreciative third shift housekeepers early.

Photograph courtesy of Claire Lorch.

 

 

Employee Forum Peer Recognition Award nominations open

April 25, 2016

Employee Forum Peer Recognition Award Nominations Open

These awards are open to any UNC-CH staff member (permanent, full or part-time) who deserves recognition in one of the following categories: Back Office Activity, Big Buddy, Call of Duty, Congeniality, Customer Service, Milestone, Rookie, Self-Improvement, or Unsung Heel.

Go to http://employeeforum.unc.edu/peer-recognition-awards-2/ to nominate a colleague now.

The deadline to submit a nomination for 2016 is May 15, 2016 at 5:00 p.m.

….

Employee Forum Community Award (3-Legged Stool) Nominations Open

Purpose

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.

Eligibility

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.

Criteria for Nomination

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.

Administration

Nominations (not to exceed 250 words) will be accepted from any member of the University community. When submitting nominations, please include the name of the nominee, how to contact the nominee (campus box number, phone, email address), your name and contact information, and the specific reasons you are nominating this individual. The Recognition and Awards Committee is responsible for reviewing the nominations and selecting the recipient. The award will be presented at a general 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 https://employeeforum.unc.edu/community-award to submit a nomination for 2016. The deadline is May 15, 2016 at 5:00 p.m.

Forum welcomes newly elected delegates

April 25, 2016

The Employee Forum is proud to announce the following staff members have been elected and will assume office at the May 4, 2016 Employee Forum meeting. Welcome new delegates!

First Last Department
Katherine Cartmell Office of Undergraduate Retention
Sharbari Dey Diversity & Multicultural Affairs
Angelica Matos Housing & Residential Education
Jeanna Mccullers Equal Opportunity & Compliance Office
Jaquelyn Copeland Office of Scholarships and Student Aid
Christian Clark Energy Services
Ricky Roach Energy Services
Tiffany Carver School of Social Work
Greg Smith Physics & Astronomy
Mary King LCCC
Katie Musgrove School of Pharmacy
Paula Poe Dental Foundation of NC
Shannon Harvey UNC Global
Latoya Taylor UNC Sports Medicine
Cynthia Brown OHRE
Christian Farrell Institute for Global Health & Infectious Diseases
Kewana Smith Office of Medical Education
Bryan Andregg School of Global Public Health
Bonita Brown Carolina Union
Mary Dahlsten Carolina Performing Arts
Karen Jenkins Transportation & Parking
Gloria Johnson Global Health
Natiaya Neal Office of Student Affairs, School of Public Health
Deborah Norton Chemistry
David Rogers Campus Recreation
Jackie Overton Public Safety

Applications for Janet B. Royster Memorial Staff Scholarship due May 1

April 21, 2016

Applications are now being accepted for the UNC Staff Assembly’s Janet B. Royster Memorial Staff Scholarship. The deadline is May 1, 2016.

The Janet B. Royster (JBR) Memorial Staff Scholarship Fund was created in August of 2011 by the UNC Staff Assembly in memory of UNC-TV employee Janet B. Royster.  Janet represented UNC-TV on the General Administration Staff Forum and was subsequently elected to the UNC Staff Assembly.  She served as its first Parliamentarian until her untimely death in June 2011.  This scholarship promotes staff development for permanent, full-time, non-faculty employees, as well as recognizes and honors Janet’s leadership and dedication to all UNC employees.

The JBR Memorial Staff Scholarship provides one or more annual awards, based on the availability of funds.  Scholarships provide assistance towards earning a degree or other professional certification.  The maximum award amount per academic year is $1,000.  Awards are not automatically renewable.  Recipients are selected by a Selection Committee.  Some of the following factors will be considered by the committee in making selections:

  • The educational goals of the applicant
  • The financial needs of the applicant
  • The commitment of the applicant to his or her UNC employer institution
  • The relationship of the educational program to the applicant’s job

In addition to the application, you will also need two letters of recommendation, a copy of your UNC employee identification card, and a copy of your resume. You may also include information about the course or training which you are seeking.

Visit http://www.northcarolina.edu/?q=content/janet-b-royster-memorial-staff-scholarship for more information.

Ives provides update on Student Stores RFP process

January 30, 2016

A note from Brad Ives, associate vice chancellor for campus enterprises

The University issued a “Request for Proposals,” or RFP, on January 11, 2016, to invite outside companies to submit proposals for management of the operations of UNC Student Stores under a time-limited arrangement with the University.  Responses to the RFP are due on February 18.  Respondents will have the opportunity make presentations about their bids after responses are submitted.

Bids and presentations will be reviewed by an Advisory Committee that will be appointed by the Associate Vice Chancellor for Campus Enterprises.  The Advisory Committee will have two representatives from the Employee Forum as well as student, faculty and administration members.

No decision has been made on whether outsourcing is best for UNC Student Stores. The University will make a determination on whether to outsource UNC Student Stores by spring 2016. If a decision is made to outsource, a transfer of operations would occur sometime in early July 2016.

More information about the RFP process can be found on the Campus Enterprises website at:  http://fa.unc.edu/enterprises/student-stores-outsourcing/

A note from the editor: The Employee Forum has been working with Finance and Administration to provide input on the Request For Proposals document, and we expect to be represented on the committee that will be responsible for reviewing proposals. We will provide updates as we receive new information. 

Career corner: How to develop critical habits of mind and practice

January 30, 2016

How to develop critical habits of mind and practice: Raising consciousness around implicit social cognition’s influence on our work

Krista L. Prince, M.Ed.
Clare Counihan, Ph.D.

Abstract word cloud for Cognitive bias with related tags and termsHave you ever wondered how associations and factors beyond your awareness influence your good intentions in the workplace? Researchers exploring this question offer the concept of implicit social cognition as one answer to this question.  Implicit social cognition, or implicit bias, is “a descriptive term encompassing thoughts and feelings that occur independently of conscious intention, awareness, or control” (Nosek & Riskind, 2012, p. 115).  Our implicit social cognition means that, while we can’t regulate all of the messages to which we are exposed, our unconscious thoughts and feelings are still influenced by them. As a result, people often hold unconscious associations with which they would consciously disagree. It is even possible for us to internalize broader (often negative) societal messages about groups to which we ourselves belong. Contrary to the common belief that our behavior is a product of our conscious intentions, values, and beliefs; implicit social cognition often influences our actions and assumptions in ways we would not expect—and sometimes in ways we definitely wouldn’t like

Implicit social cognition can influence many areas of our work including, but not limited to: interactions with our colleagues, collaboration, supervision, advising, assessment, training, recruitment, hiring, policy development, and research. Learning about implicit social cognition is a vital first step if you want to pursue fair, equitable, and inclusive practices. In other words, recognizing how implicit bias shapes you is one way to make UNC a better place for everyone.

Start with yourself:

  • Learn about how implicit bias works. The resources at the end of this article, along with materials you can find through the library database, are a great place to start. Peer-reviewed articles will provide research that’s been thoroughly vetted by scholars, but a number of magazines, such as Psychology Today and Scientific American, cover science for a popular audience. Librarians at the university and public libraries can help you if you’re not sure how reliable a source is.
  • Acknowledge your own subjectivity; your personal position from and through which you see the world. Try as we might to be “objective” or “neutral,” none of us are really able to shed our experiences and social conditioning.
  • Actively challenge your assumptions and stereotypes as you notice them. For example, if you catch yourself assuming that a woman wearing a “short” skirt is sexually promiscuous, pause to examine why that idea springs to your mind so readily. What stereotypes does it rely on? Is the stereotype consistent with your own beliefs? If someone applied a stereotype to you, would you think it was accurate? Alternately, you could counteract a negative stereotype with a positive connection: think about someone you know and respect; do their clothing choices impact your opinion of them?
  • Find out your own implicit biases. Project Implicit, part of a Harvard-led study, has online exercises that let you see exactly how implicit bias works and how it affects you. Its established measures (inventories) demonstrate some of the most common forms of implicit bias, and they give you a way to see how “objectivity” is really tricky.
  • Challenge yourself to meet and talk to people who are different from you. Just as importantly, don’t be upset if people are hesitant the first time you approach them. UNC-CH, North Carolina, and the US have many layers of complicated histories around race, gender, sexuality, class, nationality, and physical ability (to name just a few). It may take time to develop trusting relationships given our current realities and complicated histories.

Take that self-reflection and apply it to your work:

  • Seek perspectives and input from a variety of individuals with multiple identities to reduce the effects of each individual’s biases.
  • Compare identity-conscious and identity-anonymous results to identify if social biases may be contributing to outcomes. Several studies have documented how perceived race and gender can influence employers’ assessment of resumes and faculty’s response to students
  • Adjust or restructure decision-making processes to reduce the potential for bias to have unwanted influence in the first place. For example, in one famous study, researchers hid musicians applying for places in an orchestra behind a screen. They found that concealing the gender of the candidate made it 50% more likely that women musicians would go further in the audition process. The widespread adoption of this audition method is responsible for dramatic increases in the number of women playing in professional orchestras. What processes in your department could be revamped to reduce the influence of bias?

This list is a starting place for understanding your own implicit associations and their influence on your actions and your workplace practices. Please consider referring to the additional resources below as you continue to move through this process.

 

Resources

Banaji, M.R., & Greenwald, A.G. (2013). Blindspot: Hidden biases of good people. New York, NY: Delacorte Press.

Godsil, R.D., & Tropp, L.R. (2015, January 9). The cognitive traps that can harm intergroup relations: racial anxiety and the stereotype threat can blunt our egalitarian impulses. Psychology Today. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/sound-science-sound-policy/201501/the-cognitive-traps-can-harm-intergroup-relations

Godsil, R.D., & Tropp, L.R. (2015, January 21). Racial dynamics in education and healthcare: How teachers and doctors inadvertently contribute to racial inequality. Psychology Today. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/sound-science-sound-policy/201501/racial-dynamics-in-education-and-health-care

Staats, C., Capatosto, K., Wright, R.A., Contractor, D. (2015). State of the science: Implicit bias review 2015. Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity: The Ohio State University. Retrieved from http://kirwaninstitute.osu.edu/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/2015-kirwan-implicit-bias.pdf

Tropp, L.R., & Godsil, R.D. (2015, January 8). Resolving the paradox of race: What explains the different perceptions about the prevalence of racism in the US? Psychology Today. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/sound-science-sound-policy/201501/resolving-the-paradox-race

Tropp, L.R., & Godsil, R.D. (2015, January 23). Overcoming implicit bias and racial anxiety: Fighting subconscious bias takes effort-but it can be done. Psychology Today. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/sound-science-sound-policy/201501/overcoming-implicit-bias-and-racial-anxiety

References

Bertrand, M., & Mullainathan, S. (2003). Are Emily and Greg more employable than Lakisha and Jamal? A field experiment on market labor discrimination. American Economic Review, 94, 991-1013. Retrieved from http://www.nber.org/papers/w9873

Diversity and unconscious bias in the hiring process- Selected references. (n.d.). Retrieved January 29, 2016, from http://www2.humboldt.edu/hsuhr/diversityrecruitment/documents/Selected References – Staff and Managers Fall 13.pdf

Goldin, C. & Rouse, C. (2000). Orchestrating impartiality: The impact of “blind” auditions on female musicians. American Economic Review, 90, 715-741. Retrieved from http://www.nber.org/papers/w5903

Nosek, B.A., & Riskind, R.G. (2012). Policy implications of implicit social cognition. Social Issues and Policy Review, 6 (1), 113-147.

Moss-Racusin, C.A., Dovidio, J.F., Brescoll, V.L., Graham, M.J., & Handelsman, J. (2012). Science faculty’s subtle gender biases favor male students. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 109 (41), 16474-16479. Retrieved from http://www.pnas.org/content/109/41/16474.full.

Steinpreis, R.E., Anders, K.A., & Ritzke, D. (1999). The impact of gender on the review of the curricula vitae of job applicants and tenure candidates: A national empirical study. Sex Roles, 41 (7/8), 509-528. Retrieved from http://advance.cornell.edu/documents/ImpactofGender.pdf

A new year brings new opportunities for professional development

January 17, 2016

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A letter from the editor

This issue comes to you nearly two weeks before its planned publication date. I made the decision to email it out early because there are so many wonderful events coming up at the end of the month, and I wanted to be sure that UNC staff had the opportunity to register for them and attend.

I am especially excited about all of the Employee Forum-sponsored events that are scheduled. The Education and Career Development Committee has been busy launching a new series of brown bag lunches to bring staff together from across the campus. Each lunch will feature a different professional or career development-related topic. That committee is also planning an extended mini-conference after the success of their panel discussion on careers in higher education last year. They will continue to contribute pieces to the regular “Career Corner” section of this newsletter.

I am happy to announce that the Public Relations and Communications Committee is sponsoring two social media trainings this spring due to staff demand. However, the committee has decided that despite a nearly two year successful run, we are planning to stop hosting the monthly staff book club. I have been heavily involved in the planning and logistics of the book club meetings, and the decision to cease continuing the meetings comes as a result of a personal need to re-prioritize my activities and get back some of the life in my work-life balance.  I am actively looking for other groups on campus to take over the book club so that we still have a place for staff to read and engage interesting topics. We will continue to publish this newsletter each month.

The other committees stay busy as well. Kathy Ramsey has been coordinating numerous deliciously-catered meetings for the delegates. She organized a fabulous holiday reception in December for delegates and their guests, and she has been making sure that delegate divisional seats stay filled so that all parts of campus are well represented. The Carolina Campus Community Garden continues to thrive with ever abundant harvests and expanded plantings. This year we will see the construction of a brand new solar-powered green house.

Finally, I am most excited about elections season. In March the Employee Forum will hold annual elections for new delegates and Forum Chair. Our current chair, Charles Streeter, will not be eligible under the Forum’s bylaws to run again for that office. Charles has done some incredible work with getting the Forum organized and re-energized over the years. He has continued Jackie Overton’s tradition of strong, outspoken and gentle leadership. It will be difficult to let him go, but it will also be exciting to see who comes next.

With that, I leave you to think about your goals for the year as a staff member at UNC, and I hope you will become involved with the Forum if you have the opportunity this year. Look out for more information about the upcoming elections and opportunities to get involved.

All my best wishes for a happy and healthy new year!

Katie Turner
Employee Forum PR and Communications Chair