November 19, 2013 Executive Committee minutes

Attending (those who signed in):  Dan Barmmer, Jackie Copeland, Lois Douglass-Alston, Yvonne Dunlap, James Fuller, Paula Goodman, Michael Highland, Shelby Long, Matt McKirahan, Arlene Medder, Charles Streeter

Chair Charles Streeter called the meeting to order at 11:30 a.m.  Paula Goodman drew three names submitted at the Employee Appreciation Fair for $15 gift cards from Student Stores.  Goodman drew Anitra Jones, Janice Brooks, and Lisa Huggins.  The Chair introduced Christopher Lee Palmer from Xerox Printing to discuss the range of services offered by his group.  He said that Xerox Printing was formerly UNC Printing.  He said that Xerox can help with full color digital printing, conversions of PDF files, and lamination services.  Xerox also ships within a five mile radius of the University.  The company can also produce business cards.  Palmer said that Xerox is happy to work with prices for departments.

Amy Patel, a student from the School of Public Health, and a group of her peer students spoke on designing a health behavior program for Facilities Services.  The group creates a capstone project in place of a Masters’ Thesis.  It was noted that the advisor to the group picked Facilities Services since employees from this area do not typically participate in wellness programs.  The group has interviewed Facilities Services divisional leaders and supervisors about possibilities for increased participation.  Matt McKirahan inquired as to whether the group used its own data or data from existing sources.  The data used is from existing sources.  Lois Douglass-Alston suggested that the group be sure to speak with line employees to determine the constraints of their work.  She noted the crunch of students at the Woollen Gym during lunchtime.  Dan Barmmer suggested having the Student Recreation Center waive the monthly fee for employees.  McKirahan noted that the first month is already free for employees.  The Chair said that he would like to keep in contact with the group as it moves towards final presentations in April.  He asked how the Forum could help with the project.  Douglass-Alston suggested approaching employees as people rather than as altruistic objects of concern.  McKirahan noted the difficulty of working with hierarchical systems to promote change.  The Chair suggested that the group speak with Human Resources about the Work Well, Live Well program.

The Chair welcomed Steve Hutton to discuss the question of the University’s ADA reports.  Hutton, a retiree, noted his background as a statistical programmer in the health research area for the University.  He had submitted a public information records request on behalf of SEANC District 25.  He recalled his experience pointing out inaccuracies.  He later submitted a complaint to the US Department of Labor about these inaccuracies.  He had two sets of interviews with federal authorities in January 2012, which later led to a file missing from these interviews.  He wondered how much time the Forum wanted to spend on this issue.  He noted that he had copied the letter to Vice Chancellor Brenda Malone to the Forum as a courtesy.  Hutton said the root of the problem is that the figures used in these reports are the source of hiring targets for the University.  He said that the University’s workforce should resemble, within 80%, the areas in which the University recruits.  He said that there is no legal requirement for the University to meet these targets.  Lois Douglass-Alston asked how these alleged discrepancies the University community.  Hutton said that if the target is not accurate, the University might direct its hiring in the wrong direction.  He advised Douglass-Alston to ask Human Resources how it uses the EEO reports.  He did not see any untoward manipulation of the data, just mistakes.  The Chair asked Hutton if he had any recommendations on what to do with the report.  Hutton noted the amount of work that the Forum already has on its place.  He said that it could work well to ask Human Resources how it uses these reports in hiring.

The Chair called for a motion to approve the minutes of the October meeting.  Arlene Medder made this motion, seconded by Michael Highland.  There was no discussion, and the minutes were approved with one abstention.

Matt Banks presented the Forum’s monthly budget report.  He asked about the possibility of purchasing a new computer for the Forum Office, as the current one is outdated and very slow.  The Chair asked Banks to verify with Treasurer Tammy Cox the status of the budget.

The Chair proposed that the committee discuss the Staff Development Fund budget at the December meeting of the group.  This proposal was met with general agreement, and the item was tabled.

The Chair noted a proposed resolution honoring Vice Chancellor Brenda Malone.  Yvonne Dunlap moved that the committee enter closed session, seconded by Paula Goodman.  The motion was approved, with Dan Barmmer and Arlene Medder abstaining.

The committee moved out of closed session.

The Chair reported that the Bylaws committee met with students from the law clinic.  Plans are now for the committee to present Bylaws changes in January, 2014.  The Chair asked that Matt Banks send a list of the law students’ questions to Gena Carter for her reference.

Arlene Medder said that the Carolina Campus Community Garden committee has reviewed plans for a solar-powered greenhouse submitted by NC State University students.  The Chair said that the proposed Staff Development fund budget will contain support for the Garden.

It was reported that the Communications and Public Relations committee is discussing potential topics for InTouch.  The committee will likely write up recent Forum presentations, the upcoming Forum delegate elections, and peer recognition award nominations, among other items.  The Chair praised an idea to write a blurb about upcoming speakers on the Forum web page.

Lois Douglass-Alston said that the Education and Career Development committee met to discuss professional development grants.  The committee will report its findings in December.

Paula Goodman of the Membership & Assignments committee said that she had received the sign-up sheet for the December potluck from the Forum Office.  The committee has been busy collecting door prizes for the event.  The Chair said that the Forum will create a page thanking donors for their contributions.  Matt McKirahan said that the committee will need the Forum’s tax ID number for this charitable giving.

The Personnel Issues committee will meet next Tuesday.

Michael Highland of the Recognition & Awards committee had met with the Chair to discuss peer recognition nominations and their distribution across campus.  The committee will consider combining electronic and paper nominations for awards.

The Chair said that the Staff Assembly had given its Chairs copies of the grievance policy changes which were not for general distribution.

The Chair noted a question about the Executive Committee vetting VC/Provost meeting agenda topics.  Dan Barmmer noted that the administration had asked the Forum not to invite outside guests to these meetings.  Matt McKirahan asked if the Forum wanted to present a united front at these meetings.  The Chair said that these discussions have typically been relaxed opportunities for frank exchanges.  The Chair said that the administration receives copies of the agenda in advance.  Gena Carter said that administration officials like the free flow of discussion.  She said that officials prefer a more specific rendering of agenda topics as opposed to one-word descriptions.  The Chair noted a request that the Forum take on planning for the Red Cross blood drive.  He also noted a request from Diversity and Multicultural Affairs that the Forum become part of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. celebrations in January.

The Chair said that the December meeting of the group will be devoted to planning for the next six months.  He suggested that the group conduct a half-day retreat.  He said that the Forum needs to survey staff on possible speakers.  He noted that the Forum was close to approving the final brochure, hopefully receiving delivery before Christmas break.  Jim Fuller asked about an employee needing health care for Lyme Disease medication.  The Chair advised Fuller to send specifics to Ashley Nicklis of HR Benefits.

Gena Carter said that the EEO office does not operate out of Human Resources.  She said that someone in the University has the responsibility to provide these statistics.

Matt McKirahan moved to take resolution 14-01 off the table.  Arlene Medder made this motion, seconded by Tiffany Carver.  The motion was approved with one abstention.  The committee agreed to discuss the resolution in closed session at the December full Forum meeting.  After some debate about the intent of the resolution, Matt McKirahan moved to close debate, seconded by Arlene Medder.  The committee voted down a motion to introduce the motion.  This motion was approved.

In the absence of further discussion, the meeting adjourned by acclamation at 1:41 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Matt Banks, Recording Secretary

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