March 15, 2016 Employee Forum Executive Committee minutes

Attending (those who signed in):  Clare Counihan, Phillip Edwards, James Fuller, Chrissie Greenberg, Shayna Hill, Arlene Medder, Kathy Ramsey, Charles Streeter, Ben Triplett, Katie Turner

Chair Charles Streeter called the meeting to order at 11:35 a.m.  He noted that the Staff Assembly met February 28th and 29th with UNC System President Margaret Spellings.  He said that Spellings would attend an event March 22nd at UNC-Chapel Hill.  He said that he would ask for a number of Forum delegates to attend the meeting with Spellings.  He also planned to write Spellings asking her to attend a future Forum meeting.  Katie Turner thought that Spellings might be more inclined to visit the Forum following the current legislative session.

The Chair asked that the committee hold off on approving the February minutes until the following month.

Shayna Hill said that she had not had a chance to read the Forum budget report in time for the meeting.  The Chair asked that she and Matt Banks go over the budget and highlight notable changes to make it more readable.  He said that the Personnel Issues committee should have $600 dedicated for its budget.  Katie Turner asked that Banks process an honorarium for Andy Bechtel for his February 22nd Twitter basics course.

Katie Turner outlined her revisions to the Clark Award proposal that would go before the Forum in April.  Clare Counihan said that some people may perceive that the Executive Committee might play favorites with their selections.  She proposed possibly having the selection committee made up of half the Forum Executive Committee and half other staff members.  The Chair noted the problem with delegates showing up for Forum meetings.  Katie Turner noted the issue of work-hours for regular staff for Forum work.  Turner outlined the criteria for the Clark Award compared to the Jefferson and E.K. Graham Awards.  Ben Triplett recalled conversations surrounding a recent University award that was not properly vetted by decision-makers.  Turner read the award proposal.  She thought that this was a good time politically to introduce the Clark Award.  The Chair agreed that the Forum needs to extend itself on behalf of staff to obtain a seat at the table in public with faculty, students, and administrators.

The Chair emphasized connecting the Award winner’s contributions with ways of helping student success at Carolina.  Turner said that this criteria would change from year to year.  She anticipated that the criteria would change according to issues the Forum desires to raise.  Turner noted the proposed timeline she created for establishment of the Award.  She attempted to address concerns in the Question and Answer section of the accompanying document.  She also noted that Rebecca Clark’s son John Clark has expressed his support for the Award.  Counihan asked if staff under consideration should include post-docs and temporary employees.  Ben Triplett said that logistics might preclude considering temporary staff given that they must undertake a 31-day break each year.  Turner did not want to exclude anyone but granted that the Executive Committee would have final say.  She thought that the award criteria should be inclusive.  The Executive Committee could adjust the criteria later if needed.  Turner hoped that people would give similar weight to the criteria for the Award, as either a social justice or a staff advocacy award.

Katie Turner asked for an endorsement of the Award.  She offered to take the reins on organizing submissions and packets for the committee.  The Chair confirmed that only current employees would be eligible for the award.  Chrissie Greenberg said that those not employed by the University could not be verified and so should not be eligible.  Ben Triplett said that the description of Clark’s contributions seemed oppositional to the University.  He suggested that the description consider other contributions.  Turner disagreed, noting the need to expose unfairness in the University setting when needed.  Triplett said that the description seemed to prioritize this impulse.  The Chair said that sometimes things are quietly done.  Triplett said that the Award should consider these quieter contributions also.    Turner noted that Clark had no power when she accomplished the things that she did.  The Chair noted that this was an important fact, as priority in position does not provide complete authority.

Kathy Ramsey asked why the Award document emphasizes Clark’s African-American background.  Turner said that Clark used that background as part of her identity and organization.  Ramsey noted that no one would mention an employee’s white background.  The Chair noted the implicit biases that existed 20-30 years ago.  Turner said that this fact is strategic also and might result in a better reception for the Award.  The Chair said that he understood Ramsey’s point that employees may want recognition at University Day regardless of race.  He hoped that the Clark Award would become part of the history of the University.

Arlene Medder moved that the Executive Committee support the Award.  Katie Turner added a friendly amendment that the Award be open only to current UNC-Chapel Hill employees.  Clare Counihan seconded the motion.  The motion was approved with no votes against and no abstentions.

The Chair noted that the resolution 16-02 concerning sexual assault was not available.  Katie Turner suggested that the Title IX training requires revision as the on-line module is not well done.  She thought this was an example of the University ticking off a box but an effort that did not show real quality.  Ben Triplett noted the logistical difficulties of designing a Title IX module for 95% of campus employees.  Turner said that she had not received the annual communication about the Title IX training.

Phil Edwards noted that the Forum needs to rewrite its Bylaws to accommodate holding a July retreat.  He discussed the timeline for the different moving parts that make up the onboarding of new delegates each year.  The committee agreed to have this item on the April agenda.

The Chair noted that the Chancellor’s Cup golf tournament will take place May 25th in Sanford.  He said that UNC-Chapel Hill is still looking for tournament participants.  She suggested that the Forum send out targeted e-mails to certain departments that might have golf enthusiasts in their units.

Katie Turner noted that the Forum’s outdoor yoga class would need a tent tarp for participants to use to avoid wet ground after rainy days.

The Chair asked for volunteers to make up the Recognition & Awards committee.  It was noted that the Forum had already received five nominations for the Peer Recognition award.  The award will need a committee to review candidates and to plan the annual reception.

Jim Fuller reported that the June 7th blood drive will have an 830 pint goal.  The blood drive will issue black t-shirts to donors and tangerine t-shirts to volunteers.

Arlene Medder noted that the Carolina Campus Community Garden will hope to have some activity related to Earth Day Friday, April 22nd.  Turner hoped to work with the Garden to increase staff participation and recognition.

Katie Turner reported that the recent edition of InTouch had the highest open rates of any previous issue, with over 30% of recipients opening the newsletter.  She praised Dawna Jones for taking over administrative duties for the Forum book club.  The next book club will take place March 24th.

The Education and Career Development committee will meet March 22nd.  The committee is working with Ronda Manuel to promote the Carolina Family Scholarship.  The Chair planned to send a letter to Finance & Administration asking for support for the Award.  The Chair asked that the Kay Hovious Outstanding Delegate award hereby exclude previous award winners.

Kathy Ramsey said that the Forum’s nomination process for new delegates will end March 28th.  The committee discussed various voting options for employees in divisions 2 and 3.

Chrissie Greenberg said that the Personnel Issues committee had not had a quorum at its last meeting.  The committee discussed a recent story in the Daily Tar Heel regarding the naming of University buildings.

The Chair noted his previous report on the Staff Assembly’s meeting with President Margaret Spellings.

The Chair proposed to invite the new Student Body President Bradley Opere to the April meeting.  Katie Turner proposed to add Shannon O’Brien, a student who had done research on Rebecca Clark.

The Chair asked that Finance & Administration prepare a formal presentation on Shared Services reforms for the April 14th Vice Chancellor representatives’ meeting.  Shayna Hill asked about rumors involving the Campus Motor Pool.  Katie Turner sought staff retention data through a formal request.  Chrissie Greenberg noted that ConnectCarolina had been the issue in obtaining such data in the past.

Senior Human Resources consultant and University Grievance Officer Chariss Jones introduced herself to the committee.  She noted that there will be changes in the SHRA grievance policy.

The Chair noted that Pernell Bartlett, Chair of the UNC System Staff Assembly, has asked for feedback on affordable, measurable, and achievable goals for the University.  The Chair proposed that the Executive Committee work on a two page draft at its April meeting.

In the absence of further discussion, the meeting adjourned at 1:30 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Matt Banks, Recording Secretary

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