Agenda — August 4, 1999

9:30 a.m.—Meeting, Wilson Library Assembly Room

I.          Call to Order

 

II.         Welcome Guests, Members of the Press, New Delegate Elizabeth Gorsuch

 

III.       Opening Remarks

  • Interim Chancellor William McCoy

 

  1. Employee Presentations

 

V.        Special Presentations

  • Rene Massey & Katherine Marlow on Purchasing Card

 

VI.       Human Resources Update

  • Laurie Charest, Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources

 

VII.      Approval of Minutes of the July 7, 1999 meeting P

 

VIII.     Unfinished Business

  • Discussion:  University Budget Situation
  • Vice Chair Election
  • Division 4 Executive Committee Replacement for Ruthie Lawson

 

  1. New Business
  • Proposed Guidelines Revisions

 

X.        Chair’s Report (Executive Committee):  Jane Stine

  • Forum Appointment to Chancellor, Provost Search Committees
  • Health Insurance Benefits Community Meeting
  • New Time for Executive Committee Meetings
  • Upcoming Community Award Nominations
  • Employee Appreciation Fair Drawing and Survey Results
  • Executive Committee Minutes Delayed
  • Written and E-Mail Questions from Community Meeting

 

XI.       Stretch Time   

 

XII.      Committee/Task Force Reports

  • Career Development—Bobbie Lesane

Þ     Employee/Manager Responsibilities in Staff Training/Education (draft)

Þ     New Careers Training Board:  Connie Boyce/Ken Perry

  • Communications—Joanna Smith
  • Employee Presentations—Vicki Pineles
  • Nominating—Lynn Ray

Þ     Forum Elections

  • Orientation—Linda Drake
  • Personnel Issues—Martha Barbour

Þ     SPA Exempt Survey

Þ     Child Involvement Leave Expansion?

  • Recognition and Awards—Betty Averette
  • University Committee Assignments—Denise Childress

Þ     Committee Appointments?

 

XIII.     Task Force/University Committee Reports

  • Buildings & Grounds
  • Master Plan Executive Steering Team—Jane Stine
  • Outsourcing Team Representatives—Bennie Griffin/Ann Hamner
  • Transportation & Parking Advisory —Betty Averette
  • University Priorities & Budget—Jane Stine
  • Provost Search Committee—Jane Stine
  • Faculty Council Liaison—Jane Stine

 

XIV.    Announcements/Questions

 

XV.      Adjournment

MINUTES

August 4, 1999

Delegates Present

Forrest Aiken

Betty Averette

Martha Barbour

Terry Barker

Maxcine Barnes

Linwood Blalock

Terry Barker

Jean Coble

Linda Drake

Kathy Dutton

Monisia Farrington

Linwood Futrelle

Kim Gardner

Karen Geer

Sherry Graham

Dorothy Grant

LaEula Joyner

Charlotte Kilpatrick

Joanne Kucharski

Ken Litowsky

Bobbie Lesane

Denise Mabe

Jill Mayer

Eileen McGrath

Ken Perry

Lynn Ray

Rickey Robinson

Jane Stine

Diane Strong

Robert Thoma

Verdell Williams

Carol Worrell

Laurie Charest

= Ex-Officio

 

Delegates Absent

Brenda Ambrose-Fortune

Peggy Berryhill

Connie Boyce

Mary Braxton

Denise Childress

Bethany Cowan

James Evans

Linda Ford

Elvin Munn

Vicki Pineles

Cindy Stone

 

Alternates Present

Peter Landstrom

John Thomas

 

Guests

Pete Andrews

Eric Ferreri

Evelyn Hawthorne

Gary Jones

Meghan Kelly-Goss

Katherine Marlowe

Rene Massey

William McCoy

Diana Newton

Scott Ragland

Nora Robbins


 

Call to Order, Welcome to Guests, Opening Remarks

Chair Jane Stine called the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m.  She then introduced Interim Chancellor William McCoy to provide opening remarks.

Interim Chancellor William McCoy said it was good to meet with the Forum again, although he regretted the circumstances that put him in this position.  He pledged to work to have open communications at the University and to keep the University on track.  McCoy said that it is very difficult to lose a leader of the strength of Michael Hooker, but he would try to communicate the vision of the University to which we all subscribe.

McCoy will work on a number of important projects during his tenure, including the capital and repair and renovation needs of the campus.  He noted that there have been calls for significant enrollment growth and the campus must plan for this enrollment growth.  McCoy will also give attention to the impending new financial campaign, working in concert with Matt Kupec and his staff.  He emphasized the importance of carrying out this project with the right timing, and noted that a significant period of time has been devoted to the planning work and case study of the campaign.  This effort has distilled various ideas into a more concrete plan to accomplish the campaign’s goals.  He looked forward to working with Chair Jane Stine and her colleagues on the search committee for the new chancellor and on the financial campaign.

McCoy stated that as he looked forward to working through the next several months, he considered the Employee Forum very important to his plans.  He wanted to hear the Forum’s views on a variety of issues and interact with respect to these issues.  He had mentioned the budget shortfall during his last appearance before the Forum, and noted the work done in the last two to three months.  The shortfall has been reduced from $11 million to $9.8 million and then again by a third to $6.8 million.  This windfall has been distributed to all organizations affected by the shortfall.  McCoy noted the intense review of the budget before the final outcome, and felt he understood the issues involved.

McCoy said the University was unfortunate to experience this shortfall, and has already begun to work on the budgetary planning process as one of the important things of his tenure.  He emphasized that the University, upon identifying those people who would have lost their jobs at the outset, has tried to find new places for them within the University.  Marge Harris of Human Resources, among others, has worked to find suitable assignments for those affected.  He urged Forum members to talk within their organizations to help find suitable vacancies for these Employees.

In terms of the financial condition of the University, McCoy said that with $1.2 billion in revenue, the University is on a strong footing, and he felt positive about what the campus can achieve in the future.  There are many good activities going on throughout campus, and the University can continue to operate in a sound fiscal way.

Turning to the legislative bond campaign, McCoy noted that the campaign had not been a success in the short term.  The University had made an effort in the Legislature to receive permission for the bond issue to let the 16 campuses catch up with their capital, repair and renovation needs.  While the bond issue did not pass, administrators realize the importance of continuing to think about the subject.  McCoy stressed that the University must work to tell the story about its needs in an ever better way, so that these needs really live in the minds of legislators and voters.  For example, the University needs a more modernized Venable Hall to attract top quality faculty, to win additional research grants, and to handle increased enrollment needs.  The University must turn to telling these stories about needs at any proper opportunities, and must identify to listeners the fact that the longer the State waits to fund these projects, the more expensive they will become, due to inflation.  President Molly Broad will work with the chancellors to determine the System’s next moves to achieve this funding.

With regard to the search committee for the next chancellor, McCoy had read that the list had been composed and was glad that Chair Jane Stine was a member of the search committee.  He noted this committee’s importance and the need to move along with as much dispatch as feasible.  He was glad that staff would have the chance to participate in the search to attract the best chancellor possible, and so to shape the future of the University.

McCoy said that the two other search committees, for the University Provost and the Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration, would complete their work after the chancellor’s appointment, so as to give the new chancellor a chance to be a participant in these selections.  These committees have completed their preliminary work.  In the interim, the University is fortunate to have Provost Dick Richardson working full-tilt, and is in good hands with interim Vice Chancellor of Administration Jack Evans, former dean of the Business School.

Speaking of leadership, Evans was pleased with the quality of leadership at the University, in Forum Chair Jane Stine, Faculty Chair Pete Andrews, the University Cabinet, and the various deans, directors and department heads. 

As the students will soon return to campus, McCoy mentioned the academic statistics of the freshman class, which is in fact the best class of students the University has ever had.  There are a number of indicators of class excellence; for example, the average SAT score is 1246, 16 points higher than the previous class.  More than 550 applicants who made deposits for acceptance have scored a 1400 or higher on the SAT, with 1,679 first-year students scoring between 1200-1399.  Two hundred twenty-two enrollees ranked first in their class.

First-year students will not be placed in temporary housing this year, thanks to more strategic housing and better space utilization, in addition to the return of Spencer dormitory to use after renovations.  McCoy complimented the student affairs and housing staff for their wonderful job and outstanding teamwork in this area.

McCoy similarly thanked all Employees who have endured the recent scorching weather in the course of their work.  He was pleased to work with the Forum and planned to approach this temporary stint as a permanent job.  He would read Employees’ letters with interest, and would move with dispatch to handle decisions of short-term and long-term need.

McCoy offered to take questions.  Jill Mayer asked what McCoy most looked forward to in his work as interim chancellor.  McCoy said that he most looked forward to working at his alma mater, particularly with students, faculty, cabinet, deans, and staff like in the past.  He said it was refreshing and exciting, as an alumnus who had worked on finance campaigns for the University, hearing from faculty, staff, and deans, now to tell the University’s story to volunteers like himself.

Linwood Futrelle noted that the University had received $3 million back from current budget cuts, and commented that this money might be used to offset cuts to the University Managers’ Development Program (UMDP).  McCoy said that the $3 million had been reallocated to various organizations from which the original cuts came, using the same formula as arrived at the cuts.  McCoy was aware of the importance of management training, and believed that the project will be done in some way, but said that some slippage could not be avoided.

An Employee asked if, given the construction and growth on campus, the University would add to planning capabilities so that needed infrastructure would not overwhelm the campus environment.  McCoy said that the campus environment must be managed carefully.  The University will receive a more than $13 million repair and renovation fund from the Legislature in the next few days.  The University must develop its priorities from the bottom up and must manage these dollars with care.

Betty Averette noted that campus departments have felt the impact of Point 2 Point’s discontinuation August 2 in their work running errands and keeping work flowing for grants and other purposes.  She wondered if some of the money that had been returned to the University might be used to resume Point 2 Point service.  McCoy said he was sure that Point 2 Point service is being examined but said that the University is still faced with a $6.8 million deficit.  The Vice Chancellor for Administration will need to look at this issue in the context of his budget.

In the absence of further questions, McCoy thanked the group for its work and said it was extremely important to the success of the University.  He noted that Jack Evans was unable to attend but planned to make the assembly’s September 1 meeting.  The Chair thanked McCoy for his remarks.

 

Special Presentations

The Chair noted that Vice Chancellor for Government Relations Evelyn Hawthorne would make a special presentation following Rene Massey and Katherine Marlowe’s talk on the University purchasing card.

Marlowe and Massey welcomed their supervisor Gary Jones who had accompanied them on their presentation.  They noted that Jan Gross had retired from the University June 16.  Jones distributed a handout containing phone numbers and email addresses of those overseeing the purchasing card project.

Marlowe noted that the purchasing card functions as a State card in cooperation with First Union.  The State has a similar card in pilot that was supposed to emerge from pilot status on April 1, but progress has bogged down somewhat.  Use of the purchasing card follows small order procedure guidelines which are outlined in Section 9 of the University Business Manual.  There is a single time purchase limit of $2,500, and a monthly limit of $25,000.  Departments can elect to reduce the single limit to less than $2,500, and indeed decide which Employees receive cards, how to reconcile card purchases, and how many cards are distributed.  Departmental controllers can contact Marlowe’s office to recommend Employees for the card, who must then fill out a card and must finish training before receiving the card.

As of October 1, Employees will need a purchasing card to buy from Student Stores, on the decision of Student Stores head John Jones.  The purchasing card is a regular Visa credit card, issued in an individual’s name with their department name placed below.  Employees can use the card anywhere they could normally use a Visa card, and although the card is in an individual’s name, they are not forced to pay the bill as in the diners’ club card.  Reconcilers will go into the web system to put on the web to what department the purchase is charged.  As under Section 9 of the Business Manual, the card is not supposed to be used for what can be bought in University storerooms.

Dorothy Grant asked if persons other than those listed on the card would be able to use the card for purchases.  Marlowe thought that generally, if the person whose name is on the card were not present, stores would not let others use the card.  However, Sherry Graham said that sometimes if the person signing for the purchase includes their initials when signing, they would be able to use the card without having their name on it.  She said that stores like Wal-Mart allow purchases in this manner.

Lynn Ray asked about how the purchasing card will affect Employees who wish to buy supplies from Sterling Office Supply or U.S. Office Supply rather than the University storeroom.  Marlowe said that the purchasing card office reviews 100% of purchases made by Employees in the first three months of card stewardship.  In such cases, the office will document that the Employee did indeed call University supplies first to see if the object required could be had on campus, before venturing off campus. Afterwards, the University is in a position of trusting departments to use the card as they should, subject to periodic review.  Ray said that Employees using outside office supply companies are able to save the University and their departments a great deal of money in comparison to University supply sources.

Charlotte Kilpatrick asked how soon the card would be available to departments.  Marlowe said that the card had been available on campus for around a year.  Once her office receives an application, approval usually takes around a week to a week and a half.  The next training session for the cards is August 19.  Marlowe praised First Union for insuring such a quick turnaround time.

Lynn Ray asked if there had been feedback on problems with overspending on the card, even though departments trust the card only to responsible parties.  Marlowe said she had not received feedback of this sort yet.  However, she had run into problems with merchant category codes in which merchants do not know what type of business in which they are categorized.  The University is working with the bank to facilitate phone-in orders.  Marlowe cautioned users with cards with a low monthly credit limit that if they exceed this limit they will be blocked from further use of the card.

Marlowe said that purchases are input into a computer, which a reconciler then debits against their account.  The cardholder is bound to turn in receipts to the reconciler.  This method provides a second person to examine expenditures, insuring adherence to procedures.  Marlowe noted that sometimes the cardholder and the reconciler are the same person.  In these cases, the Employee must do buying according to the guidelines and procedures of the University.  Records of purchases must be kept accessible for five years to comply with federal, State, and University auditor requirements and all records must be readily accessible.

            The Chair asked if purchasing cards are matched with departmental accounts or with individual cardholders.  Marlowe said that the cards are for University use only, and all purchases are billed an account specified by the reconciler.  If a department does not reconcile certain purchases, these are charged to a default account number.  The purchasing card office does an entire bill for the University each month, and produces a check request for the bank.  The default account is not a grant account, because taxes are levied on grant accounts handled through check requests or purchasing orders.  An Employee asked if a card account must thus be charged to a trust fund, and Marlowe responded that departments specify which accounts their orders should be charged.  However, the University can use only State or trust fund accounts as default accounts; grant accounts cannot be used for this purpose.  No interest rate or fee is levied.

An Employee asked if the user is personally held responsible for the card’s usage, or would payment reflect against their personal credit.  Marlowe said that as a State card, the user has insurance on charges made against the card.  Departments hold the responsibility to reconcile charges with the bank.  In fact, the University will receive a reimbursement of a certain percentage of purchases if enough purchases are made with the card.  Marlowe did not know if First Union charged a discount rate for use of the credit card, but would ask Barbara Stone-Newton this question as she negotiated the card for the State of North Carolina.

The Chair thanked Massey and Marlowe for their comments.

 

The Chair once again introduced Evelyn Hawthorne, Associate Vice Chancellor for Government Relations, to talk about the legislative process.  She thanked the Forum for inviting her, and for its expression of interest in the advocacy role of Government Relations.  She had been with the University for around a year and a half, working mainly with University Relations and the Development Office to communicate Carolina’s message.  She serves as the liaison to State and federal lawmakers, and works closely with President Broad and General Administration staff on Carolina’s message to lawmakers.

In addition to this work, Hawthorne works as a support person for students, faculty, and staff.  She tries to portray Carolina as a resource, and does what she can to offer to be a resource to interested members.  Hawthorne supports the advocacy philosophy, which states that it is “much more difficult to say ‘no’ to a friend than to an acquaintance.”  She worked to create friends and relationships for the University, to make it impossible for decisionmakers to say ‘no.’

Hawthorne said that she had learned from her grandmother that if one takes care of the little things, the big things would fall into place.  As an advocate for Carolina, Hawthorne thought that if she could make lawmakers and voters more comfortable about contacting the bureaucracy that is UNC-Chapel Hill, they would feel better about supporting the University’s goals.

Hawthorne works closely with State legislators and members of Congress.  Given the biennial elections, she must every year adjust her approach to these elected bodies.  Hawthorne said that the University’s best friends in the Legislature live here in Chapel Hill and Carrboro: Joe Hackney, Verla Insko, Ellie Kinnaird, and Howard Lee are all accessible, interested, and engaged in ways to help the University flourish.  Hawthorne said that on the bond issue, the University had no better friends in providing this message than these local leaders.

Hawthorne was frustrated that Employees who want to get more involved in legislative issues are unable to exert effective influence with legislators outside of Orange County.  She noted the old adage that “all politics are local,” and the fact that a legislator from Winston-Salem or Lumberton is less likely to return a call from Chapel Hill than from their own district.  Thus, the need to remind legislators of Carolina’s importance to the entire State, not just Chapel Hill and the Triangle.

With regard to the recent legislative session, Hawthorne noted that Employee salary increases had been effected by court decisions requiring paybacks of tax settlements and revenue forecasts, as well as recent tax cuts.  Salaries were the victims of the peculiarities of this year’s financial decisions.

However, the Legislature did adjourn on schedule for the first time in 20 years.  She noted that health premiums were increasing, and that the State must find ways to pay these increases in “cost-sharing” methods with State Employees.  She did however look forward to the progress on the prescription drug card, which should be distributed to Employees by the end of the year.

There were achievements in the State budget for the University: LEARN North Carolina, a program which serves teachers in 100 counties received $1 million in recurring funding, as did the Center for Alcohol Studies.  The University received legislative leave to create a vision for the Horace Williams tract similar to that in place for Centennial Campus, when it is ready to do so.  The University was also able to prevent raids on University programs for other purposes.  For example, some legislators had sought to use the University Hospitals poor and indigent fund for other purposes, but supporters of the University fought off this move.  The University also received local repair and renovation monies apart from the State bond.

Concerning the State bond issue, Hawthorne said that the defeat had been part of the educational process that would help legislators come to understand the serious problem raised by the University’s repair and renovation needs.  She noted that the Eva Klein report had not been due to be delivered to the Legislature until April 15.  While the University System was aware of what the recommendations of the report would be, the Board of Governors could only move to lobby for approval of the bond issue after publication.  The Board took a leap of faith to go for approval this year given current needs and the challenge of bringing 48,000 additional students into the System in the coming years.  The System benefits by communicating this message about its impending growth.

Employees looking to get involved with this effort must remember that they cannot use University time or resources.  She urged these Employees to spread the Carolina message to the citizens of Chapel Hill and the people with whom they do business.  She hoped that Employees would become partners with Carolina, as students who contact their legislators from other parts of the State are.  She thanked the Forum for its interest and offered to take questions.  As there were no questions, Hawthorne took her leave.

 

Human Resources Update

Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources Laurie Charest gave the Forum’s Human Resources update.  She noted that of the 15 positions identified for layoffs due to budget cuts, only six of these Employees are interested in continuing with the University or State (the others have found other opportunities).  Human Resources is working to find placement for the five affected Employees, as the sixth has already taken a position on campus.

            Charest noted that the University Managers’ Development Program has experienced budget cuts, but has not been eliminated.  The program will be postponed until spring, and administrators will make changes to the program to continue its existence.

On a happier note, Charest thanked everyone for their contribution to the University Blood Drive.  The Drive had collected 973 pints, and went very smoothly for donors, with most entering and leaving within 45 minutes.  She thanked all those who volunteered and gave blood, noting that the Drive makes a great difference in blood supplies throughout the State and region during a historically low period in blood contributions.

The time for annual enrollment in Health Maintenance Organization plans is from August 3-September 2.  Some Employees have already received their enrollment books in the mail.  HMO subscribers will experience significant premium increases this year, although HMO rate increases are partially offset by the State’s commitment to higher payments for individual subscribers.  The plans Optimum and United have elected to withdraw their coverage from Orange and Durham counties, but will be replaced by Generations, the UNC Health Care Systems Plan.

Charest noted that the health insurance benefits community meeting had been well attended.  She said that interested Employees could obtain the departmental insurance HMO booklet by contacting Joanne Pitts of Benefits.

SPA pay raises are now complete and the July 16 pay raises were first in evidence in the July 30 paycheck.  EPA Employees will find their pay raises in the August 30 paycheck, retroactive to July 1.

The Child Care Center is fully enrolled.  Approximately 35% of enrollees are on subsidy payments, a figure that is higher than anticipated and higher than the percentage at the old Victory Village Center.  One hundred fifty-seven applicants are now on the Center waiting list, with varying numbers (from five to six) applications for each age group.  All infant slots are enrolled, and given the shortage of infant care in the Triangle, these slots will be full through January 2000.

Charest reported that the Center is the only center in Orange County to receive a professional development award, which amounts to a $3000 stipend to recognize staff participation in development programs.  The National Association of Early Youth Care will test that the Center meets the national standard through its reaccredidation process, which the University expects will go well.

An Employee asked when people nominated for participation in the Spring University Managers Development Program would be notified of their status.  Charest said that Human Resources is in the process of notifying people and will let everyone know of their status soon.

Betty Averette asked what had happened with the Point 2 Point Employees.  Charest said that a couple of these Employees had been placed in other jobs within the department, and one had found temporary work elsewhere in the University.  A number of departments have had Employees who have quit or who have left before the cuts came into being.  The University has eliminated 25-30 vacant positions for the purposes of the budget cuts, leaving these departments to decide how to carry out the same amount of work with fewer people.  Charest said that the University is trying to identify things it can stop doing, and added that no one on campus is sitting around with bags of money.

Joanne Kucharski asked in which categories were the five people who had been laid off.  Charest said these Employees were in a range of positions, mainly clerical, with some fairly high level professional positions.

Eileen McGrath noted that SPA and EPA non-faculty Employees were due to receive a bonus from the Legislature.  Charest said that EPA non-faculty were due to receive whatever bonus allotted to them in their August 31 paycheck.

 

At this point, the Forum took a five-minute stretch break.

 

Approval of the Minutes

The Chair asked for a motion to approve the minutes of the July 7 meeting.  Ken Litowsky said that on page 6, the fourth paragraph from the bottom, second sentence of the minutes should read “Anyone can print from the web site transmittal memoranda or other text they want for reference.  These prints can be filed in the hard copy of the Human Resources Manual.  However, Employees, supervisors and managers must understand the official version of the manual will be the web version.”

Linda Drake made a motion that the minutes be approved with this amendment.  Ken Litowsky seconded the motion, and the minutes were approved as amended.

 

Unfinished Business

The Chair called for any further nominations from the floor for the office of Vice Chair.  In the absence of any further nominations, Ken Litowsky moved to close the nominating process, a motion seconded by Linda Drake.  This motion was approved.  Betty Averette then moved that the Forum accept Kathy Dutton as the Forum’s new Vice Chair via acclamation.  This motion was unanimously approved.  The Chair stated her excitement and approval that Dutton would serve as the Forum’s new vice chair.

 

The Chair asked members of Division 4 to choose a new member of the Executive Committee to replace Ruthie Lawson.

 

The Chair introduced proposals for revisions to the Guidelines, as put forward by the Forum Executive Committee.  The first of these revisions was this change to Section VI. C. In the event that any electoral division cannot fill each of its apportioned delegate positions due to the resignation and/or termination division….the Forum Chair shall have the authority to appoint delegates from that electoral division, selected in consultation with the remaining delegates from that division the Forum Nominating Committee, and the prospective delegates’ supervisor(s).  These newly appointed delegates shall serve until the next scheduled Forum election, at which point they may be elected subject to general Forum elections.  Delegates appointed to the Forum in this way may serve no longer than one year, and such service shall not count against their eventual election as Forum delegates.

This change was meant to eliminate the need for divisional special elections so close to general elections, while retaining representation within depleted divisions.  The change also should reduce demands on the Forum Nominating Committee to conduct special elections while also recruiting and verifying candidates for general elections. 

The Executive Committee proposed moving the section on Forum Officer elections, Section VI. D. Election of Officers Section to an appendix of the Guidelines.  This change would make the Guidelines easier to understand for the everyday reader.

The Executive Committee noted that the heading of Section X. should be changed to section IX.  The committee also recommends moving Section D. Election of Officers 5-6 to Section VIII. Officers.  Finally, the committee proposes adding this sentence to Section VI. E. Delegate Responsibility:   “Delegates are strongly encouraged to attend at least one community meeting a year.”

 

The Chair noted that Forum delegates have expressed strong feelings about the Forum attendance policy, particularly the policy’s non-recognition of family and medical emergencies.  She noted that for many Employees these emergencies cannot be avoided.  The Chair said that historically the Guidelines had been written to disallow excused absences for reasons of simplicity and a desire for continuity.  In this view, Employees who cannot attend the Forum meetings cannot fulfill their obligations, and perhaps should concentrate more on their regular jobs.

Jean Coble said that her experience with the Forum’s attendance policy had been rather negative, to the point where the Forum did not seem to be a family friendly organization.  She noted that one and perhaps two women who had become pregnant recently had been forced to resign from the Forum.  Coble personally had received surgery and was not allowed a medical leave from the Forum or any other flexibility under the current policy.  She felt that division alternates should step in temporarily to carry out absent delegates’ responsibilities.  Coble had personally kept up with Forum activities through email and campus mail during her extended absence.  Coble thought that the Forum needed to be more family friendly and needed alternates to serve in medical leave situations.

Betty Averette thought strongly that the current policy was poor.  She had once been forced to miss two straight meetings due to medical concerns, but had never missed a meeting prior to those two.  She thought it ironic that the reason the Employee Forum was created was to address how Employees are treated on campus, but seemed so intransigent with respect to absences.  She noted that one delegate had received what she called a “nastygram” upon missing meetings following the death of her father.  In general, Averette thought that the Forum should make exceptions and allowances for absences due to these situations, in order to be more family friendly.  She thought that the number of absences at recent Forum meetings bore out the fact that Employees are facing greater work pressures than before.  She did not like the Forum’s current attendance policy.

Lynn Ray said that the Nominating Committee had been looking at the administration of the attendance record, namely the rollover of absences from one year to the next, and would make a recommendation on wording changes to the Guidelines at the upcoming Executive Committee meeting.  Perhaps these changes could incorporate medical and other reasons for Forum absences into the Guidelines.  She noted that currently, only first alternates are granted worktime to attend Forum meetings, although other alternates do not receive leave time.

Jean Coble proposed that first alternates could be temporarily promoted to delegate status for a period of time.  The Chair said that the Executive Committee would discuss these points further in an attempt to come up with a policy on absences that follows the Family Leave Act. Ken Litowsky said that one option would be to have delegates and first alternates to switch roles temporarily.

Eileen McGrath added that many delegates are reaching the age when they have childcare and parent care issues.  Averette added that the “five absences in a nine month period” is somewhat confusing to delegates.

The Chair said that she did not want to undercut the commitment of delegates who have been willing to spend so much time working for the good of the entire University.  Jean Coble added that some delegates might need to receive a “nastygram” concerning Forum participation, but thought that delegates expecting a baby or surgery should take the time to notify the Forum Office and/or their correspondent first alternate.  Martha Barbour thought that delegates expecting to be absent should make it their business to contact the Forum Office.  The Chair said that she hoped that supervisors would not stand in the way of delegates needing to attend Forum meetings.  Bobbie Lesane said that reluctant supervisors might do well to receive a reminder of their agreement that their charges could attend Forum meetings.  Dorothy Grant said that alternates other than first alternates should be made aware that their attendance might be necessary at Forum meetings, and insure that their supervisors are aware of this commitment.

The Chair said that the Executive Committee would take these suggestions under advisement at its next meeting.

 

Chair’s Report

In the interest of time, the Chair elected to skip her report.  However, she urged delegates to attend a meeting of the Board of Trustees and the chancellor’s search committee on August 26 at 3 p.m. asking for staff input on the chancellor search.  She hoped that a great number of delegates could attend the Board meeting.  The Chair had talked to Linwood Futrelle and other former chairs for their input on this request for comments.  Delegates and other Employees interested in this opportunity for comment should feel free to involve themselves.

The Chair noted that this search was the first time that staff have been represented on the search committee.  She had felt from the beginning a true part of the group, citing Richard Stevens and Ann Cates in particular for going out of their way to welcome her.  The Chair anticipated that there would be a number of lengthy meetings facing the search committee.

 

Committee and Task Force Reports

Bobbie Lesane, Chair of the Career Development Committee, reported that the group would hold its next meeting on the 2nd Thursday of the month.  She said that Laurie Charest would be present to talk about the Employee/manager career training draft, which had been forwarded from last year’s group.  She thanked Charest as well as Norm Loewenthal for their support of the committee.

Ken Perry said that the New Careers Training Board had received a $2,000 grant for Employees in grades 50-54 for those Employees who would like to attend training at a learning institution of their choice.  Details will be placed on the Forum web page and are also available from Ken Perry.

Kathy Dutton said that the Employee Presentations Committee had not met but would meet again August 23.

Lynn Ray, Chair of the Nominating Committee, said that group had delayed its monthly meeting until August 5.  Committee members have been in the process of collecting and verifying participation of candidates.  Ray said that the response has not yet been as great as had been hoped, but said that the nomination period had not yet elapsed.  She urged delegates to find and nominate Employees for delegate positions, particularly outgoing delegates.

The Orientation Committee will meet again August 23; it did not meet in July.

Martha Barbour reported that the Personnel Issues Committee had met July 15 with 17 members present.  The committee had asked why the University had not shifted to a pay period on the 1st and 15th to avert the 27th pay period crisis, as it had known about this problem for years.  The committee expressed its strong support for the idea of general staff meetings to improve understanding of general staff issues.  Barbour said that the actions of people in higher administration should face the same accountability that staff Employees face.  The committee wondered whether the current crisis would affect the national rating of the campus.

            Committee members also wondered why the health and dental plans for campus Employees could not be combined.  Barbour noted the importance of dental health to the life of a whole person.

Barbour noted that a staff member from across campus parking in the Health Affairs parking deck for an appointment had their parking permit shown and had received a ticket.  She asked what could be done for Employees in this situation.

The committee continues its work on the compensatory time survey, and plans to report back at the next meeting.  The Chair praised Barbour and her committee for their work, noting that the main work of the Forum is done in its committees. 

Betty Averette, Chair of the Recognition & Awards Committee, said the group had not met in July.  She was due to be appointed to the University Day Planning Committee, which partly deals with staff participation in the honorary processional.

Eileen McGrath said that the University Committee Assignments Committee was due to meet again August 16.

 

Betty Averette said that the Transportation and Parking Advisory Committee had not met since March or April.  She thought there might be a need to meet given the number of calls she had received concerning the dissolution of daytime Point 2 Point service.  She said that TPAC had not been asked its opinion on the impact of service dissolution.  Lynn Ray understood that Point 2 Point had been funded out of special projects money, but had never been moved to recurring funding under the Public Safety budget.  Ray said that this money had been cut every year since its initiation, and had finally been eliminated in an effort to match recurring programs with recurring dollars.  Averette noted that the Student Body President had expressed his support for resumption of Point 2 Point service.

 

In the absence of further questions, the meeting adjourned at 11:40 a.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Matt Banks, Recording Secretary

 

 

 

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