December 3, 1997
Agenda — December 3, 1997
9:30 a.m.–Meeting, Assembly Room of Wilson Library
I. Call to Order
II. Welcome Guests, Members of the Press, New Delegates
III. Opening Remarks
* Executive Vice Chancellor Elson Floyd
* Presentation of Certificates to Outgoing Delegates and Recognition of Service
IV. Employee Presentations—Janet Tysinger
V. Special Presentation
* University Career Counselor Erika Phillips
* Presentation of Forum’s Community Award (3-Legged Stool)
VI. Human Resources Update
* Laurie Charest, Associate Vice Chancellor, Human Resources
* Human Resources Community Meeting Responses
VII. Swearing In Of New Delegates
VIII. Approval of Minutes of the November 5, 1997 meeting
IX. Unfinished Business
* Computer Literacy Resolution: Second Reading
X. New Business
* Forum Officer Election Statements
=> Candidates for Chair: Tommy Brickhouse and Linwood Futrelle
=> Candidates for Vice-Chair: Jeffery Beam and Sherry Graham
=> Candidate for Secretary: Lucille Brooks
XI. Chair’s Report (Executive Committee): Bob Schreiner
* Board of Trustees Meeting on Employee Issues in May 1998
* 50 Most Influential People at UNC
* UNC System Staff Council Meeting November 7
* Presentation at North Carolina Central November 12
* Chair’s University Committee Service:
=> University Priorities & Budget Committee
=> Student Fee Committee
=> University Day Committee
=> University Council
=> Athletic Director Search Committee
XII. Committee/Task Force Reports: Annual Reports
* Nominating—Libby Evans
=> Forum Officer Elections
* Orientation—Joyce Dalgleish/Jeffery Beam
=> Five Year Reunion Recap
=> Unknown Facts, Part II
=> January Retreat
* Personnel Policies—Peter Schledorn
=> Exempt Employees Work Schedule (Comp Time) Discussions
* Compensation and Benefits—Tommy Brickhouse
=> Revision & Distribution of In-Range Salary Adjustment Fact Sheet Complete
=> Transfer Opportunities Program (TOP) Update Discussions
* Public Affairs—Ruth Lewter/Anne Montgomery
* Recognition and Awards—Laura Grady/Nancy Klatt
=> Booklet: Steps to Developing a Departmental Recognition Program
* University Committee Assignments—Anne Montgomery/Tommy Nixon
* Career Development—Norm Loewenthal
=> New Careers Training Board—George Sharp
* Employee Presentations—Janet Tysinger
* Employee Appreciation Fair Booth Task Force—Janet Tysinger
* School Volunteerism Task Force—Libby Evans
* Intellectual Climate Task Force—Libby Evans
* Faculty Council Liaisons
* Partner Benefits—Peter Schledorn
* Legislative Affairs—Tom Sullivan
* Transit and Parking Task Force Representatives—Libby Evans/Janet Tysinger
* Outsourcing Team Representatives—Bennie Griffin/Ann Hamner
XIII. Remarks from Outgoing Delegates Concerning Their Forum Experience
December 3, 1997
Dee Dee Massey
Connie Dean McPherson
Archie Phillips, Jr.
Ann Hamner “
” = Ex-Officio
Call to Order, Welcome to Guests
Chair Bob Schreiner called the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m., asking members to sign in and to examine the routing file as it was passed around the room. He welcomed guests and members of the press. Finally, the Chair welcomed Executive Vice Chancellor Elson Floyd.
The Chair noted that since the Forum had a very full agenda, Floyd had agreed to dispense with opening remarks and proceed directly to questions from the floor. Peter Schledorn recalled Floyd’s remarks at the November Forum meeting concerning the University’s grievance procedure, particularly the need to prevent frivolous grievances. Schledorn reported that this comment has been read by some as implying that the University now has a problem with frivolous grievances. Schledorn asked if this is what Floyd had intended to say, and if so, what led him to this conclusion.
Floyd thanked Schledorn for his question. He noted that Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources Laurie Charest would update the Forum on the proposed grievance procedure review. Floyd wished to insure that the University exists in a climate in which Employees’ legitimate grievances can be heard in a timely and expeditious manner. On the other hand, if the University is experiencing an environment which encourages frivolous grievances or grievances without merit, the University should find a way to deal with these situations outside of the grievance protocol.
Schledorn concluded that Floyd meant that the University did not have a problem with frivolous grievances, but rather wished to discourage frivolous grievances in the future. Floyd said that legitimate grievances should indeed have adequate time to be considered. Those matters that are not of the same magnitude, however, should not receive the same time commitment. Floyd noted that the grievance procedure review task force may review this matter in more detail.
As the Forum had a very full agenda, Floyd took his leave of the assembly. The Chair thanked Floyd for his time.
Presentation of Certificates to Outgoing Delegates
The Chair recited members’ names and aspects of service while Executive Vice Chancellor Elson Floyd remained to present certificates of appreciation to outgoing Delegates:
Mary Bogues Appointed October 1997 Eddie Capel Served on Career Development Committee (1996, 1997); University Committee Assignments Committee (1997); Nominating Committee (1996); Task Force on Election Processes for Officers (1997), Tommy Goodwin Employee Presentations Committee (1996, 1997) Laura Grady Recognition and Awards Committee (1996, Co-Chair---1997); Public Affairs Committee (1996) Bennie Griffin, Forum Representative, University Outsourcing Steering Team (1996, Jr. 1997) Tommy Gunter Recognition and Awards Committee (1996, 1997); Orientation Committee (1997); Employee Appreciation Fair Booth Task Force (1996) Thomas Holmes Executive Committee (1997) Nancy Klatt Recognition and Awards (Co-Chair---1996 & 1997); Compensation and Benefits (1997) Ruth Lewter Public Affairs Committee (1996, Co-Chair---1997); Orientation Committee (1996, 1997) Norm Loewenthal Career Development Committee (Chair---1997); University Committee Assignments Committee (1996, 1997); Executive Committee (1996); Intellectual Climate Task Force (1997) Connie Dean Employee Presentations Committee (1997); Orientation Committee McPherson (1997) Thomas Nixon University Committee Assignments Committee (Co-Chair---1997; 1996); Nominating Committee (1996, 1997); Employee Appreciation Fair Booth Task Force (1997) Rosa Nolen Executive Committee (1997); Orientation Committee (1996, 1997); Nominating Committee (1996); School Volunteerism Task Force (1997) Archie Phillips, Executive Committee (1997); Compensation and Benefits Committee Jr. (1997) Peter Schledorn Personnel Policies Committee (Chair, 1996 & 1997); Task Force on the Election Process for Officers (1997); University Gazette Insert Task Force (1997) George Sharp Career Development Committee (1996, 1997); Task Force on the Election Process for Officers (Convenor---1997) Jamie Spruiell Career Development Committee (1997) Reba Sullivan Personnel Policies Committee (1996, 1997); Orientation Committee (1996) Janet Tysinger Vice Chair, Employee Forum (1997); Executive Committee (1997); Employee Presentations Committee (Chair---1997); Employee Appreciation Fair Booth Task Force (Convenor---1997); Nominating Committee (1996); University Committee Assignments Committee (1996); Forum Representative, Transit & Parking Task Force (1996, 1997) Chien-Hsin Wagner Personnel Policies Committee (1996, 1997); Orientation Committee (1997) Beverly Williams Executive Committee (1997); Compensation and Benefits (1996, 1997) Mary Woodall Compensation and Benefits Committee (1997); Employee Presentations Committee (1996)
The Forum gave each of these recipients a warm round of applause.
Floyd noted that often much attention is paid to the contributions of faculty at the University. However, he felt that many of the Delegates receiving certificates, and others serving on the Forum, also number among the University’s best and brightest. He said that the contributions that the Forum and Employees generally make to the welfare of this institution are recognized and appreciated by the University and its administration.
The Chair asked if there were any Employee presentations to be made that morning. Vice-Chair Janet Tysinger had one Employee presentation which she introduced in the form of a resolution to honor Chair Bob Schreiner. Tysinger noted that Schreiner is the Forum’s first male chair, and will serve the second year of his term solely as a Forum delegate.
Tysinger read the resolution before the Forum:
A Resolution Honoring Bob Schreiner, 1997 Chair of the Employee Forum
RESOLUTION OF THE EMPLOYEE FORUM
THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA AT CHAPEL HILL
December 3, 1997
WHEREAS, the Mission of the Employee Forum is to address constructively the concerns of the Employees of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; and
WHEREAS, these concerns include the recognition of individuals who have distinguished themselves in service to the University community, so as to encourage similar achievement among the remainder of the community’s members; and
WHEREAS, an individual among us has distinguished himself by extraordinary resolution and high devotion to duty and to the University and its workers; and
WHEREAS, this individual has not only carried out his regular duties in service to the University but has also acted, with diplomacy, vision and achievement, as Chair of this Forum in the year 1997; and
WHEREAS, these issues have resulted in the resolution of many challenging issues facing the UNC-Chapel Hill community; and
WHEREAS, this individual has served the University and this Forum with dignity and leadership and has worked diligently in the effort to help establish a system-wide Staff Assembly and
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the Employee Forum extends its heartfelt gratitude to Bob Schreiner for his steadfastness and devotion to the welfare of this University, its Employees and this Forum.
The Forum gave the Chair a warm round of applause. Stephanie Stadler moved that the Forum accept this motion on first reading by suspending its requirement that such proposals undergo a one-month waiting period. Libby Evans seconded this motion. The Forum moved to accept Stadler’s motion by acclamation and without discussion. The resolution was also adopted by the Forum by acclamation.
The Chair said that he was very touched and surprised by this unexpected gesture. He thanked the Forum for its recognition and said he would save further remarks for later in the meeting.
The Chair introduced recently hired University Employee Career Counselor Erika Phillips to make the meeting’s first special presentation. He recalled that he had met with her and the Career Development Committee in the previous month and had been unusually impressed with Phillips’ ideas and initiatives. The Chair noted that Phillips’ position had been created in large part because of the Forum’s designated use of the Staff Development fund and felt that Phillips represented a wonderful new resource for Employees at the University.
As her position had only been established a total of two months, Phillips had broken down the content of her work into different components. The first existing feature of her office is a career information center from which Employees may borrow books, audio and video tapes, and computer software. These materials cover resume writing, job interviewing, job and career planning, and job changes and are available for checkout from Phillips’ office at 2-2550.
The center also includes the Discover software program, an interactive package that provides the user a means for self-assessment of personal interests and strengths. The program also allows the user to explore the salary ranges and job prospects of different careers across the country. Finally, the program directs users to educational resources necessary to pursue their chosen career. Phillips said that this software will be installed this week, and Employees have already signed up to utilize this program.
Another component of her office is the provision of one-on-one counseling for Employees. Counselors are available for any career-related matter, from creating or refining a resume to optimizing one’s Transfer Opportunities Program (TOP) request. Employees can also obtain empirical advice on prospective job changes through Myers-Briggs tests, self-directed searches and other objective measures. In addition, one can undergo practice interviews, or received advice on any other career-related matter.
In the month since the position was filled, Phillips had met with four Employees in this capacity, and hoped that with increasing publicity this number will increase.
Another major component is the range of career development workshops and classes. Classes for the spring of 1997 include “What About `TOP?,'” “Taking Charge of Your Career,” “Resume Writing,” “Interviewing Skills,” “An Effective Job Search,” “Back to School?,” “Building a Professional Image,” and “Avoiding Job Burnout.” All of these classes will be taught at 725 Airport Road and interested Employees should fill out a registration form or call 962-2550. More classes may be offered if turnout for these classes is good.
Phillips noted that her job may change as Employees find they require different services. She encouraged Employees to contact her office with their suggestions.
Phillips directed Forum members to a one-page summary of career development programs and services available. These services include skill training towards a certification as a nursing assistant; basic clerical, light construction and basic keyboarding classes; an early childhood program; and advice on how to start a small business. Career counseling services encompass career planning, interview practice, resume development, and improvement of job search skills. Training classes help with resume writing, interview skills, construction of a professional image, and questions about one’s career interests and the TOP program. Educational opportunities are available through the University’s work-based learning program, its apprenticeship program, and the educational assistance and tuition waiver programs. All Employees are eligible for these activities.
Phillips has also established a number of other initiatives since her appointment as career counselor. She has performed a means assessment for Employees in salary grades 50-54 in order to let these Employees know that her position is directly concerned with their particular situation. Phillips has sent out forms asking these Employees their opinions on what services the career counselor position should offer. She has already received several responses and hoped to receive more soon.
In addition, Phillips has consulted with several other career development programs on different campuses. The day before, she had met with her counterpart at Duke University, Mary Heely, to discuss mutual issues. She has also met with representatives from Durham Technical Community College and the General Alumni Association; these visits have shown what these institutions offer their clients and provided ideas for service improvement.
Informally, Phillips has held several interviews to gauge the general feeling of Employees at Carolina about career development programs and services. She once again invited Employees with concerns or questions to share these with her at their convenience.
Phillips has gone online to examine career counseling programs at other institutions across the country, and to solicit feedback from different sectors of University Employees. All of these activities have been helpful in providing some direction to this new position.
As a goal for her first year, Phillips hopes to communicate the services and availability of her position to the campus community. Her office has developed a brochure for this purpose which should be ready for distribution in mid-December. These brochures will be distributed to new Employees as well as made available at the Human Resources offices at 725 Airport Road.
To reach more Employees with news about her work, Phillips will conduct brief presentations at University supervisory resources training. Classes will be advertised in the University Gazette, and the spring schedule should be published soon. She has begun to explore ways to create a web page for Employees not interested in classes or one-on-one counseling. Finally, Phillips will rely on presentations to different Employee groups and word-of-mouth to advertise her office’s services.
As another first year goal for the position, Phillips wished to continue expanding the variety of opportunities available to Employees, through skill- and training-based classes, one-on-one counseling, web pages and other means. She particularly hoped to establish a University-wide career day in her first year.
Phillips plans also to create a career development workbook that would supplement existing classes. Employees will be able to take these materials home to clarify their understanding of the different skills taught in the classroom.
Finally, Phillips plans to evaluate the position’s progress and make needed changes intermittently and at the end of her first year.
In the absence of any questions from the Forum, Phillips took her leave. She thanked the Forum for the opportunity to speak and encouraged Forum members and Employees to contact her. She also thanked the Forum for voting to make funding for her position possible through the University’s Staff Development Fund. The Forum gave her a warm round of applause.
Presentation of Forum’s Community Award
The Chair moved on to the presentation of the Forum’s Community Award (3-Legged Stool). He read a brief explanation of the Award’s purpose:
The Forum’s Community Award is presented to that member of the University community who fosters a sense of fellowship and affinity among that community’s members. The Award is also known affectionately as the 3-Legged Stool Award. The Forum chose this symbol because if any of its legs–which in our stool represent the faculty, staff and students–is left to deteriorate then the whole stool will collapse, as will the University if any of its key elements is neglected. Some in the Administration have felt they aren’t represented but they are–they are the glue that enables everyone to work together.
The Chair announced that the Forum chose to present its Community Award for 1997 to Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources Laurie Charest. The Forum gave Charest a standing ovation upon this announcement. The Chair then read the citation that accompanied the Award:
This year’s Award goes to a person who has provided exemplary leadership in support of non-faculty Employees—Associate Vice Chancellor Laurie Charest. Laurie Charest leads a department that has become a bastion of support for University Employees. She and her colleagues have implemented numerous programs to improve Employees’ work lives, from improving job skills, to bolstering supervisor/employee relations, to augmenting staff benefits. Charest has helped the University and its Employees navigate the sometimes troublesome sea of State regulations, and under her direction, she has prepared human resources services at UNC-CH for the next century.
Charest has exhibited great personal integrity, and is widely viewed as trustworthy, approachable and fair. She has been open to different approaches to University problems and has encouraged the Forum to pursue new ideas and solutions for the greater good of the campus community. Her good humor and positive approach have encouraged the reticent to speak and the less articulate to become eloquent. As one Employee said, she “never made me or other committee members feel that any question we asked was dumb, immature, or out of line.”
In her work with the Forum and the University community, Charest has been professional, involved, informative, and forthright. It is for these and many other reasons that the Employee Forum gratefully bestows upon her its Community Service Award for 1997.
Charest thanked the Forum for its honor, and remarked that this award indeed meant a great deal to her. The Forum again gave Charest a warm round of applause.
Human Resources Update
The Chair asked if Charest wished to provide her customary Human Resources update at this time. Charest noted that she had several areas to cover, beginning with the task force that Floyd has established to examine the University grievance procedure. Charest has been asked to chair this task force, although the group itself has not been appointed. Charest has secured the agreement of Forum Chair Bob Schreiner to serve as vice-chair of the task force. In addition, she has asked the Forum to forward nominations to her of Employees wishing to serve on the task force, specifying which are supervisory and non-supervisory Employees in its nominations. Charest has forwarded to the Forum the names of several Employees who have contacted her indicating their willingness to serve.
Charest understood that the Forum’s University Committee Assignments Committee will place a message in the University Gazette to solicit nominations from as wide a base as possible among University workers. She anticipated that this process will allow the Forum to forward names to her office by early January at the latest, and that the task force should be appointed and will hold its initial meeting in mid- to late January.
Charest has asked Human Resources staff to begin some preliminary work to assist the task force with its project. Accordingly, staff members have gathered copies of grievance procedures in use at other educational institutions and State agencies, as well as prepared an analysis of grievances that have been handled under the current procedure. While she did not want to impose any plan on the yet-to-be created task force, Charest anticipated a very open and thorough review of the procedure. All Employees will have an opportunity to express their concerns and to review drafts of any and all changes in the current procedure. She expected that the task force itself will compose its plan to approach these issues, and hoped to report on the group’s approach at the Forum’s February 4, 1998 meeting.
The Chair had asked that Charest make some comment on the partnership agreement recently established between General Administration and the Office of State Personnel. This agreement stems from the passage of House Bill 275, entitled “Decentralizing the Functions of Office of State Personnel.” The partnership agreement is the subsequent action between the University System and the Office of State Personnel.
Charest recalled that in her November report she had mentioned the Persistent Personnel Issues Committee, a chancellor-level committee established by General Administration. Last summer she had served on a working group supporting that committee; one of the items that this group addressed was a review of the draft partnership agreement.
The agreement provides that “the responsibility and authority for day-to-day management for all human resources functions affecting classified employees at UNC (the System) is delegated to the President who may in turn delegate all or some of these functions to the constituent institutions that can show their readiness to assume such responsibility.” The agreement is patterned after the flexibility and other policies established for financial areas of these institutions. The agreement was signed in August 1997, and a team was established to lead a transition into this agreement.
The transition team met four times to begin work on operationalizing the agreement and expects to complete its tasks in June 1998. In the course of this work, the team has agreed to an addendum to the partnership which, though not yet signed, is expected to face few hurdles in approval. This addendum will allow the University System to establish an “essentially equivalent personnel system” for those classifications which are unique or nearly unique to the University System. The transition team has begun work to identify which classifications would be included in this equivalent system. While not serving on the transition team, Charest shared that the group had yet not established a list of these classifications.
Charest said it would be difficult to predict what changes the University would face as a result of this agreement, as Carolina already enjoys the highest degree of decentralization that exists anywhere in the State. She could not say whether the University will receive any further decentralization of functions. She hoped that eventually the University will receive leeway to conduct its own market analysis for classifications unique to the University system, making comparisons with other universities rather than other State agencies and setting pay structures reflecting these market analyses.
However, this prospect remains only a possibility for the future, and the transition team is now in the beginning stages of their work. Charest will keep the Forum informed of further developments as she is informed. In addition, if members hear something of interest she hoped they would contact her as well.
Charest reminded the Forum that interim reviews will take place through the end of the month. In addition, she reminded listeners that the University is indeed open on December 22, and that an office cannot officially close if any regularly scheduled Employee wishes to work. An office can close if management believes its services are not “essential” to the University’s work and all Employees wish to take vacation leave.
It is expected that the Human Resources offices in the Battle and Vance buildings will move into additional office space at 720 Airport Road sometime this spring. All Human Resources offices except for the Heels for Health and Sexual Harassment offices will then be located at either 720 or 725 Airport Road. The department will be closer to consolidation after this move, and plans are being made to minimize disruption of service. Human Resources will publicize these plans as soon as they are established.
Lastly, regarding responses to Employee questions at the Forum’s fall community meeting, Charest said that all questioners who included their name should have received an individual response to their question. Forum members were provided a copy of all of the questions and responses from Human Resources; this information is also available on the Forum’s web site (http://www.unc.edu/staff/forum). Charest said that Human Resources had received some very positive responses to this system of fielding Employee concerns, and suggested that the Forum may wish to consider this format for future community meetings.
In the absence of any questions, Charest took her leave.
Swearing In of New Delegates
The Chair recalled that members should have received an affirmation of each Forum delegate’s charge. He asked that continuing and outgoing Delegates also read this charge as an affirmation of their service to the Forum and the University. The Chair led the group in reading this charge in unison.
Charge to Forum Delegates
I share the Employee Forum’s vision to seek to continually improve the quality of life at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for its Students, Faculty, and Employees through mutual understanding, recognition of Employee contributions and respect for the worth of the individual.
I promise to seek out the issues, interests, ideas, and participation of Employees and to bring items needing further consideration to the Forum’s attention. I also will endeavor to develop a greater understanding of the University’s operations and its personnel policies.
I will work to develop proactive, progressive recommendations and advocate these to the Administration and to Employees , and to provide an effective two-way communication link between the Administration and the Employees.
I will help foster an open, positive environment throughout the University and will support achievement of the University’s mission of teaching, research, and public service.
The Chair congratulated incoming Delegates on their assumption of office.
Approval of Minutes
The Chair called for a motion to approve the minutes of the November 5, 1997 meeting. Janet Tysinger made this motion, with George Sharp seconding. Ken Litowsky pointed out that in the second paragraph of page five of the minutes, it is incorrectly stated that there are 305 working zone managers in the housekeeping division. There are only three working zone managers in this division. There was no further discussion, and the minutes were approved as amended.
The Chair recalled for the benefit of newly installed members that the Forum had recently changed how it addresses “motions of substance.” General practice now is to examine substantive motions over the course of two meetings. Discussions on a motion are held at both meetings, but a vote on a motion is postponed until “second reading” which occurs generally at the meeting after the one at which the motion is introduced. This delay allows members to digest all of the issues presented and to discuss the merits of the motion with other Delegates and Employees.
The Chair invited newly installed Delegates to participate and ask questions on any motion before the Forum. He noted that the Forum had heard a proposed resolution on computer literacy at its November meeting, and this proposal would now undergo its second reading. He asked that members raise any questions they had about this resolution at this point.
There were no questions at this point. The Chair called for a motion to approve the resolution on computer literacy on second reading. Peter Schledorn made this motion, with Norm Loewenthal seconding. There was no further discussion, and the motion was approved unanimously. The resolution will be forwarded to the Chancellor and appropriate members of University administration.
The Chair was pleased that the Forum was graced with five excellent candidates for officer positions. He noted that each candidate has the opportunity to have a presenter speak on their behalf for up to three minutes, and then each candidate may also speak for three minutes. Candidates are to be introduced by office–Chair, Vice-Chair and Secretary–and then alphabetically.
Nancy Tannenbaum spoke on behalf of Forum Chair candidate Tommy Brickhouse. She was delighted to support his nomination, and invited other Forum Delegates to join her in this support. Tannenbaum knew Brickhouse through his work on different Forum committees this year, and had seen his tireless efforts as Chair of the Forum Compensation and Benefits Committee. She was impressed with Brickhouse’s honesty, integrity and tact; she felt Brickhouse well-spoken and dedicated to the principles of the Forum. She believed that the Forum would benefit from Brickhouse’s leadership on a campus and State-wide level.
Tommy Brickhouse welcomed all of the newly installed Delagates to the Forum. He said that the Forum indeed enjoyed an excellent slate of candidates for office this year. He noted that Lucille Brooks, the candidate running unopposed for Forum Secretary, had served as Vice-Chair of the Compensation and Benefits Committee in 1997. He had enjoyed his working relationship with Brooks and hoped to build on this experience in 1998.
Brickhouse referred members to his biographical sketch for more details on his activities on behalf of the University and the Forum. He added that he also serves on the Chancellor’s grievance panels, the University Insurance Committee, and the task force to review tax shelter annuities (403(b) plans). Brickhouse thanked the Forum for its attention and pledged his willingness to serve the Forum in any capacity.
Janet Tysinger presented on behalf of Linwood Futrelle. She said it was a pleasure to introduce a man who had been an inspiration and the main reason that she had joined the Forum. She said that those who have had the privilege to work with Futrelle truly love him. Tysinger said that Futrelle is devoted to the University and its work, demonstrating this daily in his position as Director of Client Services for Academic Technologies and Networks. Futrelle has been an active and early participant in many University activities including the Employee Forum and the University Managers’ Association. He has also served as a participant and coordinator for the Employee Appreciation Fair and the University-wide Campus Blood Drive. Tysinger said that Futrelle has also been very active behind the scenes to recruit others to serve in these capacities. She said it was her distinct pleasure to introduce and support Linwood Futrelle in his candidacy for the office of Forum Chair.
Linwood Futrelle thanked the Forum for the opportunity to pursue his candidacy. He felt it a great honor to have served as a charter member of the Employee Forum, and felt he truly understood the purpose of the organization. Forum members are elected by peers and coworkers to represent their interests.
Futrelle thought that the Forum would face a number of big issues in 1998, the first of which is the intellectual climate report. He felt staff Employees must have some impact on this report and thought this need would be met through the Forum’s intellectual climate task force. It is important, he said, not to let these efforts fail.
Another big issue will be the University grievance procedure. Futrelle noted that the Forum will have the opportunity to nominate Employees to serve on the task force to reevaluate this procedure. He recalled that the procedure was put into practice in 1993, at approximately the same time that the Forum was created. Futrelle said that it was time for Forum members to seek the input of their coworkers and provide this input to the investigating task force.
Staff development also will be a pressing concern in 1998. Futrelle noted that the Forum had just approved a resolution on Employee computer literacy, and said that everyone must be prepared to deal with the new environment. Employees must move to develop their skills; he felt that the work of Employee career counselor Erika Phillips would be essential to providing these skills. Employees without a chance to add to their skills become unhappy Employees.
Futrelle pledged to work with Forum members to maximize the output of Employee efforts. He remarked that he and Brickhouse had enjoyed a long history of working together, and would continue to work together in the coming year. He thanked the Forum for the chance to make remarks.
Linda Drake spoke as the presenter for Jeffery Beam, a candidate for Vice-Chair of the Employee Forum. She was proud to introduce her friend and colleague Beam. Drake cited Beam’s knowledge of procedures and policies, as well as his experience on several University committees, as the bulwark of his candidacy. Drake recalled that newly installed members may recall Beam in his capacity as Chair of the Forum Orientation Committee.
Drake did not wish to repeat the list of activities on Beam’s biographical sketch, but remarked on the variety of activities undertaken. She stressed that Beam follows through with everything he starts, perhaps the most important quality of a prospective Forum officer.
Drake noted Beam’s creativity as a poet and public presenter; she said that this creativity serves Employees in the workplace as he views problems through fresh eyes and thus devises new solutions. In addition, Drake praised Beam’s commitment to implementing his and others’ good ideas.
As one example, Drake recalled that SPA Employees in the library felt that they had no access to library administration–all concerns were filtered through supervisors and department heads. Beam was one of the SPA staff members who pushed for the creation of an SPA Library Forum, and served as one of its first Delegates. The SPA Forum is now a well established body and is an effective means for these Employees to communicate their concerns. Drake felt that Beam could take credit for assisting in the success of this benefit for all library staff. She added that there are other areas of concern to departmental staff, particularly policy issues of concern to departmental libraries, in which Beam has taken the lead in solving problems that affect all library staff.
Drake felt confident that Beam would serve the Employee Forum well as Vice-Chair, having demonstrated a record that attests to his skills and abilities. She was honored to present Beam for this office.
Jeffery Beam thanked Drake for her introduction and noted the practicalities of his experience were captured in his biographical sketch. He was a great believer in the Forum, and while not greatly comfortable with numbers felt himself rather organized and efficient. Beam had served with current Vice-Chair Janet Tysinger on the Employee Presentations Committee and felt himself familiar with the workings of this group. Beam felt that he had the time to serve in this position and promised not to disappoint if elected. He was flattered and grateful for the opportunity to serve the Forum and to make it better in any way possible. Beam thanked members for their consideration.
The Chair asked if the second candidate for Vice-Chair, Sherry Graham, had a presenter. Graham said that Beam had agreed to be her presenter. The Forum was greatly amused by this show of collegiality between opponents for this position.
Jeffery Beam said that if he had known that Graham was running for this position he would have not run. He had known Graham only briefly through their relationship as Forum “buddies,” but was familiar with her very positive reputation for involvement in campus activities. Thus, when Graham had asked him to be her presenter that morning he was glad to do so. Beam encouraged members to feel confident voting for either candidate, and hoped that members would strongly consider voting for Graham.
Sherry Graham added that she probably would not have run for Vice-Chair if she had known that Beam had declared his candidacy. She thanked Beam for his wonderful introduction, and the Forum Office for the work it had done in assembling the materials for the officer elections. Finally, she was very impressed with the accomplishments of the Forum as a whole.
As she had not had an experience with candidate speeches before, Graham proposed to take a different tack in her remarks. She asked members to imagine what it would be like to be a student entering the University. An entering student must deal with tuition, scholarships, meal plans, housing, the swim test, library books, registration, e-mail Ids, and transportation, all before entering the first class. Then, she asked members to imagine an Employee pulling this student aside to ask what would make it easier for this person to get an education.
While this occurrence might sound improbable, it certainly is not impossible. Such an intervention fits in with the mission of the Forum which is to seek to continually improve the quality of life at the University. Graham said that University jobs offer more than a paycheck; Employees have the chance to improve the quality of life in our State. After all, the students and citizens of North Carolina, and their taxes, support the University and what it tries to accomplish. Graham recalled that when she committed to work at the University she was attracted by the chance to contribute to something larger than herself.
Once again, Graham asked members to keep in mind this imaginary student, and the Employee asking this student how the University could make getting an education easier. By focusing on the purpose of the University, the Forum fosters pride which fosters respect then cooperation resulting in a “win-win” situation for all of us. She urged the Forum to reach beyond itself to improve the quality of life for everyone.
Graham thanked Beam for his introduction and the Forum for the chance to run. The Chair remarked that the interchange between Graham and Beam spoke volumes about the collegial spirit within the assembly.
Lucille Brooks, candidate for Forum Secretary, did not have a presenter as her “buddy” was on vacation. She recalled that Libby Evans had suggested that she run for this position, and welcomed newly installed Delegates to the Forum. Brooks also thanked Tommy Brickhouse for his remarks about their work together on the Compensation and Benefits Committee in the past year.
Brooks had three goals that she hoped the Forum would keep in mind: first, she hoped that the Forum would continue to exchange ideas and develop staff organizations at other UNC system institutions. Secondly, she hoped that the Forum will continue its support of its twice-yearly community meetings. She encouraged new Delegates to read the minutes from these meetings and felt such interaction was at the heart of the Forum’s work. Finally, she hoped that Forum members would instill by actions and body language to administration, students & faculty that the University community can work together with pride and respect for one another.
Brooks looked forward to the chance to work with the Forum in 1998.
The Chair recalled that new Delegates still have a chance to run for office if they desire; Delegates may be nominated from the floor for any of these positions at the elections in January. Details on nominations from the floor and other aspects of the Forum’s election process are captured in the Guidelines and were excerpted for the Forum’s November agenda packet.
Elections will be conducted by Secretary Libby Evans and the Nominating Committee. The Chair was heartened by the fine qualities of these five candidates, and Anne Montgomery proposed that the Forum give them all a round of applause. The candidates were indeed applauded for their remarks and their willingness to serve.
The Chair recalled that the Board of Trustees will focus on Employee issues at its May 1998 meeting. He had already communicated with Board of Trustees Chair Richard Stevens about this meeting, and anticipated that the Forum would prepare a presentation for the meeting with the possible aid of Human Resources and other constituencies. This presentation will address Employee issues.
The Chair had attended the Board of Trustees meeting at which the faculty had made a very effective presentation to the Board. He had obtained a copy of the faculty’s Power Point presentation which he felt would provide an excellent model for the Forum’s talk. The Forum’s presentation will demand a great deal of preparation in 1998, and the Chair offered his assistance with this task.
The Chair reported that the Executive Committee had nominated Community Award winners Elson Floyd (1996) and Laurie Charest (1997) for the Carolina Alumni Review’s list of the “50 Who Make A Difference” at Carolina. He encouraged Employees to make their own nominations before the contest’s deadline.
The Forum hosted a System Staff Assembly meeting November 7 at Meadowmont. This group has worked to create a staff organization with the same relationship to General Administration that the faculty and students have employed. At the November 7 meeting, the group finished its drafts of its charter and by-laws. The group will seek a meeting with President Molly Broad to obtain advice on how to proceed and especially how to reach campuses that do not have active staff organizations. The group decided that representatives from North Carolina Central, NC State, UNC-Greensboro and UNC-Chapel Hill will attend, with two SPA and two EPA non-faculty employees in attendance.
A Forum delegation made presentations to employees of the North Carolina Central University (NCCU) campus in Durham November 12. The Forum has worked for over a year with employees at NCCU to facilitate the creation of their own internal staff organization along the lines of the Forum; the presentations described the creation and accomplishments of the Forum in Chapel Hill to an audience of NCCU employees. The Chair said that the Chapel Hill group had met with warm enthusiasm, and felt that the NCCU group was on its way.
The Chair referred members to the day’s agenda for a list of the committees on which he had served the last year. He urged candidates for his position in 1998 to reserve meeting time every Wednesday from 1-3 p.m. for meetings of the University Priorities and Budget Committee. The Chair recalled that membership on this important committee is reserved for the person holding the office of Forum Chair.
The Chair granted that he had served on the University Day Committee, but added that most of the work on this project had been carried out by the Forum’s Recognition and Awards Committee which was co-chaired by Laura Grady and Nancy Klatt.
The Chair added that the Forum is co-sponsoring, along with the University Managers’ Association, a presentation on building effective work groups. This event will take place Wednesday, December 10 from 2-5 p.m. in the Great Hall of the Student Union. Those interested should contact a representative of the University Managers’ Association or Gwen Gardner Burston, the president of the UMA. In addition, the group has a web page on which one may register.
President Molly Broad has agreed to address the Forum at its April 1, 1998 meeting.
The Chair asked that outgoing Delegates either return their blue notebooks or send a check for seven dollars to the Forum Office, made out to the “Employee Forum.” Members returning their notebooks should remove the contents before mailing or delivery.
The Chair asked for a motion to suspend the rules and introduce a resolution honoring departing University Gazette interim editor Mike Hobbs who will soon leave the University to take a position in Raleigh. Rosa Nolen made this motion, with Tommy Nixon seconding.
The Chair read the resolution in question:
A Resolution Honoring Mike Hobbs, Interim Editor of the University Gazette,
Upon His Retirement From that Position
PROPOSED RESOLUTION OF THE EMPLOYEE FORUM
THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA AT CHAPEL HILL
December 3, 1997
WHEREAS, the Mission of the Employee Forum is to address constructively the concerns of the Employees of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; and
WHEREAS, these concerns include the recognition of individuals who have distinguished themselves in service to the University community, so as to encourage similar achievement among the remainder of the community’s members; and
WHEREAS, an individual among us has distinguished himself by extraordinary resolution and high devotion to duty and to the University community; and
WHEREAS, during his tenure at the University, this individual has been a most able and accomplished steward of the University Gazette, an organ that has distinguished itself through comprehensive coverage of campus happenings and personalities dealing with staff and faculty employees; and
WHEREAS, this individual has devoted countless hours to providing discerning, timely and accurate coverage of the events and personalities affecting the UNC-Chapel Hill community; and
WHEREAS, the work of this individual has significantly increased campus awareness of the daily work lives of staff and faculty, greatly contributing to heightened feelings of respect, collegiality and mutual understanding among these groups; and
WHEREAS, this recognition is deemed necessary and appropriate
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the Employee Forum extends its warm best wishes and thanks to Mike Hobbs as he retires from his post as Interim Editor of the University Gazette.
The Forum moved to accept Nolen’s motion by acclamation and without discussion. The resolution was also adopted by the Forum by acclamation.
Hobbs said he was indeed touched by this gesture but felt that a great deal of credit needed to go to his predecessor, Margaret Balcom. He said that Balcom had made the Gazette what it is, and that he had been fortunate to carry the torch for a while. Hobbs noted that Patti Courtright has been a mainstay at the Gazette, and, he said, deserves as much credit for its success as he did. Barbara Rowan has been active in improving the Gazette’s “Calendar” section and its web page. He appreciated this honor and had learned in his relatively short time that Carolina is filled with wonderful people like those on the Forum; this fact has made the job of chronicling life at the University that much easier to do. The Forum gave Hobbs another round of applause.
Committee/Task Force Reports
Secretary Libby Evans noted that copies of the Nominating Committee’s annual report were located on the back table. She asked that members please write “1997” as the date on the top of the page.
Evans was pleased that the committee had been able to find a good new class of Delegates and an outstanding slate of candidates for Forum officer positions. The committee has tried to document the happenings of the Nominating Committee in order to make it easier for the next group to schedule its activities over the course of the calendar year. The annual report documents these suggestions.
Jeffery Beam noted that members received a copy of the Orientation Committee’s annual report in their recent agenda packet. As co-chair of the committee, Beam had greatly enjoyed the comradeship of his fellow members, and encouraged newly installed Delegates to consider service with this group. The committee has planned the Forum’s January 16 retreat at which Delegates and first alternates shall hear presentations and sign up for different Forum committees. Beam encouraged new Delegates to study the recently published annual reports before the annual retreat.
Beam noted that another installment of the “Unknown Facts” document had been added to the Forum’s agenda packet.
Beam urged members to make their plans to attend the retreat, to be held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Seminar Room of the Friday Center. The retreat is mandatory for Delegates, and generally is a valuable learning experience and a great deal of fun. The Chair added that the retreat is a very good event that serves as the foundation for the Forum’s work through the remainder of the year.
Peter Schledorn, Chair of the Personnel Policies Committee, reported the group’s major effort this year dealt with the compensatory time issue for certain University Employees. These discussions have been ongoing and would be turned over to next year’s group for further consideration. Schledorn noted that the group, in its discussions with Human Resources, had arrived at agreement on the problems involved, but had yet to hash out an agreement on solutions to these difficulties.
As chair of this committee for the last two years, Schledorn thanked everyone he had worked with; he said that all of his group’s members have been very hardworking and dedicated, and that he was proud to have worked with them.
Tommy Brickhouse, Chair of the Compensation and Benefits Committee, reported that the revision and distribution of the in-range salary adjustment policy factsheet was indeed complete. A copy of this document has been sent to all Employees, courtesy of Human Resources. A great deal of work has been done in this area by the committee and the Forum as a whole. Brickhouse was proud that the Forum had been able to accomplish this goal.
Brickhouse noted that the Chair has asked the committee to look into expanding an update of a Transfer Opportunities Program (TOP) 1994 position paper. The committee has secured Director of Employment Jack Stone’s agreement to work with the group to clarify this update. Brickhouse was grateful that the Forum could rely on the ready support of Human Resources staff; the group will meet again on December 11 to continue these talks.
Brickhouse thanked committee members Vice-Chair Lucille Brooks, Secretary Bettye Jones, Archie Phillips, Pat Bigelow, Nancy Klatt, and Beverly Williams for their hard work this year. He looked forward to working with these members in 1998.
Anne Montgomery, Co-Chair of the Public Affairs Committee, reported the group has struggled and been somewhat frustrated this year. These struggles have been reflected in the group’s annual report. Montgomery plans to meet with the Executive Committee to discuss these concerns with the possibility of redefining the group’s purpose and possibly change its name. She thought it important that the group’s name reflect the Forum’s mission to communicate with Employees on this campus.
Nancy Klatt, Co-Chair of the Recognition and Awards Committee, reported the group had completed its booklet on departmental recognition programs in concert with Patti Smith of Human Resources. She was proud of the group’s work, but noted that budget limitations will not permit greater distribution of these booklets. She asked that Forum members leave their copies on the table. The booklets will indeed be distributed to all Human Resources facilitators for Employees’ reference. The Chair thanked Smith for her regular attendance at Recognition and Awards Committee meetings over the past year.
Tommy Nixon, Co-Chair of the University Committee Assignments Committee, reported the group’s annual report was included in the December agenda packet. He thanked Co-Chair Anne Montgomery, Norm Loewenthal, Rosa Nolen, and Jackie Overton for their work this year. Nixon noted that a notice soliciting volunteers to serve on the grievance procedure task force should appear in the next issue of the University Gazette.
Norm Loewenthal, Chair of the Career Development Committee, reported the group had met briefly in November to finish its activities for the year. He was pleased that the Forum had seen evidence of two solid accomplishments reflecting work of the committee at the day’s meeting: the presentation by Employee career counselor Erika Phillips and the Forum’s approval of a resolution on Employee computer literacy.
Loewenthal said that much remains to be done. The group plans to work with Phillips in the coming year and to follow up on the computer literacy recommendations. In addition, the areas of career growth and academic course opportunities for Employees both deserve continuing efforts by the Forum and the University. These issues are addressed in the group’s annual report, but Loewenthal pointed out that nearly everyone serving will soon leave the Forum. In order to provide some continuity, Loewenthal has offered to make a presentation on behalf of the committee at the Forum retreat and to remain active on the Career Development Committee. Loewenthal thanked everyone who served on the committee in a very productive year.
The Chair reminded outgoing Delagates that Forum committees are open to all Employees, with the condition that committee chairs must be a Forum delegate or first alternate. He also asked that the Career Development Committee consider implementation steps to supplement its resolution on Employee computer literacy. He also proposed that the group explore whether a task force should work with Academic Technologies and Networks to explore specific feasible steps to make progress in this area while not requiring legislative support. He felt that the University has the resources to accomplish these goals.
George Sharp reported that the New Careers Training Board had come a long way since its composition in March 1997. Much work has been done and much distrust has been overcome through the sincere efforts of people like Special Assistant for Minority Affairs Harold Wallace and Director of Training and Development Ken Manwaring. Sharp felt that much more potential existed for the success of this project than existed six months ago.
One of the items of ongoing concern has been to find a home for the 12 computers donated to the board. This area coincides with the resolution on computer literacy that the Forum had just approved. Wherever the computers are located will be used as an education station where classes will be taught to these Employees.
Vice-Chair Janet Tysinger, Chair of the Employee Presentations Committee, thanked the members of her committee for their very strong work through the year. The committee had benefited from two fine community meeting presentations. Tysinger thanked Laurie Charest and the rest of the Human Resources staff for their work at the fall community meeting; she thanked Elson Floyd, Ann Hamner and Laurie Charest for speaking on the privatization process, and Don Gold and Angela Carmon for speaking on changes in the Public Safety department in the spring.
Tysinger noted that the Employee Appreciation Fair Booth Task Force has been composed each year for around six weeks at the most. She had convened this group, and remarked that there had been more work than anticipated to organize this project effectively. This year, the group put together information to help newcomers organize the Forum’s booth in May. She encouraged new members to think about serving on this task force next year.
As a member of the group working on the exhibits aspect of the Employee Appreciation Fair, Libby Evans asked members if they had ideas about organizations they would prefer or not prefer to have space at the fair. The group is particularly thinking about decreasing the number of financial management organizations allocated space at the fair. Employees with comments should direct these to Evans or Fran Allegri.
Libby Evans said that the School Volunteerism Task Force should pick up its activities in the spring.
Libby Evans reported that the Intellectual Climate Task Force had continued to meet towards its goal of providing a staff response to the faculty’s report by the spring. She asked Employees with ideas on how staff can be, should be or are involved in the intellectual life of the University to contact the task force. These items include areas like Jeffery Beam’s poetry readings which have become to a certain degree a part of his job as a librarian.
Employees should feel free to send forward their ideas about staff involvement in the intellectual climate, even brainstorming ideas, to Evans or another member of the group. Evans was sorry that Hobbs was leaving the University as the task force hopes that the Gazette publish a story asking how faculty and staff contribute in these areas or might be involved. These plans will be worked out with Gazette staff.
Faculty Council liaisons had nothing to report.
Libby Evans reported that the Transit and Parking Task Force had not met that month, but had sponsored two community meetings: one in the evening for students and one during lunch hour for staff and faculty attend. Evans said that the meeting organized for students had been poorly attended but had been rather fruitful in terms of ideas. The second community meeting had around 20-25 people of which two or three were University faculty.
Evans reported that the task force plans to hold more community meetings, but hoped that the publicity for these meetings would be more extensive. Another delegate remarked that she had seen notice of the community meeting on electronic mail listservs, but Evans did not think that publicity extended far outside the realm of such listservs. She encouraged Forum members to attend the next such meeting.
Janet Tysinger said that the task force soon should produce draft proposals for the task force and the University community to consider. She said that the University’s consultants have offered to provide one or more proposals combining transit and parking options for general discussion. Tysinger hoped that these plans would be better publicized than the recent community meetings.
Tysinger added that the task force has left the information gathering stage and had reached the point when all of the various constituencies will attempt to influence the group’s recommendations. Betty Averette commented that discussions of transit options have grown somewhat heated on the Forum’s listserv in recent weeks.
Libby Evans noted that constituencies often do not recognize the issues that others must deal with which leads to hard feelings and polarized positions. She noted that faculty and students have been very articulate in support of their viewpoints. For example, a comment that students have no need for parking options was met by the rebuttal that not all students are just out of high school and that many have child care and job issues of their own. Evans said it had been informative to have this point of view brought to the attention of the task force.
Stephanie Stadler asked with Don Gold’s absence who would head the task force into the next year. Evans said that Gold served on the task force only in an ex-officio capacity and that Willie Scroggs chairs the group. While Public Safety staff have provided administrative support to the group, little has changed in the task force’s activities since Gold took his leave.
Ann Hamner reported that the University Outsourcing Steering Team had not met in December.
Remarks from Outgoing Delegates Concerning Their Forum Experience
The Chair recalled that last year the Forum had heard comments from outgoing Delegates concerning their association with the Forum. He invited outgoing Delegates to provide comments that they felt appropriate.
Eddie Capel jokingly thanked everyone on the Forum for putting up with him during his two years. He advised incoming Delegates to keep a sense of humor, and to use humor to clarify points of discussion and to defuse tension. Capel said that Forum Delegates hold a great opportunity and responsibility to effect positive change at the University. He said that members enjoy the benefits of some truly talented people, and challenged members not to waste this legacy. He hoped and knew that members would live up to their pledge to the University.
Capel encouraged members to sign up and volunteer for committee work. This work provides members a chance to work with those one does not usually meet, broadening their University experience. Finally, he was saddened that newly installed members would not have a chance to enjoy and endure George Sharp’s far-reaching, provocative questions.
Norm Loewenthal said it was impossible to follow Eddie Capel in any type of speechmaking. He was grateful to have chaired a committee containing the talkative Capel and Sharp. Loewenthal was proud of his work on the initial task force that created the Forum five years ago, and his current service as a delegate allowed him to see how well that earlier work had turned out. Loewenthal felt that the Forum represents a model of effective University governance and intelligent leadership. He thanked Elson Floyd and Laurie Charest for their encouragement of the Forum. He thanked 1996 Chair Ann Hamner and 1997 Chair Bob Schreiner for their leadership, and Forum Assistant Matt Banks for his contributions.
Loewenthal felt that the Forum’s tradition of conducting business with civility and open deliberation truly represented the spirit that infuses an active intellectual climate. He felt that it was vitally important that the Forum continue to be what it has become.
George Sharp thanked a number of Delegates he had come to know during his service on the Career Development Committee. He praised Archie Phillips’ dogged, silent tenacity, and felt that Phillips typified the spirit of the University’s workers more than others might realize. Sharp cited Norm Loewenthal’s overwhelming sense of quiet decency and tireless preparation which governed his chairmanship. Sharp praised Eddie Capel’s wild yet mature sense of humor which lent a valuable perspective to the serious topics under discussion. Sharp was grateful for the chance to get to know Jeffery Beam as his Forum “buddy,” and praised Chair Bob Schreiner’s work in meeting an overwhelming task.
Sharp advised newly installed members to express themselves and to use the Forum as an opportunity to confront fears about participation. He had been taken aback that his supervisor had chosen to nominate him to the Forum, and had taken several meetings to work up the courage to speak up. Sharp said that the Forum is a very supportive group of people and encouraged newcomers to use their time on the Forum as an opportunity to grow in their personal lives.
Finally, Sharp acknowledged Peter Schledorn’s efforts as chair of the Personnel Policies Committee. He was grateful for Schledorn’s support and feedback during the course of his two year stay. Sharp had been amazed by the Personnel Policies Committee’s detailed proposals and their dedication to their work. He praised Schledorn’s efforts and concern for all matters of the University community.
Schledorn thanked Sharp and other members of the Forum who had made his service a great pleasure. While Forum service has involved a lot of work, he said it had also been great fun.
Nancy Klatt felt it had been a great honor to serve on the Forum. She very much enjoyed her time with the group and the people she had met.
Janet Tysinger said that she was partially very happy to finally have a chance to depart the Forum, but another part hopes to continue to contribute where she could. She advised continuing members not to “hide their candle;” they should tell people what the Forum is doing in conversations with coworkers. Many Employees still do not know about the Forum though stories run regularly in the University Gazette. Forum members can share information to make others a part of the process.
Laura Grady thanked the Forum for the many wonderful memories.
Rosa Nolen welcomed the newly installed Delegates. She challenged Forum members, visionaries and foot soldiers alike, to keep the quality of the organization intact. Nolen said that the Forum had been a very worthwhile organization and had been the source of many new friends and contacts, many of whom she would not have met otherwise. Nolen encouraged members to throw themselves into their committee work but to keep in mind the entire University community.
The Chair asked if members had any further announcements, questions or comments. George Sharp raised an issue that he felt was of concern to all UNC staff. He felt that the Carroll Swain case had raised a broader issue concerning the right of UNC staff to work in an atmosphere free of intimidation or reprisal. Sharp reported that some feel that the recently revised grievance procedure provides less protection against supervisor retaliation than the previous procedures. He hoped that the proposed task force to examine the grievance procedure would make sure that strong anti-intimidation and anti-retaliation measures are included for Employees filing grievances. Sharp felt that no UNC Employee should have to fear retaliation if filing a grievance.
Peter Schledorn expanded on Sharp’s comments, stating that occasionally UNC as an institution served as its own worst enemy. He noted that beyond the Swain case, at least two other grievances have been in reaction to dismissals made under questionable circumstances that were either reversed internally or in legal proceedings. Schledorn asked if the State Personnel Commission had followed through to examine the reasons behind these dismissals.
Schledorn was dismayed to see the University in these cases so often end up with egg on its face. He felt that given the amount and quality of evidence there needs to be some account made for the reasons behind these dismissals, particularly why the dismissals were not overturned in later steps of the grievance process.
On another topic, Sharp had heard from members of the New Careers Training Board that some Employees have been dropping trash in strategic places to test the efficiency of housekeepers in their building. As the housekeeping division is currently understaffed and hurt further by absenteeism and turnover, Sharp felt housekeeping Employees do not need or deserve such harassment from their fellow Employees. Sharp and his constituents felt that it was disrespectful and absurd to have one Employee intentionally add to the problems and workload of another.
Looking over the booklet on “Steps to Developing a Departmental Recognition Program,” Betty Averette was concerned that many departments on campus still do not recognize Employee service time. She personally had been on campus 17 years but had still never received an award in recognition of her 15 years of service. Averette joked that her department might get around to providing her with a 15 year citation when she has reached her 20 year landmark. She felt that all Employees should be aware of such programs and receive some departmental level of recognition, and was dismayed that so many departments still do not take stock in recognizing their Employees through such programs. She hoped more departmental programs would be implemented, and was concerned that these booklets would not find their way out of Human Resources facilitators’ offices.
Nancy Klatt said there were only so many ways to publicize recognition programs, and that the Forum was reliant on Human Resources to provide funds to create these booklets. She proposed that the Forum work to find money to make more copies of these booklets available for general distribution.
In order to begin and end promptly, the Chair took the opportunity to thank all of the Forum’s Delegates on his own behalf. Having entered as a stranger, the Chair had been welcomed and supported in a new and sometimes difficult role. Forum Delegates and committees have done a great deal and have much more to do. Many of the Forum’s continuing concerns have been captured in the Forum’s various annual reports.
While the past year has gone by quickly, the Chair had mixed feelings that his term would expire in one month. He thanked all of the Forum’s Delegates for their efforts and challenged the assembly to spread the word about the Forum to all of the University’s 6,500 Employees. This task might be the Forum’s greatest challenge of all, and could provide a good focus for the Forum’s Public Affairs Committee.
The Chair was saddened that the University was losing a great friend in this task in the departure of Mike Hobbs, but was pleased that it could still rely on the consistent voice of Mitch Kokai and WCHL. Both have been great friends to the University and its Employees.
The Chair thanked Forum Assistant Matt Banks for his assiduous work and good humor. He particularly praised Banks for his role in providing the Forum its institutional memory. The assembly gave Banks a round of applause.
In the absence of further discussion, the Chair called for a motion to adjourn. Janet Tysinger so moved, seconded by Libby Evans There was no discussion, and the meeting adjourned at 11:34 a.m.
Finis Coronat Opus
Matt Banks, Recording Secretary