December 4, 1996
Agenda — December 4, 1996
9:30 a.m.–Meeting, Assembly Room of Wilson Library
I. Call to Order
II. Welcome Guests, Members of the Press
III. Opening Remarks
* Executive Vice Chancellor Elson Floyd
* Presentation of Certificates to Outgoing Delegates
* Recognition of Delegates for Service
IV. Employee Presentations—Kay Spivey
V. Special Presentations
* Forum Promotional Video (Tentative)
* Outgoing Delegates Recount Their Forum Experience
VI. Approval of Minutes of the November 6, 1996 meeting
VII. Chair’s Report (Executive Committee): Ann Hamner
* Executive Committee Meeting November 21 with Representatives of NC State Staff Senate & North Carolina Central Professional Office Workers’ Association
* Chair’s University Committee Service:
=> Outsourcing Steering Team
=> Student Fee Committee
=> Inclement Weather Committee
=> University Day Committee
=> Memorial Convocation Planning Committee
=> University Council
VIII. Unfinished Business
* Career Development Committee Recommendations Resultant from Employee Educational Survey
* Resolution Honoring Former University Staff Employees Elected to General Assembly
IX. New Business
* Recommended Changes to Procedure for Handling Memorial Resolutions (Recognition and Awards Minutes)
* Proposal for University-wide Compensatory Time Policy (Personnel Policies)
* Proposal on University Grievance Procedure (Personnel Policies)
X. Committee/Task Force Reports
* Nominating—Dianne Crabill
=> Forum Officer Candidate Biographical Sketch Due December 15
* Orientation—Leon Hamlett/Delores Jarrell 4
=> Forum Retreat January 17
* Personnel Policies—Peter Schledorn
* Compensation and Benefits—Tommy Brickhouse 4
* Public Affairs—Helen Iverson 4
=> Plans for Legislative Day
* Recognition and Awards—Nancy Klatt/Pamela Shoaf 4
* University Committee Assignments—Vicki Lotz/Jennifer Pendergast 4
* Career Development—Sharon Cheek 4
* Video Production Task Force—Frank DiMauro
* Faculty Council Liaisons
* Partner Benefits—Peter Schledorn
* Legislative Affairs—Laresia Farrington
* Transportation and Parking Advisory Committee Representatives—Marshall Wade/Janet Tysinger
XI. Human Resources Update
* Kathy Dutton, Human Resources
=> Possible University/Employee Input into Classification Studies?
= Included in Agenda Packet
4 = Annual Report Included in Agenda Packet
December 4, 1996
Tommy Griffin, Jr.
Archie Phillips, Jr.
Marshall Wade, Jr.
Rachel Windham “
” = Ex-Officio
Call to Order and Welcome to Guests
Chair Ann Hamner called the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m. She noted the many guests present, including former Chairs Kay Wijnberg and Margaret Balcom. The Chair introduced Executive Vice Chancellor Elson Floyd to give opening remarks, adding that he had recently been inducted into the University’s chapter of the Golden Key Honor Society.
Dr. Floyd hoped that Employees had the opportunity to spend time with family and friends over the Thanksgiving holidays. He recalled that University Employees sometimes seem to spend more time at work than with loved ones, and hoped that all concerned were able to make the most of their deserved holiday.
Dr. Floyd was thankful for the leadership that Ann Hamner had provided the Forum during her term as Chair. He said that his relationship with the Forum’s Executive Committee this year had been among the finest in all his years in higher education. He praised, on behalf of himself and the Chancellor, the leadership and time that the Executive Committee had provided the University through the year.
In the same spirit, Dr. Floyd thanked departing Delagates for their service throughout the year and hoped that they would continue to provide advice and counsel. He embraced the opportunity to work with continuing and new Delegates in 1997.
Recalling the severe snow and ice storms last winter and the troubles associated with providing information to Employees on the University’s status, Dr. Floyd announced that faculty and staff will receive information on the new Weather and Disaster Hotline, 685-8100. A small wallet card with the Hotline number will be distributed. The University will use this Hotline to communicate up-to-date information about its status during adverse weather and other disasters. Dr. Floyd thanked Telecommunications, Human Resources, Institutional Research, the Forum and other parties for helping the Hotline idea come to fruition, and feels it will eliminate much confusion during inclement weather situations.
Also, Dr. Floyd recognized the leadership of Chancellor Hooker in settling the housekeepers’ lawsuit this month and cited Laurie Charest’s instrumental role in resolving this dispute. He felt that the settlement reflected the concern and tenacity of everyone at the University to resolve this matter fairly.
Most of the initiatives put in place as a part of the settlement will apply to housekeepers as well as other Employees. Dr. Floyd emphasized that these initiatives will benefit all Employees, not just housekeepers. He was proud that the settlement was governed by this general principle, and had reviewed the terms of the settlement with the Forum’s Executive Committee. The signed agreement is available from the Forum Office (962-3779). While there is much to do to address the working conditions of all University Employees, Dr. Floyd thanked the Forum for its constructive input.
The Administration is in the process of finalizing its legislative agenda and Dr. Floyd will describe this agenda more specifically at the Forum’s January meeting. In the absence of questions from the group, Dr. Floyd reiterated his appreciation of the Forum’s contributions to University life.
Before proceeding further with the Forum’s regular agenda, the Chair presented the Forum’s Community Award (3-Legged Stool) for 1996 to Dr. Elson S. Floyd. The Forum gave him a hearty round of applause and a standing ovation. The Chair read the citation accompanying the Award:
The Employee Forum Community Award (3-Legged Stool) Citation
December 4, 1996
The Employee Forum of University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill presents its 1996 Community Award (3-Legged Stool) to Elson S. Floyd. The 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 are neglected. Some in the Administration have felt they aren’t represented but they are—they are the glue that enables everyone to work together.
This year’s Award goes to a person who has provided exemplary leadership in support of non-faculty Employees—-Executive Vice Chancellor Elson Floyd. Elson Floyd has been a blessing to this campus. He has met with numerous groups and individuals, representing the Chancellor, and has spoken eloquently and candidly to all. He has been a sounding board, a reliable source of information, and a pillar of strength and support to Faculty, Staff, and Students at the University. Elson has been a reliable and valuable conduit of information between the University Administration and the larger community, involving himself directly with the people of this campus and surrounding areas on a day-to-day basis. On a campus as large as UNC-Chapel Hill, this is an extensive undertaking.
Elson has brought a spark of reason and collegiality to campus affairs and without his direction, our confidence would be less sure. It is for these and many other reasons that the Employee Forum gratefully bestows upon him its Community Service Award for 1996.
Again, the Forum gave Dr. Floyd a warm round of applause.
The Chair moved on to the presentation of certificates to outgoing Delegates. She asked that outgoing members rise and receive their certificates from Executive Vice Chancellor Floyd.
Delegate Forum Committee Service Ned Brooks Convenor, Pan-University Allocation Task Force; Orientation Committee (1995) Mona Couts Executive Committee (1995); Nominating Committee (1995-6); Pan-University Allocation Task Force Vicki Lotz University Committee Assignments Committee (1995-6; Co-Chair, 1996) Marshall Wade Executive Committee (1996); Convenor, Employee Appreciation Fair Booth Task Force (1995-6); Nominating Committee (1995); Career Development Committee (1995) Creola Scurlock Delegate Bobbie Lesane Delegate Tommy Griffin Executive Committee (1996); Personnel Policies Committee (1995); Employee Appreciation Fair Booth Task Force (1995); Pan-University Allocation Task Force Pamela Shoaf Recognition and Awards Committee (1995-6; Co-Chair, 1996) Kay Spivey Vice Chair of Forum (1996); Employee Presentations Committee (Chair, 1996); Executive Committee (1995-6); Compensation and Benefits Committee (1995); Employee Appreciation Fair Booth Task Force (1995-6) Peggy Cotton Career Development Committee (1995-6); Nominating Committee (1995); Recognition and Awards Committee (1996); Employee Appreciation Fair Booth Task Force (1995-6) Helen Iverson Personnel Policies Committee (1995-6; Chair, 1996); Executive Committee (1995); Career Development Committee (1995-6); Employee Appreciation Task Force (1995-6); Video Production Task Force Sue Morand Executive Committee (1996); Employee Presentations (1995-6); Employee Appreciation Fair Booth Task Force (1995-6); Video Production Task Force Sarah Rimmer Delegate Dianne Crabill Secretary of the Forum (1996); Nominating Committee (Chair, 1996); Orientation Committee (1995); Employee Appreciation Fair Booth Task Force (1995-6) Laresia Farrington Employee Presentations Committee (1995-6); Public Affairs Committee (1995-6); Orientation Committee (1996); Employee Appreciation Fair Booth Task Force (1995-6) Lynn Ray Compensation and Benefits Committee (1996) Leon Hamlett Orientation Committee (1995-6; Chair, 1996); Compensation and Benefits Committee (1995) Jennifer Pendergast University Committee Assignments Committee (1995-6; Co-Chair, 1996); Executive Committee (1996); Recognition and Awards Committee (1995-6) Frank DiMauro Convenor, Video Production Task Force; Public Affairs Committee (1996) Sharon Cheek Career Development Committee (1995-6; Chair, 1996); Orientation Committee (1995); Personnel Policies Committee (1996); Employee Appreciation Fair Booth Task Force (1995-6) Kathy Dutton Executive Committee (1996); Employee Presentations Committee (1995-6); Nominating Committee (1995-6) Alice Taylor Nominating Committee (1995-6) Ann Hamner Chair of the Forum (1996); Chair, Executive Committee (1996); Recognition and Awards Committee (Chair, 1995); Orientation Committee (1995); Personnel Policies Committee (1995); Employee Appreciation Fair Booth Task Force (1995); Pan-University Allocation Task Force
The Chair thanked Vice-Chair Kay Spivey and Secretary Dianne Crabill for their hard work and sacrifices during the year, adding she could not have continued as Chair without their support. She also thanked Kay, Jennifer Pendergast and Forum Assistant Matt Banks for their help in making presentations to Supervisory Resources this year, a practice she hoped the Forum would continue.
Kay Spivey, Chair of the Employee Presentations Committee, had nothing to report from that Committee.
The Chair noted that the Video Production Task Force had worked very hard in order to make a “high-end rough draft” video ready for the day’s meeting. She praised the Task Force for its labors on the project: Frank DiMauro, Convenor; Helen Iverson; Sue Morand; Delores Bayless; Susan Blalock; Matt Banks; Andy Brawn; Tom Cox; Linwood Futrelle and the student interns in Video Production. She thanked Mike McFarland of News Services for contributing footage of Chancellor Hooker’s Installation to the project. She thanked Delegates, staff Employees and University community members for their cooperation in the project, as well as Chancellor Hooker, Executive Vice Chancellor Elson Floyd, Faculty Council Chair Jane Brown, past Forum Chairs Kay Wijnberg, Margaret Balcom and Rachel Windham, and particularly the initial founders of the Forum.
The Forum viewed the videotape. Those interested in seeing or obtaining a copy can contact the Forum Office at 962-3779. Convenor Frank DiMauro thanked the Forum Assistant and Video Productions for their quick work in utilizing the University’s new non-linear video editing system and the assembly responded with a round of applause.
The Chair had sent an e-mail to all outgoing Delagates inviting them to share any experiences or reminiscences they have of their work on the Forum. This idea came originally from Marshall Wade and was endorsed by the Executive Committee. The Chair emphasized that these remarks are not required of members, but invited those willing to share their thoughts and feelings.
Sue Morand arose to speak. She said she was one of the “old-timers,” being employed at the University for over 25 years, long enough to hear complaining—legitimate and not so legitimate. Through the years she had seen many changes in operations at the University and within the State System, finding that “new and improved” was not always a good thing. Staff employees usually received the short end of the stick when these changes arose, and there was no organization to make general complaints heard. The State Employees’ Association has always done a good job in dealing with legislators, but there was no organization to deal with local concerns of staff employees.
When the Employee Forum was established, Sue was delighted: Employees finally had a voice that would be heard. She did not hesitate to answer the call of service on the Forum. Her service on the Forum has given her an “up close and personal” look at activities at the University. She was proud to share news, not gossip, about what the issues are and what is being done to resolve problems.
During her first year on the Forum, Sue said she spent her time getting her feet wet, but this year has waded into deep water without fear of drowning. Serving on the Forum, she said, has been the most interesting thing I have ever done on this campus. She hoped others share her enthusiasm and pride in this organization.
The Forum has done many good things this year, and Sue regretted she would not be a member next year. Her advice to new Delagates and Alternates was not to lose sight of one’s goals. While meetings can be sometimes inconvenient and long, you will come back with a sense of relief in knowing what is finally going on. She encouraged new members to feel pride that they are part of an organization that is changing perceptions of staff as simply the “other” employees to a vital part of the University.
Marshall Wade recalled that during Orientation two years ago incoming members were encouraged to use the microphone to address the group and share something about themselves. He recalled he had spoken about his two young sons, who have since grown into little men. His youngest encouraged Marshall to buy the book, Chicken Soup for the Soul. Marshall read a brief story from the book as a charge for future Employee Forums:
You are a marvel. Each second you live is a new and unique moment that will never be again. When we teach our children, we teach them that 2+2=4 and Paris is the capital of France. When will we teach them what they are? We should say to each of them, “do you know in all the years that have past, there has never been another child like you—your legs, your arms, your third fingers and the way you move. You may become a Shakespeare or Michelangelo or a Beethoven. You have the capacity for anything. Yes, you are a marvel. And, when you grow up, you can them harm others who are, like you, a marvel. We must all work to make the world more worthwhile for its children.
Kay Spivey felt that during the past two years on the Forum she had gained far more than she had given. Kay felt the Chair had set an exceptional standard of leadership and had in many ways raised the standard for Employees at the University. She similarly thanked 1995 Chair Rachel Windham, recalling her stirring remarks last fall at the University Day Installation.
Kay noted that many others have contributed to make her service on the Forum possible, Jennifer Hobbs in particular. Kathy Dutton, Sharon Cheek, Tommy Gunter, Laresia Farrington and Jack Stone are others who have been of special help. She thanked these and the many others who support the work of the Forum in ways we may not even know.
Ned Brooks spoke up, but expressed concern he might get emotional. He thought there were four things that made the Forum’s year so successful. One, of course, is the wonderful leadership of Chair Ann Hamner. The Chair has inspired really great, open discussions in meetings. Secondly, Ned praised Dr. Elson Floyd. Without Dr. Floyd’s honest, open communication from the top levels of the Administration the Forum would not have been nearly as effective. The third ingredient has been the Forum Assistant, Matt Banks, who has provided continuity and increased the effectiveness of the organization. Fourth, the members themselves and their contributions have been essential to the Forum’s success. Ned felt it had been a privilege and an honor to work with everyone on the Forum. He would remember this experience for a long time.
Sharon Cheek thanked the Chair, the Forum Assistant, Laurie Charest of Human Resources and Margaret Balcom of the University Gazette for their support of the Forum. From her experience as a Committee Chair, she knew the commitment and dedication necessary to be an effective Forum member. She thanked all the officers and leaders of the group over the past years.
Helen Iverson was proud of her work on the Forum and the diverse people she had met during service. She had learned to cope with different circumstances through her work and became more dedicated to her job through Forum service. She felt the Forum was the greatest tool staff have to become involved activities and problem-solving on campus. Helen offered to provide guidance and assistance to new members. She hoped the organization would continue to grow, and thanked past Chairs Kay Wijnberg, Margaret Balcom and Rachel Windham for establishing such a fine foundation for the group. She encouraged members to speak up and raise questions, and to report back to one’s fellow Employees.
The Forum gave each of the speakers a warm round of applause.
Approval of the Minutes
The Chair called for a motion to approve the minutes of the November 6, 1996 meeting. Helen Iverson made this motion, with Laresia Farrington seconding. Michael Klein noted that on the last page of the minutes, spaces added to the Water Tower lot were established with the help of OWASA, not the Law School. The Chair concurred with this change. As there was no further discussion, and the minutes were approved as amended.
The Chair noted that the Executive Committee met with representatives of the NC State Staff Senate and the North Carolina Central Professional Workers’ Office Association November 21 at the Friday Center. The meeting was very productive, and the Chair felt all three groups were committed to the establishment of staff councils on all 16 System campuses. A subcommittee of these three groups will continue to work towards this goal in 1997. The Executive Committee of the Forum is scheduled to meet again with these groups in March at North Carolina Central. The Chair urged next year’s group to continue with this endeavor, noting the many common issues on the different campuses.
As a late addition to the Routing File, the Forum has responses from Human Resources and Public Safety/Transportation & Parking to questions that arose at the Fall Community Meeting. She thanked the staff and leaders of these organizations. The Forum Office will transmit this information to the University Gazette for possible publication as well as to the original questioners. Also, the Forum Assistant will post this information on the Forum’s web page. (The transcript of the discussion is available at http://www.unc.edu/staff/forum/committees/oct96commtg.html. Responses from Human Resources are posted at http://www.unc.edu/staff/forum/HRopenmtg.html and responses from Public Safety/Transportation & Parking are at http://www.unc.edu/staff/forum/TPopenmtg.html.)
Regarding her different University Committee appointments, the Chair noted that the Outsourcing Steering Team had continued to meet weekly and had established criteria for review of different areas under study. Bennie Griffin continues as the Forum’s representative on that Committee.
The Student Fee Committee had been a unique experience, the Chair said. Aaron Nelson and Roger Patterson are co-chairs of that Committee. Discussions about increasing student fees have been candid and wide-ranging.
The Inclement Weather Committee has worked on guidelines for communicating information resulting from adverse weather to the media and to Employees. She hoped these procedures would not be necessary this year but they are in place.
The University Day Committee was a short-term Committee that planned the Day’s activities. She enjoyed participating in University Day and thanked all those who helped and participated.
The Memorial Convocation Committee worked on planning activities to memorialize community members who had died in the past year, particularly those students who died in the Graduation Day fire. The Chair was moved by this experience and praised in particular the work of the Campus Ministry.
The University Council, made up of Chancellor Hooker, and the heads of each of the representative organizations on campus, met only three times this year but had been very informative. She urged next year’s Chair not to let this opportunity to meet informally with these leaders pass.
Finally, the Forum Office has received a communication from the Campus Y regarding the upcoming Martin Luther King birthday celebration. The Campus Y will sponsor a Show of Hands for Peace and Unity. The Forum Chair has been invited to speak on the re-commitment of staff to the ideals of Dr. King. This item will be passed on to the new Chair; and while she could not speak for next year’s group, she hoped that Employees will attend this celebration.
The Chair noted that recommendations from the Career Development Committee concerning evening classes and Employee education were included in the month’s agenda packet. She asked for a motion to accept these recommendations. Peter Schledorn made this motion with Tommy Griffin seconding. There was no discussion and the motion to accept these recommendations and forward them appropriately was approved without opposition. The Chair thanked Sharon Cheek and the Career Development Committee for their good work on their survey and the accompanying recommendations.
The Chair noted the resolution honoring former University staff Employees elected to the General Assembly. This resolution was suggested by Peter Schledorn at the November meeting. Frank DiMauro moved that this resolution be adopted, with Helen Iverson seconding. Rachel Windham took exception to the assertion in the sixth clause that these Employees have “gone on to better things.” She suggested a language change deleting that phrase and inserting, “identified new avenues to serve the people of North Carolina and the important interests of our University.” The Forum adopted the resolution, as amended, without further discussion.
Pamela Shoaf, co-chair of the Recognition and Awards Committee, made a motion to change the Forum’s procedure for handling memorial resolutions. This motion grew out of the Forum’s October meeting and subsequent consideration by the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee asked that the Recognition and Awards Committee re-examine the Forum’s process for handling memorial resolutions.
Pamela noted that members had felt the resolutions took too much time away from the Forum’s agenda. Others felt that the reading of resolutions was too emotional and was inappropriate to begin the Forum’s monthly business. Finally, members worried that under the current procedure some names can be left out.
Accordingly, the Recognition and Awards Committee recommended that the procedure be amended to address these concerns. The Committee proposed that the Vice-Chair of the Forum read a list of the names of Employees who have passed on since the Forum’s last memorial observance. This reading shall contain the name, department, and years of service of each deceased Employee, after which the Forum shall observe a moment of silence. Following this ceremony, the Forum will recommend that this list of names be published in the University Gazette.
Margaret Balcom reminded the Forum that it cannot dictate to the Gazette whether a particular concern, such as this one, will be published. She noted that content and space considerations often preclude the Gazette from publishing many such items and so the Forum should not rely excessively on this method of communication to reach Employees. In this instance, she was concerned whether the Forum’s list of deceased Employees was complete, for example.
Pamela Shoaf responded that the Recognition and Awards Committee had secured Laurie Casile’s help in identifying all the recently deceased Employees at the University. Pamela noted Margaret’s concern intersected with the Committee’s worry that an Employee’s co-workers may not have time to properly honor their deceased colleague.
The Chair asked for a formal motion to accept the Committee’s recommendations. Pamela Shoaf made this motion with Marshall Wade seconding. There was no further discussion, and the motion was approved without opposition.
The next item of business was the Personnel Policies Committee’s proposal to seek a University-wide compensatory time policy. The Chair had spoken with the Chair of that Committee, Peter Schledorn, just before the meeting regarding Laurie Charest’s request that this discussion be delayed until she or Drake Maynard could be present to make comments on the proposal, from the point of view of their department. The Chair and Peter agreed to delay this discussion until the January meeting.
The Chair asked if Peter had any preliminary comments to make on this topic. Peter noted the Committee had been working on this item for a few months and had cooperated with Human Resources concerning a survey of Employees of this topic. The Personnel Policies Committee will invite Laurie and Drake to attend its December 13 meeting in order to incorporate their viewpoints further into the proposal. He noted that the general impetus for the proposal was the extremely long hours some Employees must work without compensation under current policy. The Chair thanked Peter and the Personnel Policies Committee for their willingness to postpone discussion.
The Personnel Policies Committee proposed that the Forum adopt a comprehensive recommendation on the University’s Grievance Procedure. Personnel Policies Committee Chair Peter Schledorn recalled a legislative bill to amend laws governing State agencies’ grievance procedures. The Forum had passed a resolution recommending defeat of this bill (House Bill 1139) at the urging of Human Resources, as the bill would have preempted and injured the grievance procedure already in place at the University.
The Committee felt it would be valuable to develop a comprehensive statement on the University Grievance Procedure to be adopted by the Forum and recommended to the Chancellor. The Committee sought 1) to finalize the Forum’s position on this topic so that future committees need not tread over old ground and 2) to establish the Forum’s position on the University’s procedure in case of future legislative proposals similar to that pursued and defeated this summer. Peter felt that there was a strong possibility the subject of statewide revisions will be resurrected in the next legislative term.
Peter thus moved that the Forum adopt the Committee’s comprehensive statement as its position on the University Grievance Procedure, for forwarding to the Chancellor and Human Resources, among other parties. Helen Iverson seconded this motion.
George Sharp asked where the issue of statewide revisions to grievance procedures stood in the Legislature. Peter replied that the bill had died in committee, but was nearly certain that the bill’s supporters would work for its passage in the new year. George concluded that the Forum’s statement would become a part of the background regarding policy considerations, particularly if endorsed by the Chancellor. There was no further discussion, and the motion was approved without opposition. The Chair thanked the Personnel Policies Committee for their diligent work on this and other Employee concerns.
Chair Dianne Crabill of the Nominating Committee noted that Forum Officer nominations were officially closed until January 8, 1997. Nominees were sent biographical sketch forms to complete and send to the Forum Office by December 15. Other Delegates interested in running will need to be nominated from the floor at the January 8, 1997 meeting. Rachel Windham confirmed that these biographical sketches will be mailed to Delegates in advance of the January meeting.
Chair Leon Hamlett of the Orientation Committee noted the group had met two weeks ago to finalize its agenda for the January 17 Retreat. The Committee will need to finalize arrangements regarding presenters via e-mail before publicizing a final version of the January 17 agenda. If necessary, Leon would contact members regarding a final Committee meeting before the Retreat. The Chair urged members to reserve Friday, January 17 on their calendars with their supervisors.
Chair Peter Schledorn of the Personnel Policies Committee noted that group would meet Friday, December 13 at noon in the Forum/Faculty Council Conference Room, 202 Carr Building to discuss the compensatory time issue, among other items. Peter extended his deep thanks to the members of the Committee for their perseverance during an exceptionally busy year. He was grateful for their advice and attendance at the Committee’s numerous meetings, as well as the support of Human Resources staff and other Employees.
Chair Tommy Brickhouse of the Compensation and Benefits Committee noted the group had submitted its annual report. He thanked members for the many suggestions received for the Committee to address in 1997.
Chair Helen Iverson of the Public Affairs Committee reported the group’s annual report was in the monthly packet. She encouraged members and Employees to join the Committee now to help plan for the 1997 Legislators’ Appreciation Day. Planning will continue for this event December 11 at noon in 106 Brauer, in the Dental School. She thanked members of the Committee for their work throughout the year.
Frank DiMauro suggested a correction to dates cited in the Committee’s December minutes, noting that President Spangler is scheduled to address the Forum on February 5, 1997, and in turn, Legislators’ Appreciation Day would occur during the March 5, 1997 meeting.
Co-Chair Pamela Shoaf of the Recognition and Awards Committee noted that in production of the group’s annual report, the Committee noticed mention in the minutes of a July motion regarding the 3-Legged Stool Award that was postponed until the August meeting, then never mentioned again. The Chair noted that this motion had been dropped because of a general unwillingness to change the official name of the Forum’s Community Award.
Co-Chair Jennifer Pendergast of the University Committee Assignments Committee thanked members for their good work this year. She noted that at the last Forum meeting there was concern that all volunteers for University Committees received a response from officials soliciting help. The Committee discussed this item at its last meeting and made a recommendation to the Chair and the Forum Office. The Committee proposed that when the Forum Chair transmits the a list of Employee nominees to a University Committee, the Chair request that all volunteers, accepted or not, receive some notice of their status, accepted or not. As an example, the relevant phrase could read: “we would appreciate your notifying all volunteers of their status on your Committee.” The Chair agreed to incorporate this suggestion into future correspondence.
Chair Sharon Cheek of the Career Development Committee stated the group would not meet in December. She thanked members of the Committee as well as Norm Loewenthal, Ken Manwaring, and Phyllis Daugherty for their time and contributions to the Committee’s work this year. All have provided valuable perspective and help. Sharon charged the 1997 Career Development Committee to follow up on the 1996 Committee’s recommendations, particularly the Forum’s recommendation to use Staff Development funds to create a part-time Career Counselor position.
Frank DiMauro, convenor of the Video Production Task Force, thanked everyone involved in the project. He praised Matt Banks and Andy Brawn for the gargantuan job done to produce and edit the video in time for this group’s last meeting. He also thanked Helen and Sue for their contributions and sound advice, among others. The Chair thanked Frank for his addition to the Forum’s accomplishments in 1996.
Peter Schledorn, Liaison to the Faculty Council Committee on Domestic Partner Benefits, had nothing to report. Laresia Farrington, Liaison to the Faculty Council Legislative Affairs Committee, said the group would meet in January and a member of the Public Affairs Committee would be there. She said these faculty members were very interested in the perspective of staff Employees and worked hard to present this perspective in trips to Raleigh to meet with the Legislature. Laresia recommended the Forum appoint some member of its 1997 Public Affairs Committee to act as liaison in her place, as she was retiring from the Forum.
Marshall Wade, Forum representative to the Transportation and Parking Advisory Committee, reported the group would meet in December to discuss possible rate increases.
Human Resources Report
In the place of Laurie Charest and Drake Maynard, Kathy Dutton presented the customary Human Resources report. She responded to a question regarding Employee input into classification studies, particularly Rachel Windham’s question at the November meeting concerning studies of accounting technician positions.
As background, Kathy noted that the Office Support Study included Accounting Clerks as a subject of that study. Inquiring with the Office of State Personnel about what is on their future list of possible re-classifications, Kathy found that Accounting Technicians are on this list but place somewhere after Accountants (these are all-inclusive classification series).
The University has quite a bit of input into the Office of State Personnel classification study. The Office works closely with Human Resources, incorporating Employee and management input as well as turnover data, changes in relevant technology into reclassification recommendations. These recommendations certainly may be unique to this campus, also, but there are enough issues in common so that System campuses work together closely with the Office.
Another concern arising at the November meeting was the status of administrative assistants. Human Resources is taking an active role in this concern. Because of the Office Support Study, which brought over 2300 positions on this campus alone into question, the University recognized that many of these positions need to be re-examined in light of changing work conditions and priorities. As the University must address different mandates and priority changes in the pursuit of its mission, so must the Office of State Personnel address different concerns in recommending areas for reclassification.
She noted that a Student Services Study is now underway. Another study nearly complete is the Statewide Nursing Study. There are other areas that are nearly complete or are on the books already. However, Human Resources will welcome Employee input as to desired classification series. Human Resources is continuously engaged in conversations with the Office of State Personnel, and in recent years have worked hard to insure that Office understands the particular needs of University staff. The University has worked closely with the Office in planning and preparation for studies that could conceivably affect University Employees. In turn, the Office has been receptive to these efforts. Kathy was hopeful and confident these cooperative efforts would continue.
As there were no questions, the Chair thanked Kathy for filling in and making this report.
Announcements and Questions
Peggy Cotton announced that SEANC District 19 was soliciting donations for its Christmas Cheer program. The District has adopted a family and Peggy is the chair of this effort. Interested parties should contact her at 962-1091. She thanked all State Employees who contributed to the District’s Thanksgiving Basket.
Secretary Dianne Crabill presented the Chair with a commemorative framed portrait of the 1996 Forum in appreciation of all her hard work during the year. The Forum confirmed this sentiment with a warm round of applause.
The Chair recalled that upon taking office she sought for the Forum to increase outgoing and incoming communication with all Employees at the University. She felt that the Forum had made real strides down this road, by establishing its web site with the help of Judy Hallman, Margaret Balcom, Janet Tysinger and Matt Banks. The Chair was proud to refer Employees at other institutions to the web site for answers to their many questions about the Forum and its work.
The Chair was pleased that this year the Forum had initiated the practice of making presentations at Supervisory Resources training sessions. She hoped these presentations would reach Employees across campus while encouraging supervisors to support Employees serving on the Forum.
She thanked the Employee Presentations Committee for creating a letter for the Orientation packet for newly hired Employees that describes the work of the Forum. The Chair noted that the Forum’s video would be another means to communicate with Employees across campus.
The quarterly Executive Committee meetings with staff councils across the State will undergird increased communication among staff Employees at all System institutions.
The University Council, among other avenues, has given the Forum a chance to share ideas and information with the leaders of every major segment on campus, from the Administration, to the Undergraduates and Graduate Students, to the Faculty. She was glad formal and informal opportunities for communication have increased among all of these groups this year.
The Chair felt the Forum’s Highlights Page mailed to all University Employees was helpful in explaining the Forum’s work. The Forum heard Employee Presentations from Kay Wijnberg and Paula Schubert on ticketing in the Health Affairs parking deck. She hoped the Forum would continue to encourage the practice of Employee Presentations.
The Chair felt the Forum had made productive use of e-mail and web page resources in communicating among Delagates and Employees. She recalled the use of these media during the academic calendar and adverse weather debates as effective in helping the Forum inform the populace, sample opinion and focus debate.
The Chair praised the Administration’s decision to increase staff support to the Forum to full-time. She recalled the Forum’s Spring Community Meeting, at which Michael Williamson presented on Total Quality Management and Janet Tysinger spoke on University web resources, and its Fall Meeting, moderated by Vice-Chair Kay Spivey, at which Employees expressed pressing concerns in an open mike session. The Forum has sought responses from the Administration and other officials and will forward these onward to concerned Employees. She hoped that next year’s Forum will find these useful items to address.
Chair Ann Hamner expressed her thanks to Vice-Chair Kay Spivey, Secretary Dianne Crabill, the entire Executive Committee, and former Chairs of the Forum Rachel Windham, Margaret Balcom and Kay Wijnberg. She was grateful to draw on the wise counsel of each and all.
As a suggestion, she hoped that the Forum would hold a five-year reunion of members past and present. She thought it would be good to share ideas and catch up in this fashion. She thanked Forum Assistant Matt Banks for his endless enthusiasm and assistance in every aspect of the Forum’s work. She presented him with a gift from the members of Forum class of 1996. Matt said he was pleased and proud to have the opportunity to serve with people as fine as those he had known on the Forum. The assembly gave him a warm round of applause.
George Sharp asked whether the Forum had addressed a concern that Sharon Cheek had mentioned earlier. Sharon Cheek noted that in the fourth paragraph, sixth sentence of the Career Development Committee’s annual report, it should read that “Norm provided the committee with a list of evening courses….” The Chair thanked George for keeping the group straight.
In the absence of further discussion, the Chair thanked all the Delegates of the 1996 Forum for their hard work and participation, and called for a motion to adjourn. Kay Spivey so moved, seconded by Dianne Crabill. There was no discussion, and the meeting adjourned at 11:11 a.m.
Finis Coronat Opus
Matt Banks, Recording Secretary