December 6, 2000
Monthly Employee Forum Meeting
9:00 AM -11:45 — Wilson Library Assembly Room
Wednesday, December 6, 2000
9:00-9:30 — Reception, Wilson Library Lobby
- 9:30 — 9:35 Call to order promptly at 9:30
- Welcome Guests, Members of the Press, New Delegates
Recognition of “Behind the Scenes” contributions; Guidelines routed
- 9:35 — 9:45 Opening Remarks, Chancellor James Moeser
9:45 Chancellor Moeser introduces Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration
- 9:45 — 9:55 Remarks, VC Nancy Suttenfield
- 9:55 — 10:20 Presentation of Certificates/pictures to Outgoing Delegates, Recognition of Service
Swearing in and pinning of New Delegates
- 10:20 — 10:25 Human Resources update, Associate Vice Chancellor Laurie Charest
- 10:25 — 10:35 Stretch Time and refreshments in Wilson Lobby (continuing Delagates can pick up pictures)
- 10:35 — 10:45 Approval of minutes of the November 1, 2000 meeting
Reading of Resolution re: Support for Community meetings
9. 10:45 Special Guest arrival
10:45- 11:00 Introduction and remarks, Senator Howard Lee
11:00- 11:15 — Senator Lee and Forum Secretary Geer conduct process for
Forum Officer Election Statements
Candidates for Secretary:
Candidates for Vice Chair:
Candidates for Chair:
10. 11:15 — 11:20 Announcements and Unfinished Business
Annual Committee reports due in 12/20
Status of Community Award (3 legged stool)
No January 2001 meeting; elections will be conducted at retreat (1/19)
(retreat agenda distributed)
Explanation of New Executive Committee selection process
11. 11:20 — 11:40 RAC Appreciation program
12. 11:40 — 11:45 Closing remarks from the Chair
13. 11:45 Adjournment
December 6, 2000
Mary Ann Vacheron
“ = Ex-Officio
Joanna E. Smith
Mary Ann Vacheron
Call to Order, Welcome to Guests
Chair Joanne Kucharski called the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m. She welcomed incoming Delagates to the meeting for the first time. She also recognized University Gazette editor Scott Ragland and Chapel Hill Herald writer Eric Ferreri for their continuing coverage of the Forum’s activities.
The Chair introduced Chancellor James Moeser to make opening remarks. Moeser thanked University Employees for all they had done to promote passage of the University bond package. He was tremendously gratified by the amount of bond support, which reached 73%. He said that the package was the envy of the nation, and he had been asked by colleagues at a national conference on higher education how the University had pulled this off. The $3.1 billion bond is the largest construction bond ever approved in history, and would have no tax increase attached.
Moeser said that the Forum’s community meeting had been taken very seriously by members of his administration. He said that the University would take seriously its responsibility to maintain pedestrian safety, an issue that was brought to light following the death of a student last winter. Campus leaders have worked directly with the Department of Transportation to build crosswalks, barricades and other projects to improve pedestrian safety. Moeser said that the University would work to insure that staff would have the ability to do their jobs effectively with the coming new construction cycle. It will communicate to minimize disruption in parking, safety, and building access.
Moeser said that University Relations and other offices would build an appropriate communications network to notify community members about the status and timing of projects, probably via website and other means. He asked Employees to realize that the building program represents an unparalleled opportunity for campus. The University will want to make sure that the campus maintains its excellent quality of life. He added that Employees must recognize that the building program will be an ongoing situation for the next number of years. He was confident that the University could deal well with these logistical issues.
Moeser noted that there had been a great deal of discussion concerning the University’s football coach. He was prepared to address questions if Delegates requested, but was frankly tired of the subject. He did say that the University must do everything well in its mission of becoming the best public university in the country. All of its decisions, including personnel decisions, must be directed towards that goal. We are constantly in the process of performing at the highest level, and must create situations in which the University has the maximum opportunity to succeed and excel.
Concerning the Horace Williams tract planning process, Moeser said that the University advisory committee had met November 30. The planning process has involved staff and faculty. Architects Ayres Saint Gross and economic consultants Stonebridge have presented a draft proposal to the committee at that meeting. The committee has considered a business plan to make possible the ideas proposed without draining away campus resources, and has explored the possibility of raising outside funds. The tract represents a great opportunity for the campus and the state.
There is the possibility of reserving some of the land for affordable housing for faculty and staff. Increasingly, Chapel Hill real estate is becoming more and more inaccessible for campus employees and the tract might provide a housing base that new faculty and staff can be able to afford. The impact on traffic of adding buildings to the Horace Williams tract would be reduced if workers lived right where they worked. Moeser anticipated that tract development would lead to tax benefits for the town and county as spin-off companies result from public-private partnership.
Moeser thanked Jack Evans for his excellent stewardship as interim Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration. Evans will continue as an assistant to the Chancellor and will head up development of the Horace Williams tract.
Moeser introduced Nancy Suttenfield, the University’s new Vice Chancellor Finance for Administration. In her prior position she managed a $465 million budget and $1.8 billion endowment for Case Western University in Cleveland. Moeser said that Suttenfield has demonstrated a commitment to collaborative decision-making, and is the right choice for an important position. He was pleased to introduce her to the Forum.
Suttenfield said that she was pleased to meet the Forum, noting that she had met the Chair on the search committee for the position. She had worked closely with the Staff Advisory council at Case Western. She very much respected the important role that staff play at institutions of higher education. Staff are the enablers of public service, student service and research. She was proud to join with Moeser’s goal of making UNC-Chapel Hill the number one public university in the country.
The University is poised at an exciting time in its history, as it faces major surges in enrollment growth, funding support, and work in biomedical research and the sciences. The University faces a major expansion in its boundaries, and will incorporate new and renovated facilities into its work. This period will be somewhat stressful and will create tensions, but good communications will ease the transition. Suttenfield pledged to communicate in an open, honest, and candid manner about issues of concern, via the Forum, phone, and email. She said it was not her custom to draw boundaries except in confidential personnel matters. She will tell about situations that are importance to the staff community. She looked forward to getting to know everyone further.
Moeser said that he had been pleased to meet with campus groundskeepers earlier that morning, and thanked them for the special work they do in making the campus look so good. He noted that the campus had been named to the top ten list of the American Society of Landscape Architects.
Moeser thanked Chair Joanne Kucharski for her work on behalf of the Forum, and said that she had represented University staff extremely well.
The Chair presented Moeser and Suttenfield with gifts of appreciation. She then asked the pair to hand out certificates of appreciation to outgoing Delegates.
Class of 2000 Delegates’ Committee Service
Forrest Aiken: 1999 & 2000 Career Development Committee
Brenda Ambrose-Fortune: 1999 & 2000 Orientation Committee; 1999 & 2000 Personnel Issues Committee
Terry Barker: 1999 Personnel Issues Committee; 2000 Communications Committee
Maceo Bullock: 2000 Nominating Committee
Deedra Donley: 2000 Communications Committee
Kathy Dutton: 1999 & 2000 Forum Vice Chair; 1999 & 2000 Executive Committee; 1999 & 2000 Employee Presentations Committee Chair; 1999 University Committee Assignments Committee
Monisia Farrington: 2000 Career Development Committee
Linda Ford: 1999 Personnel Issues Committee; 2000 Communications Committee
Karen Geer: 2000 Forum Secretary; 2000 Executive Committee; 2000 Nominating Committee Chair; 1999 Nominating Committee
Dorothy Grant: 2000 Personnel Issues Committee Chair (interim); 1999 Personnel Issues Committee; 1999 & 2000 University Committee Assignments Committee
Michael Hawkins: 1999 Executive Committee; 1999 Personnel Issues Committee; 2000 University Committee Assignments Committee
Dianne Hill: 2000 Recognition & Awards Committee
Charlotte Kilpatrick: 1999 Personnel Issues Committee
Joanne Kucharski: 2000 Forum Chair; 2000 Executive Committee Chair; 2000 Recognition & Awards Committee Chair; 2000 Orientation Committee; 1999 University Committee Assignments Committee
Bobbie Lesane: 1999 & 2000 Career Development Committee Chair; 2000 Orientation Committee Chair; 1999 Orientation Committee
Denise Mabe: 2000 Executive Committee; 1999 Career Development Committee; 1999 Nominating Committee; 2000 Personnel Issues Committee
Jill Mayer: 1999 & 2000 Executive Committee; 1999 Employee Presentations Committee; 2000 Communications Committee; 2000 University Committee Assignments Committee
Margaret Moore: 2000 Orientation Committee;
Ken Perry: 1999 Executive Committee; 1999 Career Development Committee
Lynn Ray: 1999 Forum Secretary; 1999 Executive Committee; 1999 Nominating Committee Chair; 2000 Nominating Committee;
Rickey Robinson: 2000 Executive Committee; 1999 & 2000 Orientation Committee;
Joanna E. Smith: 2000 Personnel Issues Committee;
Susan Toppin: 2000 Career Development Committee; 2000 Recognition & Awards Committee
Cindy Stone: 1999 & 2000 Career Development Committee
The Chair then lead new Delagates in the reading of the Forum oath. Vice Chair Kathy Dutton and Secretary Karen Geer presented Chair Joanne Kucharski with a silver-framed portrait of the Forum. They thanked her for her tireless work to make a difference on campus. She had been a voice for staff on campus, and had spoken well. The Chair said that she had many memories of her experience as chair, and would do her best to follow through with the many issues that she has pursued. Primarily, she looked forward to working on the various transportation task forces and committees. She urged continuing Delagates to follow through with this year’s accomplishments. She followed Faculty chair Sue Estroff by challenging Forum members to bring one fellow Employee to a Forum meeting through their term.
The Chair distributed gift bags that had been purchased and assembled by the Forum Recognition & Awards committee.
Human Resources Update
Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources Laurie Charest wished the Forum good morning. She thanked Kucharski, Dutton and Geer, and the other outgoing Delagates, for their work on behalf of the Forum this year.
She reported that Human Resources had completed the North Carolina Flex enrollment process for this year. Human Resources enrolled 3,000 Employees, twice as many as last year, requiring staff to work over Thanksgiving to complete the work in time.
Charest noted that the University, jointly with North Carolina State University, has issued a second request for proposals for a salary survey of SPA level positions. The first request for proposals yielded only one potential bidder. Charest hoped that there would be more proposals at the next session January 8.
Heels for Health will hold a Jingle Bell Jog Friday, December 8. Participants can either walk 1.5 miles or run 3 miles. Charest invited listeners to join their coworkers for a time of fellowship and fun.
The Chair presented Charest with a token of appreciation for her work for the Forum and the University.
The Chair reminded Forum committee chairs that they should submit their annual reports by December 20.
The Executive Committee did decide on a winner of the Forum Community Award (3-Legged Stool). Members of the committee will endeavor to take the recipient by surprise in the next month or so. The recipient was not able to attend the meeting that morning.
The Chair directed members to consult a copy of a revised draft agenda of the Forum’s annual retreat. She said that a number of people had approached her about the difficulty of attending a Forum meeting as originally scheduled, Wednesday, January 3. This date falls during the week of the New Year’s Day holiday. Similarly, the next working Wednesday, January 10 falls during the first week of classes. Both of these dates were said to present problems for Delegates attending. Thus, the Executive Committee had decided that the Forum would hold its monthly meeting during its annual retreat on January 19.
The Forum took a break for refreshments, and agreed to reconvene in ten minutes.
The Chair introduced State Senator Howard Lee to kick off the Forum’s officer election process. She noted that Chancellor Moeser had challenged the Forum to hold a more orderly election than the presidential contest.
Lee thanked the Chair and expressed his appreciation to those who participated in the recent election that saw him return to the State Senate. He considered it an honor and a privilege to represent the 16th district in the Legislature, and thanked the citizens of the district for their confidence.
Lee also thanked everyone present for their efforts on behalf of higher education in North Carolina in approving the recent bond issue. The package’s overwhelming support sends a very strong message to the Legislature, that the state’s citizens are very interested in a strong University and community college system.
Lee felt this was a well placed emphasis, and noted that at a 1 p.m. news conference, Governor Hunt would issue a report card detailing the state’s progress to increase its educational standards. The state has increased standards and pay for its teachers, has enacted legislation to make the environment safer, and set strong standards for students. He looked forward to the state continuing its progress into 2010.
With regard to the upcoming legislative session, Lee said that he expected the House to come to an amicable conclusion about a speaker. He said that the State faced its greatest budget challenge since 1991. The reasons for this crisis include what he said were excessive tax cuts, unplanned impact from natural disasters, and adverse court decisions. As a result, the State faced $3.5 billion in obligations that it did not otherwise expect, and faces a budget deficit of $300 million. In addition, the State Employee Health Plan is in debt for approximately $500 million.
There has been some talk about using the retirement system’s surplus to address these deficits, thanks to its very healthy situation. However, Lee said that legislators do not see the system as a source of money, since they feel that the State must return to Employees the money they have paid in.
The legislature hopes to find ways to maintain the State Employee Health Plan, and to lower requirements to enroll family members. Lee acknowledged that the State Plan is weak in comparison to other plans when it comes to covering Employees’ family members. He said that the legislature must insure that the State Plan is solvent and kept at a level of affordability for subscribers. Additionally, the legislature must protect the retirement system at all costs, in spite of the budget pressures mentioned previously.
Finally, Lee recalled the legislature’s commitment to the State’s comprehensive pay plan, and said that the state must keep its promises to its Employees. He said it is imperative that the state commits itself to every part of the comprehensive pay plan, so that long term Employees are not paid less than recent hires.
Lee noted that some have suggested that the state use its tobacco settlement money to address budget concerns. However, the state will receive this money only over the next 25 years. He was opposed to using that resource to balance the budget in any event, as too many areas of the state have not have enjoyed the fruits of recent good times. Lee said that State Representative Joe Hackney would have a prominent place on a smart growth commission that will look to invest the tobacco funds properly across the state.
Lee did not believe in cutting the state’s budget further, saying that the state has cut its budget to the bone. He said that legislators had called for increases in faculty salaries at the K-12, community college, and University level. He said that staff Employees should know that when he refers to faculty he necessarily includes University staff. He hoped that Employees would recognize that he personally appreciates the work that staff do as part of the University team.
Lee offered to return to the Forum at another date to speak further, given time constraints. The Chair gave Lee a gift in appreciation for his work and his appearance before the Forum.
Forum Officer Candidates
Secretary Karen Geer formally opened the election process for the Employee Forum. She asked for a nomination for the office of Forum Secretary. Kathy Dutton nominated Tracey Haith for this position.
Mark Dutton spoke on behalf of Haith’s nomination. He had worked with her for three years and had seen her stewardship and responsibility with a number of projects in the School of Public Health. He said that she had been a tremendous help and a pleasure to work with during their time together.
Haith thanked Dutton for his remarks. She said that she had been at the University for five years, following a term with the city of Burlington. She praised the Forum as a cornerstone for establishing a voice for campus staff. She noted that the Forum had played a strong part on major search committees, and representatives had met with the chancellor on a regular basis. She thought that as a member of the Forum and an officer, she could facilitate the implementation of the University’s goals. She noted that the charge of the Forum Secretary is to maintain current officers, to chair the Forum Nominating committee, to issue warnings on attendance compliance, and to monitor the accuracy of the Forum minutes.
There were no further nominations for the office of Forum Secretary. Geer opened nominations for the position of Forum Vice Chair. Kathy Dutton nominated Sheila Storey for this position. She was pleased to introduce Storey, who has held a number of positions around campus with the Department of Medicine, the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Center, and the Craniofacial Center. Currently, she serves as the operations manager at a teaching lab. She has served as the North Carolina secretary for the National Organization for Women, and has been an active member of the University Managers’ Association. She is the Forum representative to the pedestrian safety committee.
Storey said that she would do her best to perform the duties of her office to the best of her ability. She felt it was critical for the Forum to remain a strong voice on campus, and to maintain common ground with campus administration and all staff Employees. She thanked the Forum for considering her for the position.
There were no further nominations for the office of Forum Vice Chair. Geer opened nominations for the position of Forum Chair. Robert Thoma nominated John Heuer for this position. He noted that Heuer has served for 20 years as a construction estimator, planner and designer. He has had close interaction with departments, and has overseen the School of Information and Library Science Library Renovations, the renovations of West House, the Morehead Planetarium dining room terraces and ticket lobby, the lobby of Hill Hall, the Toy Lounge in Dey Hall, and the teleconferencing center in the School of Public Health. Heuer holds a degree from the University of Michigan. Heuer has also served in a volunteer service program helping elderly in substandard housing, installing septic tanks for those who have not lived with indoor facilities. Heuer has been active in racial justice and community economic empowerment issues, and has been a volunteer coach and coach coordinator for 24 other coaches. He has a wife and two sons.
Heuer thanked Thoma for his introduction. He said he had decided to run for Chair out of respect for his fellow Employees and the University. He said the Forum had built a history of dynamic leadership, and praised current Chair Kucharski for blazing new trails. He said that the University needs well-trained and organized staff in order to prosper. He said that the Forum would need to be precise, persistent, diplomatic, and very determined in order to make its case to campus leaders. The future presents the University with challenges and opportunities, as the campus master plan nears completion and the campus building boom emerges. The campus must consider and adapt sustainability guidelines to deal with these changes. He praised the revolutionary concept of shared governance of the University, and looked to break new ground in the area of institutional relationships, working together in good faith and good fellowship.
There were no other nominations for the position of Forum chair. The Forum would hold its elections at its January 19 meeting. Delegates can nominate other candidates from the floor at that time.
The Chair noted that the resolution encouraging an increased number of community meetings had been deferred until the annual retreat. She encouraged the Forum to go through the necessary procedures in January.
Approval of Minutes
The Chair called for a motion to approve the minutes of the November 1 meeting. Jill Mayer made this motion, seconded by Elaine Tola. The minutes were approved unanimously.
Dianne Hill presented Matt Banks, Karen Geer, Kathy Dutton and Joanne Kucharski with a token of appreciation for their work this year. She thanked the Recognition & Awards committee for their work this year and looked forward to continuing in 2001.
There were no committee reports.
Chair Joanne Kucharski thanked the members of her staff— Amy Dunlap, Rick Moore, Brenda Lewis, and Joan Holeman for their support throughout the year. She also thanked Tony Quirk, Mark Wampole for their efforts to keep the technical side of her department going. She thanked Suzan deSerres, Kathy Dutton, Karen Geer, John Heuer, Dorothy Grant, and Bobbie Lesane for their work as Forum committee chairs. She thanked Banks and Forum Secretary Karen Geer and Forum Vice Chair Kathy Dutton for their hard work in building bridges with campus administration.
There was then a drawing for gifts. In the absence of further discussion, the meeting ended at 11:30 a.m.
Matt Banks, Recording Secretary
Finis Coronat Opus