Agenda — February 5, 2003

8:30 a.m.—-Meeting, Wilson Library Assembly Room—Refreshments Served; Please Bring Your Calendars!

I.          Call to Order, Welcome Guests & Members of the Press

II.         Moment of Silence & Remarks in Memory of Debi Schledorn

III.            Opening Remarks

· Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration Nancy Suttenfield (tentative)

· Brief Remarks from Previous Forum Chairs

VI.       Special Presentations

· Student Representative from UNC Dance Marathon

· Associate Provost Steve Allred on University Academic Plan

V.        Employee Presentations or Questions

VI.       Human Resources Update

· Laurie Charest, Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources

VII.      Stretch Time   6

VIII.     Approval of Minutes of the December 4, 2002 meeting P

IX.        Old Business

· Resolution 02-11, On the Winmore Housing Initiative (2nd Reading)

X.         New Business

· Appointment of Joanne Kucharski to Forum Vice Chair following the Resignation of Jim Bennett from the University

· Ratification of Katherine Graves to Forum Secretary (From Section VIII. Paragraph D. of Forum Guidelines)

· Presentation of Forum’s Community Award (3-Legged Stool)

XI.        Forum Committees

· Selection of Forum Executive Committee Representatives from Each Division

· Description and Delegate Sign-Up for Forum Other Committees;

XII.       Chair’s Report (Executive Committee):  Tommy Griffin

XIII.      Task Force/University Committee Reports

· Advisory Committee on Transportation— Tommy Griffin

XIV.     Announcements/Questions

XV.      Adjournment

P = Included in Agenda Packet

MINUTES

Minutes

February 5, 2003

Wilson Library Assembly Room

 

Delagates Present

Tom Arnel

Debra Banks

Scott Blalock

Dixie Bloom

Roy Caudle

Katherine Caudell-Graves

Meredith Clason

Gary Cocker

Karen Copeland

Cynthia Cowan

Ray Doyle

Shanna Fleenor

Amy Gorely

Tommy Griffin

Shirley Hart

Mary Johnson

Fred Jordan

Chris Koltz

Joanne Kucharski

C.L. Lassiter

Cheryl Lytle

Lauren Mangili

Lynn McPherson

Corrie Mimms

Syed Mustafa

Carol Payne

Gail Plaisance

Lynn Ray

Cynthia Reardon

Tom Rhyne

Mack Rich

Matt Todd

Mary Ann Vacheron

Delita Wright

Laurie Charest

Gary Lloyd

= Ex-Officio

Delagates Absent

Nanette Coulon

Connie McPherson

Ruth Williams

Excused Absences

Norma Roberts

Debra Skinner

Alternates Present

Linda Allred

Jeanne Hiesel

Mike McQuown

Guests

Steve Allred

Leslie Bone

John Heuer

Kay Hovious

Robert Kintz

Scott Ragland

Peter Schledorn

Bob Schreiner

Nancy Suttenfield

 

            Chair Tommy Griffin called the meeting to order at 9:35 a.m. and welcomed members and guests to the Forum.  He introduced Tom Arnel to say a few words in memory of former delegate Debi Schledorn, who had passed away recently.

Arnel recalled Schledorn as a boss, friend, co-worker and confidant, who had worked hard to answer any question that fellow co-workers might pose.  Schledorn had taken her unit and lifted it into shape, and had served as the glue which kept her department together.  Arnel cherished the conversations that the pair had, particularly about local and national politics.

The Chair recalled Schledorn as an active Forum delegate, serving on the Executive Committee and chairing the Orientation committee.  She was also active in the creation of the University Library SPA Forum, and was a skeptical voice and driving force for change.  Schledorn had a loving smile and a kind heart, and she and her husband Peter did many things to support staff on campus.  The Chair recalled the love that she brought to her work and personal relations, and urged others to follow her example.  The Chair recalled Debi’s three children, Neil, Eileen and Monica, and urged listeners to tell Debi’s story often, after the American Indian custom of rememberance.

The Forum took a moment of silence in memory of Schledorn and the astronauts of the space shuttle Columbia.

The Chair introduced Vice Chancellor of Finance and Administration Nancy Suttenfield to provide opening remarks.  Suttenfield said that she regretted being unable to make many meetings of the Forum due to standing commitments.  She hoped to rectify this situation in the future as she continued her dialogue.  She felt a strong sense of identify with the Forum, having begun her career as a staff member in the State of Virginia, then moving on to Washington D.C. as a federal civil servant.  She identified strongly with the problems that staff face in these uncertain days.

Suttenfield noted three main concerns:  the current fiscal year’s budget situation, the tuition advisory task force, and the University’s work on housing programs for University Employees.

In the current fiscal year, the University faces $20 million in reductions, two-thirds in recurring dollars, and one-third in one-time reductions.  Suttenfield thought that the University could get through the current fiscal year by planning in advance for these cuts through deliberations that took place through the spring and summer.  In the beginning of the new fiscal year, while it was obvious the University would not receive a final budget until the fall, administrative and academic units took steps to let positions go and to freeze vacancies for faculty and staff.  The University has started to do the appropriate things to reduce budgetary resource demands.

Suttenfield found it striking that the University was being asked to do more with less, with its budget of $402 million reduced to $388 million while it enrolls 1,200 more students.  At the same time, students helped to absorb the cost of these added demands through paying higher tuition, with the Board of Governors approving 8% in-state and 12% out of state tuition increases.

Suttenfield said that it had been a pleasure serving on the tuition advisory task force with Tommy Griffin, who had been an advocate for inclusion of staff salary increases in the recent tuition increase package.  She noted that group had held good discussions in which arguments were made on behalf of staff.  Linda Naylor, not a formal member of the committee, spoke movingly for staff salary increases.  Suttenfield said that the advisory task force had reached a consensus of support for funding staff salaries through tuition increases.

However, by the time the group’s work had drawn to a close, the Board of Governors had placed a freeze on all tuition increases.  This decision left the committee having done extensive and good work on raising tuition $350 a year over three years.  This committee’s work represented the first time that faculty, staff and students had formed a consensus on the need for tuition increases for staff salaries.  Still, Suttenfield respected the Board’s concern about the affordability of tuition.

The task force sent forward a package of recommendations to raise tuition $350 a year for three years, with $1 million set aside for staff salary increases.  The decision will be tabled until the year after next.  Suttenfield recognized the Chair’s efforts as a very strong advocate for staff.

Concerning housing, Suttenfield was pleased to report that the University had achieved some baby steps.  The University was continuing work with the developer on the Winmore project abutting the Carolina North area.  This one project would create several hundred rental and owned housing units for staff of UNC-Chapel Hill and the Towns of Chapel Hill and Carrboro.

Suttenfield said that the University would not stop with this one effort, but said that this project represented a significant first step.  For several months, two members of the Board of Trustees had worked with Suttenfield and her staff to identify what other public and private institutions had done to offset the high cost of living for their employees.  Suttenfield granted that all staff do not have the same lifestyle and preferences.

Following this step, in December the University created housing focus groups of staff, faculty and staff from the Health Care System.  The group had strived to complete its work during the ice storm.  Now, the group had worked with survey scientists to formulate a questionnaire which would quantify interest in a housing program.

Suttenfield said that a housing survey was necessary to know if the project was cost effective.  She said that Employees would hear about the survey in coming months and she urged all to participate.  She said that the survey would gather information vital to structuring programs of maximum benefit to the workforce.

Suttenfield read the four key objects that the Board of Trustees had articulated concerning Employee housing programs:  1)providing at least one project to benefit the largest number of Employees possible, 2)benefiting both faculty and staff of all compensation levels, 3)building a sustainable project for the future 3)building a program that would not pose the University an enormous financial burden to manage.  Suttenfield thought that these were very good objectives and noted that many creative ideas had emerged as a result of the focus groups.  She would be back to report in the future on this topic.

Scott Blalock asked how far along the Winmore project was.  Suttenfield said that assuming no obstacles emerged, the project could come to fruition in as little as two years.  She was pleased to see the Forum’s resolution encouraging the Town of Carrboro to support the proposal.  If the project is possibe, people will have a chance to put down payments down relatively early.  Employees will work through the University Foundation, a separate legal entity which has more freedom to invest resources for the benefit of faculty and staff.  Suttenfield said that she did not have a more specific answer to this question, but said that the project could become a reality in as little as two years.

Suttenfield thanked the Forum for allowing her to speak.  The Chair thanked Suttenfield for her words of encouragement and her strong support of staff interests.  She thanked her for making time to speak with the Forum.

The Chair introduced 1993 Forum Chair Kay Hovious, the first of the ranks of the Forum chairs.  Hovious said that she would call attention to a few of the “firsts” that the Forum had initiated.  She noted that the Forum had received the first official recognition of staff by Chancellor Paul Hardin in 1994, and the Forum had initiated the first staff appointments to University committees.  The Forum represented the first formal link between staff and the Faculty Council.  The Forum represented the first time a staff person spoke at the installation of a chancellor, when Rachel Windham spoke in 1995.  Linwood Futrelle presented the first presentation on behalf of staff to the Board of Trustees in 1998.  Faculty Council Chair Sue Estroff and Forum Chair Joanne Kucharski were the first StarHeel recipients in 2000.  The first Forum resolution petitioning for mention of staff salaries in the UNC System budget request was approved in November 1994.

Hovious said that even as the Forum celebrate how far it had travelled, it still needed to avoid detours and remember its mission.  She called attention to History professor Foss’s description of the University as consisting of “faculty and students, with everyone else just assisting.”  She said that Employees would be left in despair at such remarks no more, and said that as long as opinions such as Foss’s exist the Forum could not take its place at the table for granted.  She asked the Forum what its “first” would be this year.  She thanked Delagates for taking on this challenge.

John Heuer thanked the Chair and the new Forum officers Joanne Kucharski and Katherine Graves.  He likened Griffin and Kucharski to John Quincy Adams in their return to Forum leadership.

Stepping outside the University community for a moment, Heuer noted that the country was about to go to war over oil, and said that the country might try to come up with an alternate plan to fuel the economy.  He said that Ross Gelbspan would speak at the Student Union today and tomorrow on plans to move human society into the next era after the oil age.

Heuer noted that next Tuesday students would vote on use of $4 in student fees to identify alternative renewable sources of power.  He recalled that the Forum had approved an environmental sustainability resolution in October 2001, after which student government took up and the Faculty Council passed similar resolutions.  He said that resolution established the Forum’s leadership on the part of the University community.

Finally, adding to the commemoration of the astronauts lost from the space shuttle Columbia, Heuer sang a poem remembering the 1988 Challenger disaster.

1997 Forum Chair Bob Schreiner congratulated the new Forum Delagates on their election.  He recalled that as a high school “math nerd” his school competed in a series of academic contests with larger schools around his home state of Indiana.  His high school had done very well because it had outworked its competition.

Schreiner said that Delegates can learn how the University works and who makes decisions even if they have not taken a global view of the University to this point.  Delagates who make the effort to go to committee meetings and read a lot can help change things that need to be changed.

Schreiner said that the Forum has a unique opportunity in that Chair Tommy Griffin had taken the opportunity to run for Chair for a second year, given that the first year goes by very quickly.  He said that the Chair spends a lot of time learning the system of decisions at the University, and by the time the Chair is comfortable, their year is done or nearly done.  He said that this continuity should assist the Forum in its work.  He wished the Forum and its new Delagates a great deal of success and said that he looked forward to reading about its achievements.

2000 Forum Chair Joanne Kucharski wished the Forum good morning and said that serving as Vice Chair this year was the last thing that she expected to do.  She recalled her distinct privilege in serving with the McCoy and Moeser administrations.  She said that quickly readjusting to the new administrations was a challenge.  She said that she had worked hard to engage herself with how other departments work and to serve on search committees.  She continues to stay in contact with faculty and staff she knew during her term, such as Faculty Council chair Sue Estroff.

Kucharski said that she had learned about the University and herself during her term.  She had learned about her own values and priorities.  She also recalled that McCoy was cautious not to make permanent commitments during his term, and noted conversely that Moeser was reluctant to take on new initiatives until he had settled on campus.  She recalled that in 2000 the Forum chose to channel its energy into examining the Forum guidelines, changing the delegate election timetable, establishing InTouch and working on peer recognition projects.

Kucharski recalled receiving a crowbar from Estroff symbolizing her digging and prodding on University issues.  She used this keepsake as an inspiration for other challenges.  She looked forward to working with the new Delagates this year.

The Chair introduced Leslie Bone, the student representative of the UNC Dance Marathon.  Bone said that the marathon raises money for the UNC children’s hospital and is in its fifth year.  Money raised by the fund goes to cover expenses of patients in the hospital, everything from gas or food vouchers to rent and mortgage payments.  Bone said that the marathon had gained a substantial student base and is trying to expand into the Chapel Hill community.

The marathon will take place on February 21 from 7 p.m. to 7 p.m. on the 22nd.  Over 600 participants will dance for twenty-four hours while enjoying a variety of speakers and music.   Bone distributed fliers describing the event and ways to participate.

Human Resources Update

The Chair introduced Vice Chancellor for Human Resources Laurie Charest to provide the Forum’s customary Human Resources update.  Charest said that she serves as the liaison between University administration and the Forum, and had found over the years that Employees support a wide range of viewpoints.  She worked to help the Forum with communication and information, and also provided monthly updates on items of interest.

Charest said that Human Resources’ cooperation extends throughout the entire organization, with a variety of Human Resources staff serving on Forum committees.  She noted that two Human Resources Employees, Stephanie Lombardo and Corrie Mimms, serve on the Forum as Delagates.  She encouraged Delagates to educate themselves about Human Resources issues affecting campus.  One way to accomplish this goal is to enroll in supervisory resources training, a program that is open to all Employees.  She also recommended that members read the SPA and EPA Human Resources manual, available on the web at www.ais.unc.edu/hr

Moving to current issues, Charest noted the subject of adverse weather following the recent ice storms.  She said that the University must follow State policy, which leaves Employees the decision to stay home or not when schools are closed.  Charest said that the policy works for small kinds of snow events and for people who live 100 miles from campus.  She said that sometimes the streets in Chapel Hill will be clear but people who live in the countryside cannot come in due to dangerous secondary roads.  ‘

Charest noted the difficulty arises in severe weather situations such as the University has faced in recent years due to ice, snow and hurricane.  In these cases, Chancellor has the authority to close the University, but not to release staff Employees from the obligation to make up lost time.  Chancellor Moeser decided to close the University on the first day of the ice storm December 5.  Charest recalled that the University had written Thom Wright, the director of the Office of State Personnel, asking that Employees receive paid leave under provisions related to evacuation conditions.  In this instance, the University found success, with Employees not having to make up time lost on December 5 and other critical Employees receiving comp time off for time worked.

Charest felt grateful for this exception, as do workers around the State.  However, it was merely a one-time exception and the University must pursue efforts to extend this exemption.  Employees are generally educated about the University’s adverse weather policy after previous heavy weather days.  She noted that if the Chancellor closes the University, critical Employees are compensated for their time.

Charest noted that the University’s proposals to change the adverse weather policy had received a favorable hearing.  She had seen a draft from Wright containing revisions to the policy that are close to what the University has recommended.  She said that Human Resources directors have seen the revisions that cover catastrophic weather situations.  She hoped that the University would not have to wait weeks to see the implementation of these ideas.  However, as of now, days missed due to the January 2003 storm still fall under the current policy.

Charest noted that the Forum is on record as supporting the policy revision, and had sent letters to the Office of State Personnel and the Office of the President.

Lastly, Charest said that health insurance promises to be a major issue for Employees this year, as the price of copayments, deductibles and premiums rises.  She noted that the cost of family coverage was prohibitive for many Employees, and some have either purchased private insurance or gone without.  Charest said that the State health plan is continuing a “death spiral” that is not sustainable under its current organization.  She asked Delegates to keep this issue in the forefront of their thinking.

Additionally, the State budget is collecting revenues ahead of schedule, but great concern still remains for next year’s budget.

Mary Ann Vacheron asked if Employees would receive a catastrophic exemption for the January adverse weather days.  Charest said that the University was open in January and so the normal adverse weather policy applies for EPA and SPA Employees.  Vacheron asked how staff who worked that day would record the data on their time sheets.  Charest said that Employees who worked that day should record that fact on their time sheets.  Those who gained compensatory time should indicate that in the comments portion of their time sheet.  Employees with further questions can consult the Human Resources website.

C.L. Lassiter said that he had recently been diagnosed with a ruptured disk and said that he had not met the deductible for his MRI.  He felt disappointed that the University had lost its HMO option, and said that many Employees struggle with the upfront costs of the State plan.  He alluded to rumors that the State had established its own organization to mimic HMO coverage for Employees.

Lauren Mangili asked who was responsible for improving the State health plan.  Charest said that Jack Walker is the executive director of the plan.  She said that she serves on the advisory committee of the plan, and reported that the Legislature must approve plan changes.  She felt heartened somewhat that Walker was so aware of the plan’s problems, but she did not foresee any easy solutions.  Any solution will require a lot of money, and currently the State is not contributing the amount of money necessary to provide expected coverage.  All ideas must receive legislative approval in this area.

The Chair thanked Charest for her remarks.  He also thanked her for her strong support for the tuition task force, which had voted 14-1 in favor of a tuition increase plan which included funds for staff salaries.  This mixed committee, composed of faculty, staff and students, saw only one negative vote from a graduate student who said he could not support a tuition increase under any circumstances.  He did not know whether the Legislature would support the decision of the Board of Governors to freeze tuition increases given the current budget climate.

The Chair introduced Associate Provost Steve Allred to present an overview off the University’s academic plan.  He noted that this plan is occasionally updated and available on the Office of the Provost website.  Allred said that the task force which worked on the report would hold open forums in Gerrard Hall February 19 & 25 from 3-4 p.m.  The task force hopes to complete its work by the end of March.

Allred said that the University composed the academic plan task force last year of faculty, staff and students.  The meetings dealt with general ideas about resource allocation, metrics to measure the nation’s leading public university, and other measures of excellence.  The task force outlined six priorities:  1)provide the strongest possible academic experience for undergraduate, graduate and professional students; 2)make gains in faculty recruitment, retention and development, as well as staff; 3)build and work to increase campus diversity; 4)integrate interdisciplinary research into campus academic life; 5)enhance public engagement; and 6)continue to provide undergraduate advising.

Allred said that the academic experience priority mainly addressed success in the first year seminars, provision of more living and learning interaction programs, reexamination of the campus honor code, improvement in methods of non-traditional teaching, and improvement in undergraduate advising.  Goals for graduate students include creation of a five year strategic plan, a better research environment, integration into the full University, increased use of interdisciplinary work, and construction of a graduate student center for social gatherings and seminars.

With regard to faculty, the task force hopes to streamline the recruitment process, to fund fully a sabbatical program, to expand resources for course development, to support infrastructure for research and teaching, to fund fully campus libraries, to increase funding for graduate student teaching and research assistants, to increase the graduate student stipend from $11,200 to $14,000 a year, and to construct a faculty center.

Concerning diversity, the task force hopes to build on the US diversity requirement that all students should take in the first two years of enrollment, to increase support for minority and native American student programs, and to increase collaboration with historically black colleges and universities.  Allred recalled that the University had built a joint program with Elizabeth City State University that had not been supported by the Board of Governors.

Regarding interdisciplinary work, Allred noted the difficulties in encouraging  faculty participation without rewards and incentives.  The task force hopes to encourage development by increasing central funding for these projects.

On the topic of public engagement, the task force plans to increase the University’s role of service to the State.  Allred said that the University could do more to highlight its public engagement, and help deans develop strategic initiatives to help with major challenges.  In addition, the task force advocates shifting focus from public service to public engagement, the latter of which implies a longer term relationship.  While the Carolina Center for Public Service does a wonderful job, the task force hopes to go beyond that to work on longer term problems for the State.  Once the University decides to go to work on a particular issue, such as teen pregnancy, it would then bring its full resources to bear.  The task force hopes that the University would work to build partnerships to engage the problem on and off campus, for a long time period.

Internationalization would receive increased funding for study abroad program expansion.  The task force also advocates implementing global citizenship programs, increasing international research and teaching programs, and tuition remission for foreign students.

Allred invited comments and questions.  He said that the task force planned a presentation to the Board of Trustees in late March, and said that the plan would form a basis for University-wide solicitation, priorities and budget allocation.

Chris Koltz noted that staff concerns were missing from much of Allred’s summary.  He surmised that the University only wants staff included when they need something, but will leave out staff concerns when it comes to fundraising or resource allocation.

Allred replied that the deans with whom he had spoken had seen an immediate connection in resource allocation for schools and faculty to staff roles.  He also saw a sense of the issue in the treatment of diversity, public engagement, and the support of University missions of teaching, research and public service.  He thought that the academic plan was to focus more on the overall educational direction of the school rather than directing a specific priority to staff as a separate entity.  He thought that the task force might add a seventh priority if it found it appropriate.

Brink said that his department had never been fully staffed and often he works with a 15-20% shortage of manpower.  He said that turnover in the University has become tremendous for staff as well as faculty.  He asked that the task force address this question in its language.  He also asked that the task force mention pay and benefits.  Gary Lloyd, 2001 Forum Vice Chair and member of the task force, said that these criteria were mentioned during discussions but were not included in the higher level priorities.

Katherine Graves proposed adding a seventh priority dealing with staff priorities.  Allred said that adding language to the report depended on the will of the task force.  He asked that the Forum submit language for him to pass on to the group.  He said that the document had changed frequently during discussions, recalling the addition of honor code programs and deletion of “exemplary” programs (everyone wanted to know why their program was not considered “exemplary”).

Kucharski suggested another broad priority the overall academic climate of the campus.  Allred said that the task force had incorporated this issue by reference.  He again asked that Delagates submit specific language for their proposals.

Lassiter recalled the differences between academic positions and services provided, and asked the subcommittee to consider this question in its recommendations.  Allred reminded the Forum of the need for brevity in general statements, and recalled that other campus plans address staff concerns.  Charest agreed that the five year Human Resources, financial and other plans address the roles of staff at the University.  Delita Wright suggested that the Forum seek data on staff turnover and compensation rates on a yearly basis in the report.

Wright noted that administrators, clerks and secretaries play a real role in running good departments and a fine University.  Allred said that former faculty members know of the importance that staff members play in running their particular departments.  He said that the University must work to attract people with the same long term commitment as those who are now leaving campus.  He was uncertain as to how to address these concerns in the context of this document.

Stephanie Lombardo asked what contingencies the task force envisioned if the University does not receive funding for these plans.  Allred said that the plan describes a template for budget allocation, some without additional funding and others with minimal support.  Meeting diversity requirements will require some reallocation of resources.  Funds for increased sabbaticals would require additional private funds.  The academic plan will serve as a basis for resource allocation, but in the lack of additional funds, should still serve the University by showing how to meet new priorities.

Mary Johnson said that the University must take its staff more seriously if it wants to excel.  She cited difficulties that staff face with health insurance, which leave many to struggle to make ends meet and contribute to their community.  All this while paying large salaries to bring in high level administrators from outside the state.

The Chair thanked Allred for his comments, and urged members to submit language that they would like included in the final report.  He also thanked Gary Lloyd for serving on the task force.

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

The Chair noted that the Forum had rearranged its agenda for a very special reason.  He said that the Forum Executive Committee had voted to present Susan Ehringhaus with its Community Award (3-Legged Stool).  Ehringhaus earned her Bachelor’s of Arts and law degree from UNC-Chapel Hill, and served in the Department of Justice.  She then returned to the University in the position of counselor and eventually vice chancellor, serving the University in finance, employment, and technical development law among many others.  The Chair noted that Chancellor Emeritus Paul Hardin had wanted to be present to congratulate Ehringhaus for her work, recalling a time when the two had worked together on negotiations with a large Pacific coast construction company.

The Chair reported Hardin’s praise for Ehringhaus as a frequent valuable counsel and servant to various University committees, including the one that created the Employee Forum.  The Chair said that Ehringhaus had served through several administrative transitions and had always been available when needed to deal with fires, accidents and other matters.  He said that her staff and the University remember her with affection, and he so bestowed the Forum’s Community Award.

Ehringhaus said that she needed her handkerchief as she tried to collect herself.  She said that many people have been her partners and team members these past 30 years.  She said that she had built lasting relationships in her time here.  She recalled the University Counsel staff Sandra Kelleher, Teresa Walls, Elaine Brown, Pat Crawford, Mary Sechriest, Paul Meggett, Joanna Smith and Diane Koltz.  She said that she had worked hard too maintain the highest standards at the University.  She said that the quality of a place stands in how one treats those who are struggling.  She credited Laurie Charest and the Forum for reminding the University of this truth.

Ehringhaus said that she loved working at the University.  She had come to the Law School on a need-based scholarship and felt that she was paying back a great debt owed.  She had enjoyed every day she had been here except for the three months this fall.

The Chair reported that Ehringhaus had often come back to work until midnight or 2 a.m. and on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays.  He said that he would have her in his heart and memories.

Approval of the Minutes

The Chair asked for a motion to approve the minutes of December 4, 2002.  The Forum approved the minutes by acclamation.

The Chair noted that the resolution on the Winmore housing development was up for second reading.  He read the resolution.  He noted that Nancy Suttenfield had been a strong supporter of University staff in working to secure this resolution.

Mary Ann Vacheron believed that local residents were opposed to the Winmore plan.  The Chair said that people always oppose change, and said that he often heard a 9 p.m. blast from the rock quarry next to his house.  However, he asked Delagates to think about the good the Winmore project could do.  He said that this project represented a very small beginning towards setting aside affordable housing for University and Town employees.  He noted that Winmore homeowners would in turn have a chance to sell their house to other Employees, receiving a percentage of equity in the affordable housing arrangement.   He said that society must begin somewhere to help where it can.

Katherine Graves asked why the resolution mentioned the lack of salary increases.  Matt Banks said that the resolution was meant to convey an inductive line of logic, from the general principle of the Forum’s concern for staff interests to the need for the Winmore project.

Mike Hawkins favored the resolution, noting that Employees often do not get the value of housing in a close-knit community.  He said that the economy had not yielded a housing option for Employees who were so loyal to the University, and thought that the Forum should support the Winmore option.

Scott Blalock worried that the plan would leave Employees exposed to the mercy of the University, either by exposing them to substandard housing or charging higher rents like a company store.  He did not want Employees in a situation in which they owe their lives to the University.  Graves asked how houses valued at $175,000 could be seen as substandard.  The Chair said that the Winmore company would handle sales and maintenance of the 400 apartments, allowing the units to come back to the University after 20 years.  The development would devote 50 of 62 acres to green space with parks and watershed acreage.  The Botany department has announced plans to conduct field studies in this area.

The Chair said that the Winmore project promises to be something that the community could feel bright in while assisting those at the lower end of the pay scale. He recalled that 15-35% of all Employees here are paid below market value, and stay here due to their dedication to campus.  He recalled that the Board of Governors had honored staff with a resolution, and he had heard from Board members that they would help to find raises for staff.  He reported that Board chair Brad Wilson was well aware of problems Employees face with health insurance and State retirement.  He noted that departments were facing job cuts and overworked staff.  He hoped that the Winmore project would provide these Employees with some measure of hope.

Amy Gorely moved that the Forum accept the resolution as an important first step.  Delita Wright asked what would happen to people who buy the houses but want to sell them ten years later.  She said that people in her parents’ generation were taught to build up equity in their houses as a means of financial security.  Gorely said that people who buy affordable housing must sacrifice some profit to keep the units affordable for the next buyer.  Owners earn equity, but not as much as would be realized on the open market.  C.L. Lassiter said that he would like to pay a mortgage on a home located in Carrboro comparable to his rent.  Syed Mustafa advised that only Employees making a certain salary have a chance to buy some of the houses.

Roy Caudle thought that the project offerings sounded good but did little too compensate for a lack of salary increases.  He thought that the Forum should stand up for salary increases that are standard across the board.  He said that soon Employees would have to pay for their health insurance if current trends continue.  He said that upper-level Employees and faculty do not care about the lifestyle of the less well off.  He said that every Employee at the University should stay home for two days or a week to get their point across about the need for compensation.  The Chair said that the project did not have anything to do with the Legislature, as local developers were the ones involved in the plan.

Lassiter said that he fully supported the resolution as one of many different avenues to assist the welfare of staff.  He did not think that working on housing initiatives and staff salaries were mutually exclusive.

Syed Mustafa seconded Gorely’s motion to approve the resolution.  In the absence of further discussion, the Forum voted 26-4 to approve the resolution.

Lombardo suggested that the Forum invite someone from the Winmore project to speak on its work.  The Chair said that the plan now faces passage through the zoning ordinance.  He hoped that the plan would find quick approval.  Caudle said that the plan needed to help more than just a handful of Employees.  The Chair said that the Carolina North committee was planning 25-100 years into the future and would include future housing needs among many other items.  He said that the University would need to include enough parking.

New Business

The Chair noted that Vice Chair Jim Bennett had resigned from the Forum and the University.  His departure had led the Chair to appoint Secretary Joanne Kucharski as Forum Vice Chair.  He then asked the Forum to ratify Katherine Graves as Forum Secretary.  Syed Mustafa made this motion, seconded by Corrie Mimms.  The Forum accepted this motion by acclamation.

At this point, the Forum chose its Executive Committee representatives, and members also signed up for other Forum committees.  The committees chose their chairs and meeting times and places.

The Chair noted that the Forum might become involved in planning for a food drive.  He urged members to contribute to the “Beat State” food drive to take place later that month.

Matt Banks was appointed to draw for winners of the day’s door prizes.  C.L. Lassiter won the signed women’s basketball, and Delita Wright won the signed men’s basketball.  In the absence of further discussion, the meeting adjourned at 12:22 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Matt Banks, Recording Secretary

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