January 18, 2002
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Employee Forum Annual Retreat Agenda
Friday, January 18, 2002
8:00 – 4:30
Friday Center, Seminar Room
8:00 – 8:30 Delagates convene
8:30 – 8:35 Welcome and introduction of keynote speaker
8:35 – 9:20 Keynote: Dr. Marion Phillips, Associate Dean Emeritus, School of Medicine
9:20 – 9:35 Provost Robert Shelton
9:35 – 9:40 Associate Provost for Finance Elmira Mangum
9:40 – 9:55 Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration Nancy Suttenfield
9:55 – 10:00 Assistant Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration Robert Knight
10:00 – 10:15 Associate Vice Chancellor Laurie Charest: HR/Forum relationship
10:15 – 10:30 Break
10:30 – 10:45 Faculty Council Chair Sue Estroff
10:45 – 11:00 Student Council Chair Justin Young
11:00 – 12:00 Barbara Delon: Training on conducting meetings and taking minutes
12:00 – 12:15 Review of Executive Committee selection and lunch instructions
12:15 – 1:15 Lunch
1:15 – 2:00 Former Forum Chairs address current issues
2:00 – 2:15 Forum Business meeting: Tommy Griffin
2:15 – 2:30 Forum Committee refresher by past committee chairs
2:30 – 2:45 Break
2:45 – 3:15 Primary Committee meeting; selection of committee chairs
3:15 – 3:45 Delagates move to secondary committee
3:45 – 4:15 Committees report to the full forum
4:15 – 4:30 Introduction of the new Executive Committee membership
January 18, 2002
(Seminar Room, Friday Center)
Mary Ann Vacheron
“ = Ex-Officio
Suzan de Serres
Former Chair John Heuer welcomed Delegates to the Forum’s annual retreat, noting that the retreat opened the Forum’s tenth year. He was proud to introduce Dr. Marion Phillips, associate dean emeritus of the School of Medicine, to present the retreat’s keynote address.
Phillips said that he had tried to work out the business of the University since the beginning of his employment on campus in 1974. He recalled the story of a local farmer plowing a mule. The farmer called the mule three different names to make it feel that it had partners in its work. He noted the many geographic faces that the University presents from north, south, east and west. He said that the ideal face of the University does not seem so prevalent when confronted with parking and pay raise difficulties. In essence, the University does not hold so much glamour close up.
Phillips recalled the three types of people on campus, who bring the University together, hold it together, and put it back together each evening. He recalled the admonition of Nobel Prize winner Toni Morrison, who said that the human project is to remain human and block the dehumanization of others.
Phillips urged each listener to check the pulse of those sitting close by, to make sure that all present are indeed alive. He noted that University staff have had only ten years to articulate their point of view, versus the two hundred years that administrators and faculty have articulated their point of view. He recalled Solzenitsyn’s statement that to be human is to hold a point of view.
Phillips asked how Delegates would find the point of view of the people they represent. He urged Delegates not to forget the point of view of their co-workers, after the fashion of novelist Anne Petrie. After Ralph Ellison, Phillips urged Delegates to depict their co-workers in the depth of their humanity, not as paper-thin shallow figures employed only for pay. He hoped that the Forum would embrace the philosophical notion of Descartes’ cogito, ergo sum (“I think, therefore I am”) to do some serious thinking about what it means to keep human.
Phillips invoked Martin Hoover’s observation that an “I-it” relationship between oneself and the other will not work, and leads only to the other being used. An “I-thou” relationship allows the pair to be useful together. He recalled Martin Luther King’s statement that what affects one directly eventually affects all indirectly. Issues affecting the top, bottom, or side of society eventually come back to all, sooner or later. One cannot “get mine” without being affected by what happens to others.
Phillips noted Maya Angelou’s statement that nothing human is alien to her, that any product of human culture has some connection to her. He recalled the “Zen of Motorcycle Maintenance” and its statement that a great deed in life is to give someone in pain your company, so that person does not have to suffer alone. He asked what is meant to represent people in pain, particularly people who have not had a voice on campus for 200 of the 210 years of the University’s history.
Psychologist Sue Mansfield said that one element of being human is to define and advance towards one’s own desires. Drawing on this statement, Phillips said that we must remember what we really want, and avoid too many interruptions of our energies towards desire. He asked if a University job description represented what we really want, and asked if that could be changed. Phillips recalled James Burns’ and Jack Pellerton’s statement that humans must have the maximum opportunity to select their own purposes, and to choose the means to accomplish these purposes. He quoted Vivian Smith, that a person’s dreams are what makes him or her human.
In African law, a proverb states that one must be kind or calm to people, not quick to thrash them or oneself. In medicine, the admonition is to do no harm.
Historian John Hope Franklin has said that to be human is to see the whole scene. Phillips noted that University departments often undertake specializations. He asked the Forum to investigate its vision for the next ten years, indeed the next forty years, to look at the whole scene, including issues of gender, ethnicity, and age.
Phillips noted the Forum represents individuals who hold a wealth of experience.. He asked who stops to consult with the people who work in little closets for their offices, in basements and obscure corners which are not designed for office space. He noted that the Forum represents hundreds of these people, and he asked who bothers to talk to them.
What do these people think about the major issues of the University? Who asks what people whose office is a truck think about the campus community? Who knows what makes Joe Blow smile?
Phillips recited poetry marking the upshot of various clichés, such as “not everyone falls from grace; some pack their own parachutes,” “you can hang loose if you have your thing together,” “never go all the way with someone who won’t meet you halfway,” “hold out until you stand out for something outstanding,” “one may not make ends meet but make sure they are properly introduced,” and “the Last Supper was the last free meal.”
Phillips spoke on the ability of Delegates and human beings to be “Tar Heel cool,” “Tar Heel hip,” “Tar Heel copacetic,” “Tar Heel breath of fresh air,” and “Tar Heel off the hook.” One could be the recognized beneficiary for being “Tar Heel superbad,” and finally the benefactor of a dream of being human, and blocking the dehumanization of others.
The latter concern presents a serious challenge in an age of technology, budget crunches, and partisanship. One tries to “brighten up without burning out, be brought along without being strung along, avant garde without letting your guard down, hoop it up without jumping through too many hoops, and hang tough without being hung out to dry.” He urged Delagates to work to increase the chances of Employees coming in to the University as human beings, and leaving as human beings, whenever they enter and leave during the day.
Heuer thanked Phillips for his remarks, saying that it had been an honor to have him address the Forum. He wished him well in his retirement.
Heuer welcomed Provost Robert Shelton to make remarks.
Shelton recalled his recruitment meeting with Heuer and other Forum representatives. He was impressed by how obviously engaged the Forum was in the running of the University, which he considered one of the great institutions of the state and the world. Heuer had helped him feel that he would not be working among strangers when he came to UNC-Chapel Hill.
Shelton recalled the work of the tuition task force, which has met over the last month and a half to discuss a possible one-time, one year $400 tuition increase. He noted that the task force had worked on an incredibly compressed time scale, and he said that the University could not do this work without the support of campus staff. He praised Lynn Williford of Institutional Research for her work following up on suggestions with new graphs and data for the task force. He noted the real importance of Carolina’s infrastructure in making deadlines set by the Board of Trustees.
Concerning the tuition task force, Shelton noted the many differences of opinion among students. He also noted the common agreement that Carolina must remain accessible to students, and that any tuition increase must set aside funds for need-based aid.
With regard to the State’s budget, Shelton said that the University still awaits reports from the State. He knew of no hints that the State’s budget would change through the holiday season, but the University has asked departments to hold 1.3% of their budget for a possible nonrecurring cut, just in case. (The University had negotiated a 4% nonrecurring cut down to 2.7% in the last legislative session.)
Shelton noted that the University Administration had elected to resurrect a series of senior level administrative briefings, on the heels of the huge turnover in South Building. He thought that these meetings would build on a tradition of past such communications, and noted that Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration Nancy Suttenfield and Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources Laurie Charest would be present to talk about Employee issues. Shelton also hoped to bring the Forum leadership to at least one of these meetings.
Shelton noted that the University had readied itself to begin work on its academic plan. Faculty have mixed feelings about an academic plan, seeing it either as a waste of time or a beacon to guide the University in large scale decisions. The eventual task force will rely on previous study groups and will study the previous report of the intellectual climate task force. Shelton planned to appoint a new chair for this group soon.
Heuer observed that the issue of tuition increases directly affects some Employees who pay tuition at UNC System schools. He noted that Student Body President Justin Young had been unable to address the Forum due to demands to work on the tuition issue for his constituents.
Shelton said that taxpayers and the Legislature had been extraordinarily generous to the UNC System throughout the years. He said that many other state universities idolize how North Carolina has supported higher education through its constitution, namely Article 9, Section 9. He said that the University had gone to lengths to understand the mix of resources needed to support higher education in Chapel Hill. He said that taxpayers of the State are a key component of University funding, and noted that the University had worked hard in its capital campaign. Recently, the University has dedicated 1,000 new scholarships for students, and faculty have raised more money recently than ever before. Additionally, UNC-Chapel Hill raises more in grants and contracts than through State monies. Much of this money goes to support students through laboratory jobs and other measures.
Shelton cautioned that the University must make sure it does not overburden anyone seeking a degree. He noted that farmers in Appalachia have a different tolerance for high tuition than people earning $200,000 a year. He granted that strong arguments exist on both sides of the tuition argument.
Shelton noted that students planning to pay $2500 in tuition face real difficulties in finding an additional $500. He felt pleased that the Board of Governors had charged all member institutions to arrive at a multiyear plan to address tuition levels. Shelton said that the cruelest step occurs when students cannot plan their tuition obligations from year to year.
Shelton introduced Associate Provost for Finance Elmira Mangum, who had been hired last year from SUNY-Buffalo.
Mangum wished the Forum good morning, and was pleased to share her impressions of the University since returning from New York. She noted that she had overseen administration and financial oversight at SUNY-Buffalo, and had taught courses in educational leadership and theory.
Mangum noted that UNC-Chapel Hill had seen a very volatile year given requirements of the State Legislature. She had been called upon to answer questions concerning resource accountability, budget cuts and administrative flexibility, all items similar to those she addressed in Buffalo. She felt at home with these questions and criteria.
Mangum commented on the pride and commitment that Employees and people in the community feel towards UNC-Chapel Hill. She noted the commitment that Employees feel to do a good job for the University, even if this commitment does not often make the pages of the News & Observer or Herald-Sun. She also appreciated the leadership that staff, faculty and students displace on various University committees, responding quickly to campus concerns. She thought that this commitment was unique within higher education.
Last year, she had received an appointment to co-chair the University’s personnel flexibility study committee. That committee had two subcommittees, an input subcommittee to gauge Employee opinion on various issues, and a benchmarking subcommittee to study best practices at other industries, institutions and peer organizations. Mangum noted that SUNY-Buffalo had nine unions among faculty, staff, students and police, which made for a very slow process to meet the needs of Employees. She thought that UNC-Chapel Hill had a good situation here in which University administrators are open to listening to Employee needs and concerns. She thought that Carolina was fortunate to have a leadership that listens, responds, challenges, and creates and implements solutions to meet standards of excellence.
Mangum noted the positive sports environment here at UNC-Chapel Hill, and felt happy to be back home (she was raised in Durham).
Heuer introduced Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration Nancy Suttenfield. He particularly praised Suttenfield for her leadership in finding a new set of offices for the Forum, which allows the Forum Chair and committees breathing room to represent its constituents. She noted that Suttenfield had also worked very hard to insure Employee representation on the aforementioned personnel flexibility committee.
Suttenfield thanked Heuer and noted the comments of Shelton and Mangum, saying that she felt proud to be part of the University’s leadership team. She noted the Forum’s warm welcome to her at its retreat last January.
Suttenfield emphasized the importance of retreats in rounding out a leadership team and defining short and long-term goals. She noted that her office was working to help UNC-Chapel Hill achieve its goal of being the best public university in the country, supporting the primary missions of teaching, research and public service. On another retreat, she invited six top staff along to look back on what they had accomplished and to focus on what was to come.
With regard to the Forum, Suttenfield thought that the University had created something of excellence, which allows Employees an active role in shaping University policy. She said that Employees have the Forum as a safe place to share concerns placed outside individual departments, which reflects the University’s common goals and creates a better workplace for all staff and all of Carolina. She said that Forum members’ work for the Forum contributes to the mission of Carolina and improves the quality of life for staff, faculty, students and administration. She thanked Delegates and alternates for their hard work done, contributing many hours above and beyond regular duties by meeting evenings, mornings, and after work to accomplish their work.
As Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration, Suttenfield considered the Forum important to help accomplish the goals that the University had set for itself. She appreciated Heuer’s service in putting together membership for the personnel flexibility committee.
Suttenfield noted that some have seen the establishment of a study committee on personnel flexibility as premature, as the University is uncertain what the Legislature will decide on the issue. However, she noted the number of concerns that Employees have expressed about campus personnel practices, and she saw the committee as a place where Employees could talk about their fears and concerns. She saw the committee as an excellent place to draw out Employees’ thoughts, and hoped that the committee’s work could allow the campus to wipe the slate clean and start afresh. She said the committee would develop Employee input into discussions of a new personnel system. She applauded Heuer for his suggestion that the University come forward with its study committee, and said she would have not thought of the idea without his efforts to make the case.
Suttenfield said that flexibility will be a primary issue in the administration’s work with the Forum, and she noted that the Office of the President and the Legislature have some questions as to what these changes might mean. She thought that the University should embrace greater flexibility in its personnel practices to remain competitive and improve the long-term quality of life for all of its Employees.
Answering why personnel flexibility has become necessary, Suttenfield cited the 18% turnover rate in recent years, approximately one in five Employees. She said that turnover contains very high hidden costs in retraining, recruitment, and the ability to seek research grants. Flexibility measures could design a compensation system that allows the University too stay current with the marketplace. A new or revised system could retain Employees’ long-term knowledge of the University, reducing turnover and the transfer of workload to those left behind.
Increased flexibility would result in fewer delays in hiring and classification, areas that affect every Employee when the University cannot compete because it is too slow to act. Increased flexibility would result in faster and more responsive work on non-State-funded projects, and would enhance the University’s ability to compete for research dollars. This improvement would in turn open up new staff promotional opportunities.
Thirdly, increased flexibility would allow more streamlined internal processes. Now, some current processes require duplicate record keeping, maintenance of highly detailed job descriptions, and retention of analysts’ notes when doing reclassifications. Of course, jobs would still require position descriptions, but streamlined to a minimal responsible level, adding to the University’s competitive position for workers. (Extensive job descriptions do not add value to the work, Suttenfield said.) In turn, freeing up position description resources would provide more money for additional training and career counseling. All in all, increased flexibility would improve the quality of life for campus Employees.
Suttenfield noted the creative offers among campus leadership to alleviate the recent budget crisis. She noted the faculty’s offer to give up salary increases to help campus staff. Unfortunately, State law prohibits this step, but she appreciated the generous gesture.
Suttenfield also appreciated the offer of some staff to reduce the number of hours work or to share jobs to help departments solve their budget problems without laying off workers. She thanked Heuer for his willingness to help, as well as 2002 Forum Chair Tommy Griffin and new Forum Vice Chair Gary Lloyd and Secretary Kay Teague.
Suttenfield introduced Assistant Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration Bob Knight, whom she had briefly worked with at Case-Western University. Knight emphasized his concern about Employee turnover.
Knight recognized a few Forum Delagates from his service on the personnel flexibility and Transportation and Parking Advisory committees. Knight now serves as chair of the Transportation and Parking Advisory committee. He noted that Suttenfield had been considered a friend to Employees at Case-Western who felt empowered and free to participate in campus deliberations. These Employees felt free to take leadership positions and make their concerns known to campus administration. He looked forward to working with the Forum in a similar manner in the coming years.
Chris Koltz asked if Knight could comment on State-mandated changes with distributing parking revenue. Knight recalled that a court decision has reallocated fines from parking tickets and libraries to local schools. The State has appealed this decision to a higher court. This decision will potentially cost the University quite a bit of money.
Heuer asked that the Forum save its questions on parking concerns for a future Forum meeting, due to the number of items on the agenda.
Heuer welcomed Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources Laurie Charest, a faithful friend of the Forum, to make remarks. He noted that Charest loyally attends Forum meetings and Executive Committee meetings, and is a recipient of the Forum’s 3-Legged Stool award (Community Award).
Charest wished the Forum well and noted that the Forum had come to help answer the question of what staff think about various concerns. She thanked members for taking on this representative role.
With regard to her role as Forum liaison, Charest said that job had changed and been defined over time. She had done what she could to assist the Forum, helping to identify how to progress with particular issues and providing monthly Human Resources updates at monthly meetings. She welcomed Employees comments and questions at firstname.lastname@example.org or 2-1554. Additionally, she said that the entire Human Resources organization is available to the Forum for assistance. She noted that many items presented to the Forum are Human Resources issues, and her staff would be happy to contribute their insight on these and other items.
In addition, Charest invited members to familiarize themselves with Human Resources issues by taking the University’s supervisory resources course. While this course is generally designed for supervisors, it covers major policies and issues of interest to all Employees.
Forum members also have access to the Human Resources Manual on the web which can help with research and explanation of different concerns.
Charest noted that health insurance increases have caused extreme hardships on those needing to cover families, who must often rely on private insurance or no insurance at all. The University Insurance committee will open bids for dependent insurance coverage later today.
The University will also need to work with the Legislature and the State Health Plan to make viable insurance plans to recipients.
With regard to personnel flexibility, Charest said that this issue should not arise on the legislative agenda this year but should emerge in 2003. Internally, the personnel flexibility study committee plans to report to the Chancellor by the end of the spring semester, so as to include its recommendations in State discussions beyond the campus.
Finally, with regard to adverse weather, Charest noted that the University’s policy mirrors the State policy (providing an argument for administrative flexibility.) The University’s very-employee friendly policy leaves it to Employee discretion whether to use adverse weather leave to stay home for safety or child care issues. The policy recognizes that conditions differ from Greensboro to Raleigh, and leaves it up to the Employee to decide whether travel to and from work is safe.
Charest thought that some Employees might feel a bit confused due to the exceptions made with Hurricane Fran and Floyd, and the large snow of 2000. She noted that these events caused the University to close. The Chancellor has the authority to close campus, but not to release Employees from their obligation to make up time. Charest had discussed the State policy with Tom Wright, the new State Director of Human Resources, and Wright seemed quite encouraged on changing the policy. She hoped that Wright would adopt the University’s recommendations that the Chancellor retain the authority to close campus but that Employees not have to make up time lost under these circumstances.
Critical Employees have to come to work in these circumstances anyway, but would receive compensatory time for days when the University is considered closed.
Charest said that the State has not yet changed its policy. She said that the Forum had endorsed the proposed changes in the past, and she hoped that the State would consider changing its policy before the next major adverse weather event.
Charest noted that this year there were very few questions and comments from Employees, who seemed to understand the University’s adverse weather situation even if they did not like it.
Keita Cannon asked if the University was now revising its grievance procedure. Charest said that the University had revised its procedure in the past but was not undergoing a revision this year. She noted that the University had changed the arrangement by which Employees bringing a grievance to the counseling service would later face a prosecutor from that same department.
An Employee asked on what basis the University chose to close due to adverse weather. Charest said that safety issues and recommendations from Public Safety, grounds, and facilities all play a part in the decision. The different phases of the adverse weather policy allow Employees to make their own decisions about whether to come to work without exposing them to disciplinary action. She noted that most private companies expect their workers to report if they declare their offices open, dangerous roads or not.
Koltz asked where the critical Employee fit in this policy. Charest said that departments with critical Employees should establish arrangements to transport their Employees to campus or put them up in hotels. Koltz asked about a potential disciplinary action against critical Employees who do not come to work under these circumstances. Charest said that should this situation arise, the department needs to address the question in advance of the next adverse weather event.
At this point, the Forum took a fifteen minute coffee break.
Heuer introduced Chair of Faculty Governance Sue Estroff, needling her for her attendance at Duke University.
Estroff noted the many occurrences which had marked life on campus this year, saying that following health insurance increases, paltry pay raises, and the poor basketball season, the campus needed only a hurricane to make everything complete.
She noted the love that so many feel for the University, which after twenty years seems to have turned to unrequited love for some. She said that loyalty, affection and commitment can keep employees at the University for only so long.
Estroff noted the concern that some staff feel about tuition increases, noting that they support children attending institutions in the University System. She thought that the partnership faculty feel with staff meant that staff have a claim to be more deserving of tuition increase money. However, she opposed tuition increases since tuition was never meant to pay the way for higher education expenses in the State constitution. She said that taxpayers must understand that higher education is their responsibility, and that one cannot run a Mercedes on kerosene.
Estroff had surprised herself by agreeing to join the Transportation and Parking Advisory committee after six other faculty had turned down the job. She noted the difficulty of discussing fairness, seniority, critical nature of work, and other factors in determining where Employees should park.
Estroff said that students as well as faculty and staff have a claim on parking spaces, since they must also travel to campus. In a year of huge State budget deficits, many faculty feel that faculty should not pay as low a price for parking permits as staff and students. She thought that the University represents a different kind of place which should reflect ideas about fairness and inclusion. She asked the Forum what faculty could do specifically with regard to parking to make it more equitable to staff.
Estroff noted that distribution of parking permits is carried out locally by departments, and is unregulated. Some departments are untrustworthy, and others are not. In her department, female staff hold priority for safety reasons, since they most often arrive and depart in the dark.
Estroff did not want the scarcity of parking to divide the campus. She praised the campus’ leadership that parking concerns had not yet divided the campus. She would rather bicycle to work than have any division among faculty, staff, and students. She said that faculty do not see staff as competitors for spaces, but some see students as less deserving of spaces. She said that Justin Young had been charged to convince these faculty otherwise.
Complicating the situation is campus construction, which really has affected campus life. She felt somewhat concerned about town-gown relationships in advance of discussions about the Horace Williams tract, affordable housing for faculty and staff, and transit issues. She said that University administrators had ably represented the campus, but she was not completely comfortable with where the University finished in its discussions.
Estroff said that the State Legislature has not nourished the University. The University itself has little it can do about health insurance cost increases and salary increases. She hoped that the University could make work here more meaningful, meaning that meagerness of spirit on the outside would not take away what the campus has to offer within. One thing that people can do is control the tone and tenor of interactions, and she invited listeners to work together to create a gratifying workplace in spite of outside attacks.
Heuer said that he understood that a sliding scale for parking permit fees was not feasible. Estroff said that she had mentioned a sliding scale to Suttenfield and had not heard flatly that the University could not create such a system. She urged the University to explore the idea now.
Andy Maglione asked if the University would pressure Chapel Hill Transit to provide more reliable service. Estroff said that no way exists for Employees to ride effectively public transit from Durham to the University, outside of taking the Robertson Scholars bus. She thought it easier to get here from Raleigh via TTA.
Diane O’Connor said that one can find a bus if really motivated, but she sometimes needed access to her car. She noted the lack of State cars for those needing to leave campus on business. Estroff noted the demise of Employee P2P service due to elimination of the pan-University funds five or so years ago.
Estroff noted her frustration with campus construction trucks taking up space in local roads.
Keith Fogleman noted that departments must pay for stickers for State cars, and said that only some departments can afford this expense. He also said that State cars are not assured a parking space, which makes it difficult for facilities service personnel to work.
Estroff wondered how the transit crisis had come to surprise the campus. She noted that the University should have found a solution to remote lot bus service five years ago. She also thought that parking fees should not support transit service entirely.
Diane O’Connor asked how the State allocates its cars, and wondered if departments in fact buy their own cars for Employee use.
Estroff said that if she could easily obtain a one-day sticker, she would opt out of driving on campus every day. Fred Jordan pointed out that one can obtain a one-day sticker in advance from Public Safety.
Estroff asked about obtaining shared parking passes which would allow Employees park in different places. She also mentioned the issue of local control versus University-wide control of parking allocation. She noted that the current system of local control has no reviews or appeals process.
Barbara Logue said that her department has had difficulties with local control, but has also had to address retention problems. She thought that administration by Public Safety would put pressure on folks there. She hoped to find some compromise that would administer allocation in a flat fair way that would allow less wiggle room for unfair dealing. Estroff hoped that the University would commission some campus-wide review for equity purposes, and institute some appeal mechanism.
Heuer introduced Barbara DeLon, Director of Employee Services, to make a presentation on conducting meetings and taking minutes. She noted that most institutions have some sort of meetings, and so learning to run them effectively becomes a valued skill. She showed the Forum a videotape entitled “Meetings, Bloody Meetings” which outlined a strategy to run meetings more effectively.
Ingredients to holding a successful meeting include planning what will occur in advance, namely what will occur and why, and who will attend. She praised the new corporate calendar as an effective resource. Chairs should distribute agendas in advance, and should arrive early. Chairs should also define roles and rules for their members.
Chairs should do all they can to appear fair, even to the point of attending all subcommittee meetings to make sure all attendees feel that they have received a fair hearing. All attendees should know what they have been charged to do when they leave the meeting. Members should also agree on the next meeting date and time. One should close a meeting quickly and positively, by saying that the meeting has adjourned. (Don’t let a meeting drift into personal conversation.)
DeLon advised writing up minutes as quickly as possible, and not letting them sit more than twenty-four hours.
The videotape advised that meeting chairs use “Plan, Inform, Prepare, Structure & Control, Summarize, and Record” steps to organize their meetings to effectively use time and resources.
Heuer introduced 1997 Forum Chair Bob Schreiner to make remarks. Schreiner welcomed members to the Forum and urged members to put time in to learn about their role. He noted the benefits of learning about things outside one’s role with the University, and the viewpoint of the other person. He recalled his Martin Luther King day speech as one of his first Forum experiences. He noted that staff must always fight for visibility beyond faculty and students.
Schreiner introduced 1998 Forum Chair Linwood Futrelle. Futrelle noted that staff are often badly outnumbered on University committees, sometimes 9 to 1. He stressed that staff must take their charges seriously to present an effective voice to University administration. He thanked the new Forum members for representing staff during trying times. He urged members not to fear asking others for help.
Schreiner announced that the 2001 Executive Committee had voted to select Futrelle as the Forum’s Community Award recipient (3-Legged Stool). Schreiner noted Futrelle’s contributions to staff, faculty and students, the campus blood drive, and as a volunteer fireman. Futrelle said that he was rendered speechless by the award, which he said was the most significant recognition he could receive as a campus citizen.
Jane Stine, the Forum’s 1999 chair, recalled her work with adverse weather, the internal budget crisis, and the chancellors’ search committee among other areas. She thanked the Forum members for their commitment.
Stine introduced the Forum’s 2000 chair, Joanne Kucharski. Kucharski noted that members will need to hang on to their sense of humor while dealing with very serious issues. She said that staff Employees must all pull together, and particularly given difficulties in the transportation and parking arena. She noted that 40% increases in campus parking permits have become possible.
Kucharski recalled that the University’s Transportation and Parking Advisory committee (TPAC) had changed composition last year. She said that ideally, the committee would approach the Forum chair with proposals that would go before the Forum Executive Committee, which would then present its ideas back to TPAC. She said that this year TPAC might have to make an immediate recommendation on permit fees. She did note that Public Safety is said to have a $2 million deficit, as reported in the Daily Tar Heel.
Kucharski said that TPAC plans to hold community meetings on February 5 and tentatively also on February 12. These meetings will take place on the Academic Affairs and Health Affairs parts of campus.
Kucharski suggested that the Forum write a resolution stating that campus parking and transit functions no longer operate under the assumption that they will be self-supporting. She said that the University should investigate using some of the other sources of revenue which come to campus each year. She recalled that last year she had fought very hard to persuade the administration to be equal players in the transit question. She said also that TPAC cannot meet only periodically when dealing with these longstanding and complex questions.
Kucharski said that she did not want any one group to be singled out for pain when dealing with transit concerns. She also wanted the Forum to consider the difference between a permit increase and a transit fee. She said that the University had considered but had passed on instituting a transit fee for all Employees last year. The issue has arisen again this year as administrators search for revenue. Kucharski said that a transit fee would represent a small charge placed on everyone to alleviate a rather larger increase in costs to parking permit holders.
Kucharski deduced from the Daily Tar Heel that a 40% increase in permits to alleviate a $2 million deficit means that each 1% increase collects $50,000. She said that the University would probably seek a combination of parking permit increase and transit fee to address the deficit. She noted that the University of Georgia had instituted a $2 per week transit fee on its Employees to address parking and transit concerns.
Another option advanced has been the institution of nighttime parking. This system could either charge users a full gated lot price or charge for a “hunting license” to search University spaces for a spot. The committee has also considered making some University lots free parking under this system.
Kucharski recalled that she and Estroff had both received reappointments to the committee this year. She cautioned listeners about the merits of a transit fee, worrying that such a fee would receive constant increases based on the precedent of student fees. She thought that implementing transit fees risked setting a very negative precedent.
Kucharski recalled the difficulties in removing emotion from the parking and transit discussions. She urged Delegates to try to be as objective as possible. She noted that twenty-eight members now serve on the Transportation and Parking Advisory committee. She noted that she had encouraged the committee to meet biweekly and then weekly to address transit issues and the University’s allocation system. She said that the University’s transit demand coordinator will face an uphill battle in establishing rewards for those who buy into the University’s transit program.
Keith Fogleman asked if Public Safety had a statement showing how permit monies are spent each year. Kucharski thought that the last time the University received a budget was 1998. Connie McPherson said that Public Safety publishes an annual budget on its website, at http://www.dps.unc.edu
Kucharski noted how the University’s move away from developing the Horace Williams tract to developing the central campus had changed the University’s parking and transit situation. She said that the onslaught of construction resulting from the bond campaign had made the situation nearly out of control. Fogleman asked why Public Safety had found itself $2 million in debt. Kucharski said that the debt came from a variety of sources, mainly debt on parking decks. She did not think that the department had misspent money, but mentioned the possibility of an audit.
Glenn Haugh asked how many TPAC members are staff Employees. Kucharski said that the committee had always had one staff representative from the Employee Forum. She said that Andy Chrismon from the School of Social Work now represents that area. She said that these staff represent their schools or departments, not staff as a whole.
Heuer recalled his service as Forum chair in 2001, and noted that Kucharski had said that she would not permit adverse weather to affect her term in 2000. He noted that staff Employees have children in college who might have to bear the cost of increased school tuition. He also noted that many staff work at the University because they are truly lifelong residents of Chapel Hill and its vicinity, and so have not in fact chose to be here.
Heuer was impressed by the work of Chancellor Moeser and his lieutenants in their relationship with the Forum. He recalled their willingness to avoid the path that UNC Hospitals had taken with their decentralization, which had left many staff there in the dark about their status due to an 11th hour legislative decision. He praised the administration’s good faith in starting a discussion on personnel flexibility now to alleviate concerns about a second such occurrence. He also praised the administration’s willingness to change the committee formation to reflect staff concerns. He said that this committee should continue to meet through April or May, when it will forward recommendations to the Chancellor.
Heuer urged members to consider economic vitality, social equity, and environmental sustainability in their consideration of any issue set before them this year. He thanked Suzan de Serres, Tracey Haith, Sylvia White, and Sheila Storey for their work this year. He also thanked Kay Teague, Gary Lloyd and Tommy Griffin for their courage and willingness to dedicate themselves as Forum officers.
Chair Tommy Griffin officially opened the Forum’s business meeting. He welcomed Katherine Graves, Mary Ann Vacheron and Matt Todd as the Forum’s newly promoted Delagates.
The Chair urged members not to fear asking questions and to tackle the problems before them. He did not think University Employees could stand an increase in parking permit costs or an increase in transit fees. He had voiced this opinion to various University officials.
The Chair asked for a motion to approve the minutes. Diane Strong moved that the Forum defer consideration of the minutes until the February meeting. Lee Edmark seconded this motion. The motion approved by acclamation.
The Chair presented a resolution on transforming Gerrard Hall into an interfaith chapel to the Forum, for consideration on first reading. The Forum agreed to make final consideration of the resolution at its February meeting.
The Chair noted that the Forum has under its charge $12,000 in staff development fund money. He had charged the Forum Career Development committee to suggest uses for the money to the full Forum at a future meeting this year. Possible uses of the money include mediation training, education assistance programs, and skilled crafts training. The Chair said that the Forum must make a recommendation to use the money this year.
The Chair noted Vacheron’s suggestion that committees have the opportunity to meet in the morning before the Forum meeting to discuss issues, as a way to gather committee members easily and reduce time away from the office. The Chair said that the Executive Committee would discuss this idea further.
The Chair urged members to take the opportunity to use their voice, and speak for others at the University. At this point, he adjourned the business portion of the meeting.
Forum members now heard from past committee chairs as to the work of the Forum’s committees. They then signed up for various committees, and met to discuss possible issues to work on in the coming year as well as meeting times and locations.
In the absence of further discussion, the meeting adjourned at 4:44 p.m.
Matt Banks, Recording Secretary