January 5, 2000
Agenda – January 5, 2000
9:30 a.m.–Community Meeting, Assembly Room of Wilson Library
I. Call to Order
II. Welcome Guests, Members of the Press
- State Senator Eleanor Kinnaird
- Vice Chancellor for Administration Jack Evans
- University Managers’ Association Chair Sharon Graydon (tentative)
IV. Employee Presentations And Questions
V. Human Resources Update
- Laurie Charest, Associate Vice Chancellor, Human Resources
VI. Approval of Minutes of the December 1, 1999 meeting P
VII. Unfinished Business
- Request for Endorsement from ABODE Affordable Housing Coalition
- Forum Officer Elections
- Candidates for Chair:
- Candidates for Vice-Chair:
- Candidate for Secretary: Karen Geer
- Please Note: Nominations May Also Be Made From the Floor for Any of these Offices
VIII. Chair’s Report (Executive Committee): Jane Stine P
- Annual Retreat January 21
- Forum Recommendations on SPA Work Time Issues Forwarded to Chancellor
- Employee/Manager Responsibilities in Staff Training/Education Forwarded to Chancellor
- Meeting with Pete Andrews, Claire Miller on Supervisory Training
- Contingency Plan for Forum Governance
IX. Stretch Time
X. Committee/Task Force Reports
- Career Development
- New Careers Training Board: Ken Perry
- Employee Presentations
- Forum Officer Elections
- Forum Retreat Friday, January 21
- Personnel Issues
- Recognition and Awards
- University Committee Assignments
XI. Task Force/University Committee Reports
- 27th Payroll Adjustment Team—Jane Stine
- Master Plan Executive Steering Team—Jane Stine
- Transportation & Parking Advisory —
- University Priorities & Budget—Jane Stine
- Chancellor Search Committee—Jane Stine
- Provost Search Committee—Jane Stine
- Vice Chancellor for Finance & Administration Search Committee—Jane Stine
- Faculty Council Liaison—Jane Stine
XIII. Transmission of Gavel to Newly Elected Chair
P = Included in Agenda Packet
January 5, 2000
Joanna K. Smith
Jane Stine “
“ = Ex-Officio
Call to Order, Welcome to Guests, Opening Remarks
Chair Jane Stine welcomed the University community to the Forum’s winter community meeting. She noted the 140 attendees and said that this date was the first the Forum could schedule for all participants involved. She hoped that Employees present would introduce themselves to the Forum Delegates after hearing from the day’s special speakers. She also invited Employees to stay on to see the Forum in its regular business following remarks from Senator Eleanor Kinnaird and Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance Jack Evans.
The Chair welcomed members of the press as well as Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources Laurie Charest, the Forum’s official liaison to the University administration. She noted that the Forum had been involved since 1997 in the effort to expand the University’s local calling area, an effort that had recently reached a successful conclusion. In addition, the Forum had been involved in the successful effort to acquire Employee tuition waivers for on-line courses.
The Forum has presented two documents to the Chancellor for his approval and cooperation: an analysis of SPA exempt wage-hour issues with suggestions for improvement, and a statement on Employee and manager responsibilities in the area of staff training. The Forum has also achieved staff representation on the Chancellor, Provost, and Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance search committees, the 27th payroll task force, the Master Plan Steering Committee, and the Horace Williams Study Committee, among other groups.
The Chair turned the meeting over to Vice Chair Kathy Dutton to run the rest of the community meeting in her capacity as head of the Employee Presentations Committee. Dutton wished the group a Happy New Year. She noted that the Forum had passed a resolution in 1996 honoring Kinnaird and State Representative Verla Insko for their election to the General Assembly following their time as University staff members.
Kinnaird served as mayor of Carrboro from 1987-1995. Since her assumption of office in the State Senate, she has served on the State & Local Government, Appropriations, Judiciary II, Rules and Operation, Aging, Environmental Review, Governmental Operations, Consumer Protections, and Crime Prevention legislative committees. Kinniard received her B.A. from Carleton College in Minnesota, followed by an MSW from UNC-Chapel Hill and a J.D. from North Carolina Central University. She has been active in passage of the Excellent Schools Act, and the environmental protection movement. Kinnaird has also been active to safeguard protections for seniors and the disabled, and has actively worked with Prisoners Legal Services.
Kinnaird thanked Dutton for her fine introduction. She was pleased to be here among those she had worked with for years at the University. She had worked with the School of Pharmacy and the Music Library, which had recently been flooded. She felt close to the University, which she felt was the treasure and crown jewel of the State. She praised those who worked to keep the University at the pinnacle of its stature, and noted that the Research Triangle Park would not have been possible without the University. Kinnaird had taken this experience and love to the Legislature, along with Verla Insko, Joe Hackney, and Howard Lee, the current co-chair of the legislative committee on education. Kinnaird noted that the University faces competition for legislative dollars from the other 15 campuses of the University System and the community college system. Thus, the University has become only one of many institutions competing for money, which has meant that its advocates must constantly emphasize what UNC-Chapel Hill has meant to the State through its history.
Kinnaird said that the State faces a very serious bind when it comes to higher education funding. She noted that in 1994 members of the “other party” cut taxes in response to a governmental surplus. These tax cuts were disconnected from a consideration of government services needed across the State. Kinnaird noted that the government’s main production items are services, rather than physical products. The government’s main service is education, but citizens also look to government for human services, cultural resources, libraries, parks, and environmental and historical services among others. Historically, when citizens have needed help, they have turned to their government.
However, $1.3 billion in tax cuts have reduced the revenue available to pay for flood relief and for capital improvements needed throughout the University system. Kinnaird recalled a business school study that found that tax incentives and credits are the least most important factor to businesses considering a move to North Carolina, with education being the most important factor. If North Carolina reduced the $500 million it pays in business incentives it could conceivably charge less in taxes to everyday people.
The Legislature has taken an operating surplus and turned it into a deficit through tax cuts, which have led in turn to cuts in operating and facilities budget here at the University. The University has taken three across the board cuts and its budget has been cut to the bone as a result. Unfortunately, the common perception of State government as full of unproductive workers has not changed; however, Kinnaird said that her experience had found government workers overworked and underfunded, but willing to sacrifice to ensure the continuation of important work.
Kinnaird said that every Employee is a potential ambassador to talk about what has happened in his or her own department. She said that in the Music Department, for example, the buildings are shabby and even a disgrace, particularly in comparison to buildings like the microelectronics center. She said that the State must talk about its priorities when considering cuts in renovations and repair budget.
The State started last year with an $800 million shortfall, which it was able to cover. (The State is constitutionally banned from operating at a deficit.) Kinnaird noted that Department of Transportation monies are considered “off-budget” and so are not part of the State figures. Last summer, due to a variety of political factors, the Legislature did not pass a bond initiative to fund University capital improvements. In addition, the State has seen four hurricanes (Dennis twice, Floyd, and Irene) which should persist as part of an inclement weather pattern over the next ten years.
In response to these difficulties, the question has arisen whether to raise taxes. Harlan Boyles, the State Treasurer, has asked why the State does not cut exemptions for State businesses for one year. This suggestion was rejected, mainly for political reasons. In the year 2000, the State will undergo the census which will see a radical shift in population from the rural east and west to the urban crescent which stretches from Charlotte to Raleigh. The reapportionment of political districts will reflect this population change, with a shift of representatives from the East and West (excepting Wilmington and Asheville) to the Piedmont. The party that wins the elections this year will draw the new districts, favoring their chances for reelection through the decade. Thus, both parties are reluctant to talk about the need for taxes for fear of negative publicity. However, University advocates can point to the great need to the keep the institution great.
Kinnaird noted that State Employees have a great lobbying group to represent them in the State Employees’ Association, rivaled only by the Insurance and Homebuilder lobbies. She cited Paula Schubert and Kay Hovious for their part in representing the interests of University Employees. Lobbyists are very influential in legislative action, from Duke Power to the Sierra Club. Kinnaird encouraged Employees to e-mail her with their concerns, saying that she would try to respond when possible.
Concerning the repair and renovation bond issue, Kinnaird said that the failure to pass the bond had led to hold-ups for in a variety of projects, including the Undergraduate Library, which just missed the deadline for the priority list for capital improvements.
Kinnaird observed that the tuition increase issue had been quite contentious both in Chapel Hill and in relation to the 16-campus system. She noted that historically the Legislature has been made up of UNC-Chapel Hill graduates but now legislators are from all over the State. It is now important for these legislators to understand what UNC-Chapel Hill means to the State.
Finally, the State faces a retirement lawsuit and a lawsuit related to the intangibles tax, which could total together another $1.17 billion in State liability. The State might also face another lawsuit from low-wealth public schools that could total more that the first two combined. The State has spent down its “rainy day fund” and might indeed have to raise taxes to do what is best for the State and its people.
Libby Evans asked why Department of Transportation (DOT) funds are considered separate from the State budget. Kinnaird said that the DOT has become and empire unto itself. DOT enjoys a trust fund supported by gasoline tax dollars apart from the general budget. The recent roads bond issue was married to a K-12 bond issue. Kinnaird anticipated that the DOT would request another bond issue to support outer loops around Raleigh, a huge project which she felt was financial wasteful. She said that it was very discouraging to see the ease by which the DOT can obtain funding for projects of questionable necessity. Kinnaird pledged to continue chipping at the culture of the DOT.
Linwood Futrelle asked when the mentioned taxes might be enacted. Kinnaird said that the earliest taxes would be raised would be FY 2001-02. Kinnaird observed that there had been three across-the-board cuts in University and State operations in the last year and a half, reaching libraries, mental health, and adult homes for the mentally disabled. She hoped that the Legislature would see the light and find other alternatives.
Dave Lohse said that he was proud to have had Kinnaird as his mayor and senator. He asked what the prospects were of State salaries being frozen, and of the State recognizing domestic partner benefits. Kinnaird said that she had introduced two bills on the latter subject into a very conservative legislature. She hoped to see some progress on domestic partner benefits in her lifetime, but unfortunately today the prospects are minimal for passage. With regard to staff salary increases, Kinnaird said that the State is not in a strong position to provide these increases in spite of the strong economy. However, the State had managed to find money to fund other strong projects such as the children’s health insurance program.
Karen Geer asked if the more than $10 million that the University and other State agencies had donated to the Floyd recovery effort would ever be returned. Kinnaird did not think that this money would be returned in this session. Part of what the State did was to fold repairs and renovation monies into Floyd recovery work. She hoped that following the election her party would be installed with a new mandate.
] The Chair introduced interim Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance Jack Evans. She also recognized former chairs Bob Schreiner, Kay Hovious, and Rachel Windham. She noted that Evans had obtained all three of his degrees from Cornell University, but had come to “bleed Carolina Blue” in his many years at the University. Evans has served as dean of the business school before stepping in for Jim Ramsey as interim Vice Chancellor. The Chair said that the University had been in good hands with Evans in his place.
Evans thanked the Chair for her introduction and additionally welcomed Senator Kinnaird to campus. He stated that Kinnaird faced a complex agenda to address the needs of the entire State while serving as an advocate for the University, which in turn would only succeed if the K-12, community college, and other System colleges and universities do well.
Evans expressed his thanks to many people in the room who had helped make the January 1, 2000 (Y2K) milestone go as smoothly as possible for the University’s internal systems. He noted that these Employees had spent their New Year’s weekend in testing the University’s computer systems, and he was grateful for their thorough and effective work.
The past year had been a very challenging one for the University, with Chancellor Hooker’s illness and eventual death at the end of June. Provost Richardson had suffered a mild heart attack that required a two-month recovery period, and Vice Chancellor Jim Ramsey had been called home to the State of Kentucky with a very attractive job offer after 13 months in Chapel Hill. Evans was proud to serve the University as he could as a utility administrator.
Concerning the University’s1999 budget gap, Evans said that this was not a case of overspending money, but rather in which revenues did not match commitments made throughout the University. A $6 million gap was met through reallocations, but only 14-15 layoffs were made, with that number reduced further pending internal transfers. Evans said that the University had done well to reduce the impact on Employees as much as possible, but regretted the “less than clear” reporting about the budget gap in the media.
With regard to the capital improvement bond initiative, General Administration, in conjunction with the Legislature, commissioned a study of needed repairs and renovations on University campuses. The total bill for these improvements was $6.9 billion, according to consultant Eva Klein. This very large number had never been considered in connection with the University System. When the proposal reached the Legislature, the plan was to create a package of funding from multiple sources, including State appropriations, self-liquidating revenues, bonds, and private fundraising. For example, the McCall Business School was built with 1/3 State and 2/3 private money. Among the plans at UNC-Chapel Hill for this money were to renovate and expand Memorial Hall.
However, at the last legislative session, the Senate was very supportive of the bond initiative, but support in the House depended on public approval via a Statewide referendum. After Wake County voters defeated a similar referendum earlier that spring, decision-makers thought it best not to risk a similar referendum for the University capital improvement bond. Unfortunately, the Legislature ran out of time to approve the bond on its own merits and no dollars were approved for University System capital improvement.
This defeat has very significant consequences for the University. One $65 million building for which legislators had already secured a package of $7 million State dollars and $30 million self-liquidating funds could not obtain the additional $27 million needed to complete construction, due to its inclusion in the bond package. Much site preparation and utility work is now on hold pending further funding. Evans said that this funding would be difficult to obtain due to the current difficulties facing the State with Hurricane Floyd recovery. Evans said that the University was proud to contribute its fair share to the recovery work in the eastern part of the State, and he thanked the literally hundreds of people who had contributed time and money to this work.
Evans noted that the University enjoyed the benefit of special friends to face these special challenges. Bill McCoy, the University’s interim chancellor, had tried to retire more than once before being called into service. Evans praised McCoy’s experience with the corporate world, the General Administration, the Legislature, and the University’s fundraising campaign. Ann Cates, the first woman to chair the Board of Trustees, had also proven herself a person of energy and commitment in work on behalf of the University.
Evans said that the budget was indeed balanced for FY 1999-2000. He said at the conclusion of each quarter the University would issue a budget status report detailing revenue and spending projections. The University would work with contracts & grants to keep the status report up to date.
With regard to the 27th payroll issue, Evans said that the University had made provisions for this extra paycheck in this year’s accounts. Evans said that departments would be responsible to identify funding sources for this year’s payroll.
In the future, the University will fund this extra pay period through accrual accounting methods and remain on a biweekly payroll system. At one point, the University had thought to go to a twice-monthly payroll system, but the study committee decided that the best solution would be to stick with what people were accustomed. The twice-monthly system would have resulted in Employees receiving one paycheck having $100 less, though no Employee would have lost money in the overall result. However, this was seen as enough of a public relations negative that the committee decided to return to an accrual process to insure the funds are in place next time around. Evans thought that this process reflected the benefit of having enough different perspectives in place to work out potentially difficult problems.
Regarding capital improvement projects, the University has created an updated 10-year plan that it would refine on a quarterly basis. The University hoped to reinforce its partnership with the Legislature by self-liquidating funding for dormitories, an action that requires legislative permission. The University will work to raise private money in plans for a private fundraising campaign. Evans noted that the Undergraduate Library had been stuck at the Department of Insurance when the call to freeze projects was announced. He noted that this delay would affect the biomolecular building funding as well.
The University has $1.2 million in repairs and renovation money that has been frozen by the Legislature but not yet committed to the Floyd reserve fund. The hope is that these dollars will be released.
Employees had no questions for Evans. Dutton noted that a few questions had come via e-mail for the community meeting; responses will be included with the minutes from that meeting. She thanked Kinnaird and Evans for their remarks, and noted that Sharon Graydon had been unable to speak but hoped to address the Forum February 2. She encouraged interested Employees to attend the February Forum meeting if interested and able.
The Chair encouraged Employees to speak to Delegates during the break, and to fill out evaluation forms on the day’s events. She thanked Employees for attending and invited them to stay on through the end of the Forum meeting at 11:30. At this point the Forum took its customary stretch break.
Human Resources Update
Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources wished the assembly Happy New Year. She recognized the Forum’s past chairs in the room, and praised their excellent leadership.
Charest noted that the tuition waiver program for staff covers all appropriations-based courses. Now on-line courses are included in the program. However, the program still does not cover summer school programs. This change will affect eligibility for the program, as it removes the requirement that Employees contribute to the retirement program. As a result, any Employee working 30 hours a week or more are allowed to participate in the tuition waiver program. Civilian Employees adjunct to the ROTC program are also eligible.
Concerning term life insurance, Prudential Life Insurance is evaluating the University’s request for proposals. The University should expect a decision by the end of January, and expects that rates will decline.
Approval of the Minutes
Matt Banks noted that Karen Jordan and Ramona Kellam were incorrectly listed as absent from the December meeting. In addition, the software program in use at the Cheek Building computer lab is the Plato software program. With these corrections, Michael Hawkins moved that the minutes be approved, seconded by Kathy Dutton. There was no discussion, and the motion was approved unanimously.
The Chair asked Secretary Lynn Ray to open the floor for nominations for the office of Forum Secretary. Robert Thoma moved that the floor be closed for nominations, seconded by Mike Hawkins. This motion was carried. Thoma moved that Karen Geer be approved via acclamation, seconded by Tom Jenswold. The Forum approved this motion unanimously via voice vote.
Ray asked for nominations for the office of Forum Vice Chair. Karen Geer nominated Kathy Dutton. Karen Geer moved that the floor be closed for nominations, seconded by Robert Thoma. This motion was carried. Thoma moved that Dutton be approved via acclamation, seconded by Karen Geer. The Forum approved this motion unanimously via voice vote.
Before the Forum opened nominations for chair, the Chair invited previous Forum chairs to say a few words about the office. 1997 chair Bob Schreiner noted that all Forum chairs stood available to assist whoever stepped forward to take the job. He was extremely glad to have taken the job, and said that it would send a negative message if no one stepped forward. Schreiner said that past officers and the Forum Assistant were available to assist the chair with their duties.
Kay Hovious, the 1993 Forum chair, noted that election demanded a commitment from one’s department as well as from oneself. She said that the office involved a significant time commitment but also involved rewards that one would take for the rest of your career at the University. Service would bring friends, contacts, and honor to University staff, one’s work unit, and oneself. She commented that Employees who had worked with her during her time as chair grew in their jobs as they assisted her work, increasing and improving their own duties.
Rachel Windham, the 1995 Forum chair, said that there is probably not a thing that an Employee could do on campus than to serve as Forum chair. She had been lucky to serve with two chancellors, and was appalled that no one had stepped forward. She saw many people who were well equipped to do this job. Windham said that it was not a time for Delegates to be shy or wonder about their own abilities. Prospective chairs can call upon former chairs, Delegates and others to serve. She would undertake to recruit someone in the next weeks for service.
Chair Jane Stine said that she had benefited from the opportunity to call for advice and help from Linwood Futrelle, Ann Hamner and others. She opened the floor for nominations. As there were no nominations, she noted the express plans of the Forum Executive Committee to run the Forum in cooperation with Forum officers and the Forum Assistant, in the absence of a chair. She hoped that someone would step forward by the February 2 meeting of the Forum.
Stine is no longer eligible to serve except in an ex-officio capacity. She said that last year’s and this year’s Executive Committee would meet to find ways to make the chair’s job less daunting. She said that her main motivation for service was to give back to the University that had given so much to her. She had enjoyed her work and noted that McCoy’s office had been open at any time she was needed. She said that the Forum would go on.
The Chair noted that the ABODE Affordable Housing Coalition had asked for an endorsement of its proposal for a one-cent dedication of the Orange County property tax to affordable housing initiatives. She noted the presentation had led to serious discussion at the December meeting, and asked what action the Forum desired to take.
Cindy Stone moved that the Forum table this item until the next meeting, seconded by Kathy Dutton. The Forum generally agreed with this course of action, and moved by voice vote to table this item until the next meeting.
The Chair noted that the analysis of wage-hour issues and the statement on staff training responsibilities had been forwarded to the chancellor.
The Chair had met with Chair of the Faculty Council Pete Andrews and Human Resources representative Claire Miller on the supervisory training issue for faculty and high-level administrators.
The Chair noted that the Executive Committee had worked out details for the administration of Forum operations in the absence of a Forum chair. These ideas would be contained in the December Executive Committee minutes.
Linda Drake noted that the Orientation Committee will conduct the Forum Retreat on Friday January 21, 2000 starting at 8 a.m. in the Friday Center. She asked Delegates to begin consideration of which committee they would like to serve.
The University Committee Assignments Committee should begin work on finding members to replace Betty Averette on the Transportation and Parking Advisory Committee.
The Chair said that she was very gratified that the administration was willing to consider Employee concerns with regard to the 27th payroll adjustment plan. She was glad that the University had agreed to move to an accrual system.
The University Priorities and Budget Committee would consult with the chancellor at a retreat on Tuesday and Wednesday, January 11-12. The committee considers planning and budgeting for the University as a whole, and will particularly consider methods of better data gathering.
Items from the Floor
Richard Bowles, an Artist/Illustrator II, expressed frustration with the University’s method of granting in-grade merit increases. He found that Employees with less experience than he and his wife (also an Artist/Illustrator II) were making more money due to in-range salary adjustments and hiring premiums. He was very discouraged with the University pay system, and had been told that there is little that can be done to help his problem, since his department did not choose to dedicate funds to in-range salary adjustments for its Employees. Bowles produced documents comparing his salary with others in different departments with different levels of experience.
The Chair asked what Bowles expected the Forum to do for him, stating that the Forum would probably need to refer his complaint to committee. Bowles asked the Forum to give him a voice in his discussions with administrators. The Chair said that similar problems have been raised throughout campus, and had been partially addressed in recent proposals by the Personnel Issues Committee. Laurie Charest said that she would consult personally with Bowles following the meeting to find further details about Bowles’ situation. The Chair said that the University certainly wants to hire and keep the best Employees possible.
The Chair transmitted the Forum gavel to Vice Chair Kathy Dutton, and asked that she keep it until a new Chair is elected. Dutton asked if there were any further business, and in the absence of this asked for a motion to adjourn. Mike Hawkins made this motion, seconded by Robert Thoma. In the absence of further discussion, the meeting adjourned by acclamation at 11:34 a.m.
Matt Banks, Recording Secretary