Agenda — January 7, 1998

9:30 a.m.–Meeting, Assembly Room of Wilson Library

I. Call to Order

 

II. Welcome Guests, Members of the Press, New Delegates

 

III. Opening Remarks

* Executive Vice Chancellor Elson Floyd

 

IV. Employee Presentations

 

V. Special Presentations

* Chair of the Faculty Pete Andrews

* Manager, Tar Heel Temporaries, Lisa Koskinen

 

VI. Human Resources Update

* Laurie Charest, Associate Vice Chancellor, Human Resources

 

VII. Approval of Minutes of the December 3, 1997 meeting

 

VIII. Unfinished Business

* Forum Officer Elections

=> Candidates for Chair: Tommy Brickhouse and Linwood Futrelle

=> Candidates for Vice-Chair: Jeffery Beam and Sherry Graham

=> Candidate for Secretary: Lucille Brooks

=> Please Note: Nominations May Also Be Made From the Floor for Any of these Offices

 

IX. Chair’s Report (Executive Committee): Bob Schreiner

* Board of Trustees Meeting on Employee Issues in May 1998

* System Staff Assembly Meeting with General Administration Vice President Roy Carroll January 14

* Computer Literacy Resolution Followup

* 1997 Accomplishments; 1998 Challenges

* Executive Committee Meeting with University Priorities and Budget Committee January 20

 

X. Committee/Task Force Reports: (The names of 1997 Committee chairs and Task Force convenors are provided for your information only. New leaders will be selected at the Forum’s January 16, 1998 Retreat. All Delegates are eligible to serve as Committee and Task Force leaders.)

* Nominating—Libby Evans

* Orientation—Jeffery Beam/Joyce Dalgleish

=> Forum Retreat Friday, January 16

* Personnel Policies—Peter Schledorn

* Compensation and Benefits—Tommy Brickhouse

=> Transfer Opportunities Program (TOP) Update Discussions

* Public Affairs—Ruth Lewter/Anne Montgomery

* Recognition and Awards—Laura Grady/Nancy Klatt

* University Committee Assignments—Anne Montgomery/Tommy Nixon

* Career Development—Norm Loewenthal

=> New Careers Training Board—George Sharp

* Employee Presentations—Janet Tysinger

* Employee Appreciation Fair Booth Task Force—Janet Tysinger

* School Volunteerism Task Force—Libby Evans

* Intellectual Climate Task Force—Libby Evans

* Faculty Council Liaisons

* Partner Benefits—Peter Schledorn

* Legislative Affairs—Ron Sullivan

* Transit and Parking Task Force Representatives—Libby Evans/Janet Tysinger

* Outsourcing Team Representatives—Bennie Griffin/Ann Hamner

 

XI. Announcements/Questions

 

XII. Transmission of Gavel to Newly Elected Chair

 

XIII. Adjournment

MINUTES

January 7, 1998

Delegates Present

Betty Averette

Martha Barbour

Jeffery Beam

Pat Bigelow

Linwood Blalock

Connie Boyce

Mary Braxton

Lucille Brooks

Gwen Burston

Denise Childress

Jean Coble

Mitch Copeland

Joyce Dalgleish

Martha Davidson

Linda Drake

Linwood Futrelle

Libby Evans

Betty Geer

Sherry Graham

William Grice

Phil Hearne

Al Jeter

Bettye Jones

Steve Jones

LaEula Joyner

Ken Litowsky

Dee Dee Massey

Eileen McGrath

Lesa McPherson

Anne Montgomery

Jackie Overton

Barbara Prear

Frances Rountree

Bob Schreiner

Stephanie Stadler

Cheryl Stout

Terry Teer

Dail White

Carol Worrell

Ted Wright

Kenneth Yow

Laurie Charest”

” = Ex-Officio

 

Delegates Absent

Tommy Brickhouse

Jerry Hall

Jennifer Henderson

Nancy Tannenbaum

 

Alternates Present

Jim Barnes

William Carroll

Margaret Moore

Connie Dean McPherson

Ethel Neville-Worley

 

Guests

Pete Andrews

Jane Arndt

Aretha Chavis

Becky Eatmon

Elson Floyd

Mitch Kokai

Lisa Koskinen

Liz Lucas

Margaret Moore

Janet Tysinger

Call to Order, Welcome to Guests

Chair Bob Schreiner called the meeting to order at 9:31 a.m., noting that it had become part of the Forum tradition that meetings start punctually, and asked members to sign in and to examine the routing file as it was passed around the room. He welcomed guests, members of the press, and Executive Vice Chancellor Elson Floyd.

 

Opening Remarks

Wishing everyone a happy new year, Floyd was delighted to have the chance to address the Forum. He felt that the previous year had been a very successful one for the University, given its consistently strong faculty and staff, its vibrant student body, and the unexpectedly strong show of support from the State Legislature. He particularly noted the University’s efforts to improve working circumstances and conditions for all campus Employees, making a point to cite the Forum’s role in furthering the University’s mission.

Floyd welcomed new Delegates to the Forum and thanked the Forum’s outgoing members for their service to the University. In addition, he looked forward to meeting the Forum’s officers for 1998 following the day’s election. He thanked outgoing Chair Bob Schreiner, outgoing Vice-Chair Janet Tysinger, and outgoing Secretary Libby Evans for the leadership provided the Forum in 1997.

Floyd said it particularly had been a pleasure to make the acquaintance of Schreiner over the last twelve months; he had found Schreiner to be thoughtful, considerate and reflective in their work together. Floyd felt Schreiner had served ably on several University committees and had represented the Forum superbly. Floyd expressed his gratitude and heartfelt appreciation to Schreiner for his work over the past year.

Floyd similarly thanked Tysinger and Evans for their fine job representing the Forum and all of the University’s Employees. He anticipated working with the Forum’s new officers in a comparable manner towards resolving future challenges.

In February, Floyd planned to update the Forum on the University’s legislative agenda. The administration has endeavored to arrive at a list of these priorities which would be shared with the Forum’s Executive Committee when available. He had no doubt that staff and faculty salaries would be placed at the top of this list.

Regarding staff salaries, Floyd said that as the University works to maintain its competitive edge nationally, it must also consider the fierce competition for workers within the Research Triangle Park and the State. He noted that the Triangle is enjoying a very robust economy and thus competition for workers is high. One consequence of this prosperity is that the University currently has 498 vacant positions to fill.

To respond to this competition for workers, Floyd stated that the University must be steadfast in maintaining the best workplace circumstances and conditions in the Research Triangle area. In addition, the University must maintain its focus on compensation and salaries as it adds to its supply of the best qualified Employees possible. Floyd cited this quality a strength of the University and said that the institution must be tenacious in continuing this tradition.

At this point, Floyd offered to respond to any questions from the assembly. Hearing no questions, he took his leave from the Forum. The Chair thanked Floyd for his remarks and for making his year as chair as satisfying as he might have hoped. He praised Floyd as a great ally of the Forum who had made himself a real part of the group.

 

Employee Presentations

There were no Employee presentations.

 

Special Presentations

The Chair introduced Chair of the Faculty Pete Andrews. Andrews was elected at the end of the 1997 spring semester to a three year term as chair of the faculty. The Chair noted that Andrews had accomplished a great deal already in his new position.

Andrews said it was a great pleasure to meet and work with members of the Forum. He had hoped to address the group sooner following his election, but had been unable to do so because of teaching commitments. He welcomed the Forum’s new Delegates.

Andrews said that it had been a great pleasure working with the Chair at the School of Public Health and in his work with the Forum, and that the two had developed a strong mutual respect. He felt the Chair had done a tremendous job and voiced his great respect for the leadership of the Forum; he looked forward to working with whomever the group chooses as its chair for 1998.

Having been employed at the University for 16 years as a faculty member with the School of Public Health, the College of Arts & Sciences and elsewhere, Andrews served for 10 years as Director of the Institute for Environmental Sciences. As a Carolina alumnus, parent and faculty member, Andrews noted his many debts to staff members for their assistance and efforts going back to his time as a graduate student in the 1960s. He also noted a number of familiar faces in the assembly from his activities with the Durham Civic Choral Society.

Andrews began by raising a number of ideas related to the subject of the University priorities and emerging opportunities for cooperation. He said that faculty very much aspire to making Carolina the leader and model in public higher education in the United States, noting that by many popular and academic measures the University is very close to achieving this goal.

Andrews urged every members of the University community to contribute to the definition of what it means to be the “best university” or the “best public university” in the nation. Do these phrases indicate the highest proportion of schools and departments listed in national rankings, or do they indicate how an institution serves its students, citizens, and community? He hoped that faculty, students, and staff would seriously consider how such standards of excellence are defined.

Secondly, Andrews felt that while Carolina is certainly about excellence, it is also concerned with community. He thought that the University functions not just as an employer, but also oversees an energetic community. In fact, this communal spirit was what had led him back to Chapel Hill after nine years teaching in Michigan. At its best, the University has the capacity to create a sense of community among those who teach, work and study here and feel some loyalty to the institution.

Related to these feelings is a strong commitment to public service. Andrews recalled that an institution at which he worked previously had shifted its focus far from its native state in favor of a strong national and international presence. Carolina also has established a national and international presence, but has grounded this presence in its very strong links to the State of North Carolina. Andrews valued and believed in this relationship between the University and the citizens of North Carolina.

Thirdly, Andrews felt that the University, in its goal to be the best, must model and practice the values it teaches. Accomplishing this goal depends on how faculty, staff, students and administrators work together. As a professor in environmental policy, for example, Andrews hoped that one day there would be a major comprehensive effort launched to “green” the Carolina campus, taking into account efforts that are already underway. He felt that increasing diversity and bettering working conditions are among other issues that the University should continue to address.

Fourth, Andrews felt that the University can only be as good as the sum of its people. Each person has different jobs to do and while we may interact with others imperfectly, each depends on the other and each can find ways to support and to work together.

Andrews was greatly encouraged by progress made in the last ten years towards a more open and collaborative system of campus governance. As a primary example, he cited the University Priorities and Budget Committee of which the Chairs of the Faculty Council and the Employee Forum are members. There are many other contexts in which the University has become a place that welcomes the input and initiative of all its members. Andrews felt that this was the kind of place in which he wished to work.

Andrews moved to address more immediate priorities of the Faculty Council some of which coincide directly with those of the Forum. He noted a common interest in implementation of the University’s intellectual climate report. A working group, composed of the Provost, the President of the student body and himself, had begun to consider implementation issues related to this report. This group has subsequently named the Forum Chair as a contributing member and established a dialogue with Libby Evans, the convener of the Forum’s task force on staff involvement in the intellectual climate. Andrews thought that these developments presented many exciting opportunities for the Council and the Forum to work together.

Andrews noted that the intellectual climate report, while extensive, is not an exhaustive document. He encouraged listeners to advance other ideas to stimulate intellectual expression on campus.

Secondly, Andrews looked forward to working with the University Priorities and Budget Committee (UPBC). As the University assesses the need to set clearer priorities and to find resources to fund these priorities, it is important to maintain a venue for all campus members to think together about how to use these resources most effectively. Andrews thought that the creation of the UPBC was a major step in this direction.

The UPBC has spent the fall addressing questions of how the University sets priorities and creating a list of these priorities which will be soon presented to the campus community. Andrews hoped that this process will be a success, helping the whole of the University to equal the strength of its various parts. He trusted that the UPBC process would increase campus consideration of various pan-university and cross-unit initiatives.

Another important priority is addressing the questions of affirmative action and diversity. Andrews recalled that issues related to these questions are confronting Carolina from the outside world; he felt that the way Carolina treats students, staff and faculty, and the language developed to respond to these outside challenges and criticisms, should reaffirm the importance of a diverse University community.

A fourth priority is determining the future of the University in the context of the nascent electronic and virtual age. This movement has manifested itself on campus most dramatically in the increase of distance learning programs and in questions of degree, method and implementation that must accompany these programs. Andrews asked how the campus will use its information technology most effectively to strengthen the University’s academic mission while making technology accessible to those who need it. These questions affect classroom teaching approaches and staff Employees’ working lives. Information technologies have the potential to be an irritating hindrance, an underfunded and underutilized asset or a boon to all in their work for the University.

Finally, Andrews asked how the segments of the University can work together to articulate its message and needs to General Administration, the Legislature, and other outside parties that assist the campus in its mission. How can the University compose its message in a way that all can contribute to, understand, and support? Establishing such a message becomes most important in the face of media clich├ęs and general stereotypes about campus life.

From this list of priorities, Andrews saw many opportunities for cooperation among the whole of the University community. He was delighted that the Forum had created a parallel task force on the campus intellectual climate and envisioned opportunities for powerful interconnection in staff and faculty thinking on this topic.

Andrews thought that there are many ways in which the Faculty Council and the Employee Forum can learn from one another. He had already become an admirer of the quality of the Forum’s minutes, deliberations, and activities. He praised the Forum’s success with assigning staff members through its University Committee Assignments Committee, and was exploring ways that the faculty could borrow aspects of the Forum’s procedure. Conversely, Andrews offered the faculty’s help in any area possible. For example, in response to Floyd’s call to reexamine the staff grievance procedure, he had already contacted the Chair offering to share ideas with regard to the faculty process. Andrews was certain that there are many other areas in which the experience of faculty and staff can be valuable to one another.

Finally, Andrews hoped that the Forum and Faculty Council will find more opportunities to work together on a number of ideas about how to make the University a better place. One idea emerging from the intellectual climate report was the suggestion that the University establish more common meeting areas. To establish these areas, one must first find where these spaces are available, and Andrews suspected that staff collectively have more ideas about the best places for these “public areas” than faculty do. He felt it important to find different ways to capture these ideas from the Forum and the broader range of Employees that the Forum represents. This task is in itself a very valuable enterprise.

The intellectual climate report also mentioned that the University might better notify faculty, staff and students of academic speakers or performances before the fact. Andrews hoped that someday all such events will be widely and routinely publicized to the entire campus community.

Andrews noted that sometimes staff have a better handle on University happenings than faculty do, citing computer networking and e-mail distribution as a prime example. He hoped that the Council and the Forum will be able to cooperate in these areas for the common good.

Andrews welcomed the opportunity to work with the current Forum and its successors through the next two and a half years of his term, and offered to respond to any questions or comments from the assembly. In the absence of any questions, Andrews thanked the Forum for the opportunity to speak. The Chair thanked Andrews for his remarks and trusted that the 1998 Forum will continue its cooperative relationship with the Faculty Council.

 

The Chair introduced Lisa Koskinen, Manager of Tar Heel Temporaries, to speak on the services provided by that group. Koskinen thanked the Forum for the chance to speak. She recalled that many people ask her upon first meeting: What is Tar Heel Temps? Tar Heel Temps is the in-house temporary service for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Tar Heel Temps is a division of the Employment Department. Its mission is to provide quality temporary staffing in a timely manner to the University in support of its teaching, research and public service programs. Tar Heel Temps serves only the University community.

Staff for Tar Heel Temps now consists of Chris Crowson, the office receptionist, and Prentiss Garner, Linc Butler, Karen Rowe who are the organization’s placement specialists responsible for interviewing applicants and orienting them to procedures of the University and Tar Heel Temporaries. Placement specialists work directly with the campus community to answer questions concerning organizational needs and temporary services. The employment coordinator position, currently vacant, handles payroll (temporaries’ time sheets) and billing (customer statements)–Koskinen herself has had to assume these duties.

Tar Heel Temporaries provide office/clerical, light industrial, lab research, social research, accounting, computer support, and nursing assistant temporaries. The organization exists to help the campus community, and units with a temporary need should call 962-2900.

Koskinen distributed a brochure describing the procedures necessary to obtain a assistance from Tar Heel Temps. She asked that clients have this information available before calling: 1) their name and department number; 2) what the temporary will be asked to do; 3) when the temporary is needed; and 4) to whom will the temporary report. A placement specialist will coordinate assignment of a temporary to the requesting department.

Tar Heel Temps received approximately 2,200 work orders in 1997, and of these orders approximately 2,000 temporaries were placed on assignment. Around 122 Tar Heel Temps accepted permanent employment with the University in 1997.

Tar Heel Temps is concentrating on three main projects for the future. One is the implementation of a software proficiency testing program known as Quiz which will enable a better understanding of temporaries’ skills in Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Lotus, and WordPerfect. Quiz software will allow placement specialists to verify that temporaries are able to perform the skills professed at an acceptable level.

Secondly, Tar Heel Temps has begun work on its web site. The web site will provide prospective temporaries advice on applying to work at Tar Heel Temps, and provide information on timesheet deadlines. Units will find information contained in the Tar Heel Temporaries brochure and will be able to place work orders with the agency on-line.

Another major project underway is an automated system developed specifically for the temporary industry. Developed apart from the Human Resources Information System project, this system will greatly improve service and speed of service to the campus community. Koskinen looked forward to the advent of this system as it will greatly reduce internal paperwork.

Anne Montgomery asked if Koskinen knew when the Tar Heel Temporaries web page would be on-line. Koskinen replied that the page should be ready within the next couple of months. The web page will contain a scanned version of temporaries’ time sheet with instructions on completion. An announcement will be made when the web page is on-line.

Janet Tysinger noted that the Forum had heard several questions from long-term Tar Heel Temporary employees asking about these employees’ privileges and benefits as members of the University. As the Forum did not have answers to these questions, Tysinger asked what types of benefits these workers receive.

Koskinen said that Tar Heel Temps follows the same guidelines as any other department hiring temporary workers in that these employees may only work twelve months running before taking a required thirty-one day break. Following this break, the temporary employee is eligible for reemployment and subsequent placement with Tar Heel Temps.

Regarding gym and pool privileges, the UNC One Card office has stated that temporaries may obtain a One Card only for job-related reasons, and a One Card is required for gym and pool admission. Temporaries who need a One Card for job-related reasons may fill out a form in the Tar Heel Temps office for the final determination of the One Card office. Koskinen has not been involved in decision-making concerning why temporary employees are provided gym privileges, but recalled that temporaries are charged a $5 fee for a UNC One Card.

Temporaries are covered by workers’ compensation, and are able to take computer classes through ATN after they have begun work on an assignment.

Tysinger asked whether Koskinen had any statistics on the average length of a Tar Heel Temp’s assignment. Koskinen replied that her organization’s manual system of record-keeping did not allow for a precise estimate, and Tar Heel Temps would be able to provide a more accurate response once its automated system became operational.

Generally, Tar Heel Temps informs temporaries that their average length of assignment is approximately three months. However, this estimate is based on departmental information derived before a specific assignment is made. A department may suppose that a project will require two weeks of temporary help, but the worker may complete the assignment in a matter of days and no longer be needed. Conversely, a unit may request a temporary for a month or two, but discover that the temporary is required for a longer period. All depends on the nature of the assignment.

Betty Averette commented that she had availed herself of Tar Heel Temps’ services since the agency was established and had been very pleased with its work. Tar Heel Temps had provided her office with great people who had done an excellent job, and the agency charged lower fees than outside agencies. Koskinen thanked Averette for her comments on behalf her staff and organizations.

Libby Evans asked how the pay scale for temporaries is established, and whether the agency fills urgent, short-term needs requested on short notice. Koskinen said that the agency will take such requests and work with units to fill positions on an immediate-need, same-day basis. The agency works very hard to fill these requests, but will not simply send “a body” to fill an order. Rather, the organization wants to be certain to send temporaries who are able to do the work involved, and will inform units when it cannot find a person qualified to fill their request. Nonetheless, Tar Heel Temps is happy to work with units desiring help on a same day basis.

Concerning Evans’ first question, Koskinen said that the organization is governed by set salary grades. As an equity concern, Tar Heel Temps does not want to find itself offering more to its temporary employees that permanent Employees receive for the same level position. For comparison: Light Industrial II level positions receive $7.10/hour, and the bill rate for these positions is $8.86/hour; Clerical III positions receive $7.54/hour with a bill rate of $9.34/hour; Clerical IV positions are paid $8.15/hour with departments billed at a rate of $9.99/hour.

Sherry Graham asked how Tar Heel Temps recruits its computer support temporaries. Koskinen said that the agency advertises in newspapers and coordinates with the University’s employment department to utilize the services of permanent applicants with computer experience interested in temporary work. The agency also relies on word of mouth to find recommended candidates. Graham asked at what rate these workers start, and Koskinen said she did not know but would be happy to respond to a phone call after the meeting.

Tysinger asked if the majority of the 122 temporaries who hired full-time were placed into entry-level positions. Koskinen said this was the case, stating that housekeeper, mover mail clerk, and clerical III and IV positions have made up the majority of these hires.

The Chair asked if Tar Heel Temps serves UNC Hospitals. Koskinen replied that UNC Hospitals maintain their own employment and temporary service. The Chair asked where Tar Heel Temps places its nursing assistant temporaries, and Koskinen said that these workers are placed with student health services and the ambulatory care clinic.

Martha Davidson asked the average turnaround time for assignments. Koskinen said that turnaround time depends on the urgency of each request. A request for immediate help will receive more immediate attention than a request for help for the following week. In fact, the latter request will typically not be addressed until close to the assignment date, as workers receiving placements far in advance typically cancel their placement if they have found other work in the interim. As a result, the agency tries to make assignments as close to the target date as possible.

Davidson asked if the agency normally meets its target date for assignment. Koskinen said that Tar Heel Temps does usually meet its target date, and contacts contracting units to inform them of any delays. She reiterated that the agency places only qualified temporaries in assignments.

Noting that Tar Heel Temps recruits nursing assistants, Martha Barbour asked if the agency might also recruit dental assistants and dental hygienist temporaries. Koskinen said that the agency would be happy to fill these requests but cautioned that demand for these workers is rather high. She offered to meet with Barbour afterward to discuss details of this idea.

LaEula Joyner reported that some temporaries of her acquaintance have not been informed in advance of the date when their assignment ends. Some temporaries returning from the holidays abruptly found their assignment had ended, leading to some bewilderment on their part. Koskinen said that the agency tries to handle this detail and asks contracting units to let the agency know when the need for temporary assistance ends. When thus informed, the agency in turn notifies the temporary when their assignment will end. However, in some cases, connections are not made because the temporary has not supplied the agency current contact information or may have not answered the agency’s phone calls. In all cases, Tar Heel Temps tries to make sure its workers are informed of the date when their assignment ends.

In the absence of any further questions, Koskinen thanked the Forum for its time. The Chair thanked Koskinen for her presentation and responses to members’ questions.

The Chair took a moment to remind members to study the routing file notebooks which were being passed around the room. The Forum’s routing file contains supplementary documents relevant to the Forum’s work; members can request copies of any information of interest by signing their name on an accompanying sheet..

 

 

 

Human Resources Update

Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources Laurie Charest presented the Forum’s Human Resources update. Charest wished the group good morning and welcomed all of the Forum’s new Delagates, as well as welcoming back all of the Forum’s continuing Delagates. She looked forward to continuing to get to know everyone in the coming year.

Charest had been forwarded nominations from the Forum for the University’s grievance procedure task force. Appointments to this group will be made very soon and the group should convene for its first meeting towards the end of January. Charest would have more to report on this subject at the Forum’s next meeting.

Charest noted that Judith Scott, the University’s Sexual Harassment Officer, is available to make presentations on sexual harassment or related topics to any campus department or group. Scott is willing to tailor these presentations for content or length of presentation. Parties interested in increasing their knowledge or awareness in this area should contact Scott at 962-3026 or http://jres.hra@mhs.unc.edu.

Regarding Tar Heel Temps and UNC One Cards, Libby Evans asked if there were other ways to think creatively about temporaries’ use of gym and pool privileges. Charest thought that this subject is better conceived as a gym/pool privilege pass issue. Rules for these passes are established by the Physical Education, Exercise and Sport Science department. She did not know the reason that these privileges have not been extended, but would inquire with the department. It was speculated that a desire to protect the use of these facilities for permanent Employees might be the reason for this reluctance.

In the absence of any further questions, Charest ended her presentation. The Chair commented that Charest and Human Resources had been a great friend and partner to the Employee Forum, and that Charest personally had been a great person with whom to work.

 

Approval of the Minutes

The Chair asked members whether they had received their agenda packets in time for the meeting, and a great majority indicated that they had indeed received their packets. He asked then for a motion to approve the minutes of the December 3, 1997 meeting. Joyce Dalgleish made this motion with Pat Bigelow seconding. There was no discussion, and the motion was approved unanimously.

 

Unfinished Business

The Chair invited 1997 Secretary Libby Evans to conduct the Forum’s officer elections for 1998. Evans thanked Janet Tysinger and Margaret Moore for agreeing to assist her in the distribution, collection and tabulation of ballots. The two candidates for Chair of the Forum for 1998 were Tommy Brickhouse and Linwood Futrelle.

The Chair passed on news that Brickhouse had been unable to attend the day’s meeting due to a commitment to chair a University grievance procedure hearing that could not be rescheduled. He had been asked to pass on word that Brickhouse indeed considered himself a serious candidate and in fact had missed only one meeting during his time on the Forum.

Evans asked if there were any nominations from the floor for the position of Forum Chair. Moore and Tysinger distributed ballots for this election to the assembled Forum Delagates; it was noted that there were two votes registered via absentee ballot (Tommy Brickhouse and Jennifer Henderson). Moore and Tysinger retired to count the ballots.

As was custom, the Forum proceeded with the rest of its agenda before moving to the vote for Vice-Chair. This procedure is followed so that a candidate not elected to one office position will have the chance to run for another if so desired.

 

Chair’s Report

The Chair reminded the Forum that it had been invited to make a presentation to the Board of Trustees on Employee issues in May 1998. The board heard from the Faculty Council in December 1997, and the Chair believed that it is extremely important for the Forum to do a thorough job of representing Employee concerns in this presentation. He noted that the board is in a position to advocate for Employees in many ways that the Forum cannot due to organizational constraints.

The Forum will ask its members to provide input on a list of priorities to communicate to the board. For example, the Chair noted that faculty salaries are prominently listed among the board’s legislative priorities for 1998 but staff salaries are not mentioned. He felt it was the Forum’s role to assert that staff salaries should hold a similar place.

The Chair suggested that the Forum immediately establish a task force to prepare this hour to hour and a half presentation with the 1998 Forum Chair as its convener. He asked for volunteers for this task force. Jeffery Beam, Linwood Blalock, Lucille Brooks, Martha Davidson, Ken Litowsky, Anne Montgomery, and 1997 Forum Chair Bob Schreiner all volunteered for this task force.

The Chair noted the continuing movement to establish a Staff Assembly to represent staff at all sixteen of the University’s senior constituent institutions. The Assembly will function in relation to General Administration in a manner similar to the relationship between the Employee Forum and UNC-Chapel Hill. Representatives from North Carolina Central University, NC State University, UNC-Chapel Hill and UNC-Greensboro have arranged a meeting with Senior Vice President Roy Carroll to discuss the group’s preamble, charter and by-laws, and to seek guidance on the group’s next steps in approaching campuses where employee organizations do not exist. The Chair felt this was an important project that needed to identify a core leadership group, a task that may be somewhat difficult given the time and travel commitments the Assembly will require.

The Chair hoped that the Forum would follow up on implementation of the computer literacy resolution approved at its December 1997 meeting. He anticipated that the next officers of the Forum would work with the Career Development Committee to see this project through in consultation with Academic Technologies and Networks and Information Technology Services.

The January agenda packet included a draft list of the Forum’s 1997 accomplishments. The Chair asked that members recalling an accomplishment that had been omitted from this list to inform the Forum Office. Similarly, the Chair directed members’ attention to a draft list of 1998 challenges for the Forum. These lists had been created in concert with the Executive Committee. Members with additions to this list should also inform the Forum Office.

At the January 16 retreat, members will choose from among themselves divisional representatives to the Forum’s Executive Committee. The first meeting of this group will take place Tuesday, January 20 at 10 a.m. in the Wilson Library Assembly room. At this meeting, members will hear from the University Priorities and Budget Committee (UPBC) and discuss transition issues with the 1997 Executive Committee. The Chair noted that he had been appointed a member of the UPBC which has been charged to determine spending priorities for the University and account for these priorities budgetary implications. The Chair said that meetings of the Executive Committee and the UPBC are open to the public.

 

Election of Officers (cont.)

Libby Evans reported that Linwood Futrelle had been elected Chair of the Forum for 1998. The Chair congratulated Futrelle on his election. Evans noted that ballots for this election would be shredded following the meeting, and that the proportion of ballots for each candidate would not be announced.

Evans turned to the election of Forum Vice-Chair. Two candidates were nominated for this position at the December meeting: Jeffery Beam and Sherry Graham. Evans noted that Sherry Graham had informed her prior to the meeting that she would need to withdraw from this race due to additional responsibilities in her department. She called for any nominations from the floor for this position.

Jean Coble proposed nominating Tommy Brickhouse from the floor for the office of Vice-Chair, as he had already declared his desire to serve by running for Forum Chair and was a worthy candidate. Also, she preferred that no candidate run unopposed. Evans recalled that Brickhouse was not present to agree to have his name placed in nomination, and that there was no means of reaching him at present. As “Nominees must agree to accept their nomination,” (Guidelines, VII. Election Procedure D. Election of Officers 2. Nominations) and Brickhouse was not present to accept Coble’s nomination, it was ruled that this nomination would not fall within the Forum’s Guidelines. Coble agreed to withdraw her nomination.

Joyce Dalgleish made a motion to accept Beam’s candidacy by acclamation. Jackie Overton seconded this motion, and Beam was elected Vice-Chair of the Forum for 1998 by acclamation. Evans congratulated Beam.

Evans turned to elections for the office of Forum Secretary, noting that the only declared candidate for this position was Lucille Brooks. She asked if there were any nominations from the floor. As there were none, Martha Barbour moved that Brooks be elected by acclamation. Sherry Graham seconded this motion which was accepted by acclamation. The Chair and Evans congratulated Brooks and thanked Margaret Moore and Janet Tysinger for their assistance during the election. Evans was very pleased that the Forum had elected such a fine slate of officers. At the suggestion of Anne Montgomery, the Forum gave all of its candidates a round of applause for volunteering to run for the Forum officer positions.

 

Committee and Task Force Reports

The Chair noted that at this point it is customary for members to hear committee and task force reports. At the January retreat, members will need to identify which primary Forum committee on which they will serve in the coming year. All Forum Delegates are charged to serve on at least one committee. Members should carefully weigh this choice; the Forum’s 1997 annual reports are probably the best resource to find out about the mission and activities of each committee. In addition, members with questions about the work of any committee should contact the Forum Office.

A question arose as to whether new committees can be created at the retreat. It was noted that the Forum has the freedom to make changes in its committee structure but that activities generally have not dealt with internal organization issues. The Chair noted that oftentimes the Forum creates task forces to deal with time-limited issues that do not fall within the scope of its various committees.

The Chair asked Forum members associated with the different committees to speak on their group’s work during the last month.

Libby Evans said that with the election of Forum officers, the Nominating Committee’s work for 1997 was complete. She thanked members for their hard work throughout the year.

Evans said that the School Volunteerism Task Force is not scheduled to meet for another month or two. She said that the intellectual climate task force is excited about the possibility of making child involvement leave in public schools easier for Employees to use. This group has been dormant through the fall due to time pressures.

Evans said that the Intellectual Climate Task Force has been busy meeting to produce a response addressing staff involvement and inclusion in this process. She had met the day before with Chair of the Faculty Pete Andrews, Student Body President Mo Nathan and Provost Dick Richardson.

In this meeting, Evans had noted that the Forum’s task force had been commissioned to study the ways Employees are already involved and might be involved in the development of the University’s intellectual climate. Employees may not even be aware of how they contribute to the intellectual climate through their skills and life experiences; one idea had been to create a database of Employee skills that might be drawn upon to meet various needs. The Forum’s task force has developed other preliminary ideas including an increase in child involvement leave.

Evans seized upon Andrews’ idea that staff Employees are in some ways better positioned to identify profitable uses of public meeting space. She referred to an idea by which the Buildings & Grounds Committee could derive a list of such spaces and possibly create a list of donors in cooperation with University Development to develop staff-funded public spaces. Members have also suggested expanding staff mentoring programs for students, increasing public readings and musical performances, and finding other ways to coordinate and distribute knowledge of campus activities of use to the University community. The task force has also addressed differences among SPA and EPA Employees by proposing a reward system for staff contributions similar to that put forward for faculty in the intellectual climate report. Finally, the group hopes to find ways to involve off-campus staff in the University’s intellectual life.

Laurie Charest noted that the soon to be established Human Resources Information Systems would readily be able to record and store possible information on staff talents that could assist the intellectual climate. She would report back to the Forum upon further investigating this possibility.

Finally, Evans had no report concerning the Transit and Parking Task Force.

Speaking for the Forum’s Orientation Committee, Jeffery Beam reported that an agenda for the Forum’s annual retreat had been distributed. He urged Delegates and first alternates to confirm with their supervisors their attendance. At the retreat, Forum members will choose among the different Forum committees and will decide their Executive Committee representatives. Beam recalled that divisions represented by the Vice-Chair and Secretary of the Forum are deemed to have representation on the Executive Committee and thus do not select a representative; this year, divisions 5 and 7 will be represented by Lucille Brooks and Jeffery Beam.

Members needing a description of Forum committees should consult their copies of the Forum’s 1997 annual reports, the Forum web page and/or the Forum’s University Gazette insert. Beam noted that members departing the Forum may still serve as members of Forum committees. He reminded Delegates of their charge to serve actively on at least one Forum committee, and said that it would be helpful for members to serve on more than one.

There will be social coffee from 8-8:30 a.m. that morning and activities will officially begin in the Seminar Room of the Friday Center at 8:30 a.m. and should finish around 3-3:30 p.m. Members are asked to dress in comfortable work clothes.

Lucille Brooks noted that around ten minutes each had been reserved during the retreat for representatives of each committee to provide an overview of each group’s work. Brooks asked that Beam establish when each presenter is scheduled to speak. Sign up for committees will follow these presentations, and it was hoped that committees will choose their leadership and schedule their first formal meeting at the retreat.

 

There was no report from the Personnel Policies Committee.

 

Lucille Brooks reported on behalf of the Compensation and Benefits Committee that the group had met with Jack Stone, Director of Employment, to look into expansion of the Transfer Opportunities Program (TOP) update produced by his office. Stone had produced this update and the “12 Tips on TOP” document in response to queries by the Forum; discussions between Stone and the Compensation and Benefits Committee had been very candid concerning the pros and cons of the TOP program. Brooks referred members to these documents and the committee’s minutes for more details on this topic.

Brooks hoped that the Forum would be able to follow through on this subject by producing a handout or “white paper” for the reference of all Employees. It was asked whether the Forum intended to mail out copies of this document to all campus Employees, to all Human Resources facilitators, or all Human Resources offices on campus.

Brooks pointed out that of the 1,515 SPA Employees who submitted 9,031 TOP requests, 512 received transfers in the last 12 months. This figure represents a 30-33% consistent rate of Employee transfers. In comparison, she noted that Employees at NC State University may each submit only 4 transfer requests a year.

 

Anne Montgomery had distributed a draft of a revised charge for the Public Affairs Committee. She noted that this committee had existed ever since the creation of the Forum, focusing on communication with external constituencies. Over the past year, members of this committee and the Executive Committee have developed ideas to shift the group’s charge to meet the Forum’s need for better internal communication with University Employees. Furthermore, she proposed that changing the name of this group to the Communications Committee would represent the group’s new focus. The Forum agreed to these suggestions by general agreement.

Montgomery asked members with ideas about this new charge to contact her. She hoped that members would be interested in the new work of this committee. Libby Evans, a charter member of this committee, hoped that the group’s new charge would help to re-animate its work.

 

There was no report on behalf of the Recognition and Awards Committee.

 

Anne Montgomery hoped that the Forum would continue to hear reports from staff members serving on University Committees following recommendation by the University Committee Assignments Committee. In December, that committee forwarded to Human Resources the names of eleven Employees desiring to serve on the grievance procedure task force. Three staff Employees will serve on this task force which will be co-chaired by Bob Schreiner.

 

There was no report from the Career Development or Employee Presentations Committees, the New Careers Training Board, or the Employee Appreciation Fair Booth Task Force. It was anticipated that each of these groups would have more to say after recruiting their membership at the January retreat.

 

There was no report from the Faculty Council liaisons. Members recalled that the committees to which these liaisons were attached were inactive through the majority of 1997. Outsourcing Steering Team representatives were not present to report.

 

Announcements/Questions

Libby Evans raised an idea suggested by Pete Andrews’ talk concerning the “greening” of the campus. She thought that his talk presented an opportunity for collaboration among faculty, staff and students to explore ways to “green” the University in its everyday activities in a long-term pan-university committee. She proposed that the Forum consult with representatives of the students and faculty to gauge the suitability of this idea. Sherry Graham seconded this motion. The motion was approved by general agreement.

Lucille Brooks noted that the Nominating Committee will be composed from among the Forum’s members at the January retreat. Thanking the Forum for selecting her as its Secretary, she encouraged ongoing members who had previously served on the Nominating Committee to continue to lend their expertise. Libby Evans added that she had very much enjoyed her service on the Nominating Committee and had particularly enjoyed speaking with those who had been nominated to run for the Forum across campus. Brooks hoped that the committee would attract at least eight members and asked anyone interested in serving to sign up.

Libby Evans urged members with questions about Forum committees not to “suffer in silence,” and to talk to other members to find answers to their questions.

 

Transmission of Gavel to Newly Elected Chair

Chair Bob Schreiner asked Linwood Futrelle to approach the podium to receive the Forum’s gavel as symbol of his new office. He noted that the gavel had been presented to the Forum by former Faculty Chair Jim Peacock, whose father had constructed it from wood gathered from the original Davie Poplar. Peacock had presented the Faculty Council with a similar gavel which was in itself symbolic of the esteem he felt for the two representative bodies. Schreiner presented the gavel to Futrelle, wishing him a productive and happy year and pledging his support as needed.

Chair Linwood Futrelle pledged his support and hard work for the Forum and the University’s Employees. He was proud to have known outgoing Chair Bob Schreiner for the previous ten years in their work on various task forces and committees, and had indeed nominated Schreiner to run for the Forum in 1996.

The Chair looked forward to working with everyone on the Forum and to continuing with its important work. The Forum, he said, must provide valuable and good input to the University and to its Employees because it has been elected to represent these Employees. He said the May presentation to the Board of Trustees would be a task demanding a great deal of time and effort.

The Chair thanked the Forum for its faith in him, and pledged to live up to this faith. He called for a motion to adjourn. Sherry Graham made this motion which Jackie Overton seconded. The motion was approved without discussion, and the meeting adjourned at 11:08 a.m.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

 

Matt Banks, Recording Secretary

 

 

 

 

 

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