July 11, 2001
Agenda —July 11, 2001
9:30 a.m.— Assembly Room of Wilson Library
I. Call to Order
II. Welcome Guests, Members of the Press
III. Opening Remarks
· A Farewell from Muffarah Jahangeer
· Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration Nancy Suttenfield
IV. Special Presentations
V. Human Resources Update
· Laurie Charest, Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources
VI. Capital Improvement Update
· Karen Geer, Facilities Services
VII. Employee Presentations or Questions
VIII. Approval of Minutes of the June 6, 2001 meeting P
IX. Unfinished Business
· Forum Resolution Urging University to Support and Partially Fund Fare-Free Transit in the Towns of Chapel Hill and Carrboro (2nd Reading)
X. Stretch Time 6
XI. New Business
XII. Forum Committee Reports
· Career Development: Fred Jordan
· Communications: Suzan deSerres
Þ Forum Newsletter
· Employee Presentations: Sheila Storey
· Nominating: Tracey Haith
Þ Forum Elections
· Orientation: Suzan deSerres
· Personnel Issues: Mary Ann Vacheron
· Recognition and Awards: Karen Jordan
· University Committee Assignments: Lee Edmark
XIII. Chair’s Report (Executive Committee): John Heuer
XIV. Task Force/University Committee Reports
· Pedestrian Safety Committee— Sheila Storey
· Transportation & Parking Advisory — Chris Barfield/Joanne Kucharski
P = Included in Agenda Packet
July 11, 2001
(Wilson Library Assembly Room)
Chris Barfield Anderson
Mary Ann Vacheron
Kathy Dutton “
Karen Geer “
Joanne Kucharski “
“ = Ex-Officio
Call to Order, Welcome to Guests
The Chair called the meeting too order at 9:30 a.m. He welcomed Forum Delegates and guests. He also welcomed Scott Ragland of the University Gazette and Glenda Ellerbee, the Human Resources manager with WUNC-TV. Ellerbee noted that some of her coworkers had joined her for the meeting. She thanked the Chair for offering her the opportunity to attend the day’s meeting and looked forward to bringing her impressions back to WUNC.
The Chair also welcomed newly promoted Delagates Edward Eldred and Lauren Mangili.
The Chair introduced Muffarah Jahangeer, a Forum alternate who will soon leave the University to pursue a Ph.D. in bioinformatics at George Mason University. Jahangeer thanked the Forum for the opportunity to work with the group, stating that she found the Forum a very useful vehicle for staff. She thanked the Forum for its promotion of the tuition wavier program, and particularly for the elimination of the continuing education application fee in 2000. She said that her success had proven what the Forum’s work can help accomplish. Jahangeer encouraged Employees to take classes and to pursue increased tuition benefits. She also mentioned the work she had done in putting up black silhouettes to prevent birds from flying into glass window panes.
The Forum applauded Jahangeer for her work and wished her well in her studies. The Chair noted that she would need to leave soon as she was due to attend a 9:45 a.m. calculus class.
The Chair recognized delegate Elaine Tola who had recently received a University Information Technology award. He also congratulated Tom Clegg, Pat Crawford, William Howard and Rut Tufts for receiving the Chancellor’s Award.
The Chair welcomed Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration Nancy Suttenfield to make opening remarks. Suttenfield noted that Chancellor James Moeser and Provost Robert Shelton were working in Washington DC that morning to attract funding.
Suttenfield would provide updates on the State budget, the University administrative flexibility initiative and current developments in the relationship with the Town of Chapel Hill.
To begin, Suttenfield noted that the House had passed its version of the State budget that week. Discussion of the State budget would now move to conference committee that week. Suttenfield said that the Senate’s version provided more money to the University System; the Senate would reduce the University budget by $6.9 million versus a House reduction of $14 million plus $2.8 million in overhead federal grants and contracts. Suttenfield noted that the House has sought a reimbursement on research grants for costs not directly associated with the principal investigator’s work, such as the cost of operating facilities, accounting, police, and so forth. Some House legislators believe that the State Government should tap the overhead reimbursement to research institutions and give it to other UNC campuses.
The House accepted the Senate version of cuts with some additions. For example, the Senate’s recommendations to cut EPA nonfaculty monies 2%, whereas the House moved to cut this area by 2.8%. Similarly, the Senate had exempted the University from the direction to reduce its budget to 98.5% required of other State agencies; the House did not allow the University this exemption. The House also moved to eliminate summer faculty salary expenses, stating that the University should charge these expenses to research grants. The University disagrees with the accuracy of the figures used to make this calculation, and decries the resultant reduction to campus overhead.
Both the House and Senate provide an enrollment growth premium of $13 million to the UNC System, and both agree with the Board of Governor’s recommendation for a 4% tuition increase. There is also the possibility of adding another 5% tuition increase to replace State funding with student dollars. Both the House and Senate would limit State Employees’ salary increases to $625. Both the House and Senate would provide $10 million in repair and renovation money, equal to previous years’ allocations.
Suttenfield remained uncertain about the timing of the budget deliberations. She said that a few days ago observers expected the Legislature to wrap up budget discussions and adjourn for a few days before taking up redistricting issues. Now, with a larger revenue shortfall than before, the State must address possible tax increases to preserve its first-class bond rating. Suttenfield said that the State has benefited from its first-class bond rating through lower borrowing costs, which save the State money. If the Legislature cannot maintain the bond rating by balancing revenues and expenses, the State will see its expenses increase in coming years.
With regard to the administrative flexibility issue, Suttenfield noted that the Senate’s version of the appropriations bill included language to establish flexibility in purchasing, personnel, property, and technological areas. The House’s bill did not include this language, and the Legislature will probably delay consideration of this topic until its next session.
Suttenfield said that she had met with Chancellor Moeser and the Chair to talk about what administrative flexibility would mean to this campus. She said that this issue loomed down the road, and that the time had come to form an employee committee to study the subject and the models of other public universities. Suttenfield noted that 40 of the 50 public university system have given their institutions of higher education the option to create their own personnel system. This arrangement has obtained the most success when employees have had full consultation with decisionmakers. Suttenfield hoped that the University could retain the best characteristics of the current system while enhancing areas which will make the campus more attractive to current and future Employees. She said that the Forum would make appointments to the committee and that anyone with an interest in the process should make their feelings known. She granted that any time a major change occurs uncertainty necessarily follows. She wanted to alleviate fears and concerns by tailoring a system to respond to Employee needs.
Concerning town-gown relations, Suttenfield said the morning’s News & Observer contained a very good summary of discussions between the University and the Town. Chancellor Moeser has said that the two groups have made significant progress in talks about fiscal equity issues large and small. Among the areas the Town and the University discussed were control of parking during sporting events and clean up after sports celebrations. University administrators feel very good about the progress of discussions.
Suttenfield noted that the Town of Chapel Hill had approved a new zoning ordinance that encompasses the current site of campus and other border areas for student-family housing. Under the new ordinance and regulatory framework, the University will have the freedom to proceed with its various construction plans after one comprehensive review. Previously, the Town would have required a separate review for each individual project. The new ordinance will require the University to identify all construction under one plan, including a comprehensive impact statement regarding traffic, noise, light, and storm-water runoff. The ordinance will require the University to identify ways to mitigate the plan’s adverse effect on the Town. Suttenfield said that this approach should be a more effective way for the Town to monitor and control growth by overseeing total rather than incremental impact.
The Town Council will go through the review and deliberation process concerning the plan. Last Thursday, the University delivered a copy of the plan to the Town. Interested Employees can consult the master plan’s web site at http://www.fac.unc.edu/CIP/ Suttenfield noted the number of campus and community meetings the University had held before submitting the plan for the Town’s consideration.
Suttenfield said that Employees should be proud of UNC-Chapel Hill as an institution for the environmentally sensitive nature of the master plan. She noted that the University had specifically planned for traffic, pollution, and noise factors in establishing the master plan, and had tried to built in fail-safe procedures in case of adverse consequences. She encouraged Employees to study the plan to see what it entails.
Suttenfield reiterated the University’s satisfaction with the Town’s new ordinance, which should simplify the zoning process from a number of months to a number of weeks. She then offered to take questions from the floor.
Mary Ann Vacheron asked if EPA faculty and non-faculty will receive a $625 raise under current budget proposals. Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources said that under the Senate proposal, EPA faculty and non-faculty would receive an average of $625 per person, with the House version providing a flat $625 per person. The Senate version would allow departments to distribute the $625 per person as it saw fit across departments. Suttenfield said that the University might not know the result of budget deliberations until the end of August or September.
Lee Edmark asked of the 40 states given the option to use a more flexible personnel system, how many had chosen this option and how many of these experiments were successes. Suttenfield said that she did not know this level of detail. She recalled UNC President Molly Broad’s comment that if 40 states have chosen this route, there must be something that works. Suttenfield said that the University has the opportunity to learn from its contacts in other states what has worked and has not worked.
The Chair asked if the Town Council had lifted the 14 million square foot building cap. Suttenfield said that the under the previous ordinance, the limitation on University building was limited to 14 million square feet. The new ordinance eliminates this cap. Suttenfield compared the building program to adding another major research university to the current campus, an enormous undertaking. She hoped that the campus would become even more lovely 10 years from now, under the influence of the master plan.
Tommy Griffin asked about the new charge for State vehicles to park on campus. He said that this charge would hurt Facilities Services at a moment in which it is rushing to take care of current buildings. He said that this charge would force Facilities Services to eliminate some of its automotive fleet. Suttenfield hoped that Facilities Services would be able to retain a sufficient automotive fleet, but said that the University parking situation had forced the administration to find funds for intracampus parking options. She said that the University had decided to implement mass transit options to deal with the increased flow of campus traffic.
Griffin said that many Facilities Service vehicles are mobile offices carrying tools and equipment. He said that eliminating these vehicles would make it difficult for Facilities Services to carry out its work. Suttenfield said that the campus parking charge should not force State vehicles to leave campus. She said that the University would need to retain its fleet at current levels.
Griffin invited Transportation and Parking Advisory committee (TPAC) member Joanne Kucharski’s perspective on the discussion. Kucharski said that some departments maintain campus vehicles that they rarely use. She said that these departments might reduce their fleet if required to pay parking fees. She said that TPAC had no intention of reducing the campus maintenance fleet.
Kucharski added that TPAC had decided to do all it could to meet campus transit needs without raising Employee permit prices, given expected difficulties with health insurance premiums and salaries. Thus, TPAC advised that the University and its departments absorb expenses to pay for transit improvements this year. She imagined that the fee for State vehicles would lead to increased scrutiny of their use, but the committee did not intend to eliminate funding for Facilities Services vehicles.
The Chair said that the campus should look much different externally in 10 years as a result of the bond program, and that the master plan would remedy poor planning decisions of the past. He also said that the proposed personnel flexibility initiative could greatly benefit and change the University environment for its Employees. He noted that ten years ago there did not exist an Employee Forum. He encouraged Forum Delegates to take the invitation to participate in campus flexibility discussions very seriously.
Human Resources Update
Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources Laurie Charest introduced the new employment director Pam Barkett. Charest noted that the Legislature had approved a separate health insurance bill effective July 1. Human Resources facilitators should have supplied all Employees with information about these changes in a recent letter.
Charest said that the State plan should see a 30% increase in premiums for dependent coverage, with premiums remaining as they are until the next enrollment period.
Concerning the situation for Wellpath enrollees, Charest noted that the courts have legally required the company to continue coverage. Human Resources has held the forms of Wellpath enrollees who have filed to switch to the State plan, although these enrollees will need to switch anyway soon given the end of Wellpath’s coverage September 1. Employees with questions about Wellpath or any other benefits items can contact the University benefits office at 2-3071 or email@example.com.
Charest said that the first experience Employees have had with the State plan increases has been the rise in pharmacy copayments. Human Resources has heard from many Employees about the change, but she said that the University does not hold the authority to change the Legislature’s decision. She encouraged Employees to use generic drugs at any opportunity and to consult with their physician for more information.
Charest announced the sad news that Joann Pitz would resign as Benefits Director effective August 1. The University will conduct a national search to find her replacement. Derek Poarch will chair the search committee, which will also include Linwood Futrelle, Linda Carl and Barbara DeLon. In the interim, DeLon will serve as acting director of benefits as well as director of employee services.
Employees can make nominations for the University Management Development program through September 7. She reminded nominators to pay special attention to the program’s prerequisites.
Starting October 1, the University will begin criminal convictions checks for all applicants, SPA and EPA non-faculty. Previously, the University had required these checks only for those applying for positions of trust. The program will not apply to current Employees, only those applying for new positions and those applying for different positions on campus.
Charest said that if Human Resources receives word on pay increases by July 16, it would include these increases in the July 27 paycheck. After that point, the University will have to process the increases on a retroactive basis. The University will have to await instructions from the Office of the President for EPA non-faculty increases.
Keita Cannon asked if the University must require background checks of all selected candidates for a particular position. Charest said that the University will require checks only from the person departments have selected.
Charest introduced Senior Director for Human Resources Administration Drake Maynard to make a presentation on University in-range salary adjustments. Maynard wished the Forum good morning and passed out a handout. He recalled a comment in the Forum’s community meeting that the University had not done enough with the flexibility it already has. This comment surprised Maynard, and he consulted with the Office of State Personnel, which tracks in-range adjustments of the University and other State agencies.
The handout detailed in-range activity from the beginning of the program to the end of June, 2001. The handout detailed the number of employees at each State agency, the number of in-range salary adjustments, and the total amount of money given. The final two columns depicts the average value of each in-range adjustment and the percentage of employees who received adjustments over the five year period (counting duplicate adjustments for the same person).
Maynard noted that UNC-Chapel Hill ranks as the fourth largest State agency, with none of the other higher three employing 6200 employees in one location. He noted that the agencies following UNC-Chapel Hill significantly drop off in size.
UNC-Chapel Hill has given almost twice as much money in in-range adjustments that every other State agency except the Department of Transportation, which has twice as many employees as the University. However, the Department of Transportation’s award averaged less than half that given at the University. In addition, UNC-Chapel Hill ranks third in the number of in-range salary adjustments awarded.
Maynard said that Administrative Information Services plans to break down how departments have awarded adjustments and the funding sources for these adjustments. He thought that the Forum would be interested in finding out how departments have found money to provide these adjustments. He then offered to take questions.
Keita Cannon asked if the number of UNC-Chapel Hill in-range adjustments, 4172, reflected multiple awards of adjustments to single Employees. Maynard said that the number of Employees might well be smaller given that some Employees have received multiple adjustments.
Vacheron asked if Maynard could produce a figure detailing how many Employees have received adjustments, versus how many adjustments the University has awarded. Charest said that Human Resources would probably have trouble producing this information for other State agencies.
Barbara Logue asked if the 68% figure of all Employees receiving in-range adjustments reflected all those who have sought in-range revisions. Maynard said that the Office of State Personnel had generated this figure, and so the information did not include those who did not receive the revisions. The 68% figure reflected only actual adjustments awarded.
Edmark observed that the number of Department of Transportation adjustments certainly reflects multiple awards, since the number of adjustments exceeds the number of DOT workers (13,573 adjustments versus 12,910 employees).
Frieda Rosenberg asked Maynard to describe the in-range salary adjustment process. Maynard said that each department had developed its own adjustment procedure according to University policy. The department decides which Employees receive adjustments on what basis, and then forwards this decision to Human Resources. Human Resources insures that the decisions are minimally in compliance with State policy, and then processes the decision forward to the Office of State Personnel. Departments have the decision whether to pursue an in-range salary adjustment program or not.
Fred Jordan asked the level of decentralization governing in-range adjustments; did Arts and Sciences or individual schools have say over whether to support an in-range program. Maynard said that some areas such as the School of Medicine and Arts and Sciences have made a decision at the school level rather than the departmental level.
Concerning last month’s review of SPA salary market analysis, Charest said that UNC-Chapel Hill hopes to compare turnover rates and salary data with North Carolina State.
Maynard introduced Pam Barkett, the University’s new director of employment. Barkett recently worked at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, a campus with a large research component. Barkett worked as one of the managers for employment and employee relations at Johns Hopkins. Barkett hoped to address the Forum in August.
Capital Improvement Update
Karen Geer of Facilities Services noted that summer is the University’s busiest time for building construction. She noted that Murphey Hall remains under construction and bids for renovations on the second floor of Hanes Hall will take place next week. Geer encouraged Employees to consult the website http://www.fac.unc.edu/CIP/ for more information about upcoming projects.
Geer noted that Facilities Services had submitted the master plan to the Town of Chapel Hill recently. She hoped that the plan would be on the web at http://www.fac.unc.edu/ by Monday. The master plan contains over 400 pages of data and all kinds of colored maps.
Robert Thoma asked how many hits the capital improvement website had received. Geer was uncertain and said that she would ask a member of her technical support.
Lee Edmark asked if the development plan on the website included all campus projects or those just associated with the bond issue. Geer said that the plan included all spots that the University might build upon in the next ten years. These placeholders do not necessarily mean that the University will definitely build in a particular place. The website does include all foreseeable University projects for the next ten years.
The Chair introduced Robert Thoma to make recruitment presentation for the July 24 blood drive. Thoma said that the need for blood grows large in the summertime when supplies drop and traffic accidents increase. The University conducts the second largest one-day drive in the country, and the University aims to collect 1000 usable units this year. Interested donors or volunteers should contact Thoma at his office. The Chair thanked Thoma for his efforts on behalf of the blood drive.
At this point, the Forum took a short break.
Approval of Minutes
The Chair called for a motion for the approval of the June 6, 2001 minutes. Charest noted that Suttenfield’s comment on page 3 should read, “She also did not know if the flexibility provisions would make it through the Legislature this year in any event.” In addition, on page 8, a sentence should read, “Charest said that this year’s salary increase does not include a provision for performance pay.”
Given these changes, Robert Thoma made a motion that the minutes be approved, seconded by Tom Jenswold. This motion was approved unanimously.
The Chair read a revised version of the Forum’s resolution on fare-free transit for Chapel Hill and Carrboro. Interested Employees can read the revised version at http://www.unc.edu/staff/forum/resfarefree2.html
Barbara Logue noted that the resolution included support for funding in the 2001-2002 academic year, rather than 2002-2003. The Chair said that the Forum had made this change in May when it became evident the University could support funding in the next academic year. The student body had approved a resolution to use student fees to support fare-free transit. The Chair said that the Forum did not know when the program would become active when it drafted the resolution. A delegate asked if the student fees would become available before 2002-2003, and another responded that the program might go forward in any event.
The Chair called for a motion to approve the resolution. Robert Thoma made this motion, seconded by Thomas Rhyne. The resolution was approved by acclamation.
Fred Jordan, chair of the Career Development committee, was happy too report that the group had submitted a mock-up version of the training brochure to the Chancellor. He was pleased that Moeser and Suttenfield supported the brochure in principle. Jordan understood that the Forum has funding for the brochure, and the committee will discuss different methods of printing the brochure at its next meeting. The committee will generate approximate dollar figures to submit to the Forum at its next meeting.
Suzan de Serres, chair of the Communications committee, welcomed new member Edward Eldred. She reported that Employees can access the InTouch newsletter from the Forum homepage at http://www.unc.edu/staff/forum The committee will continue work on finding ways that visually impaired readers can access the newsletter.
De Serres asked if members had feedback on the University Gazette insert. She said that the deadline for submissions to the newsletter was next week. The committee is considering not publishing its newsletter until August, depending on article submissions.
Sheila Storey, chair of the Employee Presentations committee, reported the Forum had held a very successful community meeting. She thanked committee members Gary Lloyd, Robert Thoma, Tommy Griffin and Martha Fowler. The Chair noted that the Forum will use the meeting to update its video. Mary Ann Vacheron thought that the meeting had been a success, and thought it useful for campus leaders to hear from the broad cross-section of Employees. Storey said that the committee hoped to do a better job amplifying the voices of those in the audience next time.
Tracey Haith, chair of the Nominating committee, said that Employees should have received their solicitation letters for the Forum delegate elections. Employees should submit their nominations by July 13. She encouraged Employees to think about nominating colleagues.
Suzan de Serres, chair of the Orientation committee, said that the group would meet right after the meeting to discuss annual retreat keynote speakers. The committee had developed a mentor proposal, which it had distributed during the break. Delegates interested in mentoring new Delegates should sign up, even if they are leaving the Forum this year.
Mary Ann Vacheron, chair of the Personnel Issues committee, said that group hoped to finish a draft statement by the end of August addressing reasons for the low SPA Employee staff morale. The statement should address possible areas to change within the personnel system.
Sylvia White of the Recognition & Awards committee said that group had been busy finalizing the recognition program for Employees. In addition, the Forum Prize Patrol will soon make an appearance again, and the committee has planned another event for Delegates to enjoy.
Lee Edmark, chair of the University Committee Assignments committee, said that the group had not met last month. The committee will soon summarize responses to the committee survey and discuss ways to retrieve the rest of the campus information. The committee will discuss ways to improve the online University committee catalogue.
Edmark noted that Rut Tufts, the chair of the University licensing advisory committee, has asked for a staff replacement to that group for Pinkey Dubose. The group meets once a semester to discuss University trademark issues. Interested Employees should email Edmark or the Forum Office.
Edmark said it would be important for the Forum to keep up with University committee appointments such as Linwood Futrelle’s appointment to the benefits director search committee.
The Chair asked Vice Chair Sheila Storey to make a report on the last Executive Committee meeting, since he had been unable to attend. Storey noted that the committee had discussed the appointment of a representative from Division 1, the Wellpath situation, chances of a change in the State salary increase, the community meeting, and the staff development brochure.
The Chair noted that the Forum had implemented several online improvements. Now, Employees can access the Forum newsletter and a monthly events calendar from the Forum homepage.
Keith Fogleman noted that he did not really require access to campus computers. However, he would be interested in access to one of the aforementioned in-range salary adjustments. The Chair invited everyone on the Forum without computer access to call him or the Forum Office for materials.
The Chair noted the existence of a computer laboratory in the Cheek-Clark building. He also noted that the housekeeping director search committee had narrowed itself to three candidates, one internal and two external. He hoped that the eventual selection would address the Forum.
The Chair reported that he had held a productive meeting with Chancellor Moeser and Vice Chancellor Suttenfield. He thought that the administration believed in shared governance, and he looked forward to establishing a process to examine various personnel management systems across the country. He hoped to have more to discuss next month.
The Chair had also met with Claire Miller of Training and Development. Miller will now attend Forum Career Development committee meetings to assist that group. The Chair had discussed new Employee orientation and supervisory resources training projects. He looked forward to future discussions of how to improve these two areas.
With regard to flexibility, the Chair noted that the University would not have to beg the Office of State Personnel for paid adverse weather leave if it maintained its own personnel system. In addition, the University could adopt geographic pay differential. He noted that the Forum had encouraged interim Chancellor McCoy to write President Broad about geographic pay differential, but the issue had not advanced any farther. Plus, the University could develop its own leave system of combining vacation and sick leave if it desired. He thought that the Forum could constructively engage in these discussions.
Keith Fogleman thought that there existed a large gray area between University policy and departmental policy. The Chair agreed that departments tend to treat their Employees differently with regard to in-range adjustments and compensatory time, for example. He decried the inconsistency of these policies. Fogleman said that these discrepancies have lowered Employee morale for Employees in less encouraging departments.
The Chair wondered if Vacheron and the Personnel Issues committee might have some comment in this area. Vacheron was uncertain about the protocol of presenting her committee’s report. She proposed to bring to the Chancellor areas of concern that the committee was interested in addressing. The Chair noted that Institutional Research had volunteered its help in surveying Employees on staff issues. Vacheron said that the University should look for every opportunity to improve campus morale in a time when legislative prospects are so poor.
The Chair echoed Jahangeer’s challenge to Employees to get back in the classroom and improve themselves. He also challenged Delegates to consider running for Forum office, as either Chair, Vice Chair or Secretary. He thought that past Forum officers had greatly enjoyed their chance to work with the Forum.
In the absence of further discussion, the meeting adjourned by acclamation at 11:28 a.m.
Matt Banks, Recording Secretary