Employee Forum Agenda

9:15 a.m.—-Coffee Social and Chance to Meet the Chancellor

9:30 a.m.—-Meeting: Pleasants Family Assembly Room, Wilson Library

I.   Call to Order & Opening Remarks—Chair Charles Streeter

II. Welcome Guests & Members of the Press

III. Special Presentations

a. Carol Folt, Chancellor of UNC-Chapel Hill

Carol L. Folt is the 11th chancellor, and the 29th chief executive, of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She was previously provost and interim president of Dartmouth College. She assumed her duties on July 1, 2013, and is the first woman to lead UNC. An Akron, Ohio, native, Folt is a proud product of public higher education. Her parents were the first in their families to attend college. She worked her way through the University of California at Santa Barbara as a waitress, earning a bachelor’s degree in aquatic biology in 1976. She received a master’s degree in biology from UC Santa Barbara two years later and her doctorate in ecology in 1982 from the University of California at Davis. Her postdoctoral studies were at the W.K. Kellogg Biological Station of Michigan State University.
Folt completed a year as Dartmouth’s interim president. Since joining Dartmouth’s faculty in 1983, she rose steadily through the academic and senior administrative ranks. Her research has focused on the effects of dietary mercury and arsenic on humans and ecosystem health, salmonid fisheries management restoration and global climate change. (www.unc.edu)

b. Malinda Lowery, Associate Professor of History, UNC-Chapel Hill

Malinda Maynor Lowery was born in Robeson County, North Carolina and is a member of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina. Her book Lumbee Indians in the Jim Crow South: Race, Identity, and the Making of a Nation was published by UNC Press in March 2010. She has published articles about American Indian migration and identity, school desegregation, and religious music. Lowery has produced three documentary films about Native American issues, including the award-winning “In the Light of Reverence”, which showed on PBS in 2001 to over three million people. Her two previous films, “Real Indian” and “Sounds of Faith,” both concern Lumbee identity and culture. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Carolina Arts Network, a non-profit organization headquartered in Robeson County that produces the outdoor drama, Strike at the Wind!  (http://malindamaynorlowery.wordpress.com/about/)

IV. Human Resources Update—Senior Director Gena Carter

V. Approval of October Minutes

VI. Old Business

VII. New Business

VIII. Forum Committee Reports

• Bylaws Committee: Rotating Chair
• Carolina Community Garden Advisory: Arlene Medder (October minutes)
• Communications and Public Relations: Katie Turner
• Education and Career Development: Lois Douglass-Alston/Matt McKirahan
• Membership & Assignments: Paula Goodman
• Recognition & Awards: Michael Highland
• Personnel Issues: James Holman

o Compensation & Benefits: Shelby Long
o Legislative Action: David Fraley
o Staff Relations, Policies & Practices: Yvonne Dunlap

• UNC System Staff Assembly: Michael Highland/James Holman/Charles Streeter/Clifton Webb
• Executive Committee: Charles Streeter (August minutes, September minutes)

IX. Announcements/Questions

X. Adjournment

Minutes

November 6, 2013 Employee Forum minutes

Attending (those who signed in):  Dan Barmmer, Nancy Beach, Jo-Ann Blake, Deborah Bush, Tiffany Carver, Jackie Copeland, Tammy Cox, Lois Douglass-Alston, Yvonne Dunlap, Jim Fuller, Paula Goodman, Maggie Grant, Melissa Haugh, Michael Highland, James Holman, George James, Karen Jenkins-Cheek, Shelby Long, Avia Mainor, Matt McKirahan, Chris Meinecke, Jessica O’Hara, Aluoch Ooro, Christopher Powe, Anna Schwab, Tara Smith, Charles Streeter, Matthew Turner

Chair Charles Streeter called the meeting to order at 9:45 a.m.  He welcomed visitors and guests.  He recounted his weekend visit to NC State University as the guest of the NC State Staff Senate during the UNC-NCSU football game.  He was proud to welcome Chancellor Carol Folt to address the Forum.

Chancellor Folt thanked all for their deep and warm welcome to Carolina.  She recalled the number of people involved in her interview process.  She remembered hearing the various stories of panel interviewers who wanted to find some way to give back to the University they loved.   She was very impressed by previous Forum Chair Jackie Overton and her bearing.  She was also impressed by Chancellor Emeritus Holden Thorp.  In addition, she was impressed by all here who have asked how they might make her time at UNC-Chapel Hill successful.

Folt noted the work of all the staff who cleaned up following the July floods.  She recalled going to Franklin Street on Halloween night with Vice Chancellor Winston Crisp, to see the festivities but also to visit those who worked to make the event safe for visitors.  She wanted to thank everyone in Public Safety, Facilities Services and elsewhere for their work making the campus great.  She noted her background as Albanian and the child of immigrants from Akron, Ohio.  She noted her path from Ohio to UC-Santa Barbara and UC-Davis to study marine biology.  She felt very fortunate to be part of a generation that did not have to worry about getting jobs, and she found her life nearly magical.  Finally, she ended up at Dartmouth in the hills of New Hampshire.  She was part of the group of women who brought other women forward at that Ivy League institution.  She felt fortunate to have the opportunity to maintain a family connection with her brother while she worked at Dartmouth.

Matthew Turner asked what one thing she hoped to leave as her legacy at Carolina.  Folt was uncertain, but cited the need to keep Carolina affordable and excellent.  She noted the opportunities facing the University in the areas of digital media.  Anna Schwab asked about the size difference between Carolina and Dartmouth and the field of town-gown relations.  Folt said that she was used to institutions much larger than Carolina.  She noted that the work force at Dartmouth is forced to commute in from 50 miles away or farther, much like at Carolina.  She said that Carolina must work to maintain relations not only with the Town of Chapel Hill but also with all 100 North Carolina counties.  She said that if the Town thrives, the University thrives.

Matt McKirahan asked about media reports that seemed to have tarnished the Carolina Way in the popular imagination.  Folt said that she had come to use the term “Carolina Embrace” to typify her experience here.  She said that some may feel some tarnish to their pride in the place.  She said that the University must hold and keep high standards.  She also noted that those outside the institution are much less critical than those inside.  She said this was a good thing, as it showed the degree that people care about Carolina.  Folt also emphasized that the different types of excellence at Carolina must not be interrupted by difficulties in one area.  She drew a parallel to a large highway that is not completely stopped when a problem in one lane arises.

Lois Douglass-Alston asked about non-traditional students at Carolina who may not feel at home here.  Folt said that this is a challenge.  She recalled her background as a non-traditional student.  She looked forward to next year’s strategy discussion involving Student Aid, Finance, Arts and Sciences, and other campus entities to bring these groups into one whole.  Yvonne Dunlap noted the University’s great reputation on the outside.  She asked what issues Folt would work to fix first.  Folt said that student health and wellness, campus diversity, and leadership are important areas for work.  She also planned to address “siloing” among various campus departments.  She thought the University could take a page from how the Forum works across boundaries.

Aluoch Ooro asked if Chancellor Folt talks often with NC Central’s female chancellor, Debra Saunders-White, and asked if Folt had plans to bring the two institutions closer together.  Folt noted that Bennett College also has a female chancellor, Rosalind Fuse-Hall.  She speaks with each and wants to talk more.  She noted the contributions of Carolina women to the Association of American Universities (AAU) and said that she was proud to stand with these women.

Michael Highland asked about the current emphasis on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) disciplines as opposed to arts and humanities.  Folt said that it is a common fallacy that liberal arts work does not prepare students for the world of work.  She said that the liberal arts are designed for a breadth of knowledge which provides the skills to learn rapidly and accrue a depth of knowledge.  She noted that 70% of Fortune 500 CEOs have liberal arts majors.  She said that there needs to be a more explicit application of the liberal arts to work, in research projects, papers, op-eds, and building companies.  She said that the liberal arts are nothing that the University should ever apologize about.  She also noted that 85% of all Carolina graduates are in jobs or in graduate school within six months of their graduation.  Tammy Cox asked about the challenge of campus budget cuts.  Folt praised the work of the Carolina Counts office which had saved the University $60 million in recent years.  She had read the Bain report and she thought that there are other areas in which the University could become more efficient and better.  She believed that the University will still see cuts.  She also said that the University needs the flexibility to provide raises to deserving employees.  The Chair thanked Chancellor Folt for her remarks.

The Chair introduced Dr. Malinda Lowery to speak on her book Lumbee Indians in the Jim Crow South:  Race, Identity, and the Making of a Nation.  Lowery has produced three documentary films and was born in Robeson County.  She thanked all for their work here on campus.  She noted that she directs the University’s Oral History project which collects stories from all parts of life.  She was pleased to address the Forum as part of American Indian Heritage month.  She noted that American Indians make up the smallest group of students and faculty and staff at the University, less than 1% of the population here.  She thanked staff for the time they have spent in supporting the University’s academic plan.  She said that this tremendous document needs increased investment and contemplation.  She advocated engaged scholarship that has a relevance to the world and its problems.  She said that history can answer how the world has arrived at the current condition.  She said that historians have a role to play in meeting society’s needs.  She said that her work sought to advance engaged scholarship.

With regard to Lumbee Indians in the Jim Crow South, Lowery said that American Indians seek knowledge not for its own sake, but for some purpose.  She said that it can be risky to tell one’s own story as a part of an academic history, but she found she could not talk about the Lumbee experience without reference to her own.  She wanted to make sure that her ancestors could recognize themselves in the book, and emphasized the importance of connections with one’s ancestors in Lumbee culture.  She noted that UNC-Pembroke was the only institution of higher learning open to American Indians until the 1950s or 1960s.  She said that it is difficult to talk about race in the segregated South.  She sought to honor what her ancestors have contributed to her own life, her state and to the educational opportunities of others by her work on the book.

Arlene Medder asked if there was much evidence of American Indians “passing” as white.  Lowery responded that this existed sometimes when Lumbees left Robeson County and obtained another identity in another community.  Others who maintained ties did not try to “pass” as often.  She said that “passing” was rare as was severing one’s relations with one’s community.  She recounted stories of people who have kept their Lumbee background a secret to their deathbed.  She also noted that Lumbees are not people who see themselves as individuals, but rather exist in the context of their community.  George James asked Lowery her objective for her work studying white supremacy systems.  Lowery said that race and identity issues impact all US citizens.  She said that everyone, majority and minority, experiences ethnocentrism, or the viewing life through one’s own cultural lens.  She said that the more that one can move in the shoes of others, the better.  She said that white supremacy has been an integral part of American history which has been preserved through a foundation of land acquisition.  She said that not all whites have benefitted from this system in the same way, which is another way of saying that economic privilege is wrapped up in racial privilege.  She said that America does not have a homogenous history.  However, once we acknowledge the power of ethnocentrism we can see what we can learn together.  Marc ter Horst noted the books 1491 and 1493 by Charles C. Mann and the challenges of piecing together a history from so long ago.  Lowery praised these works.  She said that scholars must collaborate in interdisciplinary work to bridge these difficulties.  She said that Mann’s books were very good for a general audience.  The Chair thanked Lowery for her remarks.

Senior Director Gena Carter rose to give the Forum’s customary Human Resources update.  She noted that a number of initiatives were underway.  She introduced Kim Andrews, Program and Events Coordinator for the Carolina Cares/Carolina Shares program.  Andrews shared a video on the program.  She said that the program is known throughout the State as the State Employees’ Combined Campaign.  She said that the SECC has worked since 1984, giving up to $91 million for charitable causes.  In 2012, the campaign raised $4.4 million, of which almost $900,000 was raised by UNC-Chapel Hill.  She said that UNC-Chapel Hill has been the leader the last four years, and has pioneered on-line signup for donations.  She said that NC State University leads in the percentage of employees donating, with typically 40% of NC State employees giving through the “Pack Gives Back” campaign.  She said that UNC-Chapel Hill’s goal is $1 million this year, and the campaign has raised $474,000 already.  The rate of donations is behind from last year.  Andrews urged employees to donate if they have not already.  Each department on campus has a goal of 30% of employees donating, with larger divisions having more challenges meeting this goal.  Dan Barmmer noted the $300 average donation.  He asked the median donation.  Andrews said that the campaign accepts a minimum $60/year contribution through payroll deduction.  She said that the lowest gift accepted is $1.  Chris Meinecke said that the advisory board to Carolina Cares/Carolina Shares has emphasized finding new donors, even if these donors give very little.  He said that UNC-Chapel Hill has only four weeks left to find contributors and beat State.

David Schwartz asked about making sign-ups last for more than one year.  Ashley Nicklis said that renewals must take place each year.  Charities must reapply to be listed each year.  Schwartz suggested simplifying the list of choices as the list is rather long.  Kim Andrews said that undesignated funds are dispersed by a percentage of charity given overall for each.  She thought it would be a good idea to remind people in training and promotional materials about the undesignated option.  Schwartz thought it would be good to reduce the psychological burdens to giving.  John Gullo said that he was impressed by the range of options for giving.  Jo-Ann Blake asked what percentage of funds go to the organization.  Andrews said that 90% of all gifts go directly to the organization, with some administrative costs remaining.  Arlene Medder thought it important to emphasize that charities are paid quarterly from the Carolina Cares/Carolina Shares fund.  George James confirmed that one can contribute to a charity and stand as a recipient.  Andrews urged employees to keep up with the campaign via Facebook or at secc.org.  She said that December 9 is the very last day for contributions.

Ashley Nicklis noted that annual enrollment has been extended to November 15.  She said that those who have not signed up have been contacted via postcard.  She urged employees to make sure their elections are correct.  John Gullo noted that he had been called after enrollment to ask him to reenroll.  Nicklis said that there have been issues reported.  She said that enrollments have not been tracked the first time.  She urged employees to log in and check the summary report of their enrollment.  Matt Brody suggested e-mail confirmation of enrollment, but Nicklis said that the process does not pass the e-mail to the vendor.  Brody reminded listeners that this platform is not built or maintained by UNC-Chapel Hill.  Jackie Copeland noted that every section must be affirmed as confirmed or denied before going on to the next section.  Nicklis said that this requirement was not in place for the first few days of the sign-up.  Now, all enrollees are forced through every part of the plan.  She suggested that all employees double-check their enrollment.  Brody said that Human Resources will work on a proactive communication on this issue.  Aluoch Ooro reported that she had received around 20 cards every month from the State Health Plan.  Nicklis noted that the Plan contacts employees every time a change is made in enrollment.  However, she imagined that Ooro was stuck in a loop, or automated computer process.  She would bring this question to the Plan’s attention.

The Chair called for a motion to approve the minutes of the October meeting.  Yvonne Dunlap made this motion, seconded by George James.  The vote was in favor with one delegate abstaining.  There was no old business or new business.

Katie Turner reported that the Bylaws committee would meet Friday at 200B Carr to discuss written recommendations with the law students working on the Bylaws.

Katie Turner said that the Communications & Public Relations committee had completed work on the new Forum logo.  The Chair displayed the logo on the overhead screen.  Turner said that the committee will have the brochure sent available for distribution soon.  The committee will meet again at 3 p.m. on Monday, November 18 in 200B Carr.

Matt McKirahan said that the Education and Career Development committee had worked on professional development grants at its last meeting.   The committee was also working on the possibility of a professional development series and a speaker series.

Paula Goodman said that the Membership and Assignments committee had passed around a sign-up sheet for refreshments at the December holiday social.  The Chair noted that the NC State Staff Senate President will attend the December meeting.

Michael Highland had no report from the Recognition & Awards committee.

Yvonne Dunlap noted that the minutes from the last meeting of the Personnel Issues committee were not included in the agenda packet.  She thanked Victoria Dowd for meeting with the committee in October.  She said that the committee planned to meet with Chief Jeffrey McCracken on gun policy on November 26.  Arlene Medder noted a request from the Carolina Campus Community Garden that the Forum help expand which employees are helped by the Garden.  Dunlap noted a continuing conversation between Housekeeping and EHS.  The Chair said that he intended to invite Chief McCracken to speak on the University’s violence in the workplace policy.

The Chair said that he, James Holman, Michael Highland, and Clifton Webb have attended the UNC System Staff Assembly meetings this week.  He found it interesting to hear from UNC-Chapel Hill’s contemporaries on the state of their organizations.  He noted that the new chair of the Staff Assembly will come from NC State University.  The Chair noted that 67 people had gone through Reduction in Force (RIF) at Elizabeth City State University recently.

Katie Turner asked delegates to contact Matt Banks if they were interested in attending the book club meeting at the Bull’s Head on November 25.

David Schwartz moved that the meeting adjourn, seconded by John Gullo.  The meeting adjourned by acclamation at 11:36 a.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Matt Banks, Recording Secretary

 

Print Friendly