October 1, 1997
Agenda — October 1, 1997
Don’t Forget: The Forum’s Annual Portrait Will Be Taken at 9:15 a.m. on the Steps of the Wilson Library
9:30 a.m.–Meeting, Assembly Room of Wilson Library
I. Call to Order
II. Welcome Guests, Members of the Press
* Welcome to New Delegate Mary Bogues
III. Opening Remarks
* Executive Vice Chancellor Elson Floyd
IV. Special Presentation
* State Representative Verla Insko
V. Employee Presentations—Janet Tysinger
* Pamela Conover, on Intellectual Climate Task Force Report
VI. Human Resources Update
* Laurie Charest, Associate Vice Chancellor, Human Resources
VII. Approval of Minutes of the September 3, 1997 meeting
VIII. Unfinished Business
IX. New Business
* Discussion: Policy on E-Mail and Privacy
X. Chair’s Report (Executive Committee): Bob Schreiner
* University Day October 12
* Chancellor Hooker Approves Forum Guidelines Revisions
* University Priorities and Budget Committee Report
* Payroll Deductions Policy from Business and Finance
* Building Effective Work Groups Seminar December 10
* Discussion with Tim Sanford, Laurie Charest on EPA Non-Faculty Issues
* Barbara DeLon, Director of Housekeeping, and Marian Moore, Chief Information Officer, To Make Special Presentations in November
* UNC System Staff Council Meeting November 7
XI. Committee/Task Force Reports
* Nominating—Libby Evans
=> Forum Elections Complete
* Orientation—Joyce Dalgleish/Jeffery Beam
=> October 24 Orientation Planning
=> Five Year Reunion November 5
* Personnel Policies—Peter Schledorn
=> Exempt Employees Work Schedule (Comp Time) Discussions
=> Reclassification Question from UNC Physicians & Associates Employees
* Compensation and Benefits—Tommy Brickhouse
=> Revision & Distribution of In-Range Salary Adjustment Fact Sheet
* Public Affairs—Ruth Lewter/Anne Montgomery
* Recognition and Awards—Laura Grady/Nancy Klatt
=> University Day Planning
=> Community Award (3-Legged Stool) Nominations
=> Booklet: Steps to Developing a Departmental Recognition Program
* University Committee Assignments—Anne Montgomery/Tommy Nixon
=> Vacancies Filled
* Career Development—Norm Loewenthal
=> New Careers Training Board—George Sharp
* Employee Presentations—Janet Tysinger
=> Fall Community Meeting on Human Resources Issues Tuesday, October 21, from 10-11:30 a.m. in the Turner-Kuralt Auditorium in the School of Social Work
* University Gazette Insert Task Force—Bob Schreiner
=> Publication Date
* School Volunteerism Task Force—Libby Evans
* Faculty Council Liaisons
* Partner Benefits—Peter Schledorn
* Legislative Affairs—Tom Sullivan
* Transportation and Parking Advisory Committee Representative—Janet Tysinger
* Outsourcing Team Representatives—Bennie Griffin/Ann Hamner
In addition, please plan to attend our Quarterly Bag Lunch on the Wall facing Wilson Library following the meeting. If the weather’s bad, we’ll find somewhere else to eat. We’ll look forward to seeing you!
October 1, 1997
Connie Dean McPherson
Archie Phillips, Jr.
Ann Hamner “
” = Ex-Officio
Call to Order, Welcome to Guests
Chair Bob Schreiner called the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m., asking members to sign in and to examine the routing file as it was passed around the room. He welcomed guests and members of the press. Finally, the Chair welcomed Executive Vice Chancellor Elson Floyd to provide opening remarks.
Floyd began by noting that the Chancellor was out of town that day, and had asked him to speak to the Forum on his behalf. Citing reports in the University Gazette and elsewhere, Floyd recalled that the administration has received nine recommendations from a task force commissioned to examine concerns brought forward by a number University groundskeepers. Floyd reiterated that issues impacting Employees at the University are vitally important to the administration; when such issues have come to light, the administration has been very aggressive in examining concerns raised and proposing solutions that are agreeable to all involved.
Floyd hoped that the University would soon find itself ahead of the curve with respect to such issues instead of finding itself responding to concerns raised. He wished that the administration had been able to take proactive position in this case, rather than learning of these Employees’ concerns second-hand through a press conference. However, upon receiving news of these Employees’ concerns, the administration immediately commissioned a task force to examine the issues involved. The administration has recently received that task force’s report and has embraced the report’s recommendations.
Nonetheless, Floyd felt it inappropriate to begin implementation of these proposals without input and critiques from those Employees who will be directly affected by their content. He had met with the groundskeeping force in the previous week. In this meeting, Floyd told those assembled that the administration was sensitive to the issues raised and would move to implement the task force’s recommendations as quickly as possible. However, he also requested time for the administration to construct a formal response to the recommendations by October 2. Floyd thought that most of the recommendations were very appropriate and he anticipated the administration would move aggressively towards implementation. Floyd asked that the Forum help the administration in anticipating similar situations.
Moving to other matters, Floyd noted the two efforts underway that will have a huge impact on the University. The first of these is the parking and transportation task force. The administration has assembled a broadly representative group to examine transportation issues. Floyd reiterated that these concerns are vitally important to the morale and efficiency of the University and its workforce.
Floyd was very frustrated with the unpredictable nature of parking increases on campus and felt it essential for the University to clarify the nature, structure and timing of such increases. He would count on the aforementioned task force to help in this endeavor.
Floyd prompted listeners to consider transportation issues in the greater context of the University’s master plan. Administration officials will soon enter into further discussions with the Board of Trustees concerning proposals for the campus’ master plan, but Floyd pointed out the necessity of resolving parking concerns in advance of constructing this plan. Once these concerns are resolved, the University will be well on its way to mapping out a blueprint for outlying and central campus that will guide the development of the University over the next decade.
Floyd noted that the Chair and others have joined him in service on the University Priorities and Budget Committee (UPBC). This committee will examine institutional priorities and will provide recommendations to the Chancellor in terms of the financial support necessary to implement these ideas. Employees with thoughts about University priorities should contact the Chair to ensure that these ideas are heard by the UPBC.
Regarding external issues, Floyd took the opportunity to thank the General Assembly for a very successful legislative session. He thanked State Representative Verla Insko for her valuable assistance in making these triumphs possible.
Noting that salary increases for SPA and EPA employees at the University have already been implemented, Floyd thanked the Human Resources, Finance and Administrative Information Systems staffs for their work in getting these increases into Employees’ paychecks as soon as possible. In addition, Floyd thanked departmental and school staffs for their efforts to complete the BD-119 paperwork pursuant to implementing increases for EPA faculty and non-faculty. This tremendous task could not have been completed without the spirit of teamwork that is emblematic of life at the University. Floyd thanked everyone for their role in implementing these increases in as smooth a manner possible.
Moving on, Floyd noted that security issues have continued to make themselves felt on campus. The emergency warning committee has continued to meet and notify the public about safety-related issues. Floyd asked Employees to forward to the administration any ideas to improve campus security. He reported receiving a variety of ideas for improving lighting corridors via e-mail, most of which have been implemented. The administration is working hard to insure that the University environment remains safe for everyone.
University Day will take place Sunday, October 12, and Floyd urged everyone present to participate and attend. System President Molly Broad will be the day’s featured speaker.
Floyd stood ready to entertain further comments or questions from the Forum. George Sharp noted the controversy surrounding plans for a protest of Alan Greenspan’s September dedication of the McCall building by assistant professor elin o’hara slavick and the Carolina Socialist Forum. Sharp noted disagreements concerning the way that campus police approached slavick to obtain information about the demonstration. Sharp conceded the general need to gather details about such demonstrations for security purposes involving high level federal officials—namely the number of participants and the location and content of their protest. However, he felt that the manner in which this information was obtained was inappropriate—reports stated that the officer in question had arrived unannounced, making comments containing value judgments about the demonstration, i.e. “Everyone loves Alan Greenspan,” and “Does anyone in your group have any weird ideas?” Sharp thought these actions indicated a need for more professionalism on the part of campus security, and that if such information was necessary for security purposes it should have been gathered in a more professional manner.
Tommy Brickhouse did not think that police should be required to set up in advance meetings of this nature with anyone. Brickhouse had worked with the officer in question on a number of occasions, and stated that the officer is a laid-back and professional individual. Brickhouse recalled that these points have been made in the media, and noted also that Public Safety’s standard operating procedures in this area are being examined. In sum, he felt that no harm had been done.
Floyd reported that the administration has engaged a very small committee to examine the standard operating procedures of police attempting to obtain necessary security information related to protests and demonstrations. Floyd thought that establishing and clarifying these procedures will be very helpful for all concerned for future occasions when these procedures must be engaged. He stated that there are ways of seeking this information that are consistent with professional standards. He asked that Sharp and the Forum allow the committee to complete its work; afterwards, the administration will report back to the Forum on the group’s recommendations.
Eddie Capel asked if Floyd could provide an update concerning senior-level administrative vacancies. Floyd said that there are still two such vacancies that have not been filled. One of these is the Dean of the Kenan-Flagler School of Business, and the other is the Vice Chancellor for Administration post. Floyd said that while the administration is still trying to fill these positions, it had made excellent appointments to almost every other vacancy in the last two years.
The administration has appointed Jack Evans to serve as the interim dean of the school of business. Floyd said that Evans, a former dean of the school, should serve superbly; he was indebted to Evans for taking on this additional role yet again.
There were no further questions. Floyd thanked the Forum and the greater body of campus Employees for all that they do on the University’s behalf. The Chair thanked Floyd for his time and also welcomed newly promoted delegate Mary Bogues to the Forum.
The Chair introduced State Representative Verla Insko to make a special presentation to the Forum. Insko appreciated the invitation and opportunity to share with the Forum some of the things she had learned during her tenure, from 1988-94, as a program administrator with the sickle cell program of the medical school. She had been able to apply what she had learned in this position in her later dealings with the State Budget Office and the Legislature.
Insko was grateful to represent University Employees in the General Assembly. Though her district is composed of Orange and Chatham counties, Insko welcomed comments and questions from all constituents across the State. Insko provided Forum members with cards inscribed with her phone number and e-mail address to submit any questions or concerns.
Insko recalled that the Chair had asked that she relate some of the things she had learned as a University Employee that have aided her in her work with the Legislature. She felt she had gained a number of tangible and intangible benefits as a result of her time on campus—probably the most important intangible she learned was not to take herself too seriously. In spite of serving as an elected official in Orange County for the better part of twenty years (School Board 1977-1985; OWASA Board of Commissioners 1985-1989; Orange Board of Commissioners 1990-1994), she invariably found that others at the University did not remember or know her name. Insko felt this was an important experience that spiked any tendency she might have felt, as an elected official, to expect deference and recognition from her fellow employees. This occurrence, repeated often enough, taught her that she was an ordinary person doing a particular job that was no more important than any other job. Every person should be valued for the expertise that they bring to their work.
Another intangible that Insko carried from Chapel Hill to Raleigh is the knowledge of how to be successful in a bureaucracy, by cultivating a network of others on which to rely. At the University, she came to learn who and where to go to in order to make the bureaucracy work and find the particular person who could help her. Insko also learned to be responsible to people in this network, and learned that the Employees who make their organizations work are found in all departments and in many job classifications.
More tangibly, Insko was very much acquainted with the personnel and performance systems, having overseen these processes first-hand. She was undaunted in discussions with officials concerning the intricacies of the compensation system for State Employees as a result of her earlier experience.
Insko emphasized her understanding of the comprehensive compensation pay plan, and noted State Employees’ long-standing complaint that the Legislature has never fully funded the pay plan. She knew that some Employees, namely SBI agents, highway patrol, clerks of court, magistrates and several others, benefit from a pay schedule that provides a step increase every year, even if the Legislature provides no increase to the greater body of State employees. She understood that Employees at the top of their pay range will receive a portion of their raise in the form of a bonus, not a salary increase, and was aware that this provision adversely affects their retirement status. Insko did not know how to fix the problem, but understood its dimensions and was prepared to work to resolve it.
Concerning parking, Insko recalled the State policy that all parking decks be self-liquidating, meaning that construction bonds for the decks must be met through parking fees. She concluded that parking fees in Chapel Hill are accordingly more expensive than those in Cullowee, for example, as construction costs are higher here in the Triangle. Insko concluded parking constitutes another issue of geographic fairness for employees across the State, since living expenses differ widely in different North Carolina cities and towns but State employee compensation is not adjusted for geographically varying expenses.
Insko said that she had been a resident of Chapel Hill for over 35 years and her husband serves as a UNC faculty member in the department of psychology. She thus had keen interest in keeping the retirement system healthy.
Overall, Insko felt that one of the main facets of her job as a legislator is to apply the knowledge gained in her time with the University to evaluating proposals related to Employee concerns. She serves on the Public Employees Committee in the General Assembly and stated that every bill dealing with State employees must be first considered by this group. Employees with issues they wish raised should phone her office; Insko will attempt to work with her constituents to find an acceptable solution for all parties. However, she cautioned that as a Democrat in the Republican-dominated House of Representatives, she has made it a practice to stay away from partisan issues. In recent years it has become much more important for legislators to work across party lines when crafting legislation.
Insko recalled that she was graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill with a masters’ degree in public administration, with a concentration in conflict resolution and consensus building. She found these skills also came in handy in negotiations with legislators, lobbyists, constituents, and State officials.
Insko offered to receive questions from the Forum. She noted that State representatives run for office every two years, and gladly anticipated that this frequency will compel her to remain in close contact with constituents. Tommy Brickhouse, Chair of the Forum’s Compensation and Benefits Committee, applauded Insko’s recognition of how the geographic differences throughout North Carolina affect State workers’ living standards. His committee had already begun to explore these discrepancies; Brickhouse asked if the University could rely on Insko to provide more detailed information on this subject. Insko stated that she has access to a very competent and large legislative staff who conduct research and provide data in response to legislative queries. Insko offered to consult with this staff to help with this task in any way possible.
Insko thanked the Forum for the opportunity to speak. The Chair thanked Insko for her time and help in obtaining a better deal for the University and its Employees. He appreciated Insko’s offer to work with Employees on the content of different legislation, particularly in various combinations with the State Employees’ Association.
The Chair introduced Dr. Pamela Conover, Professor of Political Science and Chair of the University Intellectual Climate Task Force, to discuss that group’s recently published recommendations.
Conover thanked the Forum for the opportunity to speak and thanked all members of the University, faculty, staff and students, for their work on the report. She was inspired by the degree of commitment among all three groups while reconsidering the role of the University in the 21st century.
Conover noted that this report has been forwarded to the Chancellor, who is responsible for implementation of the recommendations. In the report, which has been posted online at http://www.unc.edu/chan/intclim/toc.html, there are numerous recommendations, no one of which is singly required for the initiative’s success. Conover felt that if the campus can implement as many of these recommendations as possible, it will fundamentally transform the University. Conover thought that all of these proposals will affect, in one way or another, how all members of the University community carry out their jobs. All of these recommendations touch upon and require the support of staff and administration for their success.
Perhaps the report’s most prominent set of recommendations describes a first-year experience which is designed to change how first-year students are introduced to the University. This program will greatly change procedures for student orientation, residential life and academic life. Implementing these ideas will require a great amount of support and input, particularly from the department of student affairs.
The second set of recommendations addresses transforming students’ approach to life in the classroom to a more active learning role. This proposal will require drastic changes in the kinds of classroom spaces available, and the ways that the University utilizes information technology. Those Employees involved in information technology, student support services, and the Center for Teaching and Learning will be called upon to help implement more active learning methods into campus classrooms.
The third set of recommendations concerns the creation of a central clearinghouse for campus information and activities. During discussions, it became evident that students, faculty and staff perceive a major disjuncture between what is taught in the classroom and the remainder of campus activities. The proposed clearinghouse will contain information about all activities in progress by Student Affairs, departments, schools, and other campus organizations. The clearinghouse will also coordinate these activities across different departments and present this information to the entire University community so that all can take better advantage of these opportunities.
The fourth set of recommendations addresses how the University uses campus space. Conover asserted that the stewardship of the physical space and facilities of this campus has often been neglected. She said that anyone visiting certain classrooms or departmental offices would agree that the University needs to substantially change its environment to make it easier for people to interact with one another. The report makes a number of recommendations about changing policies governing the use of facilities, creating new spaces combining food services and activities to promote opportunities for people to have construction exchanges with one another. These recommendations, if implemented, will change how everyone at the University interacts with one another.
Conover thanked the Forum its past efforts and encouraged members to think about how these recommendations will affect their working lives. She felt that Employees across campus will be involved in these discussions, from information technology to student affairs to events planning to food delivery to departmental management and support. If everyone works together, Conover thought the University would move forward and become a better place for all.
Conover offered to field any questions from the Forum. Peter Schledorn noted that many Employees face a physical separation from the main part of campus. As the University searches for more space for laboratories and classrooms, more staff are being moved to offices in Carr Mill Mall and Airport Road. He asked how Employees in these satellite offices can be drawn more deeply into campus life. Speaking as a staff member, Schledorn said that if he were transferred away from his offices on North Campus he would feel much less connected to University life. In addition, staff in off-campus departments face many more hurdles in using University libraries.
Conover thought that Schledorn had made a very good point, and said that the task force has asked that the administration rethink its policies for facilities planning. For example, what additional criteria should be used when designing new facilities or renovating old facilities. Conover asserted it is important for planners to take into account the impact of design on people and their ability to interact with one another. The University should create spaces that are efficient not just for carrying out work but for maintaining our sense of community.
Concerning the report itself, Jeffery Beam asked how staff fit into the University’s intellectual climate. He felt that staff have many gifts that they can share with students in exchanges that too rarely occur. Conover said that the task force had endeavored to find ways to enhance University interaction as a community, rather than a set of distinct offices performing separate functions. Instead, the group sought to conceive of how all of the University’s different activities support one another and relate to one another. For example, in those areas in which activities of student affairs impact life in the classroom— faculty and student affairs should consult regarding these areas.
Conover thought that the closure of Lenoir Hall has underscored the role that campus food delivery affects community interaction. While the renovation has resulted in some difficulties, it has also resulted in students meeting and eating outside with one another. The main focus of task force discussions has been to ask how individual activities relate to what the rest of campus is doing, and ultimately to focus on how the University educates its students.
Libby Evans hoped that Employees and the Forum could use the report as a starting point to arrive at ways to involve staff in the intellectual climate recommendations. Conover hoped that the report will serve as an impetus for discussion and conversation, providing the opportunity to create more ideas. She thought that if the task force was composed of one hundred different faculty, staff and students an entirely different series of good ideas would result. She was encouraged by Evans’ initiative.
George Sharp sought to clarify the task force’s premises and intent—if the intellectual climate task force was commissioned, it could be assumed that the University’s intellectual climate could be improved. Conover felt that this assumption was correct. Sharp added that bright people have always been attracted to the University, and inferred that the task force’s report was directed towards making campus intellectual life more desirable and easier to participate in, while de-emphasizing certain excesses of student social life. Conover recalled that the report’s genesis arose from the recent re-accreditation study in which a number of faculty and graduate students expressed concerns about the intellectual climate.
Conover hastened to add that there are a great number of activities already in place that actively promote intellectual life on campus. However, the common concern expressed in the reaccreditation study was that this intellectual activity is not reaching enough students, and that too much was left to the individual student to seek out and create this life. The task force thus worked to find ways to make intellectual activities more pervasive in the life and education of the average student at Carolina, beyond the subset of pupils who already arrive with a passion for learning.
Sharp noted that a subsection of the report is designed to encourage faculty to interact more with students. Conover said that the report emphasizes rewarding faculty to advise, mentor and interact with students on a one-to-one basis. One related recommendation that will require support from a number of quarters is the creation of an office of undergraduate research to help faculty and students in this area. This new project will require coordination of resources, information and departmental support.
Human Resources Update
The Chair introduced Associate Vice Chancellor of Human Resources Laurie Charest to provide the Forum’s monthly Human Resources update. Charest discussed policy changes in hiring as a result of changes mandated in legislation entitled “State Hires Most Qualified.” Charest reported that she did not have a set policy to share with the Forum but stated that the University System and UNC-Chapel Hill have been actively involved as the Office of State Personnel has worked to formulate that policy. Kitty McCollum of General Administration, Drake Maynard of UNC-CH Human Resources Administration and Charest were all invited to participate in this process and have done so. Charest expected to receive a draft policy from the Office of State Personnel soon.
The major change anticipated for the Chapel Hill campus is that closing dates will soon be required for all job openings. In accordance with the enacted legislation, Human Resources has established closing dates for all SPA positions seven days from the date the position is posted. (Charest noted that recently it has become more difficult for departments to attract a pool of applicants large enough to close a particular position, given low unemployment figures throughout the region.) This policy will hold in the interim until the Office of State Personnel policy has been established. Charest understood that the State Personnel Commission intends to forward its draft to the Personnel Commission in November.
Charest reported that Human Resources had processed 599 health insurance enrollment changes this year. Wellpath HMO had the largest gain of 295 Employees enrolling, while Blue Cross/Blue Shield lost 135 Employees. Charest noted that as Wellpath maintains the lowest rates of any HMO, and that Blue Cross/Blue Shield has raised its rates over 10%, the most of any HMO, one could conclude that Employees are making their enrollment decisions in a very cost-sensitive manner.
Charest said that the State Comprehensive Medical Plan this year covers 63.6% of UNC-CH Employees, down from 66% one year ago. This figure continues a trend of slow movement towards HMOs on the part of University Employees. Across North Carolina, the State plan covers over 80% of State Employees. That UNC-Chapel Hill Employees use HMOs in greater number than other Employees across the State reflects a number of factors, one of these that Chapel Hill is an area with access to a large number of HMOs. In addition, many positions associated with the University and UNC Hospitals participate in these HMOs, and the population of University Employees is on average younger than the population of State employees.
Charest stated that Employees should soon receive information regarding sign-up for North Carolina Flex programs.
Charest distributed a summary of the changes to the North Carolina Retirement System, the points of which were also covered in a recent issue of the University Gazette and other sources.
Concerning SPA grievance panels, Charest thanked the Forum’s University Committee Assignments Committee for finding a number of nominees for these panels, and for nominating members for the Victory Village day care center board. Charest recalled that the University and UNC Hospitals have signed a contract with Victory Village day care to operate the new day care center. On October 1 the board for Victory Village officially assumed its duties, and Charest was proud to report that the University had made four appointments to the board. The board will meet in a couple of weeks to begin the transactions necessary to open the center’s doors next fall.
Finally, Charest invited Forum members and Employees to provide her with their ideas and questions that they would like Human Resources staff to address at the Forum’s October 21 community meeting.
There were no questions, and the Chair thanked Charest for her informative report.
Approval of the Minutes
The Chair called for a motion to approve the minutes of the September 3 meeting. Joyce Dalgleish made this motion, with Bettye Jones seconding. Libby Evans noted that there were a couple of corrections necessary on page 5. In the first sentence of the third full paragraph, Evans said that the words “federal reimbursement” should be replaced with “travel reimbursement.” Evans asked if Peter Schledorn’s question on that same page, “how will the PID system will protect the One Card number in its uses as a UNC Library borrowers card” should be changed to read “how will the PID system replace the One Card number….” Eddie Capel said that the PID system will not replace the One Card number, and the Chair offered that this word should be changed to “affect.” Evans was amenable to this change.
Schledorn recalled that his question concerned the possible use of a changeable number since a reissued One Card would have an account number in permanent account situations such as use as a library borrower’s card. The Chair thought that the PID Campus Coordinating Committee had begun to address these concerns. He stated that the UNC One Card number is changed when a card is reissued, but understood that only a dash with extra numbers is added to the end of the already existing string of numbers. There was no further discussion, and the minutes were approved as amended.
There was no unfinished business for the Forum to consider.
The Chair recalled the controversy over the alleged invasion of e-mail privacy associated with the Alan Greenspan incident. Events later showed that there was no invasion of e-mail confidentiality, but the episode brought to light the fact that there exists no written policy on e-mail and privacy issues on campus. Such a policy would address whether e-mail messages are public documents, and would correspond with the State’s policy on electronic communication.
Chief Information Officer Marian Moore has offered to draft a policy for the benefit of the campus. The Chair presumed that Moore would be willing to incorporate the views of Forum members into the policy. In addition, the Chair anticipated that the Forum would request staff representation on any task force that Moore might convene on this subject.
The Chair asked if members had any other comments on this subject at this time. Peter Schledorn praised Moore for her speed in agreeing to draft a policy in this area. The Chair agreed that Moore has been very responsive to campus concerns.
The Chair asked Nancy Klatt to report how many Employees have committed to process at University Day on behalf of their departments. Klatt said that 32 Employees have made such a commitment, and the Chair felt that this number was very low. He encouraged Employees to attend the day’s festivities and to offer to process if their departments have not already chosen a representative.
Forum Assistant Matt Banks noted that a number of Employees have phoned the Forum Office inquiring about procedures for those designated to process. The Chair replied that Employees selected to process, or others with questions about the day’s events, should send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or call Laura Grady at 966-0426. The Chair said that all department heads have received a letter from the Chancellor with details about the event, and that he personally had sent a letter to all Employees inviting them to attend the event Sunday, October 12.
The Chair reported that the Chancellor had formally approved the Forum’s August 1997 Guidelines revisions.
Concerning the University Priorities and Budget Committee, the Chair said that group has continued to put together a list of priorities, one of which is to improve the ways by which Employees are recognized for their work, through merit increases and promotions. He asked that members and Employees provide him advice and comments on this process.
The Chair noted that the University’s new payroll deduction policy was included in the October agenda packet. He hoped that the Forum would be able to offer some advice on particular areas that might be appropriate for payroll deductions.
The Chair recalled that the Forum had been asked to co-sponsor with the University Managers’ Association a seminar December 10 on Building Effective Work Groups. Interested Employees should RSVP by December 2 at the UMA web site: http://www.unc.edu/staff/univmgr/, selecting Register for meetings. For more information, contact Francesca Allegri at 966-0945.
The Executive Committee held an extensive discussion on the differences between SPA and EPA Employees with Laurie Charest and Tim Sanford, Director of Institutional Research. This discussion will be captured in the Executive Committee’s September minutes.
Barbara DeLon, Director of Housekeeping Services, and Marian Moore, the University’s Chief Information Officer, are scheduled to make special presentations to the Forum at its November 5 meeting. The Chair believed that these are the last two special presentations for the year.
The next UNC System Staff Assembly meeting will take place November 7, from 10-2 p.m. in Chapel Hill. The Chair, Anne Montgomery and Ann Hamner are the Forum’s representatives to this group. The main topic of discussion should be the Assembly’s guidelines and bylaws. Members with ideas for the meeting should contact one of the Forum’s representatives. The Chair said that this group is still in its organizing stages, and is still working to identify representatives from all of the UNC System’s sixteen institutions.
Nominations for the Forum’s Community Award (3-Legged Stool) will remain open until November 15. Only current Forum Delegates may make nominations for this award; nomination forms were included in the Forum’s October agenda packet and should be submitted to the Forum Office.
Following George Sharp’s suggestion, the Forum Office has created a questionnaire for members to contribute “previously unknown facts” about themselves. These responses, in addition to responses from the recently elected class of Delegates, will be available in the November agenda packet.
The Chair encouraged members to examine a final draft of the Forum’s Gazette insert. He thanked Matt Banks and Mary K. Elkins, a student with the Gazette staff, for their work on layout and content. He also thanked the many Forum members who provided story submissions. The insert is due to be published in the November 12 issue of the Gazette.
As an aside, the Chair praised the new University Gazette web page.
The Chair noted that the Forum’s Fall Community Meeting will take place Tuesday, October 21, from 9-10:30 a.m. in the Turner-Tate-Kuralt Auditorium in the School of Social Work on Pittsboro Street. He announced that the Forum’s Executive Committee will meet immediately afterwards at 10:30 a.m. in 204 Rosenau. In addition, the Chair encouraged members to distribute posters advertising the meeting around their departments. He thanked Vice-Chair Janet Tysinger and the Employee Presentations Committee for their work organizing the meeting as well as producing publicity materials. In addition, he thanked Laurie Charest and other members of her staff for agreeing to lead the day’s discussion of Human Resources issues.
The Forum will hold its quarterly bag lunch after the meeting. The Chair regretted that he would be unable to attend as he must see the Gazette insert through to completion.
The Chair urged Forum members to begin work on their committee’s annual reports. These reports are due in the Forum Office by November 17 for inclusion in the December agenda packet. In addition, the Chair encouraged committees to append a calendar of events that succeeding committee chairs can refer to in planning their group’s activities.
As the Forum’s election notification letters were somewhat late in distribution this year, the Chair had entertained some second thoughts about announcing the Forum’s election results at the day’s meeting. However, as these letters will be soon distributed, he felt it best to make this announcement.
Libby Evans, Chair of the Nominating Committee, said that group had re-balloted Division 2 because a name was left off of the first ballot. She hoped that this second chance will give more Employees from that division a chance to vote. All but two of the candidates from Division 2 have been notified of the second ballot. The new ballot clearly states the reason for the second election.
Evans announced the new Delegates and first alternates for the Forum class of 1999:
Division 1: Linda Drake, Linwood Futrelle, Eileen McGrath; Margaret E. Moore (First Alternate)
Division 3: William Grice, Terry Teer; William R. Carroll (First Alternate)
Division 4: Betty Averette, LaEula Joyner; Ethel Neville-Worley (First Alternate)
Division 5: Martha Barbour, Mary Braxton, Lesa McPherson, Carol Worrell; Karen Hearne (First Alternate)
Division 6: Denise Childress, Martha Davidson; Sharon Windsor (First Alternate)
Division 7: Linwood Blalock, Ronnie Edwards, Dee Dee Massey; Jennifer Henderson (First Alternate)
Division 8: Connie Boyce, Sherry Graham, Ken Litowsky, Kenneth W. Yow; Gwen Burston (First Alternate)
Division 9: Jean Coble; Connie D. McPherson (First Alternate)
Evans said that the Division 2 second ballots are due in the Forum Office by October 16, and subsequent winners will be notified immediately afterwards. (Ed. Note: in the subsequent ballot, Ted Wright was elected as delegate from Division 2, and Barbara Prear was elected that Division’s first alternate.)
In addition, the Forum officer nomination process will soon begin. All continuing and incoming Delegates will be asked to submit nominations for the positions of Chair, Vice-Chair and Secretary.
Jeffery Beam, Chair of the Orientation Committee, reported the group will now make its matches between continuing and incoming Delagates for the Forum’s buddy system. Orientation for new Delagates will take place Friday, October 24, from 9-11:30 a.m. in room 205-206 of the Student Union.
The Forum’s five year reunion will take place Wednesday, November 5, from 8:30-9:30 a.m. in the Wilson Library lobby. Invitations for the reception have been mailed to around 350 people, and the group anticipates around 180 people will attend. There will be a short program at 9:10 a.m. in which the Chancellor, the Chair, and Sherry Graham, head of the Forum’s founding committee, will make brief remarks. Beam said that refreshments will be provided and invitees will receive name tags upon entry.
Beam noted that the committee’s minutes were included in the October agenda packet, along with worksheets that the group has used to plan the orientation and January retreat. He offered to consider any ideas that Forum members might have for these events.
Libby Evans confirmed that the Orientation Committee possesses a copy of election results. Beam said he would obtain a copy of this list from the Forum Office.
Peter Schledorn, Chair of the Personnel Policies Committee, reported the group had met twice in September. For its first, regularly scheduled meeting, the committee had prepared another proposal on compensatory time issues, and had consulted with Director of Human Resources Administration Drake Maynard about this proposal. Maynard and the committee were in agreement about the problems the University faces concerning compensatory time, but were still discussing approaches to these problems.
The committee has asked Maynard to prepare a proposal of his own that the group could use as a basis for continued discussion. Schledorn hoped that the committee would be able to provide the Forum with a formal proposal soon. He thanked Maynard and his office for their cooperation with his committee and the Forum.
The committee’s second meeting addressed classification questions raised by Employees in UNC Physicians & Associates. Schledorn said that these Employees had sought more to describe their experiences and appeal for advice from the committee more than to request action from the Forum.
These Employees described their difficulties in retaining medical coder staff. Schledorn noted that medical coders are typically hired by the University at State pay levels, receive training and increased skills, then are snatched away by private sector or other universities in the area for salaries as much as $10,000 more than that paid by the State. The committee discussed some strategies that these Employees might follow in retaining this class of workers. Schledorn thought that this meeting had been a useful one at which participants were satisfied to discuss and exchange ideas.
Laurie Charest added that Position Management has worked very hard in coordination with the Office of State Personnel to try to change the salary grade for medical coder positions. Charest advised that the Employees from UNC Physicians & Associates consult with representatives from Position Management to share information. Schledorn said that these Employees had done this and felt that Position Management is understaffed and in need of more help to field such concerns. In addition, labor market conditions in this area present UNC Physicians & Associates with the special problem of aggressive competition for trained personnel. Other hospitals across the State face this difficulty, but not to the degree that Chapel Hill experiences.
Tommy Brickhouse regretted that Compensation and Benefits and Personnel Policies Committees seemed to be once again chasing down the same issue. He recalled the idea that was advanced last year to combine these two committees and proposed meeting with Peter Schledorn and Laurie Charest to discuss these commonalities further. Brickhouse was frustrated with the recurring reports of salary compression and difficulties retaining good Employees. Schledorn added that his group was not aware of the exact nature of the medical coder problem until it had entered discussions.
Brickhouse, Chair of the Compensation and Benefits Committee, thanked Libby Evans for compiling the in-range revisions fact sheet. He hoped that this document will soon be ready to be sent out to the University community. Evans recalled that the Forum had pursued a rather serious discussion of in-range adjustments at a previous meeting, and had received updated information from Jerry Howerton of Position Management as a result. At this point, she asked that members check the draft for errors. She hoped that the Forum would be able to distribute copies at the October 21 community meeting. Evans asked that Brickhouse forward a copy to Howerton to insure he has had a final chance to evaluate the document.
Brickhouse said that the committee’s focus was on finishing its report so that the analysis could be distributed to the greater body of Employees as a tangible product of the Forum’s work. Accordingly he did not want to ask Howerton to update information which was current April 30. Brickhouse recounted that Maynard and Human Resources had offered to pay for distribution of the fact sheet, and University Mail Services will guarantee its delivery.
Anne Montgomery, Co-Chair of the Public Affairs Committee, had no report.
Nancy Klatt, Co-Chair of the Recognition and Awards Committee, said that the final draft of the booklet recording the variety of recognition and awards programs at the University will undergo its final revisions next week, and should go to the printer soon afterward. She hoped that the committee can make a copy ready for distribution at the December Forum meeting.
In addition, Klatt hoped that staff would make an effort to process or attend the University Day festivities. Klatt pointed out that this is the first year the Forum, rather than the University Managers’ Association, has planned the staff processional. Forum Assistant Matt Banks asked if Forum Delegates hold an automatic right to walk in the processional. The Chair replied that only Employees designated by their departments may process and count this session as work time. Anyone may sit in the audience, however.
Tommy Nixon, Co-Chair of the University Committee Assignments Committee, reported that all previously announced vacancies have been filled, and that a list of nominees was included within the group’s minutes. The Chair thanked Nixon and the committee for their hard work in the past month.
Norm Loewenthal, Chair of the Career Development Committee, said that group had held a very good, wide-ranging discussion with Provost Dick Richardson, Chair of the Faculty Pete Andrews, Chair of the Forum Bob Schreiner, and Liaison from the Faculty Ron Strauss on the subject of Employee educational opportunities.
The committee’s minutes attempted to capture the ideas expressed at the meeting, and Loewenthal hoped that they would serve as the basis for action on this topic. Loewenthal asserted that the time to formulate recommendations has passed, and that it was time to put these ideas into action. He felt that this close cooperation with faculty and administrators is a strong step toward implementation.
Loewenthal was particularly pleased that Ron Strauss has been appointed liaison from the faculty, and noted that the date of the group’s next meeting has been altered to accommodate Strauss’ teaching schedule. The Career Development will meet again Monday, October 20, from 1:30-3 p.m. in the Forum/Faculty Council Conference Room, 202 Carr Building.
Francis Rountree, speaking on behalf of the Employee Presentations Committee, asked members to pick up and distribute posters advertising the Forum’s fall community meeting. She hoped that everyone associated with the Forum will be able to attend.
Bob Schreiner, head of the Forum’s University Gazette Insert Task Force, had made his report previously in the meeting.
It was noted on behalf of the School Volunteerism Task Force that approximately 15,000 people participated in the September 20 Walk for Children.
The Forum’s Faculty Council Liaisons had no report.
Libby Evans said that the transportation & parking task force had held its first meeting September 30. The task force received its charge, and received a background briefing from Public Safety’s consulting group. In addition, members introduced themselves. The group will meet every two weeks, in the hopes of producing a report as scheduled by the end of January.
The group’s next meeting will be Tuesday, October 14, and meetings will be held every two weeks afterward. These meetings are subject to the open meetings law and are open to the public. Meetings will be held in Student Union room 209; those who want to know the time scheduled for these meetings should contact Evans, Janet Tysinger, Cheryl Stout or Connie McPherson. The Chair asked that Evans send a note to the Forum listserv advising members of when and at what time the meetings will take place.
Ann Hamner, Forum representative on the Outsourcing Steering Team, reported the group had met September 8. The greater part of this meeting was devoted to discussion with the University’s outsourcing consultant. This consultant has been hired to familiarize himself in the areas of University HVAC, grounds, and vehicle maintenance. The consultant is based with Company Engineering Associates of Atlanta, a firm with world-wide experience in facilities management that has worked with UNC System campuses in Greensboro, Charlotte, Asheville, Raleigh, and Boone. The consultant’s goal is to make recommendations to areas under study on how to improve services internally, and to conduct a feasibility analysis of outsourcing. The consultant will next meet with the Employee Relations Committee of the Outsourcing Team which is chaired by Laurie Charest.
In addition, the team received an update on the Centennial Campus bid at NC State. The team’s next meeting has been moved to Monday, October 13 at 11 a.m. in 307 South Building.
Items From the Floor and Adjournment
Eddie Capel announced that the State Employees Combined Campaign will take place from October 21-November 7. The University last year raised $593,000 which was contributed by around 1/3 of the total staff at the University. This year, the campaign set a goal of $610,000. Captains for each department will soon approach every Employee seeking contributions. Capel urged Employees to donate whatever they can afford, and noted that Employees may give through the relatively painless method of payroll deduction.
Capel was surprised that the UNC-Chapel Hill contributions totaled 21% of those received throughout the entire State. He thought this fact spoke well of the generous nature of University Employees.
The Chair noted that Employees will receive a list of over 12,000 recognized organizations to which Employees can direct donations. Employees are encourage to designate particular organizations and counties to receive their donation. The Chair praised the campaign for its worthwhile work.
The Chair looked forward to seeing Forum members at least twice before the November 5 meeting: at University Day Sunday October 12 and the Forum’s Community Meeting Tuesday October 21.
Connie McPherson announced that Michael Klein’s last day with the University will be October 3, as he has accepted a position with the State University of New York at Stony Brook.
Tommy Brickhouse asked that the Forum Office send out formats outlining requirements for committee’s annual reports.
In the absence of further discussion, the Chair called for a motion to adjourn. George Sharp so moved, seconded by Mitch Copeland. There was no discussion, and the meeting adjourned at 11:02 a.m.
Matt Banks, Recording Secretary