Agenda — October 2, 1996

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

 

I. Call to Order

 

II. Welcome Guests

 

III. Opening Remarks

* Executive Vice Chancellor Elson Floyd

 

IV. Employee Presentations—Kay Spivey

* Memorial Resolutions forLaura Thomas, Ernest Minor, and Phillip M. Andrews, Jr.

* Orientation Letter to Newly Hired Employees

* Fall Community Meeting

 

V. Special Presentations

* Provost Dick Richardson

* Outsourcing Presentation from Laurie Charest, Ann Hamner

 

VI. Approval of Minutes of the September 4, 1996 meeting

 

VII. Chair’s Report (Executive Committee): Ann Hamner

* Executive Committee Meeting with Barbara DeLon & Barbara Prear; Future Meeting with Current, Former Division 2 Representatives

* Outsourcing Steering Team Meetings; Forum Resolution on Privatization Transmitted to Faculty Council, Student Government Graduate and Professional Student Federation

* Adverse Weather Memo to Laurie Charest

* Memo to Ken Manwaring Requesting Follow-up on Bobbie Lesane’s Question Concerning Educational Assistance Program for Employees Already Receiving Financial Aid

* Memo to Michael Klein Requesting Follow-up to Betty Watkins’ Concern About Possible Danger to Pedestrians in Swain Lot

* Letter to President Spangler

* Appreciation Letter to Anne Barnes

* Susan Criscenzo, Leslie de Monchaux Verbally Commit to Present in November; Bill Graves Unable to Present in November or December

* Bill Friday Unable to Present in January; President Spangler Invited

* Faculty Council Bowling Match September 12, 5-7 p.m. in Student Union

* University Day October 12

 

VIII. New Business

* Proposed Resolution Honoring Students, Faculty & Staff Who Helped with September 11 Cleanup

 

IX. Committee/Task Force Reports

* Nominating—Dianne Crabill

=> Election Results

* Orientation—Leon Hamlett

=> Delegate Buddy System

=> Orientation for New Delegates October 24

=> Reception for New Delegates November 6

* Personnel Policies—Peter Schledorn

* Compensation and Benefits—Tommy Brickhouse

* Public Affairs—Helen Iverson

=> Legislative Day

* Recognition and Awards—Nancy Klatt/Pamela Shoaf

=> Letters to Departments Without Recognition Programs

=> Possible Booklet on Awards & Recognition

=> Nominations for Community Award (3-Legged Stool) in October Packet

* University Committee Assignments—Vicki Lotz/Jennifer Pendergast

* Career Development—Sharon Cheek

=> Educational Survey Results

=> Continuing Education & “After 5” Class Lists in Routing File

* Video Production Task Force—Frank DiMauro

=> Shooting Schedule

* Faculty Council Liaisons

* Partner Benefits—Peter Schledorn

* Legislative Affairs—Laresia Farrington

* Transportation and Parking Advisory Committee Representative— Marshall Wade/Janet Tysinger

=> Caution on Road Crossings

 

X. Human Resources Update

* Laurie Charest, Vice Chancellor, Human Resources

* Joe Totten: Exit Interviews with Employees from March 1995 Meeting

 

XI. Announcements/Questions

* A Word from SEANC District 19 Chair Ruth Lewter

 

XII. Adjournment

Please Note: The Forum voted in August to allow filming during its October 4 meeting. —Ann

MINUTES

October 2, 1996

Delegates Present

Frank Alston

Ned Brooks

Eddie Capel

Sharon Cheek

Peggy Cotton

Mona Couts

Dianne Crabill

Frank DiMauro

Kathy Dutton

Laresia Farrington

Thomas Goodwin

Laura Grady

Tommy Griffin, Jr.

Tommy Gunter

Leon Hamlett

Ann Hamner

Helen Iverson

Bobbie Lesane

Norman Loewenthal

Vicki Lotz

Ruth Lewter

Sue Morand

Tommy Nixon

Rosa Nolen

Jennifer Pendergast

Archie Phillips, Jr.

Lynn Ray

Sarah Rimmer

Peter Schledorn

George Sharp

Kay Spivey

Reba Sullivan

Alice Taylor

Janet Tysinger

Marshall Wade, Jr.

Chien-Hsin Wagner

Betty Watkins

Beverly Williams

Mary Woodall

Laurie Charest”

Rachel Windham “

” = Ex-Officio

 

Delegates Absent

Mary Alston

Bennie Griffin

Delores Jarrell

Nancy Klatt

Creola Scurlock

Pamela Shoaf

 

Alternates Present

Stuart Bethune

Tommy Brickhouse

Ann Dodd

Cheryl Stout

 

Guests

Margaret Balcom

Andy Brawn

Elson Floyd

Ellen Hill

Mike Hobbs

Christopher Kirkpatrick

Michael Klein

Mitch Kokai

Ray Magyar

Dick Richardson

 

 


Call to Order and Welcome to Guests

Chair Ann Hamner called the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m. She thanked members for arriving early for the annual Forum portrait. She welcomed guests present and turned the microphone over to Executive Vice Chancellor Elson Floyd.

 

Opening Remarks

Dr. Floyd recognized the special place that the University has in the hearts of faculty, students, staff and community members, and felt that this spirit was most evident during the difficulties surrounding Hurricane Fran. On the Thursday before the hurricane, as administrators worked to secure assistance to ready the University for the storm, a number of staff volunteered to stay overnight. He praised the sacrifice of these individuals during a time when they clearly would rather have been home with their families. Dr. Floyd expressed his gratitude to these Employees, noting some twenty trees were removed by eight o’clock the morning after the storm.

Dr. Floyd thanked all Employees for their work during the week following the storm, conceding it had been a difficult time for everyone. As almost all communications were hampered, Employees and others sought information about the status of the University and loved ones across the State. Nonetheless, Dr. Floyd felt the University came through the disaster in fine fashion and felt indebted to Employees for their committed work.

Commenting on the housekeepers’ lawsuit, Dr. Floyd noted the University had entered into court-ordered mediation along a fairly short timeline. He would continue to provide periodic reports on this subject to the Forum.

University Day is October 12, and Dr. Floyd looked forward to joining University community members on that day. He assumed Provost Richardson would have further comments on this subject in his remarks.
Outsourcing continues to be a major issue on campus. Dr. Floyd thanked Forum members for their attendance and questions at the many public outsourcing meetings held during the past month. While some of these meetings have been better attended than others, the goal of these meetings is to provide accurate information about the study and its future implications. The study deals mainly with the competitiveness of the functions examined, a consideration that pervades everything the University does. Cost issues associated with providing service will be vitally important to the study’s outcome.

Dr. Floyd addressed newspaper reports about salary adjustments being made for housekeepers. He assured the Forum that these adjustments will be in accordance with the recently enacted In-Range Salary Adjustment policy. There has not been an infusion of new dollars into the housekeepers’ salaries from external sources. Rather, there has been a redefinition and reprioritization of dollars already in the Housekeeping Division’s budget. No extra pot of money has been infused into the Housekeeping’s budget to provide these salary adjustments; dollars to provide these adjustments are provided from vacant or unfilled positions. Dr. Floyd knew the subject of these adjustments was significant to small departments unable to make similar adjustments for deserving Employees.

Dr. Floyd offered to take questions from the Forum. Rachel Windham noted the attention paid to the Academic Enhancement dollars provided by the Legislature in its past session. She noted Employee criticism that there were no provision for SPA salary enhancements in the recommended use of these funds, but there was for faculty salary enhancement. This money was primarily dedicated to library improvements, faculty salaries and student aid. Rachel asked for clarification about the use of these dollars and whether the University might make a future move to include SPA salaries in requests for flexible funds.

Dr. Floyd replied that the University’s use of the Academic Enhancement dollars was consistent with the Chancellor’s commitment to the Legislature regarding their use. During previous Forum meetings, Dr. Floyd shared the Administration’s legislative agenda. Many of the items targeted were not secured during the short legislative session, but the University will work on these during the long session. Because the Legislature could not fund all the suggested initiatives, and because there was some flexibility given through the Academic Enhancement dollars, the Administration wished to use these dollars to support those priorities it had asked the Legislature to fund.


One of these legislative priorities was an increase in salaries for all University employees, faculty and staff. Dr. Floyd noted with gratitude that the Legislature had increased SPA salaries by a larger amount than granted in previous years. However, faculty salaries were raised at all System campuses—aside from UNC-Chapel Hill and NC State—by 5%, but at UNC-CH and NC State the raise for faculty was only 4.5%. Because faculty salaries are a priority area for the University, and it is important that increases remain on par with other institutions, the Administration used the Academic Enhancement funds to make up the .5% difference for teaching faculty.

Another component of the University’s legislative agenda was graduate student health insurance. The University will use a portion of its Academic Enhancement dollars to fund a new graduate health insurance program. This program will make a difference in terms of classroom instruction and the recruitment of graduate school candidates to the University; which could not be funded through other budget sources but could be supported through flexible Academic Enhancement dollars.

The Administration’s third priority is improving technology at the University. The technology component has two parts: outreach to public schools and support for campus initiatives. Thus, the use of these dollars in this way was consistent with the University’s legislative agenda and the University’s initial request. The Administration will endeavor to remain accountable to the Legislature as well as students, faculty, staff and the public in the expenditure of these funds.

Answering the second part of Rachel’s question, Dr. Floyd stated that salaries will continue to be a high priority of the Administration. The Chancellor has already begun discussions with the Legislature concerning salary issues for all employees, which will obviously include staff.


Peter Schledorn asked if Dr. Floyd could comment on the large number of vacancies within the housekeepers’ workforce. With over one hundred positions vacant, Peter foresaw a serious increase in the work load of individual housekeepers. He asked why this course was chosen. Could Dr. Floyd comment on complaints that this hiring freeze was being done to prepare for privatization or to fund needed in-range salary increases, in response to housekeeper complaints, from departmental funds. This tradeoff seemed to worsen working conditions and increase workload for housekeepers in order to provide these salary adjustments.

Dr. Floyd replied that within the framework of housekeeper concerns, the University must prioritize the issues. Within the Housekeeping Division, the Administration has been very conscious of the workforce in general and there have been huge issues involving the organizational placement of housekeepers. Dr. Floyd recalled that Division was previously located within the Physical Plant and had been moved into Human Resources, under the direction of Barbara DeLon. Prior to this time, the Physical Plant administration had moved slowly in filling vacant positions. The reason for this inactivity was that management was undergoing a utilization study to determine the square footage that each housekeeper cleaned throughout the University. The Administration did not want to fill these positions if these parameters were to change and the new hires were no longer needed. As a consequence, positions were not filled as quickly on a permanent basis, although there was a large contingent of temporary employees to support the workforce.

Since that time, the Administration, along with Barbara DeLon and others, have examined the organizational structure of the Housekeeping Division in conjunction with the housekeepers themselves. Dr. Floyd noted Peter’s point had been made in these discussions. The Administration did not wish to fill permanent positions within the Housekeeping Division only to eliminate them later as greater efficiencies are achieved within the University.

As indicated earlier, funds for a number of these vacant positions were used to create In-Range Salary Adjustments for these housekeepers. Dr. Floyd thought the Administration had used these dollars in a responsible way while creating greater efficiencies within the Housekeeping Division. He felt it important to keep costs down as costs will be an important factor as University services undergo the examinations accompanying the privatization study.

These issues are interrelated, though it might be easier if they were not. In summary, the Administration wished to moved fairly cautiously in filling vacant positions as it examined current utilization. It also wished to move cautiously in filling positions because the Housekeeping Division was due to be reorganized, and new hires could be subject to layoffs after reorganization. At the same time, the Administration sought to address In-Range Salary Adjustment issues by applying dollars made available to increase housekeeper salaries.

Peter Schledorn asked if the utilization study was complete, or if it was pending the reorganization of the Housekeeping Division. Dr. Floyd replied that the reorganization was still ongoing and the utilization study was almost complete.

Dr. Floyd thanked the Forum for the opportunity to speak and the Chair thanked him for taking the time to meet with the Forum.


Employee Presentations

The first item on the agenda was memorial resolutions for Employees who had passed on in service since February 1996. After the presentation of these remarks, the Forum would observe a moment of silence. Vice-Chair Kay Spivey felt that the influence of these Employees would continue “to widen and deepen this magic gulf stream,” as Albert Coates referred to the University, “and strengthen the flow of its current.”

Dr. Fred Schroeder, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Dean of Students, presented in memory of Laura Thomas. Dr. Schroeder thanked the Forum for the opportunity to present this resolution.

Laura Thomas was first employed by the University as a student assistant in the Department of Special Programs during the summer of 1978. She served as an intern in that department during the 1978-79 academic year while completing graduate studies and her masters’ degree in rehabilitation counseling. She was appointed to the new position of Coordinator for Handicapped Student Services and Assistant Dean in the Department of Student Life in the summer of 1979. In 1984, the University created a new and independent Department of Handicapped Student Services and appointed Ms. Thomas its first Director.

During her employment with the University, Ms. Thomas directed the provision of services for a population that grew from 50 to 400 students. In addition to her primary assignment, Ms. Thomas served as General College advisor for hundreds of other students and assumed many other duties within the Division of Student Affairs. Examples include her long-standing involvement in the planning of University commencement exercises, her service on the Counseling Committee, and ongoing work in evaluation of disabled candidates for admission. She was a longtime member of the University Transportation and Parking Advisory Committee, a member of the Town of Chapel Hill Transportation Board, and Chair of the Student Health Services Advisory Board.

Laura Thomas had the opportunity and challenge to create a department specifically designed to provide direct assistance services to students with disabilities enrolled here. She knew almost all these students, and provided ongoing and direct support for each student’s academic work. In addition, she had direct contact with faculty and staff across the face of the University, the State and the nation. She treated all people with dignity, from the premise that all members of the University community should work together so that people with disabilities should have full access to University facilities. Clearly, thousands of graduates have been served by the Department of Disability Services in her eighteen years of work here. Additionally, Ms. Thomas’ quiet but persistent leadership served to broaden the perspectives of others to whom the issues of disability were not immediate or personal. She had a unique gift of helping people be independent; she was an enabler, in the very best sense of the word, tapping the best in all of us. She made a significant difference in the lives of thousands of graduates, staff and faculty. Laura knew how to listen without making judgments; she was a stabilizing factor in a very unstable world and was a good friend to all who had the privilege to know her.


Jeff Maxim, Purchasing Officer for Davis Library, presented in memory of Ernest Minor, an Employee of the Davis mailroom who died on September 16 of a diabetic coma, in his sleep. While some library staff were able to attend his funeral, many could not and these Employees wished to express their sympathies.

Ernest was born in Orange County on November 22, 1948. He graduated from Chapel Hill High School and attended East Carolina University, where he played on their football team. After finishing at ECU, he worked at DuPont Industries for about 23 years and retired because of illness. Returning to Orange County after retirement, he came to work in the Davis Library mailroom on May 7, 1996.

Ernest grew in his capacity on the job as a quick learner, and was steady and self-reliant. During his brief employment, his responsibilities took him around Wilson, Davis and other libraries, bringing him into contact with many different people. He was a familiar face, good-natured and gratifying in brief communications. One need not know a person for long periods of time, Jeff said, to recognize outstanding qualities in them, and Ernest certainly exhibited these fine qualities. Jeff would miss Ernest’s work in the mailroom; more importantly, his co-workers would miss his friendly disposition, and would continue to remember that same quality.


Kay Spivey presented a resolution in memory of Phillip Monroe Andrews. Phillip Monroe Andrews, Jr. died in the early morning of September 7 following a lengthy battle with AIDS. A native of Carrboro, he was educated in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro public schools, attended this University and King’s College in Charlotte, and rendered 24 years of service as an Employee in the Institute of Government. He was a dedicated Employee, gifted musician, valued colleague, and treasured friend.

We will remember Phil for his kindness, thoughtfulness, generosity, patience, keen sense of duty, and courage in the face of adversity. In late August, one colleague wrote a poignant letter thanking Phil for the example he provided both in and out of the office and describing him as “one of the most positively influential people I have ever known.” Phil’s manners were impeccable, and he was a gentleman in every sense of the word. In his role as manager of the Institute’s Production and Distribution Section, Phil worked effectively with his staff to ensure the quality printing and distribution of program announcements, classroom materials, special bulletins, and publications flyers; to ship Institute publications timely and cost consciously; and to provide reliable mail, transportation, telecommunications, supply and client database service. He practiced and encouraged total quality management by meeting the needs of internal and external customers long before it became popular. He cared about the reputation of the Institute of Government and recognized that many State and local governmental employees might form their first impressions of this University while participating in Institute programs.

Several years ago I shared with Phil a quote from a drama, and at that time he asked me to make remarks at his funeral service, even though I couldn’t recall the words, the source or the author. An extensive search yielded the quote but not the source or author and generated an overwhelming outpouring of compassion:

Dear old friend. As we’ve come to the end of the road that we were to go together, my tale is finished…and so farewell, but before I go I have just one more thing to tell you. Something has spoken to me in the night…saying: To lose the earth you know for greater knowing. To lose the life you have for greater life. To leave the friends you love for greater loving. To find a land more kind than home…more large than earth, whereon the pillars of this earth are founded, toward which the conscience of the world is tending…A wind is rising and the rivers flow.

Let us observe a moment of silence in memory of Laura Thomas, Ernest Minor and Philip Andrews.

Kay read the following, taken from a poem by Stephen Spender:

What is precious, is never to forget…

Near the snow, near the sun, in the highest fields,

See how their names are feted by the waving grass

And by the streamers of white cloud

And whispers of wind in the listening sky.

…They travelled a short while toward the sun

And left the vivid air signed with their honour.

On behalf of the Employee Presentations Committee, Kay noted that the Forum’s letter to new Employees has been finalized and approved by Training & Development. This letter, which informs new hires about the Forum’s mission and how to contact the Forum, has been distributed along with Orientation packets as of last Friday. She thanked the Office of Human Resources for taking on this extra job on behalf of the Forum.

Kay also noted that the Forum’s Fall Community Meeting will be held Wednesday, October 9, from 10-11:30 a.m., in the Knapp Auditorium of the Institute of Government. She expected all Delegates and particularly Committee Chairs, to be in attendance.


Special Presentations

The Chair was pleased to introduce Provost Dick Richardson to present some thoughts on the University. The Provost said he was happy to have the opportunity to speak with the Forum as he was well aware of the importance of University Employees during his 27 years on the UNC faculty. He noted with pleasure his many SPA Employee friends on campus who have saved him and made him look good over the years, for which he was grateful. He did not think anyone at the University was insensitive to the importance of staff Employees in what the University does. He thanked the Forum personally, though he did not work with the Forum as closely as Dr. Floyd does.

The Provost noted he had been asked first to serve temporarily as Provost, after learning well after the fact that Dick McCormick had resigned. He met with the Chancellor on a Sunday afternoon and suggested other candidates who he thought could also do the job. However, after several meetings, the Provost agreed to remain in the post permanently upon the endorsement of the Faculty Council.

Provost Richardson noted the term `provost’ is a inexact one organizationally, recalling the term is used for sheriffs in Scotland and for heads of cathedrals, sometimes, as well as wardens of major prisons—which drew laughter from the group.

By definition of the administrative code and the University’s organizational structure, the Provost is the Chief Academic Officer for the University. All the deans in Health Affairs, Academic Affairs, all the Institutes and Directors, all 169 degree programs report to the Provost’s Office. Dr. Richardson noted this fact with some trepidation, as it is an awesome responsibility. Promotion and disciplinary cases concerning the faculty are funneled through the Provost’s Office as well.

In the reorganization, the Chancellor wished to make explicit what was implied within the previous organizational chart. In particular, he wished to clarify that there is one chief academic officer for the University; therefore, the Vice-Provosts for Health Affairs and Academic Affairs would be situated under the Provost. This structure required the creation of the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs position, an office the Provost previously also held, in addition to the positions of Vice Provost for Research and Undergraduate Dean.

When the candidate search for Vice Provost for Academic Affairs is complete, the appropriate deans will report to the two Vice Provosts on a day to day basis. This arrangement frees the Provost to do other things, or assist in other things, particularly those items dealing with budget, new programs, and concerns about reallocation of resources. He would also be employed in a more frequent consulting relationship with the Chancellor, advising him on these and other matters. While the Provost does not expect his work to be reduced in any fashion, he anticipated it would be modified according the dictates of reorganization.

Dr. Richardson said he had been only able to accomplish what he had because of extraordinary support from the deans. There is a wonderful collection of administrative deans on campus who have been extremely helpful during this transitional period, as have the Center and Institute directors. He was grateful for this lack of conflict which allowed him to begin to grapple with the responsibilities of his office.


Last year, there were a tremendous number of concerns to resolve, a situation that has continued into this year. One issue was the salary compression among faculty, which has been helped somewhat by the recent tuition increase approved by the Legislature. The Provost decided to address compression from his Office rather than from the deans’ level in Academic Affairs. This decision met with controversy in that some thought it too risky. However, there was a fairly narrow range of compression (that is, people of the same rank, in the same department with the same qualifications, receiving substantially different salaries).

The Provost’s Office asked departments to nominate candidates for adjustment, and individual faculty members had the opportunity to appeal their situation if their chairs did not nominate them. There were 351 petitions from departments, and another 23 from individuals, a total of 374 people requesting relief from salary compression. The Office examined each petition, sometimes spending hours on one, in an effort to make appropriate recommendations. One hundred and seventy-eight awards were made from departmental recommendations and seven of the individual petitions; a total of 185, around 49% of total of the original requests. This resolved approximately $393,000 of faculty salary compression. While this was not an easy process but Dr. Richardson felt it worked well. He thought the University needed to respond regularly to the salary compression problem for faculty and staff.


The Provost’s Office was also involved in the Chancellor’s effort to recruit “knock your socks off” Kenan professors: individuals with unique teaching qualities for undergraduate instruction. The University has arranged with the Kenan Foundation to fund and recruit four of these quality professors. The recruiting committee has received 280 applications from all over the world; one applicant is National Teacher of the Year winner, another a Nobel Prize winner, and other applicants also are incredibly gifted in instruction, the main qualification for the professorship. The Provost expected to have two of these appointments made by the end of this year and two by the end of next year to join Carolina’s already wonderful faculty. The professorships underscore the University’s renewed emphasis on undergraduate instruction.

The Faculty Council debated lengthily on salary policy, with committees in each department developing policies after many hours of work. These policies were finally approved, and by memorandum, the Chancellor directed departments to create salary committees and field committees. A letter sent out October 1 requested progress reports on how these policies have taken hold in individual departments.
After two years, the Administration has issued a set of guidelines for teaching assistants with the publication of a packet to assist in training teaching assistants. The University will have a far more systematic and careful analysis of teaching assistants than in any time in its history with added assistance in language and pedagogical skills. Training will begin this year with a series of stages that departments must certify to show their teaching assistants have attained stipulated certain levels of performance. The Provost noted he taught classes of up to 450 students and thus relied heavily upon graduate students’ tremendous teaching skills and commitment. However, `spot’ problems do arise and these programs will try to address these difficulties while recognizing the quality of teaching already in place.

At the request of the Faculty Council, a Women’s Task Force, including staff, faculty and students, was appointed to meet with the Chancellor last summer. The Task Force asked that the University examine 32 issues identified in campus-wide surveys as areas of interest. In addition to this task, there is the pending creation of a campus Women’s’ Center. These 32 issues will become the agenda on which the Task Force will operate over the next couple of years. The Task Force now reports to Dr. Floyd, but the Provost expected he would remain involved in its work.

Because of his office’s responsibility for academic programs, recent concerns about campus intellectual climate come into the purview of the Provost’s Office. The Administration has begun some initiatives in this area. Recently, the Daily Tar Heel has begun publication of “7/24,” an insert which details all campus events 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This addition will provide advance notice of the many fine lectures and other learning experiences here at Carolina, hopefully increasing community turnout.

The Provost thought his greatest achievement was hiring Dr. Gerald Horne as Director of the University’s Black Cultural Center. He has worked with Dr. Horne to fashion programs and prospective funding for the Black Cultural Center. Dr. Richardson said that capital campaigns are always very difficult, recalling the twenty years of fundraising necessary to create the Drama Building. It will take the University a long time to get into position to fund the construction of the Center, but the University has received an anonymous $1 million gift and another $100,000 from the Black Publishers’ Association for that purpose. There are other prospects, but the wonderfully designed building as planned could cost up to $8 million and the University thus far has raised only $3.5 million. This shortfall raises the possibility that the University must either cut back the size of the building or devise other methods of funding.


Looking to the future, the Provost noted the Chancellor’s adamant and pragmatic insistence that the University must reallocate resources from some programs to others. There are four or five new programs waiting now to be funded that are excellent but have no money. There are other areas, some related to staff Employees, that are also suffering financial shortfalls. Examining the budget last month, the Provost found that the University has all of its $1 billion dollar budget allocated except for $1.2 million in flexible dollars. He said this margin was impossibly small, and that the University cannot run its billion dollar budget with only $1 million in flexibility. Thus, the Administration will work with the Faculty Council first and then other University-wide groups to discuss reallocation of resources in the year ahead. This process will be excruciatingly painful and impossible to do so that those adversely affected will feel good about it. However, the Provost hoped that if the process is done equitably and rationally, there will be a buy-in by all of us, since the University cannot rely on the Legislature for such funds.

Finally, the Provost invited Employees to attend the University Day October 12. He noted that the date is difficult because it is a Saturday, but it will not directly compete the Homecoming crowds because the game had been rescheduled for the evening. Thankfully, there will not be the parking problem earlier envisioned. Doris Betts, a community treasure, will give the University Day address and should give a wonderful talk. He hoped there would be a large turnout from the University community.

The Provost felt that his job was a wonderful, challenging one, that gave him the opportunity to do many things. These opportunities served as some compensation for being deprived of teaching time, though he did have to spend a lot of time in meetings.


George Sharp asked to which departments the Kenan professorships will be attached. Provost Richardson replied that there are no FTE lines governing these positions so there will be no department to which these must be attached. However, candidates within a particular discipline must be enthusiastically supported by the faculty members within their discipline. No department will have to give up a position in order to hire one of these Kenan professors.

It is possible, under University regulations and given the nature of the candidates, that the Provost could appoint those selected as University professors in which case they would have a base department but also have a wider University constituency. Many of the candidates have extraordinarily wide-ranging teaching and academic interests. These would be attached to departments but teach also courses at a University-wide level. The Provost’s Office is working closely with departments to achieve this possibility. All the departments contacted have said they are excited about the possible candidates, and the University would not proceed further with any candidate without such departmental support.

George clarified that these positions would not necessarily fill faculty vacancies, but rather the Kenan Foundation has provided the funds to attract four extraordinary professors no matter their area of expertise. George noted that at the University of Virginia Dr. Richard Rorty, a philosophy professor, is not associated with any particular department; George asked if the Kenan arrangement were similar. The Provost replied that it could be, or a candidate may request closer ties with a department. The University would try to be flexible in order to attract the finest candidates.

In a University professorship appointment, the professor reports directly to the Provost in order to insure they performed what they were hired to perform. Provost Richardson recalled a Daily Tar Heel reporter’s question last year: “what happens if you hire a Kenan candidate who, once they get here, decides they don’t want to teach undergraduates?” The Provost replied there would then be three Kenan professors instead of four; he did not anticipate this would be a problem.


George Sharp asked then about attempts to change the intellectual climate, anticipating that these attempts were tied to the effort to de-emphasize alcohol as the local social lubricant. The Provost noted the Chancellor’s intense passion on the subject of campus alcohol abuse, but said the intellectual climate question was much broader than that. He thought it would be serious mistake to narrow the topic to simply an alcohol question. There are many other dimensions to the undergraduate intellectual experience, from greater learning structure to opportunities for more faculty-student interaction, to other areas.

Four faculty committees are working on this topic, under the supervision of the Faculty Council. These involve about eighty people who are now meeting in subcommittees. He expected a whole menu of ideas to come forth by the end of the year, with perhaps only 10% dealing with alcohol concerns. The Substance Abuse Committee, chaired by Dr. William Jordan, is now underway and has subcommittees as well; it should produce recommendations also by the end of the year. Alcohol is an important, but only a single piece of the intellectual climate puzzle.

Provost Richardson said that this is the brightest and most community-involved class that the University has had in its history. He was amazed that the University classes continue to be better qualified every year. He thought to assume that all of these students come in or leave as drunks, and that they are not intellectually interested seems a foolish proposition. If indeed they do come in and leave as drunks he thought some of the responsibility for this should lie with the faculty. The Provost did not think that students should always bear the brunt of the argument. Instead, the entire University community is collectively involved with the alcohol abuse problem. His personal involvement with students leads him to believe we can make progress with this problem if proper time and energy is invested.

The Provost wanted to make sure that the substance abuse investigation did not become an excuse to scapegoat students. One could not blame fraternities and sororities, or students generally, without recognizing that faculty must make a greater effort to make themselves available for interaction. Students should know that the University’s first priority is the individual student. Yet, for some faculty the first priority is not students. There must be a much greater contact between students and faculty so that students know faculty are aggressively, not passively, interested in their intellectual and personal development; which can be accomplished only through constant, mutual exchange of views. Provost Richardson felt that the Intellectual Climate and Substance Abuse Committees’ recommendations would tend in this direction rather than towards “locking people up.”

The Chair thanked Provost Richardson for his remarks, and the Forum gave him a warm round of applause.


Due to the current interest on the topic, the Executive Committee asked Laurie Charest and Ann Hamner to make their presentation on the University Outsourcing process. Laurie began by noting that Ann had given 13 presentations across campus at all hours during the past two weeks. She expressed her appreciation to Ann for her commitment and service.

Laurie serves as Chair of the Employee Relations Team, a subgroup of the Outsourcing Steering Team. This Team, in the process of discussing Employee relations issues, had felt the most important and immediate issue was communication. There is a real need to get accurate information to campus about the outsourcing process, and correct misinformation.

The Outsourcing Steering Team had already planned a number of open meetings to inform the University community about the outsourcing study. The Employee Relations Team applauded this idea, but felt there should be meetings with Employees in departments that could be most directly affected by the study. Holding these meetings beforehand would allow Employees to raise concerns in a less charged setting. Thus, starting two weeks ago, they conducted a series of eight meetings with Employees in the Grounds, HVAC, Housekeeping Divisions, in addition to the five later public meetings.

The Employee Relations Team felt the person that Employees would most trust and would most like to hear from would be Ann Hamner, Chair of the Employee Forum. Laurie prevailed upon Ann to lead these meetings, and said she did a wonderful job. Also, the Team felt Forum members would be wonderful assets in the effort to get accurate information out to campus.

Thus, Laurie and Ann agreed, with the permission of the Executive Committee, to perform the same presentation to the Forum that was given in these earlier public campus meetings. Laurie would report the questions of other members and hoped that Forum members would ask their own questions in hopes that misperceptions about the process could be corrected within the Forum and across campus.


Chair Ann Hamner noted she began every presentation by introducing herself and asking those present to introduce themselves. Human Resources staff attended the presentations were present in order to answer Employee questions as accurately as possible. Her presentation:

Members of the Outsourcing Steering Committee are looking at the way a number of services are conducted on campus. The University is being required to evaluate 51 functions over the next three years. We have not made any decisions regarding outsourcing any of these functions. We are only beginning the process of reviewing these 51 functions.

Background of the Study

In 1995, the North Carolina General Assembly mandated the University System to conduct a review of a number of service areas for possible privatization as a way to save money. It was to report its findings back to the 1996 General Assembly. General Administration, in response to this directive, hired a company called MGT to conduct an preliminary study.

The study was conducted on seven functions which the consultant believed might hold the most potential for savings through outsourcing. Cost data used in the study were collected quickly and sometimes without adequate care for accuracy. MGT staff visited only three campuses. UNC-Chapel Hill was not one of them. Inaccurate costs for several functions were given to MGT during the study. These incorrect costs are partially responsible for the conclusions MGT reached about the possible savings which might result from outsourcing.

The report indicated that significant savings might be achieved by outsourcing a number of services. The report also identified a total of 51 areas or services which each campus should study for possible outsourcing.

Despite the limits of the report, General Administration directed each of the sixteen campuses in the UNC System to proceed with an outsourcing review following General Administration guidelines. These guidelines require that each of the 51 functions identified be reviewed within the next three years. They also suggest that the seven functions originally studied by MGT be reviewed during the first year. These are Trash Collection & Disposal, Hazardous Waste Pickup & Disposal, Grounds Maintenance, HVAC, Administrative Data Processing, Central Steam Plant Operations & Maintenance, Housekeeping, and one other function to be determined.

We have considerable freedom in deciding what we will do on our campus. We will develop evaluation criteria, collect data and then make a decision about whether or not to solicit bids for each of the 51 functions. If we decide not to solicit bids, the process ends there for that particular function. If we decide to solicit bids, we do not have to accept any of the bids. In addition, if we solicit bids, the current Employees of the service being bid may submit their own bid. The guidelines also state that we do not have to accept a bid which results in less than 10% savings for a particular function.

When I say “we,” I mean all of us. The review process provides for a great deal of participation and involvement of Employees within functions as their function is being evaluated. Different models may be used for this self-study. For example, in a given function that may be evaluated, Employees could be involved in establishing criteria, preparing the study document, or in other ways. The process also allows the decision about whether or not to privatize to be made on this campus where I think there is a great appreciation for the quality of work done by our Employees.

However, the review process does not allow us NOT to do an evaluation. So we must proceed with the review and we must do so in a way that includes both the cost and the quality of services and insures fair treatment of our Employees.

Outsourcing Steering Team

The University has appointed an Outsourcing Steering Team. The members of the Team are: Bruce Runberg, Outsourcing Coordinator; Larry Churchill, Faculty Representative; Bennie Griffin, Employee Forum Representative; Ann Hamner, Employee Forum Representative; Wayne Jones, (temporary) Vice Chancellor for Administration; Mike McFarland, University Advancement; Aaron Nelson, Student Body President; Harold Wallace, Minority Affairs; Laurie Charest, Chair, Employee Relations Support Team; Howard Gorman, Chair, Technical Support Team; Roger Patterson, Chair, Accounting Principles Support Team.

This team will be responsible for complying with the General Administration directive to conduct the evaluation by following the required procedures. This team will not make decisions about outsourcing particular functions. Each functional area will conduct the required review. Final decisions will be made by the Chancellor.


Study Procedures

The University must submit to General Administration some initial information on the functions it plans to study during the first year which must include the seven functions initially studied by MGT. You may hear this information referred to as “Attachment 1s” from department heads. Draft Attachment 1s for departments are being evaluated and are available for your review. It is important to note that of the original seven functions studied by MGT, the University is proposing to study two functions and part of another function during the first year: Grounds Maintenance, a segment of HVAC, and one other. Housekeeping will not be studied this year while internal improvements are being made.

Next, the University must submit a three year study plan by October 11, 1996. This plan must indicate when each of the 51 functions will be reviewed. A draft of this plan is also available for your review. (Contact the Forum Office at 962-3779.)

When these plans have been accepted by General Administration, we will begin the study process in collaboration with the affected areas. We are working now to establish evaluation criteria which will insure that quality and responsiveness are evaluated as well as cost. In addition, we are working to include criteria such as impact on Employees and the University community in our evaluation criteria.

We expect that many, if not most, functions will not be bid for possible outsourcing. For those that are bid, we do not necessarily expect to recommend a decision to outsource.


At this point, Ann would refer Employees to the Forum’s May 1 resolution on privatization which outlined the four principles the Forum felt essential to a fair process. Copies of the resolutions were distributed to everyone attending meetings, and Ann noted during the meeting that the principles mentioned had been endorsed by the Chancellor and the Outsourcing Steering Team. The resolution has been sent to the Faculty Council, Student Government, and the Graduate and Professional Student Federation for their comment and support also.

Ann then would open the floor for questions and gave Employees the opportunity to meet with Team members privately afterwards. She turned the presentation over to Laurie Charest. Forum members had no questions at this point.
Laurie noted the Outsourcing Review Fact Sheet was included in the October agenda packet. Also included in the packet was a memo from William McCoy, Vice President for Finance at General Administration which outlined the study process required of the University and the Attachment 1s which the University has submitted for the first seven functions. The Fact Sheet was handed out at each of the privatization meetings. Laurie reviewed the points made in the Fact Sheet:

Outsourcing Review Required by UNC Board of Governors

The University, along with other UNC campuses, has been required to evaluate at least 50 separate service functions during the next three years to determine if these services could be done more effectively and at a lower cost by a private group. The directive comes from the UNC Board of Governors with guidelines developed by UNC System General Administration. The Board of Governors made its decision to proceed with the review following a General Assembly-mandated study of possible savings reviewed in April. The entire process began in the summer of 1995 when the General Assembly required that General Administration study outsourcing.


No Jobs Already Targeted for Elimination

No decision has been made to outsource any function not currently outsourced. The University is not looking at outsourcing, but rather it is looking at whether the services provided are competitive.

Laurie noted that one question which arose in these sessions is whether currently outsourced functions will be reviewed to see if these could be brought in-house. Laurie thought the Steering Team would review this idea at its next meeting. She added that all of these meetings are open and public.

The University Already Outsources Many Functions

Of the functions on the General Administration’s potential listing of services to be studied, the University already outsources 18 completely and partially outsources 24 others. (A list of these 51 functions is available from the Forum Office: 962-3779) As a normal part of its stewardship to the State, the University continually studies functions to determine how they could be done more efficiently, including the option of using a private contractor. For example, vending services and microfiching are outsourced already.

Study Has Just Begun

This study involves three steps. If at any time during the process, the study shows it would not be cost effective to outsource a particular area, then that area can be dropped from further study.

* Step 1—Initial Evaluation to determine if a function needs more in-depth study.

* Step 2—In-depth Study to determine whether a private company could handle the work more effectively and at a considerably less cost based on the scope and quality of work required at the University (including, for example, emergency work performed by work units). A team of University experts will work with units to determine costs.

* Step 3—Bid Process to determine competitiveness. If it is decided to request bids for the function, the work unit involved may develop its own most efficient organization and submit its own bid. A team of experts is available to develop bid criteria that reflect the full scope of a unit’s work as well as to help the unit prepare its own bid. If the bid received by a private company would save less than 10 percent, then the University is not required to outsource a function.

Laurie emphasized that any point the University has the opportunity to stop the process, should the service be found to be competitive. There is no requirement to outsource any or a certain number of functions, only that each service be studied for competitiveness.

Peter Schledorn noted some of the seven functions on the second page of the Fact Sheet were denoted “rejected for further study….” He asked if this was the final word on these services. Laurie said that the Outsourcing Team has indicated to General Administration that it is their intention not to outsource these services because of their current level of competitiveness and that it had received no feedback about these conclusions.


How Can You Participate in the Study?

During presentations to departments under study, the Outsourcing Steering Team urged Employees affected to participate in the study. The Outsourcing Steering Team is not doing the departmental studies; rather, departments themselves are doing their own study, and the Outsourcing Team will provide technical resources and support. The Team hoped that all Employees will get involved in this process, particularly to look at how departments can carry out their work more cost-effectively and efficiently and to put these improvements into the consideration of the study process. Accordingly, the Team urged Employees to get involved. Even Employees in departments not affected are needed; Laurie urged Employees to stay informed in order to assist where needed.

Where is the University Now?

The University has met its September 13 deadline to complete initial evaluations for the seven functions included in the MGT study. Here are the functions and the decisions made:

* Housekeeping

—First Year—Delay in-depth study to allow completion of internal improvements currently underway.

—Second Year—Do in-depth study on housekeeping in residence halls and Odum Village.

—Third Year—Do in-depth study of other housekeeping areas.

* Groundskeeping—Do in-depth study. Automotive shop, which is administratively under groundskeeping, is not included in the study.

* Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning

—First Year—Do in-depth study of academic and residence hall building systems.

—Second Year—Do in-depth study of direct expansion air conditioning maintenance, refrigeration equipment and stand-alone chillers.

—Third Year—Do in-depth study of health affairs building systems.

* Administrative Data Processing—Rejected for further study because it is not cost effective.

* Hazardous Waste Collection and Disposal— Hazardous Waste Collection rejected for further study because it is not cost effective. Hazardous Waste Disposal already outsourced.

* Steam Plant—Rejected for further study because of the uniqueness of this plant and the environmental controls needed.

* Trash Collection—Rejected for further study as it is already outsourced.

One additional function must be chosen for study by the Outsourcing Steering Team by October 11. Also due on that date are the University’s initial evaluations of the rest of the 51 functions. Attachment 1s for all 51 functions, along with detailed study plans for those under evaluation are to be submitted to General Administration October 11. Thus, there is a great deal of work to be done. Laurie was certain many Employees in these areas had already been involved in collecting data for this process.

The University’s Goal is Not to Outsource any Area. If the University is Required to Outsource an Area, Help for Employees is Available.

* UNC System General Administration guidelines state that:

—Employees must be offered the right of first refusal of the job with the new company.

—Wage rates that a contractor pays should represent the prevailing wage for the function within the same geographic area.

—The fringe benefits package at the minimum should include sick leave and health-care benefits.

—This eventuality is still a long way away.

* In addition, if any Employee is affected by a reduction in force he/she is entitled to:

—Priority re-employment status for other jobs, not only at UNC, but throughout the State government for 12 months.

—Personalized assistance from the Office of Human Resources in understanding how this action affects their current job benefits in the State system, in seeking other employment at Carolina and in seeking answers to questions.

—Assistance from the Office of State Personnel in locating employment with other State universities and agencies.

If I Have Questions, Where Can I Turn?

Laurie encouraged those concerned to contact members of the Outsourcing Steering Team, the Employee Relations Team or members of the Forum to share ideas and concerns about the study process and to answer questions or help find answers. These concerns have been shared with the Teams and the University community to develop accurate responses. Laurie praised Margaret Balcom and the University Gazette for their fine reporting on the privatization process; Margaret is a member of the Employee Relations Support Team.


Laurie asked if members had any questions. Peter Schledorn asked what the limits were on the University’s and the Chancellor’s authority regarding these recommendations. Do all the recommendations need to be approved by General Administration, or is there a possibility of legislative review, or are decisions made on campus final? Laurie said to her understanding according to the guidelines received from General Administration, decisions made on campus are final. Yet, there is always a possibility of some kind of review, though the guidelines received so far state that the decisions are to made on individual campuses. The Chancellor will make the final decision on these functions.

Peter noted the difference among statements that the Chancellor has made on the subject, the policies the Forum has adopted, and the guidelines set up by General Administration. General Administration guidelines speak of pay and benefit packages consistent with what the private sector receives in a particular geographic area, and Chancellor Hooker advocates no loss of pay or benefits for current Employees. These cuts usually occur, Peter said, when services are outsourced. If the University has the prerogative to enforce its decision, it would obviously be better than the possibility of being overruled in order to obtain a lower standard pay and benefits package for affected Employees.

Laurie understood the General Administration guidelines as minimum requirements and agreed with Peter that we do want the decision to be made on this campus because we think we will make a better decision. Laurie felt we on this campus have a strong appreciation for the work done by people in areas under study.

Laurie noted a summary of Employee comments from the first week of outsourcing meetings was included in the packet. These comments were from meetings with Employees in departments most affected. She was working on a summary from the later meetings. Many of these comments were the same, although additional questions heard were: why not look at areas already outsourced? How were these decisions made? Which functions will be studied first, second, third? What are evaluation criteria to determine services studied? Laurie said that the Steering Team will work on evaluation criteria, possibly as the focus of its next meeting. The first seven functions were to be dictated by General Administration; the Steering Team must decide how to proceed in consideration of the other areas.


As a manager who had already been involved in creation of an Attachment 1, Tommy Brickhouse noted the comment of another Employee who warned any department could be up for study at any time in the future. He advised departments to examine their operation routinely as a business, determining exact costs and efficiencies within their department. He advised managers and Employees to become familiar with the terminology of privatization and be ready to respond. Laurie noted that writing an Attachment 1 is not an easy process, even though the form is only one page. The deadline for the 51 Attachment 1s was that morning and Laurie noted many managers were struggling to complete the assignment.

Eddie Capel observed that many of the 51 operations mentioned had never been under study to his knowledge, and he imagined that inefficiencies could crop up in any organization. Suppose that during the study, the department under examination was able to identify and correct certain inefficiencies within its operation. Would the University have the latitude to enact improvements to cut costs within a particular function in lieu of outsourcing that function?

Eddie imagined the in-depth study could lead to the adoption of more efficient procedures within the studied function, which could in turn lead to exemption of that function from outsourcing consideration. Laurie agreed that this could be a positive effect of the study. Eddie proposed the University present the study as an opportunity for Employees to eliminate inefficiencies within their departments. Instead of panicking, Employees could view the study as a chance to be pro-active in creating better, more efficient work environments.


Human Resources Update

The Chair asked for consensus to allow Laurie Charest to give her Human Resources Update since she needed to leave. The Forum agreed to suspend the rules to allow this change in the agenda.

Laurie noted that pay increases had been implemented in the September 27 paychecks. She thanked the Employees in Payroll for their work in accomplishing this task, given the days lost due to Hurricane Fran.

The health insurance annual enrollment process has been completed. The percentage of Employees enrolled in the State Health Plan has fallen from 68.8% last year to 66% this year, with those leaving enrolling in Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs). Two hundred-thirty five Employees left the State Health Plan and 70 left the Kaiser plan. Now, for the first time, the Blue Cross/Blue Shield HMO exceeds Kaiser in Employee enrollment. The Blue Cross/Blue Shield HMO is the second lowest cost health plan and had the greatest net gain of enrollees with 210 new participants, making it the largest University HMO.

Wellpath, the new Duke HMO, had the greatest enrollment among the newly offered HMOs with 131 enrollees. Wellpath is the lowest-cost HMO.

There will be no rate increases for either for the Fortis Dental Plan or the American Dental Plan, which is part of North Carolina Flex. The enrollment process for both plans will begin later in October.


Approval of Minutes

In the absence of further discussion, the Chair called for a motion to approve the minutes of the September 4, 1996 meeting. Mona Couts made this motion, with Archie Phillips seconding. There was no discussion, and the minutes were approved unanimously.


Chair’s Report

Noting that much of what she had to report on was included in the monthly routing file, the Chair asked permission by consensus to skip her report in order to finish the rest of the agenda. She promised to address some of the highlights if time permitted, and volunteered to answer questions about her report after the meeting. The Forum granted this exemption by consensus.


New Business

The Chair called for a motion to accept the September 17, 1996 resolution honoring students, faculty and staff who participated in the clean-up following Hurricane Fran. Helen Iverson made this motion, with Frank DiMauro seconding. Though consideration was somewhat hurried, the Chair said she wished members to take their time and ask questions about the resolution. She noted that the Executive Committee had endorsed the resolution at its September meeting. There was no discussion, and the motion was approved without opposition. The Chair pledged to forward the resolution to the Chancellor.


Committee Reports

Chair Dianne Crabill of the Nominating Committee directed member to the list of the 1997 Delegates and Alternates was included in the October agenda packet. The nomination process for Forum Officers will begin that month. She encouraged continuing Delegates to speak with their “buddy” Delegates (to be assigned by the Orientation Committee) about the upcoming nominations. She also encouraged continuing Delegates to think about who to nominate or possibly serving as Forum Officers. The Chair noted that only continuing and new Delegates may make nominations for 1997 Forum Officers.

Chair Leon Hamlett of the Orientation Committee was not present to report on the October 24 Orientation of new Delegates.

Chair Peter Schledorn of the Personnel Policies Committee stated that group had a number of proposals under consideration to be presented at the November meeting. Among these are the pay question with regard to Adverse Weather; there was a note in the routing file on this subject. Peter asked that Employees forward their comments to him or other members of his Committee. Also, the Committee is discussing SPA-exempt and EPA non-faculty wage-hour policies, and hoped to have these proposals ready for discussion at the next meeting as well.

The Personnel Policies Committee continues to look at salary adjustments and Peter reiterated the need for a University-wide salary adjustment fund. The Forum has already passed a resolution favoring creation of such a fund, but the Committee may have further comment. Other issues brought forward include parking. He encouraged Employees to contact his Committee with their concerns.

Chair Tommy Brickhouse of the Compensation and Benefits Committee reported the group had a meeting scheduled that he had to miss due to family emergency. The group will meet again in October.

Chair Helen Iverson of the Public Affairs Committee reported the State Legislature will reconvene January 27, 1997. She hoped that the Student Government and Faculty Liaisons would meet with the Public Affairs Committee on October 10 at noon, in the Dental School Conference Room. The group will make plans for Legislative Day, inviting legislators to visit campus during the long session. Community members interested in working on this project should contact her at 966-2102, or simply attend the Thursday meeting. Tommy Brickhouse thanked Frank DiMauro for volunteering to serve on the Committee.

Speaking for the Recognition and Awards Committee, Tommy Gunter passed on apologies from co-chairs Pamela Shoaf and Nancy Klatt, who could not attend the day’s meeting. He noted nomination forms for the Forum’s Community Award (3-Legged Stool) were included in the October agenda packet and were due in the Forum Office on November 15. The group did not meet in September, but planned to meet in October to discuss the booklet detailing Recognition and Awards programs on campus. The Chair encouraged members to submit their nominations for the 3-Legged Stool Award.

Co-Chair Jennifer Pendergast of the University Committee Assignments Committee noted the Committee’s minutes were in the agenda packet.

Chair Sharon Cheek of the Career Development Committee reported the group had held its regular monthly meeting and hoped to have summary charts describing the Employee Educational Survey results in the November agenda packet.


For the Video Production Task Force, Frank DiMauro reported the video was doing quite well, and took note of Andy Brawn’s presence shooting the day’s proceedings. He said that filming with 440 West Franklin Street Employees and founding members of the Forum would be completed soon. The quality of footage has been superb and of broadcast quality. Frank looked forward to wrapping the shoot and beginning the post-production edits. He thanked Andy Brawn and Matt Banks for their efforts, as well as the Video Production Task Force.

Peter Schledorn had nothing to report from the Faculty Council Committee on Domestic Partner Benefits. Laresia Farrington noted that the previous meeting of the Faculty Council Legislative Affairs Committee had been cancelled, but the group would meet at noon today and that she would attend.

The Chair noted the addition of the Transportation and Parking Advisory Committee representatives to the agenda in response to the continuing Employee comments on this subject. She asked if Marshall Wade or Janet Tysinger had anything to report from that Committee. Marshall said that the first meeting of the year had Chief Donald Gold report a rise in the number of traffic accidents in parking lots. Injuries in roadways have occurred because people are not crossing streets at crosswalks or are strolling habitually in the street. He hoped that community members would begin to use crosswalks and walk more carefully in order to improve the campus safety record.


Human Resources Update, Continued

Joe Totten updated the Forum on its question about Employee reasons for leaving the University and the possibility of capturing this information from exit interviews. This question was asked at the March 1995 meeting.

Joe said he had some trouble with the program compiling the exit interview forms but he did have some data available in draft form. Because of these problems, the Counseling Service pulled around 175 exit interviews, breaking them into categories related to either the University overall or the Employee’s department.

Regarding responses, departing Employees were asked: “how did you rate `advancement opportunity’ at the University?” Seventeen percent of respondents said this was excellent, 38% said it was good, 27% fair, and 21% poor.

Concerning `parking,’ of 151 responses, 112 rated parking as either fair or poor. Comments about parking were generally negative.

Concerning `pay,’ of 149 responses, 89 rated pay as either fair or poor. `Benefits‘ were rated much higher, with 85 of 145 respondents rating University benefits as either excellent or good. Lastly, of 153 responses to the same question about `University policies,’ 27 rated policies excellent, 44 rated them good, 42 average, 21 fair and 18 poor.

On the departmental side, Employees were asked: “how did you rate your `co-workers’ in your department?” Nineteen respondents rated their co-workers as excellent, 63 as good, 33 as average, 21 as fair, and 8 as poor. Regarding `supervision,’ 16 respondents rated this area as excellent, 44 rated it as good, 39 as average, 27 as fair, 25 as poor, of 151 respondents. On the subject of `the WPPR system,’ 29 rated the system as excellent, 37 as good, 39 as average, 20 as fair, and 12 as poor.

In a multiple-choice section, 73 respondents indicated they were leaving the University because of parking. One hundred and seven indicated they were leaving to accept other employment, 46 to extend their education, 24 because of State policies, 6 because of working conditions, and 57 because of commuting distance. Joe concluded roughly a third of respondents cited commuting distance as a reason for leaving the University.

Of the 175 respondents, 143 responded to a question asking whether they would be interested in working for the University again. One hundred seventeen said they would, and 26 said they would not.

In response to a question asking whether the exiting Employee would like a confidential exit interview, 121 did not want these interviews while 19 Employees said they did. Following up with these 19, fourteen did not want their information shared with their departments and four said that the Counseling Service could share their information with departments. In contacting these departments, Joe described one area as a “cesspool,” which was cleaned up as a result of the information received in the exit interview. Another area also had problems which also were cleaned up. The two other departments’ departing Employees simply were just griping, Joe said.

Joe apologized that the report was not yet ready but he hoped that the bugs would be removed from the program soon so that it could be distributed to Forum members. Joe thanked the Forum for its input in the revision of the grievance procedure. He thanked the Personnel Policies Committee for its insight and reported individuals with the State Office of State Personnel had been impressed with some of the ideas supplied by that Committee.

Also, Joe thanked Jennifer Pendergast and the University Committee Assignments Committee for responding so well to the request for volunteers to serve on University Grievance Panels. This helped the Counseling Service immensely in its work.

Janet Tysinger asked over what time period were the data in the exit interview survey collected. Joe replied the data taken was from April 1995 to the present. Again, the results reflect only a sample of 175 responses because of the aforementioned glitch in the computer program.

Rachel Windham asked if there were a mechanism to provide feedback to department heads, deans and directors about exit interview. Joe said there was, noting his earlier example of the information given as a result of the confidential exit interviews, when the Employee gave permission to the Counseling Service to contact the department. In addition, there are other means for the Service to contact the Employee’s department, but only in a generic sense because of the confidentiality provision. Rachel asked if departments regularly receive information about specific problems from the exit interviews. Joe said the Service transmits both negative and positive feedback to respective departments. He noted larger departments seem most in need of this service.

Peggy Cotton suggested that some exiting Employees would not trust a confidential exit interview. She suggested asking exiting Employees whether they would trust a confidential exit interview. Joe said he would take this suggestion under advisement.

Sharon Cheek asked regarding the parking aspect of the survey, whether the question specified dissatisfaction with departmental or University-wide parking. Joe replied that the exit interview questionnaire did not go into specifics in this area. Thus, we do not know why these Employees are unhappy with parking.

Frank DiMauro asked if this survey would be done on a continual basis, or was simply a one-shot deal. Joe replied that every other Thursday, the Benefits Department schedules exit interviews which include the questionnaire. Some complete the survey and others do not; none of the 175 sample respondents answered all the questions. The question that received the highest level of response was the area of departmental supervision which received 151 responses out of a possible 175.


Announcements & Questions

Ruth Lewter indicated that she would pass on her scheduled announcement to the Forum via e-mail.

Janet Tysinger noted that Information Technology Services has exciting news about a recently created agreement with CBT Systems Incorporated. CBT provides two hundred or more training modules that the University will be able to provide to faculty, students and staff for the next three years. Information Technology Services was now considering how to distribute these modules and would share this information as soon as possible. These modules cover both Microsoft and Netware products. Janet thought this would be a great opportunity for on-the-spot, in the department training.

The Chair announced on behalf of Bruce Runberg that the University is providing a Fran Appreciation Lunch, to show appreciation to all staff who performed many important duties Friday through Sunday after the hurricane. This includes staff from Transportation & Parking, Food Services, Physical Plant, Health & Safety, Campus Police and others. The lunch will be held Wednesday, October 9, in Carmichael Auditorium.

Chair’s Report

The Chair indicated she would be happy to answer questions on any item listed in the month’s Chair’s Report. She noted particularly a letter to President Spangler, written in part by former Chair Rachel Windham and Forum Assistant Matt Banks, urging him to suggest that other System campuses create and support their own Employee Forums. She thought this would be a fine thing for the President to do prior to his retirement.

In the absence of further discussion, the Chair called for a motion to adjourn. Sue Morand made this motion, with Jennifer Pendergast seconding. There was no discussion, and the meeting adjourned at 11:28 a.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Matt Banks, Recording Secretary


Print Friendly, PDF & Email