October 3, 2001
Agenda —October 3, 2001
9:30 a.m.— Assembly Room of Wilson Library
I. Call to Order
II. Welcome Guests, Members of the Press
III. Opening Remarks
· Chancellor James Moeser (tentative)
IV. Special Presentations
· Paula Schubert, North Carolina Flex Plan
· Drake Maynard, on Departmental In-Range Salary Adjustments
V. Human Resources Update
· Laurie Charest, Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources
VI. Capital Improvement Update
· Karen Geer, Facilities Services (tentative)
VII. Employee Presentations or Questions
VIII. Approval of Minutes of the September 5, 2001 meeting P
IX. Unfinished Business
· Proposed Guidelines Change (2nd Reading)
· Forum Resolution on Sustainability (2nd Reading)
X. New Business
· Announcement of Newly Elected Forum Delagates
· Resolution Condeming Terrorism (1st Reading)
XI. Stretch Time 6
XII. Forum Committee Reports
· Career Development: Fred Jordan
· Communications: Suzan deSerres
Þ Forum Newsletter
· Employee Presentations: Sheila Storey
· Nominating: Sylvia White
Þ Forum Elections
· Orientation: Suzan deSerres
· Personnel Issues: Mary Ann Vacheron
· Recognition and Awards: Karen Jordan
· University Committee Assignments: Lee Edmark
XIII. Chair’s Report (Executive Committee): John Heuer
XIV. Task Force/University Committee Reports
· Pedestrian Safety Committee— Sheila Storey
· Transportation & Parking Advisory
· Administrative Flexibility Study Committee—John Heuer
P = Included in Agenda Packet
October 3, 2001
(Wilson Library Assembly Room)
Chris Barfield Anderson
Mary Ann Vacheron
“ = Ex-Officio
Call to Order, Welcome to Guests
Chair John Heuer called the meeting to order at 9:34 a.m. He welcomed guests, Forum Delegates and alternates, and members of the press. He also welcomed Barbara Noonan and Sheila Butz from the North Carolina School of Science and Math. Finally, he welcomed Chancellor James Moeser to provide opening remarks.
First, however, the Chair asked the Forum to observe a moment of silence in memory of the victims of September 11.
Moeser thanked the Chair for his introduction, and noted that the events of September 11 had changed all of us throughout the world. Moeser felt proud that the campus community had come together in such wonderful ways in the past three weeks. He noted that community members had participated in relief efforts, charitable work, blood drives, and numerous forums on the attacks. He said that the attacks have inspired many to search for answers to questions that are not easily answered. He felt proud to know that so many were engaged in their pursuit.
Moeser noted that Arun Gandhi, son of Mohandas Gandhi, would speak on the steps of South Building that afternoon in a visit sponsored by the Campus Y, Student Affairs, and Sangam, the South Asian student organization. The University will hold a public forum with middle eastern journalists from 3:30-5 p.m. in Toy Lounge of Dey Hall. The University will also host a rally for patriotic freedom 5:30 Friday afternoon, October 5, featuring State Senator Howard Lee. UNC-Chapel Hill College Republicans will sponsor this event.
Employees and others can offer help or receive disaster assistance via Carolina’s disaster response website, accessible from the main page at http://www.unc.edu
Moeser noted that the University had been cited and attacked by national web pages for its forums and teach-ins expressing different points of view about the September 11 attacks. He said that although he did not agree with many of the positions expressed in the University’s teach-ins, he strongly supported attendees’ freedom of assembly and speech as guaranteed by the Constitution and upheld by the history and culture of this campus. Moeser felt proud of the diversity of opinion on campus and welcomed the continuing dialogue.
Moeser noted that the Governor had signed a budget granting $26.3 million to the UNC System, of which $12.44 million will go to UNC-Chapel Hill, for enrollment growth and distance learning. He said that the accompanying 2.8% position cuts for SPA and EPA non-faculty will make dealing with increased enrollment very difficult. The University must identify line items and dollars to cut, but must wait for a number from General Administration before distributing cuts across the University. Provost Robert Shelton will lead the process for distributing these cuts.
Moeser noted that all SPA, EPA non-faculty and faculty would receive an across the board $625 salary increase regardless of position, salary, and other factors. He was well aware that this increase falls short of the increase in family health insurance costs this year. Moeser realized that the salary situation has become a serious issue for faculty and staff and said that his administration would work with the State in coming years to rectify the situation.
Moeser said that the State had granted some degree of flexibility in the appointment of senior academic and administrative officials, with approval moving from the System Board of Governors to the University Board of Trustees. The State will also afford the Board of Trustees authority to set campus-initiated tuition increases rather than forwarding these to the Board of Governors for approval. The University also received more independence with respect to information technology concerns.
The Legislature has initiated a joint legislative oversight committee to look at additional personnel and property flexibility for the University. This committee must report to the General Assembly.
Moeser said that the University has formally charged its administrative flexibility study committee to do a review of personnel systems at comparable institutions and to seek feedback from Employees. He hoped that the University could develop its vision from within as everyone on campus will have a voice in how a new system would be designed. Moeser noted that there are a number of excellent personnel systems in place and said that the University would work to bring in best practices from around the country. He invited Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources Laurie Charest to answer further questions in this area.
Moeser noted that four distinct computer viruses had attacked the central Academic Technologies and Networks computing system in recent weeks. He thanked members of ATN for their work in combating the viruses, noting that the viruses had disabled the campus network for less than a day, compared to several days’ delay at other campuses.
Among the ripple effects of the tragedy on September 11 was the postponement of the announcement of the Carolina First campaign, which was to occur during University Day October 12. The campaign has run very well in spite of these difficult times and the state of the national economy. Moeser has set incredible goals for the campus, including adding 200 endowed fellowships and 1,000 scholarships, renovating Memorial Hall and other buildings, and constructing the science and arts complex and the Ramshead project.
Now, the University has raised $621 million, exceeding its goal of $600 million by the October 12 kickoff. Moeser invited everyone to attend the University Day festivities on October 12, which will recognize Distinguished Alumni James Duke (botanist), Hugh McColl (banker), Anthony Graham (businessman), and Tony Rand (politician). Birthday cake and lemonade will follow the festivities.
October 3 represents an important day for the University and the Town, as the Town Council will meet and vote on the campus development plan. Moeser felt optimistic that the Town would approve the development plan which reflected stipulations recommended by the Town Manager. Moeser praised the members of Facilities Planning and Management who worked so hard to ready the proposal for the Town and respond to Town officials’ requests for information. He said that the final proposal had grown as large as the New York City phone book.
Moeser said that the project had been intensely difficult to see through as the University has worked to meet the legitimate concerns of neighbors. He said that one of the plan’s strongest critics had conceded that the project was 98% complete. One sticking point remains: the roadway on the southern part of campus remains an issue which neighbors. The development plan would provide corridors on both sides, and the road, once built, would allow significant flexibility to build either north or south of it. However, since the adjacent buildings have not been designed, it remains difficult to explain to neighbors how these buildings would look.
Moeser hoped that the plan would come to a successful conclusion. He preferred the Town voting yea or nay on the entire project, instead of requesting a vote for every different project, and requiring approval of Town staff rather than the Town Council. He said that the plan gave the Town more control over development while allowing the University to build more on campus than before.
Moeser noted that the Institute of Government would officially gain the title School of Government on University Day. Moeser said that the School housed the largest local government training program in the United States, as well as fine tenured faculty and a Masters’ in Public Administration program.
Moeser noted that Oliver Smithies had won the Lassiter Award (America’s version of the Nobel prize) for basic medical research.
Moeser said that he had completed his listen and learn tour of all schools in the college. He still planned to burrow into the smaller departments, centers and institutes when time allows. He would continue to get to know the campus, its people and places. He admitted he was still surprised by the quality and commitment to excellence across the campus.
Concerning the local bond referenda, Moeser noted that the University had enjoyed the support of Statewide educational groups last fall. He asked listeners to think carefully with regard to the bond referenda affecting their local communities. He said that Carolina reflects the quality of its students and their schools. He generally supported the local bond referenda.
Moeser anticipated questions about the University’s growing relationship with Qatar. He noted that Qatari leaders had supported the United States and the free world. One Qatari had contributed $1 million to a Cornell University burn unit in New York City after the September 11 attacks. In addition, the Qatari Emir had met recently with President Bush.
Notwithstanding, given recent concerns about events in the Middle East, the University has chosen to pull back slightly for the time being in its ongoing relationship. Moeser stated the importance that free world institutions enter relationships with moderate Arab states, given the battle for minds now underway in the Muslim world.
Elaine Tola asked about the implications of increased campus flexibility in the area of information technology. Moeser noted concerns that the State control the University’s information technology decisions. He surmised that the University’s technological decisions, serving thousands of students and hundreds of faculty and staff, must be different than those of the Department of Transportation.
The Chair thanked Moeser for his remarks, and noted the number of all-nighters that Facilities Planning staff had undergone to prepare for town meetings.
The Chair congratulated Tommy Griffin and Anita Wright on their promotion to Forum delegate status.
The Chair introduced Barbara Noonan and Sheila Butz from the North Carolina School of Science and Math. Butz noted that the School was studying whether to operate independently, with the Department of Public Instruction, or with the UNC System. Butz and Noonan were engaged in studying the positives and negatives of becoming a UNC constituent, from the staff point of view.
Butz said that the School had been very fortunate over the past twenty years as its has enjoyed the protection of highly-placed politicians. However, the current budgetary times mean that the School has become vulnerable.
Butz said that School staff members have the same benefits with respect to vacation and sick leave as UNC Employees. She asked for feedback on the positives and negatives of working for the UNC System.
The Chair welcomed the question, but asked that the Forum take the subject under advisement at its Executive Committee meeting. He planned to send a response later in the month, if that met with the pair’s approval. Butz and Noonan agreed to this plan.
The Chair noted that the Employee Forum had formed in 1992. He thought that the Appalachian State University staff organization was the oldest within the UNC System. He noted that President Broad had decreed in 1998 that all UNC System institutions must establish their own staff representative group, and he believed that all campuses had established such groups. The Chair said he would speak further with the School representatives following the meeting.
The Chair introduced Paula Schubert, a former Statewide President of SEANC and member of the University’s Continuing Education department, to speak about the North Carolina Flex program. Schubert said that not enough Employees are taking advantage of the Flex program.
Schubert had received an appointment to the North Carolina Flex advisory board in February. She noted that the plan has five benefit packages and began in 1995. The plan allows Employees to save money by establishing an account from which they can pay for medical, dental, or visual expenses on a pre-tax basis.
The North Carolina Flex plan is an optional plan, offering health care spending, day care, dental, vision, and accidental death and dismemberment provisions. Only permanent, probationary, or term-limited State Employees working twenty hours or more can participate in the program. New Employees can enroll within thirty days of employment.
The Flex enrollment period spans from October 15 to November 9. The program operates on the calendar year. The Chapel Hill campus enjoyed a 49% participation rate in 2000.
The flexible health care account allows Employees to contribute on a pretax basis with a minimum of $10 a month. The flexible account allows reimbursements for medical, dental, and vision expenses not covered by any other health plan. The plan can benefit spouses and dependents.
Enrollees must attached receipts to submitted forms which are processed once a week by hand and once a day electronically. Employees never pay taxes on money dedicated to their spending account. Attempts to increase the maximum have been successful, and now Employees can contribute as much as $3600 a year ($300 a month).
The dependent day care plan affects care for dependents under age 13 or incapacitated spouses or dependent elders requiring more than eight hours a day or care. The account reimburses expenses on a pretax basis, and has a maximum contribution of $5000 a year ($471 a month). The law says that enrollees can claim either the child care tax credit or the flex plan spending account, but not both.
Schubert emphasized that IRS regulations state that if an enrollee does not use all of their dedicated money by the end of the year, they lose that money. Thus, prospective enrollees must set aside only the amount of money that they are prepared to spend. Enrollees can change their plan specifics only in cases of marriage or divorce, family death or birth, or incapacitation of a related adult.
Interested Employees can consult www.ncflex.org for worksheets and tax savings examples allowing Employees to track their claims history on-line. The website will also allow enrollees to process claims and track account balances.
The Flex vision care plan has comprehensive and limited options. Enrollees can use this plan specifically, or obtain vision expense reimbursement out of their flexible spending account. The dental plan offers a high and low option for which Employees can set aside money on a pre-tax basis.
Schubert said that the North Carolina Flex program has sought further voluntary programs in the best interests of Employees. Employees interested in enrolling should access www.ncflex.org or contact the University Benefits office at 2-3071 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Schubert also invited Employees to contact her with suggestions for North Carolina Flex at 2-5563 or paula_Schubert@unc.edu
The Chair noted general unhappiness with the provision that Employees must lose any money they do not obtain care for by the of the calendar year. Keith Fogleman asked where the money goes that is not spent. Schubert said that this money goes to FICA, Aon Consulting, the company that manages the Flex program. Any additional money goes into the State’s General Fund.
Ramona Kellam noted that money used for the North Carolina Flex plan could decrease the figures the federal government uses to determine social security levels. Charest said that the Flex plan does decrease the amount credited by the Social Security administration. She counseled Employees to study this difference, but said that most of the time, the relevant tax savings offset this possible loss.
Georgeann Bissett said that the Flex plan allows enrollees to receive reimbursements in advance of payments into the account, as long as they fall within the overall plan contribution. For example, an Employee who has set up a $200 account, but who has only contributed $25 in January, can still receive full reimbursement for a $100 medical bill paid off January15. However, Bissett noted that this feature does not exist in the day care plan option. Charest conceded that the difference is somewhat confusing.
The Chair welcomed back Drake Maynard, Senior Director for Human Resources Administration, to discuss University in-range salary adjustments. He had first addressed the Forum on this topic in July, discussing University in-range adjustments relative to other State agencies and universities. Maynard noted that the University ranked within the top three agencies or universities in the State with respect to the number of in-range adjustments given and the amount of money given. He noted that the number of in-ranges given was much greater than would be expected given the University’s size.
Maynard reported that there are around 420 UNC departments, with some departments numbering five or fewer SPA or EPA non-faculty Employees. Maynard said that around 200 departments provided in-range adjustments to their Employees for the period spanning July 1996 to June 2001. Two hundred-twenty departments did not provide in-range adjustments.
Maynard said that he had worked with the Office of State Personnel, the Human Resources Information System and Institutional Research to put together a report on the distribution of in-range adjustments, which he distributed to the Forum.
Concerning the proportion of adjustments provided to State-funded positions versus non-State-funded positions, Maynard said that the former received adjustments at a slightly higher level than the total population.
Maynard was intrigued that the largest number of adjustments were given on the basis of “equity,” with “increased variety and scope of duties” and “retention” falling well behind.
Maynard had also broken down the distribution of in-range adjustments by positions’ salary grade. He noted that from the time ranging from July 1996 to June 2001 430 Employees in salary grades 50-54 received a distribution of 639 in-range adjustments; 1289 Employees in grades 55-59 received a distribution of 1083 adjustments; 1731 Employees in grades 60-64 received a distribution of 1059 adjustments; 1481 Employees in grades 65-70 received a distribution of 724 adjustments; and 982 Employees in grades 71-75 received a distribution of 715 adjustments.
The timing of the adjustments found a spike of adjustments awarded in 1996-97 and a smaller one in 2000-01. He said that adjustments granted to housekeeping staff might have had something to do with the spikes in both of these fiscal years.
Maynard observed that there was a relatively proportional award of adjustments to exempt and non-exempt Employees, with regard to population.
Maynard noted the average dollar amount and percentage of overall salary of the adjustments, by year. He noted that the peak year for the adjustments was 1999-2000, with an average $2,248 adjustment composing 7.05% average percentage amount of in-range adjustments. The average adjustments ranged from $1,725 to $2,248.
Maynard offered to take questions from the floor. The Chair asked if Maynard had been able to glean information on how many Employees had received more than one adjustment. Maynard said that he hoped to gather this information, but to obtain it would require going through the data line by line. He noted that the number of salary adjustments per range of salary grade suggested good coverage of Employees. For example, in salary grades 55-59, 1300 Employees received almost 1100 in-range adjustments.
Edward Eldred asked about turnover of Employees in the five year period measured. Maynard granted that the number of adjustments given represented a statistical “movie,” while the number of Employees on campus represented a statistical “snapshot.” He said that a fraction of the total number of Employees had been present throughout the entire five year period. Eldred would have liked to have seen some account for Employee turnover in Maynard’s data.
Ramona Kellam observed that it seems easier to obtain in-range salary adjustments for equity reasons versus scope & duties reasons. Maynard agreed that people will usually take the easiest path to obtain deserved increases, even if the reason is not technically correct. He noted that it can be easier to obtain an 8% equity increase than a 5% promotion increase. He said that Human Resources would look at equity increases more closely. Kellam thought that there might be a domino effect, which leads to in-range adjustments given to match a newer Employee hired at a higher level than the rest. She said that Employee salaries are so low to begin with that this approach becomes attractive.
Kellam wondered how many reclassification requests face trouble leaving the personnel office. Maynard noted the variations from department to department. For example, one department has targeted 85% of its salary ranges for in-range adjustments, while another department has targeted fully 100% for these adjustments.
The Chair noted that the Forum has requested that the University establish a central fund for in-range salary adjustments, to allow poorer departments to provide their Employees needed increases where they cannot now. He asked if Maynard could provide department by department comparisons. Maynard said that he could obtain this information but he does not have it now.
Human Resources Update
The Chair welcomed Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources Laurie Charest to provide the Forum’s customary Human Resources update.
Charest reported that the flat increase of $625 is added to Employees base salary and became effective retroactive to July 1. The State did not design the increase as a bonus or one-time payment, and did not tie the increase to performance ratings or discipline proceedings. Both the minimum and maximum of salary ranges will rise by $625. Charest pointed out one exception that those Employees whose $625 increase would put them above their maximum of their range. These Employees will have the increase added to their salaries to reach the new maximum, then will receive the remainder as a one-time bonus.
Employees will find the new pay rate reflected in their October 5 paychecks, with adjustments made on a prorata basis for part-time Employees.
Now, with the implementation of Employees salary increases, the University can now implement salary increase actions by departments. The University will allow retroactive actions which should affect Employees October 19 paychecks.
Robert Thoma asked why the State chose to use lump sum increases as opposed to percentage increases. Charest said this was a very good question, noting that the increases provided a higher percentage salary increase for lower-income Employees and lower percentage increase for higher paid Employees. Obviously, the structure of the raises will contribute to overall salary compression.
Suzan de Serres felt uncertain about how Employees could move above the maximum when the maximum itself has risen $625 in each salary range. Charest said that Employees moving between positions or experiencing demotions could find themselves above the maximum of their position. For example, a person earning $30,500 in a position which had been reclassified with a salary maximum of $30,000 would hold a new base salary of $30,625, with an additional $500 as a one-time bonus.
Rob Sadler observed that the increase in the upcoming check would be retroactive to July 1. Charest agreed, but said that the amount would not be too large. The October 5 checks will contain the retroactive amount, and subsequent checks will be smaller.
Ramona Kellam confirmed whether the University still had a hiring freeze. Charest said that the University had never had a hiring freeze, but rather had observed a salary increase freeze. She said that departments or schools could have established a hiring freeze at their level, but these would not apply through the University.
Sylvia White noted that salary increases become retroactive to the original date when entered into the Human Resources Information System, at the date which the hiring was effective if there had not been a freeze.
On the EPA side, Charest noted that EPA faculty and non-faculty will receive a flat $625 increase. Increases for non-allocated positions will be divided according to guidelines issued by the Office of the President. The University will probably go through a BD-119 process will should finish by the end of November.
Charest noted that North Carolina Flex plan enrollees must reenroll in the health care flexible spending account, although the reenrollment requirement does not apply to the vision, dental or academic death & dismemberment accounts.
Concerning health care coverage, Charest noted that Jack Walker and the State health plan had voted to issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) for an Employee paid plan providing dependent and spouse health coverage. The RFP does allow the possibility of flexible designs such as a health maintenance organization (HMO) format. Generally, insurers have shown little interest in such a plan with employer contributions, and so the new RFP must include an option for spouse and dependent coverage. The RFP will require several weeks turnaround time, and the earliest possible date of a new plan would be January 2002. The State plan has been aggressively contacting vendors and asking them to respond to the RFP.
One piece of good news is that the Legislature has eliminated the cap on sick leave rolled over from excess vacation leave which counts toward the retirement system. This change became effective July 1 and those Employees who retired after July 1 must rework their leave balances.
Diane Strong asked if the new salary increase applied to Employees who had fallen above their salary maximum due to retention purposes. Charest said that the University cannot authorize salary increases above the maximum for retention purposes on this campus. Very occasionally, the Office of State Personnel approves exceptions to this rule.
The Chair thanked Charest for her comments. He asked if the State plan’s RFP had anything to do with the University Insurance committee’s decision to issue an RFP for Employee paid insurance. Charest noted that the campus had issued this RFP and that other campuses have expressed an interest in sharing this proposal with UNC-Chapel Hill. The Chair confirmed that the University’s action did not represent a System-wide initiative. Charest said that the University Insurance committee had initiated the local RFP on its own to provide insurance availability to needy Employees.
Capital Improvement Update
The Chair introduced Facilities Planning business manager Karen Geer to provide the periodic Capital Improvement Update. Geer said that the University will have a prominent place at that night’s Town Council meeting. She invited Employees to watch the meeting on the local cable access channel that night.
Geer noted the fence surrounding Murphey Hall which heralds a major renovation there. She noted that workers will soon begin on renovations to the second floor of Hanes Hall which will include an elevator extension to the fourth floor of Hanes.
The University has received several bids on the School of Public Health and Stone Center projects, and work on these areas should begin around March. The University anticipates receiving bids on the Memorial Hall work in March with work to start in May of next year.
The Ramshead project will soon go forward, and commuters should soon see evidence of utilities development along Ridge Road.
Next summer, the University will engage in digging a hot water line from South Building to the Battle-Vance-Pettigrew buildings, which unfortunately must go through Polk Place. The University will do all it can to provide tree protection, running its lines to save as many trees as possible. However, the University must get its steam lines in to make these buildings and the local construction livable.
A dormitory hot water project should reach completion by October 2002. Beard Hall renovations should go out to bid in November 2002, and the new Bioinformatics building should be completed in December 2002.
Geer said that the congestion on Manning Drive should improve shortly. She said that improvements to the School of Government building should also close fairly soon.
Mary Ann Vacheron asked if the development plan included the Horace Williams tract. Geer said that the development plan only included work on central campus. She said that one could find information about developments on central campus in the development plan but that things remained in the design stage for the Horace Williams tract.
Responding to a question from Georgeann Bissett about the length of time needed to install the steam lines from South Building, Geer said that workers will start on the line by the beginning of next summer and should end by the end of winter.
Glenn Haugh asked whether new lights would be installed on Manning Drive, since new posts have arisen there. Geer said that there are plans for lighting and signal changes on Manning to accompany the ongoing construction.
At this time, the Forum took a short stretch break.
The Chair called the meeting back to order and thanked Suzan de Serres for chairing the meeting in September during his illness. He called for a motion to approve the minutes of the September 5 meeting. Rob Sadler made this motion seconded by Robert Thoma. The motion was approved by acclamation.
The Chair noted that proposed Forum Guidelines revisions were up for discussion. These revisions would address when alternates change electoral divisions. Currently, when Forum alternates change jobs and so change electoral divisions, they are forced to retire from the Forum. The proposed changes would allow the alternate to move to the last position among the alternates of the new division. Alternates would still serve only a one year term, and would be required to notify the Forum chair upon changing divisions. The Forum Office maintains a list of Forum Delegates and alternates by division.
De Serres noted a minor grammatical change with the proposal. Given this change, she moved that the Guidelines change be adopted and forwarded to the Chancellor. Sadler seconded this motion, and it was approved by acclamation.
The Chair noted that the Forum had heard a first reading of a resolution on sustainability issues at its last meeting. He thanked Cindy Shea for her work in drafting the resolution. De Serres noted another grammatical change. John Meeker moved that the Forum adopt the resolution in question, seconded by Edward Eldred, among others. The Forum adopted the motion by acclamation.
The Chair noted that former Forum Secretary Tracey Haith had accepted a position in Greensboro with the Atlantic Coast Conference. He thanked Sylvia White for agreeing to serve in Haith’s position for the remainder of the year. He was proud to welcome White to announce the results of the Forum delegate elections for 2001.
White read the names of elected Forum Delegates and alternates. These newly elected members of the Forum will be invited to attend an orientation session October 26 and attend their first meeting November 7.
The Chair expressed his appreciation to four Forum Delegates who had stood and been elected as alternates in the upcoming term: Lauren Mangili, Edward Eldred, Tom Rhyne, and Mary Ann Vacheron.
The Chair noted that the Forum had received a proposed resolution on terrorism from the Faculty Council. He proposed that the Forum consider the resolution on first reading, and could discuss the resolution’s contents either now or next month, on second reading. De Serres suggested that the Forum discuss the resolution.
Edward Eldred moved that the Forum table the resolution since its content seemed rather innocuous. The Chair noted that the resolution did not mention that a faculty member at UNC-Wilmington had been misquoted regarding the terrorist attacks and had received a great deal of public criticism. In addition, the University had also received criticism for its role in hosting seminars for the reasons behind the spate of terrorism. The Chair also noted the desire to strengthen the community among faculty, staff and students by issuing joint resolutions where our interests coincide.
Karen Jordan seconded Eldred’s motion. Keith Fogleman commented that he hated that the horrible events of September 11 had occurred. He did not have a problem with people from the middle east on campus now, but he did not feel a need to publicize the Forum’s distaste for the terrorist attacks. He had a son who might have to fight in a possible upcoming war. However, he did not see a reason for the Forum taking a position on these events.
Tom Rhyne thought that the resolution was incomplete because it did not address how the University would protect its faculty, staff and students. He thought that danger was very possible given the large number of people collected on campus. He desired to hear more about the University’s plans to protect campus and community members’ well-beings.
Georgeann Bissett thought that the resolution’s connection to the Forum was tangential. She asked if the students had plans to approve a similar resolution. The Chair said that he did not know of such plans. He said that it was not necessary to approve the resolution that day.
The Forum underwent division on Eldred’s motion, with twenty-one Delegates present voting in favor and nine voting against. Thus, the resolution was tabled.
Rhyne moved that since the original draft had been tabled, the resolution be rewritten to include reference to protection of faculty, staff and students. Furthermore, that the resolution call for direction from the administration on individual, departmental, or group efforts to provide for potential future problems in the areas of terrorism or natural disaster. He did not know if such plans now exist.
Andy Maglione agreed with Eldred’s point of view. He thought that the recent press attention had led to the impression that UNC-Chapel Hill did not support the president’s move to scourge the world of terrorism. He thought that the majority does support the right of people to speak, and thought that it would be a good idea to have a joint resolution with more emphasis on not condoning terrorism or acts against free speech. He noted that the University had received national press attention with tremendous misrepresentation of the University’s position. He did not think the majority of people feel that way, and he praised President Bush’s condemnation of the reprisals against Arab-Americans.
Bissett agreed with the suggestions that the University must think of ways to protect staff. She worried that the country might be losing its commitment to free speech, given the hate mail that Chancellor Moeser had received recently.
The Chair was uncertain whether resolutions against terrorism and supporting free speech should be part of the same resolution or should stand separately. Rhyne thought it might be best to have the pair stand separately.
The Chair asked if Rhyne would be alright with the Forum continuing its discussion at the upcoming Executive Committee meeting. He invited Rhyne and Eldred to attend that meeting to share further ideas about making the resolution more relevant. Rhyne agreed.
Forum Committee Reports
Fred Jordan, chair of the Career Development committee, reported that the staff training responsibilities brochure is being folded and should soon be distributed across campus. He noted that three previous committees had dealt with the brochure and was proud to have the project completed.
The committee will also look into an Employee survey to measure interest in a part-time adult degree program. He also hoped that the University would look into training classes for trades, similar to existing clerical training classes. The committee will meet again October 18 at 2 p.m. in 042 Sitterson.
Suzan de Serres, chair of the Communications committee, said the group would meet October 4. The committee plans to publish InTouch on-line for the first time.
The Chair was happy to welcome Sheila Storey back to the Forum. He noted that the Martha Fowler of the committee had worked with the administrative flexibility study committee to design campus-wide surveys and community meetings on the topic.
Sylvia White, chair of the Nominating committee, added that the Forum is still looking for officer candidates. Members of the committee would contact continuing Delegates to ask them to run.
Suzan de Serres, chair of the Orientation committee, said that group would host incoming Delegates at the Forum’s annual orientation session October 26. She thanked committee members for their work in readying the notebooks. She also invited Delegates to serve as mentors to new members. Finally, she reminded committee chairs that they are scheduled to speak at that morning’s events.
Mary Ann Vacheron, chair of the Personnel Issues committee, noted that group had met with Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration Nancy Suttenfield, Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources Laurie Charest, former Director for Benefits Joann Pitz, Director for Position Management Jerry Howerton and Human Resources Policy Director Ken Litowsky. The committee submitted a list of its top ten personnel issues concerns to this group.
These concerns included: problems with managerial accountability, such as unfulfilled promises and perception of cronyism; need for user-friendly position management procedures; improvement in department training; need to retain long-term Employees; need to examine merit pay options; need to address deterioration of Employee benefits in comparison to other State agencies and private market; the increased disparity in vacation leave between SPA and EPA non-faculty Employees; need for a more efficient fiscal system; problems with Employee morale, which could include restoration of funding to the Employee appreciation fair; need for increase child care initiatives, particularly for lower- and middle-income Employees.
Of these concerns, Suttenfield and Charest asked the group to concentrate on two, and the committee chose to focus on managerial accountability and position management. Vacheron realized that changing these areas would demand a long process of work. She noted comments at the last community meeting that the University is not doing enough with the existing system.
Vacheron reported that the disaster relief task force had forty-four volunteers raise $7500 at the last UNC-Chapel Hill football game. She thanked the twenty-two staff who served for their work, and said that the task force would meet again October 26. She noted that UNC-Chapel Hill had raised the first contributions for orphans of the September 11 attacks.
Karen Jordan, chair of the Recognition & Awards committee, said that group had mailed out over 500 letters responding to the Forum’s peer recognition program. The committee had received positive and negative feedback about the program.
Jordan said that the Forum flag should be ready for University Day October 12. She reminded Delegates and alternates about the luncheon occurring in Toy Lounge of Dey Hall at 11:15 a.m. She asked able-bodied folks to help set up and break down tables for the event. She reminded Delegates to consider making nominations for the Forum’s Community Award (3-Legged Stool).
Jordan noted that two people from each department will have the opportunity to march in the University Day processional. Forum officers and Delegates will lead the staff section of the process. Employees should receive information about the processional soon.
Linda Collins of the University Committee Assignments committee said that group hoped to meet October 10. The group had appointed Lee Edmark to the University Licensing Advisory Board.
The Chair reported that the first meeting of the administrative flexibility study committee had convened that month. He said that the Legislature had convened a similar group to complete a report by 2003. He noted that the campus group would hold town meetings and smaller focus group sessions on administrative flexibility.
In the absence of further discussion, the meeting adjourned at 12:04 p.m.
Matt Banks, Recording Secretary