September 1, 1999
September 1, 1999
“ = Ex-Officio
Joanna K. Smith
Mary Ann Vacheron
Call to Order, Welcome to Guests, Opening Remarks
Chair Jane Stine called the meeting to order at 9:32 a.m. She introduced interim Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration Jack Evans to provide opening remarks.
Evans said that he had known the Chair for the better part of a year through their service on the University Priorities and Budget Committee. He noted that Jim Ramsey had spent the better part of two years as Vice Chancellor for Administration, but had been called back through a stellar offer from the Governor of Kentucky to serve as State Budget Officer and senior faculty at the University of Louisville.
Two months ago, Evans had received a phone call from Provost Dick Richardson asking him to serve as the Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration. He thought the decision to pull a faculty member from the School of Business spoke volumes about the quality and adaptability of Employees in the Finance and Administration areas. He looked forward to working with people across the University on a number of issues.
Evans had been at the University for thirty years, and had received several administrative assignments as an assistant to the chancellor and dean of the Business School. He had also worked as an advisor to the Step 3 stage of the grievance procedure process. In sum, he had participated in many dimensions of the University and would benefit from this experience in his current role.
Evans said that the University was extremely fortunate to have Bill McCoy serve as the University’s interim chancellor, and said that his corporate experience would serve the University very well. Secondly, McCoy has served as the Vice President for Finance in the UNC System, and had established an important relationship with President Broad and people in various offices of State Government. Third, McCoy’s personal attributes as a leader and a thinking listener will serve the interests of the University. Fourthly, McCoy’s active role with the University Development Council means that he is well acquainted with the University’s alumni and the needs and priorities of the campus.
Evans was impressed with McCoy’s comment that he could not predict how long he would be called to serve as interim chancellor, so he would do his work as though his position was permanent, and would assume this same commitment to his work as interim Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration. He had not taken on teaching responsibilities this semester, and would treat his position as a full-time job, trusting on the good people in Finance and Administration and his talent for study.
Concerning the University situation, generally it has been a tough year for the campus, given Chancellor Hooker’s death and Provost Dick Richardson’s mild heart attack. Richardson had returned to his work with his usual level of energy, but w ith the condition of receiving more exercise and subscription to a [dietary] “pretzel regime.”
Given the University’s current budget issues, Evans thought that the University had to make certain commitments for its future, and move beyond its available resources. The University has needed to make reallocation decisions about where it will deploy its resources. Decisions have been made with the University’s needs at heart. McCoy and his cabinet have already begun working on the budgetary process.
School has started again, and students, staff, and faculty will undergo the adjustment period associated with handling books, classes, and registration. Evans noted that staff Employees have already done a great bit of hard work registering students an d readying faculty members for classes.
Evans acknowledged the quick work of Derek Poarch and Public Safety for the early arrest for the recent campus assault. He thought that the fact that the organization had responded so energetically spoke well for the campus. Evans noted Chancellor’ ;s Award winners Timothy Quigg, Bill Riddick, Robert Riggs, and Rucinda Thompson, and the Excellence in Management award winner Larry Hicks. He was impressed at the extent of the activity accomplished and encouraged Forum members to congratulate these Employees for their accomplishments.
In the absence of any questions from the assembly, Evans thanked the Forum for the opportunity to speak, and wished the Forum well for the academic year.
There were no Employee presentations.
The Chair introduced Bob Dermody to present on the InDepth Accounting System. Dermody noted that the departmental accounting system team had developed as a quality initiative at UNC. The InDepth system will function in concert with the Empower Human Resources and payroll system, which is currently in pilot. In addition, Grant Management is working on the Coeus system, which will help departments and principal grant investigators move paperwork through the University.
The InDepth system will help departments control finances and manage their finances better. The quality initiative team met with various departments to create a system that meets their specifications. One person who had looked at the specifications had worked with a similar system with the Pinafore Corporation in Rochester New York, and provided great advice in creation of a system that would interface with the existing systems, and grant a level of management and flexibility to departments.
The InDepth system will have a number of features designed to eliminate duplication of effort. Typically, one secretary must manually type up a travel request form for submission to 440 West Franklin Street, and must enter the information into a shadow system. One form could demand as many as three different entries into three different systems. Obviously, the University needs data to originate in one department and flow on-line through various approval processes. In this case, a department head could have their travel approved by Arts & Sciences on-line, an approval that would then float through the system to 440 West Franklin.
Another priority was to look at the actual processes and to match document templates with these processes, as a labor saving device. This device would prevent five different people from needing to type five different documents.
The InDepth system would allow ongoing reconciliation between travel management accounts and departments that could be run at any time of the month. Departments will be able to tell the balance of any particular object code. The system will also allow departments to customize business rules, important given the complication of travel forms, which must typically follow different business rules associated with in-state, out-of-state, and foreign travel, and rules for students, faculty and staff, among ma ny others.
Dermody said that the InDepth system would be able to tailor itself to meet the needs of different departments, which have adopted various accounting practices over the years. The system will ask what is needed for the reports it currently provides, an d can tailor its output to a department’s accounting infrastructure.
The system will place the majority of accounting documents on-line, beginning with travel request forms and moving then to purchase forms and other documents. The initiative will move to purchase forms in order to address the Y2K problem and to address the need for journal entries and budget transactions on-line, and to make these forms consistent with one another. The system’s goal will be to eliminate the mounds of paper made necessary by these documents.
For the travel document, the system will have various tabs across the top of the interface for transport, lodging, etc. in which the user will enter data. Once this information is in the system, the 350+ business rules governing travel are interpolated with this data. This service leaves a higher level of decision-making tasks for Employees at 440 West Franklin, which should allow Employees to receive their travel reimbursements more quickly.
The system’s current address on-line is http://www.ais.unc.edu/das Dermody encouraged Employees to learn more about the system, noting that all departments have not learned about the project at the same rate. Some departments have widely distributed the dean, director and department head memoranda on the system, while others have not. Roger Patterson suggested posting all of these memoranda on the we b site.
Dermody said that his team will do a demonstration on the system on September 22 at 8:30 a.m. which would cover its functions in more detail, including cost coding.
An Employee asked if the electronic filing would be compatible with the Records Management Retention system, which has used the FRS as the official record of the University under the current accounting system. Dermody said that the InDepth system would not replace the FRS. To comply with auditory requirements, hard and electronic copies will be kept at 440 West Franklin. The team hopes to add room to its archives accommodate five years of records, but will study the archiving process on an ongoing basis. Departments will still have access to this information.
Peter Landstrom asked if accountants would still have the option to use paper copies apart from the InDepth system. Dermody said that the team hoped to wean accounting personnel off of paper copies in the next 3-5 years. He knew that paper copies make accountants feel safe in the event of audit.
Joanne Kucharski asked who departments should contact to receive an in-house demonstration. Dermody said that departments could e-mail InDepth@unc.edu to ind icate an interest. Presentation teams have decided to start with units indicating an interest in the system, but will eventually get around to all 250+ departments. The demo should last around 1.5 hours.
Karen Geer said her department had already been scheduled for the second tier, and asked when this group would begin. Dermody said that the second tier of departments would begin in mid-November at the latest.
Dermody said that he was excited to see that the system would finally see implementation very soon after a long term in development. He looked forward to getting InDepth up and running and thanked the Forum for the chance to speak.
Human Resources Update
Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources Laurie Charest noted the partnership agreement between the UNC System and the Office of State Personnel concerning devolution of the day-to-day running of individual campuses became effective September 1. Campuses will now have full designation authority for classification within the State personnel system, which includes the authority to classify positions and set salaries. Before, the Office of State Personnel made these decisions.
Friday, September 3 is the deadline for Employee changes to their health insurance plans. The University has seen nowhere near the number of change forms as usual. Employees with questions should contact Joanne Pitts in the Benefits Office, at 2 -3071. The 5 p.m. deadline Friday is set in stone, and Employees who have not submitted change by then will be locked into their health care plan for a year.
Prudential has raised term life insurance rates, leading the University Insurance Committee to issue a request for proposals. The committee has received several proposals and is analyzing them now. Nadine O’Malley chairs this committee.
The time is also approaching for the annual enrollment for the North Carolina Flex plans. There will be an information session by North Carolina Flex officials October 22 from 9-10:30 a.m. time in the Ibrahim Conference Room, #1301 McGavran-Greenburg. Employees can get information on these plans from the Benefits office.
The University’s optional retirement program has a new carrier, Fidelity, which will conduct two meetings on the plan on October 5 from 10-11 at Wilson Library Pleasant Family Assembly Room and October 7, from 1-2 Wilson Library, Pleasant Family Assembly Room. Representatives will be on campus both days and will be available to schedule individual consultations.
The next electronic transmittal of the Human Resources manual, transmittal 16, will go out in a few days. Employees should remember now to consult the on-line version of the manual, as their print manuals will become out-of-date. Employees with questions should consult Ken Litowsky. The address for the manual is http://www.ais.unc.edu/Human Resources/spaman
Charest said that Rob Schneider of Human Resources had been the top recruiter during the University’s successful annual blood drive.
Nadine O’Malley asked if position reclassifications now at the Office of State Personnel will remain there or will be sent back to campus. Charest said that these decisions would be sent back to the UNC campus shortly.
Brenda Ambrose-Fortune asked when Employees would be allowed to drop their current insurance policy. Joanne Pitts said that there is no deadline to drop their current policy, since Employees can drop their policy at any time. Fortune asked when the drop would take effect, and Pitts replied that coverage would expire the first of the month following the cancellation, as premiums are paid one month in advance. She offered to discuss Ambrose-Fortune’s case individually.
The Chair thanked Charest for her remarks.
Approval of the Minutes
Peggy Berryhill noted that she had been incorrectly listed as absent. Kim Gardner made a motion that the minutes be approved as amended, seconded by Kathy Dutton. There was no discussion, and the minutes were approved as amended.
The Chair noted that the changes suggested at the previous meeting to the Guidelines had been incorporated into a new package of revisions. She noted points made by Lynn Ray and Dorothy Grant, among others. She asked for comments and discussion on the proposed changes.
Jean Coble was happy with the change to the Forum’s absence policy, saying she thought the emphasis on the Family and Medical Leave Act covered what was needed. Eileen McGrath noted that the change to the absence policy was in some ways made stricter, as Delegates could previously miss five meetings in a nine-month period but under the revisions could miss only five meetings in their entire term. The Chair noted that excused absences did not count in the five absence total. She thought if a de legate could just not show up five times, the delegate should consider whether they have the time or inclination to serve, or phoning their supervisor for support.
Matt Banks noted that the changes would provide all alternates with paid time off to attend meetings with their supervisors’ approval.
The Chair asked Delegates from Division 1 and Division 4 to meet following the meeting to choose their Executive Committee representative. Should the divisions be unable to choose a representative, the Chair would approach Delegates from these divisions personally.
The Chair noted conversations in the August Executive Committee concerning the local calling area, particularly that the contract for the University’s phone switch will be up for negotiation this year. The Forum Office has received a great number of questions as to why Employees cannot call locally as on their calling plans when calling home, and must use a credit card or calling card for this purpose. She noted that former Vice Chancellor for Administration Elson Floyd had tried to deal with this issue during his tenure, but had not been able to resolve the problem. She asked what Employees would desire from their phone service, as a product of these negotiations.
Jean Coble said that she was confused about the different plans governing service to places like Saxapahaw, Apex, and Durham, among others. She did not know why local carriers would not work to implement cross-Triangle service, increasing their bill to cover the difference. Another Employee noted that telephone lines from Apex to the Triangle cross five company lines.
The Chair noted that phone service is very confusing to many Employees, who have asked why their University calls to home cannot be free. She had spoken with Steve Harward about possibly including a clause that these calls are free in the upcoming renegotiation, or that the University issue a Request for Proposals with free local calling as a perquisite.
Robert Thoma noted that calls to Durham are now direct calls. Linwood Futrelle said that phone calls from the University are charged at a business rate, not per calling area. An Employee thought that the University might request adding an expansion of the local calling area into its monthly rate, adding that figure into its annual budget. Futrelle said that there might be logistical and technical problems with that approach.
The Chair asked Delegates to comment on the demise of the Point 2 Point service. She particularly asked if other Employees had mentioned the lack of Point 2 Point service as an impediment to doing their jobs.
Dorothy Grant mentioned that a memo had been sent out describing how to get to 440 West Franklin Street, saying that Employees should walk to the nearest bus stop and pay out of pocket for transport. Jean Coble noted that the free ‘U’ bus does not pass by the Law School, nor does it reach either 440 West Franklin or the Human Resources buildings on 725 Airport Road, two common Employee destinations. Other Employees said that the free ‘U’ and reverse ‘U’ buses do not pass near their offices, placing them further “out of the loop” with respect to intra-campus travel.
Connie McPherson noted that some Employees who are not physically able to walk are still able to use Point 2 Point service. The Chair said that it might be useful to document these difficulties in order to expand free bus service to Ridge Road and to the Institute of Government, among other locations. She thought the Forum might wish to send suggestions to Chief of Public Safety Derek Poarch to use in negotiations with the Town of Chapel Hill.
Dorothy Grant thought that this was a good suggestion, and noted that UNC Hospitals run free and constant shuttles between all of its buildings. Matt Banks suggested that the University press for an agreement whereby Employees showing a UNC OneCard could ride the ‘T’ and ‘J’ buses for free between 9 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. These routes pass the Cameron/Pittsboro arteries and reach 440 West Franklin and 725 Airport Road.
The Chair noted that positions in the Point 2 Point service were shifted to other areas, and that the Point 2 Point operation still retains its core office at 720 Airport Road.
Robert Thoma said that Facilities Services had seen a cutback on staff cars as well, which had made intra-campus travel even more difficult.
Ken Litowsky suggested that the Forum publish its monthly agenda packets on-line, instead of on paper. The Forum Office could send a paper copy of the packet to Employees without immediate web access. Litowsky said that he had the idea after working to put the Human Resources manual on-line.
LaEula Joyner thought this was a very good idea and moved that the Forum experiment with this system. Linwood Futrelle added that the Forum should send a reminder of when the minutes are available on-line. The Forum agreed to this motion.
The Chair noted that Linwood Futrelle had made a presentation to the Chancellor’s Search Committee on the staff perspective on the search.
The Chair noted that the Executive Committee had heard that Carolyn Elfland would be willing to commission a group to examine permit allocation at the University. The Forum Office will follow up with this comment in the next month.
Joe Ferrell, Secretary of the Faculty, has given Forum Delegates the opportunity to make nominations for the University’s Distinguished Alumnus/Alumna awards. Nominations are due in the Faculty Council offices by Friday, October 8.
The Forum will open nominations for its Community Award (the 3-Legged Stool) in September, via ads in the University Gazette and Daily Tar Heel.
Committee/Task Force Reports
Bobbie Lesane, Chair of the Career Development Committee reported that group had not met in August but would meet September 8 at 8:15 a.m. in 202 Carr. Connie Boyce reported that the New Careers Training Board was working on establishing the computer training room for lower-income Employees.
The Chair reported that Joanna Smith has resigned as chair of the Communications Committee. She would send out a memorandum in the next week to other members detailing work to be done for the next year, and soliciting a new chair.
Kathy Dutton, Chair of the Employee Presentations Committee, reported the group had met and discussed the previous community meeting and plans for the fall.
Karen Geer of the Nominating Committee reported that Forum ballots should be in Employee mailboxes today. The committee will meet later in September to count ballots. The Chair thanked the committee for its work in carrying out the Forum elections.
Linda Drake, Chair of the Orientation Committee, reported that the group had met and is finalizing preparations for its fall activities. The fall orientation for new Delegates will take place on Friday, October 22, at 9 a.m. in the To y Lounge of Dey Hall. The group has also begun work on finding a speaker for the January 21, 2000 Forum retreat.
Martha Barbour, Chair of the Personnel Issues Committee, reported that group had held another productive meeting. She said the committee had explored the possibility of Employees’ receiving the option to continue life insurance with t he State after their retirement. Members of the committee will speak to representatives of SEANC 25 to place this item on the association’s platform.
Additionally, the committee noted concerns about Employees who have been asked to cover for two positions over an extended period of time. Barbour noted that faculty who take on program coordinator positions receive supplemental salaries; Employees in this position think that individual staff covering two positions for longer than two months should receive supplemental payments as well.
Barbour reported concerns that some departments have against hiring temporaries to fill open positions. These departments cannot hire for open positions unless they have been vacant for three or more weeks. Barbour asked Employees to forward on a description of how vacancies are handled in their departments.
The Personnel Issues committee has heard complaints from Employees who have not been notified about parking changes in advance of special events. Employees parking in their normal spots during CTOPS or cheerleading campus have been ticketed. Previously, Public Safety has placed fliers on Employee cars in advance of these events, providing Employees with advance notice of parking changes. The Personnel Issues committee suggested that these types of special events projects be shuttled in via special buses from the Friday Center, in order to minimize disruption.
The issue of family leave has come up again, as many Employees are faced to care for elders and must use sick and vacation leave for this purpose. Mike Hawkins will head a subcommittee that will check into expanding child involvement leave for this purpose.
The Personnel Issues committee has derived recommendations from its compensatory time survey. She asked Delegates to read the recommendations and make comments at next month’s meeting. She would like the Forum to put together a letter to deans, directors, and department heads and other supervisory personnel. These recommendations are included here. <LINK> Barbour said she had worked on this issue since 1987 and looked forward to its completion.
Nora Robbins said that Nadine O’Malley and the University Insurance Committee would be willing to examine portability of life insurance for retirees versus cost and inconvenience. The Chair thanked Barbour for her comprehensive report and thorough work.
Denise Childress, Chair of the University Committee Assignments Committee, said the group had met August 25 and had made two appointments, with another five positions to be filled. Some committees have asked that staff representatives not receive voting status. The committee hoped to reach some compromise on this matter in the coming month. She would send out a call for nominations to the Human Resources facilitator list soon.
The Chair had little to report on the Master Plan and University Priorities and Budget Committee, due to recent illness. Employees with comments on the Chancellor Search committee should write the Chair at firstname.lastname@example.org
In the absence of further discussion, the meeting adjourned by acclamation at 11:08 a.m.
Matt Banks, Forum Assistant