February 9, 2017 Vice Chancellor Representatives’ Meeting

Attending:  Kim Allen, Linc Butler, Clare Counihan, Phillip Edwards, Brad Ives, Shayna Hill, Karen Jenkins, Gordon Merklein, Katie Musgrove, Jackie Overton, Charles Streeter, Cheryl Stout, Carol Tresolini, Ben Triplett, Katie Turner, Felicia Washington, Anna Wu

Charles Streeter welcomed attendees to the meeting.  He introduced Gordon Merklein to discuss the University’s plan for affordable housing.   Merklein noted the work done with the Town, particularly the discussion of the amount of money needed to afford a one-bedroom apartment in Chapel Hill.  Anna Wu said that there had been plans to have new employee housing north of the Carolina North project near the Winmore development.  She said that the University has not surveyed employee needs and desires in this area.  Streeter noted that some employees can rent but cannot afford to buy in the area.  Kim Allen said that the University has put down markers in the Northside neighborhood.  Katie Turner confirmed that the floor of campus wages is $26,695 for a full-time employee.  She asked how this figure compared to the cost of living in Chapel Hill.  Felicia Washington said that it had not kept up with the market rate in the five to six counties surrounding the University.  Jackie Overton said that Habitat for Humanity had made some inroads to deal with affordable housing needs but the process is very slow.  She said that Empowerment had partnered with other groups towards creating affordable rentals rather than purchases.

Jackie Overton asked about a Student Stores update.  She had heard mixed feedback concerning the effort, namely that employees and students had not been treated well.  She had heard this from the Carolina Black Caucus.  Overton said that African-American employees felt that they were not treated equitably, being laid off more and receiving less desirable working hours.  Brad Ives said this was the first he had heard of this issue.  He noted that advisory board meetings will begin this month.  He said that Forum representatives serve on the advisory committee.  Ives said he had heard complaints about shifting schedules that do not allow permanent full-time employees in Student Stores to pick their own hours.  Previously, no full-time employees had to work weekend, for example.  Overton said that this change may factor into these reports.  She would take this response back to the Carolina Black Caucus.  Ives said that the transfer over of Student Stores employees from the State system to Barnes & Noble employees would be compete at the end of October.

It was noted that asbestos removal and other renovations will begin in April and run through July in preparation for the fall semester.  The University will realize a $1.5 million savings above previous pricing for this work.

Clare Counihan asked about night parking, asking if the University could mitigate the overall charge for employees making less than $30,000/year.  Brad Ives noted that the increase in parking fees this year is $9.08/month or $4.54/pay period.  Counihan asked if the University could set parking rates as a percentage of overall salary.  Cheryl Stout said that a large advisory group had sought feedback on the parking fee scale.  She said that housekeepers make up around 28% of the lowest-paid employees.  Ives said that the night parking fee followed the guiding principle of equity, as night-time parking employees are not presently charged a fee at all.  Counihan replied that more transit options exist for employees during the day.  Stout said Counihan’s suggestion would redo the entire system of parking management at the University, a massive undertaking.  She also wondered if the plan could be constructed to meet the parking department’s financial obligations.  Ives recalled that faculty have pushed back on increases in the cost of parking permits.  Stout said that providing parking equivalent to ten years ago would require large increases.

Katie Musgrove asked about discussions of nighttime parking with Chapel Hill Transit.  Stout said that transit was not designed around this need.  She said that nighttime parking fees and permits would contribute to overall costs.  Brad Ives said that the cost for Chapel Hill Transit will increase this year by around 6%.  Ben Triplett asked if this change would affect Performing Arts and Athletics.  Stout outlined the structure of fees and permits for nighttime parking permits.

Charles Streeter asked about progress on the Staff Wellness Initiative.  Katie Turner said that this issue had interested many people.  Linc Butler said that Human Resources was close to finalizing a plan to fund this Initiative in partnership with other areas of expertise around the University.  He said that financial wellness classes have filled up quickly.  He said it would be premature to offer too much detail yet.  Turner asked if any grant opportunities or workplace grants are available from the State Health Plan for this effort.  Butler said that there not any such opportunities available.

Katie Musgrove said that Kim Allen of the Carolina Center for Public Service had worked to develop a Community Service Leave promotional campaign based on the one initiated by the UNC-Wilmington Office of Civic Engagement.  Attendees saw a promotional video from UNC-Wilmington.  Linc Butler said that Human Resources had found that Community Service Leave use has increased 15% since 2015.  He thanked the Forum for its impact in this area.  Kim Allen noted the Chancellor’s support of Community Service Leave as supporting the University’s mission.  She hoped that the University could publicize a similar campaign via social media and other means.

Musgrove noted a disconnect for some employees in the use of Community Service Leave.  Felicia Washington asked if there was pushback from supervisors, and Musgrove confirmed this was so.  Kim Allen noted that faculty have engaged in scholarship with communities to support expanded use of the Leave.  She noted the number of staff who have helped with Hurricane Relief.  Charles Streeter recalled the University’s mission “of the people, for the people.”  He said that working at the University in this manner is more fulfilling than just doing a job alone.  Linc Butler said that the University could work with NC Central University which had totaled its community service hours and produced a graphic depicting their economic benefit to Durham County.  Allen said that how the Workforce of the Future captures this data and analytics piece could provide a return on investment.

Jackie Overton noted that the Habitat for Humanity effort at Phoenix Place had constructed houses for five University employees.  Katie Musgrove hoped to expand this effort next year.

Felicia Washington noted that Chancellor Folt had emphasized the professional development component of the University’s Workforce for the Future.  Linc Butler said that Human Resources would work with the Forum to develop these opportunities.  Washington said that the University could survey what employees want.

Felicia Washington reported that the Roberta Clark Award had been presented to the Chancellor’s Cabinet and had received overall support.  Work remains on the Award’s mechanics.

In the absence of further discussion, the meeting adjourned at 3:04 p.m.

Respectfully submitted, Matt Banks, Recording Secretary

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