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May 2, 2018

UNC-Chapel Hill Employee Forum

Hitchcock Multipurpose Room, Sonja H. Stone Center

NOTE:  This is a draft agenda and is subject to change without notice.

Meet and Greet with Incoming Elected Delegates (9:00 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.)

  • Forum Group Photo Will Be Taken at 9:15 a.m. Please dress well and don’t be late!

I.  Call to Order, Opening Remarks, & Recitation of Forum Charge—Chair Shayna Hill (9:15 a.m. – 9:25 a.m.)

II. Special Presentations (9:25 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.)

  • Carol Folt, Chancellor of the University

III. Human Resources Update (10:00 a.m. – 10:25 a.m.)

  • Vice Chancellor for Workforce Strategy, Equity, and Engagement Felicia Washington
  • Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources Linc Butler

IV. Consent Agenda (10:25 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.)

V.  Old Business (10:45 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.)

VI. New Business (11:00 a.m. – 11:25 a.m.)

  • Preference for July 11 Retreat: Ropes Course or Friday Center?
  • Forum Officer Elections; Remarks from Forum Officer Candidates
    • Chair: Shayna Hill
    • Vice Chair:
    • Secretary:
    • Treasurer:
    • Parliamentarian

VII.  Announcements/Questions (11:25 -11:30 a.m.)

VIII. Adjournment


May 2, 2018 Employee Forum minutes

Attending:  Darren Abrecht, Bryan Andregg, Donnyell Batts, Emma Beckham, Dzenita Blackwell, Jo-Ann Blake, Bonita Brown, Tiffany Carville, Clare Counihan, Regina D’Uva, Jasper Fleming, Karen Gilliam, Chrissie Greenburg, Lori Haight,  Naquan Hill,  Shayna Hill, James Holman, Linda Holst, Lakethia Jeffries, Karen Jenkins, Mary King, Alyssa LaFaro, Heather Lewis, Kewana Lewis, Karlina Matthews, Aisha McClellan, Jeffery McQueen, Alan Moran,  Kadejah Murray, Katie Musgrove, Natiaya Neal, Hoi Ning Ngai, Jim Potts, Kathy Ramsey, David Rogers, Diamond Smith, Greg Smith, Kewana Smith, James Stamey, Charles Streeter, Rose Thorp, Katie Turner, Tracy Weatherby- Williams, Rich Wright, Tyler Yon

Chair Shayna Hill called the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m.  She was very pleased to welcome Chancellor Carol Folt to address the Forum.  She noted that the University had established the Bridge Builders’ Scholarship during her tenure, which has dedicated scholarships in honor of Linwood Futrelle, Chair of the Forum in 1998, and Jackie Overton, Chair from 2010-13.  Folt recalled her very first meeting as Chancellor with Forum representatives including Overton.  She noted the University’s status as the very first public university and recalled Overton as a force of nature on behalf of University staff.  She particularly noted her University Day remarks which embodied the dedication that faculty and staff feel for the well-being of the University and its students.  She characterized staff employees as the glue and the motivators who work to improve the University.

As she enters her sixth year as University Chancellor, Folt thought it important to reflect on what could be done better.  She praised University staff as reasons for why improvements in effectiveness continue.  She thanked all incoming, outgoing, and continuing delegates for their service to the Forum and the University.  Folt noted that this past October has seen the conclusion of the athletics controversy, the culmination of years of work to find a resolution.  She said that the University now has its reforms in place and may now focus more on the future than the past.

Folt noted the establishment of the University’s Strategic Framework, which was established for the first time at UNC-Chapel Hill under her tenure.  She looked forward to building from this common framework.  She noted the University’s role in representing thousands of North Carolinians, and its job carrying the burden and responsibility of being first.  She continued to believe in the University as a voice of goodness.

Folt thought that the strongest piece in the University’s strategic framework has been the commitment to access, affordability, and opportunity for all to attend school here.  She thought that this commitment is the heart of why so many people choose to stay here for work or school afterwards.  She said that people here feel that the University’s high goals, such as the Capital Campaign, have made the institution even stronger than it was five years ago.  She said that the public deserves the best that UNC-Chapel Hill can give and thus must be innovative.  Change is not easy but the need for innovative teaching, research and public service efforts demand this effort.

Folt noted the difficulty in meeting the expectations and obligations of a public university that must answer to the Board of Trustees, the Board of Governors, the Governor, the General Assembly, the System Office, the laws of North Carolina, and the people of the State.  She said that maneuvering for change requires a concentration of effort to find which changes are needed and to convince others.

Folt was proud of the University’s record of imposing the lowest debt and tuition of its peer institutions.  She said that the University had earned a credibility that could not be bought by this effort.  She added that the Forum is critical to getting ideas pushed forward.  She recalled conversations with Chancellor Emeritus Holden Thorp, who noted that no Chancellor previously has touched the “Silent Sam” or Saunders/Carolina Hall controversies.  Thorp observed to her that every chancellor leaves issues undone for the next to follow.  Folt noted the constant need for evolution and said that she thought the University could continue to improve.  She pointed to the $4.25 billion capital campaign, the establishment of the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Economic Development and the continuance of the Carolina Covenant as some of the accomplishments of her tenure.

Folt noted continuing issues of culture, community and morale that face the campus.  She noted frustration among some employees that the capital campaign, having raised $2 billion thus far, does not appear to impact their everyday working lives.  She recalled that capital campaign funds are typically promises that are strictly restricted in use and are fully funded 5-10 years from the pledge date.  She said that these funds are not really in hand and are not a solution to day-to-day funding concerns.  Instead, the next Chancellor will have these funds available to sustain the University’s future.

Folt echoed concerns about faculty and staff compensation in her discussions with the Boards of Trustees and Governors and the University System Office.  She recalled directing that the University dedicate $25 million in flexible dollars for faculty and staff salaries.  She noted that the University must make changes in its governing structure to find additional flexible dollars for these types of increases.  She was pleased that 90% of staff employees earn approximately market rate for this area.  Vice Chancellor Felicia Washington added that this figure leads the UNC System in percentage of employees at market rate.  Folt noted the need to change career bands and said that UNC-Chapel Hill would continue to advocate its own identity in the University System.

Bryan Andregg asked, given that there is no precedent for the University’s future, how UNC-Chapel Hill can communicate the reality of campus now to outsiders.  Folt recalled her time at Dartmouth College which was typified by a “radical transparency.”  She noted that UNC-Chapel Hill has a School of Public Health presence in every North Carolina county but one.  She recalled the University’s status as an economic generator for the State, and asked listeners to imagine the State without UNC-Chapel Hill or the UNC System’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).  She said that UNC-Chapel Hill must do a better job listening to its critics.  The University must make all not feel left out and instead must invite its critics into the institution.

Alan Moran asked if Folt had advice for the Forum to build on its working relationship with University Administration.  Folt praised Felicia Washington’s role as the designated liaison between her office and the Forum.  She noted the many things that her office must address, including concerns with the Legislature in Raleigh and the federal government in Washington.  She said that campus administration cannot respond to everything but can make sure to transmit information better to campus.  She said that the Administration must address touch points as a team and said that morale really rests on the effectiveness of these responses.

Katie Turner thanked Folt for conducting listening sessions related to the Blueprint for Next, particularly the decision to add human capital as a resource in this pivotal document.  Turner was pleased that Human Resources has taken this clause to heart in its recent work.  Folt noted that she spoke with Vice Chancellor for Workplace Strategy, Equity and Engagement Felicia Washington three to four times daily and was kept up to date on these measures.  She noted continuing concerns about salaries, morale, and communication.

Kewana Smith said that the rising cost of health care has made campus employees unhappy.  Folt agreed, adding that the State does not at this point provide particularly good benefits.  She hoped that the State would be able to use its negotiating leverage to improve benefits in the future.

Chrissie Greenberg praised the University’s efforts to provide practical and affordable undergraduate options for staff employees, either here or in the UNC System.  However, she said that these options become much more complicated for employees seeking graduate school degrees.  Folt recalled that the University tries to expand its options to the public, in traditional and new workforce forms.  She said that the University will work to improve these options as much as possible.

Alan Moran asked as a tradesperson what provisions are being made for the workforce of the future.  He had in mind an internship partnership with community colleges to provide workers for Facilities Services.  Folt recalled that Peter Hans, the new head of the University System, has some great ideas for this area.  She said that the University would do well to adopt this idea.  Moran noted that Michelle Bowen had worked on this idea previously but had been unable to make much traction.

Kathy James asked Folt’s stance on night parking at the University.  Folt recalled her opposition to this idea but added that she supported the recent recommendation in favor of its implementation, mainly due to the need to alleviate the burden upon daytime permit holders.  She thought it important to listen and respond to campus feedback.  Jasper Fleming asked about Folt’s feelings about the proposed light rail project in Chapel Hill.  Folt noted the large number of workers who commute to the University each day.  She said that the project is still a ways away but she felt optimistic.  Perhaps the next Chancellor will enjoy the inaugural ride of the system, she said.

Tracy Wetherby-Williams noted that the Town is in the process of reworking its bus routes.  She asked if the University has been involved in these talks.  Folt said that there is a tight and strong relation between the University and the Towns.  She added that the University’s students pay for bus service through student fees, meaning that the University has a duty of stewardship regarding these funds.

Katie Musgrove asked if Folt could provide an update on the Carolina North tract.  Folt said that presently Carolina North is seen as an asset to the community much like Central Park.  She said that the world has rapidly changed since Chancellor Emeritus Moeser’s tenure, as plans to build a park and industry in the tract have moved downtown.  She noted the current fashion for people to live and work close to campus.  She commented that the Carolina North tract may not be developed at all, but things can change on a dime.

Bryan Andregg noted the need for Forum delegates’ supervisors to support the work of the Forum on behalf of University employees.  He said that he would love Forum service to be written into employee workplans as a part of staff development efforts.  Folt thought that this idea could be part of an effort to improve morale.  She said that this approach would require a slightly heavier hand with campus supervisors.

Tiffany Carver recounted her situation as an alumnus and twelve-year employee desiring to move into a managerial role.  She did not want to follow the common practice of leaving the University then returning to a different position.  She said that there is a great need to train employees for managerial positions.  Folt said that the training idea is being worked on and agreed about the need for competition for places.  She urged all to work together instead of adopting an adversarial approach to these questions.  Felicia Washington noted that there are some trainings regarding managerial systems currently available.  She noted that it takes a while to program the training system to meet current needs.  She did note the existence of the ULEAD and comprehensive managerial development programs.  Washington said that reprogramming ConnectCarolina will make these options more visible.

Folt thanked the Forum and its delegates for their work on behalf of the University.  At this point, the assembly left to have photographs taken outside.

Chair Shayna Hill welcomed Vice Chancellor Felicia Washington and Associate Vice Chancellor Linc Butler to present the Forum’s customary Human Resources update.  Washington lauded the appreciation of mindfulness as an approach to life that reduces stress and depression.  She noted that mindfulness has proven to boost children’s kindness and civic-mindedness.  She asked listeners to practice mindfulness as Mother’s Day and Graduation Day approach, perhaps by writing a letter of gratitude for one’s blessings.  She hoped that someone might be willing to share their letter at the Forum’s next meeting.

Clare Counihan noted that there have been several studies of mindfulness here at UNC-Chapel Hill.  Washington said that Workforce Strategy, Equity and Engagement staff look forward to engaging with the Forum in the coming months.

Linc Butler welcomed the Forum’s new delegates.  He said that the Office of Human Resources recently held the University’s 20-year service appreciation banquet honoring 184 faculty and staff employees.  He noted that Chancellor Folt, Provost Blouin and Vice Chancellor Washington hosted the event.  He praised the strong spirit of collaboration evident at this great night out.

Butler said that the ULEAD (University Leadership Education and Development) program will expand its enrollees from twenty to twenty-five individuals, twenty-one from UNC-Chapel Hill, two from NC Central, and two from the University System Office.

Butler said that the University will offer courses on time management principles, holding hard conversations, and an introduction to situation leadership as part of its trainings available this spring.  He introduced Jessica Pyjas of Benefits to discuss upcoming Worklife and Wellness course.  Her office will distribute information regarding these courses via social media.  Pyjas noted the campus campaign to reduce employee blood pressure.  There are currently 114 active participants in this campaign, which involves taking measurements at stations across campus.

The Chair called for a motion to approve the consent agenda of the Forum.  Katie Musgrove asked that the Community Service committee be taken off the agenda.  Clare Counihan made a similar request for the Education & Career Development committee.  Katie Turner made this motion, seconded by Alan Moran.  The motion was approved.

Katie Musgrove noted the upcoming Tomato Planting event at the Carolina Campus Community Garden on May 15th.  She also noted that the 30th annual University blood drive will take place June 5th and the Forum’s Habitat for Humanity build will occur June 8th.

Claire Counihan reported that the Carolina Family Scholarship application process is now underway.  This scholarship is open to children of UNC-Chapel Hill employees working ¾ time or more.  She had posters to distribute about the Scholarship in English, Spanish, Karen, and Burmese.

The Chair moved to Old Business before the Forum.  Bryan Andregg re-introduced Resolution 18-02 concerning employee compensation on second reading.  He thanked Clare Counihan, the Personnel Issues committee, Felicia Washington and Linc Butler for their contributions to edit the resolution.  Jim Potts asked if the resolution would result in a major change in how the University does its business.  Andregg thought that the resolution would clear up differences between SHRA and EHRA salary rates.  Linc Butler noted that the reference to Statewide pay bands in the resolution helps to clarify that the authority to set these rates rests with the State.  There is no local control over these rates.  Felicia Washington noted that the UNC System establishes the competitive market rate.  She noted that at UNC-Chapel Hill, 90% of all employees are paid at 90% or higher of market rate for their positions.  James Stamey asked if the Forum should table the resolution.  Katie Turner thought that this was an unnecessary step.

Alan Moran moved that the resolution be accepted on second reading.  Natiaya Neal seconded this motion.  The motion was approved by the Forum.  Andregg thanked all involved for their input and advice.

The Chair announced the winners of the 2018 Kay Wijnberg Hovious Outstanding Delegate Awards:  Tiffany Carver, Lori Haight, and Naquan Hill.  She noted that the Forum will hold its next meeting on June 13th.

For its annual retreat, the Forum will have the choice of holding a ropes course session at the Outdoor Education Center or an indoor event elsewhere.  The Chair asked for feedback on these proposals.  David Rogers noted that the Outdoor Center has a variety of half-day team building exercises that will work to bring the Forum together.  He said that games design will work to improve group dynamics and push delegates to be slightly uncomfortable as a means towards progress.  He noted the watchword that the Center’s programs are “Challenge by Choice,” meaning that attendees have the option to refuse an activity too far out of their comfort zones.  Katie Musgrove added that her experience at the March ropes course had greatly increased her familiarity with fellow delegates.  Alan Moran also noted the camaraderie at the March course.

Bonita Brown asked about the possible heat and rain associated with a July training session.  She also asked if delegates could refuse to use the zipline, among other activities.  Rogers said that the right to refuse is always an option.  Jim Potts asked about those with physical impairments or difficulties.  Rogers said that attendees are expected to monitor their own levels of engagement, as Center staff are not certified medical personnel.

Clare Counihan suggested that the Forum vote on this question via Qualtrics.  Matt Banks will create a form for delegates to indicate their preferences.

The Chair asked for candidates for Forum office to speak.  For Parliamentarian, Jeff McQueen noted his twenty years of experience with Robert’s Rules of Order as a way of insuring that everyone is heard in meetings.  He said that service in this office would be a great way of giving back to the University.

Tiffany Carver declared her candidacy for Forum Secretary, asking for the opportunity to continue her work in this area.  She looked forward to learning more about the role.  Kathy Ramsey declared her candidacy for Vice Chair but elected to defer remarks until the June meeting.

Shayna Hill declared her candidacy for Chair, recalling her delight upon election in 2017.  She said that the Forum cannot function without its delegates in partnership.  She urged delegates to show commitment, respect, and inclusion in their dealings with others.

Kathy Ramsey noted that the Forum will host the UNC System Staff Assembly Chancellor’s Cup golf tournament in Sanford on May 16th.  She asked delegates for help in obtaining items for the day’s raffle and for help on the day of the event.

James Stamey confirmed that delegates will have the chance to pick their committees at the July retreat.  Natiaya Neal urged delegates to join the Recognition & Awards committee as its work remains to be done this year.

In the absence of further discussion, the meeting adjourned by acclamation at 11:20 a.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Matt Banks, Recording Secretary

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