December 15, 2020 Executive Committee minutes
Attending: L. E. Alexander, Rich Brandenburg, Shane Brogan, Tiffany Carver, Jen DeNeal, Phil Edwards, Adrianne Gibilisco, Shayla Evans-Hollingsworth, Stephanie Forman, Natasha Hanks, Shayna Hill, Keith Hines, James Holman, Haydée Marchese, Arlene Medder, Katie Musgrove, Ayla Ocasio, Brooke O’Neal, Laura Pratt, Kevin Robinson, Robert Smith III, Antonio Squire, Tracy Wetherby Williams, Jacob Womack
Chair Shayna Hill called the meeting to order at 11:30 a.m. She asked for a motion to approve the November minutes. Arlene Medder made this motion seconded by Laura Pratt. There was no opposition to the motion and the minutes were approved.
Brooke O’Neal led the committee through a discussion on possible selections for the 2021 Book Club. Members asked where employees could find these books prior to meetings. O’Neal said that local libraries have on-line resources that she would incorporate into club publicity. She asked for feedback on the book list as soon as possible before publicity starts in mid-January.
Ayla Ocasio and Matt Banks presented the Forum budget update. Banks noted that the cost of captioning had been $780 for three meetings in November. He suggested that the Forum use Zoom’s automatic captioning feature for its Executive Committee meetings. The automatic method is good enough for meetings of a locally known audience, according to the Accessibility Office. A delegate added that the Forum should allow listeners to submit their accessibility needs for live captioners when necessary. The committee approved use of the automatic captioning method for Executive committee and other committee meetings to save funds.
The Chair praised Vice Chair Katie Musgrove for handling meeting duties in December. Musgrove noted that the Forum general meeting updates seemed to mirror those provided at the joint faculty/Forum meeting that following Friday. Members discussed revising the agenda structure to make best use of available speakers.
Banks asked if the committee wanted to continue spending on the Forum Office copying machine account, which runs around $100/month. Arlene Medder pointed out that it can become difficult to restart an account once it has been interrupted. Banks said that the office uses the copier sporadically, but it generally comes in handy for meetings and faxing documents. Haydée Marchese advised that the Forum could press for a reduction in its monthly costs with Carolina Copy management.
The Chair noted that the Chancellor’s Cup golf tournament will likely go on in mid-May in Sanford. She would update the committee as needed.
Shane Brogan reported that the Communications and Public Relations committee had met recently. Greg Smith should distribute a draft of InTouch to the Executive committee soon. The YouTube link for the November community conversation has since been made active. Brogan added that he is trying to track down the location of scavenger hunt prizes that may have been lost in campus mail.
Jacob Womack noted that the UNC Children’s Hospital Toy Drive this year is being done virtually with donors able to use Amazon gift lists to make their contributions. Jen DeNeal said that the Winter Blood Drive had been a great success, with UNC-Chapel Hill ranking the highest in the nation in donations over the past year. June 8, 2021 is the date of the summer Blood Drive. The Red Cross plans to celebrate the University’s success at this upcoming drive.
Arlene Medder reported that the Carolina Community Garden is working to connect with staff to find volunteers for the spring. The Garden is still planning on giving tomato plants to housekeepers and other lower-paid employees. Clare Lorch of the Garden hopes to have volunteers work in the Garden in smaller groups on separate days.
Antonio Squire said that the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee is working to formalize a partnership with the University’s Diversity and Inclusion office. Squire said that the committee’s introductory email had received a lot of positive feedback. He planned to embark on a listening tour across campus to determine local needs, with eight or nine meetings already scheduled.
- E. Alexander reported for the Education & Career Development committee that professional development grants continue to be reimbursed. She hoped to speak with University leadership about the possibility of hosting a conference on higher education advancement opportunities in the late spring or summer.
Tiffany Carver reported that the Membership & Assignments committee continues to encourage delegates to attend their monthly committee meetings.
Phil Edwards of the Personnel Issues committee said that group continues to push on questions raised at the community conversation and other representatives’ meetings regarding the spring semester. He praised Haydée Marchese for her work communicating with various offices. Edwards suggested streamlining responsibilities to prevent overlap among the different committee options. He asked if delegates knew of better ways to communicate information with the community at large.
Katie Musgrove suggested the Forum publish questions raised and answers found on the Forum website. The committee hoped to streamline publication of this information for employee reference.
There was no report from the Recognition & Awards committee.
Keith Hines reported that the UNC System Staff Assembly continues to trail the UNC-Chapel Hill Employee Forum in timing of receipt of information from administration. Members discussed coding options for leave related to Covid-19 federal and State provisions. There was a suggestion that questioners cite specific examples to clarify to departments the 80 hours of Covid-19 time available in certain circumstances.
Katie Musgrove brought up the need to preserve Faculty and Staff Advisory Committee meetings on video for later reference. It was noted that videos of these meetings are posted but are not listed for general reference. She thought this practice raised transparency concerns.
The committee discussed communications efforts, particularly mass email campaigns. The committee also discussed the possibility of creating a new mission statement.
In the absence of further discussion, the meeting adjourned at 1:24 p.m.
Matt Banks, Recording Secretary