Staff celebrate Employee Appreciation Day with food and festivities

November 2, 2015

On Friday, October 16, UNC employees across the state celebrated Employee Appreciation Day with games, food and festivities. Thanks to the work of Kim Andrews and the Office of Human Resources, staff on the main campus enjoyed entertainment, lunch and an information fair where departments showcased their excellent staff and services.

In conjunction with Employee Appreciation Day, the Employee Forum organized the #UNCstaff social media scavenger hunt. Staff around campus hid vouchers and then took to Twitter to tweet clues about their whereabouts. Staff who found the hidden vouchers submitted them via campus mail and received a prize the following week.

Sixty-five staff won prizes that included Carowinds tickets from the State Employees Association of North Carolina (SEANC), breakfast with Roy Williams at the Carolina Club and gift cards from local restaurants.

The #UNCstaff hashtag trended on Twitter for five hours that Friday, raising the profile of our employees on social media. Departments use the hashtag year-round to advertise events and information pertinent to staff and faculty.

The Employee Forum would like to thank everyone who participated in the scavenger hunt and made it the biggest one yet! We also thank the following businesses that donated to the event:

Linda’s Bar and Grill
Nicole Spruell Photography
Dank Burrito
Carolina Dining
UNC Athletics
State Employees Association of North Carolina (SEANC)
4 Corners
UNC Summer School
McAlister’s Deli
True Flavors
Rich Bradenburg massage at The Retreat
Bulls Head Book Shop
Ackland Museum
Glass Jug
Carolina Club
Brenz Pizza
Carolina Inn
Spanky’s
All She Wrote Notes Calligraphy
Campus Recreation
Carolina Student Union
Alpine Bagel
UNC Trademark and Licensing
Playmakers Repertory Theatre
Happycakes Cupcakery
4 Simplicity Sake Travel Company
Sweet Beans

ULEAD’s academic leadership conference focused on higher education values

October 30, 2015

On October 14, 2015, senior leadership from UNC-Chapel Hill (UNC-CH), NC Central University (NCCU) and General Administration (GA) gathered for the University Leadership Education and Development (ULEAD)’s annual conference on leadership in higher education. The panels addressed “Academia and the Educational Enterprise,” “The Business of Higher Education” and “Managing the Public and Political Perceptions of Our Universities”; Provost James W. Dean provided “A View from the Executive Suite”; and a cohort of current ULEAD participants held a working session. (See the agenda here.)

Professor Stephen Leonard, chair of the Faculty Assembly, and Rick Wernoski, executive vice dean and chief operating officer at the Eshelman School of Pharmacy, moderated the first and second panels respectively. They provided a set of discussion prompts to the panelists and moderated questions from the audience. Panelists discussed the changing expectations for higher education, the financial challenges of accessibility while ensuring educational quality and the value of higher education.

The first panel focused on the challenge of communicating the more intangible values of higher education to nonacademic audiences, the impact of rapidly changing technologies on teaching and learning, and the needs for universities to anticipate future changes in the nature of higher education.

The second panel addressed the business of balancing budgets and priorities in a system with finite resources, the potential and drawbacks of shared service models and the effect of changing student demographics on the need for on-campus support programs and services.

Whether from the academic or financial side, all panelists shared a commitment to preserving accessibility. That accessibility enables North Carolina’s citizens to have a choice about their futures. As UNC-CH’s Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Winston Crisp said, a college education allows people to go beyond work that feeds their bodies—that meets their basic human needs—to choose work that feeds their souls.

Members of the ULEAD cohort posed a wide-ranging set of challenging questions, from the relationship between teaching and research for faculty to the need for diversity of students and employees to strategies to improve transparency and accountability within the university and across management levels. The panelists’ responses were open and thoughtful, recognizing that the ULEAD participants are the next generation of university leadership.

Professor Eliana Perrin, associate vice chancellor for research at UNC-CH, stressed the need for employees to take control and communicate “up” to supervisors and let them know what is needed and why. In the same vein, Tau Kadhi, NCCU’s associate provost, emphasized tailoring communications to audiences, providing more detail “down the chain” and more succinct summaries to superiors.

Current ULEAD participant and Employee Forum delegate Ben Triplett (Division 9) shared his reasons for undertaking ULEAD, despite the challenging workload: “I believe it is incredibly important to make learning a life-long pursuit, and ULEAD seemed like the perfect opportunity to develop skills I can utilize every day. … I also wanted to be in the program because I knew it would push me out of my comfort zone.  I have found that some of my most rewarding experiences have resulted from forcing myself to do things I find difficult or uncomfortable.”

The annual conference, which changes every year to reflect campus needs and participant feedback, is a midpoint milestone in ULEAD, a leadership development program coordinated between UNC-Chapel Hill, NCCU and GA since 2010. Open to staff and faculty by application, ULEAD participants “gain the practical insight, knowledge, skills, and confidence needed for leadership effectiveness, through classroom sessions, active assessments of leadership characteristics, and participation in an intensive, practical project that addresses a major campus issue.” Each cohort is limited to twenty participants. The program lasts a semester and requires a significant time commitment, as well as nomination and a letter of recommendation from the applicant’s direct supervisor.

To learn more about ULEAD, see UNC-Chapel Hill’s HR website for the program. Applications for next year’s cohort are due in March 2016.

Members of the Employee Forum are invited to attend the ULEAD cohort’s final presentations on Nov. 12, 2015, from 8:30 a.m. to 2:05 p.m., at the Friday Center. Please contact the program director, William Frey (will_frey@unc.edu), for more information. The program is available here.

Written and submitted by Clare Counihan, Employee Forum delegate.

SEANC asks for your help to stop Student Stores privatization

October 30, 2015

The following is a letter from SEANC District 25 representatives that was distributed via email on October 29, 2015:

As many of you have seen in the media reports and the Daily Tar Heel  49 permanent state employees and 141 temp employees working for the UNC Chapel Hill Student Stores are at risk of losing their jobs.  Not because of budget cuts.  Not because the Student Stores is unprofitable or mismanaged.  But because of this opportunity to outsource and create a façade of higher profitability on the backs of career state store employees who have managed this University gem successfully and profitably for more than a century

Store Employees were informed in September that an unsolicited bid to take over the operation of the stores had been received and  was being seriously considered.  The bidder is the privately held conglomerate, Follett, with less than a stellar history of management practices and frequently higher prices for students and their parents than the operations they replaced.

They were the outsourcer of choice at three other student stores within the UNC system despite faculty and student complaints of their performance. And many Follett employees can only work half time, a move that reduces their chance at a meaningful livelihood  and Follett’s obligation to health care costs

SEANC District 25 stands behind the competence and dedication of State Employees.  We would like your support in stopping this erosion of the UNC workforce and a campus landmark.

First, please write to University of North Carolina Chancellor Carol Folt  (chancellor@unc.edu) ,  Associate Vice Chancellor for Campus Enterprises Brad Ives,  (brad.ives@unc.edu) and Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration Matt Fajack (mfajack@unc.edu) to express your support for  the generations of State Workers who toiled to make the UNC Bookstore one of the most highly regarded enterprises in Carolina and the nation.

Second,   Contact your North Carolina Representative (http://www.ncleg.net/representation/WhoRepresentsMe.aspx ) and tell them to stop this affront to State Workers.

Third, If you or a family member is a Carolina Alumni contact the UNC Alumni Association (https://alumni.unc.edu/ ) and let them know how this violates the covenant of trust you held with Carolina.

Thank you and if you have any questions or concerns please contact any of your District members below.

 SEANC District 25

John Gullo, Chair, D25:  johnagullo@outlook.com
Thomas Griffin, Past Chair D25 tgriffin0203@yahoo.com
James B. Holman, Vice-Chair, D25: bholman2006big@yahoo.com
David Fraley, Policy Platform Chair D25: fraleys2003@yahoo.com
Kirk Montgomery, Treasurer, D25: kirk.m.montgomery@gmail.com
Brenda Denzler, Bylaws Chair, D25 denzler@hughes.net
Cornelius Smith, Benevolence Chair, D25 revcsmith@yahoo.com
Ruthie Lawson Bynum, Secretary  D25  mijachrl@yahoo.com
Archie Lassiter Scholarship Chair D25 alaster198@yahoo.com
Pat Bigelow, Insurance Chair D25 pcbigelow@gmail.com
Odessa Davis, Member Discount D25 Odessad2222@gmail.com
Paula Schubert, Past President SEANC,  paula.schubert@earthlink.net
M. Kay Hovious, Past President SEANC  mhovious@ec.rr.com

Career Corner: Staying on top of your professional development

August 25, 2015

When was the last time you updated your résumé or your LinkedIn profile? Do you regularly review the projects you’re working on to see what skills you have developed—or skills you might want to develop to do your job better?

It can be easy, in the bustle of your everyday work commitments, to forget that you are always preparing for your next professional opportunity, whether that’s an opportunity to take on a new responsibility in your current role, or taking on an entirely new position.  What can you do to be ready for those opportunities?

  • Keep a file of your accomplishments: Whether it’s in your email inbox, your desk drawer, or a folder at home, keep a copy of fliers from events you organized, positive feedback from colleagues and supervisors, numbers of customers served, or the details of a particularly knotty problem you solved. This record provides you a way to measure your productivity, and it makes a really nice addition to your annual performance review! (Thanks to Chrissie Greenberg for sharing this tip!)
  • Keep your résumé updated: As you develop new skills in your current position and as your job changes, reassess your résumé every 6 months and revise it as necessary. After you’ve been in your job a while, you may realize that your job profile has completely changed. This is also a great way to prepare for your annual review: you’ll be ready to complete your self-evaluation with plenty of concrete details!
  • Regularly check out available HR trainings: by reviewing your résumé, you may realize that you need to develop a specific skill to meet your changing job responsibilities or that you want learn a new technology to improve your current performance. When you identify a training that would be useful, be ready to explain to your supervisor why it makes sense for you to undertake it. HR Training sign up has moved to ConnectCarolina, so be sure you check for new trainings regularly. Don’t miss out on new opportunities.

Several great (free) online resources are available to assist you with building, updating or targeting your résumé. Begin by logging into the Lynda.com learning platform through UNC’s single sign-on, and a wealth of tutorials awaits! Start here: http://software.sites.unc.edu/lynda/ and then search “resume.” “Designing a résumé” and “Personalizing the résumé” are great resources.

By Clare Counihan and Emily Gomez, members of the Education and Career Development Committee

Staff invited to attend workshops on student success

August 25, 2015

Brown Bag Lunch Series on The Crossroads of Student Success: Academics, Wellness and Engagement

Fall 2015 Schedule
All lunches are from 12 noon – 1:30 p.m. in Hanes Hall Room 239

September 11 The UNC Student Care Team: A New Approach to Supporting Students of Concern
with Desirée Rieckenberg, Senior Associate Dean & Director, Office of the Dean of Students and Dawna Jones, Student Assistance Coordinator, Office of the Dean of Students

UNC, through the Office of the Dean of Students, has launched the Student Care Team (Care Team) this fall. Care teams, sometimes called behavior intervention teams, are a national best practice that deploys a multi-disciplinary, early intervention approach to identifying and supporting students of concern. Students of concern may demonstrate behavior including, but not limited to threats of self-harm, emotional or physical outbursts, extreme or sudden changes in mood or behavior, traumatic experiences (including sexual assault, surviving a crime, losing a friend or family member), excessive or uncharacteristic decline in coursework and course attendance, excessive alcohol or other drug usage, difficulty with adjustment to campus life, etc. These behaviors may occur on- or off-campus. Students, faculty, staff, visitors, families and/or other community members, may identify and report students of concern. While UNC, specifically the Office of the Dean of Students, has long responded to concerning student behavior, this initiative will allow for a more holistic review and response to students. Individuals participating in this program will learn more about the purpose and scope of Carolina’s Student Care Team, including how to refer concerns and what to expect once you share information.

October 2 Religion, Spirituality, and College
with Alyssa N. Rockenbach, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Educational Leadership, Policy, and Human Development at North Carolina State University

Laurie Schreiner, keynote speaker for the spring 2015 Student Success Conference Thriving in College, describes spirituality as one of the four major pathways to thriving (Schreiner, 2012). However, this deeply personal topic can be controversial in the context of our increasingly diverse University community. This session will explore how spirituality can impact the way students and professionals on college campuses navigate and persist through academic environments, including spirituality’s potential impact on mindset, resiliency, grit, goal-setting and problem-solving. Considerations about the demographics of North Carolina and implications for spiritual and religious beliefs and practices (including atheism and agnosticism) within educated communities and potential implications for our campus will also be discussed.
Note: This session will reference a play attended by many professionals in the Office of Undergraduate Education, Disgraced, running at Playmakers Theater from September 13 through October 4, 2015. We encourage all who are interested in this discussion to attend.

November 13 Opening Access to Global Learning
with Jaclyn Gilstrap (Center for Global Initiatives) and Rodney Vargas (Study Abroad Office)

Studies show that global learning opportunities are high impact experiences that can significantly impact college student success. However, there are often real and perceived barriers to accessing opportunities for global learning for first generation, transfer, low-income, and underrepresented students. The Center for Global Initiatives and the Study Abroad Office have employed intentional strategies to open access for all students at Carolina. This session will describe their efforts and engage participants in discussion about how to market global learning opportunities and support student access in our daily work.

December 11 Just Mercy: Beyond Summer Reading

Just Mercy, the 2015 summer reading selection by activist-lawyer Bryan Stevenson, has earned rave reviews from students, faculty, and staff across the University for its gripping personal narrative about how intersections of race, gender, wealth, and resources, manifest within the philosophy and practice of justice and fairness in American society. This interactive session is part book club and part recommendations for how to reference key themes in the book in our daily work with students across departments and disciplines. We will review the book, highlight key themes, and consider ways to maximize the use of this dynamic book within our various professional roles. Discussion questions will be sent in advance.

Bring a friend!
For further information or requests for future topics, contact:

Brent Blanton, Academic Support Program for Student Athletes, blanton@unc.edu
Andrea Caldwell, The Academic Advising Program, andreac@email.unc.edu
Candice Powell, Office of Undergraduate Education, candicef@email.unc.edu
Kelli Raker, Student Wellness, raker@email.unc.edu
Maureen Windle, Counseling and Psychological Services, mawindle@email.unc.edu

Career corner: An introduction to Lynda.com tutorials

July 28, 2015

Welcome to the Career Corner! This new column explores questions you may have about how to pursue professional development opportunities or advance your UNC career. We’ll address things like how to dress in a professional setting, getting the mentoring you need, and taking advantage of HR’s Training and Development opportunities. We’ll also interview staff leaders across campus to learn how they got to their positions and to get their advice for success at UNC. Every column will also include a series of quick tips or links to great career resources, like this issue’s “An Introduction to Lynda.com Tutorials.”

Lynda.com is an online database of tutorials for professional and personal development, and students and employees have free access through UNC’s portal http://software.sites.unc.edu/lynda/. It includes a business section that covers everything from making the most of Outlook to communicating leadership through body language to mastering Excel. Here are some of the courses available to you:

1. Business Etiquette: Phone, Email, and Text
2. WordPress Essentials Training (plus bonus web design recommendations!)
3. Excel 2013 Essential Training
4. Humor in the Workplace
5. Personal Finance Fundamentals

We want to hear from you! If you have a topic you’d like the Career Corner to cover or if you have an article that you think your colleagues across UNC should read, share it with us in the comments section below.