September 15, 2015 Executive Committee minutes
September 15, 2015 Executive Committee meeting
Attending (those who signed in): Bonita Brown, Clare Counihan, Phillip Edwards, James Fuller, Chrissie Greenberg, Shayna Hill, Arlene Medder, Kathy Ramsey, Charles Streeter, Katie Turner, John Williams
Excused Absence: Sharon Brinson, Ben Triplett
The Chair called the meeting to order at 11:38 a.m. He noted that he had mentioned the Chancellor’s Task Force for a Better Workplace revival idea with Vice Chancellor Felicia Washington prior to the September Forum meeting. Katie Turner thought that the Daily Tar Heel article on the September meeting represented good coverage for the Forum.
The Chair said that the Forum will need to name two representatives to the Advisory Committee on Transportation. He said that representatives will discuss the upcoming five-year plan as well as the prospects for night parking permits. He noted that parking must be paid for. Shayna Hill confirmed that 90% of revenue from parking tickets goes to local high schools. The Chair said that the University cannot change the law. Chrissie Greenberg noted that students do not now pay to use bus service, leaving UNC to subsidize the local bus system. She said that departments pay for the system through transit fees. She said that there are different ways to manage a budget that might take the pressure off staff and departments. She said that the University must obtain these funds from somewhere but she did not think that raising the price of parking for this purpose was fair given the lack of salary increases in recent years. The Chair said that the Forum would bring in University Transit officials to discuss the upcoming five year plan.
The Chair had recently met with two newly appointed Associate Vice Chancellors: Derek Kemp, the Associate Vice Chancellor for Risk Management, and Brad Ives, the Associate Vice Chancellor for Campus Enterprises. He noted that the Advisory Committee on Transportation has not met this year. He noted that the previous committee had made presentations at two different Forum meetings.
The Chair asked for a motion to approve the August meeting minutes. Arlene Medder requested more detail in the minutes regarding the summer reading program. With this change, Medder moved that the minutes be approved seconded by Katie Turner. The minutes were approved with no one in opposition.
Shayna Hill and Matt Banks presented the Forum’s monthly budget report. It was noted that the Forum was committed to sponsor two different notary public training courses, one in the fall and one in the spring. The Chair asked that Banks prepare a letter requesting additional funds for the spring course.
The committee discussed proposed changes to the Forum’s professional grant process. The Chair noted that some of last year’s grant recipients worked in a department that likely could have afforded paying for these grants by itself. He worried that if everyone is allowed to apply for the entirety of the Forum’s grant monies, there will be no funds available for spring applications. He thought that fall applicants should be directed to apply for the UNC System Staff Assembly’s Royster scholarships for their professional grants. It was noted that the Forum Office is responsible for processing grant applications 30 days after approval. Clare Counihan observed that the grant process appears to be need-based. Chrissie Greenberg recalled that a significant number of employees do not regularly access e-mail. The Chair wondered if the Forum should stick with its first-come first-serve process that it used in fiscal year 2014. Greenberg suggested requiring more information from applicants. The Chair proposed to discuss possible changes with Samara Reynolds and Matt McKirahan. He said that the program should go on hiatus and begin again in the spring.
Jim Fuller reported that the Carolina Blood Drive group had met that morning with eight participants. The group will rename the October student drive as the new October Carolina Blood Drive in hopes of attracting broader contributions from the University community. He said that the group would send out an e-mail blast advertising the drive, which will take place October 13th.
Arlene Medder said that the Carolina Campus Community Garden is seeking a new distribution point for second-shift housekeepers. The Garden will not have a table at Employee Appreciation Day. The Chair hoped to have an event in the Garden during University Week October 12-16.
Kathy Ramsey said that the Membership & Assignments committee sought to staff the Forum’s table during Employee Appreciation Day. She said that the committee hopes to organize an off-campus event at the Hickory Tavern in Carrboro later this year.
The committee heard from Cindy Shea and Steven Baumgartner regarding campus sustainability. Shea noted a call to action language in the Chancellor’s discussion of three zeros: zero greenhouse emission, net zero water and waste for campus, and an aspiration to carbon neutrality. Net zero water emissions would mean no interbasin transfers, meaning that the University would use no more water than falls as rain. The University would use more non-potable water, such as that in place for chilled water use across campus. Shea noted that the campus’ sustainability plan had received a national gold standard for its comprehensiveness. She said that the next step is to finalize the plan and empower agents to implement the plan. She said that the Sustainability Office will hold workshops September 29th and October 1st to assist workplaces in brainstorming how to lead and implement sustainability policies. The Chair suggested that the Sustainability Office find a way to keep track of savings generated from initiatives. John Williams said that the temperature controls in dormitories do not allow people to turn off or adjust these controls. He said that it would be good if the University could isolate buildings used during summer school, for example. Shea said that it would particularly help if the University were to increase scheduling of night classes and to use fewer buildings. She said that the Union has scheduling software which allows adjustments for classrooms. The Chair proposed discussing this question with Williams further.
Katie Turner asked how the plan would be supported. She asked how the plan was received by higher-level administration. She also asked how the Sustainability Office prioritizes its projects. Shea said that the Office uses a red, yellow, and green system to prioritize projects. Turner said that workers in some buildings have difficulty breathing due to poor air quality. Shea did not know if these concerns would be addressed in the sustainability plan or the University master plan.
Chrissie Greenberg reported that the Personnel Issues committee would not meet until the following week.
The Chair noted that there were no new updates from the Staff Assembly. He called upon delegates to do more with their 8-10 hours a month Forum service to the University. He was pleased that the University was calling upon the Forum for its ideas in so many different ways these days.
The Chair asked that Matt Banks collect ideas for the October 8th Vice Chancellor/Provost meeting. He said that proposed speakers for the October 7th Forum meeting include Chancellor Folt and Associate Vice Chancellor Taffye Clayton. Katie Turner said that she hoped to have guests speak at the October meeting on the Student Stores issue.
The Chair noted that there had been a call for Forum intervention in the Student Stores question recently through the Forum listserv. He noted that Finance and Administration had been approached by Follett via an unsolicited bid to take over Student Stores. He said that this proposal had not been finalized. Follett had promised a higher percentage of revenue for student scholarships than is generated currently. The proposal guarantees current employees one year employment then the possibility of further work. Delegates proposed writing a resolution on this question for the October meeting. The Chair looked forward to the Vice Chancellor/Provost meeting to get more information about this process.
In the absence of further discussion, the meeting adjourned at 1:42 p.m.
Matt Banks, Recording Secretary