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InTouch:  UNC Employee Forum News
Volume 2, Number 11 December/January 2001

From the Former Chair…… John Heuer
Congratulations to new Employee Forum officers, Chairman Tommy Griffin, Vice Chair Gary Lloyd, and Secretary Kay Teague.    Collectively and individually, their credentials are phenomenal.

Kay has 17 years experience in the Department of Surgery.  She works in the Jaycee Burn Center, and you will find no more caring souls anywhere else.  As Forum secretary, Kay will chair the Nominations Committee, which manages Forum delegate and officer elections.

Gary joined the staff after graduating from Carolina in 1978.  He is true blue having conducted his entire collegiate and professional career here at UNC Chapel Hill.  He has put his degree in business administration to work in Undergraduate Admissions, the School of Nursing, Contracts and Grants, Public Health, and now works in the Registrar’s Office.  Gary will chair the Employee Presentations Committee, which organizes community meetings.  His experience working with a great variety of campus departments will be an important resource for the Forum.

Tommy is a 28-year veteran of the HVAC department.  He is a 3rd term Forum delegate, and has served on the University Insurance Committee, Grievance Committee, Chancellor’s Awards Committee and Health and Safety Committee.  It would be difficult to imagine an incoming Forum chair with more solid credentials.  But Tommy offers much more than mere qualifications of service and dedication to the university.  He brings heart, light, and soul to the discussion of employee welfare on this campus.

I am excited about this new leadership team, and confident they will serve you well.  It has been an honor to meet our new Delagates, the Forum class of 2003.  These two-dozen folks represent not just the best of Carolina staff, but also the promise of the university mission.  I encourage each of you to consider standing for election to the Forum.  If elected, you will find service as Forum delegate to be an exercise in which individual agendas collide, and common agendas emerge.  Forum service is an opportunity to support your co-workers, the university mission, and experience the democratic process first hand.

Thanks to my fellow Forum officers of 2001, Vice Chair Sheila Storey, Secretary Tracey Haith and her successor Sylvia White.  Thanks to committee chairs Mary Ann Vacheron, Personnel Issues, Lee Edmark, University Committee Assignments, Fred Jordan, Career Development, and his wife Karen Jordan, Recognition and Awards. Karen and Fred comprised our first wife and husband team of Forum Delagates.  Karen retired this year, and demonstrated her devotion by continuing her role as delegate and committee chair.  And talk about devotion; let’s give it up for Suzan deSerres.  Suzan chaired the Orientation Committee, and for the last 2 years chaired the Communications Committee, which has made InTouch a staple of campus publications.

Finally, I want to thank you, Carolina staff, for your efforts.  It has been a privilege to serve as Forum chair.  I offer a hope and a wish, and a fervent prayer that you will enjoy a safe, thoughtful, thankful New Year for you and your loved ones.

John Heuer

There are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children. One is roots; the other, wings.
~Hodding Carter

Editor’s Note
This is the last issue of InTouch that I will be editing and I want you to know that it has been quite rewarding. I hope you have found the newsletter interesting and informative. Please let the new editor, Linda Collins, know what you’re interested in reading. I have had the pleasure of working with two fine Forum Chairs, Joanne Kucharski and John Heuer, and two excellent Communications Committees, and I thank each of them for their hard work and support. I hope that each of you readers will consider running for a delegate position next year. There’s plenty for you to do, and we can sure use your help!

Suzan deSerres

Policy Response:  In Retrospect
The folks here at InTouch want to take a moment to wish you and yours a happy and safe holiday season.

InTouch’s Policy Response has seen a lot in the past two years, since the publication of the first edition in March 2000.  That issue covered the reasons behind the State’s adverse weather decision.  The April 2000 edition dealt with State Employees’ Appreciation Week, a summary of 1999-2000 Transportation and Parking Advisory Committee business, and the new path of the Employee Appreciation Fair.

The May 2000 issue dealt with work issues for SPA exempt Employees, the University’s mediation policy, prospective staff openings on University committees, and prospective changes in Employee health insurance benefits.  Following on, the June 2000 issue noted a recent community meeting with State Health Plan director Jack Walker on the structure and cause of premium increases, and the use of social security numbers as campus identifiers.  The July/August 2000 InTouch issue detailed some of Dr. Walker’s responses at the aforementioned community meeting.  That September, InTouch’s Policy Response section outlined the strictures governing community service leave, and in October 2000, Policy Response described the new StarHeels award program staff recognition program.

This year, InTouch’s Policy Response informed Employees about the schedule of upcoming bond construction, transit demand recommendations, the University-wide health insurance survey, methods to contact the State Legislature, the University’s SPA salary market analysis survey, arguments for and against campus administrative flexibility, the new annual leave policy for EPA Employees, benefits of the North Carolina Flex plan, and use of the Human Resources manual.
As you can see, we’ve been very busy.  We’re also open to new ideas.  Please let us know if you have a policy or problem that you would like InTouch to investigate.  You can get in contact with us by contacting the Forum Office at or calling 962-3779.  Also, you can obtain copies of any of these articles on the Forum website at ../index.htm or by contacting the Forum Office.

If you’ve enjoyed these articles, please note the role that InTouch editor Suzan deSerres has played in their production over the past two years.  Her inspiring, tireless efforts have made InTouch a respected part of staff life.  All of us here at InTouch will miss her thoughtful and persistent leadership.

Delegates Recognized
In recognition of the outstanding achievements, awards, and recognitions our Forum Delegates and alternates received January 1, 2000 through June 30, 2001, we say, hats off to these folks..

  • Linda Collins for Distinguished Member of the Academy of Health Information Professionals’ sponsored by Medical Library Association, presented November 15, 2000
  • Karen S. Jordan for Staff Excellence Award sponsored by the School of Pharmacy, presented June 1, 2000.
  • Gary Lloyd for Staff Excellence Award sponsored by the Office of the University Registrar, presented March 16, 2000.
  • Robert E. Thoma for Quarterly Customer Service Award sponsored by Facilities Services Division, presented October 13, 2000
  • Robert E. Thoma for Employee of the Year sponsored by Facilities Services Division, presented June 21, 2001
  • Elaine Tola for Information Technology Award sponsored by Campus-wide IT Professionals, presented April 11, 2001

And congratulations to all Delegates and alternates who reached a milestone in years of university service during this period.

Employee Forum Open House
The Employee Forum will be holding its first open house on January 9th, 2002 from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Everyone is invited to stop by our new offices, located in the 134 East Franklin Street Building, rooms 207, 208 and 209. We are across the alley from Carolina Coffee shop. Please come to see us and have some refreshments. We want you to know where we are, and we want to get to know you!

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Campus Box 3488
Room 207 134 East Franklin Street
Chapel Hill, NC  27599-3488
Telephone:  919-962-3779
Fax:  919-962-1341