April 18, 2017 Executive Committee minutes
Attending (those who signed in): Phillip Edwards, Lori Haight, Shayna Hill, Katie Musgrove, Natiaya Neal, Deborah Norton, Kathy Ramsey, Ricky Roach, Greg Smith, Charles Streeter, Ben Triplett
Chair Charles Streeter called the meeting to order at 11:30 a.m. He said that the Executive Committee had a quorum since committee chairs are not officially on the committee. Only the Forum officers and the nine divisional representatives are official members of the Executive Committee.
The Chair called for a motion to approve the March minutes. Katie Musgrove made this motion subject to grammatical edits submitted by Clare Counihan. This motion was seconded by Deborah Norton.
The Chair asked Shayna Hill and Matt Banks to present the Forum’s monthly budget report. Banks directed the committee to a spreadsheet showing areas in which the Forum could forego spending in order to spend on other areas. The Chair said that the Forum should put funds towards the July 12th retreat at the Friday Center first, before spending for other items. Banks had several questions regarding longtime commitments from the Administration. Gena Carter asked Banks to submit these questions in a list to her. Banks reported that Human Resources Accounting had supplied him with a list of program and cost codes to aid future accounting. The Chair said that the Forum should move to purchase t-shirts before the end of the fiscal year, as well as pay for the June Forum social arrangements. The Chair also had in mind ordering a special camera for Forum events to avoid relying on cell phone camera for official photographs.
Natiaya Neal suggested that the Forum could invest in an interactive personality test as a use for its surplus. The Chair said that renovations to the Forum Office should be funded by University Administration, as should arrangements for the 25th anniversary celebration of the Forum’s founding. Katie Musgrove suggested purchasing a vertical banner of some type or perhaps some new logo bags. The committee discussed other suggestions, including ordering another set of coffee mugs with the new Forum logo.
The Chair asked about possible timing for the upcoming Bylaws discussion on naming new committees. He suggested having the first reading of the possible Bylaws changes occur in May with the second final reading to occur in June. Phillip Edwards noted issues with Forum transition and weighting of delegates by divisions. Katie Musgrove said the Blood Drive and CCCG should exist as sub-committees of community service (with all community service committee members dedicated to assisting with all three causes). The liaisons for the Blood Drive and CCCG should serve as co-chairs of the committee, heading up their respective projects.
Gena Carter said that she had not had a chance to discuss the Forum’s proposed creation of a committee on the welfare of women with Felicia Washington. The Chair asked for a committee composed of himself, Kathy Ramsey, Kathy James and Phillip Edwards to convene and work on the Forum Bylaws for inclusion in the May agenda packet. He said that the group could discuss this question via e-mail also.
The Chair said that the Forum’s new delegates will be sworn in at the May meeting. He asked that nametags be prepared for the meeting as well as copies of the Forum oath. The Chair reminded members about the completion of the Forum election which will occur soon. Katie Musgrove and Deborah Norton said that they had not received an election ballot. The Chair said that he would check Qualtrics regarding the status of these ballots.
Phillip Edwards asked the status of write-in candidates elected in the Forum elections. He said that the Forum should have a process to ask winning candidates if they wish to serve. The Chair directed that these employees receive an invitation to serve along with a request to their supervisor for their approval.
Ben Triplett asked how often the Forum reviews its employee rosters for classification of divisions. The Chair said that he had established a new rubric based on job title to correct some inconsistencies in the previous system based on federal employment categories. The Chair said that the Forum receives new rosters from Human Resources every month. Triplett asked if employees could have a chance to see their assigned division before the final ballot is distributed to employees, to avoid surprises. The Chair resolved to direct this question to next year’s Membership & Assignments committee for its consideration. Triplett said that this situation had affected him as he did not know his division before the ballots were published. The Chair proposed that the Forum could create a mail merge to inform employees who have moved from one division to another. He resolved to do a better job communicating these changes.
Katie Musgrove observed that she was not really running among her colleagues. Greg Smith said that a general lack of understanding plagues the Forum election processes. The Chair said that electoral divisions are based on job titles or job areas, not unit location. Shayna Hill thought that a general publication of the employee roster would increase excitement about the upcoming Forum elections, starting a general conversation earlier in the election season.
Gena Carter asked for clarification on how the Forum’s classifications might not align with Equal Opportunity Codes (EOCs). She worried that the Forum’s classification might consider only job titles. She wanted to make sure the classifications align with the FOC codes, particularly for trades and skilled workers. Shayna Hill asked how many EOC codes exist. Carter offered to speak with Rich Arnold of Human Resources Information Management to obtain clarification in this area. The Chair said that the 25th anniversary of the Forum is a good time to institute changes. He recalled that these classifications have existed since the very beginning of the Forum and have yielded a good mixture of various job types. He did wanted every area to be represented.
The Chair said that the recent realignment had seen increases in the Division 7 (technical) and Division 8 (professional) categories. He said that he would send statistics based on job categories. Katie Musgrove observed that 90% of those in her office could not vote for her because of division categories. She was unclear who she was to represent. The Chair said that it was good that this discussion began now and could continue far in advance of next year’s elections. Musgrove proposed that the Membership & Assignments committee take this on as a long-term project.
Ricky Roach thought it more sensible to base divisions on location. Katie Musgrove suggested that employees have the chance to vote for anyone, regardless of division. The Chair suggested that the nomenclature for “division” be changed to “district” for clarity’s sake. Kathy Ramsey thought that Musgrove’s suggestion would not guarantee that a representative would be located in every employee’s district.
Lori Haight noted that elections typically have county commissioners elected in different parts of the ballot from national and state candidates. The Chair said that the University has 27 different job titles. He asked if the committee wanted to include all different job titles in its elections. He said that the Forum must consider the different formula used to establish districts.
The Chair said that the Forum would need to hold its June meeting on June 14th in order to avoid a conflict with the Splash Fest held by Facilities Services on June 7th. He noted that officer candidates will have the opportunity to speak in May and will be elected in June.
The Chair asked all Forum committee chairs to submit annual reports for the June meeting agenda packet. He suggested that the committees concentrate on statistics and numbers for possible inclusion in his overall annual report.
The Chair said that the Forum’s annual retreat will take place Wednesday, July 12th. Committee members discussed possible events for the retreat. Gena Carter said that Linc Butler hoped to make a presentation at the retreat. The Chair recalled the spaghetti challenge that occurred at the last retreat. Ben Triplett suggested a presentation on innovation taught by Will Brey of the Business School. The Chair hoped to invite Bruce Cairns, Chair of the Faculty Council, to an upcoming Forum meeting.
Matt Banks reported that preparations for the 25th anniversary event were off to a slow start. The Chair proposed to discuss this issue following the meeting.
Lori Haight reported that the Communications and Public Relations committee will publish its next issue of InTouch on April 24th thanks to editor Greg Smith.
Katie Musgrove of the Community Service committee said that the Habitat for Humanity build had gone very well, although one participant had sustained a minor injury. She suggested that the Forum send a card to this employee. The Chair noted a commitment from University Trustee Donald Curtis to help fund the build. He hoped to discuss sponsorship of other Forum events in May.
Ricky Roach of the Carolina Blood Drive reported that the group’s last meeting had been postponed for the Spring Holiday (Easter). He asked if the Forum had been in touch with Shannon Harvey regarding a possible story for the drive. The Chair hoped to have an article ready by June 6th. Roach said that the article was needed ahead of time. He suggested that the Forum sign a card for Harvey during her recovery also. Kathy Ramsey said that she would purchase these cards for signing at the May meeting.
The Chair noted the Community Garden’s dedication of its solar greenhouse on Friday. He had planned to establish a staff work day on Earth Day but had not had a chance to do so. Katie Musgrove said that staff participation is particularly needed during the summer.
It was noted that the Education and Career Development committee will send out its formal announcement for the Carolina Family Scholarship very soon.
The Chair asked that Forum officers be present for the upcoming April 27th new delegate orientation.
Natiaya Neal noted that nominations for the Kay Wijnberg Hovious Outstanding Delegate award will close Friday. She said that peer recognition event notifications will go out to campus soon.
The Chair said that the UNC System Staff Assembly’s Chancellors’ Cup golf tournament will take place in Sanford on Wednesday, May 17th. He said that the Forum is still seeking sponsors for its golf hole.
The Chair said that General Counsel Mark Merritt will speak on the University and the First Amendment to the Constitution at the Forum’s May 3rd meeting. He asked delegates to be ready to discuss the first reading of proposed Bylaws revisions.
The Chair noted that the most recent meeting of the Vice Chancellor representatives with Forum delegates has been canceled. Gena Carter said that the next meeting should take place on Thursday, June 8th.
Ben Triplett noted a perceived lack of vetting of C. Knox Massey Award candidates. He worried that this might lead to general embarrassment. Gena Carter recalled this question arose two years ago. She had been charged to vet possible winners. She noted that an active disciplinary action now exists for one of the Massey Award winners, but this action did not exist when the candidate was vetted. She said that all it can take is one minute for such an action to attach to an employee’s record.
Shayna Hill noted concerns about this process in conversations regarding the Rebecca Clark award. She thought it important that the University hammer out clear guidelines regarding its award criteria. Carter said that internally, committees are charged to do this vetting but this criteria may not be posted on the website. She said that in most cases, no one had found anything previously which would have changed the course of candidate selection.
Shayna Hill suggested that the University study its criteria, particularly “extreme meritorious service” as a criterium for awards. Ben Triplett said that it was regrettable that an employee with known disciplinary issues might receive an award, particularly of the prestige of the C. Knox Massey award. Hill noted that employees have taken to campaigning for this award due to the $10,000 prize attached. She recalled receiving a campaign form from an employee seeking endorsement. She said that this request had put her in an awkward situation of possibly refusing and drawing repercussions. Ben Triplett said that the students and faculty are mainly approached in this way by campaigning employees. Shayna Hill said that in her case, a housekeeper had introduced her campaign to the business operations in her area. Gena Carter suggested that the process needs an overhaul altogether. She planned to discuss this question with Administration officials.
In the advance of further discussion, the meeting adjourned by acclamation at 1:12 p.m.
Matt Banks, Recording Secretary