April 19, 2016 Executive Committee minutes
Attending (those who signed in): Sharon Brinson, Clare Counihan, James Fuller, Chrissie Greenberg, Shayna Hill, Kathy James, Arlene Medder, Kathy Ramsey, Charles Streeter, Ben Triplett
Chair Charles Streeter called the meeting to order at 11:30 a.m. He noted that the Executive Committee will likely not meet in June. He welcomed the University’s Director of Internal Communications Jane Calloway. Calloway noted her work responsibilities for the University Gazette as well as the Chancellor’s all-campus e-mails, among other initiatives. She noted a general interest in taking the University Gazette on-line and she asked if employees would read the Gazette on-line or in print. She also asked how the Forum manages to distribute its newsletter to those without regular computer access.
Calloway said that she would love to have the Gazette printed out and placed in breakrooms. The Chair asked how long it would take the Gazette to transition to an on-line version. Calloway said that research is still going on into that question. Chrissie Greenberg said that the younger population would enjoy having the Gazette on-line, but she personally enjoys the print version. Sharon Brinson also likes the print edition. Clare Counihan said that the electronic edition is easier to share with other employees. She also noted the environmental benefits of moving exclusively to an on-line edition. Kathy James said there is great waste of printed editions in her department. Greenberg asked about letting employees opt into receiving printed copies. Calloway said that the Gazette would still need a certain amount of overhead if it continued to print its publications. The Chair suggested that the Gazette could release a print edition once per semester, such as for the Massey winner articles. Counihan commented that the Calendar section had been very useful. Ben Triplett said that Housekeeping could perhaps receive only 3-4 copies per zone as opposed to one copy per every individual. Jim Fuller personally liked the print editions for their convenience. He noted that the Gazette needs to translate its editions into Spanish, Karen, and Burmese.
Arlene Medder asked from where the Gazette obtains its addresses. Calloway said that finding and updating this list has been very difficult. Internal Communications tries to manage opt-out and opt-in for employees. Chrissie Greenberg noted the University Director is a resource but Calloway said that not everyone keeps this information up to date. She said that the distribution can become a nightmare.
The Chair said that employees should opt in to receive the Gazette and if their information is incorrect they should be removed from the distribution list. Calloway said that print editions should be opt-in. Calloway noted the challenge of accessing information through ConnectCarolina’s information directory.
Calloway summed up that delegates felt warmly about the University Gazette but do not really favor going to a completely on-line format. She said that the Gazette would be read on-line if it were properly promoted. She said that this promotion could take place on Twitter and other social media. The Chair suggested creating videos as a different way to distribute information. Chrissie Greenberg agreed that three-minute videos are an interesting and nice way to obtain information. Calloway asked about those without computer access. The Chair said that employees on eduroam can easily consume this material. Greenberg added that some employees might watch at home.
Calloway asked about kiosks in which employees who do not use computers regularly can access University communications. Ben Triplett said that Housekeeping has these kiosks but does not maintain printers. Kathy Ramsey asked if employees can contact Calloway’s office to opt out of the paper copies of the Gazette. Calloway said that employees can contact her directly.
Calloway asked employees’ opinions on placing distribution boxes in high-traffic areas instead of individual delivery. Chrissie Greenberg said that deliveries to her business office typically take ten minutes to distribute twice a month. Calloway thanked the Executive Committee for the chance to meet and discuss these options.
The Chair called for a motion to approve the February and March minutes. Arlene Medder moved to approve the February minutes with amendments, seconded by Kathy Ramsey. The motion was approved. Clare Counihan moved that the committee approve the March minutes with amendments, seconded by Ben Triplett. The motion was approved without opposition.
The Chair asked the committee what the Forum should do regarding House Bill 2. He said that the issue was worthy of discussion at the April Forum meeting. He noted that the University must remain in compliance with State law. Delegates said it would be useful for the Forum to publish a list of gender-neutral bathrooms, either by publishing on the Forum’s home page or the University Gazette. Clare Counihan suggested posting a list of the newest locations. She noted that Facilities Services is currently doing an audit of all single-stall bathrooms.
Shayna Hill thought the larger conversation should be about inclusion. She noted the new lactation room at the School of Dentistry. She said that this controversy provides an opportunity to implement other necessary improvements like lactation rooms. Clare Counihan noted House Bill 2’s preemption of anti-discrimination statutes.
Regarding the Forum budget, Chrissie Greenberg said that the Personnel Issues committee wished to return its $600 to the general budget. The Chair asked for a motion to move the June meeting to June 8th from June 1st, in order to avoid Memorial Day week. The committee agreed to this change. The Chair noted that the Forum would elect officers and honor its peer recognition award winners in June. He asked members’ opinions of possible locations for the July retreat. He said that the Forum would likely need to prepay for certain retreat expenses in the current fiscal year. Shayna Hill indicated that prepayment is allowed under State rules. The Chair recalled one year when the Forum had $900 left over in its accounts which it could not carryover. Chrissie Greenberg said that the prepayment would likely involve a purchase order of some kind.
The Chair asked for ideas regarding the July retreat location, noting recent difficulties with the Upendo Lounge space. He noted the possibilities of the Friday Center, the Carolina Club, and the Rizzo Center, among others. Chrissie Greenberg said that the function room atop the Morehead Planetarium is glassed in and could become very hot. The Chair said that the Forum would need to accommodate between 50-60 people. Kathy James suggested the Farm. The Chair said that Membership & Assignments would decide where the venue will be.
The Chair noted that the May 25th Chancellor’s Cup golf tournament is rapidly approaching. He had reached out via various means to find volunteers to play for UNC-Chapel Hill. He noted that volunteers assisting with the tournament can use community service leave for this purpose.
The Chair noted that UNC System Staff Assembly Chair Pernell Bartlett has asked System institutions to compile a list of five obtainable goals. He asked that the Forum defer consideration of this request for the time being.
The Chair said that Kathy Ramsey and Kathy James have volunteered to administer the peer recognition awards event at the June 8th meeting. Arlene Medder joined these two delegates. Nominations for the event will close in mid-May.
Jim Fuller reported that the Carolina Blood drive had received a donation pledge of 300 cookies from Insomnia Cookies. The drive has also received $1,500 from the Chancellor’s office. He had forwarded the drive’s flier to Katie Turner for inclusion in InTouch. He noted that the drive will take place June 7th.
Arlene Medder said that the Carolina Campus Community Garden will staff a work day that Wednesday. The Chair said that the Forum would send out a blast asking for staff participation in the work day. The Forum will also purchase juice and snacks for the event. Medder noted that Clare Miller has asked the number of part-time and temporary employees on University distribution lists. Gena Carter said that only University Temporary Service temporaries are counted by the University. Other temporary services used by campus units are not tracked. Medder said that work continues on the Garden greenhouse.
It was noted that the Communications and Public Relations committee will publish the next issue of InTouch on April 29th.
Clare Counihan said that the Education and Career Development committee will continue to seek funding for the Carolina Family Scholarship.
Kathy James said that the Hovious Outstanding Delegate Awards will be determined before the May meeting. She shared the results of the Division 8 election. She also noted that Orientation for new delegates will take place in the Toy Lounge of Dey hall on April 28th. The Membership and Assignments committee is working to plan these events.
Chrissie Greenberg reported that the Personnel Issues committee had seen a slowdown in activity as the year has gone on. The Chair noted that the Forum has lost a number of delegates from the University in recent months, up to ten delegates or so.
The Chair spoke about his and Katie Turner’s experiences on the advisory committee for Student Stores. He did not feel able to talk at length about this experience prior to the announcement of the decision. He hoped that the Forum would hold a community meeting to allow employees some place to hear what will happen regarding the Student Stores. He thought that the entire campus should have the opportunity to hear from Vice Chancellor Matt Fajack and Associate Vice Chancellor Brad Ives concerning this process, among others.
Delegates worried how the Forum would look hosting a community meeting at which Fajack and Ives deliver any adverse decision regarding Student Stores. They worried that the Forum would be seen as signing off on the decision at the end. The Chair noted the Forum’s charge to serve as an effective two-way communication link between the employees and the administration. Shayna Hill asked if the final decision regarding Student Stores had been made. The Chair said that it had not been made yet.
Phillip Edwards asked about what productive direction the community meeting discussion could take. The Chair said that employees will want to hear directly from the Forum on this matter. Clare Counihan suggested specifying in the publicity about the meeting that the Forum does not by holding the meeting endorse the process or the final decision. Members discussed having the community meeting without knowledge of what the final decision would be.
The Chair called for a motion to hold a community meeting on this topic, with the stipulation that the meeting would take place no less than two weeks after the Student Stores decision is announced. The motion was made and carried by a 4-3 vote with one abstention. Clare Counihan asked that it be made clear that the Forum does not endorse this decision. The Chair noted that Katie Turner would be present at the May meeting and so could give more information regarding the Student Stores process then.
Kathy Ramsey noted her attendance at the Faculty Welfare committee. She had worked on the high-risk alcohol and substance abuse report for the committee.
The Chair noted that the UNC System Staff Assembly will meet May 22nd-24th.
After some discussion, the committee agreed to not invite speakers for May to preserve room for other topics. Arlene Medder suggested that the Forum seek some information on Native American populations within the University. The Chair suggested deferring this idea to a Vice Chancellor representatives’ meeting as the full Forum has discussed this question recently.
Chrissie Greenberg noted concerns about Latin American community members who are torn between heritage and campus life. These people are used to extended families and feel pulled back to their communities.
Ben Triplett said that May 7th would be the last day to submit information for the campus diversity survey. The Chair hoped that the Forum would have the opportunity to use information from this survey. Arlene Medder noted trends in crowd-source analysis that might reveal insight from this data. The Chair thought that this data would be available from Institutional Research eventually.
The Chair noted that the April Vice Chancellor representatives’ meeting would be rescheduled to May. He asked that some Administration representative present a report on Shared Services in Finance & Administration at that meeting.
In the absence of further discussion, the meeting adjourned at 1:25 p.m.
Matt Banks, Recording Secretary