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Employee Forum Agenda

9:15 a.m. —-Meeting: Pleasants Family Assembly Room, Wilson Library

I. Call to Order—Chair Jackie Overton

II. Welcome Guests & Members of the Press

III. Special Presentations

  • Director of State Relations Jennifer Willis
  • Dean of School of Nursing Kristen Swanson
  • Orange County Rape Crisis Center Programs Director Laurie Graham

IV. Human Resources Update—Vice Chancellor Brenda Malone

V.  Approval of March minutes

VII. Old Business

  • Revised Proposed Resolution 13-01(Second Reading)
    • Original Proposed Resolution 13-01, Concerning Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment (2nd Reading, First Reading Rule Suspended by Vote of Executive Committee)

VIII. New Business

  • Voting for Kay Wijnberg Hovious Outstanding Delegate Award (Criteria)

IX. Forum Committee Reports

  • Carolina Community Garden Advisory: Arlene Medder
  • Communications and Public Relations: Katie Turner
  • Education and Career Development: Charles Streeter
  • Membership & Assignments: Myra Quick (February minutes)
  • Personnel Issues: Christina Lebonville (March minutes)
    • NC Vision Coalition: Ellen Donna Brooks
  • Recognition & Awards: Chris Meinecke
  • UNC System Staff Assembly:  Danny Nguyen/John Gullo
  • Executive Committee: Jackie Overton (February minutes)

X. Announcements/Questions

XI. Adjournment


April 3, 2013 Employee Forum minutes

Delegates attending (those who signed in):  Teri Augustine, Dan Barmmer, Ellen Donna Brooks, Deborah Bush, Tiffany Carver, Tammy Cox, Sharon Glover, John Gullo, James Holman, Todd Hux, Christina Lebonville, Carleta Long, Matthew McKirahan, Chris Meinecke, Jackie Overton, Jason Palivoda, Myra Quick, Koyah Rivera, David Schwartz, Tara Smith, Charles Streeter, Alpa Vaghani

Chair Jackie Overton called the meeting to order at 9:15 a.m.  She was pleased to welcome Director of State Relations Jennifer Willis to present opening remarks.  Willis said that she had been in her current position since August and had served before then as an advocate for the community college system.  She has also worked with the General Assembly and with Wake County local government.  Willis said that her office works to advocate University positions to elected officials and staff, promote funding, and advise campus leadership on legislative issues.  She works to manage relationships with legislators and manage the flow of information.  She noted that the Legislature was estimated to have lost 650 years of institutional memory in recent years.  She noted that the GOP has a veto-proof majority this term.  Friends of the University such as Representative Joe Hackney and Senator Richard Stevens are no longer in office.

Willis conducts legislative visits for the Chancellor, members of the Boards of Trustees and Visitors, and Deans of University departments.  She tries to maximize the impact of these visits by holding them selectively.  She also works to coordinate grassroots activities of the General Alumni Association, faculty, staff, and students, and parents.  She said that advocacy carries more weight when it comes from a constituent of a particular legislator.  Willis lauded the importance of personal relationships with every legislator and every staff member.  She noted the importance of having a common legislative “hymn book” from which everyone stays on the same message.

Concerning the Governor’s Recommended Budget, $11.4 billion of the $20.6 billion will go to education.  The budget maintains $900 million in reserves.  Revenue forecasts have been a bit rosier this year than two years ago, when 10-15% budget cuts took place.  The Governor’s budget assumes moderate, 4% growth for the biennium.  The UNC System sees a 5.4% cut in the Governor’s budget, or $140 million in FY 13-14.  Management flexibility for the Board of Governors allows System campuses to determine where cuts will be taken.  She noted plans for increasing tuition and special language allowing in-state tuition rates for out-of-state scholars.  The Governor’s budget recommends enrollment increases and replenishments for renovation and repair.  The budget recommends a 1% recurring compensation increase for all state employees.  Willis noted concern about the budget’s ongoing reduction in the University budget, the size of non-resident tuition increase and the new directive to seek repair and renovation funds from federal overhead receipts.  There is also concern about a net reduction in financial aid.

Willis noted that the Governor’s budget is the first step in a four step process, meaning that the Senate, then the House, then a Conference committee will make recommendations.  The Legislature hopes to have a budget adopted by June 30, 2013.  Dan Barmmer asked who makes the final decision on which legislative priorities University sends to Raleigh.  Willis said that these choices are made in late summer.  Policy items generally are linked to strategic directions.  The Chancellors generally communicate their priorities to General Administration staff which then are distilled into final recommendations.  Not all recommendations go to the General Assembly, which is disappointing but is part of the nature of the process.  Willis’ office will also make recommendations on the political efficacy of some proposals. For example, efforts to reduce access to public records would not find much success this legislative term.  Todd Hux asked what her office will spend the majority of its time doing advocating for the University.  Willis said that her office will work to mitigate the level of managerial flexibility cuts and to react to concern about out-of-state tuition increases.  Sometimes it seems as if her work is largely to try to keep things from happening.  She noted that personnel flexibility has resurfaced on the Board of Governors’ priority list but had not shown up in the Legislature so far.  Matthew McKirahan asked about prospects that the Legislature would consolidate campuses.  Willis said that she was not certain any more about the actions of the Legislature.  She said that there is a general concern about how to make the University System more efficient.

The Chair introduced Kristen Swanson, Dean of the School of Nursing.  Swanson praised the Chair as an articulate spokesperson.  She noted that the search for the new Provost is underway concurrent with the search for the University’s new Chancellor.  Swanson said that in spite of recent difficulties, UNC-Chapel Hill is still an attractive destination for top candidates.  She said that the level of State support has added to this allure.  The UNC-Chapel Hill School of Nursing was ranked #4 in the country this year, a fraction behind its three closest competitors.  She noted that the School has a smaller tenured faculty than its competitors.  She noted the physician shortage facing the country, and the recent bill to remove the requirement that Nurse Practitioners must be supervised by physicians.  David Schwartz asked if this practice was in place to keep wages up.  Swanson noted the projected nursing shortage that also will face the country.  The School of Nursing has a nursing faculty shortage, as does the entire nation.  Swanson said that goals for the School of Nursing are to increase the number of undergraduate nursing degree-holders and advanced practice nurses.  The School plans to increase revenues and increase diversity in its faculty.  The School hopes to increase the number of tenure-line faculty from 40 to 52, hiring six new clinical faculty for the Ph.D. program.  The School wants to streamline the transition between undergraduate and Ph.D. work.  Carleta Long asked if the one-year associates’ degree has been phased out.  Swanson said that the degree is still around but most who pursue it want to stick around to become a regular nurse.  She said that hospitals with a higher percentage of BSNs are less likely to have failure to rescue events.  Koyah Rivera asked about how Swanson planned to move people up to the Ph.D. ranking.  She commented that this needs deliberate planning.  Swanson noted that the brightest student can suffer if not stretched to their fullest capacity.   Swanson noted the importance of recruiting students already on campus.  Matthew McKirahan asked about the possibility of Nurse Practitioners taking over General Practitioner duties from the existing population of MDs.  Swanson said that the mindset of the two professions is different.  Physicians generally are training to go into specialized fields.

The Chair introduced Programs Director for the Orange County Rape Crisis Center Laurie Graham.  Graham spoke on the mission of the Center and its range of programs.  She noted that the Center provides support to law enforcement in legal proceedings.  She said that the Center serves survivors of sexual violence and their loved ones.  She noted that the Center has expanded its Latino services in recent years.  She said that the Center has provided training on “Safe Touch” in Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools for 30 years, from Kindergarten to High School.  Graham noted the t-shirt display outside of Wilson Library to symbolize the struggles of those facing sexual violence.  She noted that the Center has nine staff and over one hundred volunteers.  Todd Hux asked about the use of “survivors” instead of “victims” in her talk.  Graham said that the term “survivor” is more empowering, but aid workers try to mirror the language used by the person involved.  Dan Barmmer asked if the level of sexual violence has increased in Orange County in recent years.  Graham said that the Center employs more bilingual staff now which has led to a 400% increase in Spanish-speaking reports.  The Center has targeted this population for service.  She noted that the CDC has estimated that between 1 in 4 to 1 in 6 women has been the victim of rape or attempted rape in their lifetime.  David Schwartz asked if there were more instances of stranger or acquaintance assault in Orange County.  Graham said that 80% of all assaults occur between people who know each other, a statistic that is mirrored here.  Hux asked if there is any population that is more likely to face these assaults.  Graham said that sexual violence does not discriminate, but the highest likelihood is that women between the ages of 18-25 will suffer victimization.  John Gullo asked if some counties lack a Rape Crisis Center.  Graham said that most counties double up services for domestic and sexual violence.  Some centers serve more than one county.  Deborah Bush inquired about training options for Center volunteers.

Vice Chancellor Brenda Malone gave the Forum’s customary Human Resources update.  She noted that the Governor’s salary increase guidelines have asked State agencies to tighten up on these increases.  She noted that there is an IT exception for these increases.

Senior Director Ashley Nicklis noted that the State Health Plan will undergo two annual enrollments this year in order to shift to a calendar year schedule.  She said that there should not be a rate increase for the July 1 enrollment.  An October enrollment will consolidate with other program enrollments such as the NC Flex plan.  One should expect a premium increase with the October enrollment, along with a shortened deductible year.  All of this will start over again January 1, 2014.  Regarding FY13 leave, Nicklis urged employees to use this leave before June 30 of this year.  She noted that the accruals page of TIM for a listing of FY13 time.  Deborah Bush asked how the insurance premium increase is dictated.  Nicklis said that the State Plan is administered by Blue Cross/Blue Shield.  She said that rates are set based on the use and participation in the Plan throughout the State.  The State Plan in Raleigh makes the final decision.  Nicklis said that Blue Cross/Blue Shield won a bid for the contract to administer the State Plan last year.  Ellen Donna Brooks asked about the possibility of the Plan subsidizing the cost of gym membership.  Nicklis said that perhaps the Blue Wellness plan does that.  Brenda Malone praised the success of the spring wellness expo.

The Chair called for a motion to approve the minutes of the March meeting, with her amendments.  Deborah Bush made this motion, seconded by David Schwartz.  The motion was approved with no opposition.

Christina Lebonville read resolution 13-01 concerning sexual violence and sexual assault.  The Chair called for a motion to approve the resolution, following some discussion.  Todd Hux made this motion.  The motion was approved by acclamation.

Chris Meinecke distributed ballots for the Kay Wijnberg Hovious Outstanding Delegate award.  Delegates were asked to vote for up to three current active delegates.  Winners will be announced at the June retreat.

Given limited time remaining, the Chair asked delegates to read committee minutes to substitute for the usual committee reports.  The Chair noted that there is an 85% chance that there will be a new Chancellor announced by the next Forum meeting.  She noted that the UNC System Staff Assembly will hear from President Tom Ross the morning of April 15.  She invited Executive Committee members to hear these remarks.  She noted that the Forum will host a spring community meeting on May 21 from 9-11 a.m. in the Student Union Auditorium featuring President Ross and Chancellor Thorp.  Hunter Rawlings will lead a panel on athletics and academics on April 19 from 1-3 p.m. in the Carolina Inn.  The Chair commended Katie Turner and Charles Streeter for their work on the upcoming InTouch.

Jason Palivoda noted that Art Pope, State Budget Director, will speak at Gardner Hall Room 08 on Tuesday, April 9 at 12:30 p.m.  David Schwartz said that he did not agree with Pope but held out hope that he is persuadable.  The Chair asked that those who go to the talk not engage in an adversarial manner but rather try to find points of agreement.  She said that telling one’s story can be a better strategy.  Jason Palivoda asked who the people are asking that there not be an adversarial approach.  The Chair said that Chancellor and Director for State Relations Jennifer Willis were two people advising this approach.  Palivoda thought that a question of free speech is involved.  The Chair said that there is a way to make a point without making an enemy.  David Schwartz said that media coverage of the event might lead to a different approach to the question.  The Chair advised listeners to get there early as it may not be a very large room.

In the absence of further discussion, the meeting adjourned at 11:30 a.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Matt Banks, Recording Secretary


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