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August 1, 2018

UNC-Chapel Hill Employee Forum

Hitchcock Multipurpose Room, Sonja H. Stone Center

NOTE:  This is a draft agenda and is subject to change without notice.

I.   Call to Order & Opening Remarks—Chair Shayna Hill (9:15 a.m. – 9:25 a.m.)

  • Welcome to Guests & Members of the Press

II.  Special Presentations (9:25 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.)

  • Dennis Schmidt, Assistant Vice Chancellor of ITS, on Two-Step Verification
  • Elaine Westbrooks, University Librarian and Vice Provost
  • Kim Strom-Gottfried, Director, Ethics Education & Policy Management

III. Human Resources Update (10:00 a.m. – 10:25 a.m.)

  • Vice Chancellor for Workforce Strategy, Equity and Engagement Felicia Washington
  • Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources Linc Butler

IV.  Consent Agenda (10:25 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.)

V.   Old Business (10:45 a.m. – 11:10 a.m.)

  • Selection of Executive Committee Divisional Representatives

VI.  New Business (11:10 a.m. – 11:25 a.m.)

VII. Announcements/Questions (11:25 -11:30 a.m.)

VIII. Adjournment


August 1, 2018 Employee Forum Meeting minutes

Attending:  Darren Abrecht, Emma Beckham, Dzenita Blackwell, Rich Brandenburg, Tiffany Carver, Regina D’Uva, Chrissie Greenburg, Lori Haight, Kathy Harrison, Shayna Hill, James Holman, Linda Holst, Todd Hux, Karlina Matthews, Aisha McClellan, Jeff McQueen, Alan Moran, Kadejah Murray, Katie Musgrove, Hoi Ning Ngai, Jim Potts, Laura Pratt, Kathy Ramsey, Greg Smith, Kewana Smith, Rose Thorp, Tracy Weatherby Williams, Rich Wright

Chair Shayna Hill called the meeting to order at 9:19 a.m.  She praised the communication, teamwork, and commitment on display at the Forum’s July retreat.  She then introduced Dennis Schmidt to speak on two-step verification at UNC.  Schmidt recalled that Chris Kielt had addressed the Forum on these questions previously.  He said that phishing efforts have begun to affect the personal finances of those involved due to discovery of password credentials on the part of malfeasants.  Criminals have even begun to obtain biographical data about their targets, to the point that they could replicate the University’s internal processes to expand and hide their crimes.

Schmidt said that the University is under attack by professionals who focus on stealing money and intellectual property.  These criminals study the University’s corporate structure to know the names and data of supervisors and finance people, to the point that they do not even need to hack into accounts to know the answers to customary security questions.

Schmidt said that two-step verification/authentication is a method to deal with these serious threats.  He said that perpetrators generally have no access to an employee’s or student’s phone whereas that person might have found their onyen and password.

Schmidt said that the two-step verification system for Microsoft Office 365 is different than the University’s Duo system.  He said that the Office 365 system is built into the software and will not permit the use of Duo to provide access.  He said that once installed, the Office 365 verification system is rather seamless.  He said that the entire campus must undergo this verification because everyone on campus uses their accounts to access other University systems.

Information Technology Services (ITS) will conduct a strong awareness campaign through November and encourages early adapters to install the verification software now.  Schmidt said that two-step verification will become mandatory for all students by mid-October and mandatory for all faculty and staff by late November.  He encouraged those needing help with the service to talk with others about this serious issue.

Katie Musgrove noted that her boss travels and typically relies on her to manage his e-mails through her phone.  Schmidt said that a phone is still necessary as a second verification tool in this instance.  He said that this situation would not require two separate devices but would require cellular connectivity.  The Office 365 verification system creates a random number which changes every 30 seconds.  ITS is working on a feature that will allow users to remain logged in until the user changes their onyen password or 30 days have passed.  Schmidt said that there are plans underway for a one-time, one-year log-in period.

Musgrove said that she needs to monitor her boss’ and her own e-mails.  Schmidt said that one should not share passwords, but Musgrove’s task can be met by setting log-ins with only one set of credentials.  Musgrove said that she would consult with ITS officials to accomplish this task.

An employee noted the tiresome number of prompts and log-ins required with the UNC verification systems.  She said that these prompts remain even when the check box for “keep logged in” is filled.  Schmidt said that these boxes must be checked on Macintoshes, iPhones, and Android phones.

Rose Thorp asked if ITS assumes that employees will use personal devices for work.  Schmidt said that this is the working assumption.  He said that employees have the option to purchase another device just for work matters with a $50 subsidy.  Thorp asked why ITS could not create an application that does everything at once, instead of the two separate verification systems (Duo and Office 365).  Schmidt said that Microsoft is working to standardize its system but for now, the great need for two-step verification requires the two systems.  He said that this is the only method available for now and said that the pain of use should decrease after the initial set-up.

Chrissie Greenberg asked about the amount of memory required by these dual systems.  She noted the significant cost to load extra memory on one’s phone.  Schmidt said that the memory requirements for these verifications systems is small.  He said that users must leave these applications on their phones to enable their use.  He drew a comparison with the use of house keys and locks, which can be annoying to use but are necessary when thieves are rampant and successful.

Bryan Andregg noted the specific size of the verification systems ranged in the byte range.  He recalled that current iPhones now have 64 gigs of memory, dwarfing the space needed for verification.  Schmidt said that ITS has seen thieves pose as high-level administrators to ask University officials to wire money, with an amazing foreknowledge of credentials necessary to accomplish this theft.  Schmidt added that two-step verification is the best method to stop these thieves.

Alan Moran asked about the University possibly moving to analogue methods of verifying information from digital methods to avoid these problems.  Schmidt said that it would be difficult to compartmentalize its data as it faces such a volume of break-in attacks each day.  He said that phish attacks are more difficult to block and detect automatically.  Moran suggested not using digital methods to store bank account information.  Schmidt added that ITS is working to add procedures to increase digital security to its service desks.

Clare Counihan confirmed that one could call 962-HELP or go to to find information on securing digital information.  Rose Thorp noted that the University has concentrated on parts of campus in introducing these two-step verifications, notably the Schools of Medicine and Dentistry.

The Chair introduced Vice Provost Elaine Westbrooks to speak on the University Library.  Westbrooks said that her one-year anniversary in her current position was imminent.  She said that the Library’s vision for the future involved the changing the meaning of a residential library in a digital age.  She recalled the Library’s charge to remain relevant and vibrant to users.

Westbrooks said that UNC libraries represent much more than books, recalling documents acquired in 1792 when the University was founded, and which form a symbol of this great institution.  She noted the mission of the Library to create and preserve knowledge and research through the Carolina Digital Repository, among other endeavors.  Westbrooks said that UNC Libraries now help students learn and connect to expertise in ways that they did not twenty years ago.  She stressed the importance of teaching digital literacy in this era of “fake news.”

Westbrooks noted the strong roles of the Davis and Health Sciences Libraries in the University’s research enterprise, particularly Davis’ strong social sciences, arts, Slavic languages, and Middle Eastern collections.  UNC Libraries help students and faculty with research methods and technological understanding.  She said that the various Makerspaces around campus facilitate original student research.  She noted the University’s deep and accessible collections.  Westbrooks said that the UNC Libraries use technology to improve the lives of human beings.  Faculty and staff use the libraries to improve campus community.  She remarked that Google had stolen the library’s brand of being the go-to place for information.  She proposed that UNC Libraries provide the service, expertise and quality on campus to help.

Emma Beckham asked how one could submit a grant to the Carolina Digital Repository.  Westbrooks said that there are a variety of methods, with some submissions coming from faculty and others from article publishers.  She said that the Repository seeks as many articles as possible.  Beckham asked about more creative ways to share information.  Westbrooks said that Library leaders are seeking measures to save materials in perpetuity.

Kim Strom-Gottfried, Director of Ethics Education and Policy Management, said that her office is a unique blend of policies and integrity work.  She said that policies must be enacted in a climate that holds all accountable.  She noted the office’s location in the Porthole Alley near Franklin Street.  She also cited the website which allows interested parties to connect to the Carolina Ethics Line, an anonymous reporting and inquiry hotline used by the University.

The Carolina Ethics Line allows users to make and track reports in accordance with the campus whistleblower policy.  Reports made go to NAVEX Global EthicsPoint officials for classification into nine different categories.  The report form allows complainants to submit comments anonymously, but the more information submitted about an incident the better.  Strom-Gottfried emphasized the importance of not just responding to individual incidents but also searching reports for the need to create systematic change.  The Ethics Line interface allows users to upload files and screenshots and even to create a password to update reports.

Strom-Gottfried said that once a report is submitted, an alert goes to her and others deemed necessary to investigate and respond such as University Counsel and Internal Audit.  Reports also receive triage to go to other areas which are tracked by UNC Policies.  The Chancellor receives a quarterly report in which recommendations are proactively made on education, support, and other areas of concern.

Clare Counihan asked if the website is available only in English.  Strom-Gottfried said that the website is to be translated to Spanish.  An employee warned that the Ethics Line should not use University onyens or IDs as this practice would defeat security measures.  Strom-Gottfried said that her office is also available for verbal ethics consultations as well.

Alan Moran asked the office’s role when something illegal is reported.  Strom-Gottfried said that the office will involve law enforcement or State Bureau of Investigations (SBI) officials when deemed necessary.  She said that these concerns may not be reported to departments involved as others may be implicated.  She said that key people monitor cases so that the system can respond to reports.  Hoi Ning Ngai confirmed that departments can also seek ethics consultations from the University Ombuds office and other campus officials.

The Chair noted that newly installed University Ombuds officer Dawn Osborne-Adams was present for the Forum meeting on her first official day of work.  The Chair recalled the Forum’s special role in the establishment of the Ombuds office as a product of the Task Force for a Better Workplace which was co-chaired by Chancellor Emeritus James Moeser and Forum Chair Tommy Griffin in 2005.  The Chair said that this has been a treasured partnership and said that Forum representatives had been graciously invited to participate in the position search for Wayne Blair’s replacement.  She was proud to welcome Osborne-Adams to the University.

Vice Chancellor of Workforce Strategy, Equity and Engagement Felicia Washington gave the Forum’s customary Human Resources update.  She said that no one was more excited to have Osborne-Adams join the University.  She appreciated the thoughtful committee members who served on the search and she said that new search committees will begin work in the new fiscal year.

Washington said that students will return to the University around September 16th.  She said that community members support the University mission of teaching, research and public service.  She noted the place of employees in pursuing this mission.  She also recalled Carolina’s opportunity to sustain the University’s mission in a time of increasing technical sophistication at the pace of change.  She said that the University will look to improve operational efficiencies in an environment which cares how its members are treated.  She invited listeners to pursue these themes further at the August Thinkposium held by Diversity and Inclusion.

Washington said that the UNC System Office will likely roll out the results of the recent Engagement and Culture employee survey in an October or November timeframe.  She added that the Data Breach Prevention and Compensation Act of 2018 will require System Office guidance about how information can be provided to different units.  She said that no institution has yet received direct guidance related to provision of information, but until guidance is provided, this data is considered public information.

Washington noted that in early July she and Provost Robert Blouin had advised the campus on the legislative provisions of $20 million for University salary increases, the five days of additional bonus leave, and a new minimum floor of $31,200 for University employees.  She said that final implementation of these measures remains for now with the Board of Governors.  A summary of possible salary structures under these provisions followed.  All details depend upon guidance from the Board of Governors, Washington said.

Vice Chancellor for Human Resources Linc Butler explained the proposed five days of annual bonus leave which will not expire and will carry no cash value for retiring employees.  He said that a critical difference occurs in the administration of this leave when an employee holds more than 240 vacation hours at the end of the calendar year.  Usually, this excess rolls to sick leave.  However, if that employee chooses to use the 2018 bonus leave in that same year, any leave remaining in excess of 240 hours must be deducted from the total rolling over into sick leave.

Butler granted that the reasons for this approach are baffling given how bonus leave has been administered in the past.  He said that Human Resources will provide more communication on this subject, particularly about how to code the leave in TIM, once information becomes available.  Emma Beckham confirmed that if an employee holding 240+ hours of vacation leave uses the 2018 bonus leave now, that employee has until only December 2018 to use all their 2018 bonus leave or face loss of accumulated leave remaining.  An employee confirmed that one can wait to use the 2018 bonus leave in a future year.

Alan Moran asked if Human Resources could e-mail a bulletin on this subject to employees.  Butler said that this information would go out soon.  Felicia Washington said that a communication was prepared last week.  She noted the tension between the need to inform the University quickly and the need to insure accuracy in communications.

Moran asked about the legislative establishment of a $31,200 floor for University employees and the creation of salary compression at the University.  He said that the University will find itself competing for employees to take leadership positions that will earn approximately the same as line employees.  Butler said that salary compression challenges are not new but must be managed.  Washington preferred to see the situation as an opportunity as well as an issue to be resolved.

The Chair recalled a spirited conversation at the UNC System Staff Assembly regarding the compression issue.  She said that the Assembly recalled a previous compression issue and hoped to make recommendations on the question in future deliberations.

Jim Potts confirmed that only the 2% salary increase is mandated for SHRA employees, with other rumored merit increases subject to final approval by the Board of Governors.

The Chair asked for a motion to approve the June minutes of the Forum.  It was noted that there was one error in the minutes.  Alan Moran made this motion subject to correction of the cited error, seconded by Jim Potts.  The motion was approved by acclamation.

Lori Haight spoke on behalf of the Communications & Public Relations committee.  She said that the committee will continue to publish the Forum newsletter InTouch through the leadership of editor Greg Smith.  She said that the committee seeks members to help with stories as well as help with the upcoming scavenger hunt in October.

Katie Musgrove said that the Community Service committee will meet directly following the meeting.  She invited delegates and others to join the committee.

Laura Pratt said that she would serve as Chair of the Education & Career Development committee and would continue the work of the Professional Development Grant and Carolina Family Scholarship groups.  She thanked Clare Counihan for her service as previous chair.

Tiffany Carver said that the Membership & Assignments committee had been active in planning the July retreat.  The committee would meet immediately following adjournment of the Forum’s general meeting.

Rose Thorp said that the Personnel Issues committee will discuss establishing a convenient meeting time for members following the meeting.  She said that the committee will discuss creating a survey to ask employees about issues of interest.

Natiaya Neal said that the Recognition & Awards committee had worked on the Peer Recognition award banquet in June.  The committee does not meet that often but was very busy preparing for the June event.

Kathy Ramsey noted that the UNC System Staff Assembly had met the previous two days at NC A&T State University.  The Assembly meets four times a year to distribute information and handle committee work.  The Assembly represents staff organizations at the various UNC institutions in discussions.

The Chair asked delegates to break into electoral divisions to select Executive Committee representatives.  Katie Musgrove noted that the Community Service committee also encompasses the Carolina Campus Community Garden and the Blood Drive committees, among others.

In the absence of further discussion, the meeting adjourned at 11:25 a.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Matt Banks, Recording Secretary



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