August 18, 2015 Executive Committee minutes
Attending (those who signed in): Bonita Brown, Clare Counihan, Phillip Edwards, Chrissie Greenberg, Shayna Hill, Arlene Medder, Kirk Montgomery, Kathy Ramsey, Samara Reynolds, Charles Streeter, Ben Triplett, Katie Turner
Chair Charles Streeter called the meeting to order at 11:35a.m. He and Kirk Montgomery had attended the General Alumni Association’s open house the previous Friday. He said that Bryan Stevenson had been a very good speaker during the previous night. He said that Stevenson had established four main points for social justice and changing the world: getting close to the problem, changing the narrative, keeping hope, and doing difficult things sometimes. Stevenson observed that the one in three black men have been incarcerated in the 21st century, and people have been jailed and put on death row for ridiculous reasons. The Chair planned to send out a link to the speech when it becomes available on-line.
Katie Turner noted Information Technology Services’ new social networking platform, the UNC Academic Commons. She would send out a link with instructions to use the page.
The Chair called for a motion to approve the July minutes, noting that he had minor corrections. Arlene Medder also had some edits for the minutes. Shayna Hill moved that the minutes be accepted given the needed edits. There was no discussion, and the motion was approved with none opposing.
Shayna Hill and Matt Banks presented the Forum’s monthly budget report. Banks noted that the Forum’s move away from Wilson Library to the Stone Center would save money in table moves each month. He and Hill had met with representatives from Human Resources accounting to request access to the Forum accounts as well as to follow up on previous items of interest.
The Chair said that strategic planning and goalsetting would be shifted to Kirk Montgomery, with the pair selecting two to three goals for the coming year. The Chair would report back on what was done.
The Chair noted problems for some delegates accessing the proposed Forum bylaws revisions on SharePoint. Katie Turner recalled the August general meeting discussion in which delegates voiced concerns that vacation and sick absences count as excused. She would add language to address these concerns. Clare Counihan noted a question from that meeting asking whether the Forum wanted its Bylaws to match its practices or vice versa. The Chair thought that the former alternative would be best. Phillip Edwards noted that Bylaws approvals can be paragraph by paragraph allowing for amendments and discussion or all at once. He said that taking the proposals all at a whole can be difficult. Katie Turner said that she had written the Bylaws revisions in a small enough chunk to be considered all at once. Members discussed the appointment process for replacing resigning delegates. The Chair noted that he should appoint replacements in consultation with the Forum Secretary and members of that division. He asked that this issue go on the agenda. Katie Turner said that she would add variations in language to the revisions for presentation at the September general meeting.
Turner noted that the General Alumni Association will hold a campus-wide Tar Heel service day on Saturday, October 10th. The Chair proposed that the Forum invite staff to volunteer for the University Garden that day. He noted that University Day will take place Monday, October 12th, followed by the Employee Appreciation Fair on Friday, October 16th. Turner asked about the possibility of having Forum delegates participate on a Habitat for Humanity construction project. It was noted that the Forum had participated in such a project previously with varying levels of turnout. Turner offered to contact the Alumni Association to obtain a list of projects and opportunities for staff.
The Chair said that Kathy Ramsey is working to plan a social event for Forum delegates, to be followed by a faculty-staff reception sometime this semester. He, Ramsey, and Kirk Montgomery will meet concerning Employee Appreciation Day. The Chair said that Kim Andrews has mentioned the possibility of Forum delegates walking the field at halftime of the football game Saturday, October 17th. He said that the Forum would need to insure a strong turnout to commit to this event. The Chair also noted that the proposed event with the NC A&T staff organization will now be conducted by the UNC-Chapel Hill Black Caucus.
The Chair said that the Forum needs a final word on whether it has been selected to host the Chancellors’ Cup golf tournament May 26th by the end of the month. He said that the tournament had been very successful at NC State and East Carolina in prior years. The Chair planned to ask for volunteers from all staff employees if Chapel Hill is called on to host the tournament next year. Arlene Medder noted that the School of Dentistry conducts its own golf tournament each year. She thought that people associated with that tournament could help with logistics and parking. The Chair said that the Forum would need to look at finding donations for the golf tournament. Clare Counihan confirmed that cash and in-kind donations will be welcome.
Jim Fuller of the Blood Drive committee was not present to make a report. It was noted that the next big staff blood drive will occur in December.
Arlene Medder said that the Carolina Campus Community Garden is in the process of switching from summer to winter produce. She said that organizers have been pleased by the happy turnout of staff to volunteer in the Garden as well as the great amount of produce grown.
Katie Turner of the Communications and Public Relations committee said that the Twitter basics class still had a few seats open for interested employees. She noted that the scavenger hunt still needs prizes for distribution. She listed the names of businesses that have donated to this point.
The Chair noted that Forum electoral divisions 1, 5, 6, and 9 have sent out letters of greeting to their employees. Turner asked that the all-staff list be updated.
Samara Reynolds of the Education and Career Development committee said that the higher education mini-conference will likely take place on March 22nd from 10-1 p.m. Shayna Hill hoped that the classes would match the Training & Development competencies list. Hill noted that the course catalogue for Training & Development is in a holding pattern for now. Samara Reynolds said that the Education and Career Development committee would be ready to promote the conference closer to the event. The Chair suggested that a column for the InTouch newsletter’s “Career Corner” focus on professional practice and resume review. Clare Counihan confirmed that Career Services only serves UNC students.
Reynolds noted that the new professional development grant application process is about to roll out for its second year. The Chair noted that the Staff Assembly will also receive applications for its professional development grants ending October 1st.
Kathy Ramsey of the Membership & Assignments committee said that group is working to fill delegate vacancies and to plan multiples soirees for the Forum.
Chrissie Greenberg of the Personnel Issues committee said that the group hoped to finish work on the salary cap resolution. She reported she had been approached by Devon Ross of Orange County Justice United to discuss possible housing initiatives in the area. The Chair thought that an initial meeting with Ross would be a good idea.
The Chair reported that the Staff Assembly met August 4th and 5th. This was Susan Colby’s final meeting, as the next Assembly Chair Pernell Bartlett was sworn in. The Chair noted that the Forum would need to select its next representatives to the Staff Assembly in September.
The Chair noted concerns from Faculty Assembly chair Steven Leonard has raised questions about the speed and transparency of the UNC System presidential search. He noted that the announced schedule is for the new President to be appointed by the first of October.
The Chair noted that Chancellor Folt has tentatively agreed to attend the October general meeting, as well as Vice Provost Taffaye Clayton.
Ben Triplett noted discussions about a shared services administration. Arlene Medder said that this effort would combine and streamline service provision across campus. It was noted that similar efforts have failed on other campuses. The Chair said that his office in Student Affairs had learned to adapt to a business hub system in Student Affairs. He asked that members with comments on the proposal to send them to him for discussion with high-level administrators. Delegates expressed concerns that employees could leave due to attrition and not be replaced, leaving their fellow employees with an unequal amount of extra work.
Chrissie Greenberg asked if the Forum could make a request for information about staff turnover, particularly related to the PeopleSoft migration. She emphasized the importance of staff retention in maintaining a healthy and positive work environment.
The Chair noted that it had been ten years since Chancellor Moeser issued the Chancellor’s Task Force for a Better Workplace report. He thought that the University would do well to revive this effort for the next ten years. Katie Turner offered to draft a resolution to this effect to Chancellor Folt. The Chair noted worries that the second and third layers of campus employees are being forgotten, even as the University focuses on top-tiered administrators.
Katie Turner noted a question about her position classification and its relation to the office she supports. She noted that Human Resources had told her that an executive assistant classified as “advanced” can only exist if it supports a Vice Chancellor or Dean. She expressed concerns that the Executive Assistant classification is heavily gendered, and that without opportunities for advancement to the “advanced” classification, many women in that position might hit a glass ceiling or decide to leave the university. She suggested that titles such as “Business Officer” and “Executive Assistant” may have overlapping duties, but are gendered and have different pay ranges. She observed that the closer a position seems to be to students, the less well-paid it is.
Katie Turner suggested that the Forum purchase a banner to welcome students back to campus each year. She was skeptical that many students would note an advertisement in the Daily Tar Heel.
In the absence of further discussion, the meeting adjourned by acclamation at 1:21 p.m.
Respectfully submitted, Matt Banks, Recording Secretary