Agenda — August 2, 1995
9:30 a.m.—Meeting, Assembly Room of Wilson Library
I. Call to Order
II. Welcome Guests
III. Opening Remarks
•Chancellor Michael Hooker
•Laurie Charest, Human Resources Update
IV. Special Presentation Carolina Quality: What It Is, How It Has Been Implemented at Business & Finance, How You Can Get Involved
- Ann Dodd, Assistant to the Vice-Chancellor of Business and Finance and Director for Quality Improvement
V. Employee Presentations—Scott Blackwood
VI. Approval of Minutes of the July 5, 1995 meeting P
VII. Chair’s Report: Rachel Windham
- Employee Morale Comments Passed On to Chancellor
- Interim Provost Dick Richardson at July 18 Executive Committee Meeting
- Letter to Chancellor Requesting Employee Representation on Provost Search Committee
- Congratulations to Chancellor’s Award Winners
- Increasing Advantages/Benefits for Employees With More Than 30 Years State Service Referred to Compensation & Benefits
- Thank You to Laurie Charest for Working Titles Entry
- Thank You to Laurie Charest, Betsi Snipes, and Donnie Hall for Salary Increase Implementation
- Action in the Legislature
VIII. Committee/Task Force Reports
- Nominating—Scott Blackwood
- Career Development—Sharon Bowers
- Orientation—Debi Schledorn P
- Personnel Policies—Pat Staley
- Compensation and Benefits—Archie Lassiter/Tom Hocking
- Public Affairs—Delores Bayless
- Recognition and Awards—Ann Hamner P
- University Committee Assignments—Libby Chenault
- Salary Task Force—Delores Bayless/Trish Brockman
- Faculty Council Liaisons
- Partner Benefits—Linda Cook/Peter Schledorn
- Legislative Affairs—Laresia Farrington/Tom Hocking
- Land Use Planning—Ann Hamner
IX. Unfinished Business
- Employee Morale–Feedback on Homework Assignment–How Do We Address? P
- Forum Office Inaccessibility to Medically Compromised
- Chilly Climate Discussion Group
- University Planning Committee Preliminary Report
- Blood Drive Results
- Chat & Relax II
August 2, 1995
“ = Ex-Officio
Ralph W. Taylor
Call to Order
Chair Rachel Windham called the meeting to order at 9:35 a.m. She welcomed guests Jane Brown of the Faculty Council, Mike Hobbs of the University Gazette, Mark Schultz of the Herald Sun, and Stewart Rust of WCHL Radio, among others.
Chancellor’s Opening Remarks
The Chair introduced Chancellor Michael Hooker for his second meeting with the Forum. The Chancellor began by modestly joking that he felt he knew less now about the campus than he did the last time he spoke to the Forum. One may be “overwhelmed by detail,” the Chancellor said, but he is “listening to as many voices as he can.” He began by stating that the institution is in “very, very sound shape.” The University is in good financial health and the deferred maintenance problem, while needing improvement, is “less severe than any public university campus on which I have been.” Faculty and staff morale, he asserted, is fundamentally sound. While there are minor frustrations that one is always aware of, sometimes these can appear broader than they would if one had the context of looking at other people’s frustrations at other institutions. He said he does not want to minimize the problems on campus, but he felt that it “would be inappropriate to say that our problems are overly severe when they are not. We are in enormously good shape.”
This condition will enable the University to move forward to address the issues that we collectively identify, the Chancellor said. He thanked Forum members and other Employees for responding to his July call for feedback, stating that he did not expect as many letters as he had received. This large response, he said, is more evidence of the strong morale on campus, the Chancellor asserted. At other institutions he had seen that were in extremis because of financial difficulties people have given up to the point that they will not respond to an offer to contact the Chancellor and say what they are thinking. The volume of correspondence is emblematic of the fact that “we are in fundamentally good shape.” The talented staff, faculty and student population create an enormously sound base for the University to build upon as we move forward in the years ahead.
What has concerned the Chancellor initially the most has been the image of the University in the Legislature. He has had much time in the intervening month to speak with legislators and hear their concerns, misgivings, reservations and frustrations with Chapel Hill. The Chancellor said that the University has made good progress towards addressing the specific concerns of members of the Legislature and towards attacking the image problem. He was pleased that this situation has been altered fairly quickly. He said he would work assiduously to meet with as many legislators as possible in their home districts.
Regarding the University budget, the Chancellor asserted Chapel Hill came out in very good shape, in spite of some very anxious moments. He said the turning point emerged when the Conference Committee focused on the importance of the University’s research mission to the State economy. In Conference, the House seemed to cede to the Senate’s higher education budget, a good sign for the future of the University. The new leadership and freshman membership in the House made this past budget a particularly dangerous one for the University, but the Chancellor hoped to develop a closer working relationship with these legislators in the future.
The Chancellor advanced that public education has been the best investment the State has made in the past and will continue to be its best investment in the future. North Carolina has a very strong economy, which has responded well to cyclical change. The State is also far along in the shift from an energy-based to a knowledge-based economy. These economic strengths portend very good things for the future of the State, which should make it a very easy story to explain why public education is a good investment for the State.
With respect to specific aspects of the budget, the Chancellor said he had not seen the details, beyond snippets from newspapers. He expected to receive a complete budget from General Administration very soon. He reported a $75 tuition increase for higher education, which will require sending a supplemental bill to students very soon. The Chancellor noted that this extra effort would be administratively cumbersome, but was to be expected when the Legislature resolves its budget after the end of the fiscal year.
Also, research universities were given permission to institute a $400/year tuition increase, with the Board of Trustees holding authority to levy the charge. The most important feature of this change is that control of this new revenue remains on the campus. The Chancellor noted that before, the State’s General Fund captured all tuition revenues, creating an impediment sometimes for University administrators who could not rely on these funds for disbursement. Permission to levy this one-time charge in this manner is an important principle, the Chancellor said, although the Board of Trustees has not decided whether or when such an increase would occur. The Legislature is to be applauded for embracing this principle, the Chancellor advanced.
Approval of this extra “surcharge” remains in the hands of the Board of Trustees which to this point has not discussed the matter. Because of this late date, it remains problematic to consider imposing a $200 charge for the fall semester, although it may possibly be attached to the $75 supplemental bill that the University will already send.
Some graduate and professional schools were given permission to impose up to a $3,000 increase in out-of-state tuition, with these funds retained by the individual school in question. Whether these increases will occur depends on the will of the school and the Board of Trustees.
Thirty-five percent of tuition increase funds will be retained for financial aid. The remainder of the monies will be divided between faculty salaries and the libraries, with the Board of Trustees to decide the apportionment.
Any additional revenue benefits us all, the Chancellor asserted, because ultimately we have one set of obligations and one pool of funds to meet those obligations. Money flowing into any particular part of the campus ultimately works to the benefit of the entire campus. The 2% SPA pay increase, which the Chancellor wished was 5%, has already benefited some Employees, “somewhat to our embarrassment,” he said. He said that this was a no-win situation, where administrators believed that the 2% raises would hold and that by the time the first checks came out with the increases included, the raises would be a fait accompli. Unfortunately, when the checks came out the raises had not been approved, leading to an embarrassment which “we have survived,” he said.
The Chancellor proffered that what he had said was all he knew about the budget situation, hoping he had not provided any faulty information. He offered to answer any questions the Forum might have about the budget, the Legislature or anything else. Helen Iverson asked if the 2% increase for SPA Employees was approved for this year and the next. The Chancellor said he had assumed that, but had not asked himself the question until just now. He said he would work to find out the answer, but reiterated that he had not examined the budget in detail yet.
Marshall Wade asked if the Chancellor had a position or any new information on when the coming hearings on the housekeepers’ grievance would occur. Laurie Charest said the University was waiting for the courts to decide a hearing date and so had no input on when the hearings were scheduled.
Sue Morand asked the Chancellor about a rumor that the 2% salary increase would be retracted. The Chancellor replied that it would have been had the Legislature not implemented the increase or rolled back its implementation. Also, if the Legislature had not finished the budget bill, the increase would not be in the next paycheck, but the increase in the last check would not be rescinded.
The Chair asked the Chancellor about newly-elected Chair of the Board of Trustees Billy Armfield’s comments to the press stating that he wanted to bring to the attention of the trustees the concern about faculty salaries. She asked that the Chancellor pass along to the Board of Trustees equal concern about Employee salaries. While not deigning to speak for Mr. Armfield, the Chancellor contended that often when Trustees say faculty, they mean everyone who works here. The Trustees, he said, are acutely aware of the importance of adequately compensating all Employees and are aware of the morale issues. The Trustees, he asserted, are aware of the importance of enabling Employees to meet their own and their family’s needs through adequate compensation. The Chancellor said that he would pass on the Chair’s comment and regretted that he had not observed the slight himself.
Margaret Balcom reported that several of the Trustees had brought up the issue of staff salaries and needs. The Chancellor contended that the question was of the Trustees’ consciousness of these issues, not their commitment. He said that he would introduce Employee concerns into the Board of Trustees’ consciousness, but noted it was emblematic that even he was sometimes blind to these concerns.
In the absence of further questions, the Chair thanked the Chancellor for his remarks to the Forum and for addressing Delegates’ questions. She underscored the budget’s interest to everyone involved in the BD-119 process and was glad the Chancellor could share what he could on that subject. She wished those assembled “success” in the number-crunching and hectic activity that accompanies the BD-119.
Human Resources Update
Laurie Charest started with a brief legislative report, to supplement what the Chancellor had said. She said that she had received a copy of the final budget just before the meeting and had not had a chance to study it in detail. She did have some information on legislative action relating to human resource issues. She apologized to any Resource Facilitators who may have heard this same news at meetings last week.
To begin, Laurie mentioned the 2% salary increase for SPA Employees, the 2% allocation for EPA Employees which will be allocated by General Administration and distributed through the BD-119 process that the Chair mentioned earlier. General Administration will hand down instructions for the BD-119 later in the week. Increases for EPA Employees will appear in the September paychecks, retroactive to July 1. Laurie Charest reported that there would be no bonus for any State employee.
Besides salaries, there was an increase in the retirement formula, from 1.73% to 1.75%, a modest increase, Laurie Charest said, but one going in the right direction. Correspondingly, there was a 2% increase in the cost-of-living allowance to retirees. Also, there is a new provision providing repurchase of out-of-state service into the retirement system which could significantly help Employees affected. There is a $150 wellness insurance benefit which is not subject to deductible or copayment. The lifetime maximum insurance benefit was doubled, from $1 million to $2 million, an important assist to those with serious, chronic illnesses which require repeated medical treatment.
There were some changes in retirees’ health insurance for Employees hired after October 1, 1995. First, these new Employees must work a full 20 years to receive free health insurance at retirement. If these new hires work between 10 and 20 years, they will receive insurance at half cost. If they work less than ten years, they are eligible to participate in the plan but must pay the full cost of the premium. Laurie Charest said that this important change will help insure the future of the State Health Plan. Many states have wrestled with the increasing costs of retiree health insurance and the drain these costs cause for the plans of their current Employees. Laurie felt this change will insure that people who work more than 20 years for the State will have good health insurance when they retire. However, Laurie emphasized that Employees must communicate this change accurately in recruitment and hiring.
Concerning layoff and reduction in force rights, there were some coming changes that Laurie could reveal only superficially, as details were not yet clear. She said she would be available for questions on these in the next weeks:
- Laid-off Employees now will have priority in their Salary Grade and Salary Rate.
- Laid-off Employees now will have the same priority at all State agencies and universities as they get from the agency from which they were laid off. Previously, Employees had a higher priority only in the agency or university from which they were laid off.
- Laid-off Employees will receive layoff priority over outside applicants for positions, but will receive equal consideration with current State Employees.
- Laid-off Employees with more than 10 years’ service will receive super-priority over those with less than 10 years’ service.
- If one has worked one year for the State and is laid off from one’s State Health Plan, the State will pay one year of the Plan after layoff. Then, the laid-off Employee must pay at the applicable current individual or family rate to maintain coverage.
- Employees laid off more than once will receive each time the full amount of severance pay determined within the severance pay calculation. Previously, Employees laid off multiple times received this figure minus what severance pay they had received during previous layoff periods. This provision has been eliminated.
Laurie Charest asked if there were any questions about these changes, exclaiming that she had some questions of her own regarding these revisions. There were no questions, and Laurie said her office will transmit more information about these changes as they receive more policy guidance.
Moving on to proposals coming before the State Personnel Commission, Laurie noted several changes. Of particular importance is the Legislature’s change to the Administrative Procedures Act mandating any policies proposed by the Office of State Personnel must be approved by the Legislature effective July 21. Because the Office of State Personnel was aware of this impending change, there is a very large pile of policy proposals going before the Commission tomorrow. She said that she did know what all of these changes are, but could detail a few:
The window for non-exempt Employees to use their comp time or be paid for it is expected to increase from two months to six months. This is a welcome change, Laurie said, because many Employees’ busy periods lasted longer than two months.
Laurie expects the State to adopt a new Discipline and Dismissal policy which will include the following changes:
- Revision to eliminate the oral warning in the sequence (oral warning, written warning and final written warning) necessary for consideration of dismissal. In lieu of the oral warning, there will be two written warnings now required prior to consideration of dismissal.
- The new policy will create a new category in which one may initiate discipline procedures. In addition to the already existing categories of Performance and Conduct, there now exists “Grossly Inefficient Performance.” This new category covers the case when an Employee unwillfully and without malice commits a serious performance lapse endangering lives and safety or wasting large sums of money. Before in these cases, one could only issue an oral warning in cases of this magnitude, which does not seem appropriate when these mistakes place lives in danger, Laurie asserted. Now, these lapses are considered similar to a conduct problem, from which any level of disciplinary action may result.
- Investigatory Suspension With Pay will be under the new Statewide policy, replacing Investigatory Suspension Without Pay. Laurie Charest offered that this was a good change, noting that elsewhere in the State, there has been the tendency to suspend Employees for long periods. This change will insure Employees affected will not suffer such extended financial losses if exonerated and will encourage management to come to a quick resolution of these investigations.
There are a number of proposed revisions to the Family and Medical Leave policy. Laurie noted that her department is looking into legal opinions that will allow the University to continue administering the leave policy under the revisions to allow Employees to use up other forms of leave before using Family and Medical Leave. This method is thought to be more favorable than that employed at other State agencies. Essentially, University Employees have the right to decide when their leave begins. She hoped Human Resources could continue to administer the policy in this way under the new revisions, but details have not been finalized.
Laurie said there would probably be many more things to report after tomorrow’s meeting. She said this situation was not typical in that usually Human Resources has the chance to examine these proposals before they go to the Commission.
Dee Marley asked whether and how Grossly Inefficient Performance would apply, for example, to the case involving the student who fell at Phillips Hall since after the fact it was decided that the relevant stairwell may not have been protected properly. Laurie did not know if the policy would apply in that case, but offered some examples to illustrate its scope. A nurse who inadvertently administers improper medication to patients would be subject to this action. An oral warning would not be sanction enough to fit the severity of the error. Allowing the nurse to continue working would subject the University to tremendous insurance liability. Note that such error(s) are not on purpose.
A miscalculation leading to a serious mistake is another example of Grossly Inefficient Performance. For example, an organization receiving payments for accounts where staff members are instructed to reference records on checks requiring “payment in full.” They may be told not to accept a check and mistakenly do, leading to the loss of $100,000. This is a serious, if unintended, error and would be subject to censure under Grossly Inefficient Performance.
Dee Marley asked if one instance of such mistakes would be cause for a department to pursue dismissal. Laurie replied that the policy would allow departments to consider the full range of disciplinary action to fit the seriousness of the error.
In the absence of further questions, the Chair thanked Laurie Charest for her comments, stating they were a good and helpful update. The Chair encouraged members to look for these forthcoming policy changes.
The Chair introduced Ann Dodd, Assistant to the Vice-Chancellor for Business and Finance and Director for Quality Management, to give the special presentation. She shared that the Executive Committee had long considered inviting the “guru” of Continuous Quality Improvement to speak on that hot topic, deciding to give her some time to acclimate to the University. The Chair said she was particularly delighted Ann felt the time was right to speak with the Forum.
Ann began with an overview of her presentation. She would speak on what Continuous Quality Management is, what Business & Finance is doing with it, and how one can get involved even if not in an official work area or team. She noted that there were many people associated with CQI in the room and hoped they would add their comments as she went along. She emphasized all Employees have the chance to get involved in CQI.
There are several variations on the theme of customer focus, including Total Quality Management, Carolina Quality (a general name for activities going on at UNC), Reengineering and Continuous Quality Improvement (theories behind the concept). Each has to do with customer focus and the goal of institutional effectiveness.
Ann presented a few definitions that apply to CQI and to the work environment generally. A Customer is whoever receives or uses your products or services, the people that you serve. Quality is thought of as meeting or exceeding the needs of the customer, not zero defects. She said often a customer may not want perfection and may be willing to sacrifice some defects for timeliness.
A definition for Continuous Quality Improvement is a people-centered management system that enables an organization to accomplish its goals through customer satisfaction. Three components of this system are a customer feedback system (the public, students, one’s colleague down the hall), a customer-based strategic plan (focus on what your customers want) and a team system (how to address these needs).
Why are we doing this? How do we know it’s working? Ann asserted that it will take years to evaluate the process, to decide if an institution as a whole has focused on customer satisfaction. She emphasized that the individual can carry out these precepts now. The basic idea is that we must work together in a systematic way to make improvements.
A better question might be “Are we all working together in a systematic way to make improvements for those we serve?” There are several criteria to measure this cooperation quantitatively: percentage of Employees participating in teams and making suggestions; savings in time and funds from team solutions and individual suggestions; Employee satisfaction measures; customer satisfaction measures. The Forum has made a good start in measuring Employee satisfaction, Ann offered. These items could compose a type of report card.
What are the benefits of Continuous Quality Improvement? Faster turnaround time (often one of the top customer requests), reduced costs, accountability (showing the public we are spending their money wisely) and enhanced communication (talking with the people served) are CQI goals. Enhanced communication probably is the hardest to measure.
Ann Dodd asked Forum members what benefits might occur or what other benefits they might see in their own work environments. Delores Bayless praised the opportunity to avoid duplication of effort. Kay Spivey felt looking at one’s work through the eyes of the customer gives an Employee a better appreciation for the value of their work. Scott Blackwood appreciated that CQI encouraged one to think about improving the flow of work and making things easier for the next person. The Chair agreed, saying that CQI can lower frustration and energy expenditure from “spinning wheels.” Ann Dodd agreed, inferring these improvements lead to greater job satisfaction.
What are the frustrations of Continuous Quality Improvement? First, it takes time to serve a team 2-4 hours a week and carry on one’s regular job. Improved time management techniques only help so much. People may be resistant to change, or rather resistant to personal change. One may perceive CQI as just one more management scheme, but Ann made the point that the principles of customer satisfaction and institutional effectiveness will not go away in the near future. Some Employees may find it difficult to talk about feedback without defensiveness against customers. While performance plays a big part in customer satisfaction, perception of performance also plays a big role. When a customer has a perception of performance that is not true, this negative impression still needs to be treated. Another frustration with CQI is that it is difficult to involve the total organization in the process at the beginning. It can seem like nothing is happening for a long time.
Ann Dodd presented three examples of results in Continuous Quality Improvement, each leading to lowered time, costs and frustration for those providing services:
- UNC Hospitals reduced average patient transportation response time from 30 minutes to 5 minutes.
- Oregon State decreased average time to complete remodeling projects from 200 to 125 days.
- UW-Madison reduced graduate school application processing from 26 to five days.
Ann then described what Business and Finance has done in its initial plan for improvement using Continuous Quality Improvement. This has been a division-wide effort focusing on five areas customers identified as needing improvement. Business and Finance has made progress in these areas through work teams. The Small Order Process team will come up with a way to reduce the time needed to make purchases of $150 or less. The Human Resources Information Systems team is looking for a way to improve the type of information related to Human Resources and access to that information. The Job Order Process team will improve the time and cost necessary for renovations. The Signature Process team, known as the “John Hancock Society,” will reduce the number of signatures. The OneCard Process team will work to find new uses for the OneCard.
The Small Order team is sponsored by Carol Efland and led by Stan Johnston, with Ralph Taylor as facilitator. Laurie Charest is the sponsor of the Human Resources Information Systems team, with Lori Casile the team leader. The Job Order Process team is sponsored by Bruce Runberg and led by Dick Stoddard. The Signature Process team is sponsored by Roger Patterson with Eddie Capel acting as the leader. The OneCard Process team is sponsored by Caroline Ellsworth, led by Rut Tufts and facilitated by Scott Blackwood. She encouraged those interested to contact these individuals.
Ann Dodd emphasized the potential for Delegates and Employees to become involved in the Continuous Quality Improvement process. How can you get involved?
- Identify your services
- Identify who you serve
- Determine what your customers want and why
- Determine how you can improve customer satisfaction
- Influence your work group beliefs, values, relationships and beliefs
Employees can begin implementing CQI in their workplace today, just by pursuing these steps. Ann noted there are resources, education and consultation classes available to Employees. She has a bibliography of resources available. Davis Library and the Undergraduate Library hold most of the listed sources, and at least one is on-line. Ann thanked Libby Chenault for pointing out the on-line availability.
Human Resources offers Continuous Quality Improvement classes at no charge: An Introduction to Quality, with a more specific explanation of how to implement the steps mentioned above, Planning and Design, for individuals and teams looking at redesigning their product, and others. Ann extended herself to help any Employee who wants to consult with her on CQI issues at campus box #1000, (919)962-4735 or email@example.com. One person, she said, can become a role model in the workplace and change the dynamics of how a department operates.
Mona Couts, noting that implementation of Continuous Quality Improvement takes up to 4 hours a week to do properly, asked how to fit evaluation for this work into the WPPR process. She said that it did not seem to fit into WPPR and that Employees should receive recognition for so much work. Ann Dodd responded that many Employees have begun to enter their CQI participation into their Work Plan. A CQI team member returns to the office to communicate with others who will be eventually involved in the process and, thus, are eager for periodic updates. The team member’s communicants and supervisor can help in evaluation and recognition for CQI work.
Ann Hamner lauded Business and Finance’s work on Continuous Quality Improvement, but wondered whether that is the only organization on campus that has initiated implementation of CQI. Ann Dodd replied that a few other places have begun, most notably the School of Medicine in conjunction with the Hospital. While these are the “official” areas where CQI has begun, Ann reiterated that individuals can move forward on their own.
Ann Dodd thanked the Forum for its interest and said she would be happy to discuss CQI with members or anyone else interested. The Chair thanked Ann Dodd for her presentation and her service as a resource for Continuous Quality Improvement.
Scott Blackwood reported that there was to be an Employee presentation on the subject of merit pay, but the individual who asked to present had canceled. He hoped that person had been able to resolve the questions elsewhere.
Scott advanced that the Fall Community Meeting will take place very soon and asked members to submit to him any suggestions for a topic. He hoped his committee would be able to schedule the meeting for the end of September or the beginning of October. The Chair asked if there had been any suggestions for the Fall Community Meeting. Scott Blackwood reported that he had not had a chance to discuss the matter with his committee, but the idea of approaching Chancellor Hooker about speaking on higher education and its role in North Carolina’s future had been mentioned. Scott said he would report more information in September.
Approval of the Minutes of July 5, 1995
The Chair asked for a motion to approve the minutes of the July 5 meeting. Dianne Crabill made such a motion with Ann Hamner seconding. The Chair asked if there was discussion. Laresia Farrington asked that in the first section of page 10, Janet Bowman be changed to Jan Elliot. The Forum voted unanimously to approve the minutes as amended.
The Chair announced that the morale comments compiled by Trish Brockman were sent to the Chancellor along with a “Quick List” summarizing the Forum’s comments on morale at the July meeting. The Chancellor thanked the Forum for sharing those comments.
At the July 18 Executive Committee meeting, Interim Provost Dick Richardson represented the Chancellor. The Chair welcomed Provost Richardson as one who supported the Forum. She predicted Dr. Richardson will be approachable and willing to work with the Forum in a nature similar to Provost Dick McCormick.
Regarding the Provost Search Committee, the Chair reported that the Forum has put in a request for Employee representation on that Committee. In his response, the Chancellor was very receptive to this idea and asked if the Chair would serve, an offer that she is still considering. She did not know if that would be the lone Forum representative, but said she should hear in the next few days.
The Chair congratulated the Chancellor’s Award winners: Margaret Balcom, Editor of the University Gazette and last year’s Chair of the Forum; Betty King, Secretary in Aerospace Studies; Nancy Laws, Nurse in the Rheumatology Department in the School of Medicine; Lisa Broome, Professor in the Law School; and Lieutenant Mark McIntyre from Public Safety. The Chair extolled Margaret Balcom’s continuing service to the University and reflected that the Chancellor’s Award was another deserved recognition of that service. The Chair asked members of the Forum to stand and applaud Margaret for her accomplishments to which those assembled gladly responded. The Chair encouraged members to take a moment to write a note congratulating these award winners as they reflect the quality of people working on campus. She also noted that four of the five recipients were Employees, which she said should speak to the part Employees play at this institution.
The Chair directed members’ attention to a letter in the routing file from Ms. Peggy Quinn asking if the Forum could look into increasing incentives and benefits for Employees who have over 30 years service. The Executive Committee referred this concern to the Compensation and Benefits Committee.
Also in the Routing File is a letter thanking Laurie Charest and her office for their quick work incorporating working titles into the Human Resources automated system. The Chair wanted to highlight Laurie’s efforts in getting this task accomplished in record time.
The Chair thanked Laurie Charest, Betsy Snipes and Donnie Hall for their rapid implementation of the recent approved pay increases even if it was out-of-step. Forum members agreed and applauded. The Chair said it is better to have these funds in paychecks on time rather than delayed, since we all need “that extra two dollars.”
The Chair felt there was no news about the Legislature that the Chancellor or Laurie Charest had not already shared. We all are awaiting the final details about the budget that will be revealed over the next few days, she said. She did report that she has developed a rather comfortable e-mail dialogue with Representative Joe Hackney which she hoped to continue.
Chair Scott Blackwood of the Nominating Committee announced that 142 names have been submitted in nomination for the Forum’s upcoming election. Forum Delegates said that they all had received their nomination forms which are due in the Forum Office August 4. He reported that some divisions were better represented than others, encouraging members from Divisions 1 and 3 to “get busy,” and members from Divisions 4 and 6 to “work a little harder” to find nominees. He said the other divisions are well-represented, but encouraged members and Employees to send in their nominations.
Scott noted that a number of questions had arisen about how to campaign for election to the Forum. He suggested nominees or their supporters contact the Convenor or other Delegates in their division to get a list of relevant Employees. With this information, one could e-mail or telephone Employees as to one’s qualifications and intentions to serve. Scott warned Convenors and Delegates that they will receive questions of this nature as the elections progress. He referred to the memorandum’s call for nominees who are “hardworking and willing to give a little extra” to the University, hoping members will consider these criteria when submitting nominations.
Ann Hamner asked if the Nominating Committee will accept nominations via e-mail. Scott Blackwood replied that they would and that they would check messages on August 4.
Scott mentioned a suggestion that the Forum distribute via the University Gazette nominees’ years of University service, qualifications, personal background and other biographical information. He opined that he could not see how this would be done because of space and time concerns, asking if members could think of a method. The Chair noted that the University Managers’ Association provides a space for this information on their ballot. Scott said that the department and years of University service now are included on the Forum ballot.
The Chair asked if including more information would be overkill. Laresia Farrington thought that it would indeed be overkill. Marshall Wade wondered if there would be enough space on the one page ballot the Forum has usually distributed. Scott Blackwood replied that it would indeed take more time and money to gather and print this information, but said if the Forum thought it would be beneficial the effort could be made. Trish Brockman noted that in her case, Employees called her to learn about nominees and she tried to do the same to find out about other candidates.
Scott Blackwood posited the case of a person who may want to serve, but is not well-known, does not serve on a lot of University committees and works in a small department. She may have many good ideas, but her name may not be recognized on the ballot. That person, he said, may not be as recognizable as the person “who drives the red convertible.” Scott opined that should be the role of the Delegates, to introduce the other members.
Libby Chenault recalled that from the Forum’s inception, there has been the concern that voting not turn into a popularity contest. She worried that including too much verbiage on the ballot could hurt the process in that manner. Also, she worried that as some candidates may make a better written presentation than others, the Forum could become involved in monitoring the content and accuracy of the written descriptions. Dee Marley made the point that it is already difficult enough to count the ballots without adding additional items.
Dee Marley noted the question that one perspective candidate had asked via e-mail: could a Forum candidate campaign by posting notices around their department. Dee inferred a series of concerns about Forum campaigns, including whether candidates can use departmental word processors, copiers or materials, or where they may place these election materials on campus. The Chair thought that these are departmental decisions and felt it would be unwise for the Forum to try to make that decision for 6,500 people. She did, however, note the Forum is a University-sanctioned activity. She thought it would be best for an Employee to consult with their department and use their best judgment in planning their campaigns.
Scott Blackwood related that one Employee who had thought about running for the Forum was worried that they did not know anyone in their Division. Upon obtaining a list of Employees in their Division, the Employee was surprised how many people they did know.
The Chair felt members could help the election process along by keeping their ears open and helping candidates. Marshall Wade suggested that instead of placing information on the actual ballot, the Forum could direct interested parties to contact Delegates associated with their divisions to find out information about the various candidates. A concern was raised that this method could prejudice the election process. Peggy Cotton suggested that a departmental number for each candidate be on the ballot for individuals to contact the candidates directly. The Chair closed discussion, noting there were a number of interesting ideas for the Nominating Committee to consider as the election process proceeds.
From the Career Development Committee, Chair Sharon Bowers reported that the Committee met July 13 and decided to send out a short survey within members’ buildings to gauge Employees’ feelings about the proposed training library, to be housed in Training and Development. The Committee will consider the results of this survey at its next meeting, August 10 from 1-2:30 p.m., in the Carr Building Conference Room. The Chair asked that Forum members’ feelings regarding the library be included in the survey results, directing members to send their comments on the library to Sharon as they saw fit.
Chair Debi Schledorn of the Orientation Committee praised her Committee as the most hardworking committee she has been on in a long time, thanking members for their participation and focus. She noted the Forum had the Committee’s minutes, but advanced that the two subcommittees, Orientation and the Retreat, had met many times. These subcommittees have already decided written preliminary agendas, reserved rooms and are in the process of contacting speakers. The subcommittees have other ideas that they are exploring, including a November reception for the new Delegates. Again Debi thanked the members of her Committee for their hard work. Mona Couts noted that the Nominating Committee sends each supervisor and department head of a newly elected Delegate and Alternate a letter from the Chancellor explaining the role and responsibility of Forum members, including time commitments. Scott Blackwood, Chair of the Nominating Committee, agreed to share a copy of these letters with the Orientation Committee. The Chair applauded the Committee on its work.
From the Personnel Policies Committee, Chair Pat Staley had nothing to report, but asked that Laurie Charest share a copy of the proposals passed by the State Personnel Commission as it becomes available. Laurie Charest agreed to do so.
From the Compensation and Benefits Committee, there was nothing to report.
Chair Delores Bayless of the Public Affairs Committee stated that the Committee had met yesterday. She apologized that the Committee could not conduct the Legislative interaction announced for July because of end of the fiscal year work pressures. The Committee investigated having a fall event, but found the Legislature will not reconvene until sometime in January or February. Accordingly, the Committee will endeavor to contact the legislators’ secretaries inviting them to campus in March for a social hour or some other event. The Committee would like to send invitations to the representatives at their homes asking that they attend a Forum activity. The Committee will work to assign a University “buddy” for each legislator and to schedule by the end of the year a definite time, date, place and activity in the spring for the legislators. Delores and the Chair concurred that members leaving the Forum will be with the new members in spirit come the spring.
Chair Ann Hamner of the Recognition and Awards Committee directed members to the Committee’s minutes. Included with the minutes is a draft of the policy concerning resolutions honoring deceased Employees and moments of silence. Ann explained the Committee’s preference for holding these resolutions during the February and August meetings, as these would seem to be the least busy months on the University calendar. Dee Marley asked whether the Forum would be responsible for gathering information on the deceased Employees. Ann replied that Employees wanting to present a resolution contact either the Vice Chair in charge of Employee Presentations or a Delegate in their division to present the resolution.
Helen Iverson asked whether there would be a limit on the time allotted per resolution. Chair Ann Hamner responded the limit would be three minutes per resolution. The Chair asked if the “celebration of staff Employee lives” would include the lives of all Employees ever employed at the University. Ann replied that the resolution would cover current Employees and would not go back to deal with the past. The Chair asked that the Committee tighten the language so there would not be the implication that the Forum acknowledge all Employees. Ann Hamner agreed, announcing that the Committee would meet again on August 17 with the purpose of getting a revised resolution into the September agenda packet. The Committee is working on other things, she said, but felt it best to complete one item at a time.
Chair Libby Chenault reported that the University Committee Assignments Committee will meet August 16 to compile data for the fall.
Chair Delores Bayless from the Salary Task Force noted that it had presented its preliminary findings to the Executive Committee and would have its full findings ready for the August Executive Committee meeting. From analysis of these findings, the Task Force would meet this month to prepare a resolution for the September or October Forum meeting.
The Partner Benefits Liaison, Linda Cook, said the group would meet tomorrow.
Laresia Farrington reported there was nothing to report from the Faculty Council Committee on Legislative Affairs, but that she hoped to meet with the Committee and would soon present information to the Forum.
From the Long-Range Land Use Planning Committee, liaison Ann Hamner said the Committee would meet today.
The Chair noted that the Forum has worked to compile responses on Employee morale. Given this information, she asked whether the Forum should form a committee or task force on the issue or do nothing at all. Marshall Wade recommended the Forum create a task force to address the issue. Mona Couts asked if the Employee Fair Booth data on morale had been compiled. The Chair replied that the data is still raw and needs to be summarized, and she hoped to have it in a presentable form for the September Forum meeting. Anyone willing to help summarize the data should contact her, she said. The Forum decided to delay decision on this issue until the Fair Booth data was available.
The Chair reported that there had been concerns about accessibility to the Forum Office for the medically compromised. Since the Office is on the second floor of Carr Building which has no elevators, the Office is inaccessible, she said, a fact for which she apologized. She asked members to submit any ideas on how to cope with this problem to the Office, noting there had already been the suggestion of a mail drop on the first floor. Scott Blackwood suggested that through e-mail, voice mail and campus mail, Employees can contact the Office. Matt Banks said e-mail facilities for the Office would be available whenever Peter Schledorn and OIT could coordinate their schedules. The Chair indicated her willingness to meet elsewhere on campus with Employees when necessary. Laresia Farrington emphasized the need to make sure Employees know we are aware of the need for accessibility.
On the Chilly Climate Discussion Group, the Chair revealed that her conversations with Student Body President Calvin Cunningham indicated it would be best to wait until the students have returned to campus. Accordingly, the group’s first meeting will be delayed until the students are back and have been contacted.
From the University Planning Committee, the Chair reported that the Committee’s preliminary report had been sent to the Chancellor and a loaner copy was available to Forum members from the Forum Office. The Chair asked members to check the copy out for only 3 days.
Nora Robbins announced that the results of the University-wide Blood Drive had been very positive, with 867 pints collected. She presented the thanks of the Red Cross and hoped that the problems with lines and adequate staffing will be resolved for next time. The Chair said volunteers had a wonderful time that day, encouraged Delegates to volunteer next year and added that she would fight anyone for golf cart duty.
The Chair announced Relax & Chat II will take place Tuesday, August 8 at 5:30 p.m., at Pantana Bob’s. Delores Bayless regretted that August 8 is the SEANC District 19 meeting night and asked if the get-together date could be changed. The Chair replied that she had just picked a date, but could not contact everyone to make sure all could attend. She said she would try to avoid SEANC meeting times in the future.
Regarding upcoming Special Presentations, the Chair asked that members telephone suggestions to the Forum Office. She felt the presentations have been very informative and hoped members would have more good suggestions.
Mike Klein from Transportation and Parking announced a new initiative from his department, free bus service for Employees, Faculty, Students and visitors on the U Route. This route, which follows Columbia, Franklin, Raleigh, Stadium, Ridge and Manning, will be modified to reach the Smith Center, and get closer to the F lots and Craige Dormitory. He felt this change would help to deal with the parking situation on campus. He thanked Wayne Kuncl from Residence Services and Calvin Cunningham from Student Government for their help in realizing this transportation change. Mike hoped there would be other changes to present at future meetings.
Expanding on his point, Mike Klein noted that this change will enable Employees parking in lots distant from campus to get to work without purchasing a bus pass. Most Employees can get downtown for lunch or a meeting without paying for bus service. This change, along with Point-2-Point, should improve intracampus movement.
The Chair asked whether one could just get on or whether there would be a pass system. Mike replied that the buses will be non-exclusionary, so visitors and guests can ride for free also. He said the department will have more details, but other campus buses will also run for free during the “crunch times” in the morning and afternoon.
Mike Klein said there will be more information on increasing parking in the future. He said there are no guarantees, but that the department is studying possible alternatives. Trish Brockman asked about increasing parking at 725 Airport Road. Mike replied that the numbers do not support such an increase, but that they would see what they can do. He said he would stay around to talk to anyone who wanted after the meeting.
In the absence of further discussion, the Chair asked for a motion to adjourn. Libby Chenault made such a motion, with Dean Rimmer seconding. There was no discussion, and the motion passed unanimously. The meeting adjourned at 11:25 a.m.
Matt Banks, Recording Secretary