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Employee Forum Agenda

August 3, 2011

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

I.            Call to Order

II.           Welcome Guests & Members of the Press

III.         Special Presentations

    • Bruce Runberg, Carol Tresolini, Abbas Piran, and Roberta Kelly on Carolina Counts (Facilities Planning & Construction)

IV.          Human Resources Update—Vice Chancellor Brenda Malone

V.          Approval of July Minutes

VI.       Old Business

VII.         New Business

  • Parliamentarian Position

VIII.         Forum Committee Reports

  • Carolina Community Garden Advisory: Sarah Poteete (July minutes)
  • Communications and Public Relations: Jerry Waller
  • Compensation & Benefits: Dan Barmmer
  • Education and Career Development: Rick Bradley
  • Legislative Action: Ellen Donna Brooks
  • Membership & Assignments: Myra Quick
  • Recognition & Awards:  Chris Meinecke
  • Staff Relations, Policies & Practices: James Holman (June minutes)
  • UNC System Staff Assembly:
  • Executive Committee: Jackie Overton

IX.       Announcements/Questions

X.        Adjournment


August 3, 2011 Employee Forum minutes

Delegates attending: Kittie Allen, Teri Augustine, Dan Barmmer, Joshua Boone, Rick Bradley, Jennie Brooks, Ellen Donna Brooks, Gene Burns, Peggy Cotton, Elizabeth Craig, Jill Crowder, Odessa Davis, David Fraley, John Gullo, James Holman, George James, Denise Mabe, Danny Nguyen, Jessica O’Hara, Jackie Overton, Sarah Poteete, Renee Sherman, Beverly Sizemore, Jerry Waller, Clifton Webb, Aaron Williams

Chair Jackie Overton called the meeting to order at 9:15 a.m. She noted that a number of delegates were on vacation. She welcomed guests and members of the press. She led delegates in a round of introductions.

The Chair introduced Associate Vice Chancellor for Facilities Planning Bruce Runberg to discuss Carolina Counts. He noted that his office had worked on a plan to digitize campus classroom spaces 15 years ago. He noted that the square footage on campus had increased from 12 million square feet to 20 million square feet in the past 19 years. He said that this automation had enabled the University to negotiate a better rate with the federal government, saving potentially millions of dollars. He noted that the online system depicts which rooms have asbestos or lead, real property status, lease management status and class utilization. Associate Provost for Academic Initiatives Carol Tresolini said that the University’s plans to expand enrollment to 33,000 students had triggered an analysis of our current and future space needs, including our need for classrooms.  An analysis completed in 2008 found that both current and projected future classroom deficits were approximately 100,000 square feet.  The University studied these numbers further and found that it would have a definite future need for 25-30 seat classrooms, but it was doing fine in other areas.  The Bain report suggested standardizing classroom times and increasing peak and off-peak use, as well as using seminar space in residence halls for classes, in order to better utilize existing classrooms and avoid the need to build additional teaching space.  

Associate University Registrar Roberta Kelly noted that classroom use had increased from 60% to 80-85% in some of the rooms due to recent reforms.  She said that the Registrar’s Office controls use of some classrooms while departments have priority in others.  She said that her department had worked with Student Affairs to develop policies for after-hours use of classrooms.  She said that the Classroom Hotline office had been instrumental in helping to match instructional technology needs to classroom reservations.  She noted that residence hall seminar rooms had not been as convenient for students due to their location except for those in Cobb Hall which is closer to main campus.  She noted the cooperation of offices and the use of centralized data.

Engineering Director Abbas Piran demonstrated the Enhanced Space Planning and Occupancy Tracking System (eSPOTS). He noted that this information had once been only accessible from the mainframe, meaning that only a few people could use it directly. Now, any UNC employee can access for their own departments. More than 500 buildings are available through eSPOTS, with 2000 floor plans maintained by 200 space coordinators and 60,000 records in the system. Piran noted that the system can breakdown searches by department, division, category, function and other measures. The top menu bar allows interaction with different sections of the software, allowing one to bring up electronic floor plans which can zoom, pan, or extend back. Overlays are available that give information on hazardous materials, room number, department number, and room category, among other items. The reporting capabilities of the system allow reports of space and occupancy, number of classrooms per building, square footage per building. One can view a breakdown of classes by floor or department. Coordinators will update information for the greater database. Dan Barmmer asked if eSPOTS could display owned and leased buildings. Piran said that this data will be available with floor plans. Jerry Waller asked about Java and Flash support for the application. Piran said that Facilities Planning will soon roll out a non-Flash version for iPad users. Jessica O’Hara asked if the University kept a history of the square footage of buildings and Piran said that it does. John Gullo asked about increasing reliance on on-line courses to alleviate need for classroom space. Tresolini said that Arts & Sciences limits to six the number of on-line courses an undergraduate may take during the course of their degree program. She said that in this case policy and practicality may be in conflict. Rick Bradley asked about the possibility of locating classrooms on South Campus. Runberg said that the Master Plan for the campus had worked to transplant some of the best features of North Campus to South Campus. He said that the School of Library Science and the Business School have moved down to South Campus. Other areas may move into this area but nothing firm is planned today. Concerning eSPOTS, Runberg noted that the Chapel Hill Fire Department has used the system to find the locations of incidents.

The Chair presented Vice Chancellor for Human Resources Brenda Malone to present the Forum’s customary Human Resources update. Malone wished the new Forum delegates well with their new office. She noted that PRM was close to completing its interviews on campus and would soon begin assessing information and issuing recommendations, perhaps by September. She thanked housekeepers for being forthright and willing to share. She noted that the University will use Deer Oaks as an educational assistance provider for employees. She also said that the Wellness Committee will work closely with Campus Recreation to re-energize campus recreation. Delegates should look for an announcement in September.

Malone also noted that the Carolina Cares/Carolina Shares campaign had changed a few years ago when the Chancellor created a special advisory board for the program. Before, the program was shifted from dean to dean. She said that the campaign had been very successful last year. She said that Forum representative Chris Meinecke had been very energetic in his work on the advisory board. Malone said that the Forum could be called on to help the University in service as it had done with the community garden and the Habitat for Humanity initiative. Gene Burns asked about second and third shift availability of different programs. Malone said that the University has made an effort to provide individual programs for these shifts and weekends, but she granted that a broader campus-based action could occur. She thanked Burns for raising this point. John Gullo asked about employees using the Carolina Cares/Carolina Shares program to devote money to the scholarship program for children of UNC employees. Malone said that the problem is that this program is not classified as a 501(c)(3) program. Senior Director of Human Resources Communication and Talent Development Kathy Bryant said that there had been discussions about obtaining this classification with program originator Bruce Egan, but it had not met technical requirements. She said that Human Resources Facilitators could still share information about the program. Dan Barmmer asked why the University should participate in the Combined Campaign. Malone noted the history that brought together public sector employees to make contributions. She emphasized that employees have the choice whether or not to participate. Barmmer said that there seemed to be a guilt trip factor to allow the University to obtain a certain percentage of participation. He noted that a number of initiatives exist at UNC. Malone said that it is easy to obtain a listing if the program is a 501(c)(3). James Holman asked about the status of the community garden. Sarah Poteete said that the garden is not a 501(c)(3) organization.

The Chair recognized Carolina Counts representatives Joe Templeton and Mike Patil. She then called for a motion to approve the July Forum minutes as amended. Barmmer made this motion, seconded by Gullo. The motion was approved by acclamation.

The Chair noted that the Forum was studying adding a Parliamentarian position. She asked if volunteers were interested in the program. Clifton Webb and Aaron Williams indicated their interest. The Chair said that a Parliamentarian would help with the flow of meetings according to Robert’s Rules of Order. Gene Burns asked if the Forum would train a back-up for the position. The Chair said that Fleming Bell of the School of Government had offered to teach the entire Forum parliamentary procedure and to act as an advisor to the eventually elected parliamentarian. The Chair noted that the Forum is not terribly formal in its use of parliamentary procedure. She also suggested that Kathy Bryant certify such a course through Human Resources.

Sarah Poteete said that the community garden committee was working to build bridges with students. The group was also working on a strategic plan to think through the next 5-10 years. Elizabeth Craig asked how one could join the committee. Poteete said that Craig could contact Clair Lorch but there is a chance that the committee has reached its full membership. Peggy Cotton asked about possible future locations of the garden. Poteete said that Carolina North is a frequently mentioned topic along with other locations around town. Jerry Waller said that the Communications and Public Relations committee was working on electronic options such as an Employee Forum Facebook page. He urged delegates to sign up for the page to push it above 25 “likes.” The Chair said that the Forum will use Facebook as a means to publicize its events. She looked forward to the time when the “Like” button will go on the Forum web page. Poteete said that WordPress has a way of sharing documents besides sending out multiple e-mails on a subject. David Schwarz said that he liked Word Press for this purpose. Vice Chancellor Matt Brody said that the University has Microsoft SharePoint as an option for document collaboration as well that can be accessed through University Onyens. Waller said that the committee still needs article submissions for InTouch. Dan Barmmer noted that the Compensation & Benefits committee had discussed the proposed 1% merit raises for employees and the removal of the tuition waiver for community college employees. Rick Bradley of the Education and Career Development committee said that group hoped to pull Bryant and Chuck Brink into a discussion of the Staff Development fund. The committee had discussed using the fund for parliamentarian training. The Chair said that she had talked with Bryant about options for on-line classes. Kittie Allen asked about receipts for books purchased by employees in classes. The Chair said that the same form is used for the Educational Assistance program and the book stipend.

Ellen Donna Brooks of the Legislative Affairs committee said that group had met with the Education and Career Development committee. The Chair said that the Membership and Assignments committee would work on the 20 th anniversary event on March 7, 2012. There was no report from the Recognition & Awards committee. James Holman said that the Staff Relations, Policies, and Practices committee had worked on the code of conduct and parliamentarian questions. He hoped that the committee could present its findings next month.

Danny Nguyen of the UNC System Staff Assembly described the two day meeting of the Staff Assembly. He said that discussion focused on Senate Bill 575 and trying to understand reasons why employees are against the personnel flexibility initiative. There was a question as to whether the Staff Assembly would spearhead writing policies or whether it had the skill set to do so. Nguyen also noted discussions about employee morale. President Ross has said in a speech that if employees think that Senate Bill 575 is not a good idea, they should say so to him. Nguyen noted that the University System will see 15.6% cut, with 17.9% coming from UNC-Chapel Hill. The Assembly was told that the System needs to put a face on these cuts as the Legislature sees these cuts as correction for overfunding in the past. Ross said that the best way to address difficulties with staff morale is to approve personnel flexibility, which would allow use of non-State funds for compensation and vacation days. Nguyen said a delegate asked what Ross had done at Davidson College for employees given the personnel flexibility there. Ross replied that he had brought employees to the mid-point of their salary ranges and commissioned a three year compensation study. Nguyen noted that vesting requirements had increased from five to ten years. He also said that Ross did not want detailed personnel flexibility plans because the Legislature would fine-comb these plans. Nguyen said that salary increases above 10% must be approved by the Board of Governors. The next meeting of the Staff Assembly will take place October 17 and 18.

The Chair said that she had participated in the Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration search, narrowing down ten candidates to four visitors to campus. The search committee will forward its list of candidates to the Chancellor for his final decision. The Chair hoped to have the eventual selection meet with the Executive Committee before too long. She planned to professionalize the Forum Office and to increase leadership development on the Forum. She looked forward to the Forum’s 20 th anniversary event and hoped to increase interaction with the Student Body President and the head of the Faculty Council. She said that she planned to draft a letter supporting Chancellor Thorp over the matter of football coach Butch Davis’ firing. She held this position privately and publicly in discussions with local media. She also noted that the Forum had been given football tickets to raffle off for its members, for games on September 3, September 10, and October 8. The drawing will take place at the Executive Committee meeting on August 16.

Jerry Waller noted that 26 people now have “liked” the Forum Facebook page. The Chair thanked the Forum for its work. In the absence of further discussion, the meeting adjourned at 11:07 a.m.


Respectfully submitted,

Matt Banks, Recording Secretary

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