August 6, 2003
Ram’s Room, Kenan Field House
Mary Ann Vacheron
“ = Ex-Officio
Cynthia Wolf Johnson
Chair Tommy Griffin called the meeting to order at 8:30 a.m. He asked for a motion to set the rules aside and consider two honorary resolutions, 03-04 and 03-05, on second reading. These resolutions honored Kay Wijnberg and Mary Ann Vacheron, respectively. Vacheron thanked the Forum for its support. She said that she did not feel respected and appreciated by senior administration in her department. She urged the Forum to continue its support of issues and to continue its work as the elected officials for staff on campus. She praised the new appointment of Forum members on the chancellor’s new task force on workplace issues. Vacheron announced that she would soon marry a tenured professor from Syracuse University in New York, but she planned to keep a house in Carrboro for community work. The Chair said that Vacheron was worth her wait in gold and could speak to the need of Employees to appreciate one another.
The Chair introduced Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Cindy Wolf Johnson, who noted that she had been at the University for 20 years. Johnson noted that she had served on the task force that selected “Nickle and Dimed” for the University’s freshmen summer reading program. She noted that she had come to be identified as the “Book Lady,” given controversies over this book and last year’s “Understanding the Quran.”
Johnson noted the balance of Delagates with different numbers of years of University service. She noted that the phrase “faculty, staff and students” had gradually gained common use in recent years. She recalled that student government at UNC-Chapel Hill could be traced backwards to 1795, and faculty government to 1819. Employee governance, however, only began officially in 1992 with the creation of the Forum. Still, she praised the Forum for making extraordinary strides towards changing the campus culture. Johnson noted that the University could function simply with its staff, but it would no longer be an institution of higher education.
Johnson recalled different understandings of leadership. She noted John W. Gardner’s emphasis on the tasks of leadership such as upholding traditional mores and emphasizing honor and integrity. In contrast, Kutz and Posner wrote on mobilizing others who want to struggle for shared aspirations, transforming organizations and challenging processes to enable others to act. Recently, non-hierarchical models of leadership have focused on collective action and providing leadership from every position in the organization. Joseph Raust speaks of leadership as influencing relationships among leaders and collaborators, for real change and mutual purposes. Other thinkers have stressed influencing the process of decision-making as a key to modern leadership.
Johnson thought that the Forum’s mission and activities had embodied these ideas, and had helped to alleviate the feeling of powerlessness among staff at the University. Johnson praised the Forum’s good communication, high expectations and willingness to look at things differently as increasing its overall efficiency. She noted that all individuals have the ability to lead and influence change on campus. She praised the Forum’s work to re-establish Heels for Health, to attract affordable housing and to modify the adverse weather policy as concrete examples of its influence. Johnson recalled her work to reduce distinctions between “professional” employees and “other” employees in her office. She praised the Forum for its role in reducing these distinctions and asked Delagates to plan where the Forum would be in 2190.
The Chair introduced Provost Robert Shelton. Shelton voiced his appreciation of the Ram’s Room at Kenan Stadium as a new place to hold conferences. He recalled working first with 2000 Chair Joanne Kucharski, 2001 Chair John Heuer, and current Chair Tommy Griffin. He particularly praised Griffin’s influence on discussions of the campus-based tuition task force and other high level discussions.
Shelton then outlined the administrative structure of the University, with the fifteen deans reporting directly to him on the academic side and the non-academic side reporting to Vice Chancellor Nancy Suttenfield, who in turn reports to the Provost. He noted that the University has seven vice chancellors, along with its general counsel, whom at one time held a vice chancellor title. Suttenfield oversees all manner of University operations, from Human Resources to construction and planning to finance and auditing. Shelton noted that Suttenfield, Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources Laurie Charest, Associate Vice Chancellor for Auxiliary Services Carolyn Elfland and Associate Vice Chancellor for Finance Roger Patterson form a very knowledgeable group of four.
Shelton said that each Tuesday morning Chancellor Moeser, Suttenfield and himself talk about the big issues on tap for the campus. He noted the large role of Jeffery Houpt, CEO of the UNC Health Care System, Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs and head of the UNC Medical School. This multiplicity of titles acknowledges the enormous fiscal and regulatory complexities of the health care system, tied to the health of the University itself. Other vice chancellors include Steve Jarrell, acting Vice Chancellor for Information Technology; Matt Kupec, Vice Chancellor for Advancement (namely University relations, town-gown issues, and press releases); and Kevin Fitzgerald, Vice Chancellor for External Relations (namely, the legislative relations). All four of these vice chancellors report directly to the Chancellor, as does the General Counsel. Shelton praised the Counsel’s office for handling legal issues for a $1.5 billion budget research university, keeping up with Office of President, State and federal regulations, all with a handful of attorneys. He praised newly appointed General Counsel Leslie ??? for her work with research compliance.
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Dean Bresciani works with Dean of Students Melissa Exum on activities on the academic side. Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development Tony Waldrop works on attracting grants, processing contracts and handling regulatory issues. Waldrop recently set up an office for post-doctoral scholars, helping address needs of this important but frequently overlooked community.
On the academic side, Shelton recalled that when he had been appointed he had 57 people reporting directly to him. He scrapped this arrangement, instead having all directors of research institutions receiving federal dollars report directly to him, with other centers such reporting to Associate Vice Chancellor Steve Allred. Shelton also receives help from Associate Provost Bernadette Gray-Little, his liaison with University deans, and Associate Provost Elmira Mangum, officer in charge of finance and personnel. Shelton remarked that he had eliminated two positions with the title of associate and assistant provost and had added one associate provost position in international affairs, whom would be an internal faculty member with half-time duties to coordinate the international studies office.
Shelton works also with Jerry Lucido, the director of admissions, Shirley Ort, director of scholarships and financial aid, and David Lanier, University Registrar. He also noted Lynn Williford, director of institutional research. He noted that all of these officials and their offices play an important part in the provision of a Carolina education.
Shelton noted the fifteen deans, five from health affairs, eight with academic affairs and two with summer school and graduate school. He had been active in hiring four of eight vice chancellors, five new deans, and would soon announce the need for four more new deans. He said that people are attracted to Carolina, but these searches take time if the University does not hire a search firm. Shelton had halted the practice of hiring a search firm for every vacant position in an effort to save funds.
Even in these difficult times, Shelton noted Carolina’s ability to bring in and retain good people. Students, faculty, staff and administrators all work together to shore up the advantages gained by UNC-Chapel Hill after more than 200 years of work. Shelton praised his own staff, singling out Linda Naylor for her guidance and counsel.
Katherine Graves asked from where the money for the estimated $200,000 Vice Chancellor for Medical Affairs job search was found. Shelton said that these positions are costly to recruit and he had been careful to justify the use of a search firm in every case. He said that the University had used a search firm in its search for a new Vice Chancellor for Information Technology due to the need to keep up with current practices, but had foregone this option with the Dean for Student Affairs position. The Vice Chancellor for Medical Affairs position is in a class by itself, as the position contains three different job titles and is appointed directly by the final say of the Office of the President.
Funds for this search come from a number of locations, including medical school overhead funds, salary savings, trust funds, gifts and grants. He said that if the University can find an excellent person for the position who will stay on campus 5-10 years, the cost of the search will be well justified. If the person stays only one year or is not of a high quality, the investment loses value.
This question underscored the difference between one-time and continuing dollars, noting that the University can use only the latter for salary improvements. He noted that administrators from Carolina, North Carolina State, Appalachian State, Shaw University, St. Augustine’s and Duke had met in Washington State. Other campuses were not losing people, but Carolina had seen defections hand over fist due to the attractive packages that other universities present. He said that the University can come up with one-time money, but finding continuing dollars presents more of a problem.
Joanne Kucharski asked why the entry for the Employee Forum on the University’s organizational chart had been removed. Previously, a box containing the Forum had connected with a dotted line directly to the Chancellor’s Office. She asked if the University would add the Forum back into the organizational chart. Shelton said that the University would correct this omission.
Jim Curtis asked where libraries fit into Shelton’s outline of the University administrative structure. Shelton said that he thought of the directors of libraries, Joe Hewitt (University Libraries), Carol Jenkins (Undergraduate Libraries) and Lolly Gasaway (Health Science Library) as deans who report directly to him. He praised all three and said that he did not want any to retire.
Mary Ann Vacheron said that she was disappointed no SPA Employee had been appointed to the search committee in the School of Law, although there was an EPA person on the committee. Shelton commented that search committees are always challenged to get representation from both groups and that having both groups is a useful exercise. Graves noted that in Dermatological Health in the School of Public Health, all staff meet with each candidate and ask ten questions all pertaining to staff. She praised the approach of the School in including faculty, staff and students at monthly teas. Shelton applauded these steps and hoped that other departments and schools would follow. He said that Employee managers, staff managers, set the tone for their departments. Graves thought that deans should make a point to pay attention to each staff members’ thoughts as a barometer for decision-making.
Michael McQuown asked by what measure other places are keeping people as the University is losing people. Shelton said that competing universities often work to lure away Carolina’s world-class faculty with comprehensive salary and benefits packages. McQuown noted that more faculty are pulled in different directions these days.
Delita Wright asked when the decision was made to make the search for the Dean of Arts & Sciences an internal search. Shelton said that the Chancellor had made this decision given the anticipated quality and number of candidates for the position. He noted the fundamental changes in fundraising and the College of Arts & Sciences’ role in the new science complex. He said that this decision in no way reflected negatively upon the College. Wright confirmed that an SPA person had received an appointment to the search committee, and Shelton said that EPA and SPA personnel had received appointments.
The Chair thanked Shelton for his time and remarks.
The Chair welcomed Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources Laurie Charest to present the Forum’s monthly Human Resources update. She would also talk about her role as Forum liaison with the administration, and the evolution of this role over time. She recalled writing the first proposal to create the Employee Forum, and had worked to channel issues to the right place on campus. She noted that many Forum issues are directly related to Human Resources.
At the invitation of the Forum Chair, she had presented Human Resources updates and would continue to do so at this invitation. She encouraged Delagates to develop their knowledge of Human Resources policies and procedures, either by taking the supervisory resource course or consulting the Human Resources website, which contains a comprehensive list of policies and procedures. She said that all of Human Resources would be delighted to advise Delagates on policy and application.
Charest noted that the structure of Human Resources had changed in the past few years, with a movement to a generalist model of serving clients. She encouraged Delagates to find out the name of their generalist through the Human Resources website. Human Resources central office staff work to provide development opportunities. They also provide advice on disability management programs, vacation, sick, shared, community involvement, and work/family leave, Carolina Kids Camp, recognition, service award and chancellor’s award programs, and grievance and appeal programs.
Central staff work with the Office of State Personnel on compensation issues related to the University System, the career banding pilot, and maintenance of Employee records, the Employee Assistance program, and other communications to keep Employees informed about program changes.
Joanne Kucharski asked if it were too late to drop health care coverage for the upcoming year. Charest said that the annual enrollment period takes place each September. She noted that many Employees have already dropped coverage, and purchases of family coverage have fallen greatly. She did not think that this year’s drop would be out of the ordinary given that the enrollment is already so low.
Delita Wright noted concerns arising from earlier in the year about the non-posting of an Office of State Personnel survey on the University listserv, and the decision to close Heels for Health. She said that in each case these issues were not brought before the Forum. She said that the Forum needs to hear about critical as well as mundane issues in the Human Resources updates, which would allow the Forum to know which issues to discuss. She asked if Charest had discussed elimination of Heels for Health with the Forum leadership. Charest said that it would not be appropriate to hold widespread discussion about whether a particular Employee would lose their job. Concerning the OSP survey, Charest said that the University had judged that the survey was not a good one and that the best way to distribute the survey was via Employee newspapers. Wright noted that North Carolina State University had changed its plan of distribution from newspapers to e-mail notification. Charest said that her office must deal with thousands of decisions each month and would be happy to address those of concern to the Forum. Wright said that she wanted to be confident that issues like the listserv question would be raised in Forum meetings. Charest said that it would be very difficult to address all of these issues in the time allotted.
Wright reported a case in which an Employee was laid off but was not rehired although that person had the strongest background of the internal candidates. Charest said that layoffs are not necessarily dealt with given poor performance, rather departmental priorities. She said that people are not laid off due to poor job performance. Wright said that sometimes an internal candidate with superior experience cannot be rehired due to a bad interview or other factors. Charest said that she thought the rehiring priority for laid-off Employees was not strong enough, but it followed State policy. Wright recalled that a part-time temporary person was once passed over for that position’s permanent job to hire a lay-off candidate in a half-time job. Charest noted that Tar Heel Temps are considered external candidates, and laid-off Employees have priority over external candidates. She noted that State policy requires that departments consider the laid off person first. Wright thought it wrong to take this decision out of the hands of the department.
Joanne Kucharski confirmed that 60-70 University Employees are now seeking re-employment with the State. She wondered if the University had a way to measure how many of these Employees returned to campus after being laid off. Charest said that these numbers could be generated, but she did not know how much help they would provide.
Approval of the Minutes
Katherine Graves moved that the Forum postpone consideration of the June and July minutes until the next Forum meeting. The Forum agreed to this motion.
The Chair noted that the resolution concerning the proposed chiller plant and parking decks was up for second reading. Cheryl Lytle said that she had concerns about the flow of traffic around the proposed lot near Cobb Dormitory. She said that traffic was already backed up in this area. The Chair noted that planners have already agreed to put up traffic and parking lights, and other transit improvements. Lytle expressed doubts that these improvements could ease an increased burden of a new parking deck in the area.
Joanne Kucharski moved to table the resolution, as she thought the resolution worked only as damage control for decision-making done behind closed doors. She noted that the University had already begun thinking about picking architects and so on. She did not want to rubber-stamp this proposal given previous closed-door decisions such as Heels for Health. She thought that the Forum should not approve this resolution. Tom Arnel seconded the motion.
James Curtis said that no one could have foreseen the difficulties the campus would experience difficulties requiring the new chiller plant. He thought that the University was just to take steps to address the question. He did not feel suspicious about the process. Kucharski thought that the Forum did not have enough information to support the proposals, and thought that the Forum should pay more attention to neighbors’ concerns.
Cheryl Lytle recalled that people who park in the N4 lot would only be able to use one exit going in and out. Curtis pointed out that these were different points. Lytle thought the question related to the University’s participation in the planning process. Graves asked whether the Forum would be able to notify its constituents in time if it passed the resolution.
A question arose about notification of commuters using the N4 lot from Public Safety.
The Chair thought the University needed the two parking decks, the chiller plant and the family student-housing. Curtis Helfrich said that the number of students on campus required the University to respond with improved energy services, given the proposed changes over the next 50 years. Helfrich said that the University does not have many more places at which to build these kinds of facilities on North campus. He noted the amount of work gone into planning for the construction.
Cynthia Cowan thought that the resolution dealt only with supporting particular actions proposed by the University in negotiations with the Town. She wondered about possible modifications to the proposal. The Chair said that if the University does not build a parking deck in conjunction with the chiller plant, staff would lose these spaces. Graves noted that if the Forum tables the resolution, it would not be able to affect debate by the Town Council at its August 25 meeting.
Wright asked what difference it would make whether the Forum passed the resolution or not. The Chair said that he thought that if the Forum did not approve the resolution, the Town Council would vote down the proposal. He said that if the Forum voted down the resolution it would need to explain why the University did not have its chiller plant and why Employees had lost their parking places. Kucharski wondered where the money for the decks would come from, but the Chair recalled Advisory Committee on Transit discussions that said deck construction funds would come from those allocated for the original Manning Drive deck.
At this point, the Forum took a vote on tabling the resolution. The motion failed, 6-15. The Forum then voted to end debate on the resolution. Finally, Amy Gorely moved to approve the resolution, and James Curtis seconded. The motion carried 19-6.
At this point, the Forum finished the business portion of its meeting. It then heard a presentation from Joanne Kucharski, underwent a relaxation session with Holly Timmeron of Human Resources and heard a closing talk by Chair Tommy Griffin. Discussions officially ended at 12:04 p.m.
Matt Banks, Recording Secretary