February 16, 2016 Executive Committee meeting
Attending (those who signed in): Sharon Brinson, Bonita Brown, Gena Carter, Clare Counihan, Phillip Edwards, Christine Greenberg, Shayna Hill, Arlene Medder, Kathy Ramsey, Charles Streeter, Katie Turner, Ben Triplett
Excused Absence: Nakenge Robertson
Chair Charles Streeter called the meeting to order at 11:40 a.m. He asked members to participate in finding vendors for the Chancellors’ Cup golf tournament. Members brainstormed about possible sponsors, including local and national companies. The Chair said that he would work on a letter to possible sponsors.
The chair asked the committee how to move forward with the peer recognition awards. He noted that no one has come forward yet to chair the selection committee. Katie Turner thought that it might be more effective if the Forum gave out one large award each year instead of many smaller ones. She noted that previous years’ Recognition & Awards committee had been unhappy with the quality of submissions. She proposed creating an award to be given during University Day similar to the faculty-conferred awards presented then. She also thought asking the Chancellor to sponsor a cash prize for the award would add to its gravitas and encourage nominations. She would work to flesh out the idea, perhaps having the award recognize advocates for staff issues.
Ben Triplett added that if an award is created for advocacy it should be open to staff at all levels. Turner agreed. The Chair thought that the Forum needs funds to improve its recognition ceremonies. Clare Counihan observed that the peer recognition events seem to be attended by particular departments who frequently submit nominations. She suggested asking delegates from each division to nominate a peer recognition candidate.
The Chair noted that Playmakers will put on the play “We are Proud to Present…” which deals with issues of race and vision. He proposed that the Forum obtain tickets for this event and perhaps sponsor a conversation following the play. Members discussed other ways to mark African-American History month in ways that would engage staff.
The Chair asked for a motion to approve the January minutes. Arlene Medder made this motion with her proposed edits. The motion was approved with none opposing and one abstention.
Shayna Hill and Matt Banks presented the Forum’s monthly budget report. Christine Greenberg asked if the Personnel Issues committee has an allocation for this year. She offered to donate that allocation to another Forum group. Ben Triplett noted that a $212.80 charge was listed twice in the trust fund budget. The Chair said that the Forum will need to explore ways to prepay for its catering charge for its July retreat.
The committee discussed options for the Forum’s annual retreat, including the Farm, the Friday Center, the Carolina Club and the Rizzo Center. The Chair preferred a location off campus. He asked members’ opinions on possible speakers. Members proposed someone from the Center for Creative Leadership and the School of Government to speak on work-life balance. The Chair asked if members would be interested in remarks from a member of the Board of Trustees. This idea received a positive response.
The Chair asked why the Forum could not obtain demographic data on staff at the University. Turner added that the Forum submitted a request for staff retention data back in October 2015 and still had not received a response. Gena Carter said that ConnectCarolina and InfoPorte have produced difficulties in obtaining data, but that she could try to see what information she is able to get through Infoporte. The Chair asked that Matt Banks resend the letter to Rich Arnold and Gena Carter. Carter said that many other issues with ConnectCarolina may have superseded the Forum and faculty committee requests.
Carter noted that Forum delegates could benefit from obtaining insight from the Vice Chancellors. She also noted that there seemed to be a lack of discussion at the February VC/representatives’ meeting. Carter asked that the delegates who attend come with a list of questions to stimulate discussion. Chrissie Greenberg said that she would hate for the Forum to lose the opportunity to meet with administrators. Carter emphasized the importance of submitting topics in advance to allow for preparation by the Vice Chancellors. Ben Triplett said that he would have wanted some information on the overall plan for Shared Services at the University. It was suggested that the Forum continue to take time to propose topics for these meetings at its regularly scheduled monthly meetings.
The Chair said that the Forum will have the opportunity to meet at some point with UNC System President Margaret Spellings. He emphasized that the Forum should welcome President Spellings. Kathy Ramsey related Spellings’ advocacy of more funds for students who cannot afford to attend college.
Jim Fuller said that Jennifer Port is the new Red Cross representative to the Carolina Blood Drive committee. He said that the next blood drive will take place Tuesday, June 7th in the Smith Center. The committee will meet again February 23rd.
Arlene Medder said that the Carolina Campus Community Garden committee had not met in January but had held a series of volunteer sessions this past month.
Katie Turner noted that the Forum will hold a Twitter basics seminar on February 24th with new Communications and Public Relations committee member Suzanne Yergensen. The committee will also host Dante Peace at the Forum’s book club event February 25th.
Samara Reynolds said that the Education and Career Development committee will host its last meeting before the higher education mini-conference on March 22nd. The committee explored the possibility of having students record the event for posterity. Reynolds said that Forum members will be needed to help with the food order and nametags for the meeting. She said that the committee also needs an opening speaker for the session.
Kathy Ramsey said that the Membership & Assignments committee is working on election recruitment. The Chair asked that a formal notice of the nomination period go out to employees with formal letterhead.
Chrissie Greenberg said that the Personnel Issues committee did not have a report but would meet that week.
The Chair reported that the UNC System Staff Assembly will meet at UNC-Pembroke at the end of the month.
Katie Turner asked how the social media presentation at the February Forum meeting had gone. The Chair said that the Communications Office advises people not to indicate that they speak for the University in their profile. Turner noted that she has gotten calls from staff who are concerned that the University will not allow them to purchase certain social media management software, such as Hootsuite. She wondered what employees could do about these restrictions, saying that staff need clear guidance in this area.
Gena Carter said that revisions to the SHRA grievance policy will allow recorded sessions. [She said that all SHRA grievances will be recorded. Each party to the grievance will sign a form indicating they are aware that the hearing is being recorded and that the recording is only to be used to facilitate the grievance process.]
Chrissie Greenberg asked about public announcement of Linc Butler’s appointment as Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources. The Chair noted that he was introduced at the February Forum meeting and his appointment was announced in several University publications.
Katie Turner asked about possible speakers for the upcoming Forum meetings. Clare Counihan said that having a voter education specialist could be a good help in the North Carolina primary season. Turner thought that inviting Chuck Stone of SEANC or representatives from Student Government would be a good idea.
In the absence of further discussion, the meeting adjourned at 1:22 p.m.
Matt Banks, Recording Secretary