January 21, 2020 Executive Committee minutes
Attending: L.E. Alexander, Tiffany Carver, Jen DeNeal, Stephanie Forman, Shayna Hill, James Holman, Arlene Medder, Katie Musgrove, Ayla Ocasio, Laura Pratt, Kevin Robinson, Greg Smith, Rose Thorp, Tracy Wetherby Williams
Excused Absences: Ashley Belcher, Clinton Miller, Jim Potts
Chair Shayna Hill called the meeting to order at 11:30 a.m. She welcomed Stephanie Forman and Tiffany Carver who were calling in remotely for the meeting. She asked for a motion to accept the December minutes. Arlene Medder made this motion, seconded by Katie Musgrove. The motion was approved without opposition.
Ayla Ocasio and Matt Banks presented the Forum’s monthly budget report. Laura Pratt asked the amount of uncommitted funds available for professional development grants. Pratt said that the next group of grants will be awarded in April. She said that the program has had a great number of applicants. Banks said that he would provide Pratt the figure requested following the meeting.
Katie Musgrove discussed efforts to consult with School of Government and Political Science professors concerning the Forum’s electoral system. Members noted efforts to shift representation from electoral division to campus administrative unit and the opposition this idea engendered at the January Forum meeting. Tracy Wetherby Williams thought it best to consult with experts for guidance on this question. The Chair wished to avoid any perception that the Forum elections are merely a popularity campaign. Members wished to give some series of reforms a possible try, even if they may not work. Matt Banks noted the concern among some employees about the integrity of electoral systems given national events.
Rose Thorp noted that the reforms as written would not require Bylaws revisions. She noted the proposal to reserve at-large votes for the possibility of delegates nominated by Chair’s appointments. Members explored hypothetical situations related to the different electoral proposals. Laura Pratt recalled that whatever reform is chosen must work within the current Qualtrics survey software. It was noted that the Forum must send out a request for nominations in mid- to late-February to have Forum delegates elected by late April.
The Chair noted plans to create a video advertising upcoming Forum elections. Katie Musgrove and Kevin Robinson offered to help with this effort. Arlene Medder pointed out that the Forum could discuss revised electoral proposals at its July retreat. The Chair proposed including Forum service on performance reviews for delegates and their supervisors to increase participation.
James Holman proposed that the Forum Chair could ask the Chancellor to request or require that supervisors allow their employees to serve on the Forum. The Chair was pleased with the progress of her one on one meetings with the Chancellor. She hoped that he could be enrolled in the effort to promote Forum elections.
Arlene Medder noted that the Carolina Community Garden will hold its tenth anniversary this year.
The Chair noted that the Chancellors’ Cup golf tournament Forum committee still needs a leader.
Greg Smith said that InTouch, the Forum newsletter, will be published in the next week. He said that a draft of election information would be included in the newsletter. He noted that the Communications & Public Relations podcast was not yet available.
It was noted that the Community Service committee will hold its annual Habitat for Humanity build sometime this spring. The Carolina Blood Drive’s spring event will take place June 2, 2020. It was said that the winter drive had experienced around 40% no-shows of appointments, a possible result of giving free t-shirts to employees in exchange for registration.
The Education & Career Development committee will conduct a survey of employees’ professional development needs and wants. This survey will inform programming for the 2021 mini-conference on career development in higher education. The committee has sought head shots and biographies from grant winners to supplement an InTouch story.
Rose Thorp noted that the School of Pharmacy has recently implemented professional development grant initiatives totaling $1,000 per staff member. Kevin Robinson noted that this announcement was met by “gasps in the room.” Stephanie Forman thought that this opportunity should exist for all who desire it. Angenette McAdoo responded that some departments have a cap on possible spending in this area.
Tiffany Carver noted progress with the Forum elections which had been discussed previously. She thanked the Membership & Assignments committee for their help with the December and January socials.
Rose Thorp said that the Personnel issues committee had met to discuss ways to increase voluntary donations of sick leave. She also recalled that the subject of staff tuition waiver for receipt-supported courses like the MBA and MPA on-line programs was raised in the January discussion with the Chancellor. She asked that delegates contribute to a list of courses not accepting staff tuition waivers. Stephanie Forman noted that there is no in-state tuition rate for UNC’s on-line courses. Jen DeNeal added that there are no exemptions for courses at NC State. The Chair asked who pays for a course that a staff member enrolls in via the staff tuition exemption. Members thought that the expense is absorbed by the instructing school.
The committee discussed creation of a letter to the Chancellor regarding the State budget and the lack of staff salary increases. Members agreed to forward ideas to the Chair.
It was noted that George Battle, the new Vice Chancellor of Institutional Integrity and Risk Management and Jim Leloudis and Patricia Parker, co-chairs of the Commission on History, Race and a Way Forward have been tentatively confirmed as speakers at the Forum’s March meeting.
In the absence of further discussion, the meeting adjourned at 1:27 p.m.
Matt Banks, Recording Secretary