January 4, 1995
Call To Order
The meeting was called to order by Forum Chair Margaret Plumb Balcom. Chair Balcom requested that because there were no name plates for this meeting, everyone identify themselves before speaking. She said delegates who missed the December meeting would be charged at the February meeting. Balcom welcomed guests, including Patty Smith, a new staff member of HR Employee Services, and first alternates — Anne Powers, Alice Taylor, and Riley Carter.
Chancellor Paul Hardin
•1995 Budget Prospects — Chancellor Hardin said he felt it would be a waste of time to speculate on budget prospects until the Governor revealed his budget and the General Assembly began its deliberations. He said it was the official position of the UNC System that the University was hit pretty hard with the cuts in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s when we were undergoing a recession in North Carolina. The detrimental affects of those cuts have just begun to be repaired, he noted, and the University hoped that it didn’t have to take additional cuts. “I think it would be particularly hard to take harsh cuts when North Carolina is experiencing a booming economy and not a recession. I think that we have a strong case that the missions of the UNC System and UNC-Chapel Hill are important to the people of North Carolina. And more and more is being asked of us — more in teaching, research, technology, and public service — and we want to render service in all of those areas of our mission. We need to have full employee strength and operational budgets that will permit us to perform at the standard that the people of North Carolina expect of a great university. I just simply hope that as people in the General Assembly come together in Raleigh all of those matters will be taken into account and that the University will not have its progress halted by unusually strong budget cuts,” Mr. Hardin said.
On the federal scene, the Chancellor said he was hopeful that the budget-cutting and tax-cutting mood would not impair programs that were essential to the humane concerns of government and that were also central to the forward economic progress in the country.
•Pay Improvement Policy — Chancellor Hardin said his Administrative Council was still looking at the pay improvement policy. He felt it would be some weeks before any decisions were made because of the uncertain financial picture within the State and to a lesser degree in Washington.
•Thanks to the Forum — The Chancellor also thanked the Forum for honoring him with the Community Award at the December meeting. He said he had been surprised and overwhelmed by the honor, and it was the most cherished honor that had been conferred on him at Carolina.
• Possible Staff Cuts — In response to a question about a possible hiring freeze, Chancellor Hardin said he did not know about an imminent one or whether the University should expect one if budget cuts were handed down. If budget cuts seem to be looming and they seem likely to affect personnel, he said a hiring freeze would be better than laying off persons presently employed. When it is known what the picture is, he said his administration would take whatever steps possible to try to ensure that the cuts fall where there are already non-essential vacancies, or where people who are presently employed would be hurt. He stressed that this did not mean that the University had non-essential positions or that a hiring freeze would not hurt. He added, “Many of you are in offices that are very much overtaxed and overworked because you are not fully staffed, and even if you are fully staffed, you could use more help. I am very much aware of that. I don’t see anything easy about budget cuts. I am simply assuring you that we will work as carefully as we can and plan as carefully as we can to minimize those cuts and to keep the University strong.”
• Chancellor Search — In response to a question about the search for the new chancellor, Mr. Hardin said he did not have anymore knowledge than anyone else. He said though that he was certain a superb new chancellor would be identified before he stepped down in June.
Human Resources Update
Associate Vice Chancellor of Human Resources Laurie Charest
• Compensatory Time-off Policy — Ms. Charest explained that the policy is in effect now. She noted that the work on this policy was initiated by the Forum.
• Supervisory Resources — She extended an offer to the Forum, especially to new members, to participate in Supervisory Resources, a training program that gives overviews of University policies and procedures. She suggested that those interested contact the Training and Development Offices to enroll in the next available course.
• Statewide Classification and Compensation Study — Ms. Charest said she had nothing new to report since the last meeting as the Technical Advisory Committee, of which she is a member, had not met in December. It was scheduled to meet January 10. She said she hoped to have more information at the Forum’s February meeting as a report on the study was due to the General Assembly on that date.
• OSSOG Study — Rachel Windham asked why the results of Phase II of the OSSOG study were released to employees the day before the Christmas break. Charest said that she could not comment on why the results took so long, or why once they were known there was such a push to implement the changes. She added that many people’s salaries went up, and they should not have been penalized by further delays or the University’s inability to manage Retroactivity in this instance. Some positions still are under appeal. Charest admitted that the results became known at a bad time, for those people who experienced lowering of classifications.
Anne Montgomery, 1994 Chair of the Nominating Committee, announced the slate of officers for 1995. She said anyone who was nominated and agreed to serve if elected was included on the ballot. Balcom said each office would be elected separately, starting with the chair, and the result of that election would be announced before preceding with the electing of the next office. Nominees for the Forum Chair were Rachel Windham and Debi Schledorn. No additional nominees for the office were offered from the floor. Rachel Windham was elected. Nominees for the Forum Vice-Chair were Delores Bayless, Helen Iverson, and Scott Blackwood. No additional nominees for the office were offered from the floor. Scott Blackwood was elected. Nominees for the Forum Secretary were Patricia (Trish) Brockman and Diane Crabill. No additional nominees for the office were offered from the floor. Trish Brockman was elected.
There were no Employee Presentations.
Approval of the Minutes
The minutes of the October and December Forum meetings were not ready; they will be taken up at the February meeting.
• Orientation Committee — Debi Schledorn spoke on behalf of the Orientation Committee, reminding the members about the January 17 Retreat. Retreat information is printed in the current, December News and Notes. She asked delegates to return the Retreat forms so that she would know who was coming.
Margaret Balcom reminded delegates that it was their responsibility to be aware of University policies and employee needs. She stated that a great deal was accomplished this past year, some done behind the scenes. Balcom encouraged members to be active in their committees. She asked that each member stand and introduce themselves.
In turning over the Chair’s gavel, Balcom explained that it was given to the Forum by James Peacock who was the Faculty Chair last year. The gavel was carved by his father. The gavel was passed to Rachel Windham. Rachel made an acceptance speech. She said she expected member support, advice, seriousness, and teamwork in the coming year.
Patricia Brockman, Secretary