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Employee Forum Agenda — January 6 , 2010

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

I.            Call to Order

II.           Welcome Guests & Members of the Press

III.          Opening Remarks

IV.         Special Presentations

V.          Human Resources Update with Vice Chancellor Brenda Malone

VI.         Employee Presentations or Questions

VII.       December Minutes

VIII.       Old Business

IX.         New Business

X.           Stretch Time

XI.         Forum Committee Reports

  • Communications and Public Relations: Carrie Goldsmith/Amy Preble
    • Forum Newsletter
  • Community Affairs, Recognition, Awards and Outreach: Teena Burton
  • Compensation & Benefits:
  • Education and Career Development:  Cate Cunningham/Koyah Rivera
  • Legislative Action:  Jonathan Stephenson
  • Membership & Assignments:  Aluoch Ooro
  • Staff Relations, Policies & Practices:  Marc ter Horst


XII.        Chair’s Report (Executive Committee):  Tommy Griffin

XIII.       Task Force/University Committee Reports

XIV.       Announcements/Questions

XV.        “Go Around the Room”:  A Chance for Attendees to Share the Issue Most on their Minds

XVI.        Adjournment




January 6, 2010 Employee Forum Minutes


Vice Chair Jackie Overton called the meeting to order at 9:15 a.m.  She noted that Chair Tommy Griffin was out with an illness.  She also welcomed guests and members of the press.  She then introduced Vice Chancellor for Human Resources Brenda Malone to give the Forum’s customary Human Resources update.  Malone shared the news that Tar Heel Temps would be wound up as its revenues have not been able to sustain operations.  Tar Heel Temps will end operations on January 31.  Malone said that Human Resources will work on new ideas and strategies and outside contractors to fill the void.  She said that staff affected would be reassigned if possible.

Malone noted that Human Resources would begin interviews for a Training & Development manager.  She said that the UMDP leadership development program will be redesigned as ULEAD.  Alan Moran asked about the State Health Plan and tobacco testing.  Malone was not up to date on the most current news about the testing.  Faith Thompson recalled that tobacco testing would go into effect on July 1, 2010, with BMI testing to follow on July 1, 2011.  The State Plan will offer generic tobacco cessation pills covered at the primary care copayment level.  Malone said that Benefits specialists are happy to help but granted that privacy issues including DNA questions are as yet unanswered.  All employees will fall into the 70/30 plan and must attest that they do not smoke to enter the 80/20 plan.  Those saying that they do not smoke will be subject to random testing.  Malone said that she would invite Senior Director for Benefits & Employee Services Brian Usischon to speak at the February meeting to provide more details.

The Vice Chair called for a motion to approve the minutes of the December meeting.  Faith Thompson had several corrections to the minutes.  Dan Barmmer moved that the Forum accept the minutes as amended, seconded by Todd Hux.  The motion was approved.  The Vice Chair asked that the minutes be resent out to the Forum listserv.

Alan Moran read a proposed letter outlining a potential response from the Forum to the tobacco testing law.  Moran said that his main concern was economics, not privacy in drafting the letter.  Faith Thompson did not want the Forum to come across as unaware or attempting to change the law.  She thought that the letter should concentrate on the implementation of the law to make it as easy as possible for employees to comply.  Lucy Lewis thought that including a privacy focus in the letter as well as an economics focus would be useful.  Mark Duncan was bothered by the vagueness of the law regarding possible false positives.  He and Amy Preble raised the question of non-smokers who associate with smokers.  Preble pointed out also that the BMI rating is unreliable.  She reported that a friend using Abilify had gained 30 pounds in two months.  Moran agreed that there should be a defined appeals process.  It was pointed out that the State Health Plan is bound by HIPAA.  Faith Thompson called for a letter writing campaign or something else for the Forum to act as effective advocates for employees.  Jonathan Stephenson recalled that House Speaker Joe Hackney convinced the Wake County delegation to secure passage for Senate Bill 287 which decreed these changes.  He said that it was important for employees to contact legislators on their personal time.  Marc ter Horst moved that the letter be moved to the Legislative Action committee, acknowledging that the Forum opposes the law and addressing the implementation of testing.  Faith Thompson seconded this motion, which was approved.

The Forum then took a five minute break.

Ashley Fogle reported on the exciting progress with the University’s community garden.  She said that the garden is across the street from the Carolina Women’s Center at Cameron and Wilson.  The University has given approval for a temporary site.  Garden advocates are deciding how space will be allocated.  The garden will have a strong focus on education and hopes to have employees to participate during work time.  Fogle said that it was not yet decided whether the garden would sell or donate produce.  She said that Brooks Compost has agreed to donate compost.  Lucy Lewis said that the Homeless Outreach & Eradication project has worked to break down stereotypes and has started its own garden with turnips, lettuce, and collards.  She wondered if there might be some synchronicity between the two efforts.

Carrie Goldsmith reported from the Communications and Public Relations committee that work had begun on the January/February InTouch issue.  She welcomed new committee co-chair Amy Preble.  Teena Burton of the Community Affairs, Recognition & Awards committee said that group had worked to increase the visibility of the Unsung Heels award.  The committee will work on the Peer Recognition program in the spring.  Todd Hux noted that the Compensation & Benefits committee lacked a chair.  Koyah Rivera has stepped up to become co-chair of the Education and Career Development committee.  She said that group was looking to find more willing workers.  Jonathan Stephenson said that the Legislative Assignments committee was concerned about the tuition waiver course that the Legislature had removed last session.

Faith Thompson noted that the UNC System Staff Assembly had seen memos created at Appalachian State, UNC-Asheville, and UNC-Wilmington opposing the State Health Plan changes.  Alan Moran said that the UNC Faculty Assembly had discussed faculty pulling out of the State Health Plan.  Stephenson said that the State Health Plan contract will now extend until 2013.  Aluoch Ooro, chair of the Membership & Assignments committee, asked delegates to nominate their friends for election to the Forum.  Marc ter Horst said the Staff Relations, Policies & Practices committee was working on concerns pertaining to groups, not individuals, including supervisory management training, ESL, housekeeper concerns, and computer training.  The Vice Chair encouraged everyone to sign up for a committee.

Marc ter Horst described the selection process for the Provost search committee.  He said that two staff members, the Student Body president and the head of the Graduate and Professional Student Association served along with faculty on the committee.  The committee received applications from around 100 people and used consultants Bill Kunst & Associates to reduce this number to 50 applicants. The committee sought someone used to managing large budgets in a public school environment, with a familiarity with transparency and the ability to be direct and decisive.  The committee also sought someone comfortable with diversity and interdisciplinary activities who understands the humanities and has a passionate work ethic and a strong academic background.  The committee reduced the number of candidates to 15, then 8 and now 4.  Ter Horst asked Executive Committee members to commit to meetings with the four remaining candidates.

The Vice Chair asked delegates to go around the room raising topics for speakers or for the Provost/Vice Chancellor meetings.  These topics are listed below:

Five year structure of parking fees and Advisory Committee on Transit (Jackie Overton)

Speaker Chris Fitzsimon

Parental Leave for staff (Ashley Fogle)

Students from the HOPE Garden at February or March meeting (Amy Preble)

Education and Tuition Waiver (Carrie Goldsmith)

BMI and Tobacco Testing (Jill Crowder)

Access to Exercise Machines in Workplace (Nancy English)

Brian Usischon’s Comments on State Health Plan (James Holman)

Chris Fitzsimmon in Community Meeting, Letter Writing Campaign on SHP Testing (Lucy Lewis)

Social Media and Technology and Employees (Lucy Lewis)

Small Group of People Bringing About Change (Faith Thompson)

Conflict of Interest with Fonville-Morrison Holding First-Time Home Buying Classes (Mark Duncan)

Decision-Making Process to Stop Bus Service on December 28 (Mark Duncan)

University Real Estate (Charles Streeter)

Auxiliary Services Opening During Holidays (Todd Hux)

Expand Tuition Waiver to Include Spouses (Alan Moran)

Motivational Speaker (Koyah Rivera)

Treadmill Appointment in School of Pharmacy (Angela Lyght)

Computer Accessibility (Chris Carideo)

School of Medicine Separate from Rest of Campus (Debbie Dehart)

Unlit Bus Stops (Debbie Dehart)


In the absence of further discussion, the meeting adjourned at 11:26 a.m.


Respectfully submitted,



Matt Banks, Recording Secretary



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