July 15, 2014 Executive Committee minutes
Attending (those who signed in): Tammy Cox, Yvonne Dunlap, Michael Highland, Shane Hale, James Holman, Karen Jenkins-Cheek, Matt McKirahan, Arlene Medder, Rushdee Omar, Kelli Raker, Charles Streeter
Chair Charles Streeter called the meeting to order at noon. Tammy Cox and Matt Banks provided an overview of the Forum’s trust fund and overhead budgets. The Chair asked for an overview of the Staff Development fund in upcoming Executive Committee meetings. He noted that the Staff Development fund earns $18,000 or so a year in interest. Chancellor Folt has indicated that she wishes to fund a Forum speaker rather than use the Staff Development fund for this purpose. Committee members discussed the tentative budget for the Staff Development fund as well as the trust fund and overhead budgets. The Chair proposed not submitting a request for Forum t-shirts. Tammy Cox thought that the t-shirts could be useful for building morale. Arlene Medder proposed that the Forum include money for food and drink for a sponsored volunteer day at the Carolina Campus Community Garden. She thought that the Forum could pursue this idea once a semester and once in the summertime.
Kelli Raker proposed that the Forum wear t-shirts on blood drive days. The Chair proposed to pay for this idea out of operating funds. Michael Highland proposed that University employees receive these t-shirts if they attend a certain University event. Tammy Cox noted that employees will often stop to ask about unique t-shirts on campus. Arlene Medder noted that the Forum should send any proposed design to Derek Lochbaum of Trademark Licensing if it changes its logo in any way. Matt McKirahan suggested that the Forum produce a budget for a marketing plan for signage and cards from the Staff Development fund. He suggested small marketing cards to attract the attention of employees at a small cost. The Chair noted the brochures that the Forum produced for distribution last year. McKirahan thought that providing employees a good solid pen and pad with the Forum logo, along with a thank-you note, could engender some goodwill among employees. Rushdee Omar proposed adding the QR code to the marketing materials to save space. Michael Highland asked about obtaining some of this material from Student Stores. McKirahan said that the Forum would need to generate a proposed budget for the Staff Development fund soon. Michael Highland proposed that the Forum go to departments to provide needed services. The Chair was doubtful about the Forum providing programming for departmental staff meetings beyond presentations about the Forum itself. The Chair asked delegates to submit Staff Development fund requests by the end of the week.
The Chair said that he had enjoyed Dr. Fleming Bell’s presentation on parliamentary procedure in June. He hoped that the Forum could generate a one-page document on writing resolutions for the guidance of new delegates. Kelli Raker asked what else the Forum can do to influence opinion beyond writing resolutions. The Chair cited letters to the Chancellor and proclamations. Raker suggested that these options go into orientation materials for new delegates.
The Chair noted that around four Forum delegates had attended Dr. Bell’s class. Dr. Bell had taught that Robert’s Rules of Order are not required or legally specified as the final word on how to run a meeting. He said that Dr. Bell had recommended a simpler approach to meetings, teaching delegates how to make motions, call meetings to order, and other substantive versus procedural motions. He said that the Forum should adopt these basic procedures, then rely on Robert’s Rules as its ultimate authority in discussions. Matt McKirahan noted that he had documented Robert’s Rules of Order for the new delegates last year. He offered to forward this document to Matt Banks.
The Chair raised the subject of goals for the year in light of the 4-Square presentation from UNC System Staff Assembly Chair Susan Colby at the Forum’s June retreat. He noted that each Forum committee has been asked to work on their individual agendas in light of the 4-Square document. He asked the committee to work on three things that it wants the Forum to do. He noted the common suggestion that the Forum increase visibility and participation. He said that not all employees are aware of Forum benefits. He noted that the Personnel Issues committee will need to find a staff representative for the Faculty Welfare committee in order to increase cooperation between faculty and staff.
The Chair wanted to establish some measured outcomes from the Forum’s goals and objectives. Shane Hale said that one objective should be for the Forum to increase its say in the way the University is run. Karen Jenkins-Cheek said that increasing collaboration with different campus groups is a worthy goal. The Chair sought to obtain deep employee interest in the Forum’s work, perhaps expressed through employee correspondence on issues of concern. He noted the case of the data breach in January that led to his remarks at the Board of Trustees that month. Tammy Cox said that the Forum could have as a goal to empower staff. Matt McKirahan said that the Forum might want to lobby Human Resources to allow employees two hours’ leave to attend Forum meetings. James Holman noted that employees have the opportunity to attend Forum meetings to speak at the end of meetings, provided that they obtain the consent of their supervisor. Yvonne Dunlap noted the Forum’s winter community meeting and she asked what had occurred with the Forum’s spring community meeting. The Chair said that budgetary and scheduling issues stood in the way of holding a second community meeting last year.
Matt McKirahan noted that he very rarely heard concerns from other staff members to forward on to the Forum. He noted a disconnect between his Forum work and his assigned electoral division. The Chair said that Forum delegates represent the entire University as well as their electoral divisions. McKirahan said that employees seem to want to speak with someone that they know more than someone from their electoral division or employment category. Kelli Raker said that speaking up at Forum meetings can be intimidating and she understood that some employees might be afraid for their jobs. Tammy Cox noted that the Forum has little day-to-day impact over parking policies or legislative salary increases. The Chair said that the Forum advocates on behalf of employees with Human Resources and the Department of Public Safety. Members settled on inviting employees to indicate that they plan to speak at the beginning of Forum meetings, then staying or returning to make their remarks at the end of the meeting. The Chair emphasized that the Forum would not bind itself to finding an answer to employee questions right there at the meeting. James Holman emphasized that employees should not expect the Forum to deal with personal issues. Yvonne Dunlap said that anyone should have the opportunity to speak at the end of meetings.
The Chair summed up that Forum objectives would be to empower people, to increase visibility and increase collaboration. He asked delegates to come up with goals associated with these objectives at the next Executive Committee meeting.
Regarding the Forum calendar, listservs, and Sharepoint site, the Chair said that delegates should obtain the Forum’s monthly and Executive Committee meetings soon. He said that special instructions are available for the Google calendar. He noted that some meetings are static while others pull in delegates as they arise. The Chair offered to delegates the option to address messages to employees via the divisional listservs. Kelli Raker suggested that the Forum offer the option to speak at Forum meetings in these listservs. Finally, regarding Sharepoint, the Chair said that use of this site has not been widespread. He noted that other committees have chosen to use Sakai. He said that committees using Sakai must make sure to name the Chair and Matt Banks as site administrators, in order to insure continuity.
Michael Highland asked where the list of speakers is from last year. Yvonne Dunlap said that the Forum should consider limiting speakers. The Chair said that the Forum had a lot of business to fit in during its once-a-month meetings. He said that the Forum had heard from all of its speakers last year except for Vice Chancellor for Communications and Public Relations Joel Curran, Vice Chancellor for Development David Routh, and Professor of Social Medicine Jonathan Oberlander. Others suggested hearing from General Counsel Kristen Lewis, Chancellor Carol Folt, Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration Matt Fajack, UNC System President Tom Ross, and the leaders of the Student Body and the Graduate and Professional Student Federation. Matt McKirahan said that the Institute of Emerging Issues has a number of speakers conversant with North Carolina concerns. He recommended Anita Brown-Graham as a contact. Bob Joyce of the School of Government is another possibility to speak on voting laws. Highland suggested that the Forum ask someone from the Provost’s Office to speak on the strategic plan for the University.
The Chair raised the question of inviting Football Coach Larry Fedora to the Forum. Matt McKirahan suggested contacting media relations in the Athletics Office. The Chair noted that the Forum has requested football tickets for delegates from the Football office. Michael Highland suggested inviting Executive Director for the Arts Emil Kang.
The Chair said that the Carolina Blood Drive committee will hold another blood drive in December.
Arlene Medder said that there were two more delegates from the Forum at the most recent Carolina Campus Community Garden committee meeting. She noted that the Garden will present its proposal for shed construction to the Town’s Historic District Commission. The Garden is still working to increase volunteers.
The Communications & Public Relations committee is working to publish the next edition of InTouch. Arlene Medder said that Katie Turner has asked committee members to submit corrections to the final draft by Wednesday.
Matt McKirahan said that as a Forum officer it had been recommended that he no longer continue as chair of the Education and Career Development committee. He had met with Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources Matt Brody to discuss the Forum’s professional development grant opportunities application. He had e-mailed a final draft to the committee for its review. He hoped to announce that applications are open for submission in the next month or so.
Karen Jenkins said that the Membership & Assignments committee will work on organizing the Forum’s booth at Employee Appreciation Day. The committee will work to obtain new signage and gifts for the Fair.
Yvonne Dunlap said that the next meeting of the Personnel Issues committee will take place July 22. She said that more generally the committee will move its meeting times to the fourth Tuesday of every month, from noon-1:30 p.m.
Michael Highland said that the Recognition & Awards committee will meet to decide the recipient of the Forum’s Community Award. The committee needs a new chair. The Chair said that the Forum needs nominees for the Governor’s Award and the Staff Assembly’s Erskine Bowles award. He would have more information soon about when these nominations are due.
The Chair said that the UNC Staff Assembly video conference should touch on the transition to a new group in October. He said that he would send the Chancellor a thank-you note for sponsoring the University’s two golf teams at the Chancellor’s Cup tournament in October. He said that the Forum should prepare in advance for the next tournament.
The Chair said that delegates can e-mail him at any time with suggestions for topics for the September Provost/Vice Chancellor meeting, to take place Thursday, September 11.
In the absence of further discussion, the meeting adjourned at 1:32 p.m.
Matt Banks, Recording Secretary