Skip to main content

UNC–Chapel Hill Employee Forum Annual Retreat Agenda

Wednesday, June 4, 2014
Upendo Lounge, SASB North Building

8:30-9:10 AM                  Morning Refreshment—Coffee, Tea, Pastries

9:15-9:30 AM                  Opening Remarks & Icebreaker – Charles Streeter

9:30-10:00 AM               Remarks on Leadership from Susan Colby, UNC Staff Assembly Chair

10:00-10:20 AM            Human Resources Update

10:20-11:00 AM             Business


      • Approval of May minutes
      • Bylaws Revisions (delegates review emailed documents from Chair)
      • Resolution 14-03 Concerning Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment (Revised)


11:00-11:10 AM                 Break

11:10-11:30 AM                 Election of Forum Officer Candidates
(Nominations and speeches from the Floor will be accepted)

  • Forum Chair
    • Candidate: Charles Streeter
  • Forum Vice-Chair
    • Candidates:
  • Forum Secretary
    • Candidates:
  • Forum Treasurer
    • Candidates:

11:30-12:00 PM             Carolina Campus Community Garden Claire Lorch & Alice Ammerman

12:00-1:00 PM               Lunch

1:00PM-1:30 PM               Presentations of Certificates to Outgoing Delegates, Kay Wijnberg Hovious  Outstanding Delegate Awards

1:30-1:50 PM                      Open Meetings Law – Frayda Bluestein,  School of Government

1:50-1:55 PM                      Break

1:55-2:15 PM                      Previous Year’s & Coming Year’s Goals

2:15-3:00 PM                     Delegates’ Selection of Forum Committees, Committee Breakouts, Initial  Meeting to Establish Plans for the Year

3:00-3:15 PM                      Committee Reports

3:15-3:30 PM                      Closing Remarks and Adjournment


Minutes for Employee Forum Retreat held on Wednesday, June 4, 2014 in Upendo Lounge


Attending (those who signed in):  Dan Barmmer, Jo-Ann Blake, Bonita Brown, Deborah Bush, Ronald Campbell, Tiffany Carver, Angela Combs, Jackie Copeland, Everett Deloney, Lois Douglass-Alston, Teresa Etscovitz, David Fraley, Jim Fuller, Paula Goodman, John Gullo, Shane Hale, Victoria Hammett, Michael Highland, James Holman, Karen Jenkins-Cheek, Ronda Manuel, Matt McKirahan, Arlene Medder, Kirk Montgomery, Rushdee Omar, Jackie Overton, Stacey Owen, Christopher Powe, Kelli Raker, Kathy Ramsey, Samara Reynolds, Rocky Riviella, Renee Sherman, Anne Skilton, Tara Smith, Katie Turner


At 9:15am, Chair Charles Streeter called meeting to order.  The Forum participated in an Ice breaker, as newer members were asked to team up with more experienced members and review the bylaw changes together and by doing this, list the following:


1-      Question about the bylaws

2-      Pro about the bylaws

3-      Con about the bylaws


The Chair welcomed, Kirsten Kruhm from the Red Cross.  The Blood drive held on June 3 was a big increase in numbers 990 pints.  The goal is to reach 1,000 pints next year.  Kruhm thanked Todd Hux for everything he has done.  There was an announcement that on August 11th there will be an Emergency Exercise.

Michael Highland noted that James Holman has said that the annual Forum retreat falls on the same date as facilities group event.  He said that the Forum needs to look at another date.

The Chair said that lunch will be at noon.  Claire Lorch is here to talk about Community Garden, Frayda will be here to talk about open meetings law, and the first Speaker is Susan Colby to talk about leadership.   Guest speaker Susan Colby from NC State, is chair of the UNC Staff Assembly.

The UNC staff assembly is collective of all forums across the state and they take concerns to President Tom Ross and General Administration.  The Assembly brings recognition to BOG that staff do exist and that morale is low.  Colby shared a PowerPoint titled “Leadership and Organization Framework” by Bolman and Deal.  The presentation organized work into four frames.  First, the Structural Frame addresses problems that arise and performance that suffers from structural deficiencies which can be remedied through analysis and restructuring.  Examples are organizational charts, policies, and work plans.  Secondly, the Human Resources Frame involves creating a good fit that benefits individuals, helps them find meaningful and satisfying work, and helps an organization get talent and energy needed to be successful.  The SAS corporation was cited as one example, for its childcare and 35 hour work week, and reduced meal prices.  Thirdly, the Political Frame involves
coalitions forming because each party needs the other even with only partly overlapping interests. Scarce resources increase politics during difficult times.  On June 16/17 members of the Staff Assembly and Faculty Assembly will have a joint retreat.  Fourth, the Symbolic/Cultural Frame was discussed.  Culture forms the super glue that bonds an organization, unites people and helps an enterprise accomplishes desired ends.  She asked how our organizations can do better.  The Forum then split into different group to discuss Forum and University work in these frames.

The Chair then presented Associate Vice Chancellor of Human Resources Matt Brody to present the Forum’s customary Human Resources update.  Regarding pay increases, Brody said that OHR is anxiously watching the Legislature for news.  He recognized the Employee Forum’s Resolutions regarding pay increases as containing really good points.  Performance OHR has interest in getting generous pay increase and to see it listed out really helps and not just tied into cost of living but performance.  University employees have had no steady consistent pay increases in July.  It has been recently or consistently little or no increases. Now, the University is working with GA to encourage increases.  The Senate Bill (right now) is for SPA employees only.  Brody said that there will be a lot of negotiation in the House. He predicts there will be something. He reiterated that the State has to continue to be more consistent with pay increases.  Brody reminded employees that fiscal year leave 2014 needs to be used by June 30th, unless you’re retiring July 1.  Tammy Cox clarified that this is not a bonus but rather an increase to base salary.

John Gullo asked where the pilot program for new performance reviews was.  Brody said that the package is ready with forms but stopped based on the State’s new forms.  The Office of Human Resources is working quickly to “tweek” forms. There will be a meeting with HR directors on the 16th.  Andy Eaker asked where the 180 degree evaluations stand.  Brody felt that it is legitimate to have employees evaluate their supervisors. He said that it is important that a supervisor’s manager gets feedback on how they’re doing.  Human Resources may provide this feedback electronically.  Brody said that this subject is still on the radar.  He would have more information in July or August.

The Chair called for approval of the May minutes.  Arlene Medder said that the minutes should say “proposed” community tool shed. She also noted that her last name is misspelled.  In the absence of any other questions or corrections Michael Highland moved that they be approved.  The motion was seconded and approved with six abstentions.

Regarding resolution 14-03 on Sexual Assault, the Chair proposed transforming it into a letter of support.  Michael Highland said it’s not just a month that should be recognized, and added that letter would be great idea. A lot of work has gone into the resolution.   Aluoch Ooro said that it was better late than never and should move forward. Some universities looking into sexual harassment. Just move forward. Katie Turner said that the University is still waiting on Title IX report.  She suggested crafting the resolution based on this report.  Highland and Ooro agreed to table the motion.  Kelli Raker agreed that the idea to table until the Title IX report is done would be a good idea.  James Holman moved to end discussion, seconded by Chris Meinecke.  There was no discussion, and the motion to table was approved.

Michael Highland moved to approve bylaws changes with new grammatical changes.  James Holman seconded this motion.  The Chair noted that the Bylaws are reviewed every 3 years.

Some of the things the Forum does in practice are not in compliance and public meetings laws are not being followed.   Michael Highland confirmed that the Executive Committee can decide at any time to review.

It was noted that if a delegate contacts Matt he considers this an “excused” absence.  Matt McKirahan moved that the Forum break for 10 minutes.  The motion was seconded and approved with no abstentions.

After the break, Matt McKirahan moved to take off the table the bylaws discussion.  A majority opposed this motion, with two abstentions.  The Forum planned to consider this subject in the afternoon.

The Chair noted that Forum officer positions are open for nomination.  He asked Parliamentarian Matt McKirahan to officiate the process.  He noted that Charles Streeter is the only delegate running for Chair.  Jackie Overton moved to close the election.  The motion was approved with one abstention.  Charles Streeter was elected Chair for 2014-15 by acclamation, with two abstentions.

Jackie Overton was nominated for Vice Chair but she stated that she preferred someone else.  She declined the nomination.  Michael Highland, Andy Eaker, and Everett Deloney all accepted nominations for the position.  Arlene Medder and Katie Turner all declined nominations.  Highland, Eaker, and Deloney made brief remarks to the Forum.  Matt McKirahan noted that the Forum had decided that delegates should sign their names to the ballots to be in accordance with open meetings law.

Andy Eaker, Angela Combs, and Ronda Manuel accepted nominations for the position of Secretary.  Paula Goodman and Karen Jenkins-Cheek declined nominations.  The Forum then took a vote for the nominated candidates.

The Chair introduced Claire Lorch, Education Coordinator of the Carolina Campus Community Garden, to speak on the Garden’s work.  She said that the Garden is doing community workshops but is looking to do more.  The Garden is 35% larger than before, allowing it to grow more food and rotate more crops.  The Garden is partnering with NC State with regard to a solar greenhouse for the Garden.  Expansion would allow the Garden to grow more fruit such as blueberries and strawberries.

Ph.D. candidate Jessica Martell noted that students are interested in learning about “eating on their own.”  Students have come to realize their food choices have global impact.  Students like the alternative of working outside.  Students have done reflection papers on their research with the Garden, and as a teacher, she found that the Garden enables fieldwork that makes research come alive.

Lorch showed a two minute video about the Garden.  She noted in response to a question that the Garden has installed a deer fence to deal with wayward hungry deer.

The Chair welcomed various guests for lunch with the Forum.

Matt McKirahan announced the winners of the Secretary position, Angela Combs, and the Vice Chair position, Michael Highland.  A delegate nominated Tammy Cox for the position of Treasurer.  Cox indicated that she would accept.  A majority voted to accept Cox by acclamation, with one abstention.

The Chair distributed certificates signed by the Chancellor for the recognition of outgoing delegates.  He then announced the winners of the Kay Wijnberg Hovious Outstanding Delegate awards:  Dan Barmmer, Matt McKirahan, and Katie Turner.

The Chair welcomed Frayda Bluestein of the School of Government to speak on open meetings law.  She distributed a handout of her top ten points about North Carolina open meetings law.  She noted that if a majority of members do not attend, the meeting does not meet the criteria of the open meetings law because no voting can take place.  Each committee is considered a separate body.  The back page of the document provides guidelines on defining ‘public body’ within the meaning of the Open Meetings Act.  If a majority of the committee is e-mailing then it is really considered a public meeting documented in real time.  This practice does not comply with the open meetings law.  Bluestein summed up that Forum delegates should be careful with near-real time communication and decision-making.  She said that it is not legal to poll people via e-mail on items that should be voted on publicly.  She emphasized the notice requirements, particularly the 48 hours’ notice required for special or emergency meetings.  Committees should stick to their statement of purpose.

Bluestein said that open meetings law does not require meetings to give people the right to speak.  She said in response to a question that these meetings are not forums for free speech.  She also noted the recording rights are not constitutionally mandated.  Victoria Hammett asked what the Forum could do if people make a nuisance of themselves.  Bluestein said that there is a section of open meetings law that allows for those holding the meeting to ask these people to leave.  If they will not leave, it is considered a misdemeanor.  Bluestein confirmed that closed sessions must relate to a confidential aspect detailed in the handout.  She said that the law calls for a motion to go into closed session to be stated in open session.  Matt McKirahan asked how voting for honorary delegates would be handled under the law.  Bluestein said that the Forum should check with General Counsel.  She thought that a challenge would be rare, but if the attorney says not, the Forum should not go into closed session.

Bluestein said that public bodies are required to keep minutes as legal documentation that actions were taken.  They are useful if they briefly describe what happened in meetings.  General accounts of closed sessions are allowed unless they frustrate the purpose of the meeting.  Dan Barmmer asked if on-line working documents count as open meetings.  Bluestein said that they do as open records as one is working on the document and could possibly be subjected to public records laws.

The Chair called for a vote to pull the Bylaws motion from the table.  The Forum approved this motion by majority.  Michael Highland moved to limit discussion to ten minutes.  This motion was seconded and approved with five abstentions.  The Forum opted not to pursue the role of the Chair elect.  Arlene Medder proposed that the Bylaws have an index.  The Chair said that this idea is under development.  Matt McKirahan said that the list of committees could adversely affect the Bylaws.  Katie Turner said that the vote is to add committees, not to remove.  Michael Highland moved to call the question and end discussion.  Jackie Overton seconded this motion.  The motion was approved.

The Chair called for a motion to approve the Bylaws changes.  This motion received a majority vote with two abstentions.  Jackie Overton recognized Katie Turner and Dan Barmmer for the role they played in revising the Bylaws.  The Chair cited Matt McKirahan and Michael Highland for their assistance as well.  McKirahan asked delegates to not hesitate to suggest changes to the Bylaws to make them a “living document.”

The Chair asked delegates to select their committees and talk about plans for the upcoming year, using positives and negatives from the 4-Square exercise.

Arlene Medder spoke about the Community Garden’s desire to expand the population and education surrounding the work of the Garden.

Katie Turner said that the Communications and Public Relations committee will work on its summer InTouch issue, a Forum video, the Forum book club, a scavenger hunt, and increasing followers on the Forum’s Facebook and Twitter pages.  The committee hopes to write on peer recognition, Title IX, discount spotlights, cellphone discounts, and pay increases in the summer InTouch issue.

Christine Greenberg said that the Personnel Issues committee spoke about subcommittees and will settle roles in July.  The committee envisioned spending most of its time on organizing, tracking relevant bills, and reaching out to businesses.

Matt McKirahan said that the Education and Career Development committee will work on the allocation of work time, mentorship programs, and resume review.  He noted that November is Careers in Higher Education month, which should include on the job cross training, connections with Human Resources Training and Development, and the Career Explorations Fair.

Angela Combs said that the Membership and Assignments committee will work on the Forum’s spring and winter events, increasing prize giveaways and discounts and perks, and the Forum elections and websites.  She said that the committee is possibly interested in holding night events for the Forum.

Michael Highland said that the Recognition and Awards committee is interested in improving award descriptions and finding new and creative ways to recognize people

The Chair said that t –shirts with the new Forum logo will be available soon.  He noted that committees are not obligated to meet in June.

There was a motion to adjourn which was seconded.  The majority of the Forum voted to adjourn.

Respectfully submitted,


Paula Goodman, Secretary

Comments are closed.