Agenda — June 7, 1995
9:30 a.m.—Meeting, Assembly Room of Wilson Library
I. Call to Order
II. Welcome Guests
III. Opening Remarks
- Dr. Garland Hershey, Vice-Chancellor for Health Affairs
- Special Resolution
- Laurie Charest, Human Resources Update
IV. Special Presentation
- Jane Brown, Chair of the Faculty
IV. Employee Presentations
- Community Meeting
- Special Presentation
V. Minutes of the May 3, 1995 meeting*
VI. Chair’s Report: Rachel Windham
- Debi Schledorn New Representative to Executive Committee from Division 7; Tom Hocking New Convenor from Division 7
- Resignation of Malinda Marsh from Division 5, Movement of Wendy Mann to Delegate and Jana Spaugh to First Alternate
- May Resolution, Legislative Letters Shared with Chancellor
- Response to May Letter from House Speaker Harold Brubaker
- Welcome Letter to Chancellor Hooker
- Correspondence to Legislature
- President Spangler Remarks to Board of Governors
VII. Committee/Task Force Reports
- Nominating—Scott Blackwood*
- Career Development—Sharon Bowers
- Orientation—Debi Schledorn
- Personnel Policies—Pat Staley
- Compensation and Benefits—Archie Lassiter/Tom Hocking*
- Public Affairs—Delores Bayless*
- Recognition and Awards—Ann Hamner*
- University Committee Assignments—Libby Chenault
- Salary Task Force—Delores Bayless/Trish Brockman
- Employee Fair Booth Task Force—Marshall Wade
- Faculty Council Cooperative Efforts
- Partner Benefits—Linda Cook/Peter Schledorn
- Legislative Affairs—Tom Hocking/Laresia Farrington
- Land Use Planning—Ann Hamner
IX. Unfinished Business
- Correspondence on OSSOG sent to Laurie Charest; Plans to Schedule July 5 OSSOG Panel*
- Meeting/Tea with Legislators—Delayed Until After the Session
X. New Business
- Development of Criteria for Selection of Community Award Winner (Three-Legged Stool)—Referral to Recognition & Awards
- Employee Morale
- Discussion of Redundant Data Collection
- Discussion of Need for University-Wide Departmental Accounting System
- Total Quality Management Views
- Need for Forum Social Events
- Minutes—More Summary in Nature?
- Chilly Climate Discussions
- Move of Forum Office to 200A Carr Building/Office Hours
- Forum Guidelines Revisions
- Human Resources Manuals
June 7, 1995
Call to Order and Welcome Guests
The meeting was called to order at 9:33 a.m. by Forum Chair Rachel Windham. She asked those assembled to note the beautiful photographs of North and South Carolina Depression-era families recently displayed in the Assembly Room. She applauded Libby Chenault for any part she may have played in the installation of the artwork and invited members to take time to look at these pieces of local history. The Chair asked guests and members of the media to introduce themselves. Blake Dickinson of the Chapel Hill Herald, Mike Hobbs of the University Gazette and Martha Elder of the Daily Tar Heel announced their presence.
The Chair welcomed Dr. Garland Hershey, Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs (substituting for Chancellor Hardin) to give the meeting’s opening remarks. The Vice Chancellor said it was nice to be back before friendly faces. Although he had not been with the Forum recently, Dr. Hershey indicated that he followed the Forum’s activities in the “absolutely excellent” minutes. He praised Matt Banks’ “great job” in preparing the minutes.
The Vice Chancellor stated that he was substituting for the Chancellor who was in the Northeast on University business. The Vice Chancellor asserted that “if Chancellor Hardin were within several hundred miles of Chapel Hill, he would be before the Forum today.” Dr. Hershey passed on the Chancellor’s best wishes. Dr. Hershey also noted that the Chancellor was touched a great deal by his interactions with the Forum and thought of the Forum in a very special way when reviewing his Chancellorship. Dr. Hershey expected that this warm relationship would continue with Chancellor-Elect Michael Hooker’s arrival.
The Vice Chancellor broached the subject of legislative deliberations in Raleigh, stating there was little new to report. As of the last week, most observers anticipated good news as a result of rumors from the Conference Committee of the Senate and House which had been meeting over the last few weeks. The two sides seemed close to agreement when the Governor and the House reached an impasse over funding for the Smart Start program. This standstill has delayed completion of the University’s continuation budget.
Yet, the prevailing wisdom now is that the University will receive better treatment from the General Assembly than it seemed in the previous weeks. Dr. Hershey attributed this success to several causes: firstly, input from groups such as the Forum, the faculty and its Council, students, and the Administration. Dr. Hershey said that reminding Raleigh of all the things that the University has done, is doing and is committed to do for the State and its citizens has been very persuasive in the Legislature. Recent polls of North Carolinians indicated a very strong bed of support for the University system, a support that should result in better treatment from the General Assembly in future budget deliberations.
There has been, Dr. Hershey said, no news on staff salary increases. The latest rumor has been the possibility of a small percentage increase, possibly 2%, or a “bonus” increase, perhaps $500 or $1,000. There still is no news about which, if either, will come to pass. The Vice Chancellor hoped that the Governor’s enhancement budget would give an additional boost to University salaries, but he said he did not know what would happen. The Vice Chancellor then voiced the University’s continuing support for staff members, noting that the Chancellor had made a special comment at a recent Board of Governors meeting about his hope and expectation that staff salaries would be increased.
Dr. Hershey expressed relief that legislators in Raleigh continue to recognize the University as a vital State resource. He said that South Building, along with the Forum leadership and other campus groups, would work to deepen relations with the General Assembly and share the continuing good things that the University does for its students and the people of North Carolina. The Vice Chancellor then declared his intentions to keep his remarks brief, again passing on the Chancellor’s regrets for his absence and expressing his pleasure in addressing the Forum.
Margaret Balcom asked what the budget situation does to pan-University funding. Dr. Hershey said that, in the sense of a specific pool of money allocated from a budget committee, he suspected that those dollars will suffer to a degree just as all other elements of the University will suffer a cut. Yet, we still do not know what size budget cuts to expect. Because pan-University funds are used for infrastructure items that benefit the entire campus, they would probably be the last cut, if possible. In a time of budget difficulties, however, we must look to any possibility for cost reduction.
The Chair thanked Vice Chancellor Hershey for his remarks and noted that a special resolution was before the Forum regarding Chancellor Hardin. The Chair acknowledged that normally Forum custom was not to read resolutions, but she asked in this case that Trish Brockman, Forum Secretary, read the proposed resolution honoring Chancellor Hardin (included with these minutes). The Chair then presented two suggested changes: in the last clause “ex-officio” should be changed to “honorary” and “further” be changed to “future.” Frank DiMauro then asked that in the sixth clause “nuturing” be changed to “nurturing.” With these changes, Tom Hocking made a motion that the resolution be adopted, a motion that Sue Morand seconded. In the absence of further discussion, the Chair asked that members in favor of the resolution show their support by standing and applauding Chancellor Hardin. The motion passed unanimously. The Chair presented the resolution to Vice Chancellor Garland Hershey and Associate Vice Chancellor Laurie Charest in the Chancellor’s absence. Dr. Hershey said that if the Chancellor were present, he would say that he treasured not only the honor of the resolution, but the relationships he has formed with Forum members over the course of his Chancellorship. Laurie Charest echoed these comments, saying that the Chancellor was aware of the resolution since he had read his agenda packet. Ms. Charest declared the Chancellor’s profound appreciation and thanks for the invitation to be an honorary delegate to the Forum. On behalf of the Chancellor, she thanked the group and stated that he would have loved to be at the meeting today.
In her own report, Laurie Charest noted she had received a letter from the Chair summarizing the Forum’s concerns about OSSOG which were expressed at the May meeting. Laurie said that her office was working to comprise a panel from the Office of State Personnel in Raleigh to discuss the history and logic behind the creation of OSSOG, anticipating this panel would be available for discussion and questions at the July Forum meeting.
Ms. Charest also stated that the changes suggested by the Forum to the new Reduction in Force policy were all incorporated into the final version passed recently by the Administrative Council. This new policy took effect May 15, and concerned individuals should receive their copies shortly. Laurie thanked the Forum for its input on the policy, stating that she had no news on staff pay raises or other legislative issues beyond what the Vice Chancellor had already shared.
Margaret Balcom inquired about possible legislation on the subject of health insurance or retirement benefits for State Employees. Laurie said there have been a number of bills introduced on retirement, including one creating incentives for early retirement which she thought has little chance of passage. Also, she mentioned there have been efforts to use the retirement fund in different ways to change State health insurance funding. Ms. Charest said she was not aware of any major bills making progress in the Legislature that relate to retirement or health insurance, but reminded the Forum that bills can be attached to legislation at almost any moment in the lawmaking process. She said there is some work being done on flexible benefits, but this effort would not mean more money funneled into benefits. As a part of that effort, there have been preliminary steps taken to create a Statewide dental plan that the University would have the option of adopting. The State has sent out a request to vendors to design a plan, but things have not progressed beyond that point.
The Chair mentioned a rumor that the Legislature was considering privatizing some jobs such as housekeeping and physical plant positions, asking Laurie to comment. Ms. Charest said she knew there is a sentence in a version of one of the budget bills under consideration asking that the Board of Governors “look at” whether privatizing would be a good idea. This request is not directed at particular activities or positions; it is a more general request to study the possibility of privatizing, Laurie said, to the best of her knowledge.
Given that many delegates work on the BD-119, Sue Morand asked about possible increases in faculty salaries. Ms. Charest said she had no news, surmising that salary decisions from Raleigh are not made early in the budget process. She suggested that Employees go on vacation in June because it did not seem there would be any answers from Raleigh that early.
Trish Brockman queried Laurie about rumors of a new, 28-year, full benefit retirement plan. Laurie said she did not think relevant legislation was active in the General Assembly, but that she was not an authoritative source. In the absence of further questions, the Chair thanked Ms. Charest for her remarks.
The Chair announced that she was very pleased to have Jane Brown, Chair of the Faculty, available for the June special presentation on faculty-staff cooperation. She mentioned that many members had heard Jane speak on that subject at a SEANC meeting and suggested the Forum invite her to its monthly meeting. The Chair was very pleased to welcome Jane to speak on such an important topic.
Dr. Brown thanked the Chair, saying she wished she could get to more Forum meetings, adding that they are many times more interesting than the Faculty Council meetings. She said she wanted to give a status report on faculty-staff cooperation, which seems stronger as a result of common understanding and unity within all aspects of the University community. Reviewing the year, she felt we were doing well and asked members to share their thoughts on the relationship. Over the past year, she said, both the Forum and the Council had worked on the consensual amorous relationship policy, which was put into effect by the Chancellor in a timely way. Dr. Brown noted that both bodies had discussed the basketball tickets issue, which she said was the worst part of her year as Chair. Jane said she did not think that this issue would go away, but she was encouraged that the faculty and staff were in this thing together.
Jane noted that the Faculty Council and the Employee Forum had joint membership on three committees: the Legislative Liaison Committee, the Land Use Planning Committee and the Partner Benefits Committee. She thought the two bodies had had the most success with the Legislative Liaison Committee, which she likened to getting everyone in the same boat and working madly, but in unison, to paddle upstream. Jane felt the two rallies were a wonderful public message that the University community is united in the budget struggle. She said the faculty could not have mustered that show of strength without the students and particularly the Employees, which she said “were the main driving force behind making that happen.” Dr. Brown said that she enjoyed speaking at the rallies, and she felt that Raleigh had gotten the message.
Jane said she also enjoyed going to Raleigh with SEANC on Legislative Day, remarking that the Employees were “highly effective spokespeople” for the University. She told of one incisive comment an Employee made in a group speaking to Senator Teena Little that summed up the situation perfectly: “I’d rather you keep my tax cut than have my neighbor lose her job.” Dr. Brown said that Teena heard this woman, that her message got through. Also, Dr. Brown said, as a result of the recent crisis, more faculty are beginning to think of themselves as State Employees, in common with the rest of the campus.
Dr. Brown heard that Forum members wanted to work on more committees, a request that she felt was strange, albeit laudable, given the amount of work involved. She remarked that members have proven themselves as valuable members of many committees. Accordingly, she encouraged the Forum to think carefully about committees on which they would like to serve. She shared that as members who get “good at this, you will get more requests than you want, probably, once people note how reliable and competent you are, then they will want you in lots of other venues.” On the University Planning Committee, she noted that among other fine people, Rachel, Jim Sadler and Tim Sanford were doing excellent work. On the Child Care Committee, Andrea Sobbe has almost single-handedly revitalized our relationship with the Victory Village Child Care Center by serving on their board along with working with the University committee. Barbara DeLon, Jane remarked, serves as Co-Chair on the Task Force on the Status of Women and Minorities at Carolina, which should produce a wonderful report later this year.
Dr. Brown said she appreciated Employees’ willingness to serve the University in this manner and she asked if there were other areas in which more work should be done. She asked if Employees have been treated with respect on the committees on which they have served and if there are other ways to improve the collaboration. Scott Blackwood stated that the two groups have gone much further together than they would have working separately. He wondered what the next step would be in dealing with the situation in Raleigh, particularly if the Faculty Council had explored the next phase in the budget process. It was mentioned that Tom Hocking and Laresia Farrington are the Forum liaisons to the Legislative Affairs Committee. Jim Peacock, Jane said, will no longer be the Chair of that Committee since he will be on leave next year. Instead, Jim Elliot and Dirk Frankenburg will be Co-Chairs. She exclaimed that they had held a strategy session the day before at which they discussed activities for the next year. The Committee decided to establish a calendar to work with the Legislature, continuing to communicate and nurture relationships with representatives before they return to Raleigh. Also, the Committee will invite legislators to campus to see that the faculty actually teach, that graduate teaching assistants do speak English, etc. These visits also would expose legislators to the conditions under which staff work.
The Chair referred to a recent Executive Committee discussion which discussed the idea of a debriefing with area legislators at which University employees could thank representatives for their work for the University while establishing new goals for the next year. She said that the Forum would soon contact the Council about working together in this area, inviting legislators right after the session concludes in order to establish a rapport that will carry over into the next session. Jane Brown said this was a great idea, also suggesting that individual faculty and staff members adopt an individual legislator as their friend/contact person.
Scott Blackwood said that an idea for the Fall Community Meeting is to invite legislators, not just from Orange County but also from surrounding districts, to speak followed by meetings with Employees from their districts. Scott applauded the Legislative Affairs Committee’s idea to have representatives tour campus and see the reality of faculty and Employees at work. Jane reported that many legislators would be honored to speak at the University, wondering about the possibility of getting legislators into a classroom or seminar situation with students. Also, she said that it seems legislators need some incentive to come, because of the demands on their time. If they knew they would speak to constituents, voting constituents, they would be more likely to appear. Similarly, there is a Johnston Scholars seminar coming up in September, which includes students from all over the state. Possibly these students could write a letter to their legislator inviting them to speak, saying, “I’m from your district, come see where I’m going to school.”
Dr. Brown mentioned also that the Faculty Council and the Employee Forum are sharing “cozy quarters” in the Carr Building, giving the two bodies further opportunity to interact on a daily basis. Lastly, from the Child Care Committee, Jane said that she, Nora Robbins, Laurie Charest among others have made significant progress and look forward to announcing more important things soon.
Tom Hocking said that he had not been contacted to begin his work with the Legislative Affairs Committee. He said he did want to serve, but was not sure it was appropriate for him to ask to be contacted. Jane Brown apologized and said the reason for the oversight was probably that the Committee had not set up any meetings for the summer. Tom said he had a report from that Committee, and he wanted to be able to speak to the subjects mentioned. Dr. Brown said she would make sure Tom was kept informed of the Committee’s future work.
Eddie Capel suggested that the Legislative Affairs Committee not forget the staff members who concoct ideas to put into the ears of the legislators. People like the Legislative Fiscal Research Unit send out requests for departments to send in trust fund balances so that the State may adjust its budgets quarterly. He asserted the University should pay attention to that group, noting they often have a significant influence over legislation, sometimes writing the bills themselves. Jane asked Eddie the best way to reach these people. Eddie felt inviting them to meetings and going to meet them in Raleigh seemed the best way. Jane noted that the faculty had met Jim Newland and also had met many secretaries who often play a pivotal role in legislators’ opinions about lobbyists and other matters.
Eddie expanded his point, stating there is a tendency for officials to micromanage from Raleigh and to make a lot of assumptions about what goes on in the University from behind their desks. He opined that it would be beneficial to get these staffers out of their environment and onto the University campus. A close-up look at campus working life would give staffers a better understanding of University needs and subsequent budget requests. In addition, this communication would lessen the misperception that University proposals are frivolous wastes of taxpayers’ money, leading to budget cuts made without an understanding of why the proposals were made in the first place. Jane lauded this excellent point, saying that this year a controversy caused by a misleading statistic about the number of teaching assistants in the classrooms could have been avoided if the faculty had the right relationships with people in Raleigh. There being no further discussion, the Chair thanked Jane Brown for her remarks and time.
Scott Blackwood said he was ready to announce the final plans for the Spring Community Meeting. The meeting will take place on Tuesday, June 27, from 10-11:30 a.m. in the Institute of Government Auditorium. The topic will be “Yesterday, Today Tomorrow; Who is Planning Your Future?” (A Comprehensive Overview of Present Benefits and A Discussion of Future Benefits). On the program will be: Carl Goodwin, Director of the Division of Employee Risk Control Services, Office of State Personnel, speaking on the Statewide Benefits Plan; Kitty M. McCollum, Assistant Vice President for Finance, Benefits Officer, UNC General Administration, speaking on General Administration’s Plans for the Future; Jack Pruitt, Deputy Director, Teachers’ and State Employees’ Retirement System, on State Retirement; Nora R. Robbins, Senior Director, Human Resource Services, Office of Human Resources, on UNC’s Plans for the Future; and Paul Sebo, Manager, Plan Services, State Health Benefits Office, speaking on the State Health Plan and HMOs. Scott thanked Kathy Dutton, Laresia Farrington, Leon Hamlett, Evie McKee (not a Forum Delegate but an Employee who has shown an interest in helping in this issue), Sue Morand and Nora Robbins. He particularly thanked Nora for her work in rounding up the presenters and presenting herself.
Scott said the Committee would advertise the meeting in the June 21 issue of the University Gazette and would mail a flyer in the next week to all Employees soliciting questions for the panel. Employees’ questions for the panel will be sent to Laresia Farrington for eventual distribution to the meeting’s presenters. Also, there will be a Human Facilitator mailing and a dispatch on e-mail. Scott asked Forum members to help spread the word about the Community Meeting so there would be good attendance. He said there are around 360 seats in the Institute of Government Auditorium, recalling that last year’s presentation by Ron Penny filled the 250-seat Hanes Hall to near capacity. He asked that all assembled turn out to express their concerns about the current benefits package and what they would like in future packages.
The Chair commended the Employee Presentations Committee for its good work in establishing the panel. She said it looked like an excellent panel, and there would be a chance for Employees to be informed and have some long-standing questions answered.
The Chair yielded the floor to Scott again to make a special presentation. Scott stepped forward to recognize one of the charter members of the Forum. Having served as a Delegate in her first year and as Chair of the Forum in her second year, Scott asked Margaret Balcom to come forward to accept a token from the Forum, recognition of her work and service. Scott said that it seemed in January the transition into the new year took place so quickly there was no opportunity to formally recognize Margaret and thank her for her efforts as Delegate and Chair. Scott presented Margaret with a silver picture frame containing a photograph of the 1994 Forum with the inscription “The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chair Employee Forum 1994.” Margaret thanked the Forum for her gift, saying she would treasure it. The Chair thanked Margaret for her years of service to the Forum as Chair and Delegate and for helping to get the Forum established.
Minutes of the May 3, 1995 meeting
The Chair asked for a motion to approve the minutes of the May 3 meeting. Archie Lassiter made such a motion, with Trish Brockman seconding. There was no further discussion, and the motion passed unanimously.
The Chair began her report by announcing that Debi Schledorn had been elected the new representative to the Executive Committee from Division 7, with Tom Hocking elected as the Convenor from that Division. She also announced that with the resignation of Malinda Marsh from the University, Wendy Mann had been promoted to the Delegate slot in Division 5 with Jana Spaugh advancing to First Alternate. The Chair asked Wendy to stand and be recognized.
The Chair noted that the May resolution regarding eligibility for pay increases and the legislative letters signed by the Forum at the May meeting had been passed on to the Chancellor. An acknowledgment from the Chancellor indicating the Administrative Council’s position on the resolution was in the Routing Folder, along with copies of the signed legislative letters. She directed members to the Routing Folder to see a response from Speaker of the House Harold Brubaker. Also in the Folder was a welcome from the Forum to Chancellor-Elect Hooker, explaining the role of the Forum in University life and expressing the hope that the warm relationship established with Chancellor Hardin will continue under the Chancellor-Elect’s leadership. The Chair reminded members that the legislative session had not yet ended, and there still is the possibility for last-minute changes in the University budget. She cautioned that members should continue to stay in contact with their representatives.
Also in the Routing Folder was a note from the Chancellor noting that President Spangler had expressed to the Board of Governors on May 19 the need to increase staff salaries. The Chair said she believed this was the first time that this request had been made formally, and she was particularly grateful to Chancellor Hardin and President Spangler for presenting the Employees’ case to the Board. She indicated that in News & Notes, a correction to the phrase “need for staff salaries” should contain the word “improvements.”
The Chair noted in the May agenda packet there were two updated versions of the Delegate and Alternate lists. Matt Banks said that in the creation of these lists, ex-officio members Laurie Charest and Margaret Balcom were mistakenly overlooked, an oversight for which he apologized.
Also contained in the package was the recently approved University Recognition Policy which some members said they had not seen.
Committee/Task Force Reports
The Chair took a moment to encourage members to read the Committee minutes contained in the monthly packets, adding there was a record number of Committee minutes in the June packet. Members should read the minutes as a way of informing themselves and of keeping up to date on issues discussed in order to inform constituents. The Chair noted the minutes were created at some expense, and she hoped the effort and funds involved in making the packets complete are not wasted.
From the Nominating Committee, Chair Scott Blackwood noted that the group had almost completed the election to fill the one Delegate and six Alternate vacancies in Division 2. He said the Committee recruited 7 individuals to run in a mini-election for which the ballots had already been mailed. He said at the meeting in July, there should be a full complement of Delegates and Alternates from Division 2.
Another mission of the Nominating Committee is to insure in the coming elections that there are enough candidates to fill every Delegate and Alternate slot. He said the Committee will follow the same procedure this year for elections, except all ballots will be forwarded to the permanent Forum Office in the Carr Building. Scott said that the recent minutes summarizing the Committee’s activities were included in the May packet and that the Committee would be busy at work on the elections for 1996 .
Speaking for the Career Development Committee, Chair Sharon Bowers said that the Committee had discussed what projects might benefit from the Staff Development Fund. It was generally agreed that the Fund should serve as many Employees as possible. The group had talked with Ken Manwaring, Director of Training and Development for Human Resources, about creating a Training and Development Videocassette Library, available to individuals, departments and as a teaching tool in Training and Development seminars. She said the Committee would explore the details of such a plan at its next meeting.
Another suggestion that arose, Sharon said, was that the Fund cover the $55 registration fee which Employees must pay to register for free-tuition classes. However, Ken indicated that because of the number of people who apply for free tuition waivers the $5,500 would not go far (last year 180 Employees applied for free tuition).
On another subject, Ken Manwaring asked the Forum through the Career Development Committee, for permission to increase the allocation for the Educational Assistance Program from $250 to $350. The Committee reviewed this proposal via e-mail and approved it. Sharon asked that the proposal be approved by the entire Forum. In the event of approval, the Committee would write a letter to the Chancellor seeking authorization for the increase. Thus, as the Chair of the Committee, Sharon made the motion that an increase in the Educational Assistance Program allocation be increased from $250 to $350. Helen Iverson seconded this motion. The Chair asked Ms. Bowers to supply some clarifying, justifying language for the motion. Sharon indicated that many people now attend or want to attend community colleges with expenses over $250 and that the shortfall is often the difference in allowing Employees to continue their studies, which add to their productivity and value to the University. The proposed increase from $250 to $350 will better accommodate the educational needs of people who benefit from the Educational Assistance Program. There being no further discussion, the amended motion passed unanimously. The Chair thanked Ken Manwaring, Sharon Bowers and the Career Development Committee for moving quickly on this issue in order to accommodate the needs of Employees registering under summer quarter deadlines at community colleges .
Reporting for the Orientation Committee, Chair Debi Schledorn said that the Committee met Monday. The Committee decided to break down into two Task Groups, one to handle Orientation and the other the January Retreat. Accordingly, the Committee will come together less frequently as a group. Debi put a question to the Forum: what do you wish you knew when you joined the Forum in January? She noted that there were a few things discussed last year that the group might try, such as creating a buddy system–pairing a new Delegate with a continuing member. Debi asked for a few minutes at the July meeting for discussion of what members wished had been included in the last Orientation and how Orientation can be made better. The Chair lauded the Committee’s work in giving members a “jump start” into Forum activities and asked members to think about what might be useful in the next Orientation.
Chair Pat Staley from the Personnel Policies Committee asked members to present any policy problems or suggestions to her Committee, saying she had nothing further to report.
Co-Chair Tom Hocking of the Compensation and Benefits Committee thanked Kay Spivey for preparing the minutes of the March 15 meeting which were included in the recent agenda packet. He mentioned that the Committee met on May 17 and would meet again Tuesday, June 13.
Chair Delores Bayless from Public Affairs noted that with the resignation of Malinda Marsh, Helen Iverson became the new Co-Chair of that Committee, and Laresia Farrington became the new Forum Liaison to the Faculty Council Legislative Affairs Committee. Delores also indicated that the Legislative Letter-writing Packet was in the Routing Folder and that members interested in receiving a copy should sign their name to the attached list.
Speaking for Chair Ann Hamner, Pamela Shoaf from the Recognition and Awards Committee asked members to provide to the Committee any comments on its conclusions regarding resolutions for deceased Employees. The question arose as to what the Faculty Council does in its meetings to recognize deceased faculty members, an answer which the Chair said could be found in the April 1995 minutes. Therefore, in the interest of time, she hoped to avoid discussion.
From the University Committee Assignments Committee, Chair Libby Chenault said that she was waiting for information from about 40 University committees on which Employees serve. She said she had heard from around half that number and asked that if members are actively involved on a University committee, they notify her.
Trish Brockman reported that the Salary Task Force had nothing to report, but would have something in July.
Marshall Wade from the Employee Fair Booth Task Force thanked the people from Continuing Education who helped set up the computers at the booth. He said he would get the results of the survey from the booth to the Forum Office as soon as possible. Also, he thanked Laresia Farrington, Trish Brockman, Helen Iverson, Ann Hamner, Brenda Barnes, Matt Banks and the others who worked the booth during the Fair. The Chair shared that she had heard many positive reports about the booth. Also, the Chair took a moment to recognize the Elvisettes, Delores Bayless, Kathy Dutton, Kay Spivey and Mary Garren from Student Aid. She applauded them for getting people involved in the karaoke and promised a repeat performance. Also, she thanked Tommy Griffin, Gary Pearce and Dean Rimmer for helping set up the booth and getting the helium tank for the balloons. She applauded the positive teamwork of the Forum and hoped it would become a continuing tradition. Also, the Chair took a moment to give special appreciation to Marshall Wade and the Task Force for taking on the responsibility of the booth and finishing the job in fine form.
From the Partner Benefits, Legislative Affairs and Land Use Planning Committees there was nothing to report.
Regarding OSSOG, the Chair referred members to the recent correspondence to Laurie Charest that contained the proposals the Forum put forth at its May meeting. She announced that at the July 5 meeting, there would be a panel of individuals involved in the creation and thinking behind OSSOG. The Chair thanked Laurie and her staff for working with the Forum to bring this panel to Chapel Hill.
The Chair noted that at previous meetings, there had been discussion of having a meeting or tea with legislators as a debriefing session. She asked members to send their comments as to whether this should be a formal or informal session, or any other ideas about possible interaction with legislators to the Forum Office.
At the May Executive Committee meeting, the decision was made to refer the development of formal criteria for the selection of the Community Award Winner (the Three-Legged Stool Award) to the Recognition and Awards Committee. It was felt that there needed to be formal criteria for this award so that over time it would not suffer a lack of meaning. She said she looked forward to hearing the recommendations from Recognition and Awards.
The Chair noted that she had been asked to include the subject of Employee morale on this month’s agenda. She opened the subject with the question: Is Employee morale good, bad, better than it was or worse than before? Helen Iverson thought that this was a bad time to ask the question, since the Legislature was still in session. The Chair said that at the Employee Fair, concern was expressed about people not being more involved in activities. Sue Morand remarked on how today’s meeting was more upbeat than past meetings, since there was not so much worry about budget and staff cuts as there was before. Sue said that at the Fair, there was a general feeling that things were not as bad as they had been. Trish Brockman said unequivocally that Employee morale is bad in her department and across campus. Peter Schledorn commented that morale is bad as the feeling is, “well, what has the Legislature done to us this week?” The Chair asked why morale is bad. Is it because of developments in Raleigh, because of conditions here, because of how Employees are treated? If there is a specific sense of why things are bad, we should create solutions. The Chair said that instead of extending discussion on this subject today, she would invite members to think about it, discuss morale with members of their departments and come back in July prepared to share any ideas. She said that if things are better now than they were previously, we should learn why, so we can expand upon it in the future. Scott Blackwood said that it seemed all the factors the Chair mentioned had an effect on morale. He said sometimes things are upbeat and sometimes he is more stressed; it could even come down to what time of day you asked. Scott and the Chair agreed that we could concentrate on the things that we do that positively impact morale while working on those which hurt morale.
The Chair noted that the next two items on the agenda may contribute to low morale. She said that at the last Executive Committee meeting with the Provost, the subjects of redundant data collection and the need for certain University-wide systems, such as a common departmental accounting system were advanced. The Chair asked members for feedback either now or later since the Provost had indicated a willingness to work on these issues with the Forum. She summarized the sentiment in the Executive Committee that Employees are being asked to do more and more with less and less. Adding frustration is the required data collection, much of which Employees are not sure is even used or necessary. The Chair asked that members report if other Employees feel this way.
She opined that a factor contributing to low morale is a lack by the Administration in identifying those things which would allow Employees to carry out their work more effectively. The Chair said it is amazing, for example, that the University has created a home page on the World Wide Web yet still does not have a University-wide departmental accounting system. She lamented that while she supports advancing all computer technology, it should not be undertaken in lieu of efforts that facilitate the work that Employees do every day. And, she said, everyone in the room, if they have a departmental budget or manage departmental funds is affected negatively by the fact that this problem has not been dealt with at the institutional level. The Chair said that the Provost was willing to involve himself in this discussion, and she asked the Forum for its comments.
Eddie Capel said the Systems and Procedures Department is currently working on developing a new system-wide departmental accounting system. The Chair asked if the departmental accounting system actually served the needs of the departments or served 440 only. Eddie said the intent of the new system will be to serve the departments and that he would be happy to provide the Forum with details. The Chair thanked Eddie for the good news and expressed a desire for the Forum to be provided more information on this effort.
On the subject of data collection, Dee Marley said the data her department collects is used for their annual report and so has some use, but she doubted anyone else would find a use for it. Marshall Wade said a co-worker could not get a price quote from Printing because there is not a standard price list. He said that people need this information to make decisions. The Chair reiterated this thought, saying that these small details are often not routinely reviewed for improvement. Further, these little irritants are the kinds of things that eventually hurt morale and cut into the time people have available to do creative, innovative, wonderful, new things. She asked members to think about repetitive processes that might be improved or any other work that might not be necessary.
Libby Chenault suggested the Forum consider what University priorities are and how the data collection fits. She also wanted to know if requests for data take into account the dissimilar nature of departmental data collecting systems. Libby said the Chair was correct, it did not seem departments were on a level playing field. Peggy Barber commented she collects a lot of data for reasons she does not understand. Scott Blackwood commented that departments do not seem to be able to share information. Each department seems to collect information, key it into a system, then re-enter it when dealing with another system or department. As an aside, the Chair referred to The Fact Book published by Tim Sanford’s office, which she said is a great resource in answering questions about the University. Laurie Charest added that the Fact Book is on the World Wide Web.
Dianne Crabill noted that financial statements also can be accessed on-line. The Chair commented that much of the problem could be that information to help people is available, but people do not know about it. She wondered if improving communication could be the answer to many of these problems.
Sue Morand acknowledged that the University needs a system-wide departmental accounting system, but stated many departments still do not have computers in the first place. What about buying equipment for these departments? The Chair responded that with institutional support, perhaps there would be funds for necessary hardware in addition to system software. She bet that if we took a percentage of what individual departments have already spent developing their own systems we could almost solve the problem. The Chair said it is incredible the amount of dollars spent at the departmental and school levels because they have been forced to develop their own systems.
Dee Marley warned that departments have spent much time and money creating their own specialized systems which they will not want to let go. The Chair agreed, saying that many departments or schools had developed wonderful systems, but do not want to let anyone else have them because they were supported by internal funds. It appears no one is willing to release and share the product of their work. It is perhaps is time to adopt an institutional perspective taking advantage of what has already been developed. Margaret Balcom concurred, saying we are all on the same institutional team, that it is now time to share. The difference between the haves and the have-nots is beginning to show even more.
Peggy Barber remarked on the flexibility each department has developed in their own accounting systems to accommodate the unique procedures and needs of each. The Chair agreed, but stated that every department must balance FBMs, deal with encumbrances, etc. She said a system can accomplish all of these basic tasks and download electronically from 440 without ignoring unique needs. The Chair asked members and others to submit any comments to the Forum for discussion in future sessions with the Provost.
The Chair also noted there was some concern about Total Quality Management. She said Ann Dodd would be invited to speak on this subject at a future Forum meeting, but she asked members to consider their experiences with TQM. She asked those involved in the TQM process to give their views. Eddie Capel said that he is a leader of a TQM team that includes Nora Robbins. He said their mission is improve the process for how forms are approved. He said that his TQM team is fixed, but asserted that in the Fall there will be many focus groups created to identify how the process could be improved. Eddie said that he would recommend that Forum members be included in these focus groups to take feedback and suggestions for improvement, but noted not everything in TQM will be subject to change because of the complexity involved. However, no idea is too large or too small, he said. He said that he would be willing to get the Forum information about what his team is doing and assumed Ann Dodd also would be willing to inform the group about the other four teams’ deliberations.
Scott Blackwood noted that the UNC One Card team is using a technique called continuous quality improvement, one aspect of which is that the improvement continues in an ongoing circle or study plan. He said that the five TQM teams are all cross-functional, involving all parts of campus including those in the trenches carrying out the process. Scott said that many of the tools members use in the TQM teams are tools taught in task groups but are much more formalized, with the focus on forming a consensus and making sure no individual member dominates.
Relating to the previous discussion on University-wide computing systems, Laurie Charest said that the Human Resources Information Systems team works to find ways to integrate information systems and human resources to more effectively meet University and departmental needs. She said this group had been meeting for three weeks.
Delores Bayless said that she is not on the teams, but was grateful that through Laurie Charest and her office, she had the opportunity to find out how TQM really works and to understand the roles of the sponsors and facilitators. She said because of this work, she felt more comfortable with TQM and felt that she and others could have access to this process.
The Chair was glad to hear of the progress of these teams. She observed there is much going on with TQM and that the Forum would be ready to hear from Ann Dodd on the subject in either July or August. The Chair asserted that the Forum was ready to be “co-opted” into the TQM process, to help as much as possible.
Trish Brockman said that TQM in the Physical Plant had been in operation about two years, with Ralph Taylor as Facilitator. She said last year there were training sessions regarding Part I and Part II of TQM awareness. Since that time, she said, Employees are told what will be done under TQM, but do not really play a part in the process. She said that groups still meet, but no one seems to know what is happening. Trish asserted she did not think this is how TQM should really function. She claimed at the Physical Plant, management and Employees are too differentiated by rank, which she felt is contrary to the spirit of TQM. Helen Iverson agreed, saying in her department, there were similar complaints. Helen expressed that it may depend on the director of the department to ensure that TQM functions properly. The Chair thanked Trish, Helen and others for their comments.
The Chair brought to the attention of the Forum the subject of informal social events. She asked the group if they would be interested possibly in a Friday after work, informal gathering. Members indicated they would be interested in such a gathering. The Chair also noted that the University Managers’ Association occasionally had these types of events, which served as a good way to unwind or debrief each other on the week’s events and build cohesion among the group. The Chair said she would attempt one such opportunity for Forum members and asked those with suggestions on location or ideas to please submit them to the Forum Office.
The Chair noted that a concern had been voiced that the monthly Forum minutes were too detailed. She said that she and the Forum Assistant intentionally developed detailed minutes to provide institutional memory and to provide a good working record of the Forum’s activities. Yet, it has been suggested that they are too long and could be more summary in nature. The Chair asked the Forum for their comments asking if the minutes are too long, do members have time to read them, are they useful, would they recommend any format changes?
Marshall Wade said that the minutes are very well-prepared and detailed and that he got a lot out of the minutes. He said the minutes are a very good way to review what goes on in the monthly meetings and serve as a way to hold individuals accountable. Helen Iverson said she liked them as they are. Dianne Crabill said she thought the minutes as they are will work particularly well in Orientation, to bring new members up to speed. She noted many departmental meetings minutes are summarized by “discussion ensued,” which makes them useless. Tom Hocking agreed with the prevailing comments. Vicki Lotz declared that the minutes help members catch up when one is absent. The Chair lauded Trish Brockman for reviewing them and Matt Banks for preparing them and in compliance with expressed wishes, agreed to maintain the effort to produce detailed minutes.
Frank DiMauro asked if some portions could be highlighted to emphasize the salient points of each discussion. The Chair replied that there have been some highlights, but that they would look for other ways to make the minutes more clear and readable.
The Chair observed that at the April 19 Rally on Polk Place there were comments from Ladell Robbins, President of the Black Student Movement, and Ellis Carson, President of the UNC-CH chapter of the NAACP, bemoaning the chilly climate for people of color on campus. She said she asked to have a discussion about this situation with these two student leaders, to which they agreed. The Chair said she had spoken with Hal Wallace and Carl Smith before his retirement about having an informal talk about whether there is a chilly climate for people of color on campus and what can be done about it. She recognized former Delegate Darryl Russell whom she had invited to participate in the discussions and asked that if others were interested, they should contact Matt Banks to get on the list of possible discussion participants. The Chair said she would approach Jane Brown and other figures on campus to participate in the talks.
Dee Marley asked if the discussions would utilize an institutional approach. The Chair indicated that she had spoken with Student Body President Calvin Cunningham, but at this point the group had not been formed. She advanced that as Employees, faculty and students will be involved, it would involve all campus constituencies. More important, the Chair said, is the opportunity to talk informally.
Matt Banks thanked Jane Brown and the Faculty Council for their generosity in providing space and a copier for the Forum in its new office, Room 200A in the Carr Building. All assembled applauded Jane Brown and the Council. Margaret Balcom amplified Matt’s comments, noting the Administration had undertaken to guarantee permanent space for the Forum in its new home. The Chair agreed, thanking the Administration not only for providing the space, but for helping to renovate it. The Chair thanked Al Elsenrath and the School of Dentistry for providing surplus furniture and transporting the furniture, and thanked Marshall Wade and Matt Banks for moving the Forum’s files. The Chair invited members to visit the Forum Office in Carr Building.
Margaret Balcom asked when the Forum Office would be put on-line. The Chair said she did not know exactly when it would be, but hoped it would be soon. She said that anyone needing to contact the Forum could leave a message on voice mail. Also, the Chair announced, Matt Banks’ hours in the Forum Office are 8:30-12:30, combined with any extra hours Matt may volunteer. As a result, phone calls may not be returned immediately. The Chair said she hoped to establish regular office hours in the Carr Building which she hoped to be able to announce in the future. Delores Bayless asked if the campus box number would remain the same; the Chair replied that it would, thanking Archie Lassiter for keeping track of the Office as it has moved from place to place.
The Chair reminded members to submit any suggestions for changes to the Forum Guidelines to the Forum Office. She said she had recently received a good suggestion from Tom Hocking and encouraged others to examine the Guidelines for improvements, which the Executive Committee would review for inclusion in a body of changes to be submitted to the Forum at a later meeting.
Responding to the request at the last meeting that Forum Delegates receive Human Resources Manuals from their predecessors, Matt Banks asked Delegates who needed a Manual to contact him for the name of a former Delegate who should have passed the Manual down in succession. The Chair noted that most departments have the manuals on hand. Peggy Barber warned that the manuals should be periodically updated or they become obsolete. Delores Bayless and Pamela Shoaf both indicated they had not received manuals in the first place.
Laurie Charest remembered that in the first year of the Forum, all 45 manuals were sent to the Delegates, with updates to be disseminated from the Forum Office. Laurie averred that if a Delegate relies on an out-of-date manual, it could lead to real difficulties. Instead, she said that if all manuals needed to be updated perhaps a memo should be sent to all the former Delegates asking them to send in their manuals for the Forum Office to update.
Margaret Balcom said that the only members in succeeding years who received manuals were those who did not have them already. Several Delegates already had access to them in their offices. Margaret wondered if it might be more productive, since the manuals were now updated on-line, just to rely on members accessing the material there.
The Chair asked if it made sense for Delegates to have their own copy of a manual if they already had access to one in their department or on-line. She asked members to attest if they did not have access to a manual in their department. All members indicated they did have access to the manuals, and the issue was dropped.
The Chair announced that Chancellor Hooker will be on the campus June 13, 14 and 15. She said that the original plans for a meeting with the incoming Chancellor had to be postponed because of demands on the Chancellor’s time, but announced that he would be at the July 5 meeting. The Chair asked if the Forum would approve of having a reception for the new Chancellor at 8:45 or 9 a.m. The Forum agreed to have a members-only reception for the Chancellor at 9 a.m. just prior to the July 5 meeting. Linda Cook asked how many members would plan to attend the July 5 meeting, given that it falls the day after a holiday. Almost all said they would be present.
Scott Blackwood asked to see the Nominating Committee following adjournment.
In the absence of further discussion, the Chair asked for a motion to adjourn. Archie Lassiter made this motion, with Scott Blackwood seconding. In the absence of further discussion, the motion passed unanimously, and the meeting adjourned at 11:34 a.m.
Matt Banks, Recording Secretary