March 21, 2017 Executive Committee minutes
Attending (those who signed in): Bryan Andregg, Bonita Brown, Clare Counihan, Lori Haight, Shayna Hill, Katie Musgrove, Deborah Norton, Kathy Ramsey, Ricky Roach, Charles Streeter, Ben Triplett, Katie Turner
Excused Absences: Natiaya Neal, Greg Smith
Chair Charles Streeter called the meeting to order at 11:50 a.m. He asked for a motion to approve the consent agenda, including the February minutes. Ben Triplett had clarified a section of the minutes. Bryan Andregg moved that the minutes be approved, with Triplett’s changes. The motion was approved.
Matt Banks reported that the main thing the Forum Office needs for improvement is new carpet and paint job. Gena Carter suggested that Banks reach out to Cheryl Gerringer to ask for advice as she handles facilities improvements for Human Resources. The Chair said that the Forum needs to work on finding additional funds to support the Staff Development Fund. He said that the Forum needs more than the $18,000 apportioned to meet employee needs for staff improvement opportunities.
The Chair noted that the Forum does not have a mechanism to carry over funding from one year to the next in the Staff Development fund account. Banks said that the Forum needs to decide on whether to award professional development grants to employees seeking funds for projects extending into the next fiscal year. Bryan Andregg said that if grants are restricted to the current fiscal year, a person seeking a training in July or August would never receive funding.
Shayna Hill suggested that the Forum put this question to Human Resources as a recurring problem that needs addressing once and for all. The Chair said that the Forum could address this question in its annual letter seeking agreement from the Chancellor on the use of the Staff Development Fund.
Clare Counihan said that professional grant applicants should receive funds even if their grants fall in the next fiscal year, as they have followed the rules of the process. The Chair said that the Forum would need approval to carryforward these funds, which it has not had previously. Counihan noted that the $8,000 apportioned for this round of funding had gone in 36 hours, pointing to a definite need for accounting flexibility and increased funding.
The Chair and other delegates outlined the need for additional data about the award process. Clare Counihan offered to help Banks with the notifications to professional grant recipients.
The Chair led the Executive Committee in a discussion of revisions to the Rebecca Clark Award later in the meeting.
The Chair noted a proposal from Katie Turner to establish a committee on the status of women. Turner noted a need for this committee given difficulties with pay equity and the advancement of a number of policies affecting women who are staff. Turner recalled pushback against identity politics but thought that now would be a good time to establish this committee. She asked the committee to consider the committee’s establishment as a revision to the Forum Bylaws.
The Chair asked the committee’s opinion of this idea. Shayna Hill asked the procedure for forming a committee. The Chair recalled that the creation of an ad hoc committee was a relatively simple matter. Turner said that she was asking for creation of a standing committee. Katie Musgrove agreed that Bylaws changes were needed to make the Community Service committee a standing committee, among other groups. The Chair said that the three subcommittees of the Personnel Issues committee might be collapsed into one group.
Clare Counihan recalled that three years ago she had discussed gender equity issues with the Forum. She found that the Personnel Issues committee and its subcommittees were helpful but could not focus on these questions given the wide range of responsibilities facing that group. She recalled the Faculty Council’s welfare committee on the status of women, which has declared an ongoing interest in how its discussions would affect staff employees. She thought a partnership with this faculty group could be very effective for the Forum.
Katie Turner thought this idea would support the work of the University’s Task Force for the Future. She did not want to divide the impact of this idea but rather sought a closer partnership to consider issues together with Workplace Strategy, Equity and Engagement.
Gena Carter asked if Turner had discussed this idea with Felicia Washington. Carter suggested that this proposal should go on her agenda for consideration before discussion at the April Forum meeting. Washington would want to identify areas under her purview working on the same questions such Equal Opportunity and the Title IX office. Turner noted that under the Forum Bylaws, any staff employee can join any Forum committee as long as their supervisor allows them to do so.
Ricky Roach said that he did not oppose this idea but asked where the creation of committee interests would end. He envisioned a time when the Forum would have thirty or forty committees waiting to report out at each meeting.
The Chair said that if the committee were established, the Forum Officers and the Forum itself would need to actively involve themselves to insure its success.
Bryan Andregg, chair of the Forum Personnel Issues committee, agreed with the idea to collapse the three subcommittees through Bylaws revisions. Roach asked for some cap on the overall number of committees. Lori Haight commented that the faculty welfare committee on the status of women does not precisely equal a Forum committee on the status of women.
Shayna Hill recalled the work that the Personnel Issues committee had done regarding restrictions on employee salary increases. The Chair noted that the Forum had a part in pushing for legislative changes through its discussions with Human Resources and General Administration. He recalled discussions with previous UNC System Vice President William Fleming regarding the two-year probationary period, which has since been reduced to one year.
The Chair asked for a vote on the proposal to create a standing committee on the status of women. Bryan Andregg moved to accept Turner’s proposal. Katie Musgrove said that this change would require revisions to the Forum Bylaws. Shayna Hill seconded Andregg’s motion. The motion was approved and would be brought to the full Forum in May.
Gena Carter said that the Forum would likely need to prepare itself for an argument on the need for this committee. Katie Turner thought that this discussion would resemble the gender equity debate. Kathy Ramsey drew a parallel to the All Lives Matter/Black Lives Matter debate. The Chair proposed that the new committee could be called the Diversity and Equity Committee. Turner seemed open to this idea.
Greg Smith has become the new editor of the Forum newsletter InTouch. Smith hoped to publish the next edition of InTouch the following week. Members discussed possible ideas for articles.
Katie Musgrove noted that April 12th is the Habitat for Humanity Staff Build Day. She noted that employees have a March 31st deadline to sign up for the event. She noted a great deal of interest from as far away as Fort Bragg in volunteering. The Chair indicated his interest in building more houses in cooperation with Habitat for Humanity. Musgrove said that she would approach Carolina Dining and Jimmy Johns for possible food donations. The Chair said that the Forum could donate its extra t-shirt to the volunteers. Ricky Roach asked where volunteers could park. Musgrove responded that the build site should have enough parking. Clare Counihan suggested enrolling Point2Point as a vanpool for volunteers. Musgrove proposed that the Forum send out an additional request for volunteers to staff.
Clare Counihan said that the Education & Career Development committee should see the return of its chair soon as Katie Cartmell will soon return from parental leave. She said that the committee anticipates holding the higher education mini-conference the week of May 22nd. The Chair encouraged the committee to figure out a way to prepay for the catering. The Chair noted that the Carolina Family Scholarship application process will launch in the next month.
Clare Counihan suggested perhaps Forum committees submitting their minutes for the Forum agenda beforehand, to avoid taking up meeting time on committee reports. The Chair liked this suggestion and hoped to try it in April.
The Chair noted that the Membership & Assignments committee is busy with the Forum elections, the Chancellors’ Cup golf tournament, and the 25th anniversary event planning.
Bryan Andregg said that the Personnel Issues committee will review the committee’s charter.
The Chair said that the Recognition & Awards committee will conduct the Kay Wijnberg Hovious Outstanding Delegate elections via Qualtrics in the next month.
The Chair said that there would be a Student Stores Town Hall meeting that afternoon from 3:30-5 p.m. He noted that Wayne Pinkney and Charlie Cummings are the only scheduled speakers for April. He said that General Counsel Mark Merritt is scheduled for May.
Ricky Roach said that the Carolina Blood Drive committee had worked the Wellness Expo. The committee had also authored a letter detailing problems with the last blood drive which had encouraged the Red Cross to make some needed changes in pod staffing and other areas. He asked if the committee could get a dedicated budget line for its expenses from the Forum or elsewhere. The Chair said that he would attend the March 30th meeting of the committee with Red Cross staffers. The Chair said that the committee would work to invite President Margaret Spellings and Chancellor Carol Folt to the event and to the 30th anniversary event next June. Ricky Roach said that UNC-Chapel Hill will soon be recognized as the biggest contributor in North and South Carolina.
Shayna Hill noted that the Wellness Expo had experienced difficulty with the rainy weather that day. Clare Counihan noted that this was the first year for Carolina Dining Services’ cooking demos at the Expo.
Katie Turner noted that the Staff Yoga classes will be held over four weeks in the Campus Arboretum. She would send information about the class to Greg Smith for publication in InTouch.
In the absence of further discussion, the meeting adjourned at 1:30 p.m.
Matt Banks, Recording Secretary