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Employee Forum Agenda

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

I.   Call to Order & Opening Remarks—Chair Charles Streeter

II.  Welcome Guests & Members of the Press

III. Special Presentations

  • Kristen Smith, Vice President for Advocacy & Engagement, Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce
    • Kristen Smith is also the Director of Public Policy and Member Engagement for the Chamber.  She served previously as the Chamber’s Member Engagement Coordinator, the Finance Director for David Price for Congress, and the Development Director at People of Faith Against the Death Penalty.  She was educated at Chapel Hill High School and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  (
  • Chris Kielt, Vice Chancellor of Information Technology Services and Chief Information Officer for the University
    • Vice Chancellor Kielt joined UNC-Chapel Hill in September 2012 as the Associate Vice Chancellor for Administrative Systems and Business Transformation. He assumed the role of Interim Vice Chancellor for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer on February 11, 2013. He has 25 years of experience in higher education, including over two decades at Yale University where he worked in a variety of academic, information technology and business roles that spanned healthcare services, administrative applications, student systems, finance and facilities operations. In his last position at Yale he served as Yale’s Deputy Chief Information Officer before heading to Stony Brook University to become its Chief Information Officer.  (
  • Steve Lawson, Lead Member Action Coordinator,  State Employees Association of North Carolina
    • Steve Lawson is the lead coordinator for SEANC, SEIU Local 2008.  With 55,000 members, SEANC is the South’s leading state employees’ association.  SEANC works to gain respect in the Legislature for hardworking state employees and valuable retirees who dedicated their careers to State service.  ( )
  • Kirsten Kruhm, Donor Recruiter II, American Red Cross on Forum Sponsorship of University Blood Drives
    • Kristen works on recruitment and retention of lifesaving blood donors to collect over 11,000 pints of blood annually.  She has achieved territory production goals through professional relationships, effective resource utilization, and strong interpersonal communication.  She has served with the Red Cross since 1999.  She was previously an Assistant Women’s Lacrosse Coach at Duke University from 1996-1999.  She attended the University of Maryland at College Park.  (

IV.    Human Resources Update—Associate Vice Chancellor Matt Brody

V.      Approval of January Minutes, February Minutes

VI.     Old Business

VII.   New Business

VIII.  Forum Committee Reports

  • Bylaws Committee: Rotating Chair
  • Carolina Community Garden Advisory: Arlene Medder (January minutes)
  • Communications and Public Relations: Katie Turner
  • Education and Career Development: Lois Douglass-Alston/Matt McKirahan
  • Membership & Assignments: Paula Goodman
  • Recognition & Awards:  Michael Highland
  • Personnel Issues:  Yvonne Dunlap (January minutes, February minutes)
    • Compensation & Benefits: Shelby Long
    • Legislative Action: Amanda Chang
    • Staff Relations, Policies & Practices: Yvonne Dunlap
  • UNC System Staff Assembly: Michael Highland/James Holman/Charles Streeter
  • Executive Committee: Charles Streeter

IX.     Announcements/Questions

X.      Adjournment


March 5, 2014 Employee Forum minutes

Attending (those who signed in):  Dan Barmmer, Nancy Beach, Deborah Bush, Tiffany Carver, Tammy Cox, Yvonne Dunlap, David Fraley, Jim Fuller, Sharon Glover, Paula Goodman, Maggie Grant, Christine Greenberg, John Gullo, Melissa Haugh, James Holman, Todd Hux, George James, Karen Jenkins-Cheek, Shelby Long, Matt McKirahan, Arlene Medder, Jackie Overton, Myra Quick, Charles Streeter

Chair Charles Streeter called the meeting to order at 9:15 a.m.   He hoped that all had survived the recent snow and ice.  He noted a letter to the editorial in the Daily Tar Heel bemoaning class cancellations.  He noted that this month is the 22nd anniversary of the Forum’s founding.  He welcome guests and members of the press.

The Chair welcomed Kristen Smith, Vice President for Advocacy & Engagement for the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce.  Smith joined the President of the Chamber, Aaron Nelson.  She noted that the University is a partner with the Chamber which makes University employees eligible for a number of benefits.  She said that the Chamber has 1,300 members, most with fewer than ten employees.  Nelson noted that the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber had formally disassociated itself from the national Chamber over issues such as climate change and health care.  Smith noted that members can benefit from savings at Office Depot, Lenovo, and Our Local Deal, the local Groupon organization.

Kristen Smith also noted that the Chamber has partnered with a local provider to offer small business medical and dental services.  University employees may use these services.  In addition, UNC employees may rent the Chamber’s conference room by contacting Chamber staff.  The Chamber has been busy starting green and sustainable business certifications and developing youth leaders through its member to member program.  Smith said that the Chamber helps members with job postings and job hunts through  The Chamber has undergone inter-city visits to other college towns to compare notes on what could be done better.  Smith encouraged University employees to sign up for committees and attend Chamber events as de facto members.

Aaron Nelson noted that UNC-Chapel Hill has twenty free Young Person Network registrations on a first-come, first-serve basis.  Paula Goodman asked the charge for use of the Chamber’s meeting room.  Nelson said that the first several uses are for no charge, then perhaps $20/hour afterwards.  One can get up to 60 people in the room.  John Gullo asked where the Chamber stood regarding recent development.  Nelson said that the Chamber said that the Towns need revenue to pay for the cost of government.  The Chamber believes in redeveloping the Rams Plaza area.  Nelson said that the Towns must develop densely and upward to protect the outskirts from development.  He looked to bring retail back to the area to prevent the loss of tax revenue to Durham County and elsewhere.

Dan Barmmer asked about the future of the space across from Weaver Street in Carrboro.  Aaron Nelson said that CVS would like to build there and close its Carr Mill Mall location, allowing Harris Teeter to expand into that space.  Tammy Cox asked how the Chamber intends to appeal to employees like herself who live outside Town limits and usually return home quickly after hours.  Nelson said that the Chamber is advocating for more workforce housing to allow employees to stay nearby.  He said that the Towns continue to increase social and arts activities in an attempt to convince University employees to spend their $1.5 billion in annual wages close by.

The Chair introduced Vice Chancellor of Information Technology Services Chris Kielt to give an update on technological issues at the University.  Kielt noted the work of the Connect Carolina project to transform payroll, finance and Human Resources systems.  He said that he had been asked to serve as interim Vice Chancellor in February 2013, becoming permanently placed in this position in September 2013.  He had previously served as chief information officer for Stony Brook University.  He had been encouraged to move here by previous Vice Chancellor Karol Kain Gray.  Before he worked at Stony Brook, he served 23 years at Yale University, starting in the School of Management before moving on to Facilities Services there.  He served seven years as the HMO administrator at Yale, then returned to information technology.  He noted his experience with data centers, help desk work, security, research, and other computing functions.  Kielt mentioned that here at UNC-Chapel Hill, 400 people work in Information Technology Services and another 477 work outside ITS in information technology.  He said that he was trying to create an organizational capacity for all of the demands of a great public university.  He appreciated the efforts of all of the University’s information technology workers to make this vision possible.

Chris Kielt noted the recent data breach and said that information security is his number one concern.  He said that ITS has pursued different technical safeguards, such as turning off less secure wireless portals such as UNC-1.  Regarding the breach itself, Kielt said that University personnel must and will remove sensitive data from computers via work scans and other means.  He said that the University must protect this information and the intellectual property that its faculty and researchers develop.  He said that campus units have already engaged in the process of sensitive information remediation, while noting that many other universities have done this task 7-10 years ago.  He said that there must be a common understanding to remove this data to make sure that the data breach does not happen again.

Chris Kielt said that the University must continue to build servers, e-mail, wireless, and technical capabilities to meet the needs of the Carolina community.  He said that the Connect Carolina project is the largest that the University has undertaken in the last 40 years.  He said that the project will replace payroll systems that have been here since the 1950s.  He said that Finance and Administration will implement PeopleSoft to integrate Finance and Human Resources functions.  Kielt said the Go Live date for Connect Carolina implementation is October 1, 2014.  Information Technology Services has worked to train and prepare staff for this massive change.  Anita Collins, Change Management Senior Analyst for ITS, described the training efforts, most notably  She said that employees can sign up for training with their ONYEN.

Kielt estimated that 12,000 employees will be affected by the Connect Carolina project, with 5,000 employees heavily affected.  The project will affect employees’ access to pay stubs.  Tammy Cox asked if access to employees’ pay stubs will be that much different.  Collins said that the link will go to a different place.  Kielt said that ITS will work to make the process as familiar to employees as possible.  Todd Hux asked if training will be necessary.  Collins and Kielt did not think that training would be necessary for employees to access their pay stubs.  Kielt said that computer based training for certain employees will allow short training segments.  Training will take place from August to November of this year.  Training will be hands-on in groups by school and division.  Kielt asked for feedback from employees and the Forum via  He noted that ITS will hold a Town Hall on Connect Carolina March 19 from 3-4:30 p.m. in Carroll Hall, third floor.

Tammy Cox noted the robust information technology in the School of Information and Library Sciences.  She asked if Kielt plans to keep these IT employees in the field or will he collapse operations centrally.  Kielt praised the extreme importance of information technology personnel close to the people working on the front lines.  He said that it would not make sense to centralize services.  Instead, he valued the services that these employees provide.  He had received good feedback regarding information technology personnel from the leadership of schools and departments.

Deborah Bush asked what exactly Kielt meant by sensitive data.  Kielt said that this data is often forgotten about by employees.  He said that information technology will want to scan employees’ laptops to determine if data is needed in conversations with local information technology professionals in conjunction with suggested guidelines for business, administration, and health care functions.  Research employees will not want to put data in a place in which they cannot find it.  He assured Bush that ITS will not haphazardly whisk away information without consultation.

The Chair introduced the lead recruiter for the State Employees Association of North Carolina, Steve Lawson.  Lawson said that SEANC representatives employees Statewide.  He said that SEANC talks with legislators and other decision-makers in Raleigh and throughout the State to advocate on behalf of State employees.  He encouraged listeners to consider becoming SEANC members.  He noted that there are 52 SEANC districts, two of which are stationed on the UNC campus.  District 19 is led by Martha Fowler and District 25 is led by John Gullo.

Lawson said that SEANC is not married to one party or the other.  However, he noted that this year the Governor and Legislature seemed to advocate streamlining and shutting down government functions in a way that has not been done recently.  He said that this trend was more frightening than the budget shortfall a few years ago.  He said that the State Treasurer had attempted to make pension changes without the agreement of the appointed board.  He noted that the Governor had instructed the new Office of State Human Resources to rewrite the State Personnel Act.  Nonetheless, SEANC lobbyists were able to remove most of the worst aspects from the bill.  He noted that SEANC had also fought for employees with regard to RIF status and the move by state media to make employees’ personnel files public.  He said that SEANC had also fought against a move to privatize State prisons.

Lawson said that the retirement formula accrual rate has changed in priorities over the years.  He said that SEANC has called for an investigation of connections between money managers of the retirement fund and the State Treasurer’s Office.  He hoped that nothing unseemly would turn up, but he said that the Association felt the question was worth raising.

Lawson said that SEANC dues are $9/month.  Employees also have the opportunity to contribute to EMPAC, SEANC’s political action committee.  He said that SEANC has 54,000 members, but another 40,000 State employees are not members.  Legislators often say that these 40,000 State employees are either satisfied or do not care about legislative issues, Lawson said.  He said that retirees and State employees have an interest in what the Legislature does.  Lawson said that EMPAC political donations are evenly split between both parties.  Dan Barmmer asked about SEANC’s stance on the 24-month probationary period.  He noted that many employees at UNC-Chapel Hill oppose this new policy.  Lawson said that SEANC lobbyists act at the behest of the Association’s Board of Trustees.  Feelings against the policy had not emerged at the time the law was under debate in Raleigh, Lawson said.

Todd Hux confirmed the difference between dues collected for SEANC and money collected for the EMPAC political committee.  Lawson noted that “hard” money such as EMPAC donations can be contributed directly to political campaigns.  “Soft” money like SEANC dues can be donated to distribute reports about opponents.  Hux asked about the favor that school teachers seem to enjoy in the public eye as opposed to State employees.  Lawson confirmed this is a problem when attempting to secure equal pay increases.

Kristen Kruhm, Lead Recruiter for the Triangle Red Cross blood drive, asked the Forum to officially host the UNC Blood Drive.  She noted that the Forum would not be alone in this endeavor given the existence of a substantial campus volunteer committee.  She said that the Chair had requested more details about this request.  She said that six weeks ago a delegation presented the request to the Chair and other Forum members.  The Red Cross is looking for a campus home for the blood drive.  She thanked the Forum for its contributions in the past, and she hoped that the Forum could extend its participation in the 26th annual summer blood drive to take place Friday, June 13, 2014 in the Smith Center.  She noted that UNC employee Katrina Coble has been instrumental in planning for the drive, but she is retiring from the University this year.  She said that the University has organized a second annual blood drive for the winter which takes place each December in the Fetzer Gymnasium.  She noted that the Red Cross collects blood on campus every two weeks, mainly from college and high school students.  She said that faculty and staff usually donate during the June and December blood drives.

Kruhm said that the blood drive does not need a huge group of employees contributing.  She said that the drive needs a home to solidify the drive and take ownership of disseminating information about the drive.  She said it is important to capture recipient stories.  She said further that it is important to find a campus ambassador for the drive.  Kruhm noted that 97% of the population will need a lifesaving transfusion, but only 5% of the population give blood.  She noted that UNC-Chapel Hill has come to trail other UNC System campuses in the number of pints of blood donated in recent years.  She hoped that UNC-Chapel Hill would continue to maintain and grow its blood drive.  She said that the University has had 1,000 pints donated previously but that rate has fallen to around 800 pints per June.  She noted that each pint donated saves three people and touches countless others.  She said that not everyone who receives blood will not survive, but they can receive a better quality of life due to the contributions.  She related the story of a friend who had received transfusions before dying but had experienced more strength and time with her family as a result of the transfusions.  She hoped that the Forum would walk on this journey with the Red Cross to meet this ongoing need.

The Chair noted that Kruhm has asked for a vote of confidence in the idea so that the Forum could participate in the publicity and run-up to recruitment for June.  He noted that the Forum will hold its annual retreat June 4 so the timing is a bit awkward.  The Chair asked what the Forum would be responsible for and how far in advance should it become involved in planning.  Kruhm hoped that the Forum will come on as sponsors this year.  She noted that NC State University has an institutional host for its blood drive.  She said that the steering committee will likely have one meeting in April and two in May to organize for the blood drive.  She said that most of the work this year has already been done by the standing committees already in place.

Todd Hux asked what the Forum will need to do.  Kruhm said that the March 12 Health and Wellness Expo will be the kick-off date for the June drive.  She said that the committee will produce posters and fliers to go out by March 19.  Employees can take the different printed posters and fliers and place them in their departments.  Each department will have its own representatives.  Prior to the blood drive, donors will be asked to sign up on the drive’s website, while volunteers will sign up via the Carolina Center for Public Service.  She said that a similar process occurs before the December drive.

Hux asked about the screening for Mad Cow Disease, as he had been stationed in Western Europe during the 1980s.  Kruhm said that there are certain eligibility requirements.  She hoped the ruling would be lifted soon as it has resulted in thousands of military donors being turned away.  She noted the importance, however, of insuring the quality of the blood supply.

Tammy Cox asked what will be left undone without Katrina Coble.  Kruhm said that no one else has stepped into the position of chair of the steering committee due to time restrictions.  She said it would be great if the Forum could designate a chair or co-chair.  Cox asked how many hours would be required for this work.  Kruhm said that she did not know but said that the drive is here and she wants it to continue.  She said that the committee will likely meet once in April and twice in May, and perhaps more often before the December drive.  Todd Hux asked the shelf life of donated blood.  Kruhm said that whole blood keeps 42 days, while platelets have a shelf life of 5 days.  She noted that the Red Cross is trying to secure double red cell machines for the drive which, while extending a donors time contributing, can also double the amount of usable blood donated.

The Chair welcomed Associate Vice Chancellor Matt Brody to present the Forum’s customary Human Resources update.  Brody noted that the UNC System has approved and adopted the new SPA grievance policy, which will be implemented May 1, 2014, back from March 1.  He said that Human Resources will announce the new policy April 1, and will conduct information sessions on the policy for employees.  Brody reminded listeners of the Wellness Expo to take place March 13 from 11-2 p.m. in the Rams Head Recreation Center.  He noted that the Rams Head Dining hall will be open but lunch will not be provided as part of the Expo.  He hoped that the Forum would help publicize the event.

Brody noted that employee benefits statement will come out at the end of the month.  He said that Human Resources has received positive feedback for the statement last year.  The statement will come in a sealed campus mail envelope.  He encouraged employees to study the document carefully.  The statement will contain benefits and possible benefits to employees.

The Chair called for a motion to approve the January minutes.  Dan Barmmer made this motion, seconded by Tammy Cox.  The motion was approved with two abstentions.  The Chair called for a motion to approve the February minutes.  Arlene Medder noted that she had submitted grammatical corrections to the minutes.  Medder moved that the Forum approve the February minutes, seconded by Yvonne Dunlap.  The motion was approved by acclamation.

The Chair asked Vice Chair Dan Barmmer to lead discussion of proposed Bylaws changes regarding officer elections.  Matt McKirahan said that parliamentarians usually have the opportunity to vote in elections and any votes in the full body, but not on the Executive Committee.  Barmmer said that there was more divided opinion as to whether the Chair should have the chance to vote.  Deborah Bush asked what would occur if the Chair votes but this results in a tie vote.  McKirahan said that any motion must be approved by at least a simple majority.  A tie vote would mean that the motion is defeated.

Dan Barmmer clarified that the officer elections piece would come down to a final vote in April, once the second reading takes place.  The Chair asked that delegates send comments on the proposed changes to the Forum listserv.

The Chair noted that the introduced resolution honoring Jan Boxill should be designated Resolution 14-02.  Christine Greenberg asked if the resolution raised questions about making Dr. Boxill an honorary lifetime delegate.  The Chair noted that the resolution is simply an honorary resolution, of which the Forum can do as many as it likes under the current Bylaws.

The Bylaws Committee will meet with Dan Barmmer towards finalizing a list of Bylaws revisions before the end of the term in June.

Arlene Medder said that the Carolina Campus Community Garden committee will look at greenhouse designs.  The committee also plans to hold more weed dating events and faculty mixers.

The Chair noted that the most recent edition of InTouch published by the Communications and Public Relations committee has been published on-line.  Physical copies are available in the Forum Office.

Paula Goodman noted that the Membership and Assignments committee had discussed holding a spring event.  The committee has also discussed the summer elections process.  The Chair asked members to nominate their co-workers for Forum delegate positions.

The Chair said that the Recognition and Awards committee will hold its peer recognition banquet on May 26.

Yvonne Dunlap noted that the minutes of the last two meetings of the Personnel Issues committee have been published with the most recent edition of the agenda packet.  She noted that she had been chosen to chair the committee.

The Chair noted that the UNC Staff Assembly has worked on explaining the adverse weather policy to campus representatives.  He noted that plans for the Staff Assembly’s golf tournament have gone out over the listserv.  Matt Brody commented that UNC-Chapel Hill has tried to consider staff transport questions when considering whether to close campus.  He thought that more attention has been paid to staff safety in making these decisions.  He wished that the University had made an earlier decision to close on the one day it snowed in the afternoon.

The Chair noted that the Executive Committee minutes were now part of the agenda packet.  He said that the committee will discuss the Staff Assembly golf tournament.

The Chair asked the Forum’s feelings about the request for support for the University’s two blood drives.  Tammy Cox asked if the Forum should form a committee for this purpose.  The Chair said that the Forum needed a vote on this question.  Arlene Medder thought that the Forum could serve as a voice.  The Chair said that the Forum would be a primary point of contact and possibly would do some footwork.  He said that Forum delegates need to commit to this effort.  Matt McKirahan thought that the Forum’s sponsorship made sense as it falls in line with NC State’s model of housing the blood drive.  Matt Banks said that he would be willing to help with the drive.  Todd Hux did not know how the Forum could turn the drive away.  The Chair felt that he needed consensus on this question in order to insure a good effort.  The Forum generally vote yes to a motion by Yvonne Dunlap to support the blood drive.  Jackie Overton said that the Forum needs an official motion or resolution to support the blood drive, as a matter of record.  Wayne Blair asked what exactly housing the blood drive means.  Paula Goodman surmised that housing means communication, fliers, and liaising with other departments on campus.  Todd Hux suggested that the Forum coordinate with previous committee chair Katrina Coble, perhaps setting up a meeting with the steering committee.  The Chair confirmed that the Forum will hold an official vote in April.

In the absence of further discussion, the meeting adjourned at 11:42 a.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Matt Banks, Recording Secretary

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