Employee Forum Agenda
Pleasants Family Assembly Room, Wilson Library
9:15 a.m. —-Meeting: Pleasants Family Assembly Room, Wilson Library
I. Call to Order—Chair Jackie Overton
II. Welcome Guests & Members of the Press
III. Special Presentations
- Dean of School of Government Mike Smith
- Chair of the Faculty Jan Boxill
- Director of Membership, UNC General Alumni Association Stephanie Miller
IV. Human Resources Update—Vice Chancellor Brenda Malone
V. Approval of February minutes
VII. Old Business
VIII. New Business
- Proposal to Add NC Vision Coalition to Legislative Action Committee Responsibilities
- Proposed Resolution 13-01, Concerning Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment (2nd Reading, First Reading Rule Suspended by Vote of Executive Committee)
IX. Forum Committee Reports
- Carolina Community Garden Advisory: Arlene Medder
- Communications and Public Relations: Katie Turner (February minutes)
- Education and Career Development: Charles Streeter
- Membership & Assignments: Myra Quick
- Personnel Issues: Christina Lebonville (February minutes)
- Recognition & Awards: Chris Meinecke
- Description of Kay Wijnberg Hovious Outstanding Delegate Award Criteria
- UNC System Staff Assembly: Danny Nguyen/John Gullo
- Executive Committee: Jackie Overton (November, December, January minutes)
March 6, 2013 Employee Forum minutes
Attending (those who signed in): Dan Barmmer, Ellen Donna Brooks, Deborah Bush, Tiffany Carver, Karen Cheek, Tammy Cox, Kenneth Davis, Yvonne Dunlap, David Fraley, Sharon Glover, James Holman, Todd Hux, Christina Lebonville, Arlene Medder, Chris Meinecke, Jillian Molee, Danny Nguyen, Jackie Overton, Myra Quick, Koyah Rivera, Anna Schwab, David Schwartz, Tara Smith, Charles Streeter, Alpa Vaghani
Chair Jackie Overton called the meeting to order at 9:15 a.m. She was pleased to convene her 35th meeting as Forum Chair. She directed listeners to a letter co-written by her, Faculty Chair Jan Boxill and the Presidents of the Student Body and Graduate and Professional Student Foundation regarding sexual assault. She was pleased to welcome Dean of the School of Government Mike Smith to address the Forum. She praised Smith as a most insightful thinker whom all would do well to try to emulate.
Smith thanked the Forum for its wonderful hospitality and in particular for the almond joy popcorn served at the morning social. He noted that the primary mission of the School of Government is to improve the lives of North Carolinians by engaging in practical scholarship that helps public officials and citizens understand and improve state and local government. He said that instructors are tenure track or other employees who must be great scholars and who must take and apply their scholarship in a constructive and practical way. Smith outlined the many ways that staff have been incorporated into planning and delivering courses. He noted the School’s extensive in-house publication operation. He noted that staff took over 100,000 phone calls last year from politicians, media and citizens. Smith said that two aspects of his leadership have been 1) a clear and focused mission and 2) a school-wide culture involving all faculty and staff in the School’s mission. The School recently hired five new faculty members who were interviewed by faculty and staff. He said that generally the School’s culture is to respect staff and meaningfully involve staff in the operation and governance of the School. He said that influencing culture is the most important way to effect change in an organization.
First of all, Smith noted that EPA non-faculty at the School are referred to as EPA Professionals. Smith said that language matters and focusing on what people are instead of what they are not is most productive. Secondly, Smith said that staff serve on the Dean’s Advisory Council which works on policy, budget, and strategic planning in proportion to their numbers at the School. He noted that staff participate in faculty interviews. Staff have also participated in communications training particularly involving challenging conversations with faculty. He said that changing the culture of an institution must be intentional and must be allowed time. He said that because the School has reduced barriers to collaboration these changes have taken place. Dan Barmmer asked if the rumor that the School would take an authoritative role in governing the State should something dire happen to Raleigh was true. Smith said that the rumor was not true. He noted the School’s core values of being non-partisan and not advocating for specific public policy outcomes. The Chair commented that John Saunders had said that the School would work to help get the State in working order should something dire occur. Anna Schwab asked if the UNC Tomorrow initiative helping faculty and staff engage in the community. She asked if anything emerged from this push for staff employees. Smith said that staff can contribute in this way. He lamented that UNC Tomorrow was lost in the shuffle, with more rewards directed towards faculty than staff. He said that this is an ongoing issue. Smith thanked the Forum for the opportunity to speak.
The Chair welcomed Director of Membership for the UNC General Alumni Association Stephanie Miller. Miller noted that the G. Watts Hill alumni building was constructed 20 years ago this year with private donations. She said that the building houses the Carolina Club and the General Alumni Association. The Association was founded in 1843 to encourage alumni and friends to support the University. The Association is not a fundraising body but rather is a “friend-raising” body, informing and involving those interested in UNC-Chapel Hill. The Association features a certified career coach option greatly discounted for members. The Association supports one hundred local Carolina Clubs as well as seven international clubs. The Association supports alumni travel programs, reunions, and lifelong learning opportunities. Specific programs sponsor student groups. The Association maintains alumni records and publishes the Carolina Alumni Review. The Association welcomes all Tar Heels whether or not they are graduates of the University or not. She welcomed everyone present to join. Miller then shared a short video about the Association and the University.
The Chair was proud to welcome her friend, Chair of the Faculty Jan Boxill. Boxill noted the recent letter that the Chair referred to earlier. She said that sexual assault would not be tolerated on campus. She said that the University composes a social union and community in which people can enjoy others’ excellences as they enjoy their own. She said that she and the Chair meet regularly to work together on various concerns, from Habitat for Humanity initiatives to the Carolina Center for Public Service. She and the Chair are involved in the new Chancellor search and have both met together extensively with Chancellor Holden Thorp. She asked listeners to forward to her a statement about what makes them stay at Carolina. She hoped to speak with Governor McCrory about the positive things that characterize UNC-Chapel Hill. She praised the work of the University Ombuds office, saying that the University was much farther ahead than similar universities in this area. She hoped that the next Chancellor would be forthright, energetic, and creative. She was quite confident that the next Chancellor would be good for all. She noted that Carolina is recognized as a worldwide brand. She said that this last year has been a trying time for all who love the University. She said that she was trying to use the University’s culture to change its culture, noting the interdependent nature of athletics and academics. She noted that Gina Smith, a lawyer who worked on sexual assault issues at Amherst, is beginning her work at the University this month. Boxill praised the Chair as being a great member of search committees, asking different questions. Boxill noted the aphorism that in the absence of ethics, excellence cannot occur. She praised the work of Faculty Governance’s Executive Assistant, Katie Turner.
Todd Hux asked if Boxill was tenured. Boxill said that she serves as a fixed-term faculty member. She said that she and other fixed-term faculty members banded together to obtain representation on the Faculty Council, eligibility for teaching awards, and other advances. She recalled opposition from some on the Faculty Council Executive Committee. She noted that the University now has created a career track for fixed-term faculty featuring Senior Lecturer and Master Lecturer titles. She noted that the University has also changed policies to allow fixed term faculty travel expenses. She commented that the reason for these changes was that policies have been in place so long no one has questioned them. Myra Quick asked why there are fixed term faculty. Boxill said that these faculty do not receive tenure. She said that her appointment now is a five year appointment while others have terms determined by contract. She said that she had the opportunity to do service, teach, and participate in professional development as a fixed term faculty member, allowing her to escape the pressure to publish that tenured faculty face. She noted the many chances to leave for other opportunities but she has stayed due to her love for Carolina. David Schwartz noted that for historical reasons certain kinds of work are rewarded with job security. He found it interesting to see how these traditions have developed. Boxill said that things are changing, and she praised Chancellor Thorp for embracing change to help faculty, staff, and students. The Chair agreed that Chancellor Thorp will be a hard act to follow but that the new Chancellor will make her own imprint.
Vice Chancellor for Human Resources Brenda Malone presented the Forum’s customary Human Resources update. Malone distributed a flyer for the University’s ULEAD management development program. She invited those wanting to take the next step or to move up the ladder at the University to participate in the program. Participants will learn about making presentations, higher education as an industry and other topics from high-powered Kenan-Flagler and other faculty. The ULEAD program follows on the heels of the UMDP program. Admission is competitive and applications are due March 15. The program will start in the fall. Those wanting more information should access hr.unc.edu for more information. Malone also noted that the men’s football team is scheduled to play the University of Miami Thursday, October 17th at 8 p.m. She said that this time the University will not close early but rather will encourage staff to use flex hours to avoid the worst of the campus traffic. The campus will be on fall break so there will be less confusion and congestion than might be expected otherwise. Todd Hux asked about 5 year and 1 year appointments for faculty. Malone said that these are separate distinctions in which some fixed term faculty are recognized for teaching instead of research. Koyah Rivera thanked Malone for the leadership opportunity represented by the ULEAD program. Malone noted that Senior Director for Training and Talent Development and Communication Kathy Bryant had worked on establishing classes aimed at leadership development. These classes include improving presentation skills, managing employee interactions, coaching employees, moving from peer to manager, and conducting critical conversations.
Malone noted that the University will also kick off mandatory supervisory training for all staff supervisors. Deborah Bush asked if this program would apply to faculty. Malone said that faculty are not yet part of the program, but that the Center for Faculty Excellence was doing a program along these lines. Human Resources’ program is not for faculty. Malone noted Dean Smith’s use of the term “EPA Professionals” to replace “EPA non-faculty.” She thought this change is worth a general conversation. Yvonne Dunlap asked why supervisory training is mandatory for staff. Malone said it is because the University believes that uniform improvement requires this approach. She said that previous approaches have been uneven and that there is value in a common fundamental understanding among supervisors. John Gullo asked if Human Resources from each campus will meet with the director of the Office of State Personnel. Malone said that General Administration will meet with the Human Resources Council. UNC System Vice President William Fleming intends to invite Director Neil Alexander to meet with the Finance Directors of each campus. Malone also noted that the Human Resources Transformation effort is underway, with the transfer to PeopleSoft due to take place in January 2014. She said that much work is taking place in these areas.
The Chair called for a motion to approve the February minutes, noting that ORBIT was incorrectly not capitalized and noting that the date for park and ride charges begins as of August 15, 2013. Todd Hux observed that the increases are designed to pay for the free bus system. The Chair agreed, noting that otherwise permit holders would have to pay $1000 a year for a parking permit. She said that everyone using the parking system 24 hours a day—evenings, nights, and weekends—must pay something as of August 15. Danny Nguyen asked if a day permit will allow free night parking. The Chair said that Public Safety is still working out these details in this area. A decision will not take place in this instance for another two years. The Chair noted that Public Safety does not want to dictate but rather desires feedback. Anna Schwab made a motion that the minutes be approved as amended, seconded by Todd Hux. The minutes were approved by acclamation.
Christina Lebonville read a proposal that would make the NC Vision Coalition part of the Legislative Affairs committee. The Chair noted that the Executive Committee had heard this proposal previously. Chris Meinecke moved that the Forum accept this proposal, seconded by Todd Hux. The motion was approved with no opposition.
Danny Nguyen read resolution 13-01 regarding sexual assault and sexual harassment. The Chair noted that the Executive Committee had suspended the first reading of the resolution, meaning that the resolution could be approved on second reading this meeting. The Chair said that the recent letter and other initiatives are intended to help in the healing process. She said that the Administration from the Board of Trustees downwards want to insure this never happens again. She noted that new processes and procedures are being put into place, and new positions are being created to facilitate investigations. She said that different mechanics and better coordination will take place. She also noted the 100 year tradition of student self-governance which the University has allowed in sexual assault matters. Students affected by this adjudication process cannot then ask University administration to change these binding rulings. David Schwartz asked what options sexual assault victims have on campus. The Chair said that on this campus students have the option to pursue sexual assault cases either through Public Safety or Student Affairs. She noted that Public Safety must report all complaints to Student Affairs but that Student Affairs does not have to report to Public Safety. The Chair noted that the Honor Court system has worked in the past, but that there are only eight campuses in the country now that allow Honor Court trials for sexual assault cases. University Counsel Kristen Lewis noted that assaulted students always have the choice of whether to report to Public Safety, Student Affairs, or both. Schwartz asked why the Honor Court is thus involved. Todd Hux surmised that the victim may not want their name in the papers. Danny Nguyen thought that the Honor Court’s scope of authority should be better specified. The Chair said that this was in process and that there is an effort to take away completely sexual assault cases from the student Honor Court. There has been pushback from the student body against this initiative. Katie Turner noted the question of whether the Honor Court should hear conduct cases, recalling a 2002 evaluation of the Court that recommended removal. Conduct cases include sexual assault and DUI cases.
The Chair said that she had recommended hiring a communications person to get ahead of this story. She noted the many good things that Carolina has to offer: innovation, start-ups, the year’s water theme, research, public service. She said that the University should work to turn these negative things around through crisis management. She also praised Alan Moran for his passionate work on this question. She asked that the Forum vote on the resolution at this meeting in order that it could present the resolution at the Faculty Council meeting on Friday. Katie Turner noted that the Faculty will vote on a similar resolution at this meeting. Dan Barmmer proposed that the Forum wait and continue discussion in April, perhaps with more information about informed consent and HAVEN training. He thought that the Forum could explore this question in more detail. The Chair noted that Laurie Graham of the Orange County Rape Crisis Center is due to address the Forum in April. Chris Meinecke said that the Forum could pass the resolution and hold the subject as a discussion point in April. John Gullo asked what would change substantially by the above mentioned changes. He asked if “continue” is the right word for the resolution’s next to final paragraph. The Chair cautioned that the Forum could not dictate change but could only encourage it. Barmmer proposed a University-wide model of required HAVEN and SafeZone training. Turner proposed petitioning departments to offer this training. Moran thanked the Forum for taking up this matter and he urged the Forum to change the wording to “insure that” in order to pressure the Administration to continue with changes. David Schwartz offered “strengthen efforts to.” Yvonne Dunlap asked why the resolution emphasized informing victims of options. The Chair proposed that the Forum send the resolution back to committee for more work. The Forum agreed to table the resolution.
Arlene Medder said that the Carolina Campus Community Garden was conducting weed dating and other activities as spring is beginning. Katie Turner of the Communications and Public Relations committee said that the group had discussed options for digital publication. Deadline for articles for the latest InTouch is March 18. Charles Streeter said that the Education and Career Development committee had discussed options to approve something before the end of the year. He would work with Kathy Bryant of Human Resources to put a survey together on employee educational efforts. Streeter also said that the Membership and Assignments committee had met to finalize electronic voting efforts. The committee planned to consult with Senior Director Gena Carter to discuss reaching out to different Facilities Services work shifts. Streeter asked that Forum delegates help test the electronic voting system. The Chair praised Streeter’s work to bring the Forum into the 21st century. She urged delegates to find employees to run for the Forum. Christina Lebonville reported that she had become the new chair of the Personnel Issues committee as James Holman has become the chair of the Staff Relations subcommittee. Lebonville put out a call for delegates to serve on the Personnel issues committee. James Holman asked delegates to bring forward issues and topics from their departments. Chris Meinecke of the Recognition & Awards committee said that award nomination forms are available on the Forum website. Nominations are due by April 19. Meinecke also noted that all Forum delegates are eligible for the Kay Wijnberg Hovious Outstanding Delegate Award. Voting will take place in April with winners to be announced at the Forum retreat. The Chair noted that the Staff Assembly will meet April 15 and 16. The Forum Executive Committee will forego its monthly meeting in order to attend the April 15 speech from UNC System President Ross on the legislative move from the Office of State Personnel. The Chair also noted that the Governor would release his budget on March 18. President Ross has endorsed the Assembly’s disaster relief resolution. Board of Governors Chair Peter Hans has agreed to send Chief of Staff Kevin FitzGerald to the March 19 meeting of the Forum Executive Committee. Todd Hux reported that the food drive had not met its goal. The Chair said that the Forum would take up this task by holding a campus-wide food drive for the Interfaith Council.
In the absence of further discussion, the meeting adjourned at 11:33 a.m.
Matt Banks, Recording Secretary