May 17, 2022 UNC-Chapel Hill Employee Forum Executive Committee meeting minutes
Attending: L.E. Alexander, Sharron Bouquin, David Bragg, Shane Brogan, Tiffany Carver, Jen DeNeal, Shayla Evans-Hollingsworth, Keith Hines, Brigitte Ironside, Kira Jones, Evan Marsh, Arlene Medder, Katie Musgrove, Joseph Nsonwu-Farley, Laura Pratt, James Stamey, Janet Steele, Matthew Teal, Tracy Wetherby-Williams, Alice Whiteside, Tyrone Williams
Chair Katie Musgrove called the meeting to order at 11:30 a.m. She asked for a motion to approve the March and April minutes of the committee. Arlene Medder made this motion, seconded by Joseph Nsonwu-Farley. The motion was approved by voice vote.
Matt Banks presented the monthly budget report. The Chair asked about the travel expenses for Shayna Hill’s trip to the Chancellors’ Cup golf tournament in September 2021. Banks said that he would check on getting the UNC System Staff Assembly to cover this charge, as promised. He noted that the Forum currently has a $1000 budget surplus given the forfeiture of a few professional development grants.
Delegates discussed possible uses for this extra $1000, including payment for the July 2022 retreat, additional Blood Drive needs, an overhaul of the Forum website, or possibly gifts for the 30th anniversary celebration of the Forum. The committee took a vote on three of these options, disqualifying the website idea as being more of a long-term project. Members generally voted in favor of the annual retreat expense.
Banks reported that a substantial majority of the full Forum had voted to attend an in-person retreat session at the Outdoor Education Center in a recent Qualtrics survey. The Chair said that the Forum is still waiting for permission to purchase boxed lunches for the July 13th outdoor event.
The Chair presented preliminary plans for the Wednesday in-person meeting at the Outdoor Education Center. She said that the meeting would occur early in the morning to avoid the worst of the July heat. Members briefly discussed other possible venues for the in-person meeting. Members also recalled their prior positive experiences with the Forum at the Outdoor Education Center. Tiffany Carver asked about the possibility of holding a combined virtual/in-person teambuilding event that Wednesday morning.
Members discussed planning for the retreat agenda. Laura Pratt moved that the Committee approve spending for a half-day in-person session at the Outdoor Education Center on July 13th, with another half-day Zoom business session on July 14th. Brigitte Ironside seconded this motion. The motion was approved by voice vote, with none opposing or abstaining. The Chair said she would share drafts of the agenda for July with the committee for review.
The committee moved to discussion of the 30th anniversary event planning. The Chair said that the main issue at this point is the request to the Chancellor for funds to support these events. Tiffany Carver said that she had not heard back from the Carolina Inn regarding dates or expenses just yet. She said that the 25th anniversary event had budgeted $3,245 for catering and other sundries like cake, balloons, swag, and a printed program. She said that the 20th anniversary event had a budget of almost $5,000. She thought that given inflation, the Forum should request between $5-6,000 for its 30th anniversary event.
The committee discussed arrangements related to the Carolina Club room rental. The Chair asked that Carver constitute her ad hoc committee to handle specific details related to the event. She thanked Carver for her work on previous history related to anniversary events. She also detailed plans for her request to the Chancellor.
Keith Hines did not have an update regarding the Chancellors’ Cup golf tournament.
Shane Brogan said that the Communications & Public Relations committee will meet soon to produce the May InTouch. Anyone with prospective articles should submit them to the committee for consideration.
Brigitte Ironside reported that the next meeting of the Forum Book Club will be held Thursday, May 26 via Zoom at noon. The book under discussion is Being Mortal. Ironside reported that discussions have been very engaging. She hoped that a notice would go out in the May InTouch about this event.
Arlene Medder reported that the Carolina Community Garden advisory group has not met recently. Still, there are limited numbers of volunteer spaces. Housekeepers have returned to the garden for distribution of produce; so the produce won’t be pre-packed in bags to be supplied to the employees, Medder said.
Dr. Jen DeNeal said that the Carolina Blood Drive committee members will do an inventory of food items and other supplies available in the Forum Office from other drives. The full committee will meet tomorrow. Currently there are 205 appointments scheduled out of 700 available slots. She asked listeners to continue to push for donors and volunteers.
Janet Steele said that the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee is considering possible candidates for committee secretary. The committee will next meet May 23rd. Joseph Nsonwu-Farley gave an update on his coming plans.
L.E. Alexander said that the Education and Career Development committee will make awards of professional development grants in the next week or two. Similarly, the Carolina Family Scholarship award winners will be announced in the second half of June. She asked listeners to ask around about finding faculty reviewers for the Carolina Family Scholarship application process.
There was no report from the Membership & Assignments committee. There also wasn’t an update from the Personnel Issues committee.
Laura Pratt reported that the Recognition & Awards committee met to determine Peer Recognition Award winners the previous week. The committee is waiting for the all-clear on disciplinary actions before announcing the winners publicly. The Chair thanked Pratt and co-chair Tiffany Carver for taking up the reins of the committee following Natiaya Neal’s departure from the University.
Keith Hines said that the UNC System Staff Assembly will meet in July in Chapel Hill. He hoped to have more details on the Assembly following this meeting. Shane Brogan reported that the Advisory Committee on Transportation had cancelled its last three or four meetings.
James Stamey reported that the Buildings & Grounds committee had voted to approve a redesign for Porthole Alley as well as a new design for the American Indian Cultural Garden. He asked the committee for consideration for another three-year appointment to the committee. The Chair pledged to work on this question. She also was interested in the eventual new location of the Forum Office given the impending destruction of 134 East Franklin Street.
Joseph Nsonwu-Farley said that the Carolina Peer Support Collaborative has sought applications for resilience coaches, with a recently extended deadline. The Collaborative is also trying to recruit listeners to help provide mental health support outside of the general Counseling Center, which is currently overloaded. He noted the need for additional Forum representation and asked the Chair for help in providing volunteers. The Chair said that she would reach out to delegates who have previously expressed an interest.
David Bragg had nothing to report as the Student Stores advisory committee representative. The Chair noted that Student Stores will soon name a new director.
The Chair consulted with the committee regarding plans for the June 8th general meeting related to the Provost’s attendance and the Peer Recognition event. In the absence of further discussion, the meeting adjourned by acclamation at 1:12 p.m.
Matt Banks, Recording Secretary