May 19, 2015 Executive Committee minutes
Attending (those who signed in): Gena Carter, Tammy Cox, Yvonne Dunlap, James Fuller, Michael Highland, Todd Hux, Karen Jenkins, Matt McKIrahan, Arlene Medder, Kirk Montgomery, Charles Streeter, Ben Triplett, Katie Turner
Chair Charles Streeter called the meeting to order at 11:30 a.m. He called for a motion to approve the minutes from April. Arlene Medder made this motion, seconded by Yvonne Dunlap. The motion was approved with one abstention.
Tammy Cox and Matt Banks presented the Forum’s budget report. The Chair noted that the Forum had purchased a video monitor and bracket to replace the old projector in the Forum meeting room. He hoped that the Forum has enough funds to purchase a computer in the current fiscal year. Cox noted that the fiscal year closing is particularly treacherous given the advent of Connect Carolina. She suggested that the Forum make backup purchases to avoid a large loss of funds if planned purchases are not processed in time.
The Chair asked for suggestions as to what the Forum should purchase with extra funds. Committee members generally were in favor of purchasing a computer for use by a work-study student to do social media work. The Chair asked Banks to create a job description for this purpose. Arlene Medder asked about using a surplus computer. The Chair was uncertain that a surplus computer would have the power the Forum needed for social media work. Katie Turner observed that the computer would need an Adobe suite package. It was noted that the Forum could order a computer on its purchasing card through Student Stores faster than it could go through Procurement. Arlene Medder proposed that the Forum speak with Vice Chancellor Matt Fajack about renovating the Forum Office. The Chair noted that the Forum had purchased new letterhead for its work.
Concerning the Carolina Family Scholarship, the Chair reported that Ronda Manuel, Clare Counihan, Ben Triplett, and Shamecia Powers have agreed to serve on an administrative committee for the scholarship. He noted that Matt Fajack had pledged $16,000 this year towards the Scholarship but noted that the Forum must work to sustain the project through future fundraising. He proposed consulting with NC State’s Staff Senate to see how they support a similar program.
The committee discussed possible creation of a subcommittee to oversee the Carolina Family Scholarship. Matt McKirahan said that the group must bring a written proposal to the Executive Committee then to the full body for consideration. He said that the committee must fall under the Education and Career Development committee in the meantime. He clarified that there could be no vote via e-mail under the Public Meetings law. Katie Turner asked if the Forum could access previous Scholarship recipients for an article in InTouch.
The Chair noted that committee chairs will need to submit annual reports covering the twelve months previous. Katie turner said that chairs should circulate their reports on the Executive Committee listserv. Turner asked when the Forum plans to appoint delegates to fill vacant seats. The Chair said that he would work on this process soon.
The Chair said that the purpose of the June retreat is goal-setting for the new fiscal year. He said that the morning of the retreat will take care of Forum business while the afternoon will be led by Dr. Belinda Locke, who will help committees set their goals. Katie Turner asked to get a copy of the 4-squares document from last year to use in measuring year-by-year progress.
The Chair asked that Forum delegates provide Vice Chancellor topics by the following Thursday. Todd Hux asked about the one year probationary period bill. Gena Carter noted that this bill was still in committee. She noted that it was common for employees to confuse the end of probationary period with the attainment of career status. She said that probationary periods have ranged from 270 days to 90 days at UNC-Chapel Hill. The Office of State Human Resources has standardized this number at 24 months. House Bill 495 would recommend that career status and probationary period both stand at one year, with no gap between the two statuses. Todd Hux asked about awareness of the two-year probationary period among top administrators.
The Chair noted that the Forum wanted to conduct an assessment survey of staff but did not want to conflict with the diversity survey set to go out this fall. He said that the Forum is stronger when it speaks for many different people. The Chair commented that the five-year plan for campus transit will soon be under discussion. It was noted that some employees are being asked to purchase permits at reduced rates for parking during the 7:30-8:30 a.m. time frame. Yvonne Dunlap suggested a status report on training supervisors. Gena Carter said that much training for frontline supervisors has been rolled into mandatory BEST training. Dunlap asked if Human Resources had kept track of retention in departments. Carter said that Human Resources had tracked retention through exit surveys but she would not characterize these as complete. Tammy cox noted that the Ombuds Office had worked to track unprofessional activities and treatment in departments. Dunlap noted the cost of hiring temporary employees because permanent ones are not willing to stay. Matt McKirahan mentioned concerns about the budget management model for the University.
Gena Carter confirmed that the Forum retreat will take place June 10th, not June 3rd. Kirk Montgomery asked about documentation for delegates using Forum service time on TIM. Matt McKirahan noted a possible problem with having too many delegates vote from a particular division at the May and June meetings, when incoming, continuing, and outgoing delegates all can vote. He proposed fixing this problem in a future fix of the Forum Bylaws to bring them into concert with practice.
The Chair proposed that the committee discuss a proposed resolution honoring Brenda Denzler at the June meeting. This resolution would give Denzler lifetime honorary delegate status. The committee discussed previous winners of this honor and the possibility of creating a list of qualifications for the honor. Matt McKirahan noted that the Bylaws are currently vague on this question, leaving it to the resolution to demonstrate why the person should receive honorary delegate status. He noted that the current Bylaws state that the Forum may only award two such honors each calendar year, which he believed should change to each fiscal year to match the Forum’s operations. There was some discussion of whether the lack of criteria for the award could undercut the winner’s perceived legitimacy. Katie Turner moved that the Recognition & Awards committee work on criteria for this honor. McKirahan said that the Bylaws do not require a delegate to bring an honorary delegate resolution to the Executive Committee. The resolution requires a two-thirds vote for approval. He said that the Forum could hold a closed vote for this honor. Arlene Medder seconded Turner’s motion. There was no further discussion. The motion was approved with no one voting in opposition.
Todd Hux noted that the Blood Drive on June 2nd has had a number of employees sign up. The drive is still on for employees to donate that day. Hux noted the work of volunteers to provide food and escort stations for donors. He noted that donors can park nearby and ride the golf carts back from the Smith Center.
Arlene Medder said that the Carolina Campus Community Garden has data from 833 survey respondents, with another 1,500 respondents starting but not finishing the survey. Four-hundred-fifty-four people have signed up for the Garden’s new e-mail list.
Katie Turner asked that everyone with pictures from recent Forum events to mail these to her. She said that the Communications and Public Relations committee had a good year with its publication of InTouch and other activities.
It was noted that the Education and Career Development committee had hosted the Peer Recognition event on May 15. Shane Hale served as the M.C. for the event, which was well-attended. The committee was responsible for selecting the Forum’s Community Award winner.
The committee had discussed the June 10 retreat which was planned by the Membership & Assignments committee.
Yvonne Dunlap noted that members of the Personnel Issues committee sought to wait on introducing a resolution regarding the 9.9% limitation on staff salary increases.
There was no report regarding the UNC System Staff Assembly.
Gena Carter raised the possibility of the University closing during the winter holiday break. She noted that all other UNC campuses close during this break except for the NC School of the Arts. She said that NC State University has never been closed for longer than 3 days in a row during this period. Carter said that Vice Chancellor Felicia Washington has taken this issue to the Chancellor’s Cabinet to explore the question. It was noted that the idea would lead to monetary savings and little loss in services given that most employees take this time off anyway. Tammy Cox asked about employees who have not yet accured vacation leave for this purpose. Cox noted that the closings at NC State had led to 30-degree temperatures in buildings to start. After the first year, administration of the process in Raleigh was better. Michael Highland noted the status of students during the holidays with no place to go. Todd Hux asked if Human Resources had received feedback from other areas of campus. Carter said that the feedback has been ad hoc to this point.
Todd Hux moved to adjourn the meeting at 1:29 a.m., seconded by Katie Turner. The motion was approved by acclamation.
Matt Banks, Recording Secretary