May 4, 2022
UNC-Chapel Hill Employee Forum
Zoom Remote Meeting Only: Connection Details Below
NOTE: This is a draft agenda and is subject to change without notice.
I. Call to Order, Opening Remarks & Recitation of the Forum Charge: Chair Katie Musgrove (9:15 a.m. – 9:25 a.m.)
- Welcome to New Delegates, Guests, & Members of the Press
- Delegate Charge
II. Round Table with Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz and Chief of Staff Christi Hurt (9:25 a.m. – 10 a.m.)
III. Special Presentation
- Michael Piehler, Chief Sustainability Officer and Special Assistant to the Chancellor for Sustainability (10:00 a.m. – 10:20 a.m.)
IV. Human Resources Update (10:20 a.m. – 10:50 a.m.)
- Vice Chancellor for Human Resources and Equal Opportunity and Compliance Becci Menghini and Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources Linc Butler
V. Announcement of Kay Wijnberg Hovious Outstanding Delegates for 2021-22 (10:50 a.m. – 11 a.m.)
VI. Consent Agenda (11 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.)
- April Minutes
- Forum Committees
- Communications and Public Relations: Shane Brogan
- Book Club: Brooke O’Neal
- Community Service: Jacob Womack
- Carolina Blood Drive: Jen DeNeal
- Carolina Community Garden Advisory: Arlene Medder
- Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Joseph Nsonwu-Farley/Janet Steele
- DEI Council: Janet Steele
- Education and Career Development: L.E. Alexander/Laura Pratt
- Carolina Family Scholarship: L.E. Alexander/Laura Pratt
- Professional Development Grants: L.E. Alexander/Laura Pratt
- Membership & Assignments: Tiffany Carver
- Personnel Issues: Stephanie Forman/Matthew Teal
- Recognition & Awards: Tiffany Carver/Laura Pratt
- Rules: Jacob Womack
- UNC System Staff Assembly: Shayna Hill/Katie Musgrove/Keith Hines/James Holman/Laura Pratt
- University Committee Representatives
- Advisory Committee on Transportation & Parking: Shane Brogan
- Buildings & Grounds: James Stamey
- Carolina Peer Support Collaborative: Joseph Nsonwu-Farley
- Policy Review: Evan Marsh
- Student Stores Advisory Committee: David Bragg/Evan Marsh
- Executive Committee: Katie Musgrove
- Communications and Public Relations: Shane Brogan
VII. New Business (11:15 a.m. – 11:25 a.m.)
- Call for Nominees: Forum Officer, UNC System Staff Assembly Representative Elections in June
VIII. Announcements/Questions (11:25 a.m. – 11:30 p.m.)
- Vice Chancellor Representatives Meeting – June 10, 2022 (10-11 a.m., via Zoom)
Zoom information available for this meeting from Matt Banks. Please email email@example.com by 8 a.m. Wednesday morning to obtain connection information.
May 4, 2022 Employee Forum minutes
Delegates Attending: L.E. Alexander, Vanessa Blake, Jessye Bongiovanni, Randall Borror, Sharron Bouquin, David Bragg, Rich Brandenburg, Alicia Brandt, Shane Brogan, Tiffany Carver, Michael Case, Emma Dehne, Jen DeNeal, Elizabeth DuBose, Jaci Field, Stephanie Forman, Adrianne Gibilisco, Lonnie Hawley, Leah Hefner, Jessi Hill, Shayna Hill, Keith Hines, Ta’Keyah Holder, James Holman, Rebecca Howell, Brigitte Ironside, Kira Jones, Stacy Keast, Mary King, Amber Meads, Arlene Medder, Mandy Melton, David Michaud, Manisha Mittal, Katie Musgrove, Ayla Ocasio, Jane O’Hara, Joseph Ormond, Sara Pettaway, Laura Pratt, Charlissa Rice, Kelly Scurlock-Cross, Lori Shamblin, Theresa Silsby, Janice Singletary, Sarah Smith, Robert Smith III, James Stamey, Janet Steele, Annetta Streater, Matthew Teal, Julie Theriault, Tracy Wetherby Williams, Alice Whiteside, Tracey Wiley, Michael Williams, Tyrone Williams, Jacob Womack
Excused: Jay Eubank, Chrissie Greenberg
Chair Katie Musgrove called the meeting to order at 9:15 a.m. She welcomed all, particularly the Forum’s new class of delegates. She asked delegates to join her in a recitation of the Forum charge. The Chair noted that delegates were now charged with service and thanked all for their commitment to serve the University in this way.
The Chair then welcomed Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz and his Chief of Staff Christi Hurt to the customary Chancellor’s Roundtable that morning. Guskiewicz celebrated the graduation of seniors in the class of 2022. He also looked forward to Sunday’s Commencement with Frank Bruni serving as commencement speaker. He praised the incredibly dedicated employees of the University who have helped this event come to fruition. Guskiewicz noted the many events surrounding Commencement this year. He also noted the annual C. Knox Massey Award winners’ luncheon that was held earlier that month.
Guskiewicz was also pleased that the University had approved its first all-funds budget, balancing its budget for the first time in nine years. This step will allow the campus to reinvest in our people and our mission, he said. He was pleased that every campus unit now is transparent regarding the source and expenditure of each dollar.
Guskiewicz noted the year of record high applications for Carolina, 58,000 applications for 4,600 spots in the class of 2026. The deadline for offers to be returned was Monday, and so the class of 2026 will soon take shape.
The Campaign for Carolina hit a milestone of $4.25 billion in January. Guskiewicz has spent a lot of time on the road trying to edge closer to the $5 billion mark that will support faculty, staff, and students in new and innovative ways. He hoped that Carolina would reach the $5 billion mark by December.
The University is in the final stages of searches for leaders in the Adams School of Dentistry, the College of Arts and Sciences, the Gillings School of Public Health, and the School of Nursing, among others. Guskiewicz hoped the University would announce appointments very soon. He thanked all who participated in the search process. Additionally, the University should announce hiring of the new chief of police by the end of next week. The Vice Chancellor for Communications search is also well underway, with a goal of August 15th for the final appointment.
Once again, he thanked staff for their dedication and hard work and sacrifice throughout the challenges and hardship of the past year. He then welcomed and introduced Christi Hurt, the new Chief of Staff for the University. Hurt, a three-time graduate of UNC, has served as the senior prevention strategy officer for campus as well as the interim Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs.
Hurt said it was wonderful to see so many familiar faces and friends on the Zoom call that morning. She thanked the Forum for its time. She recalled also working as the Director of the Carolina Women’s Center and the University’s first Title IX Coordinator. She offered this background to note her status as a university staff employee in a variety of divisions.
Hurt said that she likes to think that she knows Carolina inside and out but added that the institution is vast and deep and filled with surprises. She brought an unending curiosity for this place and its work. She recalled working with non-profit organizations prior to her time in Chapel Hill, which she found translated amazingly well into her university work. Hurt recalled work with the Washington State Membership Association representing all rape crisis centers in the State. In that job, she had to differentiate between small town Washington State and big town Seattle to attempt to harness a legislative public policy agenda from among different organizations for delivery to the legislature and the Governor.
She drew on this experience in her work at Carolina as different interests drive different perspectives on university work, but each moves toward the same goal. Figuring out how different people approach this work, finding common threads and commonalities towards resolving the world’s greatest problems fascinates her, she said, and has informed her work here at Carolina.
Hurt said that she had spent her career trying to solve problems and make the world a better, more easily understood, place. She planned to bring similar values to her job as Chief of Staff. One way of doing that is to convene people together who have different perspectives on an issue to a common room. She saw her role as a connector and communicator across these different perspectives.
Of course, pursuing the Chancellor’s goals as embodied in the University’s strategic plan is a primary goal of her position. She sought to work with leadership on all the different priorities of the institution. However, she saw no problem as “too small” and was pleased to help in any way to bring in people to leverage their expertise and experience to make Carolina better. She recalled her early experience working on sexual assault, rape crisis, and AIDS hospice concerns in Washington State and here in Orange County.
The Chair asked Hurt her vision for how the Forum could best work with the Chancellor’s team in a coalition to solve staff-related problems on campus. Hurt recalled the adage from “The West Wing”: “if you’re going to bring me a problem, bring me a solution.” She hoped that dealing with these challenges would allow time to think about answers, prioritizing them in usability and testing against what solutions might exist.
Following this process, the Forum could then bring a problem forward to a Vice Chancellor or department head or wherever these challenges might lie. Hurt was happy to facilitate this process, but also recognized that local problems often have local solutions that do not require intervention by folks from South Building. She saw the Forum as a great partner in developing solutions to problems identified and then figuring out where relevant conversations need to occur.
Laura Pratt asked the University’s plans for COVID testing on campus for the summer months, as regrettably, the pandemic seems not to have yet ended. Guskiewicz said that the campus has a team that continues to monitor relevant data closely. Carolina is lucky to host a meeting of public health and infectious diseases experts to deliberate these questions for our campus. These experts will likely move to close the Carolina Together testing facility. Student testing will still be available at Campus Health, but in the absence of new variants the testing facility will close. Still, the University is prepared to reopen the program in the event of future spikes of infections. Hurt said that May 9th is the date for this closing, but the University will continue to monitor data and events.
Guskiewicz took a moment to pledge quicker action on initiatives offered by the Faculty Council and the Forum, even if only to say that the campus cannot move on these ideas at this time. The Chair asked, given the billions of dollars raised in the current capital campaign, how she and the Forum could work with Guskiewicz to leverage this money to bolster staffing levels across campus, noting limits on the use of that money. Guskiewicz said that about 93% of the University’s endowment is restricted. He noted that the endowment had a really good investment year in 2021 but will not likely see the same gains this year. When the endowment does well the University can have its interest used for salary costs or expenses in certain initiatives, freeing up in turn State dollars to put towards employees. He said that the University will continue to look for these opportunities.
Stephanie Forman asked if there are staff related initiatives that the Chancellor has designated top priority that possibly slowed down during the pandemic. Guskiewicz said that the Future of Work initiatives championed by Vice Chancellor Becci Menghini and Senior Vice Provost Rick Wernoski came immediately to mind. He noted a recent presentation on these initiatives given concerns around the Great Resignation of staff employees nationally. The University is working on a salary equity study at the urging of the Faculty Council and will seek more flexibility in the administration of salary bands from the UNC System. Guskiewicz also noted that the Legislature had provided the University with around $110 million in deferred maintenance funds, which campus leaders are working to prioritize to get projects moving forward.
Forman asked if the salary equity study would be expanded to include staff employees. Becci Menghini said that faculty salary equity studies are done on a rotational basis by Institutional Research, as faculty turnover is lower and more predictable than staff turnover. Staff equity is much more complicated endeavor. Staff salary equity studies will begin but not with the same format or timing as the faculty study due to the complicated way the personnel system is structured. The Chair hoped that the University could work with Institutional Research on a staff salary equity study at some point.
Rebecca Howell asked for increased transparency around how these decisions are made so that staff can know how these matters are handled. She thought this increased transparency would have a positive impact upon staff morale. Jacob Womack noted the capital improvement discussion and currently rising costs of personnel and materials. He recalled that delays in getting basic maintenance done reflect the fact that staff concerns are affecting an entire range of issues. He lamented that staffing concerns are not being centered in discussions.
Guskiewicz replied that he and his team are very concerned about staffing questions, stating that resignations and retirements are compounding this problem. He said that the University’s big capital projects are not receiving the same number of bids as they have historically. This lack of bids, combined with escalated prices, are creating internal problems for the University in getting these projects done. He said that the University will try doubling up some bids to allow contractors to take multiple projects at once to reduce transitory costs. He hoped this step would expedite projects and perhaps lead to cost savings there.
The Chair thanked Guskiewicz and Hurt for their remarks. She looked forward to further discussions and partnerships with the Chancellor’s Office in the future. She then took a moment to recognize the 2022 Kay Wijnberg Hovious Outstanding Delegate Award winners, as voted on by Forum delegates this past May. She recognized Stephanie Forman, Matthew Teal, and Jacob Womack as this year’s Hovious Award winners. The Chair thanked these three delegates’ contributions to the work of the Forum this past year. Winners will receive a plaque during the June 8th general meeting.
The Chair welcomed Michael Piehler, Chief Sustainability Officer and Special Assistant to the Chancellor on Sustainability, to update the Forum on the University’s efforts in this area. Piehler noted he had spoken with the Forum almost exactly one year ago. He recalled his background at the University, obtaining three degrees and working a series of jobs leading to his current position. Piehler recalled that last year he had presented the University’s new climate action plan.
Today, however, Piehler would cover new material. He encouraged listeners to access sustainable.unc.edu for more detail on his remarks, as well as supporting data and reports. He urged listeners to follow his office on social media. Piehler noted the work of the Sustainability Council as part of Sustainable Carolina. The Council is composed of faculty, staff, and students from across the University whose work is directly connected to sustainability efforts. This group has been really engaged and exceedingly helpful in his office’s work, Piehler said.
The group is working to advance the University’s sustainability practice and to connect to the research, education, and service activities of the University. Piehler highlighted progress in reducing campus carbon emissions 40% since 2007. He granted that part of this decline may have come from the reduced activity related to the COVID pandemic. He also noted that coal use of the cogeneration plan has declined 52% since 2007, with 18% and 17% reductions in each of the past two years.
Piehler said that this year the University developed its water plan. The water plan will work to integrate conventional efficiency improvements with water use and natural systems connections.
Piehler noted the Champion Revolving Investment fund, which was originally seeded by Hanes Brands. This contribution of a million dollars to the Capital Campaign will make the University more sustainable and will help students understand how and why these interventions can take place. This fund will be cost effective, a smart idea, and fun going forward as the University creates programs with donor dollars that benefit all to sustain itself and to grow.
The Champion Fund is a green revolving fund, which will accept outside ideas for efficiency projects. If these ideas are found viable and able to be accomplished, the University will work with proponents to make them happen. Piehler recalled the idea to install LED bulbs in all big campus buildings, with savings realized after a reasonable set investment in new fixtures.
Piehler emphasized the importance of being honest about challenges facing the University. He said that as the University gets media coverage, it can interact with media and provide facts to improve accuracy. Piehler noted that certain themes have emerged through media coverage that he wished to discuss. First, he recalled the criticisms of the University’s commitment changes in which people recall the commitment to end coal use by 2020. Then, critics have decried the goal of the University becoming carbon neutral by 2040, which was originally set a target as 2050. He was clear that commitments to carbon neutrality have been accelerated.
Piehler recalled other questions from media as to how the University will move away from coal. He said that the University has had many good reasons why it was unable to end coal use by 2020. In his position, Piehler would prefer not to provide an uncertain timeline for this work. Instead, he emphasized the 52% coal use reductions over the past two years in real time accounting. He noted that this stance has brought criticism, but the question is not as simple as some would maintain. In his estimation, it is better to have information on what has been done rather than estimations on what could happen.
Piehler offered to answer questions from the Forum. Elizabeth Dubose asked if Piehler has a counterpart in the UNC Health system. She recalled departmental discussions about the design of outpatient clinical sites that seem poorly designed for sustainability. Piehler said that there is not an exact counterpart to a chief sustainability officer working for UNC Health, but he has worked with several officials on these concerns. He said that UNC Health and the University are different types of organizations that bear less comparison than perhaps certain schools within the University might. He said that the University and UNC Health are having conversations about opportunities to connect efforts in terms of strategy and planning to meet big future goals.
Dubose urged that the University construct more electric car charging stations with solar powered shelters over them. Piehler said that the University is undergoing a feasibility study on EV charging with the Town of Chapel Hill and Orange County.
Matthew Teal asked if there is a way to build sustainability requirements into university procurement practices, as the University prepares to take on the $900 million in deferred maintenance spending. Secondly, he asked if there is a way for the Employee Forum to better partner with the Sustainability Committee, perhaps by appointment of a Forum delegate to the committee serving as a liaison between the two groups.
Piehler said that the University does have energy efficiency policies that call on campus purchasers to consider this question whenever purchases are made. In addition, there are opportunities to expand policies around purchasing to pursue different sustainability goals, such as the recent discussions with Amazon. He said these discussions should address what is tenable for UNC-Chapel Hill and what is practical for success in enhancing sustainability operations and meeting goals. He recalled that these discussions had slowed during the pandemic but should return to the top of the priority list.
Regarding cooperation with the Employee Forum, Piehler said that the Sustainability Council is not wholly representative of campus as the Chancellor’s Office makes a significant number of Council appointments. He offered to make more direct connections with the Forum if called upon to do that, noting that the Council meets only twice a year.
Jacob Womack asked if the Sustainability Office has a good relationship with the Recycling Office through Facilities Services, raising the possibility of expanding recycling types of materials or streamlining the service. Piehler said that there is an opportunity for progress and praised the Office of Waste Reduction and Recycling’s work. He said reproducing this group would be redundant and not helpful. He said that the Office’s accomplishments have been amazing.
Instead, the Sustainability Office has sought to amplify the Office’s work, perhaps pushing things forward with technical expertise. He noted a sustainability roadmap that includes greenhouse gas emissions, water, and waste, that has been broken into three pieces. The Climate Action plan began last year, with the water plan this year and either this year or the next the waste plan. He thought that then the Office will bring a more active engagement to recycling concerns. Womack looked forward to supporting this effort.
Arlene Medder asked if there are plans like the Battle Grove restoration for elsewhere on campus. Piehler said that this project was gigantic in terms of magnitude, costs, and complexity. There is a list of similar places, with a bit of a turn towards connecting to local communities. He noted the streams and creeks that originate on campus and flow into Chapel Hill, like the flow of Booker Creek under the Eastgate Shopping Center. In the interim, the Office is researching how well these interventions are working regarding Jordan Lake. The University is studying the Battle Grove structure and how well it works to enhance water quality. He hoped to pursue similar projects elsewhere.
Tracy Wetherby Williams asked if the Sustainability Office is partnering with the Town of Chapel Hill. Piehler said that the Sustainable Triangle Field side is a curricular connection whereby undergraduates interact with Town staff on formal programs. He converses with Town Community Resilience and Sustainability Officer John Richards frequently to coordinate as carefully as possible on mutual goals.
Williams asked if the Sustainability Office is providing some research-based evidence related to these clean-up efforts. Piehler said that a good history of this work exists but did not think that the work has been very coordinated between campus faculty and the Town. The Office is trying to play a coordinating role, including providing expertise to assist with consulting work at times. He recalled the heat mapping study done by a data-driven environmental laboratory led by Angela Hsu, a university professor in public policy. He hoped that similar projects would soon emerge.
The Chair thought that Matthew Teal’s question about a Forum liaison with the Sustainability Council underscored a good way for Sustainability to interface with staff across campus. She hoped to work further on this idea with Piehler. Piehler noted that this was his second appearance before the Forum in less than a year. He offered to discuss anything to create a more tangible connection.
Chancellor Guskiewicz thanked Piehler for his work connecting with the Town, noting the Town’s desire to move forward with these ideas and resources. He thanked Piehler for serving as the eyes and ears to find these opportunities. The Chair also thanked Piehler for his remarks.
The Forum moved to its customary Human Resources Update, provided by Vice Chancellor for Human Resources, Equal Opportunity, and Compliance Becci Menghini and Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources Linc Butler. Menghini thanked the Forum and all campus staff employees for the work done to move the University through another academic year. She noted that today is State Employee Appreciation Day as recognized by the State of North Carolina. She said that the University plans to hold another full-scale employee appreciation event in October. She thanked employees for rising to the work of several difficult personnel challenges in support of Carolina’s mission, including the COVID pandemic.
Menghini also praised the work of people hitting employment milestones in 2022, including a couple of people who have worked here 55 and 60 years. She asked listeners to join her in appreciating these people.
Menghini noted that October 14, 2022 will be the next Employee Appreciation Day and asked delegates to mark their calendars in advance. She hoped that Human Resources could partner with the Forum on areas of interest related to the Appreciation Day.
Menghini recalled past conversations with the Forum regarding personnel issues at the University. She noted that turnover rates on campus are above where they have been historically. Human Resources is working to identify opportunities to help those who are here, in the knowledge that the largest impact is upon those employees who remain. She said that every institution in the UNC System and every other industry in the country faces this challenge now.
Thus, the University is working to figure out tools available to move forward. Menghini serves as part of a State Human Resources Task Force studying possible options, among them recruitment incentives, retention incentives, and vacation available immediately to new hires. She hoped that options for interchangeability of leave would emerge, among other ideas.
Menghini noted that the UNC Board of Governors passed some changes to its personnel authority, moving some authority to System campuses in hopes of expediting the more complicated hires that have required multiple layers of approval. The 20% limit of previous salary for promotional opportunities will go away for external searches, but not for internal searches. The System Office holds authority now to make these changes for EHRA employees but not for SHRA employees.
Menghini praised the work of her colleagues in the UNC System Office who have been working diligently over the last several months in anticipation of these changes. She said that coordination with the Office of State Human Resources (OSHR) will allow added flexibility on the EHRA side. She hoped that guidance will arrive from the System Office on these changes in the next week, which would then be forwarded to Human Resources officials to help positions get posted and hired.
Menghini noted that all the efforts to build deeper pool of applicants, to put more people in positions and to lessen the load upon those who are here. In response to complaints, the University has employed a new background check vendor, moving the turnaround on the vendor side from just under five days to one day. The overall background check has decreased from nine days to around four and a half days, on average. Also, OHR has extended the dates on position management compliance to provide a bit more latitude to employees and managers.
Arlene Medder asked how Menghini and her team are doing now. Menghini said that all are hanging in there. She praised the Human Resources management team who have done a remarkable job given all the policy changes requiring brainstorming and communication. Now, the central HR team must see everything that comes through individual units, an additional responsibility. Menghini praised the leadership team and full group from central HR and the Equal Opportunity and Compliance workforce, who have weathered the storm remarkably well.
The Chair noted a question regarding the implementation of retention incentives and the removal of the 20% salary increase cap for external searches. She was concerned that current employees would leave for other positions within UNC for a higher salary. Menghini disagreed, saying that the goal is to layer these retention incentives in a focused way by the Office of State Human Resources. Regarding position search failures or shallow applicant pools, the University does not have authority to make changes in this area yet. She added that removing the 20% limit on salary increases for promotions does not mean that all new hires will receive more than 20%. Salary increases depend on the job in question, the candidate’s qualifications, and equity concerns elsewhere in the unit. She said that movement from one position to another on the lower end of the range would qualify an employee for a more than 20% increase over previous salary without many of the obstacles and delays of the past.
Menghini said that equity concerns treat faculty differently than staff hires, the latter of which involve many more factors of consideration. She noted her work shepherding Tier Two positions through the Board of Trustees in which she must explain the reasons for an offered salary to a particular candidate as a percentage of market rate and how the salary relates to other positions in the unit from an equity perspective. All HR officers must do similar calculations when making salary proposals.
Randall Borror recalled a question he had asked earlier regarding the possibility of a pay out of accrued vacation time. Borror noted that Menghini pledged to take this question on and asked if she had an update. Menghini noted the success of interchangeability of leave during the pandemic. She thought that was as close as the University has gotten to a leave pay out option. The differentiation of sick time versus vacation time and leave earned across various employee categories presents a large challenge to OHR. It was suggested that perhaps the Forum might create a resolution in this area.
The Chair noted a chat question regarding any plan to retain employees via means other than higher salary. Menghini said that some units are doing “stay” interviews, with OHR asking employees why an individual has decided to stay on campus. She agreed that money is not the only determining factor in decisions to leave, as others leave due to flexibility reasons, for difficulties with their supervisor, for desires to live in another state or for elder care responsibilities. She said that decision-makers must study the problem holistically to figure out what motivates people to stay at the institution. Some want professional development opportunities, some want to grow in an organization, and some want a paycheck so that they can pursue artistic interests outside the office, among other reasons. An individual supervisor will need to get to know and figure out their employees’ motivation. This task requires intentionality and Menghini hoped that the performance management review times will present these opportunities. This task will also require training for supervisors.
The Chair raised another question from the chat regarding whether OHR flags departments which have seen a lot of departures, perhaps providing support for needed changes. Menghini said that this intervention absolutely takes place in several units, such as various healthcare partners’ clinical research vacancies, with some areas not having enough people to provide clinical trials. She said that the University’s employment structure is not really built to support clinical research support titles, leading to questions about reformulation of these positions with the System Office.
Menghini noted the experience of the Development Office which has had vacancies resulting from internal promotions, which make the turnover number appear larger. Still, this lower tier remains to be filled. In sum, Menghini said that her office is willing to do these interventions and will respond to inquiries.
The Chair welcomed Senior Work/Life Manager Jessica Pyjas to provide wellness updates and events for May. Pyjas noted that May is mental health awareness month, with many resources and different webinars and in-person events available for registration from https://hr.unc.edu/benefits/work-life/.
Pyjas praised UNC’s winners of the Governor’s Award for Excellence. The first is Tammy Samuels, from the Kenan-Flagler Center for leadership for MBA programs and alumni, who was nominated for her “work and inspiration to build stability and increase employee morale during a time of high turnover.” The second was Evelyn Cook from the School of Medicine statewide program for infection control and epidemiology, who was nominated for “her dedication and leadership over the past two and a half years during the COVID pandemic,” providing on-site and virtual assessments to over 100 long-term care facilities and developing 60 distinct training and education activities for over 6,000 healthcare workers throughout the State. The Chair thanked Pyjas for her remarks.
The Chair asked Jacob Womack to explain the concept of the consent agenda in which all committee reports and minutes are approved all at once. Items requiring discussion can be taken off the consent agenda for consideration. The Forum voted to approve Elizabeth Dubose’s motion that the consent agenda be approved with the Education & Career Development and Recognition & Awards committee reports pulled out.
Laura Pratt reported that the Education & Career Development committee had over 40 applications for the Professional Development Grants. She asked delegates to contact her if they are willing to serve as reviewers of the proposals. Also, the Carolina Family Scholarship application process needs faculty readers, Pratt said.
Finally, Pratt said that the Peer Recognition awards process needs reviewers also. All interested should contact Pratt directly. Pratt noted that she co-chairs the Recognition & Awards committee with Tiffany Carver and co-chairs the Education & Career Development committee with L.E. Alexander.
Shayna Hill said that the Chancellors’ Cup golf tournament is held every year by the UNC System Staff Assembly to raise money for the Janet B. Royster staff scholarship. This year, the tournament will be held at Finley Golf Course in Chapel Hill on September 27, 2022. She noted options to play in the tournament (requiring vacation time) or volunteer to assist (counting as work time). Volunteers should contact Hill via email.
In new business, the Forum called for nominations for the upcoming officer elections. The Chair explained how the Forum Officer elections work. Also, the Forum will elect an alternate to the UNC System Staff Assembly. All these tasks will be done at the June 8 general meeting. Officer positions open are the Forum Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, and Parliamentarian.
Keith Hines nominated Katie Musgrove for the position of Forum Chair. Laura Pratt nominated Keith Hines for Vice Chair. Shayna Hill nominated Tiffany Carver for Secretary. Rebecca Howell nominated Jacob Womack for Parliamentarian. From the chat, Bridget Ironside was nominated for Treasurer. Keith Hines nominated Laura Pratt for UNC System Staff Assembly alternate, which she accepted with the proviso that she would resign in favor of another candidate. [Joe Ormond and Shane Brogan were also nominated for this position.]
The Chair said that delegates would have the opportunity to sign up for various Forum committees at the half-day retreats on July 13th and 14th. She hoped that Jen DeNeal would resume her work managing the Zoom process for Forum officer elections in June. She hoped that other delegates would stand for election to officer positions following consultation with their supervisors.
The Chair said that the next Vice Chancellors’ representative meeting will take place Thursday, June 9th. Members will have the opportunity to sign up for the meeting and raise questions. Keith Hines noted the general expectation that delegates will attend at least two of these higher-level meetings during their term. Attendees do not have to raise questions to be present.
Jen DeNeal noted that the Carolina Blood Drive has many appointments still available for Tuesday, June 7th. She noted the critical need for blood across the nation. People can sign up to donate via redcross.org. Volunteers are also needed and welcomed for the event.
The Chair described potential formats for the Forum’s half-day retreats on July 13th and 14th. The Chair pledged to follow up on accessibility options at the Outdoor Education Center for the July 13th half-day retreat. She hoped that all could attend if possible.
Arlene Medder moved to adjourn seconded by David Bragg. There was no discussion and the meeting adjourned by acclamation at 11:29 a.m.
Matt Banks, Recording Secretary