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Employee Forum Agenda — November 4, 2009

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

I.            Call to Order

II.           Welcome Guests & Members of the Press

III.          Opening Remarks

IV.         Special Presentations

    • Special Assistants to the Chancellor Joe Templeton and Mike Patil on Carolina Counts
    • Alice Denson and Joy Turner of the Orange County Literacy Council, Ray Doyle of Facilities Services, Joey Parker and Willis Brooks of Project Literacy on Workplace Literacy

V.          Human Resources Update with Vice Chancellor Brenda Malone

VI.         Employee Presentations or Questions

VII.       October Minutes

VIII.       Old Business

IX.         New Business

X.           Stretch Time

XI.         Forum Committee Reports

  • Communications and Public Relations: Ashley Fogle/Carrie Goldsmith
    • Forum Newsletter
  • Community Affairs, Recognition, Awards and Outreach: Teena Burton
  • Compensation & Benefits:  Gina Platz
  • Education and Career Development:  Cate Cunningham/Koyah Rivera
  • Legislative Action:  Jonathan Stephenson
  • Membership & Assignments:  Aluoch Ooro
  • Staff Relations, Policies & Practices:  Marc ter Horst


XII.        Chair’s Report (Executive Committee):  Tommy Griffin

XIII.       Task Force/University Committee Reports

XIV.       Announcements/Questions

XV.        “Go Around the Room”:  A Chance for Attendees to Share the Issue Most on their Minds

XVI.        Adjournment


November 4, 2009 Employee Forum minutes


Vice Chair Jackie Overton called the meeting to order at 9:15 a.m.  She welcomed Special Assistants to the Chancellor for Planning and Initiatives Joe Templeton and Mike Patil to speak on the Carolina Counts effort.  Templeton outlined the history of the Bain report.  He noted that different constituencies have different ideas about the effort, either to reduce bureaucracy, streamline processes or some other goals.  He described ten areas:  layers, centers, compliance, facilities, energy, space, purchasing, human resources, information technology, and finance.  Each area will have a champion associated with it helping to meet certain numerical and qualitative targets.  Templeton said that all these changes will take longer than one year.   He hoped a great amount of savings will result as well as a number of tools to help areas do their jobs better.  He said that the teams overseeing change in each area will be kept to a maximum of seven people.

Ashley Fogle asked who would assemble the teams.  Templeton said that he, Patil and the area champions would assemble the teams. He said that there is no master committee, and that the oversight committee is composed of Chancellor Thorp, Vice Chancellor Mann, Senior Associate Provost Mangum and Templeton.  Catherine Cunningham asked the specific role of the champion, notably how objective the champion can be.  Templeton said that the process will ask champions to forward and support ideas while retaining decision rights.  Mike Patil said that champions would not have to be objective but would have to be fair in their work, given the millions of dollars involved.  Vice Chancellor Brenda Malone said that as the champion of human resources, she was committed to working with Templeton and Patil on all possible options unless they directly violate statute or policy.  Templeton hoped for two-way communication and a free flow of ideas.

Fogle asked through what process teams will receive input.  Templeton said that ‘representative’ is not the best word to describe the teams.  He said that the oversight committee would pick teams to relate information from the front lines to the back.  Malone noted that there are a million fabulous ideas that the Office of State Personnel will not allow as contrary to State policy.  Alan Moran asked when Carolina Counts would release the names of people serving on the teams.  Templeton said that Carolina Counts planned to post these names on the effort’s upcoming website.  He said that some teams will need customers and others will need strategic personnel.

The Forum then heard a presentation from Alice Denson and Joy Turner of the Orange County Literacy Council, Ray Doyle of Facilities Services, Joey Parker and Dr. Willis Brooks of Project Literacy on Workplace Literacy on the state of literacy services at the University.  Doyle noted that Durham Technical Community College had provided GED services to the University for the better part of two decades.  These services have been located in various places around campus, finally settling in at the Cheek-Clark building on West Cameron Avenue.

However, Durham Tech will end its services to the University as of January 1.  Instead, the Orange County Literacy Council will take over GED, English as Second Language (ESL) and basic adult education in the wake of Durham Tech’s departure.

Dr. Willis Brooks outlined how Bill Friday and Clay Thorp, the Chancellor’s brother, began Project Literacy 20 years ago.  Brooks noted that employees have various reasons for wanting to learn to read as adults, from reading the Bible to increasing computer literacy.  He hoped that the entire UNC System could replicate the efforts of Carolina in the field of adult literacy.

Alice Denson noted that the Orange County Literacy Council hoped to fulfill three goals in serving at Carolina:  a seamless transition, an enhancement of the program and growth of the program to meet existing needs.

Joy Turner said that the Literacy Council will continue holding meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings as well as Friday mornings.  The Council will use initial sessions to evaluate students and will continue to use Durham Tech’s system of records and assessments.  Recruitment for the sessions will take place mainly by word of mouth, Ray Doyle said, with over 700 Facilities Services employees reached through the periodic asbestos awareness training.

In response to a question about services for family members, Denson said that other services are available for children in the area.  Plans for a third shift of literacy training will depend on volunteer participation.  Dr. Brooks noted that few companies allow their employees literacy training on work time like Carolina does.

Vice Chancellor Brenda Malone presented the Forum’s customary human resources update.  She noted that the theme of this year’s employee appreciation event was “You Make the Difference.”  She said it was important for the University to show appreciation in this difficult year.  She asked Forum members for feedback on the event.  Jackie Overton noted comments seeking more hand sanitizer on the site.  Nancy English asked for more adult-type games.  Catherine Cunningham suggested bringing in a massage therapist.  Amy Preble suggested healthy food options such as fresh fruit.  Faith Thompson suggested more signs directing people to the Great Hall for the event.

Associate Vice Chancellor Matt Brody noted that a town hall would take place November 9 on the ERP process.  The ERP process is in its ramp up stage and is just now designating internal service personnel as well as posting and hiring for other positions.  Carolina will work with NC State University to try to leverage NCSU’s expertise.

The Forum then took a five minute stretch break.

Amy Preble of the Staff Relations, Policies and Practices committee noted that group had worked on revisions to the SPA grievance process.  The committee will present its suggestions to the Forum Executive Committee in a couple of weeks.  Pam Roberts asked if Preble could send a copy of the suggestions to the Forum listserv.  Preble noted that one of the suggestions is to have the ombuds office choose panelists rather than Human Resources.

The Chair called for a motion to approve the October meeting minutes.  Faith Thompson made this motion seconded by Myra Quick.  The motion was approved by acclamation.

A representative of the Community Affairs, Recognition and Awards committee said that group had ordered 48 umbrellas and 300 bags for the Unsung Heels award, but had received only 6 awardees.  The committee will use the remainder for the Peer Recognition award.

The Compensation and Benefits committee had not met.  Cate Cunningham said that the Education and Career Development will meet to work on a draft for the adult literacy group.  The Legislative Affairs committee did not meet.  Myra Quick said that the Membership and Assignments committee will meet November 6.

Amy Preble reported from the University wellness committee that the Great American Smokeout will occur at the end of the month.  She noted concerns about the State health plan and second hand smoke affecting people’s qualification for various plans.  The Chair invited delegates to attend a fundraiser for EmPowerment on Thursday, November 12 from 5:30-8:30 p.m.

In the absence of further discussion, the meeting adjourned at 10:52 a.m.


Respectfully submitted,



Matt Banks, Recording Secretary

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