Agenda — November 6, 2002
9:30 a.m.—-Meeting, Wilson Library Assembly Room
I. Call to Order
II. Welcome Guests & Members of the Press; Presentation of Forum Pins and Swearing in of Newly Elected Forum Delagates and Alternates
III. Opening Remarks
· Chancellor James Moeser
VI. Special Presentations
· Ray DuBose on UNC Water Conservation
V. Employee Presentations or Questions
VI. Human Resources Update
· Laurie Charest, Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources
VII. Stretch Time 6
VIII. Approval of Minutes of the October 2, 2002 meeting P
IX. Old Business
X. New Business
· Resolution 02-09, Again Seeking a Seat for the Forum Chair on the UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees (1st Reading)
· Speeches from Forum Officer Candidates and their Nominators
Þ Forum Chair: Tommy Griffin
Þ Forum Vice Chair: Jim Bennett & Mike Hawkins
Þ Forum Secretary: Joanne Kucharski
X. Forum Committee Reports
· Career Development: Fred Jordan
· Communications: Linda Collins
Þ Forum Newsletter
· Employee Presentations: Gary Lloyd
· Nominating: Kay Teague
Þ Forum Elections
· Orientation: Joan Ferguson/Barbara Logue
· Personnel Issues: Mary Ann Vacheron
· Recognition and Awards: Shirley Hart/Sylvia White
· University Committee Assignments: Lee Edmark
XI. Chair’s Report (Executive Committee): Tommy Griffin
XII. Task Force/University Committee Reports
· Advisory Committee on Transportation— Tommy Griffin
· Personnel Flexibility Study Committee—John Heuer
P = Included in Agenda Packet
November 6, 2002
Wilson Library Assembly Room
Mary Ann Vacheron
“ = Ex-Officio
Chair Tommy Griffin called the meeting to order at 9:33 a.m. and welcomed all guests. He also welcomed Chancellor Moeser to provide opening remarks. Finally, he asked the Forum’s incoming Delagates to join him in the swearing in of new Delagates. These Delagates then recited the Forum oath and received their Forum pins.
Chancellor Moeser congratulated the Forum’s newly elected Delagates. He noted that the recent elections could change how the University fares budgetarily, particularly given the fluid status of the House elections.
Moeser noted that Nancy Davis had handed out copies of a slide presentation to the Board of Trustees regarding the University’s measures of excellence. This presentation outlined specific measures that the University would use in its goal of becoming the leading public university in America. Its peers in this enterprise include UCLA, Cal-Berkeley, the University of Michigan, and the University of Virginia. Moeser said that this was the first opportunity he had to share the presentation with staff members. He asked all to provide suggestions on how to improve the document before the Board’s next meeting November 20.
Moeser recalled that the Board had asked how the University knows that the $1.8 billion it will raise for the Carolina First campaign would go towards the correct University priorities. He said that the measures endorsed by US News & World Report tended to favor private universities holding deep endowments and very high tuition. In the US News & World Report rankings, only one public university received a rank in the magazine’s top 20.
At Carolina, the University’s goal is to become the leading public university in America. Moeser said that the University is deeply committed to the public university concept, in maintaining its access and commitment to the people of North Carolina. He said that the University had adopted the goal of leading, rather than number one or best, to downplay any competition implied with other fine campuses across the nation.
Being a leading university implies moral and ethical leadership, as well as standing at the cutting edge of teaching and research. He noted that, in the interests of parents and students, the University was the first to do away with binding early admission. The early admissions process had led to a pool of students less diverse, more affluent, and less gifted than regular admissions. In addition, the University had defended the campus’ academic freedom in the freshman reading program, despite a hostile reaction from the nation’s right wing. This debate had equated to defending the department of religious studies, in effect defending the entire concept of studying religion from a standpoint of academic detachment.
Moeser noted that the proposed measures of excellence would place more faculty in front of smaller groups of students, more financial accessibility for students, and more national merit scholars choosing Carolina. He noted that a sign of Carolina’s vigor was its recruitment of high-achieving students, regardless of their financial ability to attend. He said that freshman and sophomore retention rates and 4-, 5- and 6-year graduation rates provide other measures of quality, in addition to participation in undergraduate research, internships, honors classes, and competition for post-graduate awards such as the Truman, Rhodes, Churchill and Fulbright scholarships.
The second slide of the presentation addressed graduate and professional education from the same point of view of program quality. The strength of Carolina’s faculty and its intellectual capital are other important measures, determined in one way by competition for membership in selective national academies such as the Institute of Medicine and Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters. Beyond this measure, the University also looks at total external funds won for research and project creation and monetary support per faculty full time equivalent as measures of quality.
In this area, the University has done very well, winning $480 million in peer faculty research, compared with $600 million won by the University of Wisconsin, a campus with twice as many faculty and students. In the comparison of money won per full time faculty equivalent, the University competes extremely well with much larger universities.
Other measures of quality include the number of post-doctorate appointments, the ranking of campus libraries and the number of intellectual property disclosures and patents. These latter two measures rank where the University stands with its peers and the robustness of intellectual property transfer into the national economy, respectively.
From a public service standpoint, the University measures the number of positions created by external grants and contracts. In this respect, the University stands very strong, employing 843 people in counties across the State. The University also contributes to the State through the number of businesses created under its auspices which create their own jobs and propel the economy. Moeser noted the critical role that Carolina plays in the State’s economy.
The University also serves the State in the number of graduates who work in professional service capacities, the number of client-patient contacts, the number of service learning contracts, the measure of staff, faculty and students who volunteer for public service, and the number of appointments to internal service panels. The University’s recent focus on international issues will diversity this work.
On the staff side, the University measures its quality by the number who participate in University development activities, the number of tuition waivers requested, and the number of staff participating in national professional and educational societies and boards. These indicators help the University find where and how staff contributes to the substance of excellence at Carolina.
Moeser noted that financial indicators of health at Carolina include the University’s bond rating, its salaries and benefits related to market averages, the performance of its financial portfolio, its endowment, annual gifts to same, its number of endowed professorships and its investment performance.
One physical measure of Carolina’s quality comes from the deferred maintenance backlog, something that the campus continues to address given the percentage of its 211 buildings constructed in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Moeser said that the University would use these measures to track where Carolina stands in relation to its peers, and would issue a report card every year to judge its progress. While other universities might not embrace one or another of these measures, all of these issues hold importance to the University.
In addition, Moeser noted the intangible components of quality here on campus in Carolina’s culture and climate. He said that the warm congenial atmosphere here deserves attention. Moeser added that this campus was the only one in which he worked that has maintained positive morale in light of hard times brought on by budget cuts and absent salary increases. He said that faculty, staff, students and alumni’s love of Carolina was important to its culture and must be nurtured and preserved. While there is no way to track and measure this quality, the University must pay attention to this factor.
Moeser welcomed suggestions on how to make these measures more meaningful. On the subject of salaries, he noted a recent letter that he had sent to President Broad stating that staff and faculty salaries must be the number one priority in the next legislative session. He said that the University must think creatively about how to augment inadequate benefits packages and to deal with the cost of health care. He said that the University must be aggressive and vigorous in advancing these issues in the next legislative session. He said that other chancellors have followed the lead and perspective of this campus in asking the President’s Office for help to increase staff salaries, although the UNC System has no jurisdiction in this area. The University will continue to press this concern.
Moeser noted that the Daily Tar Heel had reported an anticipated 5% cut in the campus budget, with a little more in some sectors. The General Assembly had decreed 3% in efficiency cuts with an additional 2% one-time reduction. However, the University has prepared itself for these cuts as well as it could. Other states face much more difficult problems. At the University of Virginia, that campus will undergo a 15% cut as well as mid-year tuition increases. Only a few states have not faced severe budget shortfalls this year. In North Carolina, the State has cut taxes in plush years while increasing spending. In the next session of the General Assembly, the University must deal with revenues and a serious budget situation. Moeser said that this year’s budget was a temporary fix to a much more systemic problem.
In that light, Moeser urged Employees to think about our neighbors and community across the State who are unemployed this year. Last year, Employees at UNC-Chapel Hill contributed over $1 million to the State Employees’ Combined Campaign, the largest single contributor by far, showing tremendous compassion for those in need. This year, the University has extended its campaign by three weeks asking Employees to contribute if they have not already.
Moeser recalled an e-mail from a student who had turned down a scholarship because of his good financial situation, then found that his father had been laid off and his mother contracted breast cancer. He said that stories like this one are occurring all across the State. Employees interested in contributing to the Combined Campaign should contact their local representative or Bob Schreiner at 6-3012.
Finally, Moeser said that the University will work to show its appreciation to staff and faculty by holding a social event from 2-4 p.m. in the brick plaza outside the new student union. He said that the University will hold the event to thank campus staff and faculty for all that they do, in spite of the lack of salary increase. He noted that the Bull’s Head Bookstore will offer a 35% discount for that day only. He invited everyone to come out on Friday, November 8 and thanked TIAA-Cref for providing funding for the event.
Moeser then invited questions from the Forum. Tom Arnel asked how the University measures freshman retention rates. Moeser said that the University enjoys an 85% retention rate through the first and second year. He said that at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, that campus lost one in four first-year students. Carolina’s high retention rate signaled that the campus was admitting students who are well-prepared and academically able.
Katherine Graves suggested that the University’s performance measures include its athletic performance. Moeser said that he did not want to overemphasize this point, but he lauded that the University’s goal of winning the Sears Cup for overall athletic performance. He noted that Carolina also has one of the nation’s leading tutoring programs and should recognize this fact. He appreciated this suggestion.
Chuck Brink suggested that the University conduct a satisfaction survey for students, faculty and staff as one of its performance measures. Moeser said that he would take this idea under advisement.
John Heuer noted that the University System conducts biennial tests of student satisfaction rates in a number of areas, including orientation and counseling. He said that an evaluation of staff satisfaction could follow a similar path. Moeser thanked the Forum for its very good suggestions.
The Chair encouraged Forum members to study the materials presented and to ponder additional suggestions. He thanked Moeser for his time and openness regarding the University’s measures of performance.
The Chair invited Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources Laurie Charest to present the Forum’s customary Human Resources update. Charest welcomed the Forum’s new Delegates. She noted that the University was approaching the end of its North Carolina Flex enrollment period. She noted that people in the flexible spending account program must re-enroll every year by Friday, November 8. Employees in dental and visual programs are not affected.
Charest noted that the University had agreed to serve as a pilot area for a career banding program. This program would involve a smaller number of broader classifications for jobs as opposed to the current system. The areas of law enforcement and information technology will be the areas under study, and staff overseeing these areas will undergo two weeks of training in preparation for the pilot. The University did not have a choice as to which areas are under study. Charest hoped to have more information about the timeline of the project soon.
Finally, Charest reminded the Forum about the faculty and staff appreciation event Friday, November 8 from 2-4 p.m. She said that this day would be a great opportunity to start holiday shopping at the Bull’s Head.
Mary Ann Vacheron asked if broad-banding would help Employees at the top of their salary range. Charest said that salary ranges still exist in broadband systems. She hoped that the ranges would be set to the market since salary ranges are not where they need to be in many cases. Unfortunately, the Office of State Personnel has not recognized local market pressures in establishing salary ranges. Employees still at the maximum of their ranges would still be stuck under the broad-banding system, but Charest had not seen the new numbers associated with the broad-banded categories.
The Chair called for a motion to approve the minutes of the October meeting. Keith Fogleman made this motion, seconded by Rob Sadler. The minutes were approved by acclamation.
As there was no old business, the Chair moved on to new business, notably resolution 02-09 (?) seeking a seat on the Board of Trustees for the Forum Chair. The Chair noted that the Forum had been denied a seat on the Board through a recent vote, but did not have an opportunity to present its case to the Board as was afforded the faculty. He asked the Forum to approve the resolution quickly in order to obtain a proper hearing. The Chair then read the resolution.
Rob Sadler noted that the last paragraph of the resolution asked the Board of Trustees to provide a non-voting seat. He asked if the Chair of the Forum could have an opportunity to present viewpoints to the Board aside from having a Board seat. He suggested just requesting representation in Board discussions as a start, maybe later on moving to obtaining a non-voting seat. Katherine Graves agreed that this was a good idea.
Mike Hawkins moved to change the wording to “provide representation on the Board,” leaving discussion open to anything the Forum can get. Sadler seconded this motion. Lee Edmark asked if the Board has a gallery in which the Forum Chair can attend. The Chair said that the Board does maintain a gallery but visitors do not have a chance to say anything. Charest said that all Board meetings are public meetings, but the agendas are usually very full. The Chair said that he did all he could to make sure the Forum received a hearing, but noted that the faculty had a chance to make their case before a Board subcommittee but the Forum did not. Keith Fogleman was not surprised at this disparity. Chris Koltz asked if the Forum did not have a seat, would it still have representation. The Chair said that the Forum needs an opportunity to speak at every meeting.
An Employee asked if the students have a seat on the Board and the Chair said that the Student Body President holds a voting seat. Fogleman asked if the Board gave a reason for its refusal and the Chair said that it did not provide a reason. Graves asked how many Board members voted against the Forum’s proposal and the Chair said that all voted against. Graves asked if the Forum could court the votes of other Board members. The Chair said that he did court their votes with everything but flowers and candy.
Hawkins called for a vote on the proposed amendment. This motion was approved by acclamation. Jim Bennett then moved to suspend the rules and forego a second reading. Sadler seconded this motion. Twenty-nine voted to suspend the rules with nine opposed, and the motion to suspend the rules and consider the resolution on second reading was approved.
Graves said that Employees should attend the relevant Board meeting the next time the issue is discussed. Fogleman said that he wanted an answer as to why the Board did not approve the proposal. Sadler moved that the resolution be approved on second reading, seconded by Hawkins. The motion was approved by acclamation. The Chair said that he would send the resolution forward to the Chancellor.
The Chair noted that resolution 02-10 concerning the use of tuition increases for staff salaries was before the Forum. He said that the tuition task force would make a decision on the use of tuition increase monies at its November 14 meeting, and so asked the Forum to take action on the resolution at that meeting. He then read the resolution.
Sadler asked to whom the resolution would be sent, and the Chair said that the resolution would go to the Chancellor and the task force committee on campus based tuition increases. Mary Ann Vacheron questioned the appropriateness of writing the resolution without consultation from the main body of Delegates. She did not understand the urgency of the resolution and wanted more information about its creation, particularly how much of the proposed tuition increase would be earmarked for faculty increases. She thought that tuition increases hurt the working class the most and thought that the University should find other sources of funds beyond tuition increases.
Sadler thought that increasing tuition to provide for staff salaries would create a very negative feeling among students. He did not think that the University should ask students to provide for staff when the State needs to fulfill its responsibility in this area. He thought that by removing all mention of tuition the resolution would be more effective and present a broader statement. Graves said that the State decides where the money goes and so State Employees should address their concerns to where the decisions are made. Vacheron said that she did not think that the University or the State should put this need on the back of students.
Hawkins said that he did not agree with the resolution’s wording. He realized that a vote on tuition would come, and he was uncertain as to how to modify it. He noted that the University has many sources of funding, with only 20-40% of its budget coming from State sources. He thought that the time had come to ask tough questions and request new consideration. He suggested that the Forum consider tuition increases as a means towards providing staff salary increases. He asked how tuition increases would impact State employees at other universities.
The Chair said that Appalachian State University had approved a similar resolution last year, but its implementation was put on hold due to the economy. He said that developments in the task force had led him to believe that tuition would go up this year one way or another, and that staff might as well ask for assistance with its very real compensation issues since so many other interests were lining up for their share. Graves asked if the Chair meant to ask for the staff’s rightful piece of the pie or to raise tuition. The Chair said that the Forum should ask for its share of a tuition increase if the University meant to raise tuition in any case. He said that on the committee, no one but Nancy Suttenfield had made the case for using tuition increases to assist staff salaries. All other committee members had talked about using tuition increase monies to compensate and retain faculty.
An Employee asked how the University would fund staff increases, as an addition to set salaries or some other method from the University. The Chair said that the Forum asked the State to fund generally needed salary increases, but the money from the tuition increases would go into in-range salary adjustments. Graves asked what affect the Legislature would have on tuition. The Chair said that any move by the Board of Governors on tuition would be approved by the Legislature.
Amy Gorely also desired more information. She had a question about the fourth paragraph. Diane O’Connor thought that the resolution dealt with two issues, the endorsement of a tuition increase for students and an agreement that the Legislature should do more for State employees. She noted that the State could do more for the State retirement fund.
Sadler suggested that the Forum would not come to a conclusion of its discussion and so should wait for more information on money raised from a potential increase and the percentage of money to be awarded to staff. He thought that the Forum could vote on the issue via e-mail. It was pointed out that the Forum could only take action in formal session.
The Chair noted that of the 6,200 SPA Employees, 4,000 are said to be eligible for in-range salary increases. He said that the University would use tuition increase monies to fund in-range salary adjustments in this plan. Chris Koltz said that he did not want staff depicted as asking for a handout from students, and said that he did not want to make a car payment with their money. He said that if Nancy Suttenfield believes in this idea, she should run with it and take the flak, not the Forum. He did not think that the Forum should rush into the idea.
Vacheron asked why the resolution writer had put in that the provision of low tuition provides an inequitable benefit for upper-income families. She noted that Senator Basnight had recently proposed creating a tuition increase schedule based on financial ability, forcing wealthier parents to pay more for tuition. The Chair said that as part of the proposed increase, 40% of the monies raised would go to financial aid with the rest going to faculty raises and administrative costs. Fogleman said that if tuition is bound to go up regardless, the University should charge out-of-state students who come here for a relatively cheaper education and then leave afterwards.
Hawkins proposed eliminating some of the other issues mentioned and setting some of the tuition increase monies aside for staff salaries. He noted the Chair’s desire to go to the next tuition task force meeting with some resolution from the Forum. Mary Johnson noted that the University had received $800 million in grants, and asked if the University could take 10% of this money and apply it to staff salaries. Graves said that this money is specifically designated for particular use. Johnson noted the disparity in faculty saying they cannot teach for $90,000 a year when staff struggle to work for $20-25,000 a year.
Graves moved to table the resolution. Sadler said that the Executive Committee could discuss the resolution further to come up with a resolution the Forum could approve. Koltz asked if the Executive Committee would have the final say in the matter, and the Chair said that the Forum would have the final say. Collins seconded Graves’ motion.
Sadler proposed the Forum call an emergency meeting to discuss the resolution, but the Chair said that time pressures would not allow such a meeting before the November 14 task force meeting. He said that he needed to have a resolution ready in the next couple of days, and asked for an up or down vote on the resolution. Graves suggested asking Suttenfield to carry the idea forward, but the Chair noted the difficulty of asking Suttenfield to do this without formal support. He said that if the Forum did not send a strong vote, there was no chance the task force would include the staff component.
Graves asked what would happen if the task force voted down the increase. The Chair said the Forum must ask for something in order to make something happen. Graves said that the Legislature would have to approve any change. She worried about whether the idea would receive their sanction.
Georgeann Bissett suggested the Forum work further on the resolution’s language for the time remaining, given the importance of the issue and the time pressures.
Fred Jordan called the question. An Employee noted the Forum could send the issue to the Executive Committee. Andrew Maglione said that the Forum could set an emergency meeting for Friday morning. Corrie Mims asked if the Executive Committee considered the issue, would the Forum get to vote on the proposal again. The Chair said that it would, but only two weeks after the task force made its decision. Sadler suggested an electronic vote. Gorely asked if the task force would consider more than tuition increases, and the Chair said that the task force dealt only with campus-based tuition increases and would finish its work by November 28.
The Chair said that students must understand that it takes funds to operate the University. He understood the problems these students face as he has two children in college right now. Still, he felt willing to pay the additional money. He further said that tuition would go up this year whether the Forum voted for the resolution or not. He asked the Forum whether it felt staff deserved a share of this money, or not.
The Forum voted on the motion to table the resolution. Fifteen voted for, and 28 voted against. The motion was defeated.
The Forum moved on to discussion of the resolution and how to reword it. The Chair proposed that the Forum seek to simplify the resolution, saying only that if the University decides to raise tuition, the Forum asks that staff salary increases receive a portion of these monies.
Katherine Graves moved that the Forum keep the first two paragraphs, then eliminate the rest of the “whereas” clauses. She said that the Forum should say that it requests 15% of all tuition increase monies go to staff salary increases. Hawkins seconded this motion. Vacheron said that she did not understand the reasoning behind a 15% increase, and Bennett concurred that he did not feel he had enough information. The Chair said that the University would need $13 million to provide all eligible Employees with in-range salary adjustments.
Tom Rhyne moved to call the question and end discussion of Graves’ motion. This motion failed. Sadler proposed that the Forum change its wording to ask for $13 million for the in-range adjustments. Graves revised her previous motion, saying that asking for a specific percentage of the tuition increases might set the Forum up for failure. She chose to remove the percentage specified from the last paragraph. The Chair agreed that the Forum should simply ask to be included in the division of funds available.
Sadler offered a friendly amendment to Graves’ motion that the Forum reinsert all of the removed “whereas” paragraphs, to add to the Forum’s reasoning. Graves refused to accept Sadler’s friendly amendment.
The Forum voted on Graves’ motion to revise the resolution. Thirty-seven voted in favor, and six voted against. The motion was approved. Then, the Forum voted to accept the resolution on second reading, a motion made by Sadler and seconded by Collins. The motion was approved by a vote of 35 to 8. The Chair said that he would pass on the resolution to the Chancellor and his relevant designees.
At this point, the Forum took a five minute break.
Secretary Kay Teague opened the nominations for Forum Chair. She nominated Tommy Griffin to serve a second term as Chair, noting that he had been very visible and active on behalf of staff interests. Griffin said that he was running for the second term to continue his work for staff. He praised the many Forum committee chairs for their good work, in addition to Vice Chair Gary Lloyd and Secretary Kay Teague. He had worked to convince important people about the needs and work of staff, and bit by bit the University’s attention has begun to turn the Forum’s way. He asked voters to remember him when voting takes place in December.
Mary Ann Vacheron rose to nominate Jim Bennett for the office of Vice Chair. She said that Bennett had worked for the University 27 years and had been a valuable resource as co-chair of the Personnel Issues committee in discussions with University leaders about the lack of raises, increases in parking and health costs, and lack of appreciation for staff. He had participated in meetings with the Provost and shown a strong commitment to Employee concerns. He had also participated in the Personnel Issues committee sponsorship of Senators Howard Lee and Ellie Kinnaird before the Forum this month. Vacheron said that Bennett would represent the Forum in manner which would make Employees proud.
Bennett thanked Vacheron for her introduction, and for her hard work on the Personnel Issues committee. He had worked for Administrative Information Services and its previous name, Administration Data Processing during his 27 years. He had worked with many business applications in finance, alumni, library circulation and continuing education. He has served on the Forum Nominating committee and its Personnel Issues committee. The latter, in particular, deals with many things of concern to Employees including low morale, parking, health insurance and personnel flexibility. Recently, he had suggested that Provost Shelton become a regular figure at these meetings. He thought that the Forum had made great progress in recent years and he hoped to continue this progress as Vice Chair.
Lee Edmark introduced Mike Hawkins, the second candidate for Vice Chair. Hawkins had worked at the University for 22 years, beginning as a clerk-typist in the early 1980s then advancing into a career in information technology. He left UNC to participate in several IT positions, then returned to the University in the late 1980s. He today is an associate director for ATN, overseeing thousands of devices. He has also been the immediate past chair of SEANC District 25.
Hawkins has served as chair of SEANC’s collective bargaining subcommittee, a group seeking stronger negotiation status for State Employees in the law. He had completed the University’s Management Development Program and his wife also is a 28 year Employee. He now starts his second term on the Forum.
Hawkins thanked Edmark for the nomination, and said that he hopes to communicate to members issues of importance to help State Employees. He pledged to serve in a professional manner while not ignoring the hard issues facing staff. In the next legislative session, the General Assembly will take up the matter of removing the University System from the dictates of the Office of State Personnel. The University’s study committee had sent forward a report on personnel flexibility along with its minority report. Hawkins said that removing the University from State protections would hurt campus staff. He hoped that the Forum would go on record as opposing any loss of Employee rights under the personnel flexibility initiative.
Hawkins hoped to enter a process of communication whereby the Forum educated itself in the area of collective bargaining. He had served SEANC as Chair and worked to educate Employees about this topic. Hawkins noted that 42 states in the nation allow their employees to determine the conditions of their employment through collective bargaining. He believed this path would be best for all North Carolina’s public employees and for us at UNC.
Hawkins recalled Kay Hovious’ statement that it was time for the Forum to show tough love, and Senator Kinnaird’s statement that the time has come for collective bargaining in North Carolina. He asked members to vote for him for Vice Chair.
Lauren Mangili nominated past Forum Chair Joanne Kucharski for the position of Forum secretary. Mangili said that Kucharski had made every effort to serve the Forum and to represent Employees in a number of concerns, including transit and adverse weather policy. She said that Kucharski was dedicated to the University and all Employees.
Kucharski wished the Forum good morning and noted that she did not expect to stand before the Forum today. She has served at the University 29 years, and had explored early retirement options when the idea was proposed. She has decided to serve her remaining months engaged in campus initiatives. She had been very involved in campus issues until recently, and has decided to move back into things. She said that it was easy to love the campus but she had found it difficult to find things to like about it. She did not like fighting for healthy air quality and against construction problems. She did not like to see the campus divided into haves and have-nots, and did not like having vehicles accost her for a parking space when she leaves at 5 p.m. She did not like having her department charged for CCI machines while academic departments receive their computers free of charge. She did not like being charged for infrastructure, something on which that business managers have taken some big hits.
Kucharski did not like incentives for some becoming disincentives for others. She believed that the University’s Human Resources department had done a good job with health, safety and child care. She said that all Employees should expect a professional quality of life and said that sustainability was meaningless unless all Employees are sustained. She noted that some Employees are working to support more than one full time employment position.
The Chair thanked all candidates for agreeing to run for office. He then turned over the program to Ray DuBose, director of energy services, to discuss water conservation initiatives. DuBose said that the importance of water conservation had not diminished with the recent rains. He said that the University had known for years about the possibility of water crises. He noted that Tommy Griffin had done a super job for the HVAC department and for the Forum. He said that the recent drought was the worst in recorded history and had led to mandatory restrictions for the Towns of Chapel Hill and Carrboro.
DuBose showed a graph depicting the low amount of water supply in local reservoirs. The last time the reservoirs were full was in June 2001. The University moved to stage two restrictions in August after the drought of June and July. In stage 2 restrictions, the University had to submit an irrigation scheme equivalent to once per week.
On October 18, the Governor issued an executive order specifying a drought across the State. The University shrunk its water usage by a considerable amount, approaching 25%, in the period of the water emergency. The University’s emergency response committee began September 6, chaired by Nancy Suttenfield. The committee worked to reduce water consumption by 25% over the previous year, a goal that is more difficult in the winter months due to the lack of irrigation. Utility use composes about one-third of all water use, about 281 million gallons total. The University looked to its building staff to help cut back use, by reducing heating and cooling usage in areas not occupied on nights and weekends. Staff worked to shut off leaks in different buildings.
Also, Energy Services also worked to reduce cogeneration facility water usage and to recycle lab cooling water, saving 3.5 million gallons a year. It has looked at effluent waste water treatment, and reducing air conditioning use and installation of closed loop systems. Behavior modification is more difficult, but Energy Services staff have worked to publicize reduced water usage in the dorms and buildings.
DuBose thanked Cindy Shea for her help in assembling the water conservation plan. He had also worked with Scott Ragland and Mike McFarland of News Services. He said that people who discover water leaks should contact 2-3456 to let others know. DuBose noted that the dining halls had turned to paper and styrofoam plates to save over 100,000 gallons of water a week. Unfortunately, this practice adds mountains of styrofoam to the landfills, and costs around $5,000 a week. So, dining services has gone back to dishes.
The dormitories are participating in Water Wars, a competition to see which residence hall can use the least amount of water. Energy Services has purchased around 300 low-water toilets which it will install in the next few months. Energy Services is also advertising the need to reduce water usage through the Every Drop Counts campaign.
A delegate asked whether departments or Energy Services would pay for repair services. DuBose said that repairs would come out of steam and water budget, but repairmen would not respond without a customer ID number. Charges would come from receipts supported and would be judged on a case by case basis.
Tom Rhyne suggested that the University work to collect rainwater from the tops of buildings to supplement water from OWASA. DuBose said that the University master plan contains a storm-water aspect in which the University is working to maintain quality discharge. The University is committed not to increase the amount of discharge resulting from the increase in campus construction. The Ehringhaus development is one example of this water conservation.
Katherine Graves proposed that the University change to automatic electrical faucets to save money. The Chair said that these exist already in some buildings. Rhyne said that faucets cost around $200 each.
Given the late hour, the Forum agreed to adjourn by acclamation at 12:24 p.m.
Matt Banks, Recording Secretary