Skip to main content

November 7, 2018

UNC-Chapel Hill Employee Forum

Hitchcock Multipurpose Room, Sonja H. Stone Center

NOTE:  This is a draft agenda and is subject to change without notice.

I. Call to Order & Opening Remarks—Chair Shayna Hill (9:15 a.m. – 9:25 a.m.)

  • Welcome to Guests & Members of the Press

II. Special Presentations (9:25 a.m. – 10:05 a.m.)

  • Rick Wernoski, Sr. Vice Provost for Business Operations, on the Operational Excellence Project
  • Anna Wu, Gordon Merklein, Evan Yassky, and Jill Coleman on New Draft of Campus Master Plan

III. Human Resources Update (10:05 a.m. – 10:35 a.m.)

  • Vice Chancellor for Workforce Strategy, Equity and Engagement Felicia Washington
  • Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources Linc Butler

IV. Consent Agenda (10:35 a.m. – 10:55 a.m.)

V. Old Business (10:55 a.m. – 11:05 a.m.)

VI. New Business (11:05 a.m. – 11:25 a.m.)

VII. Announcements/Questions (11:25 -11:30 a.m.)

VIII. Adjournment


November 7, 2018 UNC-Chapel Hill Employee Forum Minutes

Attending:  Darren Abrecht, Emma Beckham, Dzenita Blackwell, Tiffany Carver, Timothy Carville, Chrissy Greenberg, Lori Haight, Shayna Hill, James Holman, Linda Holst, Lakethia Jeffries, Mary King, Katie Lewis, Karlina Matthews, Jeff McQueen, Arlene Medder, Alan Moran, Kadejah Murray, Katie Musgrove, Hoi Ning Ngai, Jim Potts, Laura Pratt, Kathy Ramsey, Cheryl Siler-Jones, Diamond Smith, James Stamey, Rose Thorp

Absent (Excused):  Kathy Allen, Rich Brandenburg, Regina D’Uva, Karen Gilliam, Betty Ann Morgan, Greg Smith, Rich Wright

Chair Shayna Hill called the meeting to order at 9:15 a.m.  She was pleased to welcome Senior Vice Provost for Business Operations Rick Wernoski to speak on the Carolina Excellence Initiative.  Wernoski noted five main differences from prior efforts at reform:  1) no presupposition of solutions, 2) not an effort to create cost savings, 3) engagement from the entire Carolina community, 4) demonstration of possible early impact, and 5) a desire to change the culture and obtain “best in class” results.  Wernoski noted the many hours of meetings his team has conducted with various decision-makers throughout campus.  He said that the Initiative will not take an incremental approach but will try to decide the desired impact and redesign the process based on gleaned information.

Wernoski hoped that the Initiative’s listening tours would be complete by the holidays.  He noted the process by which information is prioritized and spun out through redesign teams in pilot areas.  He said that approximately 70-80 people per unit are engaged in the design team for these reforms.  He praised the enthusiasm of campus leaders and central staff serving on the functional teams, which were inspired by Provost Robert Blouin.  He noted that the Forum Chair Shayna Hill has served on the steering committee and helped drive unit redesigns.

Chrissie Greenberg asked about resolving issues mutual to the financial and human resources sides of the University for international business purposes.  Wernoski said that this question is one of many tasks ahead on a long list.  He said that the Initiative will prioritize the accounting impact of area redesigns.  Greenberg asked about prospects for introducing a travel and entertainment card to simplify accounting.  Wernoski said that this area has been a pain point for faculty and staff required to use their own money for these expenses while travelling on University business.  He said that the Initiative will seek a “best in class” solution, but he could not answer Greenberg’s question definitively yet.  He said that there are no solutions determined as the Initiative continues its work to build teams.  Wernoski hopes to launch a Human Resources hiring process pilot early in 2019.

Arlene Medder asked if departments currently using Shared Services will be included in Initiative redesigns.  Wernoski said that his team has met with centers and institutes and has looked at best practices in these areas.  Kathy Ramsey asked about staff representation on the various redesign steering committees.  Wernoski noted the Chair’s presence on many of these committees.  Susan Kellogg observed that no other line staff are represented in these groups.  The Chair observed a commitment to make sure staff are heard as the Initiative steering committee operationalizes changes under discussion.  Wernoski said that the Initiative must involve staff from all levels of the University.

Alan Moran asked how the Initiative plans to overcome managerial and supervisory entrenchment.  Kellogg said that the Provost has emphasized that the Initiative create effective change at the University.  She did not see entrenchment in recent meetings, but rather general participation and eagerness to make positive change happen.

The Chair welcomed Associate Vice Chancellor Anna Wu to speak on updates to the University Master Plan following a May presentation to the Board of Trustees.  Wu said that following meetings with campus groups, the final plan will go to the Board of Trustees for approval in January 2019.  She said that the Chancellor’s Strategic Framework has served as the framework for transformation of campus infrastructure.  Wu outlined definitions of the Master Plan as related to the Carolina Blueprint related to pillars, strategic initiatives and operational changes large and small.  In particular, the Master Plan will address how the campus welcomes visitors, the creation of connections into convergences, and establishment of area hubs.

Wu said that UNC-Chapel Hill is a very mature campus that needs renewal and modernization.  She noted that opportunities for change include the struggle to renew the University’s many older buildings.  She said that this Master Plan is not a plan for expansion but instead will steward and modernize the campus’ building stock.  She said that the Housing Master Plan must enrich campus dormitories to meet the challenge of the local market.

Wu said that the University will need to demolish certain buildings such as the Odum Village area to redevelop these areas.  She said that new initiatives, such as Arts Everywhere, have highlighted areas that visitors experience when first arriving on campus. Other examples are changes to Porthole Alley and the Odum Village transit stop.  Regional transit needs will also affect the campus points of welcome.  Wu said that campus landscaping will improve through minor investments across campus.

Regarding connections, Wu said that these will extend through the open space and pedestrian network overlaying parking connections and streets.  She did not want to imply that the University will build new roads but will rather construct new connections between areas.  The way connecting Hardin Drive to Medical Drive for students and clinicians is one area of possible improvement.

Regarding hubs, Wu said that the campus hopes to find ways to bring multiple uses into buildings.  She cited changes at the Student Support building and the Morrison Art studio as opportunities for creating different uses of available space short of wholesale renewals.  Wu noted that on South Campus, the Odum Village units’ demolition will lead to mixed unit development, perhaps with retail or business partnership additions to make the area a 24/7 environment for living and working.

Wu said that Mason Farm, the Friday Center and the Carolina North tracts now are possible locations for light rail stops.  She said that the main campus will need to rectify its deficit in recreation fields for students.

Wu offered to take questions.  The Chair asked how likely light rail will occur in the Triangle.  Wu noted the real need for regional transit in the area.  Alan Moran asked if development must be dependent on light rail.  Wu said that there will always be a need for multimodal residential connections.

Vice Chancellor Felicia Washington said that Workforce Strategy, Equity and Engagement had held two presentations on the Carolina Women in Business theme.  She said that Carolina women have broken negative barriers about perceptions of their managerial ability.  Previously, male managers have been perceived as more competent and commanding, with a correspondent skepticism about female managers.  As an example, male anger at work has traditionally received more respect than female anger.  She said that confronting these barriers is the first step to overcoming them.  She asked what tools are available to reach the next step in reducing these discriminatory perceptions.  Washington said that oftentimes we ourselves may be the barriers to the change we seek.

Washington recalled the recent University closing due to a water main break.  She said that the University had petitioned the State to make these days officially Condition 3 closed days, freeing employees from the need to take vacation days to make up for time lost.  Washington said that the upcoming Carolina Conversation will deal with Cultivating Intergroup Partnerships.

Associate Vice Chancellor Linc Butler noted the success of the recent Employee Appreciation Day.  He thanked the Forum for its efforts during the day, which included voter information and blood drive registration tables.  He hoped that everyone had a good time during the event.

Regarding SHRA compensation, Butler said that the Office of State Human Resources had initially proposed supplementing career budget salary ranges by 5.8% except for those employees at the minimum.  Many details remain to be resolved in this area, but Butler said that movement has begun in a positive direction.

Butler recalled the recent service recognition event which honored employees who have worked 20 years or more at the University.  One employee has worked more than 50 years here.  Butler invited attendees to the Tar Heel Tribute to campus veterans which will take place November 12th.

Butler invited employees to donate to the Carolina Cares/Carolina Shares campaign.  He said that fundraising is a bit ahead of last year’s mark, but UNC-Chapel Hill will face a strong challenge from the Department of Public Safety among other State agencies to win first place.  He added that November is National Career Development Month.

Work/Life and Wellness Program Manager Jessica Pyjas noted that a Weight Watchers series will begin a second round of meetings on November 28th at the School of Nursing.  Employees can receive 15% off dues through  Pyjas was excited to note that changes to the UNC perk program will launch soon.  Arlene Medder confirmed that the ending date for the Carolina Cares/Carolina Shares program is December 14th.

The Chair requested to flip the remaining agenda to consider an item for new business before the consent agenda.  There were no objections to this request.

The Chair recalled that the results of the recent Confederate Monument survey had been released to the Executive Committee, with a request that committee members read the results in preparation for the day’s meeting.  Today, she asked the Forum to consider a resolution joining the Faculty Council on this matter.  Alan Moran moved that this motion be considered on first reading via suspension of the rules, with Tiffany Carver seconding.  The motion was approved without opposition.

The Chair read Resolution 18-04, concerning the Confederate Monument (“Silent Sam”).  Parliamentarian Jeffery McQueen noted that the Forum needs to vote to consider the resolution on second reading.  Hoi Ning Ngai asked if the resolution intended to remove the statute and the base together from campus.  Emma Beckham said that the Faculty Council resolution intended to include both objects.

Alan Moran said that many Facilities Services employees did not access or respond to the Forum survey.  He said that while he personally agreed with the resolution, he felt he needed to represent the interests of his constituents who do not support removal of the Monument from campus.  The Chair said that delegates typically wear two hats as they represent their constituents and their own judgment, which sometimes do not agree.  She noted that a few women of color had requested a write-in option to register their private thoughts on this matter due to a fear of being revealed publicly.

A question arose as to whether the Forum should post the responses to the survey.  The Chair thought it best to redact any copy of the responses to insure anonymity is preserved.  She was heartened that over 400 employees responded to the relatively arcane survey.  Tracy Wetherby-Williams thought that some employees were fearful about responding to the survey, not wanting to get involved with such an emotionally charged topic.  Karlina Matthews said that the Forum should respect and honor the bravery of those who responded.

Matthews asked if survey fatigue had limited the number of responses to the survey.  The Chair thought that the survey was rather involved but thought that the data gathered was amazing and very poignant.

Members discussed grammatical changes to the resolution.  Jim Potts asked if the details on the resolution’s first page were necessary.  The Chair thought that including the details of the Forum’s work in this area is important.  Arlene Medder agreed that the resolution provides transparency about the Forum’s work.

Karlina Matthews moved that the Forum waive its second reading customary when addressing proposals of substance.  Alan Moran seconded this motion.  The motion was approved.  Arlene Medder moved that the resolution be approved, seconded by Moran.  The motion was approved with Moran abstaining.  The Chair thanked all who were involved in gaining approval for the resolution.

Lori Haight reported that the Communications & Public Relations committee had finished work on its annual scavenger hunt.  The committee would meet again the following week.

Katie Musgrove reported that the Community Services committee is in the final stages of planning for the December toy drive.  The committee will organize a relief trip to eastern North Carolina in December in conjunction with the Carolina Center for Public Service.  Additionally, the University Blood Drive will take place December 11th in Fetzer Hall.  Musgrove noted that the Forum will be featured at the Virginia Tech football game.  Employees will be able to attend that game for $10/each.

The Education & Career Development committee continues to work on professional development grant program matters as well as the Facilities Services intern program.

Tiffany Carver said that the Membership & Assignments committee continues work on the winter holiday celebration.  She sought additional members for the committee.

There was no report from the Recognition & Awards committee.  Kathy Ramsey reported that the UNC System Staff Assembly had met in October.  Laura Pratt asked if the parental leave issue had received consideration by the Assembly.  Ramsey said that a committee addressing this concern is under development by the Assembly.

Rose Thorp said that the Personnel Issues committee has worked to complete its resolution on the adverse weather policy.  She hoped that the committee could consult with Human Resources officials towards having a first reading in January.

The Chair recalled a request that the Forum discuss salary compression issues.  Karlina Matthews suggested that Human Resources provide comment on this matter also.  Thorp said that the committee also plans to address health care exceptions as mentioned in a previous meeting.  She welcomed input on this question.  Felicia Washington suggested that these inquiries go to Legal Counsel as well.

In the absence of further discussion, the meeting adjourned by acclamation at 11:15 a.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Matt Banks, Recording Secretary

Comments are closed.