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October 21, 2014 Executive Committee minutes

Delegates Attending (those who signed in):  Tammy Cox, Yvonne Dunlap, Andy Eaker, Oscar Fleming, Michael Highland, Todd Hux, Karen Jenkins, Matt McKirahan, Arlene Medder, Charles Streeter, Ben Triplett

Chair Charles Streeter called the meeting to order at 11:30 a.m.  He noted that Bruce Egan and Sharon Glover have asked to meet with the Forum to address shortfalls in the Carolina Family Fund Scholarship.  The scholarship began in 2003, and is looking to find a permanent home.  Karen Jenkins said that the scholarship had been a great help to her as a single parent with four children.  She said that Jackie Overton had passed on information about the scholarship, which provided $1,000 a semester for award recipients.  Jenkins said that the scholarship was available to staff and faculty children attending one of the 16 UNC System institutions.

The Chair noted that the Forum Office would be closed on October 27.

The Chair said that he had approached Vice Chancellor Felicia Washington concerning creation of a University Day Staff Award.  He said that the Forum needs to create criteria for such an award.

The Chair asked delegates not to make comments to the media regarding the Wainstein report.  He noted the suggestion that the Forum make a show of support for Athletics staff.  He had been advised that this would not be a good idea because the Forum has to this point not been involved in the events leading to the creation of the report.  The Chair noted that the University has a complaint hotline which employees can use to submit complaints anonymously.  Employee and Management Relations Manager Chris Chiron confirmed that Legal Counsel investigate complaints to the hotline.  He said that that office cannot investigate all complaints without accompanying detail.  He said that the State Auditor’s office is involved in investigation of these complaints as well.  The Chair said that at some point, employees submitting issues must identify themselves.  Oscar Fleming agreed that the Forum should not rush into making a statement on the Wainstein report.

The Chair noted that his e-mail has been sequestered regarding the data breach.  He warned delegates that they must be prepared to submit their work e-mails for review, as work e-mails are public record.  Employees should use g-mail to conduct personal business.

The Chair called for a motion to approve the July minutes of the committee.  Arlene Medder made this motion, seconded by Tammy Cox.  The motion was approved with three abstentions.

The Chair called for a motion to approve the August minutes of the committee.  Yvonne Dunlap made this motion, seconded by Andy Eaker.  The motion was approved with two abstentions.

The Chair called for a motion to approve the September minutes of the committee.  Michael Highland made this motion, seconded by Tammy Cox.  The motion was approved with two abstentions.

Tammy Cox presented the Forum’s monthly budget report.  She said that the overhead account’s shortfall had to do with a $5,000 temporary account adjustment that should have been made permanent.  She would consult with Human Resources to rectify this question.  She said that the Forum’s trust fund account had been amended to include furniture and software needs.  The Chair said that he was looking into ways to elevate the Forum such as purchasing a new table runner for events like the Employee Appreciation Fair.  Tammy Cox suggested that the Forum could purchase a vertical display for these occasions.

Andy Eaker asked where the honorarium for Professor Andy Bechtel was located in the report.  The Chair said that the Staff Development fund should be used for this expense.  He said that he would attempt to maintain the Forum’s trust fund budget as much as possible.  Eaker asked about using the Staff Development fund for the Family Scholarship fund.  The Chair said that the fund was designated for the use of the staff at the University.  He said that this idea might bear some further discussion.

The Chair asked if the Forum should thank the University or the State for its quick action providing benefits to same-sex couples.  Michael Highland thought that an acknowledgment would be sufficient.  The Chair said that he would send a quick e-mail to those responsible.  Chris Chiron said that same-sex couples still need to register during the enrollment period to obtain coverage for the next calendar year, the same as everyone else.

The Chair noted questions about how the Forum agenda is developed each month.  He noted that the Bylaws state that the Executive Committee should have an active role in setting the agenda.  He noted that the Chair had obtained a list of desired speakers from delegates last year.  He noted that the Faculty Council has its committee chairs invite guests, with approval for guests coming through the Faculty Council Executive Committee.  He anticipated that Claire Counihan from the Carolina Women’s Center will speak in November, and the local legislative delegation will join the Staff organization chairs from NC State and NC Central at the December pot luck meeting of the Forum.  He was open to suggestions as to speakers in 2015.

Matt McKirahan said that the Executive Committee should have an exact idea of what will be on the full Forum agenda at the time of the Executive Committee meeting.  He said that the Forum could use parliamentary procedure to amend the agenda at the time of the meeting.  He noted that any late-arriving events could be covered under new business at the end of the meeting.  The Chair noted that the Forum meeting time had run over only four times during his tenure as Chair, with only one exceedingly long meeting.  He did not want to squelch discussion.  McKirahan said it was important to limit guests’ presentations so as to leave discussion time for delegates on relevant issues.

Michael Highland asked if the Forum wanted to open discussion on the Wainstein report at the November meeting.  The Chair was uncertain.  Highland thought that the Forum could address the question briefly without opening a can of worms.  Matt McKirahan said that the Forum should have Forum committees report out new business, instead of these coming in a separate section of the agenda.  The Chair did not want to switch back and forth between sections of the agenda.  He said that the Forum needs committees to submit minutes on a regular basis.  He recalled presenting a summation of Forum activities via PowerPoint in October.  He thought that the committee reports need to be submitted in advance to contribute to a continuation of this practice.  McKirahan said that the Executive Committee should review these presentations and reports.  The Chair did not want the Executive Committee to censor these efforts.  Highland said that templates for committee reports could be supplied to committee chairs to increase submissions.  The Chair said that the Forum officer meetings on the second Tuesday of the month should help gather submissions for the agenda.

Oscar Fleming asked how the Forum could insure the goals and objectives of the body are understood, owned, and supported by Forum committees.  The Chair said that he had consulted with Belinda Locke on goal-setting practices.  She said that the Forum needs a broader set of goals to govern objectives and outcomes, which are specific measurements of progress.  He said that the Forum would need a list of what the committees have done for the October 31 strategic goals assessment.  Fleming observed that the Forum cannot do everything.  The Chair encouraged the Executive Committee and committee chairs to become more administrative, to carry out planning and documentation of needed processes.  He said that committees should generate an annual report every year.

The Chair noted a suggestion that the Forum work to create a staff advisory committee to the Chancellor, similar to what now exists for the faculty and the students.  Michael Highland asked how satisfied the Chancellor is now with the existing Provost/Vice Chancellor meetings.  Karen Jenkins observed that Vice Chancellor Washington had spoken on the Forum’s status as an advisory committee to the chancellor.  Andy Eaker moved to table this item, seconded by Karen Jenkins.  The committee voted to table this item.

Matt McKirahan introduced the subject of room configuration for Forum meetings.  He noted that the Faculty Council sit in rows.  He thought that the Forum’s ‘U-shaped’ table setting with seats behind look informal while crowding visitors.  He also thought that the Forum officers should sit together at the front of the room.  Andy Eaker thought that the Forum might specify a special table for guests.  He noted that the U.S. Senate has all seats facing the Chair like a roundtable discussion.  McKirahan suggested contacting Facilities Services to consult with their movers on possible options.  He said it was important to make enough space for guests behind the tables.

The Chair suggested having two tables on a slanted angle along with chairs on the side and the back.  Tammy Cox was not against this idea but she was concerned about separating the Forum officers from the rest of the body.  Matt McKirahan observed that the Forum Chair now has a separation from the rest of the group as he conducts meetings.  He suggested that the Chair conduct the meeting from a seated position.  Ben Triplett asked if delegates would need to stand to give their reports.  Yvonne Dunlap moved that the Forum adopt the design the Chair described.  Andy Eaker suggested that the Forum inform delegates as to why the room was changed.  He seconded Dunlap’s motion.  There was no further discussion, and the motion was approved with two abstentions.

Todd Hux noted that the October 14 blood drive had experienced more volunteers than there was capacity to process, leading to a loss of potential donors.  Hux said that the drive attempted to schedule 136% of need, but had been overwhelmed with walk-ins.  All in all, the October 14 drive had a goal of 300 pints, but collected only 236 pints out of 410 potential volunteers.  Andy Eaker outlined his experience as a blood drive coordinator.  Matt McKirahan suggested that the Forum work to inform employees about other philanthropic activities, such as platelet donation efforts.  He proposed that the Forum establish an Awareness committee to this end.  Michael Highland worried that the Forum would need to replicate the expertise that currently exists for the blood drive among a group of dedicated volunteers.  Hux noted that the Forum has been mainly involved in the dissemination of information.

Arlene Medder of the Carolina Campus Community Garden said that group had worked on planting and reaping crops, as well as construction of a toolshed.  She had written an article for InTouch on the Garden.  The Chair noted that the Forum’s request for Staff Development fund money for the Garden had been approved and needed to be processed.

Andy Eaker reported that the Education and Career Development committee would work to expedite the approval of the professional development grant application process.  The Chair planned to attend the committee’s meeting the following day.

Yvonne Dunlap said that the Personnel Issues committee planned to meet the following week.  The committee did not have a report from September.

The Chair said that no one has yet come forward to volunteer to chair the Recognition & Awards committee.  He recommended that the Education and Career Development committee absorb the Recognition & Awards committee to accomplish that group’s important goals.  He asked Andy Eaker if his group could find a co-chair for this effort.

Karen Jenkins said that the next meeting of the Membership & Assignments committee will take place Wednesday, October 29.  The committee will work to publicize elections occurring in the spring, planning the June retreat, and obtaining prizes for the winter potluck.  The committee will also investigate carrying out a February food drive.  The Chair suggested that Jenkins contact Assistant Director of Sports Marketing Alexis Barlow for her input.

The Chair said that the Forum needs to hold its community meetings this year.  This meeting or meetings should occur before the Legislature convenes for the long session.  He recalled that the data breach community meeting was held January.  He noted that Forum delegates have an opportunity to travel with University representatives to observe the legislative process in Raleigh.  The Chair understood that the Vice Chair has responsibility for planning the Forum’s community meetings.

The Chair noted that the UNC System Staff Assembly has asked members to provide stories on staff success parallel with similar discussions on faculty and student success.  The Assembly was concerned that the University is disregarding staff impact.

The Chair asked the committee to consider Provost/Vice Chancellor meeting topics in November for the meeting December 11.

In the absence of further discussion, the meeting adjourned at 1:33 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Matt Banks, Recording Secretary

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