Skip to main content

Employee Forum Agenda

October 3, 2012

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

I. Call to Order

II. Welcome Guests & Members of the Press

III. Special Presentations

  • Vice Chancellor for Finance & Administration Karol Kain Gray
  • Events & Special Programming Coordinator Kim Andrews on Carolina Cares/Carolina Shares

IV. Human Resources Update—Vice Chancellor Brenda Malone

V. Approval of September minutes

VI. Old Business

VII. New Business

  • Proposed Resolution 12-02, Honoring Paula Schubert
  • Creation of the Kay Wijnberg Hovious Outstanding Forum Delegate Award

VIII. Forum Committee Reports

  • Carolina Community Garden Advisory: Arlene Medder
  • Communications and Public Relations: Alia Wegner
  • Education and Career Development: Charles Streeter
  • Membership & Assignments: Myra Quick
  • Personnel Issues: James Holman (September minutes)
  • Recognition & Awards: Chris Meinecke
  • UNC System Staff Assembly:  Danny Nguyen/John Gullo
  • Executive Committee: Jackie Overton (August minutes)

IX. Announcements/Questions

X. Adjournment


October 3, 2012 Employee Forum minutes

Attending (those who signed in):  Kittie Allen, Jennie Brooks, Ellen Donna Brooks, Deborah Bush, Tiffany Carver, Marilyn Couch, Tammy Cox, Elizabeth Craig, Kenneth Davis, Yvonne Dunlap, Lawrence Giffin, Sharon Glover, James Holman, George James, Christina Lebonville, Valerie Madill, Avia Mainor, Matthew McKirahan, Arlene Medder, Chris Meinecke, Jillian Molee, Danny Nguyen, Jackie Overton, Jason Palivoda, Myra Quick, Patricia Robinson, Anna Schwab, David Schwartz, Tara Smith, Charles Streeter, Katie Turner

Chair Jackie Overton called the meeting to order at 9:15 a.m.  She welcomed new delegate Katie Turner.  She also recalled her experience interviewing Karol Kain Gray for the Vice Chancellor for Finance position.  Gray recalled that she had attended a Forum meeting within two weeks of her appointment to that position.  She said that she looks to the Chair for direction and support.  Gray said that she spent thirty years at Stony Brook University, starting as an accountant and ending as that institution’s Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration.  She emphasized recognizing those who work hard by giving them the opportunity to grow.  She noted the magnificent history of UNC-Chapel Hill and the pride that employees here feel for the institution.  Upon her appointment, Gray tasked herself to meet the deans of all the University schools.  She observed that Finance and Administration is very siloed, with each unit independent of each other and not much transparency.  She said that her office plans to replace the Associate Vice Chancellor for Campus Services Carolyn Elfland with two Associate Vice Chancellors, one for Auxiliary Organizations and one for Administrative Systems and Business Transformations.  This latter position will be in charge of the PeopleSoft project, which will replace a legacy payroll system that is 44 years old.  She also promoted Anna Wu to Assistant Vice Chancellor for Facilities Services.

Gray said that she had tried to create a positive working atmosphere, to deal with scarcity of resources through budget cuts and reallocation, to address SPA and EPA salaries, and to lay the groundwork for installing PeopleSoft during her nine months on the job.  She said that the University must install PeopleSoft correctly or departments will remain independent.  Gray added that the University must do better in its repair and renovation budget.  She recalled that this year the University received a $8m renovation budget for $640m of need.

Gray said that Stony Brook receives less state support than UNC-Chapel Hill.  However, Stony Brook is very centralized, allowing decision-makers online real time access to data when making strategic plans.  She added that the University must continue to push for Carolina North.  Gray praised her assistant Trevaughn Eubanks for her help with these many different projects.  Gray hoped to find a better location for the Grounds department.  She noted that Facilities Services Planning and Design has a wonderful design established for University Square that should change the face of Franklin Street.  Tammy Cox asked Gray the biggest need of her area.  Gray said that the repair and renovation budget was the biggest need.  A question arose as to where the tenants of University Square will go during the area’s renovation.  Gray said that the University will work with each tenant to identify space or find another plan.  She said that each business must leave during the renovation.  Some businesses are anxious to go while others want things to stay as they were.  Liz Craig asked about the fate of the Time Out Restaurant.  Gray did not know but she hoped the restaurant would remain on Franklin Street.  Matthew McKirahan asked about the fate of Carolina North.  Gray said that there has been little movement as a prominent senator wants to keep the airport there open.  She said that the University cannot break ground there until it gets the go-ahead.  George James asked about the Bain report.  Gray said that the report forced the University to look for ways to be smarter and more efficient, while weeding out what is not fit for the organization.  She would recommend Bain but only as a guide to reform.  Myra Quick asked the implications of the PeopleSoft implementation.  Gray said that the system if successful will change the way the University does business.   She said that the system will provide decision-makers one look at data when deciding on how to serve the University.  She emphasized that she would not OK the system until it works correctly.  She would not hesitate to delay implementation if things are not running smoothly.  However, she was very optimistic that the system will be online by January 1, 2014.

James Holman asked about the payroll deduction allowed Health Care Services employees and whether this would be allowed University employees after PeopleSoft implementation.  Gray said that this change would not occur during the PeopleSoft implementation phase.  Marilyn Couch asked if the University will find money for increased staffing in Housekeeping after years of budget cuts.  Gray agreed that she wanted to put more money back into Housekeeping.  Matthew McKirahan asked if the University intended to take over the School of Government’s internal processes.  Gray said that the University would take over internal processes only if PeopleSoft produces better results.  She said that the University is out of compliance on credit card transactions and PeopleSoft would help with this deficiency.

Events and Special Programming Coordinator Kim Andrews and Forum Delegate Chris Meinecke spoke on the Carolina Cares/Carolina Shares campaign.  The Chair said that her goal is 100% Forum participation in the campaign.  A question arose as to what are the criteria for a charitable organization.  It was said that the charity itself must apply for recognition with the State Employees’ Combined Campaign.  Andrews noted that this year’s goal is $1 million donated, up from $785,000 donated last year.  She said that UNC-Chapel Hill is the single largest contributor to the campaign in the State.  It was noted that the University’s overall contribution rate last year was 22%, not including the Health Care System.  Senior Director Ashley Nicklis said that the Employee Appreciation Day will take place October 19.  NC Flex enrollment is currently underway.  Employees with questions can contact Benefits at 919-962-3071 or access the Human Resources website at  Jennie Brooks confirmed that employees who are permanent and are at least 50% can sign up for NC Flex benefits.  Andrews and Meinecke then shared a video on Carolina Cares/Carolina Shares.  Kittie Allen asked if Human Resources will be set up to help with NC Flex enrollment at the Employee Appreciation day.  Allen was promised an answer to this question.

It was noted that the customary Human Resources update was deferred to allow more time for the Carolina Cares/Carolina Shares information session.

The Chair called for a motion to approve the September minutes of the Forum.  James Holman made this motion, seconded by David Schwartz.  There was no discussion, and the motion was approved by acclamation, with Chris Meinecke abstaining.

Lawrence Giffin read resolution 12-02 honoring Paula Schubert.  The Chair noted that most delegates have probably not met Schubert, but she said that Schubert was instrumental in the founding of the Forum.  The Forum will consider the resolution on second reading in November.

The Chair asked for discussion of the proposed Kay Wijnberg Hovious award for outstanding Forum delegates.  The Executive Committee proposed to name of the award after the first Forum chair.  The Chair said that the Forum could grant as many as three awards each year.  Matthew McKirahan said he was uneasy about the award criteria not establishing a set amount of money granted each recipient.  Charles Streeter thought that the emphasis of the award should not be on its monetary value, noting the custom of not revealing the amount of a similar award in Student Affairs.  Matt Brody said that all University awards defined and registered should have a defined amount.  He recommended that the Forum choose an amount for transparency’s sake.  Koyah Rivera suggested granting a plaque or some other kind of physical award instead of cash.  David Schwartz suggested that the Forum make a donation in the winner’s name to the charity of one’s choice.  Kathy Bryant noted that an approved program must announce its winners publicly.  The Forum agreed to bring the proposal back to the Executive Committee.

Christina Lebonville read a proposal for a wall of fame for Forum delegates.  The Forum agreed that parts of the proposal needed revision before approval.

Arlene Medder noted that Clair Lorch’s position with the Carolina Campus Community Garden has now become permanent.  There have been five documentaries made about the Garden this past summer.  The Garden will take place in International Housekeeping week and has instituted a “leaf dating” singles activity.  The Garden will work on its strategic planning for the year.

Katie Turner said that the first issue of InTouch will be published on University Day.  The edition will include several articles on the 20th anniversary of the Forum’s founding, as well as a piece on changes with Human Resources facilitators.  The Chair showed the new and improved Forum website to the group.  She thanked Turner and Charles Streeter for their work.  She hoped that the Forum could roll out the new website by December at the earliest.

Charles Streeter reported that the Education and Career Development committee had forwarded two proposals to the Executive Committee.  The first of these was a laptop loaner program designed to take the place of a similar program which had gone dormant a few years ago.  The Forum Office would house the program and do training on the Carolina Computing Initiative machines.  The other proposal is for professional development grants of $250 each, given 40 a year or twenty a semester.  Education Assistance Program and tuition waiver eligible classes would not be covered by these grants.  Instead, non-academic classes related to one’s job would be the subject of these grants.  The proposals will undergo revisions and will be forwarded to the next Executive Committee meeting.

Myra Quick said that the Membership and Assignments committee will hold its next meeting via e-mail.  The committee will work on the December social.  James Holman reported that the Personnel Issues committee had met to discuss the record keeping policy related to disciplinary action.  The committee had a resolution it was considering to bring to the Forum.  Senior Director Gena Carter said that Human Resources was studying all retention schedules.  She was not certain that this review will be complete by October 30.  Holman said that the committee dealt with a question of who sets policy for the University System.  He asked if the State Personnel Commission already has the power to establish the policy changes sought by General Administration in personnel flexibility legislation.  David Schwartz asked if the Forum has a working relationship with the State Personnel Commission.  Carter said that she was unaware of an employee group appearing before the Commission.  She said that recent edits of the grievance procedure had gone from the University to the Office of State Personnel to the State Personnel Commission.  The Office acts on behalf of the agency that proposed the policy.  Brody said that this was a worthy topic of discussion in the UNC System Staff Assembly, given the questions of statutory interpretation and rulemaking processes.

Chris Meinecke said that the Recognition & Awards committee had not met but planned to work with Charles Streeter on creating electronic forms for the Forum’s award programs.  Turner asked how the Forum had conducted its award programs in the past.  Meinecke said that the Forum had sent a paper form to every employee and then culled suggestions.

Danny Nguyen said that the UNC System Staff Assembly will meet October 15-16 to elect new executive board members.  The October 15 agenda will run from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.  Koyah Rivera will serve as the alternate to the Assembly.  The Chair encouraged all to attend the meeting at General Administration.

The Chair noted that she had received an appointment to the Chancellor’s Search committee.  She asked Charles Streeter to do a survey of what staff want from the new Chancellor.  Streeter proposed using the divisional listservs with embedded information to allow more tracking, in a confidential but not anonymous project.  The Chair directed that the Forum Assistant e-mail table times to delegates for the Employee Appreciation Fair.

The Chair said that the Executive Committee had invited NC Policy Watch director Chris Fitzsimon to speak with the group from 12:30-1:30 p.m. on October 30 in 103 Stone Center.  All are invited to attend.  The Forum will sponsor two notary public training classes on October 26 and February 8.  University Day will take place next Friday.  The Chair will hold a monthly meeting with the Chancellor and the Chair of the Faculty tomorrow.  The Chancellor recently approved the Forum’s use of $5,000 Staff Development money for print publication of InTouch in FY12-13.

Yvonne Dunlap confirmed that each committee must submit minutes for each meeting each month.  Katie Turner asked if Forum committees must comply with the open meetings laws.  The Chair did not think so, but she deferred to University Counsel Kristen Lewis, who said that she would research the question and report back.

Jason Palivoda asked about the ratio of one staff member to nine faculty members on the Chancellor’s search committee.  The Chair pointed out that Dwayne Pinkney is a staff member.  She noted that five women serve on the search committee.  Palivoda noted that Students Action with Workers will hold a lunch for employees at noon at the Campus Y.  Turner pointed out that Faculty Governance allowed SAW to use its space in the Campus Y.

Anna Schwab asked the source of the Forum’s money.  The Chair said that the Chancellor’s office provides this money as the Forum is an advisory committee to the Chancellor.  Liz Craig said that she knew Chancellor Thorp very well as he had given unprecedented access to faculty, staff, and students.  She would like to see this policy continued with the new Chancellor.

Vice Chancellor Brenda Malone noted the large goal of the Carolina Cares/Carolina Shares campaign.  She noted the tremendous day that will occur with the Employee Appreciation Day October 19.  Malone noted that the University has created a 1% pool of funds designed to increase SPA employees’ salaries below market rate.  She said that there is not enough money to raise all employees to market rate, but this initiative reflects the mood and spirit to reward staff contributions.  Malone said that the University will communicate this policy to deans and vice chancellors.

In the absence of further discussion, the meeting adjourned at 11:14 a.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Matt Banks, Recording Secretary

Comments are closed.