October 6, 1999
Joanna K. Smith
“ = Ex-Officio
Call to Order, Welcome to Guests, Opening Remarks
The Chair called the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m. She welcomed Provost Dick Richardson to provide opening remarks, noting that the Forum would have its annual portrait done on the steps outside the library following his remarks.
Richardson thanked the University’s staff Employees for the work done over the summer and fall. He had enjoyed working with the Chair on the University Priorities and Budget Committee, and knew that the committee had tried to be responsive to staff needs. Richardson noted that the University was in a period of transition following Chancellor Hooker’s death, but was encouraged by the way the University had come together. Richardson said that interim Chancellor McCoy had been a wonderful presence who had worked out very well.
The University has also been hard hit by the legislative rejection of the University bond package, which would have dedicated $299 million to campus renovations. Unfortunately, in the absence of the package, the campus has had no capital budget at all this year. A lack of a repair and renovation budget is a critical loss for the oldest public campus in America. Richardson hoped that the need for a repair and renovation budget would be addressed soon. However, the legislative committee that is t o oversee this issue has not yet been selected.
Without repair and renovation funds, Carolina cannot increase its enrollment to meet legislative targets. The University needs $250 million, possibly more, to meet the capital and personnel needs associated with the planned increase in enrollment.
Richardson said that the University will face a 1% cut in its operations, as will all State agencies, to meet the cash needs made necessary by Hurricane Floyd. Richardson commented that the Chapel Hill area had been very lucky to avoid the brunt o f the storm. He was certain that campus departments would be willing to meet this budgetary target to help the North Carolinians displaced by the storm.
Richardson said that a faculty committee has been asked to prepare by December 1 a recommendation on faculty salaries in comparison to the University’s peers. The committee might well recommend an increase in pay for faculty in order to make up th e difference with its peers. Carolina’s ranking in US News & World Report has dropped in the past year in reaction to the drop in faculty benefits compared to peer institutions. The committee should arrive at its final recommendations in the following week; it is probable that the committee will recommend an increase in tuition to the Board of Governors to meet the need for increased faculty salaries. Richardson noted that the legislation did not call for a study of SPA Employees or librarians’ salaries which are both areas requiring attention. Given the reality of Hurricane Floyd, this is not the year to expect salary increases of any appreciable size. However, the University must position itself to request these increases at the most appropriate juncture.
Richardson has worked with Forum representative Libby Evans and Faculty Council Executive Committee member Donna LeFebvre on implementation of the University’s intellectual climate report. New freshmen seminars, conducted in groups of 17 students, will be phased in over the next 3 years and have proved very popular in pilot stages. These seminars will cost the University approximately $4 million. The new advising program combines professional, full-time advisers with on-line advising to provide counsel to students on University academic life. The Living & Learning program, in which first-year students live and learn with faculty and graduate students in an intense learning and social living experience, has housed 140 students in Ehringhaus this year, a number to be expanded to 300 next year. Richardson praised Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Sue Kitchen and her assistant Cynthia Wolf Johnson for their role in this project. Richardson noted that the Carolina Computing Initiative has cost $2.5 million this past year.
The intellectual climate implementation committee originally had $150,000 to spend on various suggestions this year, a number since trimmed to $50,000. The committee is trying to figure out how best to spend this money, and has created a list of recommendations announcing activities. These activities include funding for field trips into the nearby community, funding of grants to promote active learning in classrooms, creation of an office to direct community members to intellectual experiences, resumption of the 24-7 Daily Tar Heel insert, and establishment of public service awards for faculty, staff and students.
Richardson said that the Chancellor’s Search committee had met twice, and hopes to have three finalists named by December 15. Richardson noted that since the last search had taken approximately 18 months, President Broad had directed that this search obtain a faster tempo. Following the Chancellor’s selection, the University will see the permanent appointment of a new Provost and Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration. Thus, in the next ten months, the University will see a great deal mo re change with top administrators coming and going.
Richardson offered to take questions. Sherry Graham noted that campus faculty salaries are compared to a list of peer institutions, and asked if this list was the same list that General Administration had used for several years for salary comparison. Richardson said that the list of peer institutions has commonly contained ten names, with another five alternates. However, this year, the Board of Governors has reviewed this list and agreed to allow UNC-Chapel Hill to compare itself to private as well as public institutions. Richardson saw this change as a real accomplishment for the University, since Carolina has faced a substantial salary gap between itself and comparable private institutions, which have used the campus as a kind of “training g round.” Private campuses have raided junior faculty before they reach the associate and full levels. Thus, the University has been able to include Duke, Vanderbilt, Emory, and Johns Hopkins as comparable institutions, and thus finds itself in the lower third of its peers in terms of faculty salaries.
Richardson noted that the University would see around a third of its faculty eligible for retirement in the next eight years, which will place it in direct competition for faculty with private institutions. Thus, the University will be forced to work hard to keep the quality of its faculty as high as it is now. Richardson noted that there are not now nearly enough people to fill these soon-to-be-vacant positions.
The Chair thanked Richardson for his remarks.
Kim Gardner introduced Rachel Castle, acting executive director of the continuing medicine education program, to make remarks on her career as a 30-year Employee at the University. Castle said that she was very flattered to be invited to speak to the Forum. She noted that 30 years ago, the University was seen as a very good place to obtain a job, since there was no Research Triangle Park as competition. She had personally interviewed with the director of personnel, Doris McCauley, and had taken her typing test on a manual typewriter.
Castle moved from the secretarial level in the Athletics Department to accounting and then to a departmental personnel representative. She noted that the University functioned at a slower pace in those days, and had learned early on how to get thi ngs accomplished in coordination with other staff and administration. Castle has taken every management course made available through Human Resources, and has graduated from the University Managers’ Development Program (UMDP). She has used the tuition waiver program to obtain her BA from Carolina, and has also used the TOP system, the counseling service, the staff mediation process, the range of computer courses and the gymnasium to better herself. Castle considered herself an ambassador for the Univer sity in her dealings with those outside campus. She encouraged members to get involved with political bodies such as SEANC to voice their sentiments to the State legislature. Castle also has enjoyed working with students and other Employees across campus, and noted the willingness of most Employees to share information or perform a favor.
Rachel Windham made a special presentation on the Center for Public Service’s Hurricane Floyd relief effort. She noted that director Nick Didow and Donna Warner have served as the leaders of the Center. Didow is a marketing professor at the School of Business and also serves on the Chapel Hill-Carrboro School Board.
The Center is involved in a wide range of projects, and emerged as a grassroots effort that was embraced by Chancellor Hooker in an effort to take the University back to the citizens of North Carolina.
Windham was recently asked to serve as project manager for the Floyd Recovery Project, work that is close to her heart as she is an eastern North Carolina native. Interested Employees can write email@example.com, access http://www.unc.edu/cps, or call 9 62-5296 or 962-4261.
The Center is trying to organize local efforts to provide assistance too the eastern part of the State, by gathering information about resources into one reference base. The Center will sponsor bus trips for volunteers going to several sites for a n alternative fall break October 13-17 to assist with the cleanup and recovery process. Volunteers will leave from a set location at 6:30 a.m. that morning, and will return by 9 p.m. that night. Windham hoped that Delegates would help the Center by finding recruits and volunteering themselves.
All interested volunteers should attend the orientation sessions scheduled for October 11 and 12 from 4-6 p.m. in the first floor auditorium of Hamilton Hall. These sessions will tell workers what to expect, how to work the sites, and how to deal with survivors. Windham encouraged volunteers to attend the debriefing sessions following the trips.
Sign-up sheets for the project were distributed for members to volunteer and to distribute through their departments. Potentially, the Center might call for volunteers to stay overnight later in the recovery process. Windham noted that 3,900 UNC students have addresses in locations classified as federal disaster areas.
The Center will also sponsor other initiatives besides cleanup volunteering, among them a Kids’ Day for children affected by the storm. Windham encouraged Employees with ideas for service to contact her office at the numbers mentioned previously. Employees can contact Windham directly at firstname.lastname@example.org; she is now located in the McCall Building.
Betty Averette asked whether she and her husband could ride the bus together as volunteers. Windham said that the University is still working out the liability issues associated with sponsoring people not directly associated with Carolina. This quest ion was not yet resolved.
Peggy Berryhill asked if volunteer service on weekdays could be charged as personal time. Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources Laurie Charest said that she had received a bulletin from the Governor’s Office stating that Employees could receive 16 hours paid volunteer leave to assist in Hurricane Floyd recovery efforts, including time spent in transportation to and from work sites. These hours must fall during an Employee’s regular work schedule, and cannot lead to the accumulation of overtime hours.
Kathy Dutton urged prospective volunteers to obtain a tetanus booster shot if they have not had such a shot in the last 5-10 years.
Maxcine Barnes noted that many campus departments and schools, such as Public Health and Social Work, have already organized bus trips to assist flood victims. Windham said that the Center sought to provide support for these efforts, not to interfere with their work.
LaEula Joyner asked if the Center knew which town the volunteers would serve. Windham said that Rocky Mount had advised the University to concentrate on smaller towns, which had not received much help during the crisis. Jean Coble said that the town of Grifton seemed to have been overlooked in the crisis, according to reports forwarded to the Institute of Government.
Sherry Graham advised Windham to include information about the Governor’s volunteer leave on the Center’s website. Windham said that website alteration has been somewhat slow, but the information would be posted as soon as possible. LaEula Joyner sai d that similar information could be posted to the Human Resources facilitators list, sent via deans, directors, and department heads memoranda, or posted to the Human Resources website, as alternative means of communication. An Employee said that business school students might be willing to assist the Center in updating its website.
Sue Kitchen addressed the Forum concerning the State Employees’ Combined Campaign, in the place of Aaron Nelson. Kitchen noted that the SECC uses a single direct solicitation of University Employees to obtain charitable contributions. The campaign kicked off Monday afternoon with 23 social service agencies advertising their roles in the Student Union.
Last year, over 5,000 faculty and staff contributed $792,000 to the SECC, a participation rate of 34.7%. Some departments reported 90-100% participation. This year’s goal is $830,000, along with increased participation levels. In response, Duke University set its fundraising goal at $840,000. Kitchen noted that Duke hires a professional fundraiser for its effort, as opposed to the volunteer effort of Employees here at the University. Carolina has typically outdone Duke in its fundraising, also. North Carolina State University raised $373,000 this year, but has established a 47% participation rate.
As North Carolina copes with the disaster of Hurricane Floyd, the SECC has had to decide whether to create a special designation code for donations. The campaign eventually decided not to create a special code, so that agencies on the spot could receive funds directly. Employees wanting to donate to these agencies should seek out the Red Cross, the Salvation Army, and the Food Bank on their donation worksheets.
Kitchen encouraged Employees to donate to these agencies along with their favorite charities, as the 1,200 non-profits involved this year will face a difficult time raising funds in the wake of this crisis. Kitchen noted that the University and UNC Hospitals make up 20% of the total giving in the SECC. She encouraged Employees to give to the campaign, and to ask others to give. Giving $150 a year requires a $12.50 monthly donation.
The State Employees’ Combined Campaign will complete its work November 5.
Human Resources Update
Laurie Charest noted that in instances of adverse weather such as that associated with Hurricane Floyd, the decision to close University offices lies with the Chancellor, who makes a decision for the safety of students and employees. Non-essential Employees who come to work when the chancellor has closed campus should not expect to get paid extra for this work.
Charest said that Employees should focus on information designated for UNC-Chapel Hill, not for the entire State. If the University is closed for catastrophic weather, Employees do not have to make up the work missed this time. In any event, non-critical Employees should not come to work when the University has been declared closed. Charest noted that there had been some confusion on this point.
Critical Employees are those in custody of patients, clients, or students, or those involved in public safety, law enforcement, or emergency management. Management will have told Employees of their critical status before adverse weather emergencies. Critical positions should come to work when the University is closed.
Charest noted that the University had made a decision that Wednesday to close at 6 p.m. that evening, when it received word at 1:58 p.m. that the University was to close at 2 p.m. Unfortunately, this news was not quickly communicated around campus, as the e-mail and phone systems were down. The message moved slowly across campus as people tried to stay in contact with one another, and unfortunately spent time phoning instead of simply going home.
Joanne Kucharski noted that the registrar’s office had been directed to secure the building, as valuable equipment is located in the flood zone, in the basement of Hanes Hall. Kucharski and other Employees were involved disconnecting and moving this equipment until 6 p.m., while the rest of campus was directed to leave at 2 p.m. In addition, since the University was reopened Friday, registrar office Employees were needed to come in late Thursday to reconnect this equipment. Charest said that Human Resources staff would consult with Kucharski’s office to determine if critical Employee designations are necessary in that department.
Ken Litowsky said those Employees on pre-approved vacation or sick leave must still code that leave for Wednesday afternoon and Thursday, as they should in the case of adverse weather.
Rickey Robinson noted that critical Employees received regular pay for work done that Wednesday afternoon of the hurricane, whereas other Employees have been paid for not working. Charest said that the University has generally not paid Employees for staying at home in these situations, but also has not generally faced catastrophic weather circumstances. Charest said that critical Employees who have suffered personal hurricane damage have been allotted eight hours of paid leave until the end of October to work on repairs.
Charest noted that some campus Employees have been assigned to disaster relief duty in other parts of the State. Employees reassigned to this work must agree to this assignment, and supervisors and Human Resources should track the particulars of their assignment.
Employees have the option to use community involvement leave to participate in disaster relief. Supervisors can grant their Employees reasonable time away from work to assist private, public, and non-profit community ventures in disaster relief, but must make up for time lost.
In addition, the State will allow Employees 16 hours of paid leave, including travel time, to assist in relief efforts with supervisory approval, during regularly scheduled work hours. This time is not charged to an Employee’s leave balance, and time away from the office is not made up. Employees not using this offer cannot transfer their leave balance to other Employees. Charest said that Human Resources is encouraging Employees to use this leave, but supervisors must be certain to keep regular ope rations going.
Rachel Windham asked how long this offer would be in place, and Charest said that the allowance would be in place indefinitely, to accommodate the anticipated long-term need for help. Robert Thoma asked if the leave only applies to Hurricane Floyd relief efforts.
Charest noted that the North Carolina Flex enrollment period would last from October 18 to November 12. Employees should receive a mailing soon. Health care and childcare spending accounts will not automatically renew, but dental and death & dismemberment accounts will automatically renew unless an Employee elects otherwise. Flex officials will hold information sessions October 22 from 9-10:30 a.m. in 1301 McGavran-Greenburg.
Fidelity Investment will hold an information session on the new optional retirement plan October 5 at 10 a.m. and October 7 at 1 p.m. Interested Employees should contact Benefits for more information.
Human Resources has asked companies with 403-b programs to sign an agreement stating that they will comply with IRS regulations. Only those complying with this request will be able to receive Employee contributions after January 1, 2000. Employees affected should receive information on this change shortly.
Approval of the Minutes
The Chair asked for a motion to approve the minutes of the September 1 meeting. Linda Drake made this motion, seconded by Lynn Ray. Matt Banks noted that the web address listed for the Human Resources manual was incorrectly listed, and should be corrected to http://www.ais.unc.edu/hr/spaman Martha Barbour said that the University community, rather than she, had been working on the SPA exempt compensatory time issue since 1987. In the absence of further changes, the minutes were approved as amended.
The Chair asked members’ opinions about the use of the web to distribute the Forum minutes. Delegates generally were pleased with the change, although there was some question about the printed length of the minutes, which was attributed to the variance among departmental printers.
The Chair noted a suggestion by the Executive Committee that the Forum modify its revision to the Forum Guidelines. The committee suggested that the Forum state that alternates can attend Forum meetings as work time, if workload permits and at management discretion.
Additionally, Laurie Charest suggested that the Forum clarify its policy on excused absences, by stating that absences not excused under the Family & Medical Leave Act shall count as unexcused.
The Chair called for a motion to approve the Guidelines revisions in their entirety. Kathy Dutton made this motion, seconded by Ken Perry. There was no discussion, and the motion was approved without opposition.
The Chair asked the Forum to discuss its role in the Hurricane Floyd relief effort. Members generally were satisfied to talk about the work of the Center for Public Service in their departments, and would take back volunteer forms to their constituent s. Matt Banks and others could post Center updates on the email@example.com listserv. The Chair hoped that Employees would rise to support the relief effort in every way possible.
Martha Barbour had nothing to report concerning the SPA exempt compensatory time survey, but planned to make a report in November.
In the interest of time, the Chair moved to forego her report. However, she noted that the Executive Committee would meet with the Executive Committee of the Faculty Council Monday, October 11, at 3 p.m. to discuss staff retention.
Bobbie Lesane, chair of the Career Development Committee, circulated a draft of a statement on manager/Employee responsibilities in the area of staff training. The committee will now search for ways to implement this statement. A copy of the statement will soon be available on the Forum web site. Ken Perry noted that the computer lab for lower income Employees had opened that month in the Cheek Building.
Kathy Dutton, chair of the Employee Presentations Committee, noted that group was continuing its plans for the fall community meeting, but had experienced difficulties in coordinating timing among prospective speakers.
Lynn Ray, chair of the Nominating Committee, said that group had met September 20 to count ballots. She thanked committee members for their long hours of work and for making the process a success. Ray read the list of elected Delegates.
Linda Drake, chair of the Orientation Committee, reminded members of the upcoming Orientation session to be held from 8:45-11:45 a.m. Friday, October 22, in the Toy Lounge of Dey Hall. The committee will meet October 20 to assemble notebooks for the meeting. Drake reminded Forum officers that they are to make a presentation at the session.
Martha Barbour, chair of the Personnel Issues Committee, said that group had had its meeting cancelled that month because of Hurricane Floyd. The committee will meet again October 21 at 10 a.m. in 170 Brauer (dean’s conference room).
Betty Averette, chair of the Recognition & Awards Committee, noted that University Day would be October 12. Fifty-two Employees have been selected to represent their departments in the processional. Recognition & Awards committee members will handle creation and distribution of the nametags that morning.
There was no report from the University Committee Assignments Committee.
The Chair noted that the Master Plan and Horace Williams planning committees had not met in the past month. She noted that thinking about development of the Horace Williams tract has changed somewhat following Chancellor Hooker’s death and that planning for the tract might be reconsidered.
Betty Averette reported that the Transportation and Parking Advisory Committee had met September 14, with 17 members. Interested Employees can obtain a copy of the meeting minutes from the Forum Office. Concerning the P2P service, Dorothy Grant noted that P2P runs seven days a week from 5 p.m. to 5 a.m. She reported the perception that the service now runs primarily to escort students back and forth to local bars. Averette asked Employees to report how the elimination of daytime P2P service has affected work in their departments.
The Chair noted that Carolyn Elfland had mentioned the possibility of reexamining the issue of permit allocation among faculty and staff. An Employee noted that one beginning faculty member has considered quitting work at the University because she lacked a parking permit, so the problem is bad across the board. Averette said that staff have a similar concern as faculty members, and also are on campus five days a week, whereas some faculty are not on campus that often. She said that someone should s peak up for staff interests in permit allocation.
The Chair said that Chief Derek Poarch of Public Safety said that his department did not control the budget for daytime Point 2 Point. She also noted that student fees support nighttime P2P service, while daytime service was covered by the University’ s central budget [formerly known as pan-University funds].
The Chair noted that the cuts associated with Hurricane Floyd would put additional pressure on campus budgets, and would make the resumption of service even less likely. She said that the Employee Forum might want to pass a resolution on P2P service if Employee experiences are sufficiently negative.
The Chancellor’s Search Committee will meet Thursday, October 7 from noon-8 p.m.
In the absence of further discussion, the meeting adjourned at 11:34 a.m.
Matt Banks, Recording Secretary