February 12, 2015 Employee Forum Vice Chancellor/Provost Meeting
Attending: Gena Carter, Yvonne Dunlap, Andy Eaker, Todd Hux, Charles Streeter, Carol Tresolini, Ben Triplett, Felicia Washington, Anna Wu
The meeting was called to order at 10 a.m. Andy Eaker noted the need to look for ways to eliminate siloing on campus between departments. He said that the University needs to foster an environment of staff development. Eaker recalled working with own departments that do not have dedicated time devoted to staff training. He said recognition from management is important for this effort. Felicia Washington said that the focus on shared resources warranted more discussion or perhaps a survey about how these resources can be best used.
Eaker said that his motivation was to seek a challenge in his personal career. He said that he needs to address this question outside the main management structure. He thought that different departments need to hold joint meetings to work better together. He thought that the idea of structured time for these meetings needs managerial buy-in. Charles Streeter said that some units allow time for career development classes in the daily work schedule, while others cannot. Carol Tresolini inferred that employees want a consistent policy within the University. Felicia Washington noted that supervisor training emphasizes that these courses should aid individual development and job function. Yvonne Dunlap said that some managers can be petty and not recognize the need for maintaining certifications, among other things.
Charles Streeter noted that a building on campus had refused to allow the Forum to use its space as it was deemed to be mainly for faculty. He said that this treatment left staff feeling like second-class citizens. Andy Eaker noted that these instances were related to attempts to find space for the Forum’s Peer Recognition Award event. Carol Tresolini said that she would follow up with personnel in the College about this question. She said that there had likely been a change in personnel which had led to this response. Anna Wu observed that the Fed Ex Global Institute had seen similar issues emerge.
Andy Eaker asked about the status of the 180 degree supervisor feedback instrument. Felicia Washington said that Gena Carter and Chris Chiron would update the Forum at a future meeting. Ben Triplett observed that the pilot project in Housekeeping had been relatively successful. Todd Hux observed that this question has been active for at least three years. He thought that the many changes of leadership at the University had removed much of the momentum for this effort. Carol Tresolini observed that the Provost’s Office has used 360 degree evaluations with his immediate reports. Felicia Washington noted the general focus on campus on matters related to Connect Carolina. Yvonne Dunlap observed that some employees feel that no one is accountable for decisions made at the University. Ben Triplett noted that the Qualtrics platform might provide some help in constructing surveys for 180 degree feedback. Eaker added that the Center for Creative Leadership and the Odum Institute could also provide some help.
Charles Streeter noted that campus conversations on racial issues have begun. He hoped that staff could play a role in these discussions.
Charles Streeter related the concern of a delegate about a men’s wrestling coach who has posted some controversial remarks on a personal blog. Felicia Washington noted concerns about free speech. She said that this issue is discussed nationally as individuals cite their association with their workplaces in social media. Others use private accounts. Anna Wu observed that policing this use cannot be enforced consistently. Washington said that it is not the policy of the University to police free speech. Streeter wanted there to be some discussion of the question. Washington said that the University will not respond because the post was done during the individual employee’s personal time. Streeter agreed that free speech is important but given the prominent place of these statements, there should be discussion of their impact. Washington said that the University is trying to get things right on these various issues.
The meeting adjourned at 10:50 a.m.
Matt Banks, Recording Secretary