September 20, 2022 Executive Committee meeting minutes
Attending: Randall Borror, Sharron Bouquin, David Bragg, Shane Brogan, Tiffany Carver, Elizabeth Dubose, Stephanie Forman, Keith Hines, James Holman, Todd Hux, Kira Jones, Angenette McAdoo, Amber Meads, Arlene Medder, Katie Musgrove, Laura Pratt, Charlissa Rice, Lori Shamblin, Kurt Stolka, Annetta Streater, Matthew Teal, Jacob Womack
Chair Katie Musgrove called the meeting to order at 11:30 a.m. She called for a motion to approve the June and August meeting minutes. Charlissa Rice made this motion. Laura Pratt noted a misattribution of speakers in the August meeting minutes’ second page. She moved that the name “Alexander” be changed to “Hefner.” The motion to approve the minutes with this correction was passed unanimously.
The Chair moved to the Forum budget report, noting that the OHR Business Office had found a new pool of carryforward money which was not planned for in the Forum’s original budget proposal. She referred attendees to a revised May budget proposal, noting proposed changes to that budget incorporating the newly found funds. She asked the committee to consider these proposed changes. The Chair noted that the funds added total just over $12,000.
The Chair noted that the Forum had vastly underestimated the cost for the 3-Legged Stool production. This year, Facilities Services charged $522 for this task as opposed to the $75 charged in previous years. The Chair though that Facilities Services had become stricter about billing for labor, which led to the abrupt increase.
Jacob Womack asked how it could have taken eight hours labor to make a stool and inscribe an accompanying placard. The Chair anticipated that preparatory time for the production made up most of this time. She asked that the Forum seek out production options elsewhere for future awards.
The Chair displayed other changes to the budget in a screen-share. A delegate suggested hiring graduate students to carry out the Forum webpage redesign. The Chair said that she had lowered the estimate for the Forum printer. Laura Pratt thought that the higher education mini-conference would not occur this year and proposed using these funds for additional professional development grant awards.
Tiffany Carver asked if any of the additional $12,000 would carryforward. Matt Banks said that he would contact the OHR Business Office to ascertain whether the funds would carryforward. The Chair thought it a good idea to hold a percentage of these funds in reserve for future years if they do carryforward.
In response to a question from Matthew Teal, the Chair said that the Forum’s budgets are internal documents used for planning purposes as to what will be spent through the coming year. The Chair said that she would work on additional tweaking of the budget. Another cleaner version will be provided next month. Members then discussed other options for creating a three-legged stool.
The Chair moved to the annual report, saying that she hoped to submit this document to the Chancellor by the end of the month, before the Forum’s 30th anniversary event October 11th. She reported that she had not yet received final confirmation from the Chancellor’s Office of funding for the event. She hoped to receive this confirmation soon.
Regarding the Chancellors’ Cup golf tournament, the Chair said that event will take place on September 27th, a week from today. The Chancellors’ teams and sponsors’ teams filled up the available slots, which would prevent staff teams from participating this year. A question arose as to whether volunteers at the tournament needed to use work time or community service leave. Matt Banks reported that the embroidered polo shirts for volunteers needing shirts would be delivered on Monday, September 26th. The Chair will distribute the shirts to these volunteers at the tournament.
The Chair moved on to scavenger hunt planning for Employee Appreciation Day on October 21st. Shane Brogan had recently called for a meeting of the Communications and Public Relations committee to discuss these arrangements. He said that the main work is to find prizes for the scavenger hunt. Matt Banks would soon send out a Qualtrics survey asking for delegates to work the tables at the departmental fair that day. The day’s events will run from 10-2 p.m.
Shane Brogan had no other report for the Communications and Public Relations committee. The Chair noted that Vanessa Blake will soon take over as Book Club Chair. That group is working to finalize books for the upcoming year.
Jacob Womack commented that the Community Service committee is currently stretched out with work duties and other obligations. He proposed that the group create a Twitter hashtag to allow delegates to document their service activities on-line. He hoped to bring increased awareness of community service activities.
Amber Meads and Laura Pratt presented the Forum’s Carolina Blood Drive update. Pratt noted that December 7th will be the date of the winter blood drive, with appointment sign-ups opening soon.
There was no report from the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee. Laura Pratt said that the Education and Career Development committee is working to prepare for October’s professional development grant applications. The Chair recalled a need to ensure that financial commitments related to the professional development grant awards do not extend beyond the current fiscal year. Pratt agreed with this change and offered to write up an adjustment in the spring.
Tiffany Carver of the Membership & Assignments committee noted the delay in final approval for 30th anniversary event finances. She hoped that a positive answer would arrive soon.
Jacob Womack had no update from the Rules committee. He thought that the Rules committee would need to work up a new set of Bylaws revisions soon. In the meantime, he thought that November and December would be good community service committee months.
The Chair noted that the next UNC System Staff Assembly meeting is scheduled for October 24-25th in Elizabeth City. Keith Hines, James Holman, Shayna Hill, and the Chair will travel to that meeting.
There was no report from the Buildings and Grounds committee. Matthew Teal said that the Policy Review committee had a couple of minor policy revisions approved this month. Teal asked for feedback on students bringing minor children with them to the classroom. Did others see this practice occurring in their units? Teal said that the Policy Review committee plans to hear from the University’s protection of minors coordinator at its October meeting. He noted that legal issues had derailed the previous discussion of this subject.
Laura Pratt asked if in fact a policy on this subject is coming, and if so, will it cover only academic classes or other University-sponsored events as well. Teal said that this is a great question given that the University hosts around 100,000 minors on campus for summer camps and other events. He noted reports that minors in classrooms have disrupted instruction and library services. The Chair noted that the University still lacks a student daycare option. She recalled that UNC is a public university and thus all its buildings are public access, excepting some rare, secured spaces. Could the University even limit access to spaces like libraries and classrooms?
Delegates noted other reports of faculty bringing children to campus as childcare in general is more difficult to find. Teal thought that there could be an interesting diversity and inclusion angle to this question. Elizabeth Dubose said that this issue adds to the growing pile of resources dwindling and the correspondent impact upon lower income households. The Chair agreed that this issue will involve people’s jobs and the need to keep campus accessible to all. She thanked Teal for bringing this question forward.
The Chair said that the Advisory Committee on Transportation will begin consideration of the University’s five-year plan soon. There was no report from the Student Stores advisory committee or the Carolina Peer Support Collaborative.
The Chair said that the Forum plans to invite Rick Wernoski of Operational Excellence to speak on the new lean management training. There are also plans to invite Leah Cox, the Vice Provost for Equity and Inclusion. Cox will present on the campus climate survey that will come out in October to remind community members to complete this survey.
Laura Pratt suggested that the Forum could hear a presentation on the Be a Maker spaces, perhaps to discuss creation of gifts for the upcoming holidays. The Chair liked this idea. She also proposed inviting an official from Campus Recreation to discuss various opportunities in their programs.
Arlene Medder proposed that the Forum invite the Ombuds officers to discuss their work. The Chair said that she loves hearing from Ombuds officer Dawn Osborne-Adams.
The Chair said that the Qualtrics survey seeking attendees and topics for the October 13th Vice Chancellors’ representatives’ meeting will go out soon.
The Chair noted faculty council discussions on free speech concerns. Members shared a letter from Facilities Services asking employees to not speak with media. The Chair pledged to investigate this letter further. Members discussed the implications of this letter, particularly related to Forum delegates. Matthew Teal read UNC System Office policy 13.1.8 related to this subject matter:
We’re committed to providing inclusive and flourishing environment for free speech and expression consistent with the first amendment in Section 14 of the North Carolina State Constitution University may, however, impose viewpoint and Content-neutral restrictions on the time, place, and manner of expression.
In order to achieve a significant institutional interest, these restrictions will be clear, published, and provide ample alternative means of expression.
Annetta Streater asked for feedback as to whether this letter will apply to all units in the University, or only to specific units. She said that media will ask questions of healthcare staff relating to HIPAA protective information, which has led to all questions being referred as a general rule to the departmental communications officer.
Matthew Teal said that the University’s whistleblower policy may have some weight in this discussion. He said that the Forum needs to speak up on this issue now. Jacob Womack recalled University restrictions on staff employees related to political speech, in that this speech must be on one’s own time and cannot occur when one is considered to be a representative of the University. He thought that the original Facilities Services letter was written in a murky fashion. It was suggested that the committee might check with the Office of University Counsel to go over this document.
The Chair proposed that the Forum might need to consider a resolution or proclamation on this subject to affirm the free speech rights of staff employees, similar to what the faculty council had done recently.
In the absence of further discussion, the meeting adjourned at 12:54 p.m.
Matt Banks, Recording Secretary