Agenda — September 4, 1996
9:30 a.m.–Meeting, Assembly Room of Wilson Library
I. Call to Order
II. Welcome Guests
III. Opening Remarks
* Chancellor Michael Hooker
IV. Employee Presentations—Kay Spivey
* Orientation Letter to Newly Hired Employees
* Fall Community Meeting
* Memorial Resolutions for Deceased Employees at October 2 Meeting
V. Special Presentations
* Student Body President Aaron Nelson on Student Government, Common Issues for Students & Employees; University Council
* Director of Training Ken Manwaring on Training Opportunities for Employees
VI. Approval of Minutes of the August 7, 1996 meeting
VII. Chair’s Report (Executive Committee): Ann Hamner
* Open Meetings Law—Administrative Memorandum
* Outsourcing Steering Team Meeting
* University Council Meeting
* Problem with Surplus in Hallways
* Information Technology Services Focus Session August 13
* Budget Report for 1995-96 Fiscal Year
* Faculty Council Bowling Match September 12, 5-7 p.m. in Student Union
* Memorial Service September 18 4-5 p.m. in Memorial Hall
* Forum Portrait to be Taken at October 2 Meeting
* University Day October 12
* A Word to the Wise
VIII. New Business
* Adverse Weather Procedures from Laurie Charest
* Invitation to State Legislators to Visit Campus (Public Affairs Committee)
* Invitation to Bill Graves to Give November Special Presentation on Information Technology Services
* Invitation to Susan Criscenzo, Leslie de Monchaux to Give December Special Presentation on Employee Assistance Program, Financial Counseling
IX. Committee/Task Force Reports
* Nominating—Dianne Crabill
=> Nomination Ballots Out
* Orientation—Leon Hamlett
=> Orientation for New Delegates October 24
=> Reception for New Delegates November 6
* Personnel Policies—Peter Schledorn
* Compensation and Benefits—Tommy Brickhouse
* Public Affairs—Helen Iverson
=> Invitation to State Legislators
* Recognition and Awards—Nancy Klatt/Pamela Shoaf
=> Letters to Departments Without Recognition Programs
=> Possible Booklet on Awards & Recognition
=> Nominations for Community Award (3-Legged Stool) in October Packet
* University Committee Assignments—Vicki Lotz/Jennifer Pendergast
=> Nominees for Grievance Panels
=> Caroline Truelove Forum Representative Student-Faculty Calendar Committee
* Career Development—Sharon Cheek
* Video Production Task Force—Frank DiMauro
=> Shooting Schedule
* Faculty Council Liaisons
* Partner Benefits—Peter Schledorn
* Legislative Affairs—Laresia Farrington
X. Human Resources Update
* Laurie Charest, Vice Chancellor, Human Resources
* Drake Maynard: University Grievance Procedure
* Joe Totten: Exit Interviews with Employees from March 1995 Meeting (Delayed)
Please Note: We are scheduled to film our “mock-up” after the September meeting. Please plan to stay for a bit after adjournment. —Ann
September 4, 1996
Tommy Griffin, Jr.
Archie Phillips, Jr.
Marshall Wade, Jr.
” = Ex-Officio
Chair Ann Hamner called the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m. She noted that the cameras present would not be activated until after adjournment, but would be on at the October meeting. The Chair welcomed Chancellor Michael Hooker to give opening remarks.
He began by addressing what he described as the never-ending story of the University Calendar. Margaret Swezey’s letter in the morning’s Daily Tar Heel claimed that administrators did not completely understand the calendar issue, and the Chancellor charitably granted he had some trouble understanding the dimensions of the topic. Previously, he saw the concern as dealing strictly with faculty, with a Faculty Committee deciding that faculty would teach on Good Friday and Labor Day.
Over the last month, the Chancellor said he had come to understand the issue more clearly; much of the concern stems from a need for Employees to feel some control over their lives. In a sense, the Chancellor thought people have a right to expect that State and national holidays will be sacrosanct and they should have a right to at least make a decision about whether to work on these days. He did not wish for Employees to feel subtly coerced to work on that day, and that Employees may suffer in a subtle way from choosing to work on that day if so requested by a supervisor.
The Chancellor indicated he was sensitive to this issue in a way he had not been last month when he had spoken with the Forum. He had since spoken with the President who agreed that holidays should be sacrosanct, and told the President he had asked the Provost to reconvene the Calendar Committee to find an alternative to having classes on Labor Day and Good Friday. The Provost agreed to this request. The Chancellor did not know if the Committee would succeed in this task, but he noted the Forum was now represented on the Committee and thus the Committee should be better equipped to deal with the issue of adding teaching days without carving them out of State holidays.
Chancellor Hooker added that faculty on the Committee did not want to reconsider the issue, feeling that there was a reason to teach on Labor Day and Good Friday connected with the scheduling of classes and Monday seminars. While there are pedagogical reasons for teaching on Labor Day, the Chancellor did not think that these reasons should override the importance of these holidays. Again, the Chancellor did not know what result the Committee would return, but he had assured the President that the University would do all it could to find an alternative to working on State holidays.
The Chancellor noted the morning’s story on alcohol abuse and the UNC soccer team. At this point he felt he could not comment fully, but said that the incident as described made his heart heavy and made him angry. Given his interest in the problem of campus drinking, to discover that a freshman may have been urged to drink by his older teammates made the Chancellor heartsick. He was determined more than ever to address an undergraduate culture that permits this sort of activity. The Chancellor granted he had not been fully briefed on the subject but felt it important to share his feelings.
The week before, the Chancellor met with members of the Governor’s Advisory Budget Commission, which consists of members of the House and Senate and gubernatorial appointees, including former Chapel Hill Mayor Howard Lee. The purpose of the meeting was to brief the Advisory Commission on the University’s needs and plans for the future as the Commission puts together recommendations for the State’s biennial budget.
The Chancellor had repeated to the Advisory Commission his promise that the University intends to use its flexible dollars in ways described to the Legislature this past spring. These dollars will be used for graduate student health insurance, technology on campus, and outreach. Chancellor Hooker lamented that the University is behind the curve in introducing and adapting new digital technologies in comparison to the top 20 universities in the country. The University will commit a significant part of its flexible budget dollars to playing catch-up. This effort will include initiatives to increase faculty use of technology in the classroom to enhance instruction. The University will administer a competitive grant program for faculty to free up time and provide expert advice and assistance necessary to improve instruction through digital technology.
The Chancellor outlined to the Legislature the University’s outreach program to public schools. The University plans to launch a number of initiatives to lend its resources to the task of improving the State’s public schools. He recalled his earlier statement that there is nothing more important to the State’s future than improving the quality of North Carolina’s schools. Our economy depends on improving our public schools, as we move further into a knowledge-based economy. Our competitive advantage can be secured only by improving our national brainpower.
Stating that it was too early to share priorities for the upcoming legislative session, the Chancellor repeated that faculty and staff salaries will be the University’s highest priority, as education is a labor-intensive industry and institutional quality depends on attracting superior faculty and staff. This, in turn, depends on the University’s ability to offer market-competitive wages.
The Chancellor called for questions from the Forum. Mona Couts asked if the term “flexible dollars” refers to academic enhancement dollars. The Chancellor replied this was so. Mona asked if there would be some Committee to decide how these dollars would be appropriated and allocated. The Chancellor imagined there would be many Committees involved in various aspects of administering these funds, but felt bound by his promises to the Legislature to spend these funds on the three priority areas mentioned. For example, the faculty grants program announced would be governed by an advisory committee that would review applications and recommend to the Provost which proposals should be funded.
Marshall Wade asked if the University’s ongoing suit with the housekeepers was nearing closure. The Chancellor did not know, but said that the University was anxious that the suit be settled before going to administrative trial. He said that the University has made an enormous amount of progress in the last twelve months regarding housekeeper issues, particularly in the areas of training and management.
Regarding pay raises, the Administration had attempted last fall in the Legislature to separate housekeepers from general staff in the area of pay raises, but received no support in the Legislature for this idea. While housekeepers are not paid a livable wage, their wages are above the market level for the Triangle area; this discrepancy is the sticking point in treating housekeeper wage issues separately in the Legislature. Yet, the University received a little flexibility in the salary increase category from the Legislature this year which will allow some small adjustments for Employees whose work assignments have increased. However, these adjustments will have little effect on Employees seeking livable wages.
On the subject of the Legislature, the Chancellor noted with sadness Anne Barnes’ recent withdrawal from the North Carolina House race. Anne had been the best champion for Employee wage increases in the lowest pay classifications; not just housekeepers but many others who do not make a livable wage. Anne had been an able counselor to the Chancellor in this area and the University will greatly miss her presence in the Legislature.
Eddie Capel asked if there were any updates on the current vacancies among unfilled Vice Chancellor positions. The Chancellor reported that the University would make a recommendation on the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs position to the Board of Governors which he expected would be approved. The University made an offer to a candidate for the Vice Chancellor for Administration position but the salary was insufficient to obtain the candidate. As the Board of Governors caps salaries in each administrative category, these salaries are well below the average for top-tier universities. The University is “back to the drawing board” on that position.
One Employee noted that SPA Employees had received lower salary increases than faculty and teachers and asked if the Chancellor thought this represents a trend that would continue. The Chancellor hoped it would not, but referred to the Legislature’s understanding of the market. “The Legislature gave all institutions except NC State and UNC-CH an increase that was higher than for other Employees, and gave us the ability to use flexible academic enhancement funds to make up the difference between what faculty receive here and at other institutions in the System. I do not know if this will continue or not. I have argued for parity because we are so far behind the competitive curve in all areas that it does not make much sense to discriminate but that has not been the practice of the Legislature and I cannot reliably predict what they will do.”
The Chair thanked the Chancellor for sharing his thoughts with the Forum. She praised the Forum and the Administration for their mutual willingness to come to some understanding on the academic calendar issue.
Vice-Chair Kay Spivey noted that the Employee Presentations Committee had drafted a one page letter from the Forum to be given to all new Employees at Orientation. She asked Forum members to review the letter and to e-mail or call her with any questions or concerns about the Committee’s work, preferably by noon, September 6.
The Fall Community Meeting will be an open mike session on October 9. She noted the Committee’s difficulties in finding a place large enough for the meeting, but the group settled on the Institute of Government Auditorium, from 10-11:30 a.m. The Employee Presentations Committee asked that each Committee Chair, or a designated representative, be on hand to respond to questions at the meeting. She also hoped to invite representatives from Human Resources to attend the meeting. The Committee hopes to have a professional facilitator on hand to work with the Employees attending in order to have a well-organized and productive meeting.
At the October Forum meeting, the Committee will recognize deceased SPA and EPA-non faculty Employees who have died in the last six months. Kay said she would communicate with all Human Resources Facilitators asking them to notify her of any Employees to be recognized, and asked Forum members to do the same.
Student Body President Aaron Nelson thanked the Forum for inviting him to address the group on the subject of Student Government. The Student Congress has 37 representatives elected by districts for those who live on and off campus and by department for graduate students. These representatives oversee expenditure of $250,000 across campus. The Student Supreme Court is the primary adjudicator of questions involving the Student Code; the Executive Branch has around 150 students operating on a $20,000 budget working as advocates for students in dealings with administration, staff and faculty.
The 201 year history of student self-government at UNC started with the Dialectic and Philanthropic societies. Currently there are 78 living student body presidents; the University just celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of its Student Constitution which was adopted in May of 1946.
Aaron hoped that the Forum and Student Government would be able to work together on many common issues. He recalled that Student Government had in general supported a variety of issues with the Forum, including sending student representatives and information to Raleigh during recent budget discussions. One top priority of Student Government was increasing staff salaries, Aaron said, along with increasing aid to graduate students and faculty. He thought that students understand the importance of all University components being successful.
Currently, Student Government is working with the Coalition for Economic Justice to oppose the contracting out of housekeeping services. Aaron noted he sits on the Outsourcing Steering Team and had been able to install students on the different subcommittees. He hoped that Student Government and the Forum could work together formally to oppose the outsourcing of housekeeping, groundskeeping and other campus services.
Aaron noted other areas for potential cooperation, mentioning he had been a member of the Academic Calendar Committee along with Graduate and Professional Student Federation President Katherine Kraft. Regarding choices for adding instructional days, Aaron recalled that one difficult choice for adding an instructional day had been either Good Friday or Martin Luther King Day. The Committee wondered if it would be profitable to have classes during Spring Break since it seemed most students would cut those classes in any event. Starting earlier in the semester posed a conflict with Orientation for freshman students; other options led to inequities between Monday/Wednesday/Friday and Tuesday/Thursday classes.
Aaron said he was happy that the Chancellor had chosen to reconvene the Calendar Committee and that the Forum was now represented on the Committee. He looked forward to students and Employees working together as allies on this and other issues, and praised the Administration for appointing students to nearly every Committee on campus. He felt that students are plugged into campus happenings and was enthusiastic about serving together with Employees as a common resource and ally.
Peter Schledorn stated that the Personnel Policies Committee had offered its services to determine possible alternatives to the current academic calendar. Aaron thanked Peter for this offer and said that he had brought some brochures describing the work of Student Government with names and phone numbers.
Aaron Nelson said he and other students were enthusiastic to work on the Forum’s idea to host a Legislative Day this spring. Student Government has an Ambassadors Program which matches one or two students with each State House and Senate representative. This grassroots organizing effort will induce Ambassadors to contact their local and State representatives about the University when home on Spring, Fall and Christmas breaks. He hoped to be able to match students, faculty or staff with representatives when they arrive for Legislative Day.
Student Congress sessions are televised on the University’s public access channel every other Wednesday. Congress’ priorities include expenditure of flexible academic enhancement dollars, campus safety and security, legislative issues, and out-of-state student concerns. Aaron commented that campus safety has seen enormous improvement, particularly with the recent installation of lighting corridors and additional call boxes. He still hoped that an emergency phone could be installed in the Pit. He noted that out-of-state students make up 18% of the campus complement but receive little consideration from local legislators since it is presumed they do not vote here. Student Government hopes to create an organization to represent this population.
Aaron reiterated that students are eager to work with Employees and the Forum, but conceded that the two groups may not always agree. However, he thought that the two groups will have many issues in common.
Aaron offered to take any questions. George Sharp asked about the theft of issues of the Carolina Review on the eve of Aaron Nelson’s election to the office of Student Body President which received coverage in the Daily Tar Heel. George thought there had been much discussion about the appropriateness of the Review’s article but little concerning the theft of the papers. He asked Aaron’s position on the appropriateness of any University group stealing materials and thus depriving the other members of the community the opportunity to judge the value of the views espoused.
Aaron felt there had been more discussion on the latter topic than the former, but that there had been a great deal of media coverage in the Daily Tar Heel and in papers across the State on the anti-Semitism issue and whether the removal of the papers had been conspiratorial and/or detrimental to University discussion. For his part, Aaron believed that the Carolina Review ought to be funded in the interests of free speech. He had spoken on behalf of the Review though the periodical had been “offensive” in the past.
The crux of the issue seemed to be whether the papers, in being placed in receptacles for distribution rather than on desktops across campus, violated the University facilities use policy. The two students who took the papers were taken to Honor Court and found not guilty of interfering with the legitimate normal free speech of an organization which is considered a violation of the Student Code. There had been questions about legitimate, normal distribution, Aaron said.
Aaron did not think that students have the right to take materials so that others do not have access to them. Whether the issues were indeed stolen he saw as an arguable point, since the issues had been brought to the office of the Student Government Attorney General for review that evening. The Carolina Review was distributed for the sole purpose of defeating his election campaign, Aaron said, raising the question of whether the issues were campaign materials. If they were campaign materials, could they be taken as they were laid out for any individual. Aaron conceded the issue had been a tough one for him personally to be depicted in this manner, but he did not mind if people read the articles.
George granted this would be a difficult issue for Aaron since he had been personally targeted in the article, but still thought there was a real concern for the University community at large to have the chance to examine the appropriateness of the articles. Aaron recalled the sentiment of the students who took the issues that the Review itself had violated the Honor Code, and so took the issues to the Attorney General to deal with under the Code. They had expected the Attorney General to prosecute the Review’s publisher, and were surprised by the reversal that they were the ones charged. Aaron noted the issues had been redistributed to the entire University community and offered to loan copies to interested parties.
Peggy Cotton asked Aaron’s perspective on possible plans to enlarge the Student Union, particularly the possibility that some student offices will be shifted in or out of the Union building. Aaron replied that plans for enlargement have been sent to Facilities Management for preliminary examination. There is not yet a design or architect for the expansion, but he hoped these steps would take place soon. Currently, over 10,000 students per day use the Union, and approximately 380 student organizations, about 60 of which have legitimate claim to office space. There is not nearly enough space for these groups, he said.
Ken Manwaring, Director of Training and Development, gave the next special presentation on the Educational Assistance Program and career opportunities at the University. As a history of the Program, in Fiscal Year 1993/94, 163 applications for assistance were submitted, 98 applications were completed and 65 applications were incomplete, for a variety of reasons, including schedule changes or child care difficulties. The total amount reimbursed for FY 1993/94 was $10,688.05.
In Fiscal Year 1994/95, the figures were almost identical: 163 applications for assistance were submitted, 98 applications were completed and 61 applications were incomplete, with a total amount reimbursed of $10,741.25. There were a number of proposals that year involving the Program, the most noteworthy and well-publicized by the Forum the proposal to raise the amount of assistance to $350 per participant. Human Resources began to market the Program more vigorously in the second year as well.
In the Program’s third year, Fiscal Year 1995/96, applications submitted grew to 225, with the number completed rising to 181 and the number incomplete only 13 (these figures are still incomplete). The amount reimbursed to participants under the Program doubled to $21,039.32, more than the original allocation of $20,000 but workable due to carryover funds. Ken hoped that growth would continue as knowledge and participation in the Program increase.
There has been an increase in the use of the Educational Assistance Program, and an increase in the amount of assistance per recipient from $250 to $350 which Ken felt benefited a number of people. In the process of expansion, the word has gotten out about this University opportunity.
The number of tuition waivers has also increased Ken said and both of these programs are important career development opportunities. From the beginning of Ken’s involvement with the program in 1994, Employee tuition waivers increased from 303 people in Fall of 1994 to 441 people in Fall 1996. Ken was encouraged that both programs have grown so vigorously over the past few years.
Ken noted some concern about the option of advance payment for Employee participants in the Education Assistance Program. Yet, in three years of administering the Program, there had been only one request for advance payment for a course, out of approximately 400 applicants. Yet, he had researched other sources of prepaid funding for courses. One option suggested to him was the State Employees’ Credit Union for education loans. In order to secure a moderate educational loan from the Credit Union, all that is required is for an Employee to open a $25 refundable account.
There has been some criticism about the amount of time needed to process reimbursement at the end of the Program. Training & Development requires the original receipt and a copy of the grade transcript, and tries to make reimbursement within thirty days of receipt. This turnaround time has become more difficult to maintain because of the Program’s growth and the addition of other Training & Development activities.
Bobbie Lesane asked about the situation when an Employee receives financial aid at an institution and still is employed at the University. Would this Employee still be eligible for the Educational Assistance Program? Ken recalled that this situation is covered in the policy but did not know the exact answer off-hand. He would answer Bobbie’s question after double-checking the policy.
The Chair noted she had received a request from Michael Klein, Director of Transportation and Parking, to address the Forum for five minutes on the subject of parking concerns. She called for a motion from the floor to suspend the agenda to allow Michael to make this presentation. Marshall Wade so moved and Peter Schledorn seconded. The Forum agreed to this motion without opposition.
Michael Klein thanked the Forum for the opportunity to speak. He noted there had been some reduction of parking due to construction projects. One of these projects is the pending construction of the Health Affairs 2 deck. Transportation and Parking expect to break ground between November and March, and this facility will add 1,100 spaces to the campus parking complement. This deck comes on the heels of the Business School deck which was built without capital cost to the University and which will be operated for Employees.
He noted construction on the former Mickie property that will become the expanded Swain lot and is expected to be completed in around another month. There is minor expansion under way in the Sitterson lot and Michael understood that OWASA has begun work at the Water Tower lot that should create a few more spaces for the University.
In addition, this summer, Transportation and Parking has done a tremendous amount of painting, restoration and cleaning of spaces which he hoped has been beneficial, though this process was not yet complete.
Michael asked if Forum members or other Employees had any comments on the activities and responsiveness of his department. Betty Watkins spoke for other housekeepers who feel that in the Swain parking lot the area from which cars emerge is potentially dangerous to pedestrians. She felt that the spaces near the booth were too close to the building and posed a danger to students and passers-by. Michael said that his department would contact Betty and others individually to determine the exact source of their concern.
George Sharp asked what the projected completion date will be for the Health Affairs 2 parking deck. Michael replied that completion will come in phases, with the initial half nearest the Hospital to be operational first within around a year while work continues on the rear half of the deck. Because the deck involves a bridge above Manning Drive, the construction schedule remains somewhat variable, Michael said.
Mary Woodall recalled discussion about afternoon permits; specifically, the possibility of changing the time these permits go into effect from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. so that Employees can leave for lunch and return to find an open spot in their lot. She asked what had occurred in this area. Michael answered that these permits, which were previously “wild cards” functioning in any campus lot, have now been allocated, regulated and tied to specific lots. Transportation and Parking is still discussing the issue of time changes for afternoon permits with its Advisory Committee, along with the Forum and other Employees. Michael emphasized that there will no longer be 800 “free, wild card permits that may appear in any lot.” Since these permits will now be restricted, the department does not anticipate the same problem, though it will continue to monitor use.
The Chair called for a motion to approve the minutes of the August 7, 1996 meeting. Janet Tysinger made this motion, with George Sharp seconding. Dianne Crabill added the correction that Helen Iverson was indeed present at the meeting, contrary to the minutes as written. There was no discussion, and the minutes as amended were approved.
The Chair noted the Board of Governors’ revised interpretation of the Open Meetings Law. Information about this new interpretation was available in the Routing File. The Chair stated that the Forum and all Committees are subject to the constraints of the Open Meetings Law. Forum Assistant Matt Banks will be the “point guard” in administration of the law as regards the Forum, and will be responsible for getting information to UNC News Services about Committee meetings. In turn, Committee Chairs should work to inform Matt well in advance of meetings and cancellations. The Chair has sent a memo to Committee Chairs outlining their responsibilities in getting information to the Forum Assistant so that News Services may be notified on time. If there are any further questions, members should contact the Chair or the Forum Assistant. The Chair felt that the Forum essentially runs in an open manner in accordance with the spirit of the law but would have to be vigilant about informing Matt about any special meetings or changes.
Bennie Griffin and the Chair attended the Outsourcing Steering Team meeting on August 29 as representatives of the Forum. The Chair noted a fair amount of discussion on the roles of the Outsourcing Support Teams; one of which—the Employee Relations Team—is chaired by Laurie Charest. A memo from Elson Floyd will outline the schedule for a number of open meetings in which members of the Steering Team will be available to provide information to Employees and answer questions.
The Chair had asked Bruce Runberg, Coordinator of the Steering Team, to place the Forum’s May Resolution on privatization on the agenda for the September 6 meeting so that Team members and the community at large are aware of the Forum’s position on privatization. She and Bennie are doing their best to represent all Employees in the process and are willing to hear concerns from Delegates and Employees.
The University Council met on August 21, with a main topic of discussion the Public Affairs Committee’s proposal for a University Legislative Day. The Chair felt it important to get cooperation from faculty, students and administration early on, as the idea will require major joint effort. Everyone on the Council was extremely supportive of the idea, the Chair reported. Tommy Brickhouse will share more information on the idea in the New Business section of the day’s agenda. The Chair was enthusiastic about the opportunity for joint cooperation among University members.
The Forum Office has received a reply from Kelly Reed of Materials Management Distribution concerning surplus materials left too long in office hallways. This response is contained along with the original inquiry in the Routing File. The Chair asked concerned members to consult the Routing File and provide feedback on whether they wished the concern to be a full agenda item at the October meeting.
Also in the packet was a report detailing how the Forum spends its funds. Much of the Forum budget goes into copying meeting packets and other information. Also, the Forum Office invested in software for work on its web page, on budget reports, and graphics formatting.
The Forum has set a date for its challenge bowling match with the Faculty Council for Thursday, September 12 from 5-7 p.m. in the Student Union basement. There will be pizza and coke. The Chair said that in spite of never having picked up a bowling ball she will be there to give it a shot. She felt this would be a nice way for the two groups to get together and said a later invitation to members would follow.
A University Memorial Service will be held September 18 at 4 p.m. in Memorial Hall, recognizing deceased students, faculty and staff from the previous academic year. She encouraged members and Employees to attend.
The Forum’s annual portrait will be taken at 9:10 a.m. just before the October 2 meeting on the steps of Wilson Library. The Chair asked members to put on their smiling faces for posterity, noting that the past three portraits hang on the walls of the Forum Office.
As a final item, the Chair reported that some Employees had been extremely disgruntled with the parking restrictions on Employees from August 14-19 to allow returning students to move into the dormitories. Parking places were set aside for students to unload their belongings. The Chair felt it vitally important that Employees and Forum members keep in mind that students are our customers and that in order to provide best service we have to let them get here. There will always be days when we have to move our cars, she said.
The Chair noted that included in the monthly packet was a copy of the adverse weather procedure provided by Laurie Charest and Human Resources. The Chair asked members to suggest any changes to the procedure in session or to submit them either to the Forum Office. She felt that Laurie would be willing to answer questions on the procedure now or at a later date.
Mary Woodall suggested that the section stating that time lost due to adverse weather must be made up be amended to note that this time cannot be made up during a 40 hour work week. Laurie Charest and the Chair noted and appreciated Mary’s clarification.
The Chair felt that Laurie Charest and Human Resources had done a good job with the revisions but asked the Forum to provide any further comments to the Forum Office by September 6 so that it may provide a timely response on the procedure.
The next item of business is the suggestion of the Public Affairs Committee to invite members of the Legislature to tour the campus. The Chair asked Tommy Brickhouse to speak in place of Committee Chair Helen Iverson on the item.
Tommy reported that at the Committee’s last meeting the group proposed inviting legislators to campus as an opportunity to show how it felt about the budget process, and to show the good things University Employees do. There was advanced the possibility of inviting every House and Senate member to campus and pairing these up with students, staff and faculty members. The University could rent the Town Trolley to drive the members around campus.
The Committee was encouraged by the positive responses the idea had received by other groups across campus. Tommy noted that Norm Loewenthal, Liaison from Public Affairs to the Forum’s Executive Committee, had presented the idea at the August Executive Committee meeting to get the ball rolling. Tommy speculated that the proposal would need the help of many volunteers in addition to the efforts of the Faculty Council, Student Government and the Graduate and Professional Student Federation.
The Chair called for a motion for the Forum to adopt this idea formally in order to work towards initiation of University Legislative Day. Norm Loewenthal made this motion, with Peter Schledorn seconding.
George Sharp asked if invitations had been sent out to legislators. Tommy stated they had not yet been sent. The Chair noted that some had hoped to invite legislators to the November Forum meeting, but discussion with the University Council led to moving plans back to January or later once the General Assembly had reconvened. She noted that many members had been shuttled over to the Asheboro Zoo and joked that the University should be much more interesting than the Zoo.
Norm Loewenthal mentioned that the idea had been presented to invite legislators to attend a Forum meeting. The Chair thought this idea would need to be coordinated through Public Affairs Committee, and has asked the members of the University Council to appoint liaisons to work with that Committee. At that point she thought these issues could be discussed. There is the possibility that buses could be sent to pick the representatives up from Raleigh, or even to feed them lunch for the day.
There was no further discussion, and the motion was approved unanimously. The Chair noted that Public Affairs Committee will call upon Forum members to volunteer to make this a special day, and asked members to be ready to pitch in. She hoped even that those leaving the Forum will be willing to help also.
During the focus session with Information Technology Services, the Executive Committee felt there would be sufficient reason to invite Bill Graves to give a special presentation on reorganization plans involving technology on campus. Accordingly, she requested a motion to invite Bill Graves to give a November special presentation. Tommy Nixon made this motion, with Kathy Dutton seconding. There was no further discussion, and the motion carried unanimously.
The final item of new business was the proposal to invite Susan Criscenzo of the Employee Assistance Program and Leslie de Monchaux of the Consumer Credit Counseling Service to give a special presentation on financial and debt counseling. The Chair reported that members of the Forum community have fielded questions from Employees on particular financial issues such as buying a house or establishing good credit. Having spoken with Ms Criscenzo of the Employee Assistance Program, the Forum Office learned of the referral relationship the University has with the Consumer Credit Counseling Service. The Chair felt this would be a good chance to get information out about the availability for credit counseling for University Employees.
The Chair called for a motion to invite Ms. Criscenzo and Ms. De Monchaux to give a special presentation on the subject of financial counseling in December. Ned Brooks made this motion, with Betty Watkins seconding. There was no discussion, and the motion was approved. The Chair noted that in December there will be the presentation of certificates to retiring Delegates and that newly elected members will be invited to attend.
Chair Dianne Crabill of the Nominating Committee reported over 6,000 ballots have gone out on schedule for the Forum’s 1997 elections. She encouraged Employees to get their ballots back to the Forum Office on time and thanked University Mail Services and Administrative Information Services for their help in distributing ballots quickly.
Dianne reported at the start of the year, the Committee had agonized early on about lack of representation in Divisions 2 and 3. Out of the 735 nomination letters sent to Division 2 Employees, only five nominations were received.
Out of the five original Division 2 nominees, only two were willing to run. Eventually, the Committee was able to secure six nominees, each of whom is guaranteed a seat on the Forum, either as a Delegate or an Alternate. In the event of any attrition in the Division, there is the very real possibility of having to conduct another special election, for the second time in three years. Dianne felt that Delegate attrition is probably the result of inflexible work schedules for Division 2 Employees. Dianne said the Committee would “truly welcome” any suggestions for increasing representation among these Divisions.
Dianne noted there had been a few errors on the ballots distributed and apologized for these. Also, she thanked all those who helped the Nominating Committee get the ballots out to Employees and invited those unhappy with the existing process to lend the Committee a hand in the future. Finally, she thanked everyone on the Forum, the Executive Committee and particularly the Nominating Committee for their fine work and good cheer.
In response to the question of securing representation from Division 2, Janet Tysinger recalled criticism in the newspapers from the Housekeepers’ Association that the Forum did not represent housekeepers adequately. She was concerned about these comments and about the lack of interest in the Forum among Division 2 Employees. Janet proposed inviting representatives of the Housekeepers’ Association, perhaps Barbara Prear and others to address the Forum.
Mona Couts thought this was a good idea and proposed inviting Barbara DeLon, Director of Housekeeping, in addition with the cooperation of the Employee Presentations Committee to address these groups’ concerns. She recalled the Forum had played some part in improving the mail situation for housekeepers and suggested that the Nominating Committee attempt telephone contact with these Employees to inform them that elections were about to begin. She proposed also that the Employee Presentations Committee examine different ways to reach this population.
The Chair asked if the Forum wished to invite Barbara DeLon and Barbara Prear or another representative of the Housekeepers’ Association to meet with the Executive Committee to begin this discussion. She thought this might be a good way to get input about why these groups feel they have not been represented and ideas on how to increase participation from Division 2.
Peter Schledorn thought it would be a good idea to make the process more open-ended, not necessarily restricted to an Executive Committee meeting or a smaller group. Rather, he advocated asking the parties involved to speak with the Executive Committee and the entire Forum.
Marshall Wade thought since the end of the year was so close, this suggestion might be better carried out next year. He noted that the Housekeepers’ Association suit will soon either be settled or go to court within the next month. Marshall speculated that it might be better to meet with the Association’s representatives prior to the court date.
Chair Leon Hamlett reported that the Orientation Committee had not met in the last month. Orientation for new Delegates will take place October 24 in Toy Lounge in Dey Hall. A reception for these Delegates is scheduled the November 6 Forum meeting. The Committee will meet to assign duties for the meeting and to determine a preliminary refreshments budget.
Chair Peter Schledorn of the Personnel Policies Committee noted the group would probably change its regularly scheduled meeting from September 13 to a later date. He would inform the Forum Assistant when this date had been settled. The main topic of this meeting will be EPA non-faculty and SPA wage hour exempt Employees comp time and overtime policies.
Chair Tommy Brickhouse of the Compensation and Benefits Committee reported the group had a meeting scheduled which was cancelled on account of poor attendance. He was disappointed at this lack of attendance and promised the Committee would meet this month. The Chair urged Forum representatives not to slack off in their attendance to duties.
Speaking for Chair Helen Iverson of Public Affairs Committee, Tommy noted that group needs more members in the wake of resignations from the Forum by Tom Hocking and Donna Gerringer. He asked Forum members not currently serving on a Committee to consider working with Public Affairs.
Peggy Cotton passed along news of SEANC 19’s annual Gospel Fest which will take place Sunday, September 29 at Orange High School at 4 p.m. She hoped that members would support the event which will feature numerous gospel singers, the Chapel Hill High School Ensemble and the Inspirational Voices. Orange High School is in Hillsborough off Highway 70 at 500 Orange High School Road. Adult tickets are $10, senior citizens $8, and children under 12 $5; groups will save $2 off the original price. She hoped that people would come out to hear the good singing. Employees can purchase tickets from Peggy, Helen Iverson, or any active member of District 19.
Chair Pamela Shoaf of Recognition and Awards Committee reported that group did not meet last month but would meet this month to work on their letter to departments regarding Employee recognition programs and the corresponding booklet. Also, nomination forms for the Community Award (3-Legged Stool) will be included in the October agenda packet.
Co-Chair Jennifer Pendergast of the University Committee Assignments Committee noted a letter forwarding names of nominees for service University Grievance Panels. Caroline Truelove is the Forum’s representative to the University Academic Calendar Committee. Jennifer asked first year Forum Delegates to consider service on the Transportation and Parking Advisory Committee, noting the Committee had already received one name for consideration.
Chair Sharon Cheek of the Career Development Committee reported the group met August 8 to complete its Employee Educational Survey. The Survey has been mailed to 500 randomly selected Employees and the Committee anticipates much good feedback.
Sharon reported Norm Loewenthal had supplied the Committee with a list of fall courses offered by Continuing Studies. He also provided a list of 48 University classes offered in late afternoons in which Employees may be interested. Sharon thanked Norm, Phyllis Daughtery and Ken Manwaring for their help in compiling these lists and constructing the Educational Survey, anticipating some good data to come from the latter.
Norm Loewenthal supplemented Sharon’s comments by noting concern about the small number of evening classes offered by Continuing Education. This number has declined some in recent years due to funding received by the College of Arts & Sciences for the Continuing Studies program and increased stipends to the teaching assistants who are primarily responsible for instruction in this program. Norm thought it useful to point out that there are courses taught regularly in the late afternoon and evening by University departments which provide an opportunity for Employees beyond those provided by Continuing Studies. Norm and the Committee compiled a list of these classes from the class schedule and distributed them to the Friday Center and Human Resources for use in connection with the Tuition Waiver program. Norm said that his office plans to distribute this information at the beginning of each semester. Sharon thanked Norm and Phyllis Daugherty of the Office of Human Resources for their help to the Committee. The Chair thanked Sharon and the Career Development Committee for their efforts and said she looked forward to learning the results of the Survey.
Frank DiMauro, convenor of the Video Task Force, reported the group met last month and presented a production schedule which it reviewed with Andy Brawn. It plans to start shooting that day and to continue with location and interview shoots through the month of September and into October. Frank asked for a couple of volunteers for a dawn scene at the Craig Parking Deck at 7 a.m. September 19. The group plans shots with Chancellor Hooker, Elson Floyd, Jane Brown and Margaret Balcom, along with scenes with “founders” of the Forum and regular Employees. Kevin Wolfe has been suggested as the narrator for the production.
George Sharp asked if today’s shoot would be a “practice.” Frank replied that today after the meeting there will be a “mock-up” shoot of the Forum in action and that the Forum had voted to film its October meeting “live.” The Chair noted that the October meeting will be when the Forum will take its annual portrait, so members should dress appropriately.
The Chair encouraged members to volunteer for the different scenes to be filmed. Frank hoped that the film would be ready for the November 6 meeting, but would probably premiere at the December 4 meeting.
Liaison to the Faculty Council Committee on Domestic Partner Benefits Peter Schledorn said he had spoken with a few people at NC State University about the course of their efforts. The Committee will contact the University Insurance Committee for advice on moving forward with its next recommendations. There was no report from the Liaison to the Faculty Council Committee on Legislative Affairs.
Laurie Charest stated that Human Resources had been through the staff review process with the Office of State Personnel. Some of the provisions in the University process did not match the Office of State Personnel process. One of these provisions allowed Employees twelve hours to work on the preparation of grievances; the other was the continuing use of support persons in the State grievance process. Laurie reported happily that the Office of State Personnel would pass on the University grievance process to the State Personnel Commission with both of these features included as “Employee-friendly” and a recommendation for approval.
Laurie thanked the Forum for its work on the policy as integral to convincing the Office of State Personnel that including these provisions was a good thing to do. The Office noted in its review that the University’s grievance procedure is “the most Employee-friendly grievance procedure in the State,” a designation Laurie was proud to announce. Laurie expected the State Personnel Commission would approve the procedure at its September meeting.
Secondly, Laurie noted it was time again for benefits enrollments. The annual enrollment period for North Carolina Flex, the flexible benefits plan that started last year, will be from October 21 to November 15 for the January 1, 1997 year. North Carolina Flex includes dependent care and medical care reimbursement expense accounts, the American Dental Plan, and this year will include a Vision Discount Plan. There is no specific information on the Vision Discount Plan as bids are in but there has not yet been selection in that Plan. Laurie hoped to make information available shortly.
Enrollment materials will be distributed through campus mail as soon as possible prior to the enrollment period. There are three information sessions scheduled for Employees, all on October 31: from 1-2 p.m., 2:30-3:30 p.m. and 4-5 p.m. at 725 Airport Road. This information will be disseminated in other ways as well but she encouraged members to let people know about these sessions.
The annual enrollment period for the Fortis Dental Plan, the dental plan strictly for University Employees, is October 21 to November 15 for the January 1, 1997 year. Laurie was pleased that the dates coincide to allow Employees to choose between the Fortis and the American Dental Plans. She did not know if there would be a change in rates for the Fortis Plan but said that this information would be made available prior to enrollment.
There will be an open enrollment period for Prudential Life Insurance for participants who wish to increase their coverage for the January 1, 1997 year. This open enrollment period will be November 11-30, with additional information to go out soon.
Peggy Cotton asked what the position of the State Office is regarding participation in the SEANC convention and possible work time. Laurie replied that the State Office refuses to take a position on this issue, but the University allows SEANC Delegates work time to attend the convention but other Employees are not allowed time. Laurie noted she had the list of official Delegates from one of the districts but did not from the other. The Governor and the Office of State Personnel takes no position on this concern.
The Chair asked members to be sure to stay so that there would be plenty of good pictures for the “mock-up” video. The group would discuss the arrangement of seats for the meeting.
The Chair congratulated Betty Watkins for completing the Certified Nursing Assistant Program. The Forum gave her a warm round of applause.
The Chair announced there would be a reception for State Senate incumbent Teena Little September 10 from 5-7 p.m. in the Carolina Inn. All interested individuals are invited.
Pamela Shoaf suggested that the Forum send a letter of thanks to Anne Barnes for all she has done for the University. This suggestion met with general agreement.
In the absence of further discussion, the Chair called for a motion to adjourn. Delores Jarrell so moved, with Rosa Nolen seconding. There was no discussion, and the meeting adjourned at 11:08 a.m.
Matt Banks, Recording Secretary