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February 7, 2018

UNC-Chapel Hill Employee Forum

Hitchcock Multipurpose Room, Sonja H. Stone Center

NOTE:  This is a draft agenda and is subject to change without advance notice.

I.   Call to Order—Chair Shayna Hill (9:15 a.m. – 9:25 a.m.)

  • Welcome to Guests & Members of the Press

II.  Special Presentations (9:25 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.)

III. Human Resources Update (10:15 a.m. – 10:35 a.m.)

  • Vice Chancellor for Workforce Strategy, Equity, and Engagement Felicia Washington
  • Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources Linc Butler

IV. Consent Agenda (10:35 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.)

V.   Old Business (10:45 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.)

  • March 7 Ropes Course in Place of Forum Meeting

VI.  New Business (11:00 a.m. – 11:25 a.m.)

VII.   Announcements/Questions (11:25 -11:30 a.m.)

VIII.  Adjournment

MINUTES

February 7, 2018 Employee Forum Meeting

 

Attending:

 

Excused Absences:

 

Chair Shayna Hill called the meeting to order at 9:15 a.m.  She reminded delegates that the Forum’s March meeting would take place at the Carolina Outdoor Recreation Center at the Challenge Ropes course.  She welcomed Amy Hertel, Jim Leloudis, and Winston Crisp, Co-Chairs of the Chancellor’s Task Force on UNC-Chapel Hill History.  Leloudis noted that Chancellor Folt had appointed the task force in fall of 2015, following on the campaign to remove William Saunders’ name from what has since become Carolina Hall.  He said that the University has moved to curate this decision by the Board through creation of a museum exhibit at Carolina Hall to teach and document the story of race and democracy on campus.  Leloudis recalled that during the 1920s, when the building was commissioned, the Ku Klux Klan was used as a reason to immortalize Saunders’ name on the building.

Leloudis said that the second job of the task force is to create a curatorial plan for McCorkle Place, in effect to tell the larger history of the University.  First, the task force must deal with the issue of the Confederate Monument (Silent Sam).  He said that the task force envisioned a treatment like the one at Carolina Hall, recognizing the history and time in which the monument was created through digital and other means.  Secondly, Leloudis said that the task force would reckon with the Unsung Founders’ Memorial, which is currently slowly sinking into the ground and needs refurbishment.  He said that the area needs a redesign of the physical space as well as additional signage.

This signage will tell the story of the Native American population that were here before the University as an institution.  Leloudis said that signage on McCorkle will invite passers-by to learn the larger story of the Native Peoples here.  He said that signage will include upright signs as well as medallions.  He also noted that signs will contain Bluetooth beacons to invite passers-by to learn more about these histories.

Mariel Eaves asked if the Unsung Founders’ Monument were not warped by the presence of the Confederate Monument so nearby.  Leloudis said that this is an obvious problem that demands consultation with the artist of the Founders’ Monument.  Eaves asked about separating the two and noted that the Unsung Founders’ Monument’s artist specializes in miniatures.  Leloudis said that the memorial will attempt to do many things and the task force is open to suggestions for use of the space.  Amy Hertel said that the monument has the chance to share a conversation on changes in the world, again opening possibilities for feedback.  Leloudis noted that the Unsung Heroes’ Monument contained hundreds of figures that are more readily viewed with the top removed, a very different view than that now presented to the world.

Clare Counihan was very happy to hear that the task force will include Native American perspectives in the history of McCorkle Place.  She asked how the task force will work with questions surrounding Silent Sam.  Leloudis said that the task force will rely on digital content to invite observers to reflect on the history of this location.  The task force will not involve itself in discussions about whether to move the Silent Sam monument.

Rich Wright asked if the current student body has participated in these discussions.  Amy Hertel said that the task force has met with many different groups to obtain feedback, including current students.  Leloudis said that students have worked with the UNC Archives for the task force, exploring the institution’s relation to slavery among other areas of study.

Arlene Medder asked which sources the task force will use to depict Native American perspectives.  Hertel said that the task force has relied on faculty from the UNC American Indian Center as well as students of this background.  Alan Moran asked if there would be a single point of focus for Native American issues.  Hertel said that the task force had met a while ago to discuss issues of leveraging traffic throughout the site.  Leloudis added that the task force could stage a portion of this story to respond to an urgency to mark the space and engage this story.

The Chair thanked task force members for their remarks.  She invited listeners to provide feedback at historytaskforce.unc.edu.

The Chair introduced Terri Phoenix, Director of the University’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual, and Queer Center.  Phoenix said that the Center does programming for students and the entire campus community.  The Center does SafeZone programming in response to community members’ negative experiences, be they through thoughtless or malicious treatment from others.  Phoenix said that this four-hour program familiarizes attendees with relevant language and terminology as well as campus resources.

Phoenix said that the University had done a good job of allocating campus resources to the Center given pushback against the Center’s mission from those who feel it infringes on their religious freedoms.  Phoenix said that one’s experience will vary greatly upon one’s location on campus.  All allies of LGBTQ people are encouraged to attend SafeZone training.

The LGBTQ Center is also involved in policy work, most notably how proposed policies will affect the Center’s marginalized populations.  The recent discussion about health insurance changes had raised points of interest to Center denizens, most namely Historical Exclusion.  Those pursuing transfer from one gender to another require treatment that has been deemed medically necessary.  However, recent legislative changes have placed this treatment in doubt.  These changes have also endangered typically heterosexual family planning procedures.  Phoenix stressed the importance of making sure State policies and practices are equitable for everyone.

Alan Moran asked if the Center is scheduled to do a HAVEN workshop at Facilities Services.  Phoenix said that one had been done previously but said that it might be time to do another.  Moran agreed given the huge turnover in the department.

The Chair asked how the Forum could engage the healthcare issue.  Phoenix recalled that the Forum had issued a statement and resolution calling for equal benefits for all which has in turn educated decision-makers.  These issues are easy to ignore if only a few people speak about them, Phoenix said.  Mariel Eaves asked about the employee engagement survey.  She suggested that employees use the survey to discuss issues facing marginalized groups.  She said that the University faces problems in serving students if its employees do not trust the institution enough to fill out a survey.  Phoenix said that prospective candidates have contacted the LGBTQ Center office to ask about the campus climate.  Dustin Morris asked if the Center features other events for staff.  Phenix said that there have not been so many staff-oriented events, in part due to the campus climate.  To have a gathering, one needs a level of comfort.  Arlene Medder noted the Center’s recent attention to asexual and aromantic people.

Brenda Carpen outlined Information Technology Services’ implementation of two-step verification services, enacted to reduce phishing instances which have led to the loss of sensitive data.  She said that institutions have had to institute a two-step verification system to provide an extra level of security.  In this system, one will enter an onyen and password, then will need to enter a code sent to their mobile phone or other device to finish the log-in sequence.  Carpen noted statistics that 80% of people aged 18-30 years old reuse passwords, a practice which can create vulnerabilities to future attacks.

Carpen said that University staff will need to implement two-step verification for Office 365 separately from other campus applications.  She anticipated that ITS will roll out Office 365 OneDrive verification this spring.  Employees will use the Duo system for non-Office 365 applications.  One may register for this process at its.unc.edu/2-step.  She suggested that listeners use two-step verification for personal accounts.

Bryan Andregg asked if an employee must reply to a two-step prompt each time they access a site.  Carpen said that ITS is working to reduce duplicate verifications through use of a “Keep Me Signed In” feature.  K.D. Ann Welsh noted that campus computers are already situated on a secure network.  Carpen said that these computers will still require two-step verification for campus systems.  Carpen said that the “Keep Me Signed In” feature will last for 13 hours with the Duo system and once upon verification until password changes for Office 365.  Chrissie Greenberg noted that employees can access InfoPorte off-campus without signing in with a VPN.  Carpen responded that she would raise this point with ITS technicians.

The Chair welcomed outgoing University Ombuds officer Wayne Blair.  Blair said that this would be his last day at UNC-Chapel Hill as he is set to leave for a position with the Asian Development Bank in the Philippines.  Blair noted that he had first addressed the Forum exactly thirteen years ago, on February 7, 2005.  He anticipated upon leaving Columbia University that he would be in Chapel Hill for five years, maximum.  However, he had become a Tar Heel during his time here and had turned down many offers to leave.

Blair noted the historical and systemic issues that lead to the creation of an organizational culture here at Carolina.  However, he said that these factors can obscure what a great place Carolina is to work at and live.  He urged employees to reduce a fixation on the negative and to reembrace civility.  He recounted his first conversation with an especially polite student in his first interview on campus.  He urged employees to embrace civility especially when disagreeing.  He noted that as professionals, staff serve as a role model for students in areas of civility, dignity, and respect, especially in times of disagreement.

Blair noted UNC-Chapel Hill’s Ombuds Office’s standing as the best in the world.  He felt comfortable leaving the Office in good hands with Ombuds Officer Laurie Mesibov and Assistant University Ombuds Victoria Dowd.  He saluted this pair and stated that it had been an absolute honor and privilege to serve the University and its community members.

The Chair read Resolution 18-01 which the Forum had approved unanimously.  She thanked Blair for his service and noted his standing as an honorary lifetime delegate.  The Forum gave Blair several standing ovations for his work.

The Chair asked for a motion to approve the consent agenda for the February meeting.  Katie Musgrove asked that the Community Services committee report be pulled off the consent agenda.  Bryan Andregg moved for approval of the consent agenda, seconded by Katie Turner.  The motion was approved.

Musgrove said that the Community Services committee had collected over 2,500 meals in the recent Food4All food drive.  She and the Chair had presented the game ball from the UNC-Pitt basketball game as part of the drive.  Musgrove invited Forum delegates to participate in the April 13, 2018 Habitat for Humanity build.  She noted that participants are asked to donate to the organization.  Musgrove said that the Carolina Blood Drive committee is readying itself for a meeting with higher-level American Red Cross administrators about recent difficulties with University drives.

Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources Linc Butler presented the Forum’s customary Human Resources update.  Butler wished his best to Wayne Blair, recalling his work as a great partner and colleague.  Blair noted the work of Jessica Pyjas on employee wellness concerns leading to the University Wellness Expo March 14th at the Ramshead Recreation Center.  Employees will have the chance to receive health screenings and participate in fitness and cooking demonstrations.

Senior Director for Communication and Talent Development Kathy Bryant voiced her thanks and appreciation to Wayne Blair for his work.  She asked the Forum for help in getting employees to fill out the UNC System Employee Engagement Survey.  Alan Moran noted that trust issues and lack of direction from upper management might have reduced the number of submissions.  Bryant understood this reluctance but noted that a private company will administer the data.  She said that the survey is really a safe space to provide feedback on University concerns.  Katie Turner said that she had to remind faculty not to delete the survey.

Mariel Eaves noted that the question asking respondents’ identity includes transgender, which is not considered a gender.  Bryant noted that she had a heated discussion with survey administrators on this point.  She said that the issue was eventually out of her hands.  Eaves was surprised that identifiers went down to an employee’s department, which possibly could identify respondents.  Bryant said that the survey will not provide reports to administrators for units numbering less than six people.

Clare Counihan asked if there is a follow-up plan for getting data back to employees.  Bryant said that the survey will run until March 19th, after which the private company ModernThink will redact the data and forward to the UNC System Office.  The Office will then distribute the data to each System institution, perhaps by the summer.  University administrators will use this data to develop a plan to deal with campus concerns.

James Stamey thanked Workplace Strategy, Equity and Engagement employees for working with housekeeping employees at 5:30 a.m. to complete these surveys.  Mariel Eaves felt disheartened at the end of the survey given that there are some things that need changing but are not considered within the survey.  Bryan said that the UNC System Office will have more leverage to push for legislative change than any one institution.  Eaves said that the need for institutional changes should preclude further conversations.  She said that some legislative action has called into question the rights of certain people to even exist.

Bryant noted the survey’s role to gather metrics to determine the University System’s strategic plan dealing with employee issues.  She thanked all who have worked to share word about the survey and offered to answer questions.

The Chair welcomed Maura Moloney to answer questions about the upcoming Challenge Course event that Forum delegates will participate in place of the March general meeting.  Moloney answered questions regarding the height of the towers and the amount of weight that the course equipment can handle.  The event will last from 9-noon.

Kathy Ramsey asked that the Forum table consideration of proposed Resolution 18-02.

The Chair asked what delegates wished to discuss as regarding the remaining four months of their term as delegates.  Alan Moran noted that April will be sexual assault awareness month and May national LGBTQ month.  He suggested that the Forum put together resolutions marking these events.  Mariel Eaves suggested that the Forum pursue direct action talking with employees about the impact of these resolutions.  She noted that February is Black History month and noted that the University had been built with enslaved black labor.  She asked how the Forum will address institutional stratification.  Eaves thought that any video should include direct action.

The Chair agreed that creating a strategic plan to go along with a resolution in these areas is critical.  Charles Streeter noted that Forum resolutions serve as a historical record of staff positions for reference by future delegates.

The Chair noted that Forum committee service is mandatory for all delegates.  She asked about creating an ad hoc committee regarding University culture and its strategic plan.  Lori Haight thought that the Communications and Public Relations committee could take this task on perhaps by holding periodic quarterly panels on issues of the day.

The Chair asked for other suggestions for panel discussions.  Katie Musgrove said that past resolutions could give the Forum some start on program ideas.  Kathy Ramsey applauded the video idea around campus issues.  Greg Smith said that video editing could be difficult for the Communications and Public Relations committee to pursue.  Chris Van Vleek asked what feedback the Forum generally receives from the Chancellor regarding its resolutions.  Charles Streeter said that the Forum does not generally receive feedback apart from meeting discussions with her liaisons.

Clare Counihan noted the compensation and pay banding resolution before the Personnel Issues committee.  She asked if the Employee Engagement survey will present information on stratification of women in secretarial roles.  The Chair noted that the Forum can find itself waiting for data.  She said that finding personal stories can serve in the interim.  Todd Hux asked if the faculty have contributions to these discussions.  The Chair said that she had experienced great discussions with Faculty Chair Leslie Parise.  She hoped to develop these contacts further for the Forum.  Mariel Eaves suggested that a video representation of resolution issues contain a gentle pressure on the Chancellor to provide a response.

The Chair summed up discussions to this point.  Katie Turner confirmed that closed sessions can only be reserved for personnel issues or honorary recognition, not to provide a private means for discussion.  The statute is meant to prevent premature disclosure.

Arlene Medder noted that a resolution encouraging delegates and employees to participate in HAVEN training would be a form of partnering.

Tiffany Carver thanked all who extended condolences upon the passing of her grandmother.

Dustin Morris asked a question regarding the University policy on adverse weather.  The Chair said that the UNC System Staff Assembly has asked the System Office (formerly General Administration) for use of sick leave for this purpose.  She noted suggestions that employees could lobby for this change.  Norris said that the requirement to use vacation leave for adverse weather events seems punitive.  K.D. Ann Welsh suggested coaching supervisors to be more flexible in allowing employees to pay back time lost.

In the absence of further discussion, the meeting adjourned at 11:30 a.m.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

Matt Banks, Recording Secretary

 

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