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June 10, 2020

UNC-Chapel Hill Employee Forum

Zoom Remote Meeting:  Connection Details Below

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

I. Call to Order & Opening Remarks: Chair Shayna Hill (9:15 a.m. – 9:20 a.m.)

  • Welcome to Guests & Members of the Press

II. Remarks from Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz (9:20 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.)

III. Special Presentation on University’s COVID-19 Response (10:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.)

  • Associate Vice Chancellor for Campus Safety & Risk Management Derek Kemp
  • Executive Director for Environment, Health & Safety Catherine Brennan
  • Director of Emergency Management & Planning Darrell Jeter

IV. Peer Recognition Award Ceremony & Recognition of Outgoing Delegates (10:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.)

V.  Consent Agenda (11:00 a.m. – 11:05 a.m.)

 

VI. Old Business (11:05 a.m. – 11:25 a.m.)

  • Forum Officer Elections: Nominators’ & Candidates’ Speeches (Nominations May Be Made from the Floor)
    • Chair: Shayna Hill
    • Vice Chair: Natasha Hanks/Katie Musgrove
    • Secretary: Tiffany Carver
    • Treasurer: Ayla Ocasio
    • Parliamentarian: Kevin Robinson

VII. Human Resources Update (11:25 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.)

  • Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources Linc Butler

VIII.  New Business (11:45 a.m.-11:55 a.m.)

IX. Announcements/Questions (11:55-12:00 p.m.)

X.  Adjournment

MINUTES

June 10, 2020 Employee Forum meeting

Delegates Attending:

Darren Abrecht, L.E. Alexander, Lauren Anderson, Donnyell Batts, Dzenita Blackwell, Jessye Bongiovanni,Rich Brandenburg, Alicia Brandt, Andrew Brennick, Shane Brogan, Hallie Butler, Sarah Carrier,

Valerie Cartagena, Tiffany Carver, Adrienne Cromwell, Jen DeNeal, Phillip Edwards, Shayla Evans-Hollingsworth, Stephanie Forman, Adrianne Gibilisco, Christine (Chrissie) Greenberg,

Natasha Hanks, Leah Hefner, Jessi Hill, Shayna Hill, Keith Hines, Quintara Jernigan, Mary King, Ursula Haydee Marchese, Evan Marsh, Jeff McQueen, Arlene Medder, Mandy Melton, Kadejah Murray,

Katie Musgrove, Natiaya Neal, Ayla Ocasio, Joe Ormond, Le’Quisha Person, Jim Potts, Laura Pratt, David Rogers, Kelly Scurlock-Cross, Theresa Silsby, Greg Smith, Sarah Smith, Robert Smith III, Antonio Squire, Jake Stallard, James Stamey, Rose Thorp, Sarah Wackerhagen, Tracy Wetherby Williams, Michael Williams, Jacob Womack

 

Via Zoom, Chair Shayna Hill called the meeting to order at 915 a.m. She invited delegates to attend the upcoming Forum Executive Committee meeting to discuss the Forum’s statement on solidarity and the next steps necessary for the Forum to take.

The Chair also noted that today is election day for the upcoming new year for Forum Officers. She said that the Forum will conduct this election in real time via the Qualtrics survey software. She asked delegates who intend to nominate candidates from the floor to do so now so that the software ballot could be prepared. There were no further candidates nominated.

The Chair was pleased to welcome back Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz to present opening remarks to the Forum. Guskiewicz thanked the Chair for her leadership and particularly for the Forum’s recent solidarity statement. He noted the outpouring of grief on behalf of George Floyd and others and he felt compelled to add his voice to this grief. He recognized that the University must do more to address this pain. He recalled the words of Lindsay-Rae McIntyre, the Microsoft executive, who notes how corporate America can learn from the current moment. He looked forward to working with the University’s new Vice Chancellor for Equity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer once that person is hired. He praised Sibby Anderson-Thompkins for her work as the University’s interim Chief Diversity Officer.

Guskiewicz noted McIntyre’s advice to corporate leaders about the importance of creating space to listen to concerns of minority employees. McIntyre stressed embracing the discomfort of not knowing the answer to these questions and motivating ourselves to improve. Guskiewicz said acknowledging a lack of understanding is the first step to reacting to these challenges. He provided a link to McIntyre’s blog https://blogs.microsoft.com/blog/author/lindsayraemcintyre/.

Regarding the Roadmap to return to campus, Guskiewicz said that this plan has been developed over the past eight to nine weeks. Under the Roadmap, UNC-Chapel Hill will 1) embrace its true mission as a leading global public university, 2) make health and safety a top priority, 3) develop the Roadmap in partnership with the most current information available to infectious disease experts, 4) focus on the best means of instruction possible, be that remote or in-person, and 5) envision and use off-ramps that will allow a quick pivot given a resurgence of the virus. Guskiewicz noted that the pandemic began only eleven weeks ago.

Guskiewicz said that the ramp up of on-campus research operations is going well. The University semester will begin and end early, running from August 10-November 24th. This fall will be like none other on the Chapel Hill campus, as the University will work to adhere to public health guidelines, including provision of masks and personal protective equipment. He noted that the University has worked to accommodate those who have medical or family needs. The Office of Human Resources has developed workshops to guide supervisors to work through the different aspects of the Covid-19 situation with their employees. Guskiewicz said that hundreds of other universities will face the same challenge of providing safe operations. He said that the majority have taken the same approach that UNC-Chapel Hill has taken, with other universities relying on Carolina’s roadmap.

Guskiewicz noted that plans could change, and that the community needs to change its behavior to adhere to public health standards. He said that leaders will need to demonstrate compassion during these challenging times.  He then offered to take questions.

Arlene Medder asked about areas requiring additional cleaning. Would the University provide additional staff to cover these needs? Guskiewicz said that his staff have met with Darius Dixon and other Housekeeping leaders in anticipation of ramping up this workforce. He particularly anticipated additional coverage of high-use areas like the Student Union, dormitories, and dining halls.

Phil Edwards presented a question from an employee. Would employees and students be required to complete an attestation of adherence to public health standards? Guskiewicz thought that there would be some type of screening done before community members return.

Katie Musgrove asked how these standards would be enforced. Guskiewicz said that the administration has consulted with the campus community to ensure its standards are correct scientifically. He said that the University will expect faculty, staff, and students to learn and follow these standards. There is more work to be done on the question of enforcement. Would the University consider student infringements honor code violations? Guskiewicz said that all options are on the table for consideration.

Guskiewicz said that Carolina Away, the University’s remote instruction program, will serve as more than a pilot program this fall. He said that Carolina Away will extend to global health and business programs, among others, and would soon become a permanent part of student instruction.

Stephanie Forman asked about the suggestion that Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) conduct trainings for all UNC community members. Guskiewicz said that EHS have been a part of discussions and he thought this was a great idea that he would take forward.

Laura Pratt sought additional guidance regarding smaller and larger events following July 15th. Guskiewicz said that the University wait to see what the Governor will allow as regards groupings of people allowed as of that date.

An employee asked about a discrepancy on the Carolina Together website regarding whether to contact one’s health care provider or the Employee Occupational Health Clinic in the event of injury. Guskiewicz said that one should likely first consult one’s health care provider and then afterward consult the clinic.

An employee asked if employees will be allowed to work remotely indefinitely. Guskiewicz said that the University will study this question. He said that the University has learned a lot in the forced experiment of the pandemic response. Many employees have worked effectively remotely. He had never imagined enjoying teaching remotely, but this has indeed come to pass.  He said that remote work has created efficiencies in the use of office space that could allow for increased swing space for building renovations.

Adrienne Cromwell asked when course information would be finalized and communicated to students. Guskiewicz said that some classes may be taught in the hybrid model. He said that this information should be available in the next three to four weeks.

Regarding provision of masks to campus employees, Guskiewicz said that procurement would work to obtain the best quality masks. The University recognizes that individuals will want to use their own masks and will seek guidance on best practices of mask distribution and use.

An employee asked about requiring outside agents such as pit preachers to follow the University’s public health standards. Guskiewicz reiterated that UNC-Chapel Hill is a public institution and thus is open to almost anyone to visit. He was uncertain how the University would enforce standards upon visitors.

An employee noted the need for more indoor study areas. Guskiewicz said that the University will construct large tents to dissipate the volume of students across campus. Phil Edwards asked if there are plans to recycle disposable masks at recycling stations. Guskiewicz was uncertain how to respond. Darrell Jeter, the University’s Director of Emergency Management, offered to contact the Forum Chair about possible mask recycling plans.

Guskiewicz thanked the Forum for its hard work. He felt confident in the University’s future and its plans for change should the need arise. He thanked the Chair for her leadership.

The Chair welcomed the next group of presenters to the Forum. These were Derek Kemp, Associate Vice Chancellor for Campus Safety & Risk Management, Catherine Brennan, Executive Director for Environment, Health & Safety, and Darrell Jeter, Director of Emergency Management & Planning. Jeter noted that the University’s public health standards have not been totally defined yet. He said that the discussion on cleaning has continued since March. He said that the University will not enforce public health care standards via a police function, but rather will seek compliance through an advisory function.

Brennan said that Environment, Health & Safety (EHS) has posted general training modules for employees. She said that in-person trainings will be available also. Responding to an earlier question, she clarified that employees should contact their primary physician first in event of injury or sickness. Kemp noted the thousands of visitors to campus each year. He expected that students and protestors would return to campus soon.

Jeter noted the ongoing shift in campus operations towards the proposed reopening in August. He said that the University has coordinated with local partners such as the Towns of Chapel Hill and Carrboro and regional transit services. Employees are of course reliant on public transit services and these agencies have pledged to provide services and maintain safety. He said that ridership would be reduced as a safety measure, but services will remain available.

Regarding Community Protective Equipment (CPE), Jeter said that community members will expect the University to provide masks. His office has worked on the logistics of obtaining these masks and would schedule storage and distribution. He noted the importance of working with the University community to create signage encouraging its members to maintain social distancing, among other practices.

Brennan said that Environment, Health and Safety works closely with Facilities Services on cleaning procedures, the Print Shop on signage, and Orange County Health Department on direct communication about cases of the virus. She said that EHS had a good team to work with these other agencies. She recalled that mandatory employees have been on campus all along, and EHS has worked with these employees to ensure their CPE is correct and their practices follow up-to-date cleaning practices.

Jeter said that other CPE will include hand sanitizer, disinfectant spray, wipes, and gloves. He said that a collective effort would be necessary to deal with high-impact areas. The Chair thanked the trio for their remarks. Brennan noted that links to EHS training would be placed in the University newsletter The Well. A listener asked whether the University would recycle gloves as it does in campus laboratories. Brennan said that the University would need to sterilize masks before their eventual reuse.

The Chair noted a question regarding personal cleaning of certain areas. Brennan said that employees can do their own cleaning. She urged those interested to talk with Housekeeping supervisors.

Haydée Marchese asked if University guidelines will address cash payment practices. Brennan said that the University will discourage this practice but will advise use of gloves, CPE, and enhanced handwashing through the workday if cash-handling is required. The Chair thanked Kemp, Brennan, and Jeter for their remarks.

The Chair welcomed Recognition & Awards committee chair Natiaya Neal to present the Forum’s Peer Recognition Awards. Neal read the award criteria for the Hall of Fame (Staff Member of the Year) award. Recipients consistently exemplify University’s mission of integrity, collaboration, respect & high-level customer service; and have been with University at least 5 years.

Jacqueline Gist of University Career Services and Janette Goins of TraCS Institute received this year’s Hall of Fame Award.

The criteria for the Perfect Addition (Staff Member of the Year) is said to exemplify the University’s mission of integrity, collaboration, respect & high-level customer service.

Mark Wampole of Information Technology Services and Kayla Gardner of Allied Health are this year’s winners of the Perfect Addition Award.

Neal then read the criteria for the Professional Excellence Award. Winners are said to perform with exceptional execution above & beyond assigned duties; to display supportive interactions within their department and between campus departments; and to promote exemplary interaction with the outside community.

Jarveal Baker of Honors Carolina, Clare Lorch of the Carolina Community Garden, Yesenia Vicente of the Graduate School, and Tyler Handfinger of the Development Office are the winners of the Professional Excellence award.

The criteria for the Overton Leadership Award reflect the leadership and honor the memory of longstanding Forum Chair Jackie Overton. Award-winners lead their unit and the University through involvement in staff issues, committee work, teamwork, and professional development of peers; demonstrate outstanding leadership qualities, inspire, and involve others, and work to create a long-lasting impact.

Shannon Eubanks of Undergraduate Curricula and Brandon Washington of Equal Opportunity and Compliance are this year’s winners of the Overton Leadership Award.

Recipients of the Pinnacle Award exhibit demonstrated leadership, vision, and commitment to excellence on a path of continuous learning through professional development.

Toska Cooper of the School of Education and Stephenie McIntyre of University Career Services are the winners of this year’s Pinnacle Awards.

Neal then spoke about the Employee Forum’s Community Award (3-Legged Stool). The winner of this award, the Forum’s highest honor, is awarded to recognize distinguished contributions by an individuals who inspire creativity; promote harmony and partnerships within the University community; inspire teamwork, cooperation and participation; demonstrate new approaches to current processes; encourage, mentor and build bridges; form alliances to work collectively; or any other significant community building activities.

Jackson Szeto of Medical Education is this year’s recipient of the Community Award.

Neal was proud that the Recognition & Awards committee had considered around 188 nominations for these various awards. She thanked committee members Katie Musgrove, Tiffany Carver, Adrienne Cromwell, Keith Hines, Kelly Scurlock-Cross, Arlene Medder, and Matt Banks.

The Chair wished all the winners congratulations as well. She asked for a motion to approve the consent agenda. Katie Musgrove asked to move the blood drive from the consent agenda, and made the motion requested.  Arlene Medder seconded. The motion was approved.

Musgrove noted that Jim Potts and the Carolina Blood Drive committee had just finished the June 2 blood drive. She reported that 812 people had presented to give blood with 808 units collected. She said that all donors had donated safely, as far as she knew. She thanked Sunrise Biscuit Kitchen, the Merritt Grill, Mediterranean Deli, Insomnia Cookies, and Jersey Mike’s, among other groups, for their contributions to the day’s success. The Chair thanked Potts and Musgrove for their work on the drive under trying circumstances.

The Chair welcomed delegates Jen DeNeal and Laura Pratt to conduct the Forum’s officer elections via Zoom. She noted that the Forum had never conducted its elections in this way before. Pratt listed the candidates who have declared to run for officer positions. These are Shayna Hill for Chair, Natasha Hanks and Katie Musgrove for Vice Chair, Tiffany Carver for Secretary, Ayla Ocasio for Treasurer, and Kevin Robinson for Parliamentarian.

Shayna Hill noted her experience as Chair of the Forum over the last three years. She hoped that the Forum would vote to confirm her as Chair for another term.

Natasha Hanks noted her background with UNC Health and her aspirations to learn the goals and practices of the Forum. She thanked the delegation for their consideration. Katie Musgrove recalled her work as Vice Chair last year and her work previously as Community Service committee chair. She hoped to continue her work with the Forum leadership.

Tiffany Carver noted her work on “mommy duty,” in a school parking lot, communicating via cell phone. She noted her several years’ service as Treasurer and her appreciation for the support of other officers. She looked forward to getting to know the new delegates of the Forum.

Ayla Ocasio spoke of her skills and experience as Treasurer this year. She thought that the Forum is vital for the advancement of the UNC community.

Kevin Robinson was unable to log on to the Zoom meeting.

Jen DeNeal explained how the Forum elections would work via Qualtrics.  She gave delegates five minutes to submit their votes via the software.

The Chair welcomed Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources Linc Butler to present the Forum’s customary Human Resources update. She noted that the Office of Human Resources has asked leave to hold a special briefing for the Forum later this month. Butler’s feed was interrupted and so he pledged to save his remarks for the upcoming briefing.

The Chair noted the introduction of a proposal to initiate a Women’s Issues committee on first reading. She recalled that Sarah Carrier had introduced the idea at an April Executive Committee meeting. Carrier recalled that a member of the Association for Women Faculty and Professionals had asked her if the Forum had an equivalent organization. She noted that the Association requires an annual fee of its members. She thought that the Forum likely had space for a new committee.

Discussion in the Executive Committee, as well as national news, had spurred her to rethink the idea as an Inclusion Committee. She thought that either version of the group could plug into the existing structure regarding inclusion issues on campus to address these concerns.

The Forum briefly discussed whether a motion to suspend the rules would be necessary to approve the committee’s creation at the current meeting. Phil Edwards thought that the Forum could consider rewrites of the current proposal at its July meeting. Carrier envisioned the committee focusing on issues of inclusion as part of the University’s workplace culture.

Carrier offered to rethink her proposal in future discussions with other delegates. Keith Hines suggested that the group could be named Diversity, Inclusion and Social Justice committee. Carrier hoped to bring a revised proposal to the Forum at its meeting next month.

Jen DeNeal and Laura Pratt announced the winners of the Forum elections. Shayna Hill, Katie Musgrove, Tiffany Carver, Ayla Ocasio, and Kevin Robinson were elected the Forum’s officers for 2020-21.

Jessica Pyjas presented a wellness update. She directed listeners to find the resources mentioned at the Human Resources website at hr.unc.edu, under the Benefits tab. She listed upcoming workshops and seminars taking place through July.

Pyjas was excited to announce the winners of the Governor’s Award for Excellence, of which UNC-Chapel Hill had nominees in seven total categories. These include Stephen King in Human Relations, Lt. James Ellis and Adrianne Gibilisco for the Public Service Award, and Dawna Jones, Clair Lorch, William Stusky and Baskin Cooper in the Spirit of Carolina Award. Winners will be announced in early August.

The Chair asked for discussion on the Forum’s recent solidarity statement distributed to campus. She asked how a proposal from the Forum based on this statement would work. Katie Musgrove proposed that a subcommittee of those who have expressed interest in this question could share their information in the meeting’s chat function. Phil Edwards emphasized that the statement does include an explicit call to action. Musgrove suggested that delegates attend the Executive Committee meeting on June 16th to discuss this idea further.

Laura Pratt noted that the UNC System Staff Assembly had sent an email to delegates regarding the pandemic. The Chair noted the role of the Staff Assembly as the representative of the University System’s seventeen campuses. Pratt recalled that the email said that a UNC System task force on equity will ask the Chair of the Staff Assembly, the Chair of the Faculty Assembly and the Chair of the Association of Student Governments to join that group. The Chair looked forward to partnering with the new Chair of the Faculty Council on this question.

Valerie Cartagena confirmed that new delegates interested in joining Forum committees before July should contact Matt Banks for further information. The Chair noted that certificates for outgoing delegates will be presented once the campus is again open.

Greg Smith said that the Communications & Public Relations committee will work on a streamlined committee guide for new delegates. He asked that committee chairs submit their materials for review by June 19th.

Adrianne Gibilisco thanked all for their statements of anti-Black violence. She said that the Office of Diversity and Inclusion welcomes all participation to work on these questions. Employees can submit comments to adrigibi@email.unc.edu.

Tiffany Carver asked delegates to let her know if they called in to attend the day’s meeting.

In the absence of further discussion, the meeting adjourned by acclamation at 11:28 a.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Matt Banks, Recording Secretary

 

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