November 1, 2000
Agenda — November 1, 2000
9:30 a.m.— Assembly Room of Wilson Library
I. Call to Order
- Welcome Guests, Members of the Press
III. Opening Remarks
- Interim Vice Chancellor for Finance & Administration Jack Evans (***Not Confirmed)
VI. Special Presentations
- Dr. Tim Sanford, Records Retention Program
- Ron Penny, UNC System Vice President for Human Resources
V. Employee Presentations or Questions
VII. Human Resources Update
- Laurie Charest, Associate Vice Chancellor, Human Resources
VIII. Approval of Minutes of the October 4, 2000 meeting P
IX. Unfinished Business
- Forum Guidelines Revisions – 2nd Reading
X. Stretch Time
XI. New Business
- Potential Use of Trust Monies Discussion
- Proposed Resolution of Support
- First Call for New Slate of Forum Officers
XII. Forum Committee Reports
- Career Development: Bobbie Lesane
- Communications: Suzan deSerres P
- Forum Newsletter
- Employee Presentations: Kathy Dutton
- Nominating: Karen Geer
- Orientation: Bobbie Lesane
- Personnel Issues: Dave Lohse
- Recognition and Awards: Joanne Kucharski
- University Committee Assignments: John Heuer
XIII. Chair’s Report (Executive Committee): Joanne Kucharski P
- Call for Comments if Salary Plan Moved to Monthly Pay Cycle
- Tuition Waiver for Summer Session Pilot
- University/Installation Day (acknowledgements)
- Faculty/Student/Staff Meeting
XIV. Task Force/University Committee Reports
- Pedestrian Safety Committee—Jill Mayer/Sheila Storey
- Transportation & Parking Advisory — Chris Barfield/Joanne Kucharski
- University Priorities & Budget— Joanne Kucharski
- Master Plan Executive Steering Team—Joanne Kucharski
- Transit System Improvement Committee—Joanne Kucharski
- Forum Community Award (Three Legged Stool) Nominations Due November 10
P = Included in Agenda Packet
November 1, 2000
“ = Ex-Officio
Joanna E. Smith
Mary Ann Vacheron
Call to Order, Welcome to Guests
Chair Joanne Kucharski called the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m. She welcomed newly elected Delegates and members of the press.
Vice Chair Kathy Dutton introduced Tim Sanford, Assistant Provost of the University’s Records Management program. Sanford said that the State Public Records law is very broad, and the main concern of the Records Management program is to ensure that Employees comply with the law.
Sanford drew a distinction between records which are accessible to the public and those records covered by the Public Records law. For example, only twelve items in an Employee’s personnel record are accessible to the public; however, the entire personnel record is covered under the Public Records law.
There are three reasons why Employees should pay attention to their records management. First, Employees cannot throw away documents until the law says that they can. Documents are considered to be email, spreadsheets, word processing and paper.
Secondly, Employees need to have the information necessary to run the University when they need it. In his experience at Institutional Research researching a bicentennial factbook, Sanford said it was difficult to find much of anything later than the past 40-50 years. Only until a trove of grade rolls was found could Institutional Research determine enrollments and professors from farther back in history. He hoped that departments could avoid similar problems by practicing proper records management.
Finally, it is simply good office management practice to comply with the law. Records Management can help departments find ways to file and get rid of documents which can be sent to University Archives.
Frank Holt and other records management personnel are available to help units with a retention and disposition schedule. This schedule will inform departments how long they must keep information and when they can throw documents away. Without a retention and disposition schedule, it is in fact illegal to throw materials away. Following the schedule takes care of potential legal difficulties for the office.
Records Management is working with the administration to find a building for future records storage. Sanford asked units to be aware of the need to manage records properly, differentiating between what can be saved and thrown away. Some departments may find documents which could have been thrown away or archived years ago.
Sanford said that Employees with questions can call his office for guidance and assistance.
Dutton introduced Ron Penny, the new Vice President for Human Resources for the UNC System. This new position will lead the development and implementation of UNC System Human Resources policy and will also develop faculty and staff resources. Penny graduated summa cum laude from North Carolina A&T in economics and earned a law degree from UNC-Chapel Hill. Penny has worked in private law practice and has most recently served as Personnel Director for the State of North Carolina.
Penny said that he was happy to return to the UNC System, musing on his days as assistant to the chancellor at Elizabeth City State University among other locations. He is in the process of becoming acquainted with all sixteen UNC System institutions. He asked how many people had voted already through the no excuses voting system, and noted the importance of the upcoming bond referendum to the future of the University System.
However, Penny noted that the University had become distinguished not just through buildings and equipment, but through its human capital. The University is a human capital intensive organization, and must acquire people who are highly skilled and motivated in order to succeed.
This is an important time in the University’s history, as projected enrollments increase and the State’s labor force is decreasing. Penny said the University must strategically position itself to develop a worldclass workforce to fulfill each campus’ unique mission. Faculty, administrators, students, staff and others play a part in making each campus great and in building a University system that the citizens of the State deserve.
Penny’s charge is to address the needs of the entire University System. Penny would endeavor to add value, not layers, to the University’s Human Resources system, and in turn to attract, retain and develop a world class work force.
Penny would work with each campus to help all accomplish their specific mission, to be innovative, and to do things which will put them ahead of the private sector and competing universities. His office will be an advocate for employees and their concerns. He pledged to work collaboratively to build a commitment among employees and to insure that campuses are able to compete for a world class workforce.
In the short term, the University System’s Human Resources division will work on compensation. Compensation issues usually come up first or second in discussions about campus concerns. While it depends on the particular job and location in the State, campuses must compete at various levels with peer institutions and in a national market for some of their employees. Triangle area campuses face great competition from the Research Triangle Park, for one example.
Each market is unique in itself, and needs a salary structure to compete in that market. The University must avail itself of what ever it can to put itself in a position to compete.
Another issue that comes up often is the subject of employee benefits. Employees all over the State are concerned about the lack of options in health care and insurance. Penny will continue to talk about how to improve health care offerings and will look at possibilities to subsidize premiums.
Opening up an optional retirement system is within possibility, as Human Resources will look to improve areas of vesting, participation and State contribution. On the other hand, administrators must make sure that the State Employees and Teachers’ retirement system is available to all when they retire. In addition, Penny hoped to insure that the State’s contribution to the retirement system is at least equal to the employee contribution. Penny will talk with leaders of the State Retirement System and legislative leaders about these concerns.
UNC System Human Resources will also look at who is exempt from the State Personnel Act and which positions need to be exempt. The division is also very interested in the issue of unit leadership, realizing that the number one factor determining employee satisfaction is their relationship with management. Even additional compensation can fail to compensate for a poor supervisor; in fact, it can be said that a supervisor defines the work experience for the employee. Penny is very interested in developing leadership throughout the University System, and in finding leaders who can communicate, lead, and motivate today’s workforce.
Penny offered to take questions. Tommy Griffin asked about the January decision not to give Employees paid days off under the State’s adverse weather policy. He asked how the great snow did not qualify as catastrophic weather, given the declaration of the Governor that motorists should stay off the roads and the actions of the National Guard. Penny said that the Governor and the Legislature had final say over whether the weather was declared catastrophic. Since such a declaration would cost the State $10 million a day, the State’s leadership chose not to grant the time off. Penny said that he had advised State leaders to give two paid days off, but these leaders did not want to give the Legislature an excuse in a tight budget year to say that State employees were not doing their job. Penny drew an analogy with a person who paid someone to paint their house in advance. If it snowed on the day that the painting was scheduled, the person would want their house painted anyway since they had paid to have it done.
In addition, he asked employees not to trivialize the effects of Hurricane Floyd in comparison with the January blizzard, recalling the deep devastation the floods caused on people in eastern North Carolina. The snow did not drastically change people’s lives across the State like the floods did to places like Princeville.
Penny noted that employees have two years to make up the days lost to adverse weather, through vacation time or other means. He had received letters of criticism on the issue from both sides.
Dave Lohse asked which part of the decision was made from a fear of what the Legislature would think. Penny said that State Employees’ salaries are paid from taxpayer funds. When the Legislature faces a tight budget year, it searches for money anywhere it can. Thus the argument not to give an excuse to the Legislature to decide against State employees. Lohse asked if the Legislature would accept the argument that it would be the right thing to do to provide catastrophic weather leave for its employees. Penny replied that some legislators would accept this argument and others would not.
Penny added that legislators vote their political future, and generally do what is expedient. He recalled when one legislator was presented an argument that a proposed law would violate the U.S. Constitution. The legislator answered that he would pass the law, and the law would be overturned in court.
Lohse asked if the political reality was that it benefited legislators to vote against the interests of the University System and State Employees. Penny said that the University is located in only sixteen areas around the State, and while State Government is everywhere, there are only a few places where there is a high concentration of State Employees. Lohse said that this situation was profoundly sad for the State.
Penny agreed that there was a lot of work to do. He said that the same problem arose in areas like health care. One Department of Health and Social Services hospital had problems attracting nurses and so took an old building to convert to day care. Virtually every other hospital in the State has daycare for its nurses. However, the Legislature became very upset about the decision.
Legislators generally do not have an idea of what faces the State in competing in today’s marketplace. This parochial view has implications in other areas. However, as long as the University System accepts taxpayer money, it must accept dictates from the Legislature.
Penny said that a short term goal is to complete a compensation review which will place the University System in a position to compete for Employees. The Human Resources division will outline what issues it needs to address, the actions it wants to take, and the areas which make each campus unique. There was a similar, brief study done on faculty salaries which was used during discussion of the Excellent University Act. Penny and Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources Laurie Charest will discuss with the current Office of State Personnel director the importance of SPA salaries and try to obtain recognition of the unique circumstances of the Triangle and Triad area.
Currently the State cannot claim its benefits are more competitive than private industry, although it could do this before. However, State employment is still more stable than private industry due to corporate downsizing. Nonetheless it is difficult to convince workers of the benefit of State employment given compensation and benefits difficulties, in the current labor market. As a result, Penny’s office will ask the Office of State Personnel to look at each economic region separately in determining pay scales.
Ramona Kellam asked why employees at the top of their salary range receive bonuses rather than full pay raises. Penny recalled that employees at the top of their range receive a lump sum bonus rather than a full pay raise. Kellam felt that this system penalized those who were loyal to the University. She and others emphatically reported that employees just hired with the University are making within $2-3,000 of employees who have been here more than 20 years. The legislative bonus was small consolation when these newly employees progress through their salary range so quickly.
Penny said that the Office of State Personnel would be revamping and broadening these ranges anyway to have fewer people in this situation. However, he could not say that this situation would not arise in the future. Kellam said that “topping out” occurs when an employee at the top of their salary range receives a 1% cost of living increase with a 3% career growth bonus, rather than a raise. Penny thought that coming reforms would lessen this problem in the future.
Suzan deSerres asked how long it would take to revamp the State Personnel system. Penny said the revision will take time, and anticipated a gradual rollout of changes within the next few years. He said there is also the possibility that the Office will bring out all of the changes at once, but could not definitely say.
Penny touched on the subject of SPA exempt and non-exempt classifications. He noted that EPA and SPA employees can be exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), depending on the duties of the position. Most EPA positions are not subject to the overtime provisions of the FLSA.
Rachel Windham pointed out that less than 45% of the University’s functions are supported by State taxpayers. Many of the campus’ functions are not supported at all by State funds. She asked what role Penny would play to emphasize this difference to the Legislature. Penny thought that no State agency is completely supported by State funds, and some agencies are 100% privately supported. So in this way the University was not so different. He did not think this distinction was useful in benefiting University employees.
Margaret Moore asked about the possibility of a separate personnel system for University employees. She noted that other states have a separate system for their employees. Penny said that creation of a new system might come to pass one day. The State of North Carolina tends to be very centralized, however, in the sense that the Legislature thinks that equal and equitable are the same thing. Thus, the University System must make distinctions that would justify creating a separate system. Penny thought it would be a matter of years before the Legislature would move in that direction.
On the other hand, there is the chance that the University System can obtain additional flexibility from the State as part of a larger benefits program which uses the combined purchasing power of System faculty and staff. Part of the problem is that changing a large system takes a lot of time. It takes more time and money to innovate with a system of 200,000 people than with a system of 30,000. Penny would try to get the best he could from the Legislature.
Peter Landstrom asked what sort of options exist to reconfigure the Optional Retirement System. Penny said that the reforms might expand who is allowed to participate, allowing some instructional staff and exempt employees to participate. These proposed changes should not have a financial or statistical impact on the retirement system. Other changes might include immediate vesting for employees, which might have a benefit in attracting new workers deterred by the five year vesting requirement.
Jeffery Fuchs asked about the possibility of making a possible optional retirement system retroactive for employees. Penny thought that the retirement system would likely fight against this change, given needs for a reserve.
Dave Lohse recalled that the Forum Personnel Issues committee had mentioned benefits and compensation as concerns. He also noted that the committee had discussed the status of exempt employees. Job descriptions these days are becoming more and more demanding and are expanded regularly. Employees have the perception that job descriptions are expanded so that departments need not create needed positions or fill vacant positions. Instead some Employees feel that departments shunt these duties to FLSA exempt employees. Some feel that it is better to be subject to the FLSA. The Personnel Issues committee has worked to document instances in which exempt employees are regularly working 60-80 hour work weeks.
Penny said that he could not say if this situation was occurring, or if it was germane just to UNC-Chapel Hill. However, assuming this description was correct, he said that a number of outside factors govern the creation of an exempt position. Exempt positions must meet a federal definition, and the State and University must follow federal law in saying whether a position is subject to the FLSA.
Penny said that it is a national phenomenon in which people are expanding worker responsibilities to make efficient use of resources. He urged supervisors to find a balance between humane concerns and making an efficient and effective allocation of resources.
In addition, there are policies available to compensate people effectively should additional responsibilities result. However, money is not necessarily available for this purpose. Penny encouraged concerned Employees to take the issue up with Charest’s office.
Dorothy Grant reported that often a department will have four employees doing five employees’ work. These remaining employees will feel that nothing has been done to benefit them for taking on the additional responsibility, or to hire a replacement. Penny said that if a department has made the decision to cut the position, the department should speak with Human Resources about additional compensation. For the present, it would be a situation that the employees would have to endure.
Cathy Riley asked what was Penny’s future intentions to work with the Forum. Penny said that his division would work with sixteen campuses, and so could not work on an intimate basis with every one given its mission. However, if time permits, the division will address System-wide concerns. Similarly, the division will direct campus issues to the appropriate campus bodies. The division will work with campuses to help solve their problems while advocating positive positions with State Government. The division will also pull together campuses to deal with systemic issues. Penny would be very interested in dealing with systemic issues which go beyond one campus or department.
Dutton thanked Penny for hearing the Forum’s questions and concerns. She noted that Penny will take a formal tour of campus November 21. She also thanked Sanford for his presentation. The Chair noted that Penny had taken time to meet with her and other previous Forum chairs last month. She presented him with a Forum lapel pin.
Human Resources Update
Charest noted that the North Carolina Flex enrollment period had been extended to November 22. Employees who have not received an information booklet should contact the Benefits office. Charest encouraged Employees to submit their applications as early as possible to avoid problems over the holiday weekend.
Employees currently in the vision and accidental death and dismemberment will be automatically enrolled in the flex program. Employees in the BlueCross/BlueShield dental program will be moved into the high option North Carolina Flex program automatically unless they specify otherwise. Employees in North Carolina Flex spending accounts must renew their enrollment.
November 1 is Jack Stone’s last day as University employment director. Human Resources is beginning a national search for his replacement. Meanwhile, Ken Litowsky will serve as interim employment director.
As an update on the SPA salary survey at the mandatory prebid process, only one vendor appeared to bid. The University will rework its bid process to encourage more than one firm to bid on the project.
The University will hold a candidate forum November 1 at 5 p.m. Legislative and local candidates have been invited to attend. The Forum will take place at 111 Carroll Hall.
Approval of Minutes
The Chair called for a motion to approve the minutes of the October meeting. Dave Lohse moved that the minutes be approved, seconded by Kathy Dutton. The Chair noted that the sentence, “The Chair noted that the Transportation and Parking Advisory committee is tied to the city transit system improvement committee which the Town of Chapel Hill formed to study its transit system” incorrectly implied an official link between the two groups. Instead, there is merely mutual representation on both committees.
Charest added that there is no limitation on the number of nominations a department can make per month for the StarHeels award program.
Given these corrections, the minutes were approved.
The Chair asked as a sideline whether departments were having problems getting e-mail addresses created for new Employees. Employees advised the Chair to contact Sherry Graham to make her aware of the problem.
Concerning the Forum Guidelines, the Chair noted that the Forum had voted to consider the proposed revisions on second reading at its last meeting. For the sake of time, she asked that the Forum consider the changes as a group unless they had any further questions. She noted that the recommendation that the extension of the word limit to 250 words for officer candidate sketches was included in the package of revisions.
A delegate wondered if the third sentence of Section V. should read “anything more than a simple majority of Delegates” be necessary to agree on a motion. Charest suggested that the passage read a “a majority of Delegates present” given that one-third of total Delegates was necessary to constitute a quorum. Fuchs did not want one-third of a quorum of 15 Delegates present to rule on business items. All agreed with Charest’s proposed revision.
The Chair asked if full-time permanent Employees were thought to be the only Employees able to run for the Forum. Charest said that staying with permanent SPA and EPA non-faculty Employees in the passage reflected the intention of the Guidelines authors. She suggested that the passage strike the word “full-time.”
With these modifications and changes, the Chair asked for a motion to approve the Guidelines revisions for submission to the Chancellor. Kathy Dutton made this motion, seconded by Tom Jenswold. The Forum voted unanimously to approve the amended Guidelines. The Forum Office will share a new copy of the Guidelines once the changes have been approved.
At this point, the Forum took a five minute break.
The Chair asked for delegate input on the use of the Staff Development fund. She noted that the Forum had previously voted to use these trust fund dollars to support the campus career counselor position and the audio/video training library. Certain proposals before the campus budget group might profitably use these funds, such as payment for staff admissions application fees.
Charest recalled that the Staff Development Fund was created in during the University’s Bicentennial to enhance the work life of staff. These concerns could include career development or could extend much broader. The Chair encouraged Delegates to send their thoughts to her before the next Executive Committee meeting, at which the topic would be discussed further.
The Chair noted that she had held meetings with Faculty Chair Sue Estroff and Student Body President Brad Matthews on the frustration of the budget process from the administrative versus the academic side. Concurrently, the three drafted a letter to the Transportation and Parking Advisory committee regarding on-campus transit options. This letter urged creation of an effective plan of on-campus transit given coming changes associated with the University bond issue. Within this plan might be the restoration of the Point2Point service under another name. The Chair was encouraged that all three campus constituencies had taken a stand on this subject.
The Chair noted an idea to encourage Chancellor Moeser to hold more campus-wide community meetings. The Forum agreed to consider a draft resolution to this effect at its December meeting.
Dorothy Grant reported that the Personnel Issues committee had discussed the need for more parking spaces around UNC Hospitals for Employees with appointments. She noted that some Employees are worried what will happen should they park in the decks for their appointments. The committee is working to find more information about this issue. Delegates noted that some spaces could be available in the Dogwood lot.
Secretary Karen Geer issued the call for Forum officer candidates. She said that interested Delegates should submit a 250 word biographical sketch and should visit the Forum Office for a photograph. Candidates should be prepared to give a speech and find someone to nominate them at the December meeting. All Delegates are encouraged to run.
DeSerres proposed the creation of a fourth office to be in charge of communications, operations, publicity, and the general operation of the Forum office. She asked if there were any thoughts on this idea. John Heuer noted that any change to the Forum Guidelines would require two readings. The second reading of this proposal would occur in December, when the elections process is due to begin. It was also noted that changes to the Guidelines must be presented in writing. Charest did not think that any change of this magnitude could be included in this version of Guidelines revisions. Of course, the Forum could consider these changes in the future.
Grant agreed that any new changes could not be accomplished between now and December. Geer suggested forwarding this idea to the Executive Committee for further discussion. The Forum agreed with this approach. Charest suggested that the Forum could institute a one-time election procedure to cover the off-cycle election should the Forum decide to institute the office. Geer officially made this motion, seconded by Grant. The motion approved by acclamation.
Bobbie Lesane, chair of the Career Development committee, distributed a final draft of the training responsibilities document to the Forum. She asked if the Forum could approve the document for final distribution to University Employees. The Chair thought that the Forum should make sure the Chancellor is comfortable with the document before its general distribution. She proposed waiting for his final approval. Lesane said that distribution to 6,500 Employees should cost the Forum around $430.
Suzan deSerres, chair of the Communications committee, noted that group had discussed the contents of InTouch. The committee will meet November 2 at 8:30 a.m. in 01B Brauer Hall. The committee will work to write its annual report. Committee chairs desiring an article in InTouch should contact DeSerres.
Kathy Dutton, chair of the Employee Presentations committee, thanked all who attended the recent community meeting with Chancellor Moeser. She also thanked Jack Evans, Bruce Runberg, Evelyn Hawthorne, Jonathan Howes, Archie Ervin, Gordon Rutherford, Anna Wu, Laurie Charest, Joanne Kucharski, Karen Geer, and the members of the committee for their time and remarks.
Dutton felt that the meeting had raised Employee morale and had raised important questions in a safe environment. She continued to receive feedback that Employees and administrators would like to see more community meetings. The Chair added that Moeser had done an especially good job, earning the praise of SEANC members, among others. She looked forward to more collaborations.
Bobbie Lesane, chair of the Orientation committee, thanked the group for its work on the October orientation. The group’s next event will be the December 6 reception for incoming and outgoing Delegates.
Dorothy Grant, chair of the Personnel Issues committee, said the group met November 24 in the Law School library. Jeffery Fuchs had written a proposal about Employees finding places to park at UNC Hospitals. The committee also decided it needed to push appropriate training for supervisors and managers. The Chair proposed that Grant work with Human Resources on this subject. Charest asked if supervisors indeed need to know all system procedures to do their job. Grant said that some minimum knowledge should be established to supervise Employees.
Joanne Kucharski, chair of the Recognition & Awards committee, thanked Dianne Hill and the rest of the committee for coordinating the staff processional at University Day. She said that the committee had received four nominations for the Forum’s Community Award (3-Legged Stool). Nominations are due November 10.
John Heuer, chair of the University Committee Assignments committee, said that group had submitted nominations to the Performance Management and Pay Advisory Board and the Carolina Women’s Center Advisory Board. Kathy Dutton had received an appointment to the latter. Peggy Lewis has been appointed to the Sexual Harassment Advisory Committee and Jill Mayer and Sheila Storey have been appointed to the Pedestrian Safety Committee. The committee still awaits appointments to the University Grievance, University Calendar, and Performance Management bodies.
The committee has located correspondence from the late Chancellor Michael Hooker dated September 15, 1997 urging deans, directors, and department heads to support staff participation on University committees. Heuer read Hooker’s message.
The Chair noted that the Executive Committee had discussed possibilities of moving to a monthly pay cycle with Evans and Roger Patterson. The committee provided a wide range of opinion to the pair.
Nora Robbins has drafted a proposal on the tuition waiver program for Employees attending summer school. The summer school program will see a slew of pilot proposals next summer.
Task Force Reports
The Chair noted that the Transportation and Parking Advisory Committee had met last month and heard a presentation on the campus master plan from Gordon Rutherford and Anna Wu. The committee discussed a possible night parking program. The advisory parking group also looked at alternative ways to handle parking allocation.
The University Priorities and Budget committee met last week to hear about funding proposals for the academic side. She hoped to hear a final decision about programs on the non-academic side soon. She hoped that these worthwhile proposals would not be ignored because there is no plan or process to request funding for these areas.
The Master Plan and Pedestrian Safety committees will meet in November.
The Transit System Improvement committee heard UNC present its side of transportation needs this month. This committee is composed of representatives of the University, Chapel Hill Transit, and the Towns of Chapel Hill and Carrboro.
Announcements and Questions
The Chair reported that Thursday at 1:30 p.m. in the Pit there will be a rally for the University Bond issue. Governor Hunt, President Broad, and Community College System President Martin Lancaster are scheduled to attend.
The Chair reminded members that the December meeting will start early due to the scheduled reception.
In the absence of further discussion, the meeting adjourned at 11:34 a.m.
Matt Banks, Recording Secretary