April 3, 2002
Agenda — April 3, 2002
9:30 a.m.—Meeting, Wilson Library Assembly Room
I. Call to Order
II. Welcome Guests, Members of the Press
III. Opening Remarks
VI. New Business
V. Employee Presentations or Questions
VI. Approval of Minutes of the March 6, 2002 meeting P
VII. Forum Committee Reports
· Career Development: Fred Jordan
· Communications: Linda Collins
Þ Forum Newsletter
· Employee Presentations: Gary Lloyd
· Nominating: Kay Teague
Þ Forum Elections
· Orientation: Joan Ferguson/Barbara Logue
· Personnel Issues: Mary Ann Vacheron
· Recognition and Awards: Shirley Hart/Sylvia White
· University Committee Assignments: Lee Edmark
VIII. Stretch Time 6
IX. Chair’s Report (Executive Committee): Tommy Griffin
X. Task Force/University Committee Reports
· Transportation & Parking Advisory—Joanne Kucharski/Jimmy Workman
· Personnel Flexibility Study Committee—John Heuer
XI. Human Resources Update
· Laurie Charest, Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources
XII. Special Presentations
· Nancy Suttenfield & Carolyn Elfland on TPAC Recommendations
P = Included in Agenda Packet
April 3, 2002
Wilson Library Assembly Room
Mary Ann Vacheron
“ = Ex-Officio
Chair Tommy Griffin called the meeting to order at 9:38 a.m. He noted that Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration Nancy Suttenfield and Associate Vice Chancellor for Campus Services Carolyn Elfland had asked to move their presentation to the beginning of the Forum agenda. He said that he had heard a lot from people across campus on the budget and employment crisis, and noted that it was hard to keep a positive attitude about work in the light of so much uncertainty. However, he urged the Forum and other campus leaders to keep a positive attitude.
Suttenfield wished the Forum good morning, and said that she had come to announce changes in the University’s parking and transit plan this year. She noted that the Board of Trustees had asked the administration to do more with its final plan. She thanked Transportation and Parking Advisory committee (TPAC) members for their good work with many complex issues, under extreme time pressures. She noted that the campus had a great variety of views on parking and transit issues, and TPAC worked hard to represent these views in its discussions. TPAC had also hosted various community meetings and workshops which culminated in its recent series of board meetings.
Suttenfield praised the work of Joanne Kucharski and Jimmy Workman, the Forum’s representatives on TPAC, which had given so much time in the past year to representing staf concerns. She noted that Forum Chair Tommy Griffin had also worked to represent Employee interests as a statesman and a diplomat, expressing the staff perspective at Board of Trustees meetings.
Suttenfield noted that the Board had asked the administration to work further on the parking and transit proposal. The Board expressed concern about the night parking program, and asked the administration to rework the plan to exclude any night parking plan. Suttenfield said that the administration is in the beginning stages of this review. She said that the administration plans to convene a small working group of faculty, staff and students who have participated in discussions, and hope to wrap up the process rather quickly.
Suttenfield noted that Chancellor Moeser had made clear that there would not be further increases on day permit holders beyond what had been proposed. She said that the University would need to cover certain commitments made to the town with the approval of the development plan to remain eligible for construction and renovation projects. She also said that the situation presented a small area of opportunity to focus on cutting expenses with the parking and transit program. She said that the University would look to serving its primary constituencies in what it must keep and what it must curtail or eliminate.
Suttenfield said that she would have more information once final recommendations are submitted. She also said that she would look at the composition, processes and timetable that TPAC followed this year, and would study how to create a more effective process for the coming year while maintaining what has worked. She praised TPAC’s method of obtaining meaningful input from faculty, staff and students, UNC Health Care System (HCS) employees and administrators, and visitors.
Suttenfield offered to take questions from the Forum. Mary Ann Vacheron recalled a parking memo which indicated that the University would offer financial incentives not to park on campus. She asked if Suttenfield or Elfland had details about these alternatives. Elfland said that Public Safety would offer commuter alternatives for those who commit to park and ride via the commuter alternatives program. Commuters would receive a number of day permits per year to allow them to park in the S-11 lot when they really need to bring a car to campus. Also, the emergency ride back program to park and ride lots will still exist, allowing commuters to obtain rides back to their cars in emergency situations. Elfland said that it would be best to ask Transit Demand Coordinator Debbie Freed to explain other incentives, such as various gifts donated by area businesses.
Fred Jordan asked if Public Safety would offer parking passes closer to North Campus than the S-11 lot. Elfland said that Public Safety had selected the S-11 lot given the increased construction on campus that will eliminate a large number of North Campus spaces. She said that the University could look at providing North campus permits if 15-20 people did not want the permits on the same day. Jordan asked if this program will take the place of the present program through which Employees could rent a sticker for $2 that would allow them to park where they would like. Elfland said that someone from Public Safety should answer this question.
Jordan asked Suttenfield to describe how the University might reduce bus service. Suttenfield said that she had not specifically mentioned reducing bus service, but said that the University would look at every alternative to reduce expenses. The University would seek input on how to prioritize its cuts. Jordan asked if this comment represented a qualified “yes.” Suttenfield said that cutting bus service remained an option.
Tom Arnel asked Elfland which spaces on North campus the University would eliminate. Elfland said that she would need Cheryl Stout or someone else from Public Safety to detail the specific lots. She said that a couple of hundred people who have permits in the Bell Tower lot would lose their spaces due to construction.. She said that she would transmit a report of spaces to be lost in the next year to Arnel and the Forum Chair.
The Chair thanked Suttenfield and Elfland for their comments.
The Chair called for a motion to approve the minutes of the March meeting. Jim Bennett made this motion, seconded by Keith Cochran. The minutes were approved by acclamation.
Fred Jordan, chair of the Career Development committee, said that group had met March 21 to discuss publicizing Training & Development’s web page on how to take classes at the University. Jordan said that the committee also hoped to prepare a resolution to go to the Chancellor encouraging supervisors to support their Employees’ attendance at training classes. He hoped that the resolution would be ready for the next Forum meeting.
Brian White of the Communications committee said the group had met March 7 to talk about ideas for the March InTouch and the June University Gazette insert. The theme for the insert will be the Forum’s ten year anniversary. He said that a subgroup of the main group had met March 20 to discuss organization and navigation of the Forum website. He asked members and others to submit their views on the website and possible improvements. The committee will next meet April 9.
Gary Lloyd, chair of the Employee Presentations committee, said that group had cancelled its April meeting. The committee had scheduled a community meeting for June 27, from 10:30 to noon in Hamilton 100, with Chancellor Moeser the featured speaker. The committee will next meet May 6 in Conference Room A of the Giles Horney building. Lloyd said that Moeser had not yet settled on a topic for the meeting.
Kay Teague, chair of the Nominating committee, said the group had discussed revisions to the Forum attendance policy. She said the committee would issue its first call for nominations in the beginning of May, and she asked members to think of nominating co-workers who would make good Delegates. The next committee meeting will take place April 23.
Joan Ferguson, co-chair of the Orientation committee, said that group would work on updating the new Delegates’ notebook and finding a new keynote speaker for the retreat. She asked members to submit ideas and said the group would meet again April 28.
Mary Ann Vacheron, chair of the Personnel Issues committee, said that group had met March 27 to discuss health insurance issues related to out of state coverage. She noted that pharmacy copayments are rather high for certain drugs which are not listed on the plan’s preferred list. These drugs cost $40 for each filled prescription with no generic equivalent. Vacheron asked Employees with a prescription for these drugs to e-mail a member of the Personnel Issues committee or the Forum Office so that the Forum could obtain a response as to why the State plan does not cover these drugs.
Vacheron also noted that while the State plan website lists Rex Hospital as a costwise provider, several Employees report going there for emergencies and having to pay more than at other hospitals.
Vacheron said that the committee had discussed commissioning a survey of SPA Employees, and had submitted sample questions to Laurie Charest. The committee also discussed inviting elected legislators to a future Forum meeting for a panel discussion. She noted that Evelyn Hawthorne, Associate Vice Chancellor for Governmental Relations, had offered to assist the committee in putting the discussion together. If Delegates have special candidates they would like to invite they should contact Vacheron. She noted that most Orange County legislators will run unopposed this term. The committee’s next meeting will take place April 13.
A delegate reported that Zorcor and Lipidor, leading cholesterol inhibitors with no generic equivalents, are not listed on the Costwise drug list.
Sylvia White, co-chair of the Recognition & Awards committee, said the group had met the day before. She said the committee was moving ahead with plans for a Forum delegate and alternate appreciation luncheon May 9. Members should respond to White by April 30. The committee will continue with the peer recognition program as the Forum’s budget will allow. The committee also is working on the ten year anniversary event and plans to meet with the Orientation committee very soon on this topic. The committee will meet again on May 6.
George Ann Bissett of the University Committee Assignments committee reported that group had begun work to confirm committee information from an information template prepared by Linda Collins. The Chair invited Delegates to send information about University committees needing staff membership to him or University Committee Assignments committee members.
The Chair reported that the Forum’s resolution seeking representation on the Board of Trustees had gone to committee for further study. He was pleased that the resolution had reached this stage. He had lobbied the Board for this purpose in concert with the faculty’s request for a non-voting seat on the Board.
The Chair noted that he had attended a Board of Trustees information seminar March 17 preceding the main Board meeting March 18. He thought he had received a fair hearing on parking, although he had been asked not to speak during Thursday’s meeting. He noted that the Board had made decisions concerning the campus master plan as well as parking and transit at its meeting this month. The Chair thought that the Board was making good progress to understand the parking and transit situation, although he hated to see prices go higher than they were already.
The Chair reported that the Provost’s Office had allocated the Forum $10,000 annually to go to the Chair’s hosting department, to compensate that department for time lost away from work. He thought that this breakthrough would help the Forum in recruiting future chairs. The Chair estimated that he had spent thirty hours in the last week on Forum business, and some weeks spent between forty and fifty hours talking with constituents and attending meetings.
The Chair had attended the inauguration of the new Student Body President, Jen Daum. He had a good talk with outgoing and incoming officers, and hoped to work closer with students in the future. He said that whatever affects any group on campus in turn affects everyone else, for good or ill. He had tried to communicate to students the impact that recent layoffs would make on services this year.
The Chair noted that he had received a thank you card from Neal deJong, the student who had addressed the Forum about the recent dance marathon.
The Chair urged Delegates when communicating with one another to do so with dignity and respect. He said that as Employees and representatives of the Employee Forum, Delegates should present a good example, particularly in the University setting where so many people are educated. He said that everyone was watching the Forum to see how it would react and represent campus Employees.
The Chair noted that Jimmy Workman and Joanne Kucharski had represented the Forum well on TPAC with a good grasp of numbers. He also noted that TPAC had asked him to serve as a Forum representative, and he had agreed since staff Employees need more representatives on this committee.
An Employee asked why the Board had gone ahead with plans to add another 25,000 people to the Horace Williams tract area, which will impact Chapel Hill like nothing seen before. She asked why the University decided to build another Research Triangle Park here in Chapel Hill. The Chair said that he could not specifically comment, but noted that the proposed complex would cover 972 acres, a large area. He said that the campus will not be able to obtain building permits without improving air quality, which in turn means that it must manage traffic through good mass transit and other options. He noted that previous Chancellor Michael Hooker had wanted a monorail to run from Horace Williams to the north campus.
Vacheron asked if the Forum representative to the Horace Williams planning committee could make a report. The Chair said that 2001 Forum Chair John Heuer had been unable to attend recent meetings, but he would invite Heuer to attend in May. The Chair noted that Heuer’s supervisors had asked him to step back from his work as Forum Chair ex-officio, a decision which has been reversed in recent days. Vacheron noted that the master plan committee members had handed out thick notebooks depicting the work of the plan.
At this point, the Forum took a ten minute stretch break.
Human Resources Update
The Chair introduced Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources Laurie Charest to present the Forum’s customary Human Resources update. Charest noted that the personnel flexibility study committee had received a 31% response to its recent survey on Employee viewpoints on University personnel policies. Charest said that the committee was pleased with the response. She said that the input subcommittee was working on general principles to govern the personnel flexibility process, such as maintenance and improvement of Employee protections, working situations, compensation and benefits, career development and recruitment and retention. The benchmarking subcommittee had also issued a survey to peer institutions, and hoped to report results at the Forum’s next meeting. The committee as a whole hoped to meet its self-imposed deadline to issue a final report by the end of the spring semester.
Charest noted that performance appraisals are due by the end of May. She noted that the spring fling three mile run and 1.5 mile walk would take place May 3, starting between the Fetzer and Woolen gyms. Heels for Health will collect toiletry items for the Red Cross, and those who bring an item will be eligible for a drawing.
The University’s 20 year society will hold its annual banquet April 27, welcoming back Employees on their fifth anniversary of induction. She thanked Scott Ragland of the University Gazette for his excellent coverage of the event.
Vacheron asked if Charest knew anything about moving the SPA payroll system from a biweekly to a monthly basis. Charest said that these discussions have taken place for two to three years, and should continue as long as cost savings could emerge from combining the two systems into one (a monthly and biweekly system). She said that the expense of running two different payrolls is expensive and time consuming.
David Collins noted the Chair’s reference to the need for dignified responses in policy matters, and deducted that this statement was directed at him. He agreed with the Chair in this area, and on the vast majority of questions has based his statements on the calm recitation of fact and public record. However, he noted that the recent tuition increase in contrast with staff layoffs had led too an emotional statement with depth and breadth of feelings. He said that he had received five dozen phone calls, many of which agreed with him. He had written in the way he had in order to convey an emotional weight he felt had not come out in discussions, and had added substantive advice and input to his e-mail post. In sum, he was glad he had posted the way that he had, although he would not write this way all the time in order not to dilute its impact.
The Chair agreed that Collins certainly had the right of freedom of speech in this matter, but wished he had expressed his thoughts in a more dignified version. He and others had spoken passionately to the Board of Trustees on the subject of parking. He said that people had spoken very strongly, but with respect to one another. He warned that decision-makers would hear but not listen if they become upset with us. He said that Employees now more than ever need to be heard, as budget cuts are moving forward.
The Chair emphasized that the Forum must stand united to be heard together in a dignified manner. He said that one negative e-mail could undermine the Forum’s appeal to dignity and respect, making the Forum hurt not heard. He recalled that the Forum’s power is based on the number of Employees it represents.
The Chair shared a letter from former UNC basketball coach Dean Smith in response to a request that he address the Forum at its January 2003 retreat. Smith had written that the Forum was doing great work and he urged it to continue. The Chair said that he would work to represent all Employees and said that he would always be available to listen to anyone who wanted to speak with him.
The Chair said that this University is based on people, and urged people to live up to standards of greatness to create a great University. He said that the demands of the future master plan would not come easy or cheap, and would demand hard work and dedication from the faculty, staff and students. He said that we would stand united as we try to make changes for the better.
In the absence of further discussion, the meeting adjourned at 10:48 a.m.
Matt Banks, Recording Secretary