August 2, 2000
Agenda — August 2, 2000
9:30 a.m.— Assembly Room of Wilson Library
I. Call to Order
II. Welcome Guests, Members of the Press
III. Opening Remarks from Chancellor William McCoy
IV. Special Acknowledgments
- Honorary Resolution Read by Secretary Karen Geer
- Recognition & Awards
V. Special Presentations
- Faculty Council Chair Dr. Sue Estroff
- Interim Provost, Dean Richard Edwards
VI. Employee Presentations or Questions
VII. Human Resources Update
- Laurie Charest, Associate Vice Chancellor, Human Resources
VIII. Approval of Minutes of the July 5, 2000 meeting P
IX. Unfinished Business
- Recognition & Awards Committee Mailing to Staff
X. Stretch Time
XI. New Business
- University Bond Campaign
- Discussion on State Health Care Meeting
XII. Forum Committee Reports
- University Committee Assignments: John Heuer P
- Recognition and Awards: Joanne Kucharski
- Personnel Issues: Dave Lohse P
- Orientation: Bobbie Lesane
- Nominating: Karen Geer
- Employee Presentations: Kathy Dutton
- Communications: Suzan deSerres P
- Forum Newsletter
- Career Development: Bobbie Lesane
XIII. Chair’s Report (Executive Committee): Joanne Kucharski P
- Summer Tuition Waiver Status
- Staff Application Fee Waiver Budget Request
- Guidelines Review
- Officers’ Meeting
XIV. Task Force/University Committee Reports
- Pedestrian Safety Committee—Jill Mayer/Sheila Storey
- Payroll Issues Study Task Force—Jane Stine
- Provost Search Committee—Jane Stine
- Transportation & Parking Advisory — Chris Barfield
- Open Space Committee—Joanne Kucharski/John Heuer/Karen Geer
- Master Plan Executive Steering Team—Joanne Kucharski
- University Priorities & Budget— Joanne Kucharski
- Faculty Council Liaison—Joanne Kucharski
- Vice Chancellor for Finance & Administration Search Committee—Joanne Kucharski
P = Included in Agenda Packet
August 2, 2000
“ = Ex-Officio
Joanna E. Smith
Call to Order, Welcome to Guests
Chair Joanne Kucharski called the meeting to order at 10:30 a.m. She welcomed guests and members of the press, including University Gazette editor Scott Ragland. She then introduced interim Chancellor Bill McCoy to make opening remarks.
McCoy thanked the Forum for all it had done for the University during his term as interim chancellor. He felt that the Forum as an organization is important to the campus and thought that the University was better as a whole for what the Forum does and the communications it issues. He noted that this would be the last session in which he would address the Forum as interim chancellor.
McCoy said that the Forum would enjoy working with Chancellor-Elect James Moeser, and said that Moeser is an individual experienced in University matters and systems who embodies the type of values Carolina represents. He said that Moeser is an open individual who wants to hear opinions and input from a variety of sources.
McCoy thanked Joanne Kucharski and Jane Stine for their leadership as Forum chairs in 2000 and 1999. He noted that both chairs had taken the reins during budget hearings, search committee meetings, and master plan negotiations among other items. He joked that Stine looked much more relaxed since she had turned over leadership of the Forum to Kucharski. He also praised Dr. Sue Estroff as a fine choice to serve as chair of the faculty. McCoy was delighted also that Dr. Dick Edwards had agreed to serve as interim provost. All in all, this team should allow Moeser to hit the ground running once he assumes office August 15.
McCoy said that staff are fortunate to have the Employee Forum as the representative voice for staff at the University given the amount of work it does on a variety of important projects. One item, creating staff development opportunities, McCoy had pursued throughout his work with BellSouth and the military. He felt that continual staff training is necessary to keeping the University effective and prepared for any eventuality.
McCoy recalled his work for the University’s fundraising campaigns as a time when he saw the workings on campus “from the outside.” During his year and a half as chancellor, his positive opinion of the campus’ staff, faculty, and students had increased, but he added that there is always room to improve situations and processes. He urged the University to continue moving forward.
McCoy hoped that this year was not a typical one given last summer’s budgetary situation, Hurricane Floyd’s onslaught in eastern North Carolina, the heavy snowstorm in January, and Chancellor Michael Hooker’s passing this spring. He thought it had been a good year for the University in spite of these challenges, with everyone responding magnificently to deal with these situations in an effective way. McCoy believed that the University would continue on a good trajectory in its work on the campus intellectual climate, among other issues. He noted the increase in the number of student advisors, the provision of housing for all arriving first-year students, the summer reading program and the freshman seminars as signs that the intellectual tone on campus is changing in a positive way.
The University has worked hard to find appropriate increases for faculty and staff salaries, and has worked hard to find money for campus laboratories and physical plant facilities. Of course, the upcoming campus bond referendum will be crucial to Carolina’s future.
The University began this year on a tight budget but through some rearrangement of budget priorities the campus came through well.
This year, the Legislature treated the University quite well. The University did well in spite of a year that saw the State in a dire financial situation caused by Floyd-related flooding and several adverse court decisions. Additionally, planned tax cuts kicked in this year.
State Employees received a 4.2% increase in their salaries, a figure much better than it initially appeared Employees would receive. This increase should be reflected in upcoming SPA Employees’ checks, and will arrive in the EPA Employees’ checks at the end of August. In addition, SPA and EPA Employees will receive a $500 bonus in their October paychecks.
The University received over $9.3 million for its repair and renovation budget this year. A proposed .5% cut in its budget was averted, thanks to the work of many people including the local legislative delegation. Also, the Legislature chose not to impose a $2.7 million cut in the UNC Hospitals budget. The UNC System will receive $21 million extra to deal with enrollment increases, of which $7.5 million will go to UNC-Chapel Hill. Of the $10 million dedicated to UNC System distance learning projects, $1.3 million will go to UNC-Chapel Hill.
However, the largest project by far is the higher education bond referendum. This one piece of legislation has the potential to improve campus life more than any one item in memory. He thanked Eva Klein and her consulting firm, as well as Jeff Davies, the System Vice President for Finance, and the various System and community college campuses for their contribution to the bond’s construction.
The bond referendum would dedicate $1.6 billion to new construction, repairs, and renovations on UNC System and community college campuses across the State. Moeser has noted during visits to campus the desperate need for laboratory space and the looming possibility of losing grant money if the University cannot find appropriate quarters for these projects. While he was proud of the University’s heritage and tradition, the campus’ sheer age means that a lot of buildings simply require a lot of work to bring them up to standard. In fact, the campus has over 150 buildings that were built during the mid-1930s.
McCoy noted that the advocacy group North Carolina Citizens for Business and Industry (NCCBI) is leading the lobbying effort on behalf of the bond campaign. NCCBI has lent its public affairs director to work full-time for the campaign. Campaign co-chairs will meet with all universities in the UNC System as well as community college presidents in five county regions. These meetings and others will motivate leaders in all walks of North Carolina life to explain and support the importance of the bond issue to the citizens of this state. The official kick-off for the campaign will take place after Labor Day with the conclusion coming on Election Day November 7. Speakers are ready to speak with any organization about the bond issue.
McCoy noted that the University still has searches underway for the positions of Provost and Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration. Also, the University will conduct a search for a Vice Chancellor for Graduate Studies and Research to replace Len Dykstra; Fred Brooks will chair this search. Dykstra’s position is very important for the campus as it continues to raise money for research and push the frontiers of knowledge.
McCoy mentioned that school was about to start again and noted the work of everyone to prepare the campus for the onslaught of students each fall. He was impressed that everything had gone very smoothly last year and praised the work of campus Employees for their professional performance in bringing the students back.
McCoy paused to receive questions. Mike Hawkins asked what McCoy would do now that he was retiring. McCoy said that he and his wife would spend some time relaxing in the mountains, and would then follow through with work in business activities and advisory boards.
As his final remark, McCoy said he was proud of the University and everyone who contributed to it.
Secretary Karen Geer read a resolution honoring McCoy. The Forum approved the resolution by acclamation. The Chair then presented McCoy with the very first Forum pin, and asked McCoy to present these pins to the Forum Delagates. Finally, the Chair presented McCoy with a lunch pail filled with gifts from the Forum. McCoy wished the Chair and the Forum the very best.
The Chair introduced chair of the faculty Dr. Sue Estroff. Estroff has appointments in medical psychology and psychiatry. The Chair praised Estroff’s tremendous support for staff projects and initiatives.
Estroff began by noting the quick rapport she and the Chair had developed in meetings over the last couple of months. She noted that the University was experiencing a great deal of change at the top. This moment in time presents a lot of risk and a tremendous opportunity to reexamine the way things are done at the University. She asserted that “this is our workplace too” and hoped to find ways to make the campus into a place that nourishes its workers, to make us want to come to work.
Estroff identified she and Kucharski as “tigresses” who would be a voice for campus employees as assertive, aggressive customers of campus services. She thought that faculty and staff could find common cause to help one another in a variety of areas. Staff Employees and faculty are treated the same in determining the risk pool for health insurance, for example.
Estroff said that among her goals is to improve the image of the University in the Legislature. She said that 99% of all State Employees are working very hard at their jobs. She said that Forum Delagates are very committed to the future of the University and improving educational opportunities for all North Carolinians. She praised the wonderful, lively minds that a number of campus staff have exhibited in their jobs.
Finally, she noted that the campus is engaged in a research enterprise, which is dependent on staff as well as faculty to succeed. She hoped that as the University’s personnel process is more streamlined, staff would have the opportunity to work and grow alongside faculty.
Estroff recalled that she had sent a note to the faculty elections saying that she could not help but make mistakes in her term as faculty chair, but that she would endeavor to make the right mistakes. She encouraged Delegates to phone or email her, and to attend Faculty Council meetings whenever possible. She looked forward to the next three years of her term.
The Chair introduced Dr. Dick Edwards, the University’s interim provost. Edwards is the current Dean of the School of Social Work. He has seen the launch of a new doctoral program, has guided the development of two certification programs, the building of the Tate-Turner-Kuralt building and the start of the Jordan Institute for Families.
Edwards said it had been a pleasure to serve with the Chair over the spring on the University Priorities and Budget committee. He thought the pair had developed a good working relationship, and looked forward to working with the Chair and Estroff. He said that UNC-Chapel Hill is among the top four public universities for research, with accomplished students desperately seeking admission. The University has a good record in recruiting top-notch faculty. He added that staff Employees are integral to the performance of the University’s mission.
As chief academic officer, Edwards would take his model from McCoy and would perform his duties as if he had been appointed permanently. He said it had been a great honor to serve the University in this capacity, although he was at times a bit overwhelmed with the challenges of providing continuity and history to the new chancellor and the other vice chancellors coming on board. He welcomed the input of the Forum and said that he would do all he could to insure that the campus working environment is as positive as possible.
There were no Employee presentations or questions.
Human Resources Update
As Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources Laurie Charest’s father was quite ill, Senior Director for Human Resources Drake Maynard has agreed to provide the Forum’s customary Human Resources update. Maynard noted that the new Human Resources Information System (HRIS) had gone on-line July 17. All permanent SPA actions will now go through this system. Maynard said that the majority of SPA departments have been trained in the system’s use. Those departments waiting to be trained can request Human Resources staff to enter the SPA actions.
Human Resources is building a database of activities and has trained staff to work a help desk. The help desk has received 5-15 phone calls a day since the system’s unveiling, with a vast majority of problems solved within the following two days.
Senior Deputy Director of Human Resources Kathy Dutton has been in charge of the large scale training effort, which has reached around 720 campus technical and Human Resources personnel. This training has occurred over a period of six months, with each person receiving around two weeks of training each.
Maynard noted that SPA pay raises showed up in the Friday, July 28 paycheck. Employees received a 2.2% increase across the board apart from performance ratings. In addition, a 2% within grade increase was awarded to Employees receiving a ‘Good’ rating or better. Employees whose salaries are at the maximum of their range will receive all or part of this increase as a one-time bonus. Finally, Employees will receive a $500 bonus in the last paycheck of October. Payment of the $500 bonus has been delayed until October to take advantage of new tax regulations that allow a smaller withholding on bonuses effective October 1. The bonus will not be subject to 6% retirement reduction, FICA and State reductions.
EPA Employees’ paychecks will receive the bonus in their August paycheck, retroactive to July 1.
The Legislature has made a number of enhancements to the State retirement system. Current retirees will receive a 3.6% increase across the board, and the retirement formula will increase from 1.8 to 1.81. These changes were effective July 1.
On another subject, the selection of health insurance options is slowly constricting, as a number of Employees will be dropped for the coming signup period. The Benefits Office has notified these Employees via memo and has notified Human Resources facilitators. Benefits will hold two meetings in facilities services to talk about this change, from 8:15-9:15 a.m. and 9:30-10:30 a.m. in the Cheek-Clark building August 11.
The annual blood drive, which this year was a joint effort between the University and the Town, was highly successful. Almost 1100 units of blood were presented and the Red Cross was able to accept 970 units of blood. There were 140 first-time donors and 200 walk-in donors.
One of several pending legislative items waiting for Governor Hunt’s signature would reduce the dispensing fee for State Employee prescriptions from $6 to $4. Governor Hunt must sign this bill within ten days for the proposal to become law.
Maynard noted that under the State plan, drugs are reimbursed by health care administrators based on the maximum allowable charges or 80% of the wholesale price of generic drugs that are not covered. All pharmacies will accept co-payments under the State plan.
Beginning August 1, the State plan will insure a pap smear for up to $150, a number that is not subject to deductibles or coinsurance.
Another pending law would repeal the requirement that Employees must accumulate more than 20 years of State service to qualify for fully paid health insurance after retirement. This legislation awaits the Governor’s signature.
Joann Pitz announced that Human Resources would hold two information sessions in August for Employees to learn about HMOs, health insurance coverage and plans available.
Approval of the Minutes
The Chair called for a motion to approve the July 5 minutes. It was noted that the new director of the Women’s Center is named Diane Kjervik. In addition, Laurie Charest noted that a sentence on page 1 should read, ” Charest did not yet know the effect of current disciplinary actions on pay raises.”
With these changes, the minutes were approved by acclamation.
The Chair noted that the Recognition and Awards committee would soon send out a solicitation for Employees to acknowledge their peers. This hot mailer would be returned to Dianne Hill’s office. The Chair was interested to see the response to the simpler, check-box nomination form.
At this point, the Forum took a five minute stretch break.
The Chair said that the McCoy had given a good overview of happenings associated with the upcoming University bond campaign. State Employees will need to keep in mind restrictions about what they can and cannot do to support the bond package. She encouraged Employees to look on the University web site for guidance. In addition, the Forum might write an article for InTouch on areas about which one should be cautious.
The Chair noted that a number of Employees came away frustrated after Dr. Jack Walker’s presentation on changes to the State Health plan. She noted a similar frustration among faculty members. She proposed that the Forum solicit information from Delegates, then request the Personnel Issues committee to research the issue further for areas on which the Forum could take an educated position.
Mike Hawkins noted that the $6 charge for filling State Employees’ prescriptions was triple the national average of $2 a prescription. He said that the cost was dictated by legislative mandate, and added that the Legislature had the interests of the pharmacy lobby at heart when setting a $4 minimum. He said that State Employees would need to research the fallout from the last legislative session to see what other costs have been passed onto the plan’s reserves.
Hawkins noted that SEANC has been in contact with the State office and Walker to request clarification on certain points. SEANC District 25 has also worked to find out the names of the State plan’s oversight committee. Hawkins offered to report this information to the Forum if it found it useful. He emphasized finding areas in the plan which seem to cost too much, and areas in which the State Employee pool is not receiving a good deal. He thought that there had been a lot of collusion among different interests, which has harmed the financial health of the State plan.
Other Delegates asked Hawkins to share this information, if possible. One delegate wondered why Generations, the UNC Hospital HMO, is pulling out of the State plan. The Chair noted that some Employees are planning to write the directors of various HMOs to request an explanation and a reversal of their decision.
Karen Geer asked if the exit interview process for Employees leaving the University looked at how many people are leaving because of health insurance costs. She noted that private firms often make a point of emphasizing free insurance for a new hire’s family. Nora Robbins said that the exit interviews have found Employees to be generally satisfied with their benefits.
Forum Committee Reports
John Meeker of the University Committee Assignments committee noted that the group had been very busy over the last couple of months. The committee had met to sort through candidates for various committees and to examine the committee assignment process. The committee will make a further report on its efforts later.
Joanne Kucharski, chair of the Recognition & Awards committee, reported the group had done a mailing to all staff Employees. In addition, the committee will help coordinate planning for the staff processional for University Day. The committee has requested that all previous Forum chairs have an opportunity to participate in the processional as well as the customary two representatives per department. University Day will take place Thursday, October 12.
Jeffery Fuchs of the Personnel Issues committee noted that the group had last met in July to discuss the concern of grievance procedures involving people outside the University community. He asked what kinds of people were affected by external actors in a grievance situation. In addition, the committee will meet to discuss health care issues at its meeting at the end of August.
Elaine Tola said that she had suggested that the committee work to contribute to the health care debate by gathering information from Delegates. The Chair said that she had received a number of emails asking the Forum’s position on the health care crisis. She appreciated Hawkins’ earlier offer to provide research information from SEANC. Tola said that she would work to send out an email to the Forum listserv to compile data. She said that the world on campus was clearly changing with regard to health insurance. The Chair noted that Sue Estroff also might be willing to cooperate with the Forum on this issue.
Fuchs said that the Forum could possibly send out an information survey of all Employees with regard to health insurance. The Chair said that the Executive Committee would be glad to consider a survey for publication. She welcomed Fuchs and the Personnel Issues committee to meet with the Executive Committee to hammer out a plan.
Hawkins added that the Forum could add a section to its web page in which Employees could speak about their health insurance concerns and experiences. He said that receiving anonymous feedback often leads straight to what people are really thinking.
Bobbie Lesane, chair of the Orientation committee, said that the orientation for new Delegates is still planned for October 20. The committee is studying giving a small gift to incoming members. The committee’s next meeting will be in 101 Rosenau August 17.
Karen Geer, chair of the Nominating committee, reported that the group had met last week and had started to receive candidate nominations. Nominations are due to the Forum Office August 10. Employees can nominate candidates on-line through the Forum website. The committee will meet again August 17 in an effort to get as many candidates from each division as possible.
There was no report from the Employee Presentations committee.
Suzan DeSerres reported that the group is still planning to have a July and August InTouch edition. The committee will meet August 3 at 8:30 a.m. in 01 Brauer.
Bobbie Lesane, chair of the Career Development committee, distributed a draft copy of the staff training and development flier. She asked members to provide comments and critiques. The committee is investigating how to distribute the document to everyone. The committee will meet again August 17 from 2:30-4 p.m. in 101 Rosenau.
The Chair has continued to meet with various administrators in an effort to secure summer tuition waiver status for all staff Employees and a waiver of the application fee for staff when applying for Continuing Studies admissions. Plans are now underway for a pilot program.
The Executive Committee has moved forward following the July 5 Forum discussion on the Forum Guidelines. The Executive Committee has agreed not to move up the Forum officer elections to December this year, but might recommend this change for next year. The committee plans to present a revised set of Guidelines for the Forum’s consideration in September or October.
Jill Mayer could not yet confirm that the pedestrian safety task force would be turned into a permanent committee.
Jane Stine reported that the Provost’s search committee’s work was very intense now as the committee developed a final list of candidates for Chancellor Moeser’s consideration.
The Chair reported that the Master Plan Steering team had met last week with Ayres Saint Gross and other designers and consultants. The consultants have prepared an environmental plan for the campus to insure campus growth and preservation of neighborhood communities, areas of water quality, and natural habitat.
The University Priorities and Budget committee, chaired by interim provost Edwards, will meet again with the coming of the fall semester.
The Faculty Council will meet September 15 in Sue Estroff’s first meeting as chair.
The Chair reported that the Forum officers had been invited to participate in meetings with candidates. She was greatly impressed that the doors were open to staff opinions on these matters.
The Chair noted that she had met with the new Women’s Center director Diane Kjervik and the vice president of the student body Lerissa Rentas. She had enjoyed a very cordial breakfast meeting with the pair.
The Chair asked members to think about whether they would like to wear their pins on a specific day such as ‘Forum Fridays.’ She said that she might wear her pin everyday anyway.
By acclamation, the meeting adjourned at 11:23 a.m.
Matt Banks, Recording Secretary