August 5, 1998
August 5, 1998
|Delegates Present||Martha Barbour||Jeffery Beam||Pat Bigelow|
|Linwood Blalock||Lucille Brooks||Gwen Burston||Denise Childress|
|Joyce Dalgleish||Linda Drake||Linwood Futrelle||Betty Geer|
|Sherry Graham||Jennifer Henderson||Al Jeter||Steve Jones|
|LaEula Joyner||Ken Litowsky||Dee Dee Massey||Lesa McPherson|
|Anne Montgomery||Jackie Overton||Barbara Prear||Frances Rountree|
|Bob Schreiner||Stephanie Stadler||Nancy Tannenbaum||Dail White|
|Carol Worrell||Laurie Charest“||“ = Ex-Officio||Delagates Absent|
|Betty Averette||Connie Boyce||Mary Braxton||Tommy Brickhouse|
|Jean Coble||Mitch Copeland||Elizabeth Evans||William Grice|
|Phil Hearne||Bettye Jones||Eileen McGrath||Ken Perry|
|Jane Stine||Cheryl Stout||Terry Teer||Sharon Windsor|
|Ted Wright||Alternates Present||Connie Dean McPherson||Guests|
|Linda Convissor||Adam Gross||Barry Hyland||Mike Johnson|
|Scott Ragland||Jim Ramsey||Chris Rice||Bruce Runberg|
Call to Order, Welcome to Guests
Chair Linwood Futrelle called the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m. The Chair asked members to sign in and to examine the routing file as it was passed around the room, and noted that new Delagates Ken Perry and Sharon Windsor had been recently promoted. The Chair then introduced Vice Chancellor for Administration Jim Ramsey to provide opening remarks to the Forum.
Ramsey said that he appreciated the chance to address the Forum and noted that his first day on the job had coincided with the Forum’s July 1 meeting. Ramsey had spent his first three weeks meeting with as many people as possible and learning about the campus as an institution. He had not yet met with everyone he wanted, but had begun to focus on the operations and services provided in areas such as Business & Finance, Facilities Management, Human Resources, and other areas. He would attempt to meet with as many people as possible in the coming weeks.
Concerning the State budget, Ramsey said that he had never been in a situation in which he would not know what the next year’s budget would be. He would try to become more familiar with the continuing resolutions through which North Carolina carried out its budgetary process.
Regarding pay and pay increases for University workers, Ramsey said that the House and Senate proposals were essentially identical. However, the Senate was a bit more generous with respect to graduate tuition remissions and capital projects. The budgetary conference committee will meet soon and Ramsey hoped that the University would come out well from these negotiations.
Ramsey also noted that the House and Senate budgets include cuts in post-secondary education base budgets in order to fund expansion areas. University representatives will keep an eye on these discussions as they progress.
Early in Ramsey’s tenure on campus, he had met with Forum Chair Linwood Futrelle to discuss the University Blood Drive. Coincidentally, Futrelle raised the parking concern and provided him a copy of the recently completed task force study. Ramsey said that he planned to take this study and its recommendations very seriously. He also noted calls from the Forum to establish a public accounting of parking fees expenditures and planned to ask departmental staff to prepare a line-by-line budget detailing how funds are derived and spent.
Ramsey also noted that the University has opened the way to creation of a pre-tax parking benefit for University Employees. Under this new plan, Employees will be able to pay for their parking permits with pre-tax dollars, realizing a substantial savings. In addition, University administrators have begun looking to find ways to subsidize bus passes to provide this benefit more broadly. Ramsey was pleased that the pre-tax benefit stood to benefit some Employees without making others worse off. He thanked Carolyn Elfland, Roger Patterson, and Laurie Charest for their help in this area, among others.
In addition, departments will now need to disclose publicly the method for distributing its allotments of parking permits. Ramsey observed that departmental formulas for distributing permits have not been well understood in the past. He said that parking and transit issues would remain a question for the University and anticipated that these concerns will play a large part in planning issues for central campus.
Concerning the University police chief search, Ramsey said that this process was moving forward. The search committee has completed its work and has made recommendations to Chancellor Hooker. Ramsey would discuss the recommendations of the search committee and his impressions of the candidates and anticipated that Hooker would settle on a first choice within a couple of weeks or so.
Ramsey noted the great amount of effort that went into planning the University Blood Drive July 30. He applauded Patti Smith, Ann Hamner, Bob Schreiner, Linwood Futrelle, and everyone else for their work, which in fact set a national single-day record.
As part of his duties, Ramsey had tried to talk with people about the University’s long-term areas of focus. A preliminary list of longer term issues includes campus budget reallocation, enrollment planning (given the State’s projected increased in the number of college students), student tuition (pitting budgetary pressures against considerations of student access and historical mission), town-gown issues, and revisions to the master plan for central campus (including parking, transit, and space utilization choices). Ramsey would come back to this list as he moved forward with his work.
As he had a previous commitment, Ramsey said he would be unable to stay on longer. The Chair thanked Ramsey for taking the time to address the Forum.
The Chair introduced Alan Gross of the consulting firm Ayres, Saint & Gross to speak on the process for revising the master plan for central campus. Gross recognized compatriots Chris Rice and Linda Convissor and his supervisor Associate Vice Chancellor for Facilities Management Bruce Runberg.
Gross thought that he was very fortunate to hold a job that allowed him to work for institutions like UNC. He said that his firm works with colleges and universities, with a third of their efforts devoted to campus planning and two-thirds devoted to designing campus buildings. He greatly enjoyed spending time with distinguished people such as Ramsey and Provost Dick Richardson discussing the development of college campuses from an architectural and planning point of view. Particularly at UNC-Chapel Hill, people are interested in how issues such as parking and student life intersect with campus growth.
The effort to revise the master plan for the central campus will attempt to identify and replicate the things that are good while repairing things that are bad. Consultants with Ayres, Saint & Gross have spent the first part of their time researching the development of the UNC campus.
The Chapel Hill campus evolved out of the rational placement of buildings in quadrangles. McKinney & White established a master plan for the campus extending from Wilson to Old South in 1913. Since 1960, the area south of South Road has grown extraordinarily while the northern campus has stayed roughly the same.
Gross explained that the process to revise the master plan would be organized in five steps. The first of these will be the observation phase in which consultants will meet with as many people as possible—students, faculty, senior administrators, staff, and community members—to discuss their opinions of what is right and wrong about the current campus arrangement. Secondly, consultants will develop a series of conceptual plans which are essentially sketches incorporating community sentiment into a broader vision for the future. These plans will address issues like the need for more parking, more open space and new building locations. The third phase will involve precinct studies in which this broad vision is brought to the local level in greater detail in smaller area sketches. Feedback from the precinct studies will be incorporated into the fourth phase, establishment of an overall master plan for central campus. The fifth phase will involve implementation of the new plan, which will be mainly a matter funding, timing, and securing of resources and materials.
Gross invited listeners to pass on their ideas about the master plan for central campus to Linda Convissor. who would in turn pass them on to the task force. Also, the Chair of the Forum holds a place on the project’s Steering Committee.
As a way to gauge feeling on a range of issues, Gross asked the assembly to indicate by raising hands which issues they deemed most important to the development of central campus.
|Which Issue is Deemed Most Important to the Master Plan for Central Campus?||Hands Raised Approximately
|Preservation of Open Space and Natural Environment||
|Accommodating Student Growth|
|Addressing Town-Gown Issues|
|Renovating/Expanding Campus Buildings, Classrooms & Office Space||
|Improvement of Campus Amenities|
|Addressing Parking & Transit Concerns||
These numbers are approximate and do not represent the official position of the Forum.
During this discussion, Gross noted that opinions about campus space change as one’s position at the University changes. For example, graduates of the University may feel the campus obtained its ideal size on the day of their commencement, without taking into account the changing needs of the campus and the State. One of these changing needs is the estimate that the University System will need to find space for approximately 40,000 students in the next 10 years. UNC-Chapel Hill will be expected to take in a certain percentage of these students.
Forum members reported that many office and dormitory buildings have inadequate air conditioning and computer wiring, a problem that was not surprising given the age of many of these buildings. Concerning parking and transportation, Gross noted that while problems in Chapel Hill are pressing, in comparison to some urban campuses the situation is relatively good. Sherry Graham commented that she would be willing to walk farther to her office if this sacrifice meant that the University would preserve and create more green space, and if University administrators made the reason for the tradeoff explicit.
Gross asked how many listeners lived in Chapel Hill. Around 10 people said that they lived in town. Only one of these people however lived close enough to walk to work.
Gross asked how the assembly felt about the quality of campus amenities. Graham observed that the University seems to renovate Lenoir Hall (the campus dining facility) every five years or so. Generally, people indicated that they were satisfied with the quality of campus facilities, and a fair number said that they do use Lenoir for their dining needs.
Ken Litowsky hoped that campus green space plans would include provisions for benches on which students and others can sit outside and eat their lunch. He conceded that this issue was not as important as parking is to some people, but thought that including more benches would reflect well on the campus.
Graham noted that at the University of Pennsylvania the campus designates pathways where people and bicycles are supposed to go. She said it was disconcerting to see cyclists riding on the grass given the amount of effort required to maintain the grounds. Gross said that the consultants had discussed similar facilities in place at the University of Colorado and Cornell University, which clearly designate paths for bicycles and walkways.
During his presentation, Gross showed a series of photographic slides which depicted the very best and worst parts about the Chapel Hill campus from a planners’ point of view. He said that the consultants would often refer administrators from other campuses to come to Chapel Hill to see how campus planning can best be done. He thanked the Forum for offering him the chance to speak and for providing feedback. The Forum gave Gross a round of applause.
Gross noted that when Lenoir opens, consultants would house their design sketches in the trailer west of the Campus Y for open comment. Community members are invited to stop by, examine the plans, and leave notes with comments on the walls surrounding the sketches.
Gross noted that coincidentally Hooker had wanted to be rid of this trailer after the Lenoir renovation was complete but there was no other place in which the drawings could be exhibited. Nancy Tannenbaum asked if the trailer had anything to do with the future of the Campus Y. Gross asked how many listeners wished to keep the Campus Y in its current location, and a great majority wished for the Y to remain in its current location.
Tannenbaum asked if the renovation of Lenoir would be adequate for projected increases in enrollment. Gross did not know the answer to this question, but recalled a comment from a dean who felt it was shocking that students on South Campus have no place to get breakfast. Bruce Runberg said that work crews were hustling to get Lenoir ready on a very tight schedule. He had been told that at least part of Lenoir should be open in time for the morning of August 14. Runberg also thought that those who had not yet walked through Lenoir would be pleasantly surprised at the facility’s magnificent new look. However, he did not know whether the renovated Lenoir would be adequate to accommodate increased demand.
Concerning the Campus Y, Runberg asked if the assembly favored a small addition to the facility. Tannenbaum said she would oppose such a plan if it meant reducing campus green space. Gross said that the area that would be added to the Y is currently asphalt. He noted that a very good plan to renovate the Y indicates that there are around 4,000 square feet currently available where around 10,000 square feet are needed. However to remain within the original building while adding to space, the University would have to dig out the basement of the Y. This operation would be very expensive but would not provide a great deal of extra space relative to cost. Thus, the report suggested an addition to the Y.
A third option was suggested in the 1980s to demolish the Y and build a new building along the same axis that Steele Hall faces. This new building would still house the Y’s functions but would be located a bit farther away from South Building. Gross said that the firm had not taken a position on the matter one way or another.
Graham asked theoretically why Franklin Street seems to combine so well with the rest of the UNC campus. Gross replied that the question was relatively straightforward. Franklin Street is not too wide so cars drive more slowly and pedestrians can navigate more easily than a thoroughfare like South Columbia, for example. In addition, the number of trees, brick sidewalks and stone walls add to the sense of human scale, as do the height of buildings facing the street (2-3 stories at most). Finally, the retail district has typically been very vibrant with little blight facing traffic.
Gross commented that streets similar to Franklin exist at Princeton and the University of Georgia, but Franklin is distinctively longer and more continuous than its peers. He noted that the location of the downtown parking deck was an example of good urban planning as its entrance faces the backside of the commercial district.
Linda Convissor noted the great community interest in the master plan for central campus here in Chapel Hill, and said that she had never seen this amount of community interest at other campuses. She said that the consultants and the University administration had a commitment to involve all aspects of the community in working out details of the project. She said that a new webmaster was being hired to create a site about the project, and in addition to the Hanes design studio mentioned earlier the team will hold a series of community forums in town and on campus about the plan.
The Chair thanked Gross, Convissor and their compatriots for agreeing to speak with the Forum. He anticipated that the Forum would have more comments about upcoming proposals as they developed.
The Chair also wanted to thank Runberg publicly for his assistance in getting some lights installed outside Abernethy Hall in response to a housekeeper’s concern about nighttime safety. He was gratified to campus departments working together in this manner.
Human Resources Update
The Chair invited Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources Laurie Charest to provide the Forum its customary Human Resources Update. Charest noted that Ramsey had given a briefing on legislative issues earlier in the meeting but had not shared the details of the staff salary proposals from the State House and Senate.
The Senate proposal provides SPA Employees a 2% career growth increase, a 1% cost of living increase, and 1% performance bonus. The House proposal is essentially the same but for one small difference: it provides those at the top of their salary range 2% career growth bonus while the Senate proposal provides a 1% career bonus to these Employees. Charest did not know how the difference would be resolved in conference committee, but anticipated that the other details within the two proposals would remain the same.
Charest did not know when the increases would be finally approved or whether their enactment would be retroactive to July 1. She noted that last year’s increase represented the longest retroactive period in history, but said that this record could be challenged this year.
Regarding Employee health insurance, Charest said that Employees should receive annual enrollment materials by the end of that month. While Employees enrolled in the State health plan will not need to make any changes if they desire to stay with this plan, Employees in other HMOs will be affected by coming changes. Around 700 Employees in the HealthSource, Sigma, and Partners health maintenance organizations must choose a new plan as these three HMOs are no longer options for State Employees. In addition, the rates for every HMO have increased.
There are no changes in rates or coverage for the State comprehensive plan, but Charest recalled that large increases in costs, between 20-25%, are expected in 1999. Enrollment for HMOs this year takes place from August 3 to September 4.
Sherry Graham asked what would happen to Employees in the HealthSource, Sigma, and Partners plans who do not elect to choose a new plan. Charest said that these Employees would not be assigned a plan by default; they must make a choice. Human Resources has sent information about this change to affected Employees and has run articles about the changeover in the University Gazette and other publications. It is critical that Employees affected make another choice.
Charest noted that HealthSource is the plan of the three with the most Employee enrollees. However, HealthSource did not meet the new criteria to comply with the State health plan rules, and so are not included in Employee options. Charest noted that HealthSource is now a subsidiary of Sigma, although this merger was not in place last year.
Charest urged Forum members to speak to coworkers about checking into their plan status. Employees should contact the Benefits Office if they have not received relevant materials.
The New Careers Training Board is holding the first University Career Fair from 10-2 p.m. that afternoon in the Great Hall of the Student Union. Representatives from area community colleges and University Training & Development officials will be available to talk about educational opportunities for Employees. She hoped that Forum members would stop by and encourage their fellow Employees to attend.
There have been a number of changes in the University Employment Office. Ken Litowsky has been acting director of the Office but has returned to his regular job as Policy Director for the University. Jack Stone will return to this post after a stint with General Administration.
The number of vacant positions at the University still remains very high, above 500 at last count. In June, internal candidates filled 58% of all hired positions, an all-time high at the University. While good for the progressing Employee, internal hires do not affect the overall vacancy rate.
Employment has made a number of changes to speed up the employment process. Departments now have the option to handle the extensions for temporary and short-term Employees themselves. State policy used to specify that all such extension had to be handled by the Employment Office. The Office of State Personnel has also provided the University some flexibility with regard to new hires. Sometimes salaries for a new hire are held down because of the availability of funds. Now, if new funds become available within 24 months of hiring, a department can increase the new Employee’s salary up to what they are qualified. This rule is in place for promotions as well.
The University now conducts criminal history checks for “positions of trust,” such as those handling money, possessing access to buildings, or working with minors. Public Safety assists Human Resources in conducting these checks for internal and external applicants.
All Human Resources offices in Battle and Vance buildings except for the Sexual Harassment Office will move to 720 Airport Road around September 1. Human Resources hopes to accomplish the move with as little interruption as possible, but starting September 1 there will be a series of office movements between 720 and 725 as renovations are carried out. Charest said that people with business on Airport Road should contact their local Human Resources facilitator for information on current office locations.
The University Child Care Center is tentatively scheduled to open August 17. All health and safety inspections for the new facility were scheduled for the week of August 10-14. Assuming all goes well, the child care center at Victory Village will close at the end of the day Friday, August 14 and the new location will open Monday August 17. Human Resources plans to hold an open house for the new building but want to give the children and staff a chance to settle in beforehand.
Charest thanked everyone who participated in the outstanding University Blood Drive July 30. She particularly thanked Patti Smith, Ann Hamner, and Bob Schreiner for all the work they did to make things run smoothly that day.
Approval of the Minutes
The Chair noted that there were some corrections necessary to the July 1 minutes. On page 3, the third sentence of the third paragraph of the Human Resources Update should read, “Those interested should contact Leigh Zaleon with Victory Village Day Care….”
In the second paragraph of page 4, the third sentence should read “Charest said that benefits are calculated on the 48 consecutive months during which an Employee earns their greatest salary.” The fourth sentence of that paragraph should be deleted.
Ken Litowsky said that on page 6, the second sentence of the third full paragraph should read, “She said that the committee was now working to finish its proposal concerning compensatory time policy for SPA exempt Employees.” The first and second sentences of the fourth paragraph on that page should read, “Tommy Brickhouse asked if the proposal would provide paid time off for a certain number of hours over 40 hours a week. Ken Litowsky said that this is an option for additional compensation for wage-hour exempt Employees working beyond their schedule is paid time off calculated on an hour for hour basis.”
On page 7, the first full sentence should be changed to read, “Litowsky said that the FLSA specifies that a non-exempt Employee working over 40 hours a week….” The first sentence of the first full paragraph should read, “Litowsky said that the FLSA does not require additional compensation for exempt Employees at all.” The third sentence of that paragraph should read, “The ‘hardball’ definition of exempt employment status is that the exempt Employee must be available whenever management assigns work to be done.”
In the absence of any further corrections, the Chair called for a motion to approve the minutes as amended. Joyce Dalgleish made this motion with Ken Litowsky seconding. There was no opposition and the minutes were approved as amended.
The Forum took a moment to stretch.
The Chair noted the proposed resolution authorizing use of the Staff Development Fund to support the University Career Counselor position, introduced on first reading. As background, he noted that two years ago the Forum offered to authorize use of the Staff Development Fund to support creation of a half-time career counselor position, as a pilot project. He felt that since the position had been filled, Erika Phillips had done a fine job in supporting Employee career development efforts on campus. She has worked to assist Employees seeking tuition assistance, help with the TOP process, Myers-Briggs employment suitability profiles. She has also organized workshops and career fairs, among many other projects.
Gwen Burston said that Phillips has consulted closely with the Forum Career Development Committee, and reports of her activities have been documented in that group’s minutes. She felt that Phillips had done a very good job in responding to the committee’s comments and feedback.
The Chair noted that the resolution states that the Forum’s goal is for the position to be funded permanently by the University. He had worked to strongly encourage the administration to find this funding. Laurie Charest added that the New Careers Training Board provides the other half of the position’s funding. The Board has dedicated funds for a time of three years.
Bob Schreiner advised that the Forum add the phrase, “for one additional year” to the end of the last sentence of the resolution so that the Forum’s commitment matches the New Career Training Board’s. The Forum accepted this amendment without opposition.
Jeffery Beam asked if there were some urgency that required immediate passage of the resolution. Neither the Chair nor Charest knew of any immediate need. Linda Drake moved that the resolution be heard in September on second reading. Anne Montgomery seconded this motion, and the Forum agreed to hear the motion on second reading at its September 2 meeting.
The Chair noted that the University Council would reconvene August 20. The Council is composed of the Chair of the Faculty, the Student Body President, the President of the Graduate & Professional Student Federation, and the Chair of the Forum. The Chair would have a further report on the items discussed at the next meeting.
The Executive Committee should complete its proposed revisions to the Forum Guidelines at its August 18 meeting. The Chair said that most of the changes proposed were minor in nature. The proposed revisions will be included in the next agenda packet.
The Chair thanked Jennifer Henderson and Hui Zhao for their wonderful revision of the Forum web pages. These revisions can now be viewed at http://www.unc.edu/staff/forum. The Chair was particularly pleased that Henderson and Zhao received University academic credit for this work.
The Chair thanked Bob Schreiner and Ann Hamner for their great work with the University Blood Drive, and noted that the day had gone very smoothly. He thanked all who had pitched in and thought that the event was a shining example of UNC at its best.
Following the previous months’ discussion, Ken Litowsky asked for a few moments to provide an overview on the difference between leave time and paid time off. To begin, he noted that leave time implies vacation leave, child involvement leave, sick leave, or any other State-established leave programs. Employees not exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) who work more than 40 hours a week receive compensation in the form of overtime pay or compensatory time off. (Human Resources Manual, Section VIII, page 5.) Non-exempt Employees working over 40 hours in a workweek must be compensated at time and a half, either in paid time off or overtime pay.
Employees exempt from the FLSA are not entitled to additional compensation for time worked in excess of 40 hours in a workweek. The FLSA presumes that exempt Employees will work a certain amount of hours in excess of 40 hours in a workweek, because of additional compensation and the nature of work to be done (requiring independence, discretion and judgment, among other criteria).
State rules allow agencies to create policies that allow for additional compensatory time off for exempt Employees working over 40 hours in a work week, but these rules do not permit overtime pay to these Employees. However, these policies cannot too closely resemble arrangements for non-exempt Employees, or the Department of Labor may elect to rescind that Employee’s exempt status, leading to increased labor costs and decreased flexibility.
Employees with questions about this issue can contact Litowsky at 2-3894.
Bob Schreiner reported that the Career Development Committee did not meet that month. In addition, Connie Boyce was at the University Career Fair and so was unavailable to make a report on the New Careers Training Board.
Jennifer Henderson, Chair of the Communications Committee, said the group hoped to explore ways to increase the relationship between the Forum and the Daily Tar Heel. Given that a large percentage of students read the DTH, increasing the Forum’s presence within the paper would increase the Forum’s profile among students. The committee has held exploratory talks with DTH staffer Bob Cox.
The group’s next project is to gather stories for the Forum’s annual University Gazette insert. Henderson has met with University Gazette editor Scott Ragland to set up deadlines for materials. She has requested a number of Forum members write stories for the insert, and reminded the Forum that the deadline for stories is August 31. A list of possible topics and deadlines is included in the routing file for members interested in writing stories.
The Chair reminded the Forum of the importance of attending monthly committee meetings. He asserted that the real strength of the Forum is contained in its committee structure, and urged members to live up to their responsibilities whenever possible. Members unable to attend meetings should at least have the courtesy to call their committee chairs to tell them that they will be unable to attend.
There was no report from the Compensation & Benefits Committee.
Jeffery Beam, Chair of the Employee Presentations Committee, noted that Jean Coble was out on medical leave and encouraged members to send her an e-mail message with their best wishes. He said that the evaluation forms from the Spring Community meeting had all been very positive and provided a number of good ideas for future meetings. He commented that the overview of recent Forum activities had gone over very well and he hoped this feature would be included in the future.
The committee has selected October 6 as the date for the Fall Community meeting. The group has not yet selected a topic, but had a number of ideas in mind. The meeting will take place from 10-11:30 a.m. in the Great Hall of the Student Union. The committee chose the Great Hall over the Hanes Auditorium, as it is located in a more central location.
Lucille Brooks, Chair of the Nominating Committee, said the group had not met in July. She said that all Employees should have received the Forum’s call for nominations letter. Nominations are due in the Forum Office by August 7. Brooks hoped the Forum would receive enough nominations in each division to mail out ballots by around September 1, with ballots returned to the Forum Office by September 18. Finally, the announcement of winners should take place at the October 7 Forum meeting.
Brooks also asked first year Delegates to consider standing for nomination as a Forum Officer candidate.
Nancy Tannenbaum, Chair of the Orientation Committee, said the group would meet again August 20 at 11 a.m. in 202 Carr Building.
Martha Barbour, Chair of the Personnel Policies Committee, introduced the group’s first draft of an EPA non-faculty and SPA exempt compensatory time policy. She invited members to attend the committee’s next meeting, to be held Tuesday, August 25 at 10 a.m. [in 205 Student Union]. She invited members to provide input and to share the proposal with other Employees for their feedback.
Anne Montgomery commented that she was very pleased that the Forum had been able to produce a draft proposal on this issue. She asked what process was necessary to make the proposal into campus policy.
Ken Litowsky said that the proposal would need to fall within the limitations of State policy and also would need the approval of Senior Director for Human Resources Administration Drake Maynard, Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources Laurie Charest, and Chancellor Michael Hooker. There exists a provision in existing State policy providing blanket consent for a proposal of this kind, but the agency must develop a proposal consistent with the intent of the Fair Labor Standards Act. So, there is a set of hurdles still to be cleared.
Montgomery repeated that she was very pleased the Forum had taken action, as this subject had been a point of contention for some years. She hoped that the approval for the proposal could be secured in as timely a fashion as possible. Litowsky said that Maynard and Charest have been kept up to date on the committee’s negotiations. The Chair praised the committee for its good work, and urged members to attend the August 25 meeting if possible.
Joyce Dalgleish, Chair of the Recognition & Awards Committee, reported that it had heard from Patti Smith concerning a survey on Employee preferences for departmental service award programs. In addition, the committee had consulted with the Executive Committee on the recognition of Employees who have provided special assistance to the Forum. The committee will seek input from the Forum about these Employees in September and October, and plans are underway to recognize these Employees through an official letter and an article in the University Gazette.
Patti Smith has designed a new workshop, which helps departments develop their own recognition programs. The next meeting of the committee will be August 4.
Anne Montgomery, Chair of the University Committee Assignments Committee, reported the group had not met in July. She asked the Forum for help in identifying a person to serve on the Child Care Advisory Committee, as the last person appointed to that post had left the University.
Montgomery said that the Forum had made wonderful progress in securing Employee appointments to a wide range of University committees. Now, the Forum is at the point that new committees reflexively ask the Forum to appoint staff representatives. Montgomery said that the Forum must ante up with appropriate representatives to reciprocate this sign of respect.
Of the eight people nominated to serve on the Carolina Computing Initiative implementation teams, only one is a Forum member. Montgomery said that this fact represented a conscious shift to appointing “regular Employees” to serve on University committees, as these Employees would have a different perspective than active Forum members or Employees with matching technical expertise.
The Faculty Council has asked the Forum to identify Forum members to help develop a case statement about the University for use in an upcoming development campaign. Montgomery was delighted that the Council thought well enough of the Forum to ask staff to participate in this effort. These assignments would probably end by the completion of the academic year.
Finally, the University Committee Assignments Committee should finish its yearlong study of the body of University Committees by the end of this year. Montgomery will bring the study to the Executive Committee along with a recommendation of where the Forum needs to request staff representation. She felt that this list would be important for the Forum and the University to maintain.
Task Force Reports
The Chair referred members to the document “Employee Appreciation Fair Employee Forum Survey Responses,” included in that months packet. He noted that the Forum’s effectiveness was perceived as high by the great majority of respondents (of 536 respondents, 378 gave the Forum a ‘7’ or above on a scale from 1-10).
Concerning issues that the Forum should address, 48% of respondents cited “Parking,” and another 28% cited “Salaries/Raises” (of 214 respondents). Not surprisingly, 36% of respondents cited “People” as the best thing that they like about UNC, with “Benefits” and “Atmosphere” trailing with 19% and 18%, respectively (of 469 respondents). Fifty-three percent of respondents said “Parking” was the thing that they liked least about working for UNC, with “Salaries/Pay Raises” cited by another 22% (of 417 respondents).
The Grievance Procedure Task Force met July 2 and would meet again August 13.
There was no report from the Intellectual Climate, School Volunteerism, or Outsourcing Steering Team task forces.
Bob Schreiner noted the response from President Molly Corbett Broad which was included in the August agenda packet. While he was disappointed that Broad had ruled against creation of a System-wide staff assembly at this time, he was very encouraged that Broad had directed that a staff organization should be organized on each System campus by the end of the fall 1998 academic term. He also noted that there was no prohibition on the various staff organizations sharing information via e-mail or video conferencing. He hoped that the idea would gain further strength after a few years. The Chair was pleased that the UNC-Chapel Hill Forum has been held up as a model by other System institutions seeking to start their own organizations. He was certain that this effort would result in a positive outcome for the University in the long run.
The Chair said that the University Priorities and Budget Committee had elected to take an August break but would have a number of important decisions to make in the coming weeks. He said that the difficult stage of this project was soon to take place.
The Chair understood that the Faculty Council would appoint a liaison to the Forum in the next month or so. He looked forward to introducing this person to the Forum.
Items from the Floor and Adjournment
Martha Barbour asked if the Chair had heard anything further concerning the recommendation that departments hold regular staff meetings. The Chair said that he had received a brief reply from the Chancellor, which was included in the routing file. He thought that the issue was on the Chancellor’s “radar screen.”
The Chair was encouraged by Ramsey’s pledge of increased accountability about Employee parking fees. The Chair also urged Employees to be more civil towards their co-workers in parking. He thought that the pre-tax benefit for Employees using parking represented a benefit, which should help some Employees without hurting anyone. He hoped that the University would find a way to help bus riders in a similar manner.
In the absence of further discussion, the Forum adjourned by acclamation at 11:16 a.m.
Matt Banks, Recording Secretary