Following the UNC Faculty Assembly and the UNC Association of Student Governments, the Staff Assembly issued their response to the latest proposed draft of the UNC system Strategic Plan. The full text is as follows:

January 24, 2013

Thomas A. Ross, President
The University of North Carolina
PO BOX 2688
Chapel Hill NC 27515-2688

Dear President Ross:

The University of North Carolina Staff Assembly supports the UNC Faculty Assembly and the UNC Association of Student Governments position and the recommendations put forward in their detailed responses to the UNC 5-Year Strategic Plan titled, “Our Time, Our Future: The UNC Compact With North Carolina”.

The UNC Staff Assembly recommends to President Ross and the Board of Governors that a commitment to invest in Staff Development for the almost 32,000 non-teaching university staff be included in the final draft of the UNC 5-Year Strategic Plan, sections 3 & 4.

A plan to improve Staff Development policies, that encourages and permits staff to take advantage of educational opportunities throughout the system and the state, will create a committed workforce that is more educated, efficient and effective at fulfilling the dynamic role the University faces in the global market place. The return on this investment would apply to the Degree Attainment Goal and benefit the University system in the future.

Respectfully Submitted,

Chuck Brink, Chair
UNC Staff Assembly

Full Draft of Strategic Plan Released

January 17, 2013 | Strategic Plan  |  Comments Off

A full draft of the UNC’s strategic plan from the UNC Advisory Committee on Strategic Directions is now available here. An updated version of the Faculty Advisory Council’s draft report is also available here.





2013 University Awards for the Advancement of Women

December 14, 2012 | Awards, Gender  |  Comments Off

Now Accepting Nominations for the University Awards for the Advancement of Women

The Carolina Women’s Center is pleased to announce the call for nominations for the 2013 University Awards for the Advancement of Women. This award recognizes contributions to the advancement of women at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Each year, three individuals–one faculty member, one staff member, and one undergraduate/graduate student/postdoctoral scholar–may be selected to receive the award. The faculty and staff recipients each receive $5000 and the undergraduate/graduate student/ postdoctoral scholar recipient receives $2500. Awardees are honored in a ceremony during the Carolina Women’s Center’s annual Gender Week Celebration in March. For more information and to nominate, please see:


Vice Chair Dan Barmmer has accumulated photographs and documents detailing the Forum’s work over the last four months in his November 14 presentation to the Board of Trustees.  Please find the Power Point presentation linked below.

BOT November 2012 – Employee Forum

Following the example of the UNC-CH Faculty Council and other UNC system schools’ staff and faculty assemblies, the Employee Forum passed a resolution asking for direct representation on the UNC Advisory Committee on Strategic Directions.

The next Committee on Strategic Directions meeting is set for December 12, 2012. The meetings are available to stream live online at the committee’s webpage.

The full resolution is reprinted in its entirety below.

Resolution 12-03

Resolution on the UNC Strategic Plan for 2013-2018

November 7, 2012

WHEREAS, The UNC System is initiating strategic planning for 2013-2018 to set current and future priorities, resource planning and allocation, program planning, and review and refinement of academic missions reflecting the University’s deep commitment to help North Carolina respond to changing state needs and economic challenges, and

WHEREAS, the University of North Carolina Tomorrow Initiative, which led the previous strategic planning period, visited all 17 UNC campuses; held 11 highly attended Community Listening Forums across the state; held 11 Faculty Forums with all 17 UNC campuses that were attended by faculty, staff, and students; conducted an online survey with 6,700 respondents; and ran a blog on the UNC Tomorrow website in order to be more responsive to the needs and challenges of our state1, and

WHEREAS, the Advisory Committee on Strategic Directions has neglected to elicit sufficient feedback from the faculty, staff, students of the UNC system, and the North Carolina public, and

WHEREAS, the University of North Carolina Tomorrow Initiative allotted a year for information gathering, discussion, and formation of a 5-year plan while the current Advisory Committee intends to form a similar plan within a 4-month period, and

WHEREAS, the Advisory Committee on Strategic Directions has only one member assigned to represent the interests of all UNC-system staff, and

WHEREAS, a single representative is inadequate in order to ensure that the Strategic Plan, as ultimately presented, will represent the best interests of all staff at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, much less all UNC-system staff, and

WHEREAS, the possible addition of new members is acknowledged in the Strategic Planning Overview and Charge2, and

WHEREAS, faculty and student groups from a number of Universities in the UNC system have already requested that their own representation be expanded in response to concerns about inadequate representation on the Advisory Committee, and

WHEREAS, the UNC-system employs approximately 70,000 North Carolina residents among its 100 counties4 and can directly influence the retention, skills and education, well-being, and health care of this workforce, and

WHEREAS, the Advisory Committee on Strategic Directions has detailed five goals in addressing “North Carolina’s long-term economic competitiveness” through “its ability to develop and retain the talent needed to drive innovation”3 that fails to describe these goals as applicable toward the workforce it, itself, employs, relies on, and must recruit and retain, and

WHEREAS, the Strategic Planning Overview and Charge2 of the committee includes a charge to “serve in an advisory capacity to the President to help assess the current and future workforce needs of the state,” yet neglects to define or address these needs in any of its five goals,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Advisory Committee on Strategic Directions be expanded to include greater representation of the staff of the UNC system, and

BE IT RESOLVED, that the five goals put forth by the Advisory Committee be amended to include goals oriented toward staff recruiting, retention, education, well-being, and health care as part of its mission, and

BE IT RESOLVED, that the Advisory Committee on Strategic Directions provide an open line of two-way communication between itself, the public, and all Universities in the UNC system by holding regular open forums across the state, as the University of North Carolina Tomorrow Initiative previously, in order to ensure that all needs are met in the most efficient, applicable, and effective ways possible, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the timeline set for the formation of a Strategic Plan be extended to adequately address the well-founded concerns detailed by this resolution and the other formal concerns submitted by faculty and student groups across North Carolina.

Signed on behalf of the members of the Employee Forum of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill,

Jackie Overton, Chair of the Employee Forum



1. University of North Carolina Tomorrow Commission Final Report 2007

2. Strategic Directions Initiative Statement of Strategic Planning Overview and Charge

3. Strategic Directions Initiative Statement of five goals entitled “UNC: Our Time, Our Future”.

4. Impact of the University of North Carolina by County: A high-level look at UNC’s involvement in all 100 counties in North Carolina



Employee Appreciation Day Recap

November 9, 2012 | Employee Forum  |  Comments Off

Check out this video produced by the Office of Human Resources at UNC.


The following has been reposted from a UNC News Press Release:

The search committee seeking a successor for Chancellor Holden Thorp will hold four separate forums on Nov. 7 and 8 for people to share opinions about what they hope to see in the next chancellor.

The forums will provide an opportunity for students, faculty, staff and community members to share ideas about the qualities the University’s next chancellor should have in person with the search committee.

The following dates and times haves been designated for staff, community members (including area residents, alumni, parents of students and friends of the University), faculty and students, respectively:

Wednesday, Nov. 7:

* Staff, 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., Stone Center Theatre, Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History.

* Community members, 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., Redbud Room, William and Ida Friday Continuing Education Center.

Thursday, Nov. 8:

* Faculty, 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m., Lecture Hall G202, Murray Hall (located next to the brick archway where Murray Hall and Venable Hall meet).

* Students, 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., Lecture Hall G202, Murray Hall (located next to the brick archway where Murray Hall and Venable Hall meet).

Parking spaces are available weekdays before 5 p.m. first-come, first-served for $1.50 per hour in the Rams Head Parking Deck off Ridge Road. Chapel Hill Transit serves the Stone Center and Murray Hall forum locations via the U and RU routes, and it serves the Friday Center via the FCX, HU and V routes.

Anyone unable to attend the forums may send opinions, as well as nominate candidates, by sending an email to or writing to Chancellor Search Committee, CB# 1794, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-1794.

Input from students, faculty, staff and the community will help the search committee shape a leadership statement to use in the search. A search subcommittee focused on the leadership statement plans to combine the charge that the full committee received from UNC President Tom Ross at its initial Oct. 8 meeting, feedback from the public forums and the views of subcommittee members about the qualities of the next chancellor.

The leadership statement also will reflect the priorities of the University regarding teaching, research and public service. The leadership statement will be used when recruiting candidates and will be a cornerstone document in selecting the next chancellor. The committee’s objective is to identify and recommend the best candidates to the full Board of Trustees, which, in turn, will submit at least two candidates to President Ross for consideration by the UNC Board of Governors.

Chancellor Thorp notified President Ross on Sept. 16 that he planned to step down, effective June 30, 2013. He will take a research leave to prepare to resume his research and teaching in the chemistry department faculty.

The committee hopes to have a new chancellor in place by July 1, 2013.

Read more about the chancellor search at


EF Delegate Addresses Staff Needs at 5-Year Forum

November 2, 2012 | Strategic Plan  |  Comments Off

As the UNC Advisory Committee on Strategic Directions plots the future of the university, an informal group of faculty, staff, and students organized a campus-wide event calling for greater diversity and additional representation in the planning process.

On October 23rd, the “Five Year Forum on the Future of UNC” featured speakers representing the voices of constituencies who have felt marginalized in the planning process. Student organizers distributed handouts highlighting the fact that staff have been allotted one representative, Charles Brink, for 31,850 constituents.

Employee Forum delegate Anna Schwab spoke on behalf of staff across the university. Schwab, Program Manager in the Center for the Study of Natural Hazards and Disasters, explained her investment in Carolina as an alum who has worked at the university since she was 14 years old, holding positions as varied as bicycle messenger, lab assistant, and program manager. She humorously illustrated how the university nurtured her early career as a student and allowed her to develop into her position now as a full-time EPA Non-faculty employee.

She emphasized the importance of a university that allows staff to bring new skills into the workplace, and argued in favor of encouraging staff retention to preserve institutional memory.

Schwab underscored staff concerns about the reduction of benefits, the removal of SPA staff from the protections offered by the State Personnel Act, and the attainment of a living wage for all university workers. She expressed concern about minorities clustered in low-paid positions in the Housekeeping department and the increased demands on those workers to achieve higher levels of efficiency with fewer staff as a result of recent layoffs.

Art Pope, a member of the UNC Advisory Committee on Strategic Directions and President of the John William Pope Foundation, attended the forum but was denied the opportunity to speak or respond to the concerns of the panelists. Several of the panelists had alluded to concerns about his presence on the Strategic Directions Committee and questioned his commitment to the public funding of higher education.

Despite requests for more direct representation of staff, students, and faculty on the committee, President Ross has instead appointed a 12-member Faculty Advisory Council to be responsible for providing input and communicating outward to faculty in all the system schools. Requests for more staff and student input have not been addressed to date.

The committee is expected to have a report drafted in January of next year, prior to the new legislative session.


Jackie Overton’s University Day Speech

October 12, 2012 | Employee Forum  |  Comments Off

University Day 2012 Speech


To Chancellor Thorp, President Ross, Chairman Hargrove, Platform guests, Campus community.

In my quest to want my speech to fit in, I was going to deal with the water theme. My original speech was entitled: “Water, water everywhere: Water, water, why should we care?” I am sure our speaker for today will sufficiently address that topic because, from all indications, that is his passion.

My passion is people. Especially downtrodden people, people who feel invisible, people who feel they don’t have a voice. So I will stick with who and what I know.

The Employee Forum celebrated its 20th anniversary in March at the fabulous Friday Center. The event featured remarks from the four living Chancellors—Hardin, McCoy, Moeser and Thorp—with the keynote address by Kay Wijnberg Hovious, chief organizer and first Forum chair. We also had a featured presentation by retired employee Jeffery Beam. In 1998 Jeffery wrote a poem entitled “Song of the University Worker”. In 2008 the Forum adopted it as our official poem.

The poem begins with a quote by Martin Luther King, Jr.:

“If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, “Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.”

The poem goes on to highlight many occupations that university workers do (cutting grass, scrubbing floors, typing letters, pushing papers, designing systems, managing processes, directing traffic). In the heat, in the cold, in the hurricane, in the snow. The constant refrain in the poem is: Behind you before you beside you with you. It is a continual reminder that although sometimes overlooked, the staff’s presence is both incalculable and invaluable to the successful running of this great university.

So to the students we say: Behind you before you beside you with you

The staff at Carolina will keep the halls, labs, grounds and classrooms clean and safe and functional to help provide you with the ideal learning environment. We will protect you, nurture you, serve you. That’s what we do. That’s who we are.

To the faculty, we say: Behind you before you beside you with you.

The staff at Carolina will keep this University running and clean and safe, even during severe economic conditions. Or inclement weather conditions. We will do everything to help you flourish because when you succeed, we succeed. That’s what we do. That’s who we are.

To the Board of Governors, Trustees, Alumni, and the Administration we say: Behind you before you beside you with you

The staff at Carolina will continue to give you our best until UNC is the BEST. Scandals don’t rock us, storms don’t shock us, allegations don’t stop us because we know that fundamentally-at our core-we are better than what we’ve experienced the past few years. We know that we are one of the premier learning institutions in the world and we will do our part to keep it that way. That’s what we do. That’s who we are.

Let me conclude my remarks by being a little non-traditional. This is one of the few events where faculty, staff and students convene together, so I am going to ask my friend and colleague, Jan Boxill, and the student leaders–Will and Michael–to come and join me as we salute our Chancellor.

To our beloved and beleaguered Chancellor, Holden Thorp, we say that for the next 8 months: Behind you before you beside you with you.

You have been a true champion to us and have given us unprecedented access to you, your office and your resources. Your commitment has been unfaltering and your support has been unwavering. You will always have our commitment and support in return. That’s what we do. That who we are.

Behind you before you beside you with you.

We are the University of North Carolina and we are Tar Heels.

Thank you,

Jackie Overton, Chair

Employee Forum

Revised Teleworking Policy Now in Effect

October 12, 2012 | Employee Forum  |  Comments Off

The Office of Human Resources (OHR) has revised the current teleworking policy. A new review process for teleworking arrangements lasting longer than 90 days must be reviewed and pre-approved by the OHR. Employees must sign a Supplemental Conditions of Employment form and the employees department must submit a Teleworking Request Form. Questions about the new policy should be directed to the Office of Human Resources.

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