The Daily Tar Heel

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Wednesday June 29th

UNC Employee Forum discusses faculty retention and DEI on campus

The Old Well is pictured on Thursday, Jan. 6, 2022.
Buy Photos The Old Well is pictured on Thursday, Jan. 6, 2022.

The UNC Employee Forum spoke about faculty retention, student mental health resources and diversity, equity and inclusion on campus during its general meeting Wednesday.

What’s new? 

  • Employee Forum Chairperson Katie Musgrove opened the meeting by introducing Jennifer Pruitt, the program coordinator for the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs, who recently received the Janet B. Royster Memorial Scholarship.
    • This scholarship is awarded to full-time, non-faculty UNC-System employees and provides assistance toward earning a degree or other professional certification.
  • Becci Menghini, vice chancellor for human resources and equal opportunity and compliance, shared a presentation on the Future of Work playbook, a tool that could help employees organize flexible work hours, scheduling and work locations with internet access.
  • Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz joined the meeting to discuss the playbook. 
    • “If we’re going to provide our students with a world-class residential experience that we talk about, we have to be sure that we can retain and attract an exceptional workforce,” Guskiewicz said.
  • Leah Cox, vice provost for equity and inclusion and chief diversity officer, spoke about the Diversity Climate Survey, which was last conducted in 2016.
  • Cox also mentioned a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Annual Report, which will record and improve past policies in an effort to promote equity.
  • Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Chris Clemens officially began his role Tuesday. He said it's important to retain faculty talent and nominate faculty for awards to recognize their work at UNC.
    • “If you look at things like faculty awards, our faculty are certainly the equivalent of any of our peers," Clemens said. "But we lag behind because we haven’t been attentive to nominating them for the awards that they deserve."
  • Employee Forum members also discussed their concerns about faculty retention. Clemens said retention is a top priority for University administration.
    • “I really do want to work with you in this forum and to hear from you about the issues affecting staff," Clemens said. "Because, of course, we rely entirely upon staff to operate the University."
  • As of Tuesday, UNC has partnered with the Jed Foundation, a nonprofit student mental health organization, and has officially been named a “JED Campus.”
    • “The Jed Foundation, as you may know, is a national foundation that is focused on the prevention, intervention and crisis prevention. So again, our JED Campus relationship has a very student-focused flavor,” Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Amy Johnson said.
  • Linc Butler, associate vice chancellor for human resources, joined the discussion to encourage employees to use the mental health resources provided by the human resources office.
    • Butler mentioned staff well-being events, including group meditation and boxed lunches that the University will provide.
  • Menghini said the number of COVID-19 cases is trending downward on campus and encouraged employees to get their vaccines, including booster shots.
    • Menghini also discussed the "golden ticket" incentives for UNC community members who have received their booster shot, which include UNC basketball tickets and gift cards to Student Stores.

How was the Employee Forum formed? 

The Employee Forum was established in March 1992 with the mission of discussing the issues, concerns and overall participation of faculty and staff on campus. 

Who is in the Employee Forum? 

The Employee Forum is composed of approximately 60 elected delegates, who are engaged in regularly scheduled Employee Forum meetings. The Employee Forum is made up of nine different divisions, and the executive committee is composed of one representative from each electoral division. 

What’s next?

The Employee Forum will have a general meeting during the first week of March.


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