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Employee Forum honors departing Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz at meeting

20231204_Soukthavone_university-chancellor-end-of-the-year-interview
Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz reflects on the year in an interview in his South Building office on Monday, Dec. 4, 2023.

The UNC Employee Forum held a meeting this Wednesday with departing Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz, who is set to officially hand off his position to Lee Roberts on Friday.

Roberts, a former member of the UNC Board of Governors, will assume his role as interim chancellor while the University searches for a permanent replacement. Guskiewicz said he believes the University is "in good hands" with Roberts and that he is working on the transition.

Members of the forum also discussed the importance of further participation and partnership with Roberts, subject to the N.C. State Human Resources Act salary range updates and the start of an after-action report about the Aug. 28 on-campus shooting.

What’s new?

  • The University’s Employee Forum honored Guskiewicz with Resolution 24-01, granting him lifelong honorary delegate status and an invitation to attend meetings and deliberate with members in the future.
    • Chair of the Forum Katie Musgrove said the Forum wanted to recognize Guskiewicz’s service, time and support of staff while acting as UNC’s chancellor.
    • Resolution 24-01 notes Guskiewicz’s work with Carolina Next as well as the History, Race and a Way Forward Commission created under his leadership. 
    • The resolution mentioned the renaming of buildings to promote racial healing and reconciliation and prioritization of mental health during Guskiewicz’s tenure as chancellor.
    • His support of the Forum and its reestablishment in its historical position under the chancellor, the creation of the Staff Advisory Committee to the Chancellor and the Campus and Community Advisory Committee and a thorough and public release of UNC’s budget was also recognized in the resolution.
    • Guskiewicz thanked UNC’s staff and the Forum for both challenging and supporting him when he first stepped into the role of chancellor at the University in 2019.
      • “I am a better chancellor today than I was five years ago, in large part because of the constructive feedback you and members of the Employee Forum are always able to provide to me,” Guskiewicz said.
  • When candidates for the full chancellor position are identified, Musgrove will be one of 13 deliberating members as a representative of the Forum.
  • Associate vice chancellor for human resources Linc Butler presented information about N.C. State Human Resources Act employee salary range updates. The updates are set to go before the State Personnel Commission on Jan. 18, followed by implementation guidance if they are approved.
    • Butler said that the range updates will be set in place as quickly as possible, involving communication with other universities and loading information into ConnectCarolina.
    • Forum member and director of HR application support at UNC Theresa Silsby said she strongly supported raising the ranges and added that in previous years, there was an initiative to get employee salaries to 90 percent of the market rate. Silsby asked for leadership to consider this point when making decisions about N.C. State Human Resources Act ranges.
      • “As we increase the ranges and salaries don’t increase, we are going to undo some of the work that was done,” Silsby said.
    • Butler responded that this was part of the conversation and an important factor when making decisions about the process.
      • “We’ve been encouraging [leaders] to think through — as they put together their budget plans for the upcoming year — that they include this as a component,” he said. “Taking a look at once we're in the new ranges, where do people fall, in terms of relations to the market rates.“
  • Musgrove said a consultant was hired by UNC to formulate the after-action report from Aug. 28’s on-campus shooting.
    • Musgrove said the UNC Employee Forum chose Keith Hines, Tiffany Carver and Jessi Hill to act as their representatives for the report.
      • “[The Forum has been] looped into that conversation and we have been asked to put through three individuals that serve on our body to serve as representatives to that conversation with the consultant as they conduct feedback sessions,” Musgrove said.
      • Musgrove did not provide additional details about what the report will entail.

What’s next?

The next meeting of the UNC Employee Forum will be Feb. 7.

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@dailytarheel | university@dailytarheel.com

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