Campus News

Employee Forum delegates hear updates on building renaming process, vaccines

The University has had an “overwhelming” response to the request for names. The list of names will be reviewed and narrowed to five or six for consideration.

Zoom screen with people
Employee Forum delegates heard about the “overwhelming” response to a request to the campus community to share ideas for names for three campus buildings. (Jon Gardiner/UNC-Chapel Hill)

Employee Forum delegates heard updates on the University’s building renaming process, vaccine distribution and performance management during Wednesday’s virtual meeting.

Carolina invited the campus community to submit nominations for building names on a portal established in late March, and the response has been “overwhelming,” Provost Bob Blouin said. Anyone can nominate new names by 5 p.m. April 9 for the three buildings (formerly Aycock Residence Hall, the Daniels Building and Carr Building) whose names the University’s Board of Trustees voted to remove last year.

“I really like the fact that we’ve opened it up and have given many voices the opportunity to be heard,” he said.

Blouin chairs the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Naming University Facilities and Units that will review the names submitted and recommend five to six to Chancellor Kevin M. Guskiewicz. The goal is to present the names to the trustees in April or May and have them finalized for the start of the fall semester, he said.

“I appreciate the enthusiasm on the part of the campus to participate in this process. We have our work cut out for us as a committee,” he said of the “many fantastic names” that have been submitted.

Vaccine update

Beginning April 7, all adults over 16 became eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in North Carolina.

“I want to put out another plug for vaccinations,” Blouin said. “I strongly recommend that every member of our community get vaccinated.”

To address a concern raised about third-shift employees getting access to the vaccine, Blouin said they are working to offer special early hours for vaccinations.

Blouin also said Carolina has 2,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine for students and has confirmed that it will receive an additional 2,500 doses for students, with the goal of trying to get them vaccinated before they go home at the end of the semester.

Carolina will continue to maintain the community standards through the summer. As more of the community gets vaccinated, “we are increasingly more optimistic about the fall,” he said, adding that more information will be shared soon.

Nationally, 19% of people are fully vaccinated with 32% partially vaccinated. In North Carolina,  25% are fully vaccinated and 38% are partially vaccinated. Numbers are similar in Orange County, with 26% fully vaccinated and 37% partially vaccinated, he said.

Blouin added that the Carolina Together Testing Program recently completed 150,000 COVID-19 tests at the lab on campus. “This lab has been a tremendous asset for us,” he said. “We are fortunate to have a facility that can provide this kind of service.”

Performance management update

Beginning with this cycle of performance reviews, Carolina is increasing the automation of the process and leveraging Carolina Talent for tracking it. Some parts of the performance management form can be auto-populated with common institutional goals and job competencies used for setting goals for the fiscal year 2021-22 cycle, said Tyler Enlow, senior employee and management relations consultant in human resources.

Another change is that all SHRA employees, like EHRA non-faculty employees, will be required to have one developmental goal. This change reflects the University’s commitment to lifelong learning, Enlow said.

The deadlines for entering information into the system are May 14 for SHRA overall ratings and May 31 for performance plans for the new year. Performance reviews for EHRA non-faculty employees begin on July 1, with entries of all ratings to be done by Aug. 13 and performance plans for the new year by Aug. 31.

In other news:

  • Carolina’s Office of Ethics and Policy will update its website to a new URL, policies.unc.edu, on April 13, to serve as the central electronic policy repository. The team is transitioning from PolicyStat to a new document management vendor, Team Dynamix, according to Matthew Teal, a University policy analyst. All University policies, excluding academic policies, will be housed on this new site.
  • SaferWays is a new digital public health tool in the form of a web-based app that anyone can use, said Viji Sathy, professor of the practice, department of psychology and neuroscience and a member of an interdisciplinary team developing the app. It allows users to access crowdsourced data on COVID-19 safety behaviors, such how crowded locations on campus might be and if physical distancing and mask-wearing standards are being observed. Users can enter their observations about locations, and those planning to visit those locations can check current conditions. The app is an adjunct to other campus apps in use for testing, reporting and contact tracing, she said.
  • Understanding Depression is the first topic covered in May’s weekly Wellness Wednesdays, which focus on mental health topics. For participant confidentiality, use this sign up for the 3 p.m. session on May 5.
  • In October 2020, the Forum passed a resolution naming Laurie Mesibov, associate University ombuds, as a Lifelong Honorary delegate. Mesibov passed away on March 31.