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Chancellor on UNC Personnel Proposal

Last month, Senate Bill 575 was introduced in the General Assembly. The proposed legislation includes a number of initiatives designed to allow the University of North Carolina to more efficiently and effectively manage its constrained resources in a number of important areas, including its physical/capital resources, investments, fiscal operating resources and human resources.

Of the most immediate interest to faculty and staff, SB 575 consolidates authority for all UNC personnel under the UNC Board of Governors. That authority is currently split between two state-appointed boards with  some authority falling under the BOG and some under the State Personnel Commission.

Passage of this legislation will be a positive step for the university and its employees, and it has the support of the other UNC campus chancellors.  I appreciate the willingness of NC State’s Staff Senate, under the current leadership of chair Randy Colby and chair-elect David DeFoor, to engage in open-minded and thoughtful consideration of the advantages of this proposed model.

NC State—and all UNC universities—must provide great educational opportunities and great employment opportunities. We want to be a “university of choice” for excellent students and an “employer of choice” for excellent staff and faculty. NC State has adopted a new strategic plan and initiated realignment of our core operating activities. Our ability to take advantage of best-practice personnel policies and compensation strategies – ones that are well-aligned with our expectations and goals – will be critical to our ultimate success.

Many other states have similar models for their public universities. Similarly, all personnel authority over North Carolina’s community college system is already consolidated under its governing board. Having all university personnel under UNC Board of Governors’ authority allows us to fully recognize and manage the unique characteristics of our university environment.

As you can see from the attached summary prepared by UNC-General Administration, we will build on what we already offer. For example, in the new model, all university employees continue to be able participate in the state’s health plans and retirement programs. You are still covered by state and federal laws that ensure equal employment opportunity and protection against prohibited discrimination. University positions are still covered by federal wage-and-hour laws that set the parameters for  overtime pay, minimum wage requirements and other personnel actions.

I would encourage you to share your interests and ideas with your staff senators as we move forward in this discussion together. Thank you for your support and participation.

For more information, read Questions and Answers about Senate Bill 575.

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  1. Chancellor,

    It seems to me that this bill will make all university employees exempt. As exempt employees, they will not be subject to the same overtime regulations as their current nonexempt status.
    SECTION 18.1. G.S. 116‑11(5) and (5b) will give the Board of Governors the charge to adopt policies re: employment of University personnel.

    How will the rights of the current SPA employees be protected?

    Greg OBrian

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