The University Policy Review Committee (PRC) met virtually on June 15, 2021 and discussed several policy updates.
Jessica Venlet, Assistant University Archives for Records Management, presented an update to the University Records Management Policy, summarized below:
In the past, UNC-Chapel Hill has used its own records retention schedule that was different than the one used by the System Office – although both were approved and mandated through the State Archives. The State Archives has decided that all universities should be on the same schedule, so we are moving to the UNC System records retention schedule. The State Archives is working to ensure any unique aspects of the UNC-Chapel Hill schedule fold into the main schedule by 2022. This version of the policy also includes some additional language around the destruction of records.
PRC Liaisons were pleased with the changes and asked clarifying questions to determine whether there would be changes in how long documents must be retained. Jessica noted that the retention periods haven’t changed and that her office provides Records Management 101 trainings every semester through Human Resources.
In conjunction with the Records Management Policy Updates, the PRC also received a request to decommission the HR Records Retention and Disposal Policy on the grounds that it is duplicative and unnecessary. There were no questions about this request.
Parking and Transportation
Mya Nguyen from Parking and Transportation briefed the PRC on a series of updates to the University’s Parking Ordinance approved by the University’s Board of Trustees in May. She noted that the Ordinance is reviewed annually, and that Parking solicits feedback from a group of stakeholders with broad representation across campus. This year, the changes to the Ordinance clarified language around bicycles, added definitions around virtual permitting, introduced a flex permit parking fee for employees on campus three or fewer days per week, and declined to increase the weeknight parking fee for students.
PRC members noted that the current draft of the Ordinance had an incorrect pricing schedule for the flex fees and made suggestions for improving the readability of the ordinance. Additionally, PRC members asked if the flex parking fees could be used for employees with “week on, week off” schedules. Unfortunately, Parking is not able to accommodate those types of schedules and the flex fees can only be used for three days in a specific week at this time to ensure enough capacity for all permit holders.
Flexible Working Arrangements Policy
Katie Nolan, Chief of Staff and Executive Director of Strategy, Policy, and Special Projects for Equal Opportunity and Compliance and Human Resources, presented a draft of the University’s Flexible Working Arrangement policy which will replace the University’s current teleworking policy. She noted that the policy is driven largely by System Office Policy. Key highlights include that managers retain discretion to determine flexible working hours and flexible schedules, but that any recurring arrangements must be documented. Additionally, any flexible schedules lasting longer than 30 days in duration must be driven by a unit decision, considering all employees and the business needs of the unit – approval for such arrangements will come from the Chancellor or their designee. There are some additional System Office requirements including approvals for people who live out of state or outside a “reasonable commuting distance”. Human Resources anticipates that this policy may change over time once we get through the transition period and better understand the “new normal”.
PRC members asked a number of procedural questions including how to maintain existing teleworking arrangements (those must be submitted as a pilot program request) and when the procedural information on exactly how flexible arrangements work will be available (Human Resources is working on it and hopes that will be soon). PRC members noted that part-time employees needed to be added to the scope of the policy and asked if “retention” could also be a reason for employees to work out of the “reasonable commuting distance” in addition to “recruitment”. Linc Butler, Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources, noted that retention can be a consideration but should not be the primary one.
Finally, PRC members noted that this policy has the potential for discrimination, if not carefully applied. We want to avoid both the perception and actuality of discrimination in the allowance of flexible working arrangements across campus. Linc noted that Human Resources is examining this concern through the pilot requests and will also have a reporting requirement in ConnectCarolina so they may evaluate equity concerns. PRC members requested that any reporting be made public, including a clear analysis of the demographics of flexible working arrangements in terms of race, gender, job type, job class, and school/unit on campus.
Team Dynamix/Policy Management System Updates
Jen DeNeal, Associate Director for Ethics and Policy presented several updates about the University’s new electronic policy repository by vendor Team Dynamix (TDX). She informed PRC members that they are now able to review and comment on draft documents in the system and that a series of system updates would be happening on June 19. She also updated the PRC on the progress of policy “cleaning” in the system and shared links to TDX trainings with the group.