The University Policy Review Committee (PRC) met virtually on July 15, 2021 and discussed several policy updates.
Janet Rupert, Director of Accounts Payable, presented updates to the Student Payments Paid via Accounts Payable Campus Vouchers Policy. She provided context that payments to students used to all route through Accounts Payable, but are shifting to GradStar. She noted that this update is the result of two years of work of a committee comprised of individuals across campus including Finance and the Office of Scholarships and Student Aid. PRC members asked if all payments to students except reimbursements and compensation for employment use GradStar. Rupert confirmed that is the case. Additionally, in response to questions, she clarified that GradStar is an add on to PeopleSoft and that the GradStar office is located in the Graduate School.
Rebecca Spanos, Travel and Payment Card Services Manager, presented updates to the University’s Allowable Travel Expenses, Lodging and Per Diem rates. She noted that the state reviews these rates every two years and that these updates reflect the newest rates. She clarified that Finance would work to get these rates published on their website and remove them from policy to avoid frequent ministerial updates to the policy to comply with state statute.
Nick Sengstaken, Program Coordinator for Operational Excellence and Strategic Initiatives, updated the PRC on the new COVID-19 Community Standards. He noted that the University is moving away from emphasizing the “3 Ws” and instead encouraging vaccination. Social distancing and gathering limits have been eliminated, but the University will require masks indoors except for personal workspaces, living spaces, and faculty members teaching while maintaining distance from students. In response to questions about what constitutes a private office space, whether doors had to be closed, and what employees do in offices that house multiple people when only one person is present, Sengstaken commented that it’s important people in offices have conversations with one another and act respectfully toward their colleagues. He added that the definition of “personal workspace” was located on the Carolina Together website. PRC members suggested that definition be added to the standards to avoid confusion. Additionally, they suggested that the Provost’s Office use the official policy template as it is clear and easy to understand. PRC members also suggested that more specific guidance be issued quickly regarding how to behave in office spaces – they noted that many employees have a low tolerance for ambiguity. Sengstaken did clarify that the mask rules apply in leased spaces off campus and to visitors in any UNC (leased or owned) building. In response to a question about University-provided PPE, Sengstaken informed liaisons that PPE distribution sites are visible on maps.unc.edu.
Team Dynamix/Policy Management System Updates
Matthew Teal, University Policy Analyst, presented updates about the University’s new electronic policy repository by vendor Team Dynamix (TDX). He informed PRC members that the old PolicyStat links have been updated in 92% of policy documents. Additionally, HTML cleaning to comply with digital accessibility is 75% complete. He also invited liaisons to practice creating and editing policy documents in the “sandbox” and to take advantage of the training materials posted on the Ethics and Policy YouTube channel. He reiterated his availability to provide training as needed to all departments.