Sunday, October 5, 2014

Esse quam videri or Videri quam esse?

The phrase you see above has been used throughout the Greensboro blogosphere for years since it was first pitched by Roch Smith jr to describe Greensboro's innate ability to seem rather than to be. The expression Esse quam videri is a Latin phrase meaning "To be, rather than to seem (to be)" and is actually the motto for the State of North Carolina but like all things Greensboro, UNCG seems to have moved towards Videri quam esse, "To seem, rather than (to be)"

Today Margaret Moffett of the News & Record writes UNCG's lone audit led to 3 firings. That lone audit raised suspicions for's embedded investigator who yesterday pointed out that neither the audits nor the timing of the audits followed established UNC or UNCG procedures. Today Margaret reports:

"Cathey’s statement raises even more questions about the firings and arrests Sept. 24 of campus photographers Chris English and David Wilson, and their boss, Lyda Carpen.

Who ordered the audit? What actions prompted it? Will other departments on campus receive similar scrutiny?

Meanwhile, two high-profile faculty members have called on administrators to drop the combined 22 criminal charges, which carry a minimum prison sentence of four to 14 months per charge."

One also needs to remember that none of the 3 accused have been charged with stealing anything that was held in inventory and there have been no claims to date that UNCG's inventory is not 100% complete. So why is UNCG auditing equipment with the 3 are being accused of stealing time? Can you say retribution, grasping at straws, attempting to find anything they can find to build a case that just isn't there? I'll allow our embedded investigator to continue:

"Esse quam videri or Videri quam esse?


Once again UNCG administration is sending out what they would call 'perceived' inconsistencies although they may prefer to think of them as clarifications. The Chancellor cited an out of sequence equipment audit as being the initiation of the Campus Police action in investigating three employees' alleged criminal activities. Now University General Counsel is citing an audit relevant to employee performance.

SPA employees participate in annual reviews under Performance Management Planning. Performance management is accomplished in three phases: assessment, planning, and interim review. Both the supervisor and the employee are involved in each phase of the process. In an email to the News & Record Saturday, General Counsel said that "supervisors have the authority to initiate an audit when they believe that an audit may provide information relevant to the assessment of employee performance."

Under Performance Management Planning, employee performance reviews are undertaken in the spring and are due to Human Resources between April 15 and May 29. An essential feature of this process is the meeting between the worker and the supervisor in order to discuss this assessment. If the worker has a question or issue with ratings or evaluation, there is an appeals process. The worker can appeal any grading of less than 'very good' within 15 days of the meeting (form attached). The interim review of performance occurs at the end of the fall semester and is due to Human Resources between December 15 and January 31

Paul Mason took over administration of University Relations on April 1, well before the deadline for employee evaluation through the Performance Management Plan guidelines. Even in the case where an administrator comes on board late in the cycle, work activities agreed upon in the last bi-annual review can be evaluated next to work outcomes accomplished in that half-year ensuring continuity of work product supporting the institution's mission in a transitional time. 

UNCG has specific training and support for supervisors to ensure that they understand and can execute this very important aspect of management effectively (  This crucial resource as well as an experienced  Human Resources staff is available to support this very important function. (A note, there is no longer an Employee Relations Manager as that position was eliminated in the last reduction in force). 

The Faculty Senate was granted a meeting with the Chancellor last week to explore some questions that the campus community needs answered. One of these questions, as shared by Spoma Jovanovic, chairwoman of that body, follows.

2-Was Paul Mason, the Associate Vice Chancellor for University Relations adequately trained to manage higher education personnel?

That question remains unanswered.

And again, new questions arise. Were these employees reviewed on time with their full participation and rights to repeal? Was a second and out of sequence evaluation requested by their supervisor, and if so, was this after submission of formal complaint to Human Resources regarding a hostile work environment? An out of sequence, second evaluation of worker performance is an unusual occurrence. Were the workers informed about this action was being taken and included in the process?

And again, although UNCG would like to keep separate the internal Human Resource activities and the external criminal charges, Campus Police seems to be the crucial link. How is it that Campus Police is involved in a Human Resource personnel function? We get back to that weird subject-predicate twisting passivish voice statement about an equipment audit.

 When alerted to the fact that an audit of University Relations equipment found evidence of misconduct, Campus Police contacted University Relations to secure the evidence.

You will find a screen capture of the front page of the Performance Management Planning webpages. As you recall, we have run into some issues of '404 errors' followed by re-posting of documents that have been slightly tweaked as compared to those found in document caches. Logistically, I don't think that this entire section of the website can be re-worked, but if it is, it will become apparent in a detailed comparison to saved and time stamped versions of policies and procedures."

Capture Performance Management 

Performance Manage Program Appeals Form 

Career Banding Performance Management Plan 

Now I ask you, who are you going to believe, the Brady Bunch who remains hidden behind ever changing websites and interviews in which their attorneys continue to fail to address the most basic of questions or a worker like yourself who is fighting from behind the scenes to tell you all the things the Brady Bunch doesn't want you to know? Someone, who just like you, could become a victim on any given day.