Friday, October 3, 2014

UNCG Explanations Fall Short

Today the News & Record published UNCG chancellor stands by university actions. I'll begin with what our investigator long embedded on the inside has to say about it:

"Looking at the events and information regarding UNCG actions against workers, this week closes with unanswered questions, specifically, those on the agenda of the Faculty Senate meeting with the Chancellor and the News-Record's requests for clarification and timeline.

Spoma Jovanovich, head of UNCG's Faculty Senate went on record the other day with the following questions that the campus community dearly wants answered.

1-Did UNCG follow proper procedures for firing these workers?
2-Was Paul Mason, the Associate Vice Chancellor for University Relations adequately trained to manage higher education personnel?
3-What role did employee grievances filed against Mason play in firing?
4-What other measures could have been used?

The News-Record has requested straightforward information in a simple fill-in the blank and confirmation of timeline format.

1-UNCG police began its investigation at the request of (_____________).
2-(__________) from UNCG took that material to the district attorney's office.
3-The district attorney's office reviewed the material and recommended appropriate charges.
4-UNCG filed charges.

The Chancellor's response to this week's events was sent via email to the campus community. Notably, she acknowledged that staff at UNCG feel vulnerable. She distanced herself and the university from the arrest. She announced a campus forum hosted by Bruce Maimone, Vice Chancellor for Business Affairs to educate UNCG workers regarding policies and procedures associated with secondary employment and conflicts of interest.

This is an inadequate response to the university community, the Faculty Senate, and the local community. It does not address any of the questions that have arisen.

The Division of Business Affairs encompasses Purchasing, P-Card, Facilities, Finance, and Human Resources. The procedures for the first four areas are very well explicated in policy and procedures manuals. The fourth area, Human Resources, is a bit more dense. Many of the the published policies are copied from the Office of State Human Resources and do not nail down specific and local procedures. The Office of State Human Resources publishes over-arching policies for all state agencies. It is the responsibility of the local institution to develop clear, consistent and unambiguous procedures to enact Human Resource policies. The state recognizes that this has not been done well in the past in regards to SPA employees grievances so updated its mandate to institutions on May 1 of this year. Of specific interest is the statement that the grievance procedures in all institutions should be consistent. The objectives set by the state are unambiguous.

I. Objectives
In establishing this Grievance Policy, the University seeks to achieve the following objectives:
- Provide procedural consistency across The University of North Carolina;
- Ensure SPA employees have access to an internal process to address grievable issues timely, fairly, cost effectively, and without fear of reprisal; and
- Resolve workplace issues efficiently and effectively.

With respect to Bruce Maimone, the specific areas of interest fall under Human Resources and General Counsel. Procedures regarding the timely internal processing of grievable offenses, the ambiguity in tracking compensatory time and correctly documenting leave records, and the roles of university and community police and attorneys in resolving administrative trivia need to be the topics of conversation. It would be appropriate for Edna Chun, Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources and Imogene Cathey, General Counsel to be on hand to specifically address these very important concerns."
Linda Brady, meet your worst nightmare, someone who knows your every thought and deed and has been passing them along to us since before you hired Paul Mason.Someone who can do the job of running a university better than you can. Someone who obviously knows the rules a hell of a lot better than you do.

Now I have some questions for Linda Brady and Paul Mason:

1. Is it true that for the first 2 years Chris English and David Wilson worked for UNCG that the two of them furnished thousands of dollars of photographic equipment and materials necessary to do their jobs for which they were never reimbursed and that this equipment remains in inventory at UNCG?
2. Is it true there was no budget for their department for 2 or more years during the course of their employment with UNCG thereby forcing them and Lyda Carpen to finance operations for their department out of their own pockets?
3. Is it true that there have been numerous complaints against Paul Mason by other UNCG employees?
4.  Is it true there is no grievance process for SPA employees that meets State guidelines?

5. Is it true that Paul Mason has a history of employee abuse that predates his hiring by UNCG?

6. Is it true that Paul Mason  has previously, possibly while working at Jefferson Pilot, also taken employees to court for simular charges?

7. Does Paul Mason work for, own or manage any business outside of his employment at UNCG?

8. Does Linda Brady work for, own or manage any business outside of her employment at UNCG?

9. Did you honestly think the UNCG campus police would refuse to investigate and carry to the Guilford County District Attourny, charges being leveled by the UNCG Chancelor and Vice Chancelor? From the linked article:

"She also sought to distance the university from the criminal charges, which have sparked considerable community outrage.

The university had a duty to “report evidence of inappropriate activity to the proper authorities,” she wrote, “as was done in this situation."
10. Do you take your students, staff and professors to be stupid? Because that's how you're treating them.

Currently the News & Record is running a poll asking Do you think the investigation of 3 former staffers at UNCG was handled well by the university? Overwhelmingly the response has been, NO. I dare the News & Record to put up a poll asking, Do you think Linda Brady and Paul Mason should resign?

And I just now e-mailed them to ask them to do so.