Earl Cummings is Employee of the Year
Earl Cummings (Physical Education) won’t get to enjoy one of the prizes he won as Employee of the Year.
Because he retired at the end of 2003, Cummings won’t need the reserved parking place for 2004. But he did not complain while accepting the honor at the Dec. 3 Holiday Social.
“After 30 years, I was really surprised by this,” Cummings said. “I wish the best to each and every one of you because after December 19th, I’m out of here.”
Cummings did not go away empty handed. He won $150, a plaque and several gifts.
His department heaped praise on the man who kept the equipment at Jones Athletic Center in good working order.
Larry Rodgers: “There are not enough good words, but dedication, trustworthy and willingness to serve fit Earl well.”
Mike Schaeffer: “Earl was a good friend to the coaches and faculty, and we will miss him.”
P.J. Smith: “If you needed something done here or in the community, you asked Earl.”
Tommy Thompson: “Earl epitomized the word, professional. We’re losing a great worker and person.”
Dan Kenney: “His work let everyone else shine.”
MBA to add a day program, new focus in 2004
The MBA program is starting the New Year with a new focus and a new day program.
MBA Director Carmen Calabrese is currently developing a day program to attract a different type of student.
“Our evening program is geared towards established professionals who are interested in career growth and development,” Dr. Calabrese said. “The day program will concentrate on younger students seeking to continue their college education and who wish to accelerate career growth.”
The new day program is a natural development for a relatively new program, said Dr. Eric Dent, Dean of the School of Business.
“The recent growth at UNCP has allowed for a number of exciting new initiatives ranging from pursuit of the highest level of accreditation (AACSB) to possible joint ventures with prominent international universities,” Dr. Dent said. “The day-time MBA program means that, for the first time, promising students from this region will not have to leave the area to go to a high-quality, full-time MBA program. This important step is a milestone for the increase in professional work in this region.”
The day program is in the planning stages and will debut in the fall semester, 2004. Both programs will gain a new strategic focus.
“Entrepreneurship,” Dr. Calabrese said. “We are focusing on the needs of our region. The need here is for small business development.”
A veteran educator, Calabrese’s last business stop was leading a start-up project for Nachi-Fujikoshi, Ltd., a Tokyo-based company that manufactured and marketed machine tools, robotics, bearings and cutting tools.
He will begin teaching two courses in entrepreneurship in the spring semester.
“We believe the day program will be a unique product for the region’s students,” Dr. Calabrese said. “We will also provide research opportunities that may be publishable and will build the student’s portfolio for prospective employment.”
“Our graduates will gain an understanding of the global economy, especially as it affects the economic forces that impact North Carolina,” he said. “We will also focus on entrepreneurial competences.”
The MBA program is seeking to build its enrollment to 100 students in three years, or to nearly double the size of the program.
“With a new product and new focus coming on line, we believe this goal is attainable,” Dr. Calabrese said. “To accomplish our mission will require us to improve our own entrepreneurial skills, and that is another benefit.”
Chancellor addresses issues at Staff Forum
Mold, construction and pay increases were subjects of the December 17 Staff Council Forum with Chancellor Meadors.
Employee health issues and mold in Lumbee Hall, the Dial Building and campus wide were addressed.
“We’ll never get rid of all the mold on this campus,” Chancellor Meadors said. “In this environment and in this climate, there will always be some mold.”
“The only thing we can do is to work with it and try to minimize it,” he said. “Public Health criticized us for too much testing.”
Results from campus wide mold testing will be available soon, said Neil Hawk, Vice Chancellor for Business Affairs. He said new preventive maintenance training and procedures are in place and a new mold policy is posted on the Internet.
A question about an air filtration system in the Chancellor’s offices in Lumbee Hall was dismissed by Chancellor Meadors. He said the system was installed four years ago before the mold issue surfaced to reduce odors from the nearby kitchen.
Some mold cleanup has taken place in the Library and the Education Building, Mr. Hawk said. Chancellor Meadors said the Dial Building should be ready for occupancy by late summer.
Tuition. Chancellor Meadors confirmed that one third of a proposed $300 tuition increase will be set aside for in-range salary adjustments for SPA and EPA non-teaching employees. One third will be set aside for faculty merit increases and one-third for student financial aid to offset the effects of the tuition increase.
Jobs. Chancellor Meadors also noted that 10 clerk positions were upgraded recently with 7.5 percent pay increases and 13 other SPA campus positions were upgraded. He said there are 14 new SPA positions and nine EPA non-teaching positions since May 2003.
Of the 45 SPA job vacancies since May 13 were filled from “in-house,” and of the 14 EPA non-teaching job vacancies, five vacancies were filled by existing UNCP employees.
“This question has come up in the past, and this is evidence that we are promoting from within,” Chancellor Meadors said.
In answer to a question about a retired employee being paid $31,000 on contract for two days, Mr. Hawk said that information is “erroneous.”
Parking. In answer to question about parking permit costs, Mr. Hawk said there is a two-tiered pricing plan with permits costing $71 for SPA employees and $81 for EPA employees because SPA employees make less.
HR. Mr. Hawk said HRONLINE is about a month behind in posting annual leave or sick days because there are so many UNCP employees and because of the way the system works. Two new human resources software programs are being studied to streamline paperwork in that office.
And Dean of Students Preston Swinney said his office would do more to inform housekeeping staff of employee functions like the annual Social and Bash.
Construction. Chancellor Meadors delivered an update on campus construction. He said the new Science Building is on track to be completed by August 2004.
The new Physical Plant Complex is expected to be ready for occupancy by April or May 2004.
The new Regional Center is expected to be completed by mid-summer.
Jones Athletic Complex is expected to be completed by November 2004.
The Track and Soccer Complex will get new bleachers starting in January 2004.
And the U.C. Annex is expected to have a fall 2004 groundbreaking.
At the Holiday Bash!
Craymon Strickland Sr. (Physical Plant) and Santa Claus (North Pole)
From left: Lori Carter, Santa, Teresa Bryant, Debbie Jacobs and Donna Strickland (HR) make their case to St. Nick.
Retiring. Monnie Sanderson (University Relations) and Helen Alston (Biology) were honored December 2 with a reception in the Faculty Lounge of the U.C. Both served 30 years with UNCP.
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