Coming Soon: Employee Total Rewards Statements

February 26, 2018

UNC-Chapel Hill employees will soon receive their annual Total Rewards statements in their campus mail boxes. The statements are being sent to all UNC employees who were actively employed by Dec. 31, 2017, and include compensation and benefits information.

The statements include your annualized base salary and the amounts that UNC-Chapel Hill paid for your individual benefits. The value of the leave you earned in 2017 is also shown, as are the actual amounts you contributed towards your benefits elections.

The Office of Human Resources encourages you to take time to carefully review the information it includes.

Welcome to Carolina Blue: New Employee Orientation at UNC

February 26, 2018
Upon arrival at the Rizzo Center, new employees are introduced to the “Welcome to Carolina Blue” brand right away, as they are guided to their classroom.

Employees new to UNC-Chapel Hill are now being welcomed to the University with the “Welcome to Carolina Blue” orientation program. Held at the Rizzo Center, the Welcome to Carolina Blue orientation program features a redesigned format, new materials, and a website – – to provide new employees with information and resources as they begin their Carolina journey.

While the “Welcome to Carolina Blue” redesign was spearheaded by the Employment and Staffing and Organization and Professional Development units within the Office of Human Resources, the groups’ leadership sought out the expertise of many others within OHR.

The Advisory Committee

Noreen Montgomery, senior director of Employment & Staffing, spearheaded the effort to overhaul the new employee experience, with the support of Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources Linc Butler, and Vice Chancellor for Workforce Strategy, Equity and Engagement Felicia A. Washington.

In November 2016, a committee of OHR employees with key roles in in the orientation process was created to examine New Employee Orientation content, delivery, brand, and logistics.

The committee was composed of employees from Benefits and Leave Administration, Organization and Professional Development, Employment & Staffing, the EHRA Non-Faculty HR unit, and WSEE Communications. This New Employee Orientation Advisory Committee researched a number of orientation programs from organizations and universities before making recommendations regarding changes to the existing UNC-Chapel Hill New Employee Orientation program.

“It really was a group effort,” said Mark Haapala, director of Organization and Professional Development. “In all, we had 12 team members that helped re-imagine the program into what it is today. We also invited over 30 representatives from schools, departments and units across campus to participate in a pilot to make sure the new program was inclusive and engaging.”

Goals of the re-brand

The Advisory Committee’s overall goal was to “re-brand” the hiring and orientation process at UNC, from start to finish, to ensure an increasingly positive experience for new employees.

“The overall goals of the new employee orientation rebranding were to engage new employees’ heads and hearts,” said Montgomery. “The Advisory Committee wanted to make orientation more inclusive by making new employees feel like they became a part of something bigger through coming to work at UNC. The group wanted employees to feel like they made the right choice in selecting UNC as an employer and to create awareness of and appreciation for the UNC community and culture.”

In redesigning the new employee orientation process, the working group continuously focused on several questions, such as:

  1. How can we make new employees feel welcome and part of the Carolina community?
  2. How do we connect with both the head and the heart?
  3. How can we provide needed information in ways new employees want to consume it?
  4. How can we combine the “boring” essentials of a typical orientation program with more engaging elements found in best practice orientation programs?

Fewer slides, more connections

In order to engage new employees’ head and heart, the Advisory Committee redesigned the presentation program itself.

“Significant changes were made to the NEO presentation,” said Montgomery. “The presentation now focuses on information around Carolina’s culture, community, notable achievements, and history.”

In addition to giving new employees a sense of belonging at UNC, having fun was also a part of the design. Creative elements such as a “Rameses” rams head paddle are used during interactive activities, and at the end of the day, the group comes together for a photo for social media.

Every part of the orientation process is designed to create a comfortable, welcoming environment.

“I’m especially proud of the attention to detail in the new program design,” said Haapala.

“For example, we replaced classroom style seating with round tables to encourage conversations. We created activities to help people think about how their specific roles fit into the University’s mission and share some fun facts and history highlights. We even take group photos of each class to share on our social media channels,” he continued.

The “Welcome to Carolina Blue” orientation program incorporates increased interaction with and between new employees.

Past orientation programs focused on reviewing university and state policies, but found that they inundated attendees with information.

During past new employee orientation programs at UNC, facilitators labored through 143 PowerPoint slides (which included 695 bullets).

“We were overwhelming people,” said Haapala. “Today, we still cover key policies but the broader focus is on making people feel connected to the University in these first four hours of their careers here. Our presentation is now much more visual, and has a more contemporary look and feel.”

Going digital

Photo of lots of printed materials
Before “Welcome to Carolina Blue,” new employees were given over 40 individual printed pieces. Now, the majority of this information can be found at

Part of creating this contemporary look and feel was taking many of the printed resources given during orientation digital.

In the old orientation program, orientation facilitators provided new employees with over 40 separate pieces of printed information (photo: right).

For the “Welcome to Carolina Blue” new employee program, WSEE Communications developed a website – – that provides the bulk of that information in a digital format. For new employees, this means less to carry and less to keep up with.

“Benefits materials are reviewed, but now only essential hardcopy benefit materials are provided, which help new employees to feel less overwhelmed,” said Montgomery.

In addition to cutting down on excessive paper usage, this website allows the various teams working with new employees to streamline their delivery of information, and to ensure that information they are referencing is both accessible and accurate. In addition to orientation and benefits information and materials, provides employees with information regarding important policies, milestones and campus resources.

This new website, says Montgomery, can be used not only by new employees but also by jobseekers and targeted applicants, visitors to the University, and current employees.

One-stop shop (that includes lunch!)

Another major change from the old orientation program is that the “Welcome to Carolina Blue” orientation sessions are designed for all UNC-Chapel Hill employees – SHRA staff, EHRA non-faculty, and faculty. This not only creates a more inclusive atmosphere, but also gives new employees a greater opportunity to network with their colleagues at UNC from diverse roles and backgrounds.

Those networking opportunities are extended into a whole new feature of new employee orientation: lunch! Attendees are now provided lunch following the orientation program. In the previous orientation model, attendees were expected to leave and have lunch on their own. Unsurprisingly, many new employees were not sure where to go.

“We heard from many past participants that they did not know what they were going to do for lunch on their first day and they didn’t know where to go or how much time they had,” said Haapala. “We eliminated that feeling of uneasiness by providing them with lunch and the opportunity to further network with their fellow new employees.”

Another stressor that the Advisory Committee worked to remove was new employees’ need to go pick up their UNC OneCard.

“After several years of working with the  UNC OneCard office, we are now able to utilize newer technology so that UNC OneCard pictures can be taken and cards developed prior to the end of the Welcome to Carolina orientation session,” said Montgomery. “This saves both the UNC OneCard office and new employees valuable time and alleviates unnecessary anxiety and frustration.”

First impressions provide lasting effects

Research has shown that strong orientation programs improve employee retention, loyalty and performance in the long-run. At the same time, a strong orientation program also has its more immediate effects. Nearly 90% of employees decide whether to stay in a job within the first six months — so first impressions matter. Those behind the “Welcome to Carolina Blue” orientation redesign kept that in mind.

“We think our new hires now come out of their session even more excited about their decision to join Carolina,” said Haapala. “The time in which people decide in their mind if they have made a good or bad decision with a recent job change continues to compress so we have to make a good impression in these first few hours.”

“Our goal with Welcome to Carolina Blue New Employee Orientation is to reduce the natural anxiety and fear and boost the excitement and confidence,” Haapala continued. “We want them to be able to tell their friends and family that (after one day on the job) they made the right decision to join Carolina and they are excited about the opportunities for them here.”

According to Montgomery, fulfilling these goals will lead to lasting effects for UNC.

“UNC will benefit from this by helping employees adapt faster to their jobs, retaining valuable employees, and reducing the cost it takes to recruit for vacancies created by turnover,” she said.

New UNC-Chapel Hill employees attend one of the first “Welcome to Carolina Blue” orientation sessions at the Rizzo Center in November 2017.


NEO Advisory Committee

The UNC-Chapel Hill New Employee Orientation Advisory Committee included:

  • Noreen Montgomery, Senior Director of Employment & Staffing, Office of Human Resources
  • Kathy Bryant, Senior Director of Communications, Division of Workforce Strategy, Equity and Engagement
  • Mark Haapala, Director of Organization and Professional Development, Office of Human Resources
  • Ceresa Aberg, Staffing Support Services Manager, Office of Human Resources
  • Mary Beswick, Employment Consultant, Office of Human Resources
  • Erica Guestin, Senior Benefits Consultant, Office of Human Resources
  • Rob Stevenson, Senior Benefits Consultant, Office of Human Resources
  • Jen Baker, Training Specialist, Office of Human Resources
  • Sheilah Hobgood, EHRA Non-Faculty HR Consultant, Office of Human Resources
  • Sheila Corcoran, Creative Director, Division of Workforce Strategy, Equity and Engagement.
  • Kaylon Kirk, HR Communications Specialist, Division of Workforce Strategy, Equity and Engagement
  • Janet Launder, EHRA Non-Faculty HR Consultant, Office of Human Resources
  • Christopher Castelloe, Training Specialist, Office of Human Resources

Reception Honors Carolina Cares, Carolina Shares Success

February 26, 2018

On Wednesday, Feb. 14, over 60 UNC-Chapel Hill faculty and staff gathered in the Kenan dining room at Kenan Flagler Business School for the Carolina Cares, Carolina Shares Recognition Reception. The reception was held to celebrate and recognize the success of the 2017 Carolina Cares, Carolina Shares campaign. Carolina Cares, Carolina Shares is UNC-Chapel Hill’s effort to raise funds for the State Employees Combined Campaign (SECC).

UNC-Chapel Hill was the state’s top fundraiser, raising a total of $716,520 in pledges for 591 charitable organizations supported by the SECC. The University was proud to have 17% of faculty and staff contributing to these efforts.

Speakers at the reception included Linc Butler, Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources and Chair of the 2017 Carolina Cares, Carolina Shares campaign; Laura Marx, the the State Employees’ Combined Campaign team lead; and Becky Medford and Chris Meinecke, Co-Chairs of the CCCS Advisory Board.

The Guest Speaker was Barry Porter, Regional Chief Executive Office for the American Red Cross. Mr. Porter spoke to attendees about the mission of the Red Cross and how donations drive their life-saving efforts.

Special recognition was paid to UNC-Chapel Hill faculty and staff who put forth outstanding effort in fundraising for various charitable organizations. Awards included:

  • Outstanding Leadership Recognition – Marcus Donie, Athletics
  • Recognition of Inspiration – Naquan Hill, School of Dentistry
  • Key to Success – Linda Holst, School of Medicine
  • Key to Success – JC Underwood, School of Dentistry
  • Key to Success – Alison Campbell, Information Technology Services


The 2018 Carolina Cares, Carolina Shares campaign will begin in October 2018. Email if you would like to volunteer for your department or school, or for more information about Carolina Cares, Carolina Shares

Lunch & Learns hosted by Equal Opportunity and Compliance (EOC)

February 19, 2018

The following lunch and learn courses are being hosted by the Equal Opportunity and Compliance (EOC) Office. Each session will be held from noon-1 p.m. in Toy Lounge in Dey Hall.

Please feel free to bring your lunch to these meetings. If you are in need of accommodations, please contact or (919) 962-7109 as soon as possible.

Sexual Harassment Awareness and Response in the Workplace
Presented by: Adrienne Allison, Director of Title IX Compliance

Where: Toy Lounge in Dey Hall
When: Wednesday, February 28, 12 p.m. – 1 p.m.

Participants will learn about the types of conduct that could be considered sexual harassment and thus prohibited at UNC-Chapel Hill.  Participants will also learn how to report an incident, and what happens when a report is made to EOC.

This session will also cover maintaining a welcoming and equitable work environment, as well as the protections and prohibitions of applicable equal opportunity laws and UNC policy.

ADA 101
Presented by: Rudy Jones, Associate Director Equal Opportunity and Compliance/ADA Coordinator

Where: Toy Lounge in Dey Hall
When: Wednesday, March 28, 12 p.m. – 1 p.m.

This session increases awareness of the University’s Reasonable Accommodations in Employment policy and familiarizes participants with their responsibilities and available resources. It will provide an overview of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and ADA Amendments Act of 2008.

Sexual Harassment Awareness and Response in the Workplace
Presented by: Brandon Washington, Equal Opportunity and Compliance Director

Where: Toy Lounge in Dey Hall
When: Wednesday, April 25, 12 p.m. – 1 p.m.

Participants will learn about the types of conduct that could be considered sexual harassment and thus prohibited at UNC-Chapel Hill. Participants will also learn how to report an incident, and what happens when a report is made to EOC. This session will also cover maintaining a welcoming and equitable work environment, as well as the protections and prohibitions of applicable equal opportunity laws and UNC policy.

Race and Religious Discrimination and Harassment Prevention in the Workplace
Presented by Camille Brooks, Senior EO Consultant 

Where: Toy Lounge in Dey Hall
When: Wednesday, May 30, 12 p.m. – 1 p.m.

This training will focus on maintaining a welcoming and equitable work environment, as well as the protections and prohibitions of applicable equal opportunity laws and UNC policy. The session will cover different scenarios that could arise in the workplace surrounding race and religion and proper responses.

University of North Carolina System launches Employee Engagement Survey

February 1, 2018

Across the University of North Carolina System, we are united in the mission to empower students, drive innovation, and enrich the communities around us. To do so, we must be transparent and accountable in how we operate. In an effort to hear feedback across the UNC System, President Margaret Spellings invites all faculty and staff to complete the confidential 2018 UNC System Employee Engagement Survey.

The UNC System wants to hear your honest feedback about what is working for you. What can the System do to empower you in your job and be more efficient in our work? How can we better serve you, as you serve our students and our state?

This survey is confidential and your response will not be linked to your name. Please be blunt in telling us your views.

You should have received an email from ModernThink with more information on the survey and your personal link to access it. UNC System President Margaret Spellings has challenged each of the University Chancellors to exceed 50 percent participation at their institution and we need your help to meet that goal. Let’s help Chancellor Folt reach 100 percent!

Carolina Center for Public Service Campus-Wide Awards

January 24, 2018

The Carolina Center for Public Service is accepting nominations for campus-wide awards honoring undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, staff and University units for exemplary public service and engaged scholarship.

Ned Brooks Award

The Ned Brooks Award for Public Service honors the contributions and values of Ned Brooks, who has served the University since 1972, making significant contributions to the mission of service and engagement. The award recognizes a UNC-Chapel Hill staff or faculty member who throughout their career has, in a collaborative and sustained manner, made a difference in the larger community. Full nominations are due by 11:59 p.m. on Feb. 7.

Office of the Provost Engaged Scholarship Awards

Three Office of the Provost Engaged Scholarship Awards are given, one each for engaged teaching, engaged research and engaged partnership. The award requires a brief two-paragraph nomination submitted by Feb. 7. Selected nominees will be invited to complete a more detailed submission about their work by Feb. 28. Final selection will be based on both the initial nomination and the nominee application.

Robert E. Bryan Public Service Awards

Five Robert E. Bryan Public Service Awards will be given for a specific effort (rather than an overall record) exemplifying outstanding engagement and service to the state of North Carolina. Bryan awards recognize an outstanding undergraduate student, graduate student, faculty member, staff member and officially recognized student organization. The award requires a brief two-paragraph nomination submitted by Feb. 7. Selected nominees will be invited to complete a more detailed submission about their work by Feb. 28. Final selection will be based on both the initial nomination and the nominee application.

All nominations are accepted through the Carolina Center for Public Service Application and Nomination Portal. For questions, email

Meet with a CAPTRUST Financial Advisor

January 24, 2018

CAPTRUST Financial Advisors, the independent advisory firm that works on the UNC retirement programs, will be visiting UNC-Chapel Hill conducting on site individual advisory sessions on Jan. 25, Feb. 1, Feb. 7, Feb. 14, Feb. 28 and March 15 at 104 Airport Drive, Chapel Hill, NC in Room 1501-C. Topics covered in the 45-minute individual advisory sessions include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Retirement planning
  • General financial planning
  • Debt management
  • Investment education and advice

You also will have an opportunity to create a Retirement Blueprint, CAPTRUST’s new interactive retirement readiness tool. To learn more about the Blueprint you can view a short, informative video by clicking here. These one-on-one sessions are offered to you solely as a benefit; be assured that CAPTRUST’s role is not to sell you anything, but purely to help you make sound investment decisions.

Learn more about Blueprint

Schedule an Appointment

  1. Visit this link
  2. Choose your location
  3. Choose the 45-minute session you wish to attend
  4. Enter your information and click “Schedule It” (a confirmation email will then be sent immediately)


  • A reminder email will also be sent 24 hours in advance of the meeting.
  • If you need to cancel or change your meeting time, click the link received in the confirmation/reminder email. Then enter your last name and confirmation number.

Be Prepared

To best be prepared for these sessions, please make sure you have the information you want to include in your Blueprint calculations, such as retirement account balances and current contributions to retirement accounts. You will also want to bring login information for your retirement website.

Can’t Make it to Campus?

If you cannot make a live session, but still want to create a Blueprint or need further advice, the CAPTRUST Advice Desk is also available. Appointments can be made with the Advice Desk by visiting


If you have any questions or need assistance, please call CAPTRUST at 800.967.9948.

The University of North Carolina Section 403(b) Plan
 Universal Availability Notice for 2018

January 23, 2018

The University of North Carolina offers a choice of voluntary supplemental retirement programs so employees can save additional amounts for retirement. Under The University of North Carolina Section 403(b) Plan (“the 403(b) Plan”), eligible employees may elect to defer a portion of their compensation to the 403(b) Plan on a pre-tax or post-tax (Roth) basis.

The 403(b) Plan is designed to help you invest more money today so that you have the income you need in your retirement years. It provides a supplement to either the N.C. Teachers’ and State Employees’ Retirement System or the UNC Optional Retirement Program, the State’s mandatory retirement plans available to permanent employees who work 30 or more hours per week. Moreover, even employees not eligible for one of the mandatory retirement plans may also be able to make voluntary contributions to the 403(b) Plan.


All employees, other than UNC HealthCare employees, who receive compensation reportable on a Form W-2 and pay FICA (Social Security) tax are eligible to participate in the 403(b) Plan, so long as the employee elects to contribute at least $200 each calendar year.


An eligible employee may elect to defer a portion of his or her compensation on a pre-tax or post-tax (Roth) basis.

Pre-tax Contributions
Both federal and state income taxes are deferred on the contributions and any earnings until distributed from the Plan. Distributions are taxable as ordinary income for federal and state income tax purposes. Generally, a participant must begin receiving a distribution by April 1 following the later of the year in they turn age 70½ or terminate employment with The University.

Post-tax Contributions (Roth)
Federal and state income taxes are withheld from Roth contributions at the time that they are contributed to the Plan. Contributions are not taxed again at distribution. Moreover, any earnings on the contributions are never subject to federal and state income taxes upon distribution, as long as a five year period has passed since Roth contributions were first made to the Plan and the distribution is a “qualified distribution”. A qualified distribution is a distribution (i) made on or after the date on which the participant attains age 59 ½, (ii) made to a beneficiary on or after the death of the participant, or (iii) made on or after the participant becomes disabled.

Contribution Limits

Annual contribution limits are set by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The IRS allows an eligible employee to make an additional catch-up contribution beginning in the year in which he or she turns age 50. For 2018, the calendar year limits under the 403(b) Plan is as follows:

Calendar Year Annual Contribution Limit: $18,500*
Age 50+ Catch-up Contribution Limit: $6,000*

*Note: This is a combined limit for pre-tax and Roth after-tax contributions.

Approved Vendors

The University has approved Fidelity Investments and TIAA as the two financial services companies offering options under the 403(b) Plan. Fidelity and TIAA provide a wide range of mutual fund investment options and annuity products through their own funds as well as other investment managers. Both companies offer resources and tools to help participants plan their investment strategy. Eligible employees should contact each vendor for information about plan investment options and services provided.

Fidelity Investments 1-800-343-0860
TIAA 1-800-842-2252

Enrollment Process

Eligible employees may enroll immediately upon date of hire or at any time. To start the enrollment process, please visit the UNC System Voluntary 403(b) Retirement Program webpage and follow the steps listed:

  • Step 1 – Complete a Salary Reduction Agreement (SRA) (forms and instructions available on the website)
  • Step 2 – Enroll in the plan with Fidelity and/or TIAA

Contributions may be designated as a percent of salary or as a flat dollar amount depending on your campus payroll capability. The SRA will apply only to amounts earned after enrolling in the Plan, and an employee’s election under the SRA will continue until the SRA is modified or revoked by the employee.

Modifying a Deferral Election

An eligible employee may increase, decrease or stop his or her future contributions to the plan at any time by completing an SRA. Employees may also change from one vendor to another at any time by completing an SRA to stop contributions with the existing vendor, and following the steps above to enter into a new agreement with another vendor. It is also possible to make contributions to more than one vendor at a time.

More Information

If you have questions about the 403(b) Plan, please contact your campus Benefits Representative or visit the UNC System Voluntary 403(b) Retirement Program webpage.

This notice is provided as a source of information and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice. If legal advice, tax advice or other professional assistance is required, the services of a professional advisor should be sought. Every effort has been made to make this notice as thorough and accurate as possible. However, there are other legal documents, laws, and regulations that govern the operation of the Program. It is understood that in the event of any conflict, the terms of the Plan Document, applicable laws, and regulations will govern.

“Check. Change. Control.” Program from AHA Encourages Blood Pressure Self-Monitoring

January 17, 2018

The State Health Plan has partnered with the American Heart Association to offer state worksites, schools, and universities Check. Change. Control®, a free evidence-based blood pressure monitoring program available from Feb. 2 through June 1.

The goal of the program is to achieve and maintain a healthy heart by increasing employees’ awareness of their blood pressure levels by:

  1. Checking for high blood pressure
  2. Changing lifestyle and seeking treatment
  3. Controlling hypertension by taking preventative measures

The program uses an online tracker, educational materials, direct portal messaging and optional text and email alerts, and is free for all Carolina employees.

By participating in the campaign, you commit to:

  • Entering two blood pressure readings in the Check. Change. Control. online platform each month from Feb. 2 until June 1.
  • Opting in for text and/or email alerts
  • Exploring the resources available in your participant portal

Where to check your blood pressure

There are 12 blood pressure stations across UNC. Find the closest station near you.

On Campus:

  • Campus Recreation: First floor
  • Sonja H. Stone Center: Back entrance to the theater lobby
  • School of Education/Peabody Hall:  Faculty/Staff Lounge
  • School of Pharmacy/Beard Hall:  Basement (outside of Marketing and Communications Suite)
  • Gillings School of Global Public Health: Michael Hooker Research Center, Mail Room 1101
  • Department of Anesthesiology:
  • Kenan-Flagler Business School: Gym

Off Campus:

  • Collaborative Studies Coordinating Center located at 123 W. Franklin Street: 4th Floor Breakroom
  • Finance & Operations Service Center located at 400 Roberson Street in Carrboro: Medical Room
  • Building Services/Horney Building located at 103 Airport Drive: Preventive Maintenance, Room #136
  • AOB located at 104 Airport Drive: First floor lobby, Suite 1500
  • Environment, Health and Safety located at 1120 Estes Drive: Front lobby

Join today for a chance to Win!

There will be three Tar Heel winners each month of the program beginning in March and one Grand Prize winner announced in June. Each month of the program, participants with at least two recorded blood pressure readings will be entered into a drawing to win a prize.

Prizes include: a Salad Container, Fruit Infuser Water Bottle, T-shirt, Double-Wall Stainless Steel Tumbler, and one Grand Prize – a Fitbit Blaze.

Sign up today at Use UNC campaign code: SHP57

How to Win

  • Enroll at Campaign Code: SHP57
  • Include your PID # in your “Full Name” field.

Already created an account? You may update your information to include your PID # after your name in the “My Profile” tab on the left of the portal.

  • Check the “Company Participation Engagement” box at the bottom of your “My Profile” page.
  • Check your blood pressure at home or at one of 12 locations throughout UNC. Find the closest blood pressure station near you from the list of locations above.
  • Raffle Eligibility: Enter blood pressure readings in the Check. Change. Control. online platform each month through June 1 at

Monthly Raffles: Enter at least 2 blood pressure readings by the end of the month for a chance to win a prize the following month.

Grand Prize Raffle: Enter at least 8 blood pressure readings by June 1.

(Entering more than 2 reading per month or 8 readings throughout the program will not increase your chance of winning.)

Privacy Notice

Your blood pressure entries are NOT shared with your employer or the NC State Health Plan.


Contact Jessica Pyjas, OHR Work/Life & Wellness Manager, at