Education

Employee report shows 'overwhelming mistrust' for UNC Chapel Hill leaders

Posted October 28, 2020 5:14 p.m. EDT
Updated October 31, 2020 12:07 p.m. EDT

— According to a report published this week by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Employee Forum, many UNC Chapel Hill staff members do not trust their own leaders.

The report findings showed an "overwhelming mistrust" of university leaders.

Published after surveying hundreds of staff members, it includes recommendations for how to make positive progress.

Only 4.5% percent of respondents said they felt like administrators were doing their best or were doing a good job.

Tracy Harter has been a housekeeper at UNC Chapel Hill for 10 years. She was not aware of the report until WRAL reached out to her, but she said its findings align with her own beliefs – and that she doesn't trust leadership.

She lost trust when she found out about a cluster of COVID cases on campus from the news, rather than from UNC Chapel Hill's adminstration.

"You’re hiding things, necessary things for our safety. They’re hiding it. Would you trust anybody that did that?" she said.

The report offers three recommendations:

– Requesting more resources for staff.

– Asking leaders to be more transparent.

– Asking leaders to abandon toxic positivity, which they say shows a lack of emotional awareness about how hard this time is.

The full report can be viewed here.

Shayna Hill, chair of the Employee Forum, said she sent the report to the chancellor about a week ago, and feels like progress is already being made.

"We have a relationship that works. And why it works is we are able to be honest with them, and they hear us," said Hill.

UNC Chapel Hill Chancellor Kevin M. Guskiewicz released a statement to WRAL, saying: “We are grateful for the feedback of our employees, who are performing their jobs under stressful and difficult circumstances. Protecting the safety of our people and the jobs of our employees will continue to be our focus as we move forward with our spring planning. We look forward to thoroughly reviewing the recommendations and continuing the conversation with the Employee Forum.”

Our commenting policy has changed. If you would like to comment, please share on social media using the icons below and comment there.