May 19, 2008 — A town hall-style meeting in Newcomb Hall Theater from 2 to 3:30 p.m. on Thursday will kick off an open comment period regarding the draft recommendations for a new University human resources system.
Susan Carkeek, vice president and chief human resources officers, will lead the session in which recommendations produced by 20 tasks forces addressing all aspects of the University's HR system will be shared. The recommendations will address a new performance evaluation system, new benefits and a new market-based, pay-for-performance compensation system, among many features.
These recommendations are the result of three months of work by almost 300 U.Va. employees to develop a new human resources system that will govern "University staff," the designation that replaced "classified employees" on July 1, 2006.
Anyone hired on or after that date will automatically fall under the new HR system when it is formally implemented, which is currently set to happen on Jan. 1, 2009. Classified staff and administrative and professional faculty will periodically have the option to join the new University staff system, but will never be transferred into the new system without electing to do so.
Feedback will be welcomed at Thursday's meeting, which formally begins the University-wide comment period that runs through June 30. Attending the meeting will be considered paid work time. The comment period has also been announced via e-mails and postcards sent to employees' home addresses.
Employees may comment in two ways. They can read the proposals and fill out an online response form at www.hrs.virginia.edu/restructuring, or they can go to one of the following locations for a printed copy, which will include a response form:
• Alderman Library Reference Desk
• Facilities Management Lunch/Training Room (lower level, 575 Alderman Road)
• Newcomb Hall Information Desk
• Lobby opposite the Claude Moore Health Sciences Library
• University Human Resources Front Desk (Michie North, 914 Emmet Street)
• Parking and Transportation Reception Desk (1101 Millmont Street)
• Aquatic & Fitness Center Front Desk
• College at Wise Human Resources Office (Resource Center)
The new human resources system is being created as part of the commonwealth's Higher Education Restructuring initiative, enacted by the General Assembly in 2006. This feedback period is the latest stage in efforts over the past 18 months to gather employee input about how to improve the University's human resources system, beginning with focus group meetings with randomly selected employees in October 2006.
Their input helped form the basis of a survey of all staff and their staff and faculty supervisors (5,662 employees), conducted in April through June of 2007, the results of which were presented to employees in a series of meetings in September 2007.
"We are building this from the ground up, based on the feedback we received from employees through the focus groups and the resulting survey, and from the task forces that worked so hard on this project since February," Carkeek said. "We want to design something that uniquely reflects the needs, issues and values of this University."
Classified staff will never be transferred into the new system without electing to do so, Carkeek pledged, but they will be given the option, at least once every two years, to opt in. The first such 90-day enrollment period is projected to be this fall, from Oct. 1 through Dec. 31. The new HR system does not apply to Medical Center employees.