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Questions for the Dean, Quarterly Meeting, October 2013

Posted: November 6, 2013

A summary of answers from Dr. Christ to questions posed by the Staff Advisory Committee at the October 2013 quarterly meeting.

The quarterly meeting of the committee and the dean is a time to share questions and concerns that come to the committee from staff across the college. As a way to share this information with the entire staff, the committee decided to post these answers here for staff review.

Question 1. 

How much money was saved by the buyouts and the restructure?  Is that being used to offset our deficit?

Answer: 

Yes.  There is an $11 million deficit because of the money borrowed from Penn State for the restructure.  There will be no realized savings until the loan is paid back.

Question 2.

What is happening / happened to the money saved by doing the health care verification and removing ineligible individuals?

Answer:

About $5 million was saved.  Not sure where the money is going, but thoughts were that it was being used for the general salary increase in October.

Question 3.

CJC classification system concerns.  Report on meeting with Sue Basso.  Have the challenges been addressed?

Answer:  There are changes going on.  The task force is meeting, and there will be a review of positions.  Ag Human Resource Office has urged all managers to inform their staff about doing an updated JRW with their current job duties, which can then be reviewed by HR.   Any upgrades or increases will depend on the JRW but are not guaranteed. This also helps when filling vacant positions.

Question 4.

Cross-training / backup support for units.  If we are no longer following the “boxes,” are the ASA jobs still splintered and varied by unit?  How does this address consistency across the board?

Answer:  Still working on this.  Cross-training is important and various units need to know how to connect with the correct person for training.  Need a way to sit and provide the training to employees.  Can’t micro-manage the units.  Most do the best they can do.

Question 5.

Do you have an update on the Performance Management Improvement Process human resources is doing (SRDP)?

Answer:

The focus groups have met and made a recommendation to the President’s Council.  This timeline might change to July/August.  The entire HR process is in a system redesign, but that is three years out.  No definite information on this yet.  Performance management will be different for extension because they are so unique.

Question 6. 

Do you have an status update on the Dean search?

Answer:

An email regarding this was circulated to the college.  They anticipate a decision in November.

Question 7.

How is the review of department heads after five years done?

Answer:

Dean Christ explained the AD14 Academic Administrative Evaluation policy.  A typical period between reviews is five years, however there is some flexibility in that, and due to all the restructuring in the college, it has not been on a routine basis lately.  Dean Christ explained the staff responsibilities involved with this and felt that the office is now fully staffed for this process.

Question 8 was submitted through the SACD website comment/suggestion form: 

In past years staff have received information in July concerning annual salary increases.  This year we've heard nothing from the college, however I heard on the radio news that we'll receive information about raises in October.  Why wasn't this information shared via University sources?  I find it disconcerting to hear news that impacts my job from the media instead of from my employer.

Answer: 

The department heads did not get the information from Old Main until the last minute and was told the information was to remain confidential.  It will be different this year and not be retroactive to July 1.  This shift to a new time is still being considered.