Academic Department Core Staffing Process

This document outlines the remaining steps to complete the restructuring process for core academic support staff in the nine new departments. It’s a follow-up to the dean’s February 17 webinar on staff transitions.

Between November and January a team of current administrative support coordinators/managers, with guidance from the Office of Human Resources (OHR) and the dean’s group, examined functions necessary for efficient and effective departmental operations. The team benchmarked with other colleges at University Park and developed a generic model for core academic support staff in our nine new departments at University Park.

Goals for the core staffing process:

  1. Consistency across functions and units. The actual number of positions required will vary per department depending upon size and scope (i.e., student and faculty numbers), but the functional groupings will be maintained across departments.
  2. Transparency. The process and progress will be communicated via webinars and college email list serves to help ensure that the information reaches everyone. The staff advisory team will serve as a conduit for questions and concerns and staff will also be encouraged to use the web input form.
  3. Fairness. A consistent process will be used to determine when positions should be filled by an incumbent or employee currently performing the duties and when a position should be posted internally to the College for consideration of multiple candidates.
  4. Completion of staff structure changes. Change is difficult but we will do our best to communicate and complete the needed adjustments in roles within a reasonable period of time, while attempting to minimize the amount of disruption to all involved.
  5. Process improvement. Staff in core functions will be able to more easily communicate with one another to share best practices and work across departments to develop more effective and efficient administrative processes.


The process involves three main team components and one individual component, some of which may run concurrently. All of these components are overseen by the dean’s group with support and guidance from the college HR office and the university Office of Human Resources (OHR.)

  1. Department Structure Teams: Adapt the generic staffing model by evaluating the number of staff within each department, the reporting structure, and workload factors. An initial model will be reviewed with a team made up of the department head, administrative support coordinator, college HR, and central OHR. There will be an opportunity for further discussion and input before the final organizational structure is determined. No decisions about staffing of the positions with specific individuals will be made by these committees. There will be 9 departmental teams—one in each department.
  2. Functional Requirements Teams: Further define the specific job duties to be performed in each of the new “functional groupings” that have been recommended. The goal is to clarify the job responsibilities and provide that information to OHR for evaluation of the appropriate job profiles. No decisions about staffing of the positions with specific individuals will be made by these committees. There will be 4 functional group teams. (note: as of 3/20/12, these teams have completed their work)
  3. Staffing Teams: Determine staffing for departmental positions. Central OHR will first a) review the functional requirements and profiles of the newly defined positions as defined in step 2 above, and b) review the current duties being performed by individuals within the department. The staffing team, which includes the department head, administrative support coordinator, college HR, and central OHR, will then make the decisions about when a position will be filled directly and when it is appropriate to post a position. In general, when the majority of the duties being outlined for a position are consistent with the duties already being performed by a current employee, that job will be directly filled by placing the individual in the position. When the position duties are determined to be “combined” or “new” – where several individuals are performing some of the duties or more than one person is performing similar responsibilities, the position will be posted internally to the College. There will be 9 departmental staffing teams—one in each department.
  4. Employee Input: A key to the success of the third team component will be employee input on their current job responsibilities through the completion of a job responsibilities worksheet (JRW). This form should be completed/ updated annually as a part of normal business practices. The Administrative Support Coordinators have been asked to coordinate obtaining JRW’s from all administrative staff. Many of you may already have developed a JRW during the conversion of the staff positions to Competencies, so hopefully it will only require that you review and update the document, if necessary. This will be a very important part of the evaluative process when staffing jobs. (Note: individual JRWs were due to our college HR office on 3/19/12.)
Responsible party Number of Teams Focus Membership

Department Structure Teams 9 • Adapt the generic departmental staffing model to each department to identify the number of staff needed • Department Head

(one in each department) • Reporting Structure • Admin Supp Coord

• College HR director

Functional Requirements Teams
4 • Definition of consistent Functional Job Requirements listed below: • Functional Group Experts within departments and central college units in Admin Mgmt, Finance, Academic Program Support and Academic Admin

(one for each functional area of responsibility) o Academic Program Support (Undergraduate/Graduate) • OHR
(team work complete as of 3/20/12)
o Financial Support

o Academic Administration – General Support

• OHR to classify jobs based on job definition
Staffing Teams 9 • Review of new positions (both number and specific job profiles) • Dept Head

(one in each department) • OHR to determine if positions are “same” or “new” • Admin Supp Coord

• If “same”—place current employee in job; if “new” post job internally to College • College HR


Administrative Staff members All employees • Writing and/or updating a Job Responsibilities Worksheet to reflect current duties. Due to college HR 3/19/12 • N/A

Next Steps:

Since we have already determined the overall departmental staffing plan, the first positions that will be filled will be the department heads, followed by the Administrative Support Coordinator positions in each department. 

We will follow the same process for filling the ASC positions:  if the majority of the work being performed is the same, the incumbent will be placed in the position.  If the position is new or has combined duties, we will evaluate the need to post internally to the College.  

Once the structure teams and functional requirement teams have completed their work, we will begin staffing other identified positions following the same procedure.  We will evaluate the progress of the work and will determine if it is possible to roll-out job placement and if needed, job postings, without waiting for every area to be completed.  Only if necessary, based on needed skill set(s), will jobs be posted outside the college.