Overtime changes, pay structure top council discussion

In a Nov. 3 update to the Professional and Scientific Council, university human resources (UHR) representatives fielded questions about the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime regulations that go into effect Dec. 1. Some voiced concerns about the added responsibilities of supervisors who manage impacted (nonexempt) employees.

Interim vice president for UHR Kristi Darr said there is a need for a shift in culture between supervisors and employees, based on good communication and planning.

"The next few months, those conversations need to be very frequent -- they need to be forecasting," Darr said.

"This is going to be behavior change. It's going to create different conversations, different interactions that may be uncomfortable for folks," she said. "I encourage you to offer some grace -- not only for yourself, but for your supervisor. Work together to have the conversations, and really help folks change through this process."

Pay structure review

The search for a consultant who will help with a comprehensive review of the P&S classification and compensation system has been narrowed to three finalists. UHR staff will interview those vendors this month.

UHR director of classification and compensation Emma Mallarino Houghton said work on the FLSA changes could be considered phase one of the pay structure review, which is a long-term process.

"We are pulling up foundation and laying new, so it could take as long as two years for full implementation," Mallarino Houghton said.

She said the scope of the classification and compensation review remains unchanged, focusing on:

  • Definitions of related jobs (job families) and career paths
  • Pay structures (including nonexempt) that consider market, equity and performance
  • Pay administration and policies

Provost update

During his remarks, senior vice president and provost Jonathan Wickert summarized Iowa State's progress on items in the state Board of Regents' strategic plan. The metrics, as compared to a year ago, include a:

  • $1.6 million increase in need-based aid for resident undergraduate students ($21 million total)
  • 1.3 percent increase in six-year graduation rate for underrepresented students
  • 2.5 percent increase in four-year graduation rate
  • 5 percent growth in online education
  • > 1 percent increase in academic programs with student outcomes assessment plans (95 percent total)
  • 9 percent increase in sponsored funding, exceeding target of $97 million
  • Total of 19 continuous quality improvement (efficiency) initiatives

"I thought it was important to see some of that," Wickert said. "Basically, every single one of these indicators the board holds important for us is up over the last year."