Improved service delivery moves forward with release of hiring plan

Calling it a major but necessary change, President Wendy Wintersteen endorsed incrementally continuing with a proposed reorganization of finance and human resources staff.

The Institutional Effectiveness Leadership Team (IELT) super group on Nov. 14 sent a status report to Wintersteen concerning improved service delivery (ISD), a proposal to create teams of finance and HR specialists who report to supervisors in their own fields. In a Nov. 16 letter, Wintersteen approved the basics of the new structure and the super group's recommendation to proceed in phases.

The job changes are expected to be in place by July 1, 2019, when the university shifts its business transactions to the Workday software platform. The proposal is largely driven by Workday, a system designed for subject-matter experts. Currently, it's common for staff to handle both HR and finance work, often on a part-time basis. But Wintersteen also emphasized that supervisors need to understand the work their employees are doing. In the existing structure, staff with HR or finance duties often report to unit, office or department leaders.

"This has created problems and inconsistencies in how processes are performed, how often employees receive training, workload balance, and the quality of staff professional development, among other issues," Wintersteen said in her letter.

Hiring plan

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Courses through Learn@ISU

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  • Staying Charged through Change (available beginning in early December)

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Don't forget

Defining units -- the groupings of campus offices, departments and colleges the specialist teams will serve -- will be a major portion of ISD's second phase, along with determining the size of the teams serving those units.

Another key piece of the second phase is the equal opportunity plan released Nov. 19 that outlines how the new positions will be filled with the necessary speed while remaining fair, transparent and equitable.

The first positions to fill are the top leadership roles. Competitive openings were posted Nov. 16 for an associate vice president of human resources service and strategy and an associate vice president for finance and support services. Supervisor hires will follow, allowing employees seeking specialist roles to know who their manager would be.

Before turning to external searches, internal candidates will be sought for the HR coordinator, HR partner, staff recruitment specialist, financial service specialist, grants finance specialist, procurement/expenses specialist and finance manager positions. A staff survey will gauge interest and qualifications for those jobs. Qualified internal candidates will be evaluated on factors that may include:

  • Employee interest in roles or units
  • Current function and alignment
  • Experience and match to preferred qualifications and competencies
  • Input from potential supervisors or supported units
  • Internal reference checks
  • Current position description

In cases where multiple employees are interested in the same role or an employee would be promoted, the selection process may involve an interview. If an employee's interest conflicts with supervisor or unit input, a neutral mediator will be provided to identify a solution.

Implementing ISD may result in some employees being promoted or demoted, but even if an employee's classification changes, the intent is to not impact salaries. Recommendations from the ongoing classification and compensation study for professional and scientific staff, the employee group most likely impacted by ISD, won't be released until fall 2019. 

When external searches are needed to fill P&S service delivery positions, the minimum posting time will be seven days instead of the typical 15. Openings for merit positions will post for 10 days, as required under Regent Merit System rules. Merit rules also will be followed for any other transition effects.

Impact issues

Supervisors and unit leaders are expected to find additional duties for staff with HR or finance responsibilities who don't shift into a position in the service delivery system. Transition teams will help ensure appropriate staff alignment and support for offices, departments and colleges.

The equal opportunity plan also notes that staff should be free to express interest in remaining in their current role or seeking a new position without harassment or retaliation. Those who feel they've faced harassment or retaliation should contact the equal opportunity office at 294-7612.

Employees can send questions about how the ISD transition will impact them to university human resources by email at

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