Tomorrow afternoon, the Faculty Senate at UW-Madison will hear from Bob Lavigna, the institution’s Human Resources Director. Lavigna will be discussing HR Design, a new plan I’ve covered several times recently on this blog. It’s a controversial proposal, in part because it shifts the focus on setting compensation from internal equity towards external markets. It also reduces some of the benefits held by classified staff, who are currently unionized, and for whom perks like substantial vacation time slightly dull the pain stemming from the terrible wages.
I was therefore intrigued when this morning I delved into my Inside Higher Ed backlog of reading and found the results of a brand new national survey of HR directors and their opinions about the future directions universities need to take. The results help to at least partially set the broader stage on which HR Design is occurring. (Partially: the response rate for this survey is 15% and with just 324 participants, 42 of whom were at public research universities, who knows if Madison is represented.)
Here are some key highlights related to HR Design:
These will undoubtedly form a nice backdrop to tomorrow’s discussion. I’m hoping Lavigna keeps his statement short and sweet, to allow plenty of time for questions. I’m told this hasn’t been the case at recent campus events; for example at last week’s Academic Staff Assembly meeting the members were not given responses to ASEC’s previously issued comments. But I’m sure tomorrow will be different– faculty like to talk, at least as much as we like to listen.