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New Human Resources reorganization announced by chancellor

Lee JacksonApril 25, 2012

To: Employees of the UNT System and Institutions

I have heard concerns on our campuses and within our system about the need for better transparency, and I hope we can continually improve this process so every person in our system can have a better idea of what is going on.

This is sometimes hard on big issues like budgets and policies and new hires, because these decisions are not final until the Board of Regents approves them, by which time they’ve been publicly discussed for weeks.  As a result, in most cases I have communicated Board discussions to campus presidents and then each campus has had its own measures to announce news and developments.

Today I want to try a different approach with this system-wide announcement, because this is an administrative issue that won’t affect many employees immediately or directly but will help set the work environment for all employees in the future. 

After considering all options to improve human resources services in our system, I have advised each president and am advising you that effective May 1, 2012 the employees who work in our several different campus Human Resources offices are being united in a unified system HR office to coordinate and deliver human resources service support to all campuses and system offices.

This organizational realignment provides us with our best opportunity to improve the quality and consistency of human resources services for all of our employees and allows us to set a goal of being recognized as a high-quality workplace - something that is overdue in my opinion.

Initially this consolidation will not change the regular support or the day-to-day relationships you have had with your HR office staff.  But in the next several months, the office will be reorganized in order to build a better workforce culture.  I have repeatedly been told that we can be more professional in the ways that we recruit, train, reward, recognize and communicate with our employees.  I believe that we can do better through excellent training for managers and employees, clear and workable compensation and classification plans, valuable employee relations support services, and a stronger focus on customer service.

We will build on the experience and skills of our existing HR staff members in Denton, Fort Worth and Dallas and also ask them to accept new responsibilities in a new organizational structure.

I want you to know that we have been developing this initiative since it was first brought to our attention in 2009 by a significant consulting engagement.  Through this consolidation we intend to build an HR staff that will more effectively serve our employees across the System.

So that you can track progress, I have outlined a few of the major targets in the coming months:

  • Recruit and hire an Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources
  • Engage an experienced HR consultant to advise us on the service benchmarks we should establish in order to become an exceptional workplace and recommend an HR organizational structure that will support that mission
  • Create an HR Advisory Steering Committee with System and campus participants to evaluate service improvements and new organizational structures in a collaborative process
  • Set standards for a more uniform and consistently administered classification and compensation program across the System
  • Identify areas to initiate process improvement taskforces and working groups:
    • Training
    • Performance evaluation
    • Employee relations
    • Policy / procedures
    • Employee communications

     

A major staff reorganization like this one can be prompted by a desire to reduce unnecessary services or to increase the delivery of high-quality service.  In this case, there may be some inefficiencies or duplications of service that can be improved, but the main purpose is to direct our resources more effectively into a better workplace environment for all employees.

I encourage you to communicate with us directly on this initiative by using the UNT System website whenever you have questions or hear rumors.  I have asked Mr. Allen Clemson to serve as the interim Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources, and he will be responsible to ensure that regular progress reports are posted and your questions are answered.

Please let us hear from you at: www.untsystem.edu/good-people.htm.

I look forward to working with you.

Lee F. Jackson

Chancellor, UNT System

Posted on: Wed 25 April 2012

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