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Saturday, July 02, 2022
HR redesign

Human resources redesign team seeks student input through campus forums

University officials are seeking input from throughout the UW-Madison community on the university’s Human Resource redesign, design team members said at a forum Tuesday.

Harry Webne-Behrman, team leader of the HR redesign collaboration team, said restructuring the system will help UW-Madison operate more effectively as a university.

“The university has long sought flexibilities for treating [UW-Madison] as an academic institution versus an agency in order to really try to meet the needs of an academic institution and the employees, we need some changes in the way the system operates,” Webne-Behrman said.

Tuesday’s campus forum was the fifth the design team held to engage with the campus on the redesign.

Webne-Behrman said students should attend forums the HR redesign team is holding and answer questions on the redesign website to become involved.

“We’re really trying to get it right, and by engaging the campus community in a timely and meaningful way we have a great trust that we can get it right,” Webne-Behrman said.

While the redesign will most directly impact university employees, students could see its impact on the campus atmosphere, he said. A more efficient HR structure could lead to better-trained managers and more fairly compensated staff, improving overall campus climate.

Some students in attendance at the forum said the redesign focuses much attention on being “efficient,” although education is often not time or cost efficient. The students asked how redesign members were ensuring they treat HR at the university different than that of a corporation, since the university has different goals than a corporation would.

Redesign members said “efficiency” does not necessarily mean exploiting workers, but making sure they are connected to the resources they need.

“This is a community that is dedicated to learning and service from time to time as we go about organizing ourselves, we may find things that are efficiencies that are not effective and that undermine those values of community,” Webne-Behrman said.

Design team members said they are seeking approval from UW-Madison’s faculty senate, academic staff and student council this spring before bringing the proposal before the Board of Regents and state leaders next fall.

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