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Q&A with Dean of Libraries
KULSS Spring 2008 General Meeting
Thursday June 19th, 10-11:30am
When new projects, initiatives, changes, etc come up for consideration, do you think it is reasonable in a “climate of respect” for the staff who are doing the work or who are directly effected by the change to be consulted and their input consider BEFORE the decision is made?
Yes and No. Sometime decisions are made quickly due to circumstances. Major changes have the goal of general broad announcement . ADs to go to areas and have conversations of impact. Smaller at unit level, then those need to happen quickly. An announcement, something that comes down from the top, there would ideally some level of consultation at the very least with those effected.
Remind ourselves of the core values: respect, collaboration, innovation, diversity.
If so, how can we get this to happen since in many cases it is not. Where do we go for help?
Hope that if there are problems you will have a climate where you can let your supervisor know. If you don’t feel there is a climate for this, Mike is the person to assist you.
If not, then what is your suggestion for the most respectful and productive approach for both the people deciding on the changes and those being asked to make the changes happen?
I would hate that people feel fear (of Dean, especially) to communicate. Centrally you are supported in openly communicating your ideas at all times.
Mike: My door is open, meeting with employees and supervisors are neutral and comply to how we work. If you don’t want to come to my door, I will meet with you where you like. Certain issues will be dealt with in a particular way (
So far, all the discussion about merit have centered on how supervisors or AD’s are to award merit. Two examples:
- The merit criteria for that year are given at the end of the rating period in order for supervisors and AD’s to evaluate the previous year’s performance. It is not provided in a way that staff can evaluate themselves in a given year – to work towards a high merit ranking.
- Training on awarding merit is provided to supervisors. This includes not only the financial piece, but actual scenarios of behaviors to consider when determining merit. Nothing like this is offered for staff to understand how they are being evaluated. Thus when the decision is made and when (if) it is communicated to the staff member, they have no context in which to agreeing or disagreeing, as is their right.
Criteria has not changed. We changed the process to make it transparent. Numbers indicate that there is not a problem with merit, here.
Q: As admin do you know who got what and do you go back to department and look at the numbers across the library. Evaluation inflation issues – are there superhuman departments.
Process is a concern. Outcomes are possibly inflated.
MBroadwell: Been here over 3 months, but prior organizations have same discussion. It’s an issue that’s everywhere. You can’t change people’s subjectivity. Ideas to fix that – please offer suggestions.
Deeper and deeper in the form the more vague it gets.
Certain degree its apples and oranges to compare how different deparments/unit operate and award merit. Control the dialogue with the supervisor to ask what exactly do I need to do exceptional work.
Really an individual process with supervisor and employee.
Comment: Very difficult for supervisors to do this. Especially working supervisor.
KULSS-Exec side note: This is where supervisor – employee relations will be the issue to address (supervisor forums)
Q: Are AD’s going to be more visible and accessible to the people under them?
AD’s now officially on board with the new fiscal year. Dean hopes and expect at least once a year a division wide meeting. Next deans council will hear some of these concerns. Help the AD’s understand the concerns and how best to approach this.
How will you ensure that equality and uniformity of information is communicated both generally and individually about the merit process? How will you help the staff feel empowered by the merit process (and strive for excellence)? See above re: AD’s in place.
I hear that we are going to start delivering books to faculty members' homes. Has there been a lot of demand for this service by faculty members? And would it be a better use for our money to continue funding and support for the services which we are already providing, given the soon-to- be-expected increases of shipping and delivery costs for office campus delivery and interlibrary loan?
This was not asked.
Have there been any developments/plans for the mentoring initiative for MLS seeking library employees and others?
Come to the June all staff meeting for the Mentoring Committee presentation. Will roll out this summer with learning communities for many areas. MLS is one of these. Expanded to be for more people than just library faculty. Goal is to help people adjust to organization culture and develop professionally.
When staff retire or quit working for the University, what happens to their sick leave and vacation time? Do they have to use them BEFORE they leave or will they be paid for this time?
This was not asked.
Efforts regarding supervisor concerns.
Developing a Supervisor Forum, and raising the issue with AD’s so they are aware, hopefully use that for ways and strategies.
Lorraine has been fairly plugged in to the rough spots with the lack of AD’s. But, if it is significant she still plans to be involved via the AD’s.
Has there been an announcement about who’s AD’s are who? Not formally. Organization chart still in the works.
Evalutaion process (supervisors). Before USS, central personnel made an effort to make sure staff werent blindsighted. Meet more than once a year with you supervisor rather than just once a year with your evaluation. USS move there was a concern whether would we lose that. Does anyone meet with their supervisors quarterly, regualarly? Few people (in the room) have this.
Comment: Evaluation form needs definition of roles and who sets the goals. You can set goals and the person above you can say that’s not a good goal.
Superviosr should have goals that speak to goals of work getting done. If employee goals don’t meet that, it is valid to say that isn’t a “good goal” so to speak.
As an option (regarding economy): can the conversation become more open regarding flexible hours (four day work weeks). Outside the box thinking. Lorraine is thinking about this and has planned to look at the University policy. Mike will investigate these possiblility further. Lorraine supports these suggestions.
One potential fallout is seeing the difference in positions where others simply cannot have this option. Some FSLA time issues (lack of control).
HREO meeting this afternoon by Mike.