Message from Dean Molly Jahn regarding new Human Resources System

The University of Wisconsin will be implementing the new Human Resources System (HRS) in the spring of 2011. Attached is a recent correspondence from Paul DeLuca and Darrell Bazzell regarding this major initiative.  We imagine this will be an exciting and challenging period for everyone, as we plan, prepare, and train for the upcoming changes. We want to be sure CALS is well positioned and all of our units have clear information about the HRS implementation.

The new Human Resources System integrates human resources (HR), benefits and payroll operations and will be implemented across the entire University of Wisconsin System.  HRS will fundamentally change how these services are provided by streamlining the hiring process, as well as administering benefits and pay rolling of employees by integrating them into one system.  It will replace our current HR, Benefits, and Payroll legacy systems.

HRS will provide a number of advantages over our current environment, including electronic workflow, reduction in duplicate entry, consistent processes and roles, the ability to leverage training and resources, and improved access and security.

One of the steps to ensure the UW-Madison campus is positioned to effectively implement HRS was the creation of the Work Flow Project (WFP).  WFP is a two phase approach involving the creation of multiple cross-functional work groups, charged with developing resources and divisional plans of action for successful HRS Implementation.

The WFP Phase One Team created a HRS Implementation Planning Guide to assist Divisions as they formed their Phase Two workgroups and create their “Plan of Action.”

CALS has convened its Phase Two HRS Divisional Work Group, which is comprised of three department administrators, two faculty members, and staff from CALS HR and payroll and benefits.  Similar teams have been formed in other schools and colleges.

The following individuals are the members of the CALS Phase Two HRS Divisional Work Group:

Cheryl Adams-Kadera
Natalie Ben-Zikri
Cheryl Bowes
Staci Francis
Anita Herrick
Carol Hillmer, co-Chair
David Hogg
Paul Jelle, co-Chair
Birl Lowery
Lynn Martinsen
Bill Omdahl

In addition, we have two individuals from the HRW WFP Phase One Team who are serving as campus representatives to CALS.  They are:  Trisha Bauer with the Graduate School and Mark Walters with Classified Human Resources.

This team is charged with developing a “Plan of Action” by November 15, 2010, which will include identification of HRS roles for individual employees across the College (administrative staff in departments and centers, as well as HR and payroll and benefits staff in the Dean’s Office).  These roles will facilitate a successful HRS Implementation and will also be used as a basis for HRS security as well as training

All units in CALS (i.e., departments and centers) will be engaged and asked to honestly review their ability to directly participate in HRS activities, within the context of existing staffing constraints.  The team has already developed a form to collect pertinent information to assist in this evaluation and will be sending it to Department/Center Administrators later this week.

Specific criteria developed as part of the work of the Phase One Team provided three process models (centralized, decentralized, and hybrid).  The criteria require an administrative unit (i.e. departments, centers) have at least one position whose primary function is to manage HRS activities within their unit in order to utilize a decentralized model.  Some of our administrative units do not have these dedicated positions; as a result, changes in how human resources and payroll and benefits activities are handled will need to be made in these cases.

As part of the college-wide process of assigning roles to employees within larger administrative units, it will be important for chairs, directors, and administrators to consider role assignments that create overlap and/or back-up for those employees with primary responsibility for HRS activities.  As the planning process continues, it is envisioned that the CALS HRS Divisional Work Group may need to meet individually or in small groups with departments and centers to discuss the implementation and overall plan and impact to units.

More information will be made available to help guide us in the planning for HRS implementation.  We expect to have periodic updates between now and the end of October in a variety of formats and contexts specific to this planning phase, as well as leading up to and through “go-live” in Spring 2011.  You can learn more about the committee’s activities and this important initiative at the CALS HRS Divisional Work Group website which will host information such as member contact information, meeting agendas and minutes, campus and college communications and updates, and related guidelines, policies, and procedures.

Your assistance will be appreciated over the next many months in making faculty and staff know about the HRS implementation and individuals receive the support and training needed for a successful implementation.  Please feel free to contact members of the CALS HRS Divisional Working Group with any questions, comments, or suggestions.

Molly Jahn
Dean and Director
College of Agricultural and Life Sciences