The University Record, January 9, 1996

HRD responds to staff feedback with three-term catalog out this week

By Jared Blank

 To address the changing needs of staff, the new Human Resource Development (HRD) Professional Development Catalog will contain classes and programs for winter, spring and summer 1996 rather than just those scheduled for winter term. According to Robert Holmes, director of HRD and of M-Quality, this change will allow staff to better plan which courses they will take.

"We had more than 2,100 enrollments in HRD courses last year, and courses tend to fill early," Holmes says. "The advanced notice will allow for long-term planning, though you still shouldn't wait until the last minute to sign up for a class that you want. In other words, register as quickly as possible to ensure the choices that you want." The catalog will be mailed Friday (Jan. 12).

Holmes says the change is part of HRD's effort to meet the concerns of staff members from across the campus community. "We asked ourselves what kind of courses people want to be taking to ensure their success. In fact, we surveyed staff members and have developed a number of different courses in response to their needs."

One of these courses is "Increasing your Personal Effectiveness." Deborah Orlowski, human resource associate, says this new course will stress assertiveness, basic communication skills, teamwork and learning to receive constructive feedback.

"These qualities have always been taught in separate courses," she notes. "While we haven't eliminated the individual courses, many staff members asked if these qualities could be taught together in one course, and we responded. We've done a lot to increase the level of information taught in this course."

Orlowski adds that the new courses have been designed with a diverse audience in mind. "We try to give as broad appeal as possible and keep our topics timely. It doesn't matter what your job title is."

Deborah Nystrom, human resource associate, stresses that staff should use the catalog as a guide---that HRD also can work with individual units to provide custom training geared toward the unit's specific needs.

Says Nystrom, "Many people don't realize that we can provide custom courses. Some training is better done within a unit. We work in partnership with the units to provide our expertise. In fact, custom training is sometimes more cost effective than sending a large group to a class."

In addition to the full catalog, HRD course titles and times can be found on GopherBlue. For more information, call HRD, 764-6410.