The University Record, March 25, 1998

Proposal for staff compensation study to be presented to administrators

John Toller displays a brochure on the conciliation services offered by Human Resources/Affirmative Action. Photo by Bob Kalmbach

By Jane R. Elgass

In April, a general outline of and timetable for a proposed comprehensive staff compensation redesign project will be presented to University administrators who will decide whether to pursue the project.

If approved, the University will be breaking new ground in this area as it seeks to take a look at compensation with respect to skills and competencies rather than tasks to be performed, according to John Toller, assistant executive director of human resources and affirmative action, who spoke about the proposal at last week's meeting of the Association of Black Professionals and Administrators Faculty and Staff.

Toller said that one of the first things the study will look at is job classifications. "The current system is outdated. In 1975 it was state-of-the art. In 1985 it was still effective. In 1995 it was left in the dust, no longer able to keep up with the quickly changing needs of University departments."

Rather than take a look at tasks performed, which is the way jobs currently are classified, the study will focus on the skills and competencies necessary to effectively perform jobs.

"Jobs no longer exist as discrete entities," Toller explained. "The workplace is more dynamic now; it's a moving target. We need to develop a system for 2010 and beyond that will meet needs and work well then," rather than apply quick fixes that may only work for a few years.

Toller noted that no other organizations have taken this comprehensive approach. "This is brand new stuff," he said.

The study, parts of which will be conducted by outside consultants, will include an equity review at the end, "possibly two years down the road," Toller explained. He indicated, however, that individuals with current concerns about equitable compensation should continue to notify his office.

"We are taking care of individual equity concerns as they come along," he said. Let us know now of concerns you have that cannot wait."

Individuals with equitable compensation questions should call to the Human Resources/Affirmative Action office, 763-1284.