Joint Committee on Employment Relations Approves University Personnel System

Deborah L. FordCampus Community:

I am pleased to announce that the Wisconsin Joint Committee on Employment Relations has given its approval to the new UW System University Personnel System (UPS) and the UW-Madison Human Resource Design (HRD). Implementation was originally scheduled for 2013, but later delayed until July 1, 2015.

Our current system at UW-Parkside has evolved over time and we certainly want to preserve the positive elements. We now have the opportunity to incorporate today's best practices that will help us meet the diverse and unique needs of our university and maintain our commitment to a highly qualified faculty and staff.

In addition, the new UPS formally recognizes the responsibilities of classified staff in the shared governance of our university. I am proud to say that the voice of classified staff has always been an important part of our campus governance. Under UPS, classified staff will become university staff with a solidified governance role across all UW System institutions.

In a message to classified staff, Karen Grabher, chair of the Classified Staff Committee, said, "We have a lot of work to do to be ready to implement in a little over a year. There will be opportunities for you to be involved in the formulation of these new policies and procedures…. Please become involved!"

The new UPS and HRD systems also identify personnel policies designed to work well under more flexible operational authority granted to UW System institutions by the Wisconsin State Legislature in the 2011-13 state budget. Some specific objectives include

  • Simplicity: promotes efficient and effective policies and procedures.
  • Consistency: provides for fairness of policies and procedures.
  • Coherence: ensures that different aspects of the new systems will work well together.

Allow me to pass along comments from UW System President Ray Cross, and UW Board of Regents President and UW-Parkside Alumnus Mike Falbo.

"It is highly encouraging to receive this support from our legislative leaders. It is a message that will uplift and energize our campuses, and we now can begin implementing the new personnel systems ahead of the 2015 time line. This legislative approval provides the flexibility to develop and implement policies and practices at all of our locations, and at UW-Madison, to attract and retain world-class talent, particularly in cutting-edge research fields."
– UW System President Ray Cross

"With this green light to move forward, we have an opportunity to better serve UW System workforce needs and to strengthen institutional autonomy in a way that serves the specific needs of each campus. The new personnel framework will provide best-practice levels of support for Wisconsin's world-class system of public higher education institutions."
– UW Board of Regents President Mike Falbo

As UPS and HRD move through the legislative process, we will keep you informed of the progress. 

Chancellor Debbie Ford


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