The Latest From Dean Scholz

December 18th 2017

Dean’s Update: February 2018

To: L&S Administration, Chairs, Directors, Associate Chairs and Department Administrators

I hope 2018 is off to a great start and that you had a chance to relax and celebrate over the winter break. I’m excited about the year ahead. We undoubtedly will have challenges, but we will tackle these as honestly and transparently as we can.

My message this month focuses on important information about compensation as well as a brief update on ongoing reorganization in the L&S Human Resources and Payroll office.

First, as you may have read in Inside UW, the 2017-19 state biennial budget provides UW-Madison with the authority and funding for a 4% state pay plan for continuing faculty and staff. This is great news. These “general wage increases” will be phased-in over the course of 2018-19, with half of the increase effective in July, 2018 (effective with the start of the fall semester for nine-month employees) and the second half of the increase effective in January, 2019 (start of the spring semester for nine-month employees). I would like to reinforce the campus message that we very much appreciate this opportunity to provide pay increases for all of our eligible faculty and staff.

I need to emphasize several important points regarding eligibility. To be eligible for the 4% pay plan, faculty and staff:

  1. must have been hired into their current position at UW-Madison with a start date on or before January 8, 2018;
  2. must be meeting expectations based on their last performance review;
  3. must have completed the required online sexual harassment prevention training (applies to continuing faculty, academic and university staff); and
  4. must be current (defined as having done requisite evaluations within the last 12 months), with performance evaluations of any direct reports, for those staff or faculty who are supervisors.

The campus implementation strategy requires that L&S must notify the Office of Human Resources prior to March 23, 2018 of any continuing faculty and staff who will not be receiving the 4% increase due to items 2-4 above. Given our volume, we will need lead time to meet this deadline. If you have not completed the online training or if you are not up to date on performance evaluations by March 23, you will not receive either the first or the second phase of the pay plan, even if you complete these tasks later.

The upshot:  if you have not done so, please complete the required online sexual harassment prevention training and, if you supervise any staff, please complete their performance reviews. Please do this as soon as possible. We will do what we can to help ensure all who are potentially eligible benefit from the general wage increase, including providing the current status on completion of the online sexual harassment training.

Second, as I mentioned in several previous messages, we are working on a bottom-to-top assessment of L&S Administration, prompted by the retirements of several wonderful, long-time L&S employees and by the aspiration to do even better for the departments/programs and students, staff, and faculty we work with. We are confident that the changes we are making will make us a better, more responsive administrative hub for Letters & Science.

I also want to update you on efforts in the Human Resources and Payroll Office. Over the coming months, we will gradually be moving toward a unified HR/Payroll structure for all employment categories under the oversight and management of our HR Director, Cheryl Adams Kadera.  To accomplish this, we are re-organizing and adding staff. For example, the structure now includes Ben Weisse, our new Assistant Dean for faculty human resources; we recently appointed a third HR manager, Susan (Sue) Hook, who in time will be working parallel to Alisha Arnold and Daun Wheeler; and we are currently recruiting for two HR assistant positions focused on short-term instructional academic staff (STS) and graduate assistant employment categories.

In the immediate term, there will be no change in department assignments. Please continue to work through your currently assigned HR representatives and contact points as usual. Our changes in HR/Payroll (and other changes) will take time and will unfold over the next several months.

There will be more administrative changes in L&S. I look forward to sharing more, along with celebrating accomplishments and telling the story of our phenomenal College that is the heart of UW-Madison.

Have a great semester. 

Karl Scholz