by Matthew Stollak on Friday, March 30, 2012

The state of Wisconsin has seen some tumultuous times with the election of Scott Walker as Governor, and the subsequent effective end of collective bargaining for most state employees.

However, one of the more intriguing outcomes from the 2011-2013 budget bill is the University of Wisconsin is charged with redesigning its human resource system.  Titled the "Human Resource Design Project," a group, known as the Badger Working Group, comprises representatives of employee and governance groups, and is guided by the following principles:

  • Be transparent and collaborative.
  • Include regular consultation with the elected governance bodies of the faculty, staff and students; alternative, nonelected groups may not substitute for the formal governance processes.
  • Include stakeholder consultation and participation.
  • Maintain open communications with UW System, which also will be developing a new personnel system for all system employees except those at UW-Madison.
  • Include an examination of other organizations, particularly higher education institutions, with the goal of identifying best practices for UW-Madison.
Robert Lavigna, UW-Madison's Director of Human Resources, talks about the new Human Resources Design Project in the video below:

This project has significant involvement from a wide variety of constituencies across the UW-campus.  According to Darrell Bazzell, University of Wisconsin-Madison vice chancellor for administration:
This project is organized into an advisory committee and 11 work teams that represent stakeholders from across the campus, including faculty and staff, labor organizations and students. This diversity is allowing a wide range of perspectives to be represented. More than 150 members of the campus community are on these work teams, drafting initial recommendations to reform our personnel system. Part of their responsibility is to share information about the teams' progress with their constituent groups.

The project has not been without its hiccups in its early stages as there was concern whether meetings were transparent enough to allow the many voices to be heard.

It will be interesting to see how this project unfolds.  The old proverb of a "A camel is a horse designed by a committee" comes to mind.

Do people really want to see how the HR sausage is made?

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