III. Human Resources Goal: Strengthen support for faculty and staff in their respective roles and create a community in which all are valued and encouraged to reach their potential.
Strategy A: Conducting Ongoing Workload Analyses. After first conducting careful analyses of individual faculty and staff workloads, develop and implement an equitable and efficient distribution of their workloads, consistent with the vision and mission of the University, and then devise and implement an on-going program to review and adjust the workload distribution in order to match the evolving needs of the University.
According to the Illinois Wesleyan University Vision Statement, “The size of the faculty and the resources dedicated to its work will be sufficient for the University to sustain a rigorous scholarly, creative, and academic environment equivalent in quality to that of the best liberal arts colleges.” Therefore, in order to uphold this ideal, the University should develop appropriate benchmarking and then adjust current planning, scheduling and staffing levels in order to develop workloads consistent with the vision of the University. Since persistent, heavy workloads have a detrimental effect on employees’ ability to perform well, as well as on their morale, it is critical to develop an equitable and efficient workload distribution. In addition, to ensure on-going optimal performance at all levels, the University should develop a program to review and adapt workloads to match its evolving needs.
Strategy B: Allocating Human Resources. Adjust the allocation of human resources both to address the needs of critical campus functions that are understaffed and accommodate the staffing needs of new IWU mission priorities, such as diversifying and internationalizing the campus and creating a sustainable campus.
Because of changing patterns of enrollment, technological changes, and new construction, some critical units on campus are understaffed. To determine where understaffing of existing units is present, the University should conduct campus-wide workload analyses. Some areas suffer from strains caused by high demands during certain times of the year. The University should work to identify and alleviate serious peak load problems, not only with better scheduling but, if needed, with additional personnel during periods of high demand. Additionally, because the stated mission of the University has changed, we need to allocate critical human resources to attain the new IWU mission goals (e.g., diversifying and internationalizing the campus, creating a sustainable campus, and providing disability services). The realization of new mission goals will require significant human resource commitment and must take into account budget implications and effects on existing departments.
Strategy C: Structuring Compensation Systems. Structure the compensation system for all IWU employees to achieve the dual goal of rewarding them fairly and providing incentives to be productive members of the University community; as part of this effort, work to ensure that the benefit system remains a priority and is competitive.
Human Resources Work Group forums indicate that although Illinois Wesleyan University has a dedicated faculty and staff, the current pay structure does not always recognize meritorious service. In addition, salaries in some areas of the University may fall short of reasonable benchmarks at peer institutions and in local labor markets. The compensation structure should be reviewed and updated to ensure equity and consistency among faculty and staff of the University, with particular focus in areas of incentive systems and competitiveness for recruitment and retention as compared with benchmark institutions and local labor markets.
Strategy D: Emphasizing Professional Development. Devise and implement comprehensive professional development, orientation and training programs for all segments of the University.
As noted in numerous previous internal reports, substantial resources have been invested in our infrastructure over the past 10-15 years and there is now a significant need to invest more fully in our faculty and staff. The implementation of well-designed training and professional development programs would result in increased morale, incentives to perform well, and increased quality of life on campus. Moreover, these programs would allow the University to maximize the extensive talents and skills of its workforce and to effectively fulfill the University Mission and Vision Statements. Training programs must be developed to introduce job-related skills and cover special topics (such as advising, communication, diversity, use of technology, and carrying out a supervisory role). Because of their beneficial effect on the University community in terms of intellectual engagement and campus climate, professional development and leave opportunities for both faculty and staff must continue to be creatively initiated and augmented.
Strategy E: Achieving Faculty and Staff Wellness. Strengthen proactive wellness programs and identify and respond to evolving wellness needs of faculty and staff across campus.
In order to increase the quality of life and optimize our financial and human resources, we must address issues related to stress and illness that result in low morale, staff turnover, use of sick days, and long-term medical conditions. We envision multiple offices, committees and IWU programs working together to create a well-rounded plan for promoting faculty and staff wellness. These efforts should be coordinated with and complemented by student wellness initiatives addressed above under the Student Development planning goal (see Strategy B of that goal.)
Strategy F: Enhancing Internal Communication. Continue to develop transparent communication channels among all members of the IWU community in a way that increases operational efficiency and encourages respectful interactions among all University constituencies.
It is important that all areas of the campus have access in a timely manner to information that affects their work and sense of being a part of the greater University community. Inconsistencies in the present communication structure must be addressed and new communication channels developed in order to foster effective work practices, a sense of well being, and the tightly knit IWU community noted in our Mission Statement.
By implementing more technologically advanced communication tools we can reduce stress on the campus environment and financial costs to the University. Additionally, the University must develop means for conducting open dialogue, without repercussion, among students, faculty and staff to encourage a sense of unity and a respect for all members of the Illinois Wesleyan University community.