HR Design plan approved by Regents

The UW System Board of Regents has accepted a handful of policy and statutory changes to clear the way for the implementation of University of Wisconsin–Madison’s HR Design

“We are gratified that the Board of Regents has accepted the UW-Madison HR Design Strategic Plan,” Bob Lavigna, UW–Madison human resources director and the leader of the project. “In the coming months, we will work closely with campus governance and other stakeholder groups to develop policies and procedures to implement the HR Design framework.”

The board unanimously approved resolutions establishing governance rights for the new university staff employee category, a code of ethics, and a host of technical statutory changes. A resolution giving the Board of Regents administrative authority over UW–Madison employees passed, though two voted in dissent.

The approvals also impact the UW System’s separate proposal, called the University Personnel System.

Regent Gerald Whitburn, chair of the Business, Finance and Audit Committee, praised the work done by both UW–Madison and the UW System, noting that for the first time the Board of Regents will have autonomy over the UW workforce.

Regents John Drew and Tony Evers opposed the resolution granting the regents authority over employees. Drew raised objections to policies regarding compensation, grievance procedures and seniority protection. Drew acknowledged the engagement efforts that have been undertaken through the process to develop the plans, but said they are not a substitute for collective bargaining. He urged the administration to continue to work with stakeholders on implementation.

Chad Goldberg, a professor of sociology and a Faculty Senate alternate, told the Regents that recent revisions to the plan have improved it. But he said he does not support it because he feels it erodes employee rights and protections.

The Board of Regents approval follows positive votes by campus governance and stakeholder groups, including the Academic Staff Assembly, Faculty Senate, Associated Students of Madison and the Council for Non-represented Classified Staff.