UI Staff Council updates: Dec. 14, 2016 meeting

Cheryl Reardon, Chief HR Officer and Associate Vice President updated the council on several important topics.

The 2016 Working@Iowa Survey had a 60 percent participation rate among eligible faculty and staff. The results show that the university has an engaged and productive workforce.

Strengths identified in the survey include

  • Managing conflicts constructively
  • Regular feedback by supervisors
  • Would recommend Iowa to friend seeking employment
  • Excellent customer service

Opportunities for improvement include

  • Workload distribution 
  • Constructive management of conflicts
  • Recognition of achievement

HR will use focus groups to better understand these issues, and will partner with shared governance. Early next year HR will develop specific action plans.

Cheryl noted that a new Performance Review System will be developed in-house. The previous system, Success Factors, had numerous technical problems and received a lot of negative feedback. The new tool will:

  • Be simple and flexible at org level
  • Have a 5 point rating system instead of 4
  • Integrate with current HR  systems

Previous year’s reviews will be moved to the new system, which will continue to be accessed via the Employee Self-Service site.

Cheryl also noted that due to a Texas court injunction, the UI has suspended the implementation of changes mandated but the Fair Labor Standards Act that were due to take effect December 1. Most employees who became non-exempt on Nov. 20, 2016, will revert back to their exempt status. 

Nancy Davin, Staff Councilor and Funded Retirement & Insurance Charter Committee (FRIC) Co-chair, updated the council on the committee and its recent activities, which include:

  • FRIC meetings are held on first Friday of each month in University Services Building.
  • The committee is monitoring Affordable Care Act regulation changes.
  • Transgender health care was approved.
  • New term life insurance options have been added.
  • Delta dental no longer covers unlimited visits for cleaning, and will limit coverage to 2 annual cleaning visits.
  • New health care options include UIeCare
    • A telemedicine option accessible via smartphone, tablet, and computer
    • No charge to UI CHOICE members

Dan Reed, Vice President for Research and Economic Development gave the council an overview of the Path Forward Strategy Implementation Team Intellectual Property Group.

Dan noted that UI Intellectual Policy is designed to “. . . enable the public to use and benefit from inventions originating at the UI.” It outlines the ownership of intellectual property generated by UI faculty and staff, and how profits are split between the inventor, department, college and the university   The IP team is currently revising policy to bring it in line with current case law. The policy has not been updated in over 10 years.