Soon, as provided by the state’s Restructured Higher Education Financial and Administrative Operations Act, UVA will be rolling out a University human resources system, separate from the state system, for new employees. At issue are salaries and employee benefits, and many are skeptical of the change. The new system will be informed by data from a survey distributed to employees and collected anonymously.
The deadline to turn in those surveys passed on June 18. UVA is now left to interpret the data and gauge employee consensus. The extensive survey, conducted by UVA’s Center for Survey Research, asked about compensation, benefits and performance evaluation.
Alan Cohn, director of Faculty and Staff Employee Relations, says surveys haven’t been tallied yet, but at last check, more than half of faculty and staff responded. “Our commitment was to allow people the opportunity to have significant input into the issues.” A report will be issued in August, says UVA spokesperson Carol Wood.
Brad Sayler, an engineering department employee who has publicly criticized UVA’s restructuring and human resources policies, wasn’t impressed. “In two different sections, it would list a bunch of questions about: ‘Do you think that pay raises should be based on merit?’” Sayler says. “Well, everybody’s going to say yes to something like that.”
Jan Cornell, president of the Staff Union at UVA, which has also criticized restructuring, says she is optimistic that the survey results will at least be considered. “I don’t think they would’ve gone through all the money and the time to do it just to toss it in the garbage can,” Cornell says. “What I’m waiting for is this thing to go public. I want to see what the new policy is going to be.”
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