Two areas in the finance and administration division – auxiliary services and human resources – will be reorganized, according to Mike Roy (Finance and Administration). Additionally, human resources and the controller’s office will relocate from Cohodas to other buildings on campus.
According to Roy, the associate vice president for auxiliary services position will be eliminated when Andy Wasilewski retires in June. Dining services and the NMU Bookstore will report to Andre Mallie (Dining Services).
Tom Helgren (Auxiliary Services), current director of the University Center, will become the director of conference operations, coordinating events both in the UC and across campus. Part of the savings realized by not replacing the associate vice president will be used to fund an additional staff person to help with the expanded duties.
“Today, when a faculty, staff or community member is involved in facilitating a conference on campus, he or she has no one point of contact to work on the logistics,” Roy said. “The facilitator must make many, many calls all over campus to such places as dining services, housing, conference and catering, transportation, scheduling, etc., to make a conference happen. It’s confusing and time-consuming. Expanding the current conference and catering staff’s role campus-wide will help with all kinds of large-scale events, for example youth summer programs. It will streamline the process for those wanting to bring conferences and events to NMU as well as to those attending these activities. I think we’ll be able to provide better service all the way around.”
Roy said no changes will be made to the NMU Health Center, the third area of auxiliary services, and that all three directors will report directly to the vice president for finance and administration.
Last year’s campus survey was the impetus for the reorganization that will take place in human resources. Roy said Art Pickering (Human Resources) will take over a new training and professional development initiative. A national search will begin for the director’s position.
“Art and his staff have tried for many years to get an improved training program in place for faculty and staff, especially for supervisors, but a number of situations have kept them from being able to do so,” said Roy. “The survey pointed out that the campus clearly desires more training and overall professional development opportunities.”
Roy said that the survey also indicated a need for improved communication in how classification and compensation levels are determined for clerical-technical and administrative professional staff, as well as a more streamlined hiring process. “Since Art is very familiar with both of these areas, I have asked him to focus his time and energy on them,” Roy added.
The university will also be purchasing a software program called PeopleAdmin that will automate a large portion of the hiring process. The software is expected to be in operation by July 1.
“One of the key changes to the reorganization is to charge the new director with strategic planning as it relates to recruiting, hiring and retaining employees, similar to work that has been done studying data and trends to make decisions about faculty hiring,” Roy said.
In the summer, human resources will move from its location on the second floor of Cohodas to the Services Building.
“The discussion to move human resources from Cohodas to the Services Building is one that has gone on for a couple of years. Now seemed like the time to begin the process as we anticipate the Cohodas Hall renovation becoming a capital outlay project in the future,” said Roy.
Once renovated, the second floor of Cohodas is slated to be classroom space. Roy said a portion of the current lunchroom area in the Services Building, which is large and underutilized, will be converted to accommodate human resources. The controller’s office, currently housed on the fifth floor of Cohodas, will move to the financial services area of C.B. Hedgcock.
“They are two closely related operations that can provide cross-over support as needed, which neither currently has,” Roy said. “When we renovated Hedgcock we originally built a satellite printing services area near financial services that, in the end, was never used. That is the space where the controller’s office will go.”
Roy stressed that Cohodas has not yet been funded by the state as a capital outlay project, but it remains on the priority list. He said meetings to discuss the planning process for departmental relocations and Cohodas renovations will begin in the near future.
“While we don’t have the funding yet, it doesn’t hurt to get the planning part under way so that when the funding is available, we’re ready to quickly move forward,” said Roy.