AHR Reappointment Process Improvement

Background and Identified Problems

There are a number of Job Classes within the Faculty population that are appointed on an annual, or multi-year, basis. The process of renewing these appointments, or “reappointing” them, is mandated within the Faculty Code, as is the documenting of the reappointments by Academic Human Resources (AHR). The default action within Higher Education Payroll/ Personnel System (HEPPS) is to automatically reappoint these individuals, but there was no automated function to support this process within the information system used by AHR, Personnel Reporting & Information Management Engine (PRIME). This system limitation meant that more than 12,000 reappointments needed to be processed manually each year, and created challenges in reporting and metrics. The process was time intensive and involved the generation of a significant volume of paperwork for both the Schools, Colleges, Campuses, and Departments/Programs (“Units”) that make up the University, and AHR. Furthermore there were inconsistencies in the reporting from the Units, as well as confusion about the appointments the Units identified as subject to reappointment by the Code, those identified as subject to reappointment in HEPPS, and those identified as subject to reappointment in PRIME. These inconsistencies and discrepancies impacted the success of the reconciliation process that AHR undertakes at the end of each academic year. The existing process and concerns are as follows:

  1. Departments are obtaining a list of their faculty that need to be reappointed (traditionally via HEPPS).
  2. Departments are required by the Faculty Code to conduct the reappointment process for their faculty.
  3. Departments are required by the Faculty Code to notify faculty of the reappointment decision by Dec 15, Dec 31, or by Spring Quarter, depending on their Job Class (no specific date or format is required).
  4. Letters for each reappointment are provided to AHR, and are used for entry into PRIME.
  5. Departments are obligated to maintain accurate payroll and human resources records for their faculty.
  6. AHR has an organizational obligation to maintain institutional centralized personnel records for faculty, including accurate appointment end dates.
  7. AHR has an organizational obligation to maintain reappointment process outcomes for faculty.
  8. Appointments in HEPPS are automatically extended at the beginning of each new academic year unless an action is specifically taken to end the appointment.
  9. There are significant inconsistencies in appointment data between PRIME and HEPPS.

Goals

  • Increase awareness of the necessity of the reappointment process and the population subject to reappointment for all Units.
  • Eliminate the need for AHR to store a paper document for each reappointment in each faculty member’s personnel file.
  • Increase compliance with reappointment policies as laid out in the Faculty Code.
  • Increase accuracy of appointment data in PRIME in preparation for migrating to the new HR/Payroll system.
  • Record reappointment decisions as a specific personnel action in PRIME.

Solutions

  • Provide each Unit with a spreadsheet of faculty subject to reappointment that is to be returned to AHR by April 1 of each year.
  • Develop the means to process the reappointments in bulk, as separate personnel actions, within PRIME.

Results

  • AHR has continually reduced the number of discrepancies between Unit level data and data contained in PRIME
  • AHR sought and received information regarding appointment end dates as well as information on people who left the university, changed titles, were holding an incorrect title in HEPPS or PRIME, etc.
  • The data integrity within PRIME has improved at a tremendous rate based on new information AHR received (see previous bullet point). AHR now has a clearer picture of policy misunderstandings in each Unit and can offer trainings and helpful materials.
  • PRIME now reflects reappointment actions for the 2011-12 academic year, including reasons for non-renewal, if applicable. This allows Academic Personnel to perform as needed reporting as well as provide accurate information to our partners within the Units.
  • AHR learned that there is a wide range of how this information is recorded in the various Units. Some have very sophisticated systems, and some have heavily manual systems.
  • AHR does not have to file documentation in individual personnel files for reappointment actions that were included in the bulk reappointment process.
  • AHR was able to create a baseline for Unit compliance with the reappointment policy, and measure improvement against that baseline.
  • All reappointment actions, regardless of whether they were performed via the bulk upload or individually, were recorded as “renewal” actions in PRIME.

Measurable Benefits

  • Total estimated annual savings for Academic Personnel in Year 1 of project: $11,550 due to increased efficiency in Data Entry, Preparation & Materials, and Filing
    • Reduction in data entry – estimated at 146 hours (valued at $2,920)
    • Elimination of paper copies – estimated value of $4,430
    • Reduction in filing – estimated at 210 hours (valued at $4,200).
  • Total estimated annual savings for Academic Personnel in Year 2 of project: $20,000 due to improved data quality, business processes and technical efficiencies.
    • Estimated time saved on processing individual renewals:
  • 45% decrease in the number of renewals processed individually from Year 1
  • Several opportunities for increased efficiency were identified in the data analysis process.
    • Estimated time saved on processing renewals using the upload utility:
  • Several improvements were made to PRIME which allowed the renewals to be processed in less than one working day.
  • 24% increase in the percentage of renewals processed through the upload utility.

Future Steps

  • Continue to improve benefit of new process by decreasing the rate of failures in the bulk upload process.
    • Improve clarity of procedures and timelines for Departments.
    • Design and implement a web based utility to support better integration of real-time information.