Workgroup no.2 talks data, reorganization,  reclassification

Cassie Buchman, News Editor

Workgroup no.2, which focuses on university technology, talked about ways to retain and recruit technology employees and the data they still need at their meeting Monday.

 The group is thinking about reclassifying some individuals as a way to attract new talent to Eastern.

 Biological sciences professor Billy Hung said the university has lost some staff members to private industries, and there is a need to be competitive.

 To become more competitive, Workgroup no.2 talked about the possibility of moving some technology employees from a civil service classification to an Administrative and Professional classification.

 Hung said the group could consider some of the high level management positions be assigned to A and P classifications, or they could recommend the university expand the use of the custom classes to better reflect employees’ contribution and skill level.

 The IT employees’ job requirements and skill sets are more in line with what Hung would consider an A and P employee, he said.

 The pay range is a big factor for the recruitment and retention of employees, as well as some benefits that could impact people’s decision to stay at Eastern.

 “It’s similar to what we do for faculty,” Hung said. “We hire faculty from all across country and world, and do what we can to attract them.”

 Webmaster Ryan Gibson said it seems to him it would give some people a better sense of security in their job, as the bumping system, where employees who are laid off can choose to take another position, is different for A and P employees.

 They are also recommending a reorganization of how IT is structured on campus to make it so some of them or a substantial portion be regrouped under a single reporting structure.

 Instead of one person reporting to the vice president of academic affairs or another reporting to the vice president of business, both would answer to a new position suggested by the group in past meetings.

 The name the group is proposing for the position is Chief Information Officer. If implemented, this person would coordinate technology on campus.

 “They are going to have to make what I call a strategic plan for technology,” Hung said.

 As of now, people who work in IT are distributed on campus through different vice presidents.

 Hung said the current system has a lack of coordination.

 “(With the reorganization) we don’t cover the same things twice while keeping others uncovered,” Hung said. “So it’s not necessarily adding or subtracting positions but reorganizing most of them, but not all of them to a single unit.”

 The data Workgroup no. 2 wants is to see how human resources and technology is distributed on campus.

 Hung said one of the measures the group is using to see this is a ratio of how many tech support people there are per student and faculty.

 “We don’t know until we know what the data’s been,” Hung said.

 One thing the group needs is more users’ experiences.

 “Is it adequate support, do you need more support in other areas?” Hung said as examples.

 While some of this information came from surveys the Workgroup sent out, this data was not as detailed as it needs to be.

 As the group decided they do not have the time, they suggested the CIO look into it when they potentially start.

 Hung said this will involve quantitative and qualitative data.

 “Both pieces need to be considered when making the final judgment,” he said.

Cassie Buchman can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].