First a comment on the CHRO (or Deputy) – from what I can find, this position has not been filled since the prior occupant resigned during the cheating scandal. From my experience, if the right person is in place, the job of weeding out incompetence and overstaffing is much easier. A great CHRO is not the touchy-feely type – they are hard-nosed business people who understand that the personnel either make or break an organization. I have worked with some great ones and they always had a huge impact on the performance of the organization. My hope is that this position is filled soon and with an individual with the “right stuff”.
Regarding the FY13 budget – this division includes Human Resource Services, Personnel Services, Human Resources Information, Internal Resolution and Risk Management. The total FY13 Proposed Budget is $4.4 million as compared to the $4.9 million FY12 Amended Budget and the $4.8 million FY12 Approved Budget. The current proposed budget is 10.5% less than the FY12 Amended Budget and 8.0% less than the FY12 Approved Budget. While they hit the 10% decrease target, there is some good and bad in the details. The division is eliminating a total of three positions resulting in a decrease in Salaries of $188k or 5.6% (note – the Employee Benefits did not decrease a corresponding percent and is probably an error). The balance of the decrease is an additional reduction of $168k in Professional Services.
In my opinion, it would have been preferable if the HR group had in fact cut 10% of the staff – this only would have resulted in two additional cuts. This would have made their internal staff reductions consistent with what is being asked of the other departments, including instruction. Also, this group spends over $660k in Professional Services and Other Purchased Services – this seems excessive and the details of this spending should be made public.
Having complimented the division on meeting the 10% cut, when I examine the detailed departments, the story is not so pretty. Let’s take a look.
Human Resource Services (8005) – this department increased from 5 positions to 6 with the addition of an Ethics and Standards Officer. Is this position really needed or are they simply trying to fight the last war? My sense is that the organization is aware that a MASSIVE CHEATING SCANDAL will DAMAGE the organization and the organization is likely policing itself fairly well. It is likely that the impact of this position will be more PR than any substantial effect on the “ethics” of the APS system – but in the future when the next scandal occurs APS can always say – we tried our best – look we had an Ethics Officer! (what a crock). Also, the bulk of the Other Purchased Services is in this department – what is being purchased?
Personnel Services (8004) – If I were one of the employees being let go this year, this Proposed Budget would make me hopping mad! Let’s get this straight – 350-500 positions are being cut, the staff levels have been in decline for the last three years and now it is time to increase the number of positions in the Personnel Department? While the increase in positions is only one, to keep in tune with the rest of the organization this department should cut three positions not add one. I am speechless – and it indicates the Personnel Department is tone deaf!
Human Resources Information (8003) – the staffing is reduced from four positions to three. Why didn’t the Salaries line item decline a corresponding amount? Likely this is another budget error that needs to be corrected.
Internal Resolution (8002) – Finally we find the only real hero in this group – the positions have been cut in half – from six to three. Why wasn’t there a corresponding decrease in Salaries which only came down 6.4%? Is this another budgeting error (same with Employee Benefits)? This is really getting tiresome!
Employee Benefits/Risk Management (8006) – OK, some effort was made in this department – they eliminated an HR Assistants position. Glad they made the tough call – how about making one more tough call and eliminate one more position so the department aligns with the rest of the organization trends? Let’s get with the program!
As I said above, a tough minded Chief Human Resources Officer would create an example and reduce staffing in a meaningful way in HR – and by doing so, the department would set an example for the rest of the organization. Dr. Davis – you led the way by example – please demand the same from the other organization leaders!