Spring 2013 Town Hall meetings: Questions and Answers

Author: Carol C. Bradley

Spring 2013 Town Hall Meeting

Q: (For John Affleck-Graves) You mentioned that you have one-on-one meetings with staff members. What topics are being covered in these meetings?

A: I have enjoyed the opportunity to spend a few minutes with employees during my open one-on-ones. Many employees have simply wanted to introduce themselves to me and talk a little bit about what they work on. Some employees have shared ideas about things that can be improved at the University. Others have shared concerns. It has been great spending time with employees in this setting, and I plan to continue to offer these one-on-one opportunities. Future appointment times will be communicated via email.

Q: (For Father Jenkins) In past town hall meetings, you mentioned the University Strategic Plan. Can you give us an update on this project?

A: There is nothing more important on my plate at this time than the University Strategic Plan. We continue to work on the plan and we expect to launch a website in the coming months to provide more detailed information on our work.

Q: (For Bob McQuade) When do you anticipate rolling out the supervisor evaluation process University-wide?

A: We are in the final evaluation phase with our pilot group of the Upward Feedback program, and I expect that we will be able to launch this initiative University-wide next year.

Q: (For John Affleck-Graves) Is there an update on the Douglas Road project?

A: Planning and preparation continues on the Douglas Road project. As soon as the ground thaws, construction will begin. The target date of completion is in August.

Q: (For John Affleck-Graves) There is so much valuable knowledge among the faculty and staff here on campus. Is there any discussion about providing a vehicle to share knowledge, such as an online wiki or something similar?

A: Improving our internal communication is a focus for us. We are currently talking about ways that we can assess our communication tools and provide effective and meaningful ways to communicate with all employees.

Q: (For John Affleck-Graves) How often is Bright Ideas checked?

A: Submissions to Bright Ideas are checked on a daily basis. My office may need to follow up with other units on campus in order to assess the feasibility of certain ideas and then would try to respond to your idea in a timely manner.

Q: (For Bob McQuade) Are there any plans for creating a partnership with the master’s program at IUSB?

A: In the recent past, IUSB offered a specially tailored master’s program in educational leadership on the campus of Notre Dame. Unfortunately, IU administration determined that the program could not be sustained. IUSB continues to offer a similar master’s program at its campus.

Notre Dame continues its commitment to providing employees opportunities to further their education. Notre Dame offers tuition reimbursement for courses taken at an accredited institution, including IUSB, toward an undergraduate or graduate degree. Ivy Tech also continues to offer an associate degree program on the Notre Dame campus, and the University fully funds the employee’s tuition, books and fees for this accelerated program. Notre Dame also funds GED and ENL classes for our employees. For more information about educational benefits for faculty and staff, visit hr.nd.edu/benefits.

Q: (For Bob McQuade) Will the Wellness Center be expanded?

A: It is too soon to make decisions about an expansion. The utilization at the Wellness Center continues to increase and we will monitor the changing requirements.

Q: (For Bob McQuade) In your presentation on ND Voice, you said we were below the benchmarks in three categories. How far below were we?

A: In Respect & Fairness, we were 3 percent below the Custom Higher Education benchmark. In Accountability we were 4 percent below, and in Effectiveness we were 10 percent below.

Q: (For John Affleck-Graves) Are there any changes to parking coming in the near future?

A: We have long-term plans to build a research building on the library parking lots. If that happens, we would then be faced with the very real possibility of having to build a parking structure on campus. The time frame for these changes is three to five years.

Q: (For Bob McQuade) Are there any plans to allow part-time employees to use the Wellness Center?

A: There are no plans at this time to expand the eligible population for using the Wellness Center.

Q: (For John Affleck-Graves) When it rains, there is quite a bit of flooding that happens on the new sidewalk along Holy Cross Drive behind Lewis Hall. Can something be done to fix this?

A: I will work with Doug Marsh in Facilities Design & Operations to see if something can be done to address this issue.

Q: (For Bob McQuade) How will you incorporate faculty supervisors into your management development activities?

A: Some faculty members have already participated in a pilot program called ND Lead specifically designed for faculty supervisors. Additionally, faculty supervisors have participated in various other management development programs on campus such as Leading with Impact and Front Line Supervision. Key leaders from the Office of Human Resources and the Provost’s Office are working now to further develop meaningful programs for faculty supervisors. We will also be soliciting feedback from those faculty members who have already participated in campus programs to ensure that these future programs meet the needs of faculty.

Q: (For John Affleck-Graves) How will the University use the old St. Joseph High School (Hillcrest Hall)?

A: We aren’t sure yet. Due to changes in zoning that would need to take place, we would need to invest some money in the building, so we are still exploring all options for how to use that space.

Q: (For Bob McQuade) What should I do if I disagree with the way my supervisor rated me on my performance review?

A: It is important to the University that all employees who wish to raise employment concerns have a variety of ways to do so. Our Performance Management process includes a self-review component that allows you to identify your performance achievements and opportunities from the previous year. At both the mid-year review and year-end review phases of this process, it is expected that you and your supervisor will meet to constructively discuss the achievements and ratings entered. Please consider approaching your supervisor, or another leader of your department if necessary, to engage in a productive and professional discussion. If you do not believe that your immediate supervisor is approachable, please contact the HR Consultant assigned to your department.

Remember that there is real value in learning how others’ perception of your performance may differ from your own. When delivered professionally and constructively, that feedback is an opportunity to recognize areas of development that might otherwise go unrecognized.

Q: (For Bob McQuade) How will the Affordable Care Act impact hours worked for temporary employees?

A: We are studying and reviewing the requirements of the Affordable Care Act and are unsure at this time what changes will need to be considered. We do plan to continue to monitor the hours of our temporary employees, a practice we have followed for some time.

Q: (For Bob McQuade) When is the next ND Voice?

A: We will launch the next ND Voice in the fall of 2014.

Watch video of the Town Hall meetings on evp.nd.edu.