Human Resources (HR) Redesign:


To realign and consolidate Senior HR Leader and HR Unit Representative roles and strengthen reporting relationships. (HR-01 Business Case/Activity 1)

The role of Human Resources for the University is to:

  • Create HR strategy, processes and culture to support talent management (recruitment, retention, development, succession), engagement, health  and productivity of faculty and staff
  • Anticipate and respond  to workforce and/or other changes to align with organizational needs
  • Collaborate with other leaders in operational and strategic decisions impacting people
  • Manage risk through compliance with legal, financial and/or organization requirements and through application of best practices

Case for change:

  • 80% of current Unit HR Representatives  (not including UI Health Care) spend on average 25% of their time (10 hrs./wk.) on their HR responsibilities
  • Combination of responsibilities in multiple functions does not allow for the depth of knowledge needed to provide HR services efficiently and effectively
  • The work of HR Leaders and Representatives continues to evolve to be more complex.  The inability to focus exclusively on their HR role can cause inefficiencies and limit effectiveness, in contrast to full time HR professionals.  The need for greater efficiency and effectiveness in at the heart of this redesign. 
  • Along with greater efficiencies, full time HR professionals are better able to utilize HR strategy and provide support leaders and employees at the local level.

The recommendations identified as HR-01 were accepted by the Board on October 1, 2014:

  • Consider establishing direct reporting line from Senior HR Representatives (Reps) to Central HR, and from HR Unit Representatives to Senior HR Reps, to increase consistency in service delivery
  • Revise Senior HR Rep and HR Unit Rep roles to be full-time dedicated HR staff. Currently, most HR Reps perform functions outside of HR, which leads to a greater number of Reps and distribution of HR knowledge, but decreased depth of knowledge. Streamline HR responsibilities among HR Reps (while maintaining both Senior HR and HR Unit Rep positions) to provide more effective and efficient service. Consider having HR Reps specialize in certain areas (e.g., recruiting) to provide their expertise to multiple departments
  • Conduct review of low volume, high complexity items that are performed departmentally and streamline effort into trained experts — possible examples include Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) compliance, recruitment compliance, and immigration
  • Streamline processes, such as recruitment, promotion, and change of status processing, by reducing handoffs and manual processing (e.g., candidate exclusion justification during recruitment, entering change of status forms into PeopleSoft)
  • Clarify university strategic priorities around workforce planning as it relates to HR and Compliance

Through investments in technology, the University of Iowa has automated many human resources (HR) processes. By reducing time spent on transactional processes, the University has been able to offer a wide array of HR services in areas such as workforce planning, organizational effectiveness, and wellness. However, the current decentralized operating model leads to some inconsistencies and inefficiencies in service delivery. By implementing the potential changes, SUI could further increase the efficiency and effectiveness of HR services.

A copy of the initial Deloitte recommendations can be found on pages 82-90 of the business case discussion document from the October 1, 2014 Regent’s meeting:

Future state description

Refer to the FileFuture State Description (docx) document.