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Frank Douma

Frank Douma is one of the CAPA members reviewing the benefits plan for University P&A staff.

CAPA encourages involvement in classification and compensation study

By John Borchert

From Brief, Nov. 8, 2006

The Office of Human Resources' classification and compensation study of the Academic Professional and Administrative (P&A) employee group has been of great interest to Council of Academic Professionals and Administrators (CAPA) members since it was chartered by vice president Carol Carrier in April.

Frank Douma, chair of the CAPA Benefits and Compensation Committee and a member of the P&A study working group, reports that the study is progressing well.

"When I attended the first meeting of this working group, I didn't know if I should show up with a sword and a shield or a pencil and paper," says Douma, assistant program director in the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs. "But the process has been fair and thorough, and it's only getting more so."

The group is examining classification and compensation policies for P&A employees at the University and will provide recommendations on how to improve them.

Mary Luther, one of the cochairs of the working group and director of compensation in the Office of Human Resources appreciates having CAPA involved in the process, which is important to University-wide Strategic Positioning efforts. Luther says the work of this group falls under the People Strategies Task Force initiative to "enhance classification and compensation systems across all job families."

Douma adds that the group now has a good collective understanding of their charge.

"One thing I've found important to tell P&A employees when I talk about the work of this group is that we're not discussing wholesale reductions in the size of the employee group, and the benefits we share with faculty are also not on the table," he says.

The group will be drafting recommendations designed to create new opportunities for the University and P&A employees, including:

The group is holding information sessions for P&A employees who want to learn more about its scope and process. In addition, the group is holding 17 focus groups with randomly-selected P&A employees to help determine the areas that need improvement. The group will also interview selected deans and directors and benchmark best practices at other universities.

"We've all learned a lot about compensation and classification law and policies," says Douma. "Now, before we make any recommendations, we're looking forward to discussing the issue with P&A employees."

The group expects to provide vice president Carrier with recommendations in spring 2007.

For more information, see the P&A Classification and Compensation Study.

The next CAPA meeting Friday, Nov. 17, 8:30 a.m.-noon, 101 Walter Library on the Twin Cities campus.