Law School Labor-Management Meeting Summary: March 23, 2016
Kojay Pan (Assistant Dean) and Summer Korst (HR Director) met with several members of the Law School’s support staff team to answer questions and provide updates on current priorities and initiatives at the Law School, summarized below.
The Law School underwent a strategic reorganization in the last year with the goal of improving business processes and gaining efficiencies where possible. As part of this transition, Law School leadership has prioritized increasing fiscal transparency, improving internal and external communications, and facilitating better understanding across units.
Building the Budget
Efforts Underway: Law School leadership will be working with each unit this spring to budget for the coming fiscal year. Units will be asked to submit their budgets by the end of April, with the goal of releasing the budgets by June of 2016.
Stay Tuned: More detailed communications to staff on the budgeting process are currently in the works.
Staff Outreach: Law School leadership is prioritizing increased outreach to staff to hear input, glean insights, and to keep the Law School community apprised of important initiatives.
Staff Input: In recent weeks, Kojay has met one-on-one with support staff to solicit input. Thus far staff and faculty have shared positive feedback, and Kojay and Summer will continue to support open and ongoing dialogue.
Keeping Staff Involved: Meeting regularly with staff has helped build mutual understanding and productive relationships, and while work remains to be done, Law School leadership remains committed to being transparent and available to staff.
Onboarding Discussion: The group discussed the onboarding process for new employees and brainstormed strategies in support of greater communication and familiarity between units within the Law School.
Context: The onboarding processes for new staff and faculty have changed over time. General tours and materials for new hires have been scaled back.
Current Practices: Kojay and Summer currently work with managers to plan each new employee’s first week with a focus on helping new hires comfortably integrate within their work group, and also assist units in crafting email announcements.
Outlook: Law School leadership plans to leverage new Associate Dean Scott Schumacher’s leadership and experience to coordinate a more robust onboarding program for faculty.
Ideas Discussed: Kojay, Summer, and staff brainstormed strategies to welcome new hires as well as foster greater communication and community across the Law School. Ideas included:
- Photo Intros: Adding a photo to emails introducing new hires;
- Staff-driven Meetings: Holding staff meetings where staff have greater ownership in facilitating the conversation;
- Team-building: Organizing sessions designed to encourage dialogue, relationships, and understanding among staff and across units.
The meeting participants agreed to establish standing joint labor-management meetings each quarter as a venue to continue such conversations.