5 Ways to Celebrate Digital Learning Day

February 20, 2018 9:00 am

Digital Learning Day, coming up on February 22, was started in 2012 as a way to actively spread innovative teaching practices and ensure that all youth have access to high-quality digital learning opportunities. In the six years since, the grassroots effort has grown into a nationwide celebration. While much of Digital Learning Day is focused on improving the learning experience in K-12 schools, there are many ways the rest of us can join in.

4 Tech Trends to Incorporate Into Your HR Communications Strategy

November 13, 2017 4:19 pm

With the dizzying pace of change in human resources these days, the need to capture employees’ attention and spur them to action has never been greater. At the same time, the distractions of our connected world are increasing exponentially. So how HR can cut through the noise, stand out from the clutter, and reach employees where they are?

Cheryl Stanton Nominated to Serve as Wage and Hour Administrator

September 8, 2017 9:00 am

President Trump has announced his intent to nominate Cheryl Stanton as the Labor Department’s Wage and Hour administrator. Stanton, who currently serves as the executive director of the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce, held multiple White House roles under President George W. Bush, serving as the White House’s principal legal liaison to DOL, the National Labor Relations Board and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

A Fresh Perspective: Introducing Emerging CUPA-HR Leaders

August 22, 2017 1:53 pm

The Emerging CUPA-HR Leader program recognizes volunteer leaders from across the country who have demonstrated exemplary leadership and initiative within higher ed HR and desire to play an active role in advancing the profession. Participants engage in problem-solving work groups and develop deep networks with peers while gaining an inside look at CUPA-HR's operations and structure.

NLRB Nominees Win Committee Approval

July 24, 2017 9:11 am

On July 19, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) favorably reported out President Trump’s nominations of Marvin Kaplan and William Emanuel to be members of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Approved in a 12-11 vote along party lines, Kaplan’s and Emanuel’s nominations now advance to the full Senate for consideration.

Award-Winning Work in Higher Ed HR

June 13, 2017 4:51 pm

Great work is being done by HR organizations and HR professionals at colleges and universities across the country. Each year, CUPA-HR recognizes these trailblazers with its Higher Education Human Resource Awards. Congratulations to this year’s recipients!

Labor Secretary Nominee Alex Acosta Wins Committee Approval

April 3, 2017 11:35 am

On March 30, the Senate committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) favorably reported out the nomination of President Trump’s choice for secretary of labor, Alexander Acosta. Approved in a 12-11 vote along party lines, Acosta’s nomination now advances to the full Senate for consideration.

Confirmation Hearings Continue for Trump’s Cabinet Picks

February 9, 2017 10:34 am

Fourteen of the president's Cabinet nominees have either just concluded or still face confirmation hearings by the Senate committee of jurisdiction for their designated post and a confirmation vote by the full Senate.

A New Year, a New Administration and a New Congress

January 19, 2017 9:00 am

Congress convened on January 3 to usher in the 115th Congress and begin immediate work in an effort to deliver on election promises. With Republican majorities in both houses, an incoming Republican administration and one of the busiest Congressional calendars in years, 2017 promises to be an action-packed year that will bring much change. .

12 Great Reads of 2016

January 10, 2017 8:20 am

CUPA-HR’s The Higher Education Workplace magazine and Higher Ed Workplace blog are full of articles and stories highlighting new and innovative ways to do HR (from institutions and organizations who have been there, done that). In case you missed them (we know it was a busy year!), here are some highlights from the magazine and the blog from the past year.

3 Ways to Make Your Performance Management Process More Effective

November 30, 2016 9:39 am

perfromance-managementIf you were to poll a random number of employees about your organization’s performance management process, what do you think they’d say? Chances are, they’d lament that it is not helpful, that it’s just one of those “must-do” tasks or that it doesn’t add value to their work. So how can we as HR professionals help turn the tide of ineffective performance management? How can we help managers understand the importance of creating a hands-on, ongoing dialogue surrounding an employee’s performance throughout the year?

The Bullying Effect: Costs and Consequences to an Organization

September 28, 2016 10:00 am

bullyingRemember that bully on the playground in middle school? The one that picked on his classmates? The one that gossiped and spread rumors about her “friends”? The one that made his peers’ lives miserable? That bully is all grown up now, and he’s in your workplace.

10 Ways to Create a Culture of Encouragement at Work

September 19, 2016 9:30 am

good-jobEncouragement is essential for employees to feel valued and engaged in the workplace, and leaders and supervisors should always be looking for ways in which they can encourage, affirm, recognize and value their team members. Here are 10 ideas for encouraging and recognizing employees on your campus.

What to Expect From Congress During This (Short) Session

September 13, 2016 2:16 pm

Given that all eyes are on November 8, it is likely that any controversial legislation will not be considered until the lame-duck session following the elections. Instead, Congress is expected to focus on eking out an agreement on a spending deal to prevent a government shutdown on September 30.

Resolving Workplace Conflict at the Ground Floor

September 6, 2016 3:32 pm

ChessThink about the many different work styles, personality types, viewpoints and temperaments in your organization. Now add to that mix competing ideas, workplace stress, ego and pride, and it’s easy to see how coworkers can butt heads. In an effort to help employees address interpersonal conflict in a timely and productive manner, Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne has implemented an informal, mediated conflict resolution process, created by and housed in the HR and office of institutional equity department.

Clinton v. Trump Workforce Policy

August 8, 2016 9:00 am

The upcoming election promises to fuel both federal and local interest in workforce regulation, as the leading candidates from both parties have focused their campaigns addressing inequality through a variety of measures, including changes to the laws governing the workforce. So just where do Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton stand on workforce policy?

The Journey Begins for Six Early-Career Higher Ed HR Pros

July 21, 2016 3:05 pm

Remember when you were first starting out on your higher ed HR career path? If you were lucky enough to have an ear to bend, a shoulder to lean on or footsteps to follow in early in your career, it likely helped you find your footing, gain some confidence and feel reassured and supported in your new role. This is exactly what CUPA-HR’s Wildfire program is designed to provide for a select few early-career higher education HR professionals each year.

Test Your HR Legal Knowledge: First Amendment

June 14, 2016 7:11 am

test-your-hr-legal-knowledge-CUPA-HRAre you an HR legal expert? Here’s a real court case to help test your HR legal knowledge. Review the facts of the case, tell us which side you think prevailed, and find out if you’re right! The Case: First Amendment – Epstein v. Suffolk Community College (E.D.N.Y. 2:14-CV-00937)

How to Bring the Fun at Work

May 12, 2016 4:16 pm

When was the last time you had honest-to-goodness fun at work? I’m talking tell-your-family-and-friends fun. Think-about-it-afterward-and-smile fun. Mentally-check-out-and-enjoy-the-moment fun. If you can’t recall the last time your team, department or office had fun as a group, it’s definitely been too long! For too many employees, work can be like groundhog day. Same tasks, same meetings, same conversations, same cubicle … week in and week out. A break from the monotony, stress and pressure, even for just 30 minutes, can do wonders for morale, engagement and productivity.

Small Victories – It’s Why I Do What I Do

May 3, 2016 12:34 pm

(This blog post was contributed by John Martin, associate director of client services at Princeton University and chair and treasurer of the CUPA-HR Eastern Region board of directors.) Isn't it amazing how people perceive our work and our chosen profession? HR has been hated by CEOs in Fast Company magazine, Forbes wanted to fire us, and Salon said that we don't give a damn. Consultants are constantly saying we should be outsourced, that we are an expense and not a revenue generator. And think of how we've been portrayed in movies and pop culture – as inept, uncaring or just plain goofy, from the two Bobs in "Office Space" to poor Toby in "The Office" and the cold and manipulative Ryan Bingham, played by George Clooney, in "Up in the Air."

Get People Talking – How to Effectively Facilitate Dialogue

April 6, 2016 9:10 am

The ability to facilitate dialogue and create spaces in which people can engage and share perspectives is a key HR competency; however, it can be challenging to get people to talk and explore alternative perspectives in an environment where there are multiple views and opinions about everything we do. How can we, as HR professionals, hone our facilitation skills in order to promote dialogue and pave the way for open, honest communication?

Celebrate Digital Learning Day and Use Technology to Learn Every Day

February 9, 2016 10:17 am

DLD-blogIt seems like these days there’s a “day” for everything: National Cheeseburger Day (September 18), Talk Like a Pirate Day (September 19), World Introvert Day (January 2) … the list goes on. While these days have varying importance depending on who you talk to, there is one day we hope you’ll join us in celebrating — Digital Learning Day on February 17.

15 Great Reads of 2015

December 2, 2015 11:26 am

Can you believe there are only four weeks left in the year? (Keep calm and take deep breaths!) It’s been a busy one here at the CUPA-HR national office, and we know you too have been going like gangbusters. Hopefully you’ve been able to use some of CUPA-HR’s many resources and services to help you do your job faster, smarter and more efficiently over the past year. We also hope you’ve been able to adapt some of the successful practices and innovative ideas highlighted in The Higher Education Workplace magazine and this blog to your own institution, department or work team. In case you missed them (have we mentioned it’s been a busy year?), here are some highlights from the magazine and the blog from the past year.

Trending Topics From the Knowledge Center – November 2015

November 4, 2015 12:53 pm

higher-education-hr-newsIf it’s been a while since you visited CUPA-HR’s Knowledge Center, pop on over and take a look! We’ve added several new toolkits, and every few months we refresh the home page with timely and hot topics. The topics currently highlighted on the Knowledge Center home page include drug use in the workplace, HR's role in preventing cyberattacks, the president's executive order on paid sick leave for federal contractors and “skills in a box” resources related to collaboration around DEI efforts.

9 Competencies HR Pros Need in Order to Deliver Business Value

November 3, 2015 2:21 pm

65493961_thumbnailAs an HR professional, what knowledge, skills and abilities make you successful? What strengths help you contribute to your organization’s or institution’s mission, vision, values and goals? What traits enable you to add value and remain relevant? The RBL Group's 2015 HR Competency Study has identified nine competencies today's HR professionals must possess in order to strategically contribute to their organizations.

5 Ways to Drive Organizational Change

October 16, 2015 9:00 am

Time for ChangeAre the policies and practices at your organization in dire need of updates to make them more relevant, applicable and inclusive for your current workforce? If you answered “yes,” it may be time to start a revolution in your workplace. In the CUPA-HR Annual Conference session entitled, “What Kind of Revolution Shall We Start Today? Lessons From Political Scientists Who do HR," attendees sat at attention listening to and discussing with colleagues exactly what is needed to enact radical, positive and necessary change in our institutions.

House Ways and Means Subcommittee Holds Hearing on Higher Ed Costs and Tax Policy

October 14, 2015 4:07 pm

The purpose of the hearing, as Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL) stated in his opening remarks, was to “examine whether federal tax policies for colleges and universities are best serving students and families” and how changes to these policies may increase college affordability. The subcommittee focused on four factors possibly impacting tuition: federal student aid; the manner in which schools spend their money; executive compensation; and endowments.

Highlights From the 2015 Annual Conference in Orlando

October 6, 2015 2:53 pm

session_2 More than 900 higher ed HR pros from all 50 states and nine countries gathered in Orlando, Florida, last week for learning, connecting and inspiration (and maybe a little playing, too!) at the CUPA-HR Annual Conference and Expo 2015. Here are some highlights from our time together.

3 Tips for Flexible Performance Management

September 29, 2015 2:55 pm

University of Utah recently put in place a requirement for annual performance reviews for all staff. In order to streamline the process and create strategic alignment, human resources designed an online performance management system. Jeff Herring, chief HR officer at University of Utah, and Andrea Brown-Christensen, the university’s director of service delivery, shared with CUPA-HR annual conference attendees how they did it.

What to Expect When the OCR Investigates

September 29, 2015 8:26 am

The last thing Karen Briggs, associate vice president and chief human resources officer at San Diego University, expected the institution to receive was an investigation notice from the Office of Civil Rights (OCR). Yet, that’s exactly what happened last spring. At the CUPA-HR Annual Conference and Expo 2015, Briggs shared her insight into OCR investigations, how the university has tackled the monumental task and what other institutions should expect were they to be subject to an investigation.

CUPA-HR Submits Comments on “Blacklisting” Regulations

August 27, 2015 1:56 pm

capitolhillOn August 26, CUPA-HR submitted joint comments with the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) in response to the government's proposed “blacklisting” rule for federal government contractors, which was published in the Federal Register on May 28, 2015. The proposal would require federal contractors and those bidding on contracts to disclose, on a biannual basis, any actions where a state or federal agency alleges or a court or administrative agency finds the contractor or bidder or one of their subcontractors violated federal or state labor and employment laws within the last three years.

Lessons Learned From Implementing a Homegrown Performance Management System

August 27, 2015 10:55 am

performanceHelping our organizations manage performance is an important part of what we do as HR professionals. Organizational leaders look to us to provide direction, guidance and oversight for the performance management process. And with more and more organizations moving to competency-based performance appraisals, many of us are having to take a fresh look at our talent management strategies. Here, Oregon State University’s chief HR officer shares some lessons he and his team learned during the development and implementation of an in-house-built performance management system.

Test Your HR Legal Knowledge: First Amendment

July 22, 2015 9:23 am

test-your-hr-legal-knowledge-CUPA-HRWhether "HR legal expert" is already on your list of mastered HR competencies or you're working to get it there, here’s a real court case that will test your HR legal knowledge and risk management acumen on the First Amendment. Review the facts of the case, tell us which side you think prevailed, and find out if you’re right! The Case: Campus Cop Love Triangle — Goff v. Kutztown University & Its Police Chief (E.D. Pa., 10/22/14)

Student Success — It’s HR’s Job Too

July 8, 2015 9:15 am

HiResEvery individual in an organization is responsible for helping that organization meet its bottom line. For higher ed, the bottom line is student success. While HR contributes behind the scenes to student success in myriad ways, it’s not often we’re able to be front and center. However, when leadership at Alamo Colleges last year charged every department on campus with making a direct impact on student success and engagement, HR met the challenge.

Selling and Influencing – All in a Day’s Work (Yes, Even in HR!)

July 1, 2015 10:09 am

Danielpink2An HR pro is lots of things … but a salesperson? An influencer? A mover and shaker? Best-selling author and business analyst Daniel Pink says, “Absolutely!” Ahead of his keynote address at this year’s CUPA-HR Annual Conference and Expo, we had the chance to speak with Pink about this notion.

Test Your HR Legal Knowledge: Age Discrimination

July 1, 2015 9:07 am

test-your-hr-legal-knowledge-CUPA-HRAre you looking to add "HR legal expert" to your resume? Here’s a real court case that will help test your HR legal knowledge. Review the facts of the case, tell us which side you think prevailed, and find out if you’re right! The Case: "New Blood" Age Discrimination — Allain v. University of Louisiana System (W.D. La., 1/22/15)

When You Care Enough to Send a Card

June 11, 2015 8:06 am

envelopeWho doesn’t love getting a card in the mail? The hand-addressed envelope, the real stamp in the corner, the excitement of what might be inside — a treasure in the midst of a stack of bills, junk mail and advertisements. If you’re like me, before you even open it your day is already a little brighter with the thought that someone cared enough to send you well wishes. It was this sentiment that led the Workers’ Compensation and Disability Management Services Team at University of California, Irvine to create its Care Cards program. The concept is a simple one: any UC Irvine employee who takes a medical leave of absence receives a card in the mail signed by each member of the team with a customized message and information about who to contact if they have questions or concerns about their leave or claim.

CUPA-HR Testifies Before Joint Committee on ACA Issues

June 3, 2015 3:13 pm

Carroll_060315_300x189 Because the Affordable Care Act (ACA)’s employer mandate does not specifically exclude most student workers, it poses a dilemma for colleges and universities. This issue was highlighted in CUPA-HR’s testimony on June 3 before the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee regarding the impact of the ACA on colleges and universities.

Best Practices for a Workplace Financial Education Program

June 3, 2015 10:26 am

spend-save-blog-300What stresses you out the most? If you’re like the majority of Americans, it’s money. From healthcare costs to saving for retirement to sending your kids to college and paying off debt, money worries are a near constant for most people. By putting in place a comprehensive workplace financial education program, organizations can help ease the burden of financial woes for their employees.

Mapping Out a Plan for a Career in Higher Ed HR

May 28, 2015 5:13 pm

map-300pxIndividual development plans (IDPs) have been gaining traction in the work world as a way to help guide and inform next steps for those wishing to further their careers. An IDP can help you identify your strengths and pinpoint areas that might need improvement. It can help you flesh out your goals and aspirations and identify the best course of action to take to meet them. It can help you enhance your knowledge, skills and abilities and align these with your organization’s mission and goals. In short, an IDP serves as a roadmap for your career trajectory. And who better to steer the car than you? By following the steps below, you can get a jumpstart on a solid higher ed HR career plan.

How to Prepare for Your Role as Facilitator

May 12, 2015 1:00 pm

facilitationskillsFacilitators play a key role in helping teams, groups and departments function effectively. Whether coordinating a task force or compiling key points for a retreat, they are an integral component of how decisions are made and what work gets done.

Tips for Creating a Social Media Policy

May 6, 2015 1:22 pm

social_mediaWith new social media channels popping up almost daily and the many campus constituencies using social media, developing a comprehensive social media policy is an imperative for higher ed institutions. But what should that policy include, and how should it be framed in order to withstand scrutiny from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)?

Trending Topics From the Knowledge Center – April 2015

April 22, 2015 10:55 am

higher-education-hr-newsEach month, Knowledge Center content manager Patti Couger seeks out news briefs and timely resources to share on the Knowledge Center home page. Here are the topics highlighted this month: NLRB on Adjuncts and Graduate Assistants, ACA Cadillac Tax, Stay Interviews and Social Media Policies.

Faculty and Staff Orientation: A New Approach

March 18, 2015 5:12 pm

creativity-innovation-success-300pxIs your new employee orientation program a data dump, filled with policies and statistics and not much more? Do you inundate your new hires with PowerPoint slides and stacks of forms to fill out? Do you get the feeling your orientation and onboarding program leaves new hires feeling overwhelmed and drained? Not a great way to welcome new talent to your institution!

HR Audit – A Tool for Discovery

February 26, 2015 11:44 am

audit small (300x240)

On the spectrum of what has to get done, HR audits often fall on the lower end. But an audit done right offers a unique opportunity to take stock of where your HR organization is, where it wants to be, and how it can get there. Concerned about what it might turn up? The job of an audit is not to test the merits of your organization's work, but rather to serve as a tool for discovery.

And the Award Goes To …

February 25, 2015 4:14 pm

star on red carpet 300Great work is being done in HR departments in colleges and universities across the country — from diversity and inclusion efforts to HR transformation, innovation and excellence, your peers and colleagues are leading the way. CUPA-HR celebrates these successes each year with our annual Higher Education Human Resources Awards. The following blog posts and articles from The Higher Education Workplace magazine and CUPA-HR eNews highlight some of our past awards recipients and their programs. Read on to learn what great things are happening in higher ed HR across the country!

Welcome to the Higher Ed Workplace!

February 11, 2015 12:54 pm

welcome-mat-300pxHR is HR, right? Does the industry in which you work really matter? Aren’t the functional areas the same across all sectors? Yes and no. While the basic tenets of human resources work apply across the board, HR work in higher education requires a slightly different approach. From the pace of the work to the way work gets done, from the nuances of working with faculty and student employees to the overall culture of higher ed, it certainly takes some getting used to.

Creative Ways to Recognize and Reward Employees

January 26, 2015 3:50 pm

thumbs-up-blogHow do you do employee recognition? Does your program truly celebrate people and their accomplishments, or just reward longevity? Is there any element of surprise, or do employees know exactly what to expect year in and year out? What if you could create some buzz and excitement around rewards and recognition without breaking the bank?

14 Great Reads of 2014

January 14, 2015 9:03 am

great-readsHR organizations in colleges and universities around the country are doing some extraordinary work in the way of diversity and inclusion, workforce planning and development, HR transformation, innovation and more. Last year, we featured several of these successes in The Higher Education Workplace magazine and on this blog. Below are 14 articles and blog posts you may have missed (or may just want to revisit). Perhaps these reads will spark some ideas for you and your organization.

Patti’s Picks – 10 Can’t-Miss Knowledge Center Resources

January 8, 2015 3:23 pm

pattiIt’s hard to believe the CUPA-HR Knowledge Center turns 10 years old this year! We’ll celebrate this milestone in many ways throughout the coming year, but to kick things off, we asked Knowledge Center Content Manager Patti Couger to share her top 10 must-have, can’t-miss KC resources.

The Year Is Winding Down … Time to Catch Up!

December 17, 2014 3:50 pm

end of 2014 300pxIf you’ve already tied up all your loose ends for this year, these last few days in the office before the holiday break could be a good time to catch up on some of the things you may have pushed to the backburner (or may have missed altogether!). Over the past year or so at CUPA-HR, we’ve created several new resources and expanded upon many more that can help you do your higher ed HR job better. If you’ve been too busy to take a deeper dive into any or all of these resources, now may be the time!

Regulatory Agenda Released – Fall 2014

December 2, 2014 4:10 pm

Capitol_Building_Full_View-300 On Friday, November 21, the federal administration released its biannual unified regulatory agenda. Agendas are released twice a year, generally in April and November. They are designed to provide the public with information on regulations the federal government is currently considering and to prioritize action items for the coming year. The agenda released Friday sets target dates for each agency and sub-agency's regulatory actions, from the beginning to the end of the regulatory process, and provides insight into which issues will be a short-term focus for the agency. It also includes long-term action items to allow relevant parties to begin considering the impact these regulations may have.

A Book (Make It Two!) for Every Child

November 5, 2014 9:02 am

Picture2As part of this year’s CUPA-HR annual conference (held in San Antonio in late September), we focused our charitable efforts on providing books to children in need. Partnering with Fidelity Investments and Reading Is Fundamental, we were able to make a donation of 1,200 books to Passmore Elementary School in San Antonio.

Is Your Faculty and Staff Orientation Mind-Numbing or Memorable?

October 28, 2014 4:04 pm

bored peopleRemember how you felt on your first day at a new job? I do. On my first day at CUPA-HR – 10 short years ago – I was excited, nervous and eager to learn my way around and get to work. Not unusual for a new employee. But there's no faster way to tamp down fresh enthusiasm than a stale orientation or onboarding program. You know the kind – one or two talking heads and countless PowerPoint slides.

Lessons From a Compensation Structure Overhaul

October 20, 2014 12:39 pm


An outdated salary schedule, entry-level salaries that are out of sync with the market, and more than 1,000 different job titles that make equity comparisons next to impossible. Sound like a compensation challenge too tough to overcome? Think again.

In a packed session at the CUPA-HR Annual Conference and Expo 2014 in San Antonio, Texas last month, Ronda Rotelli, chief HR officer, and Rand Key, senior vice chancellor, from the Lone Star College System shared their experience with a compensation overhaul and the lessons learned along the way.

Federal Legislative and Regulatory Update for Higher Ed

October 16, 2014 12:55 pm

IMG_5431 (800x533) How did Chief Government Affairs Officer Josh Ulman start off his Washington Update session at the CUPA-HR Annual Conference last month? With politics. There’s no getting around it. Elections, including several competitive congressional races, are right around the corner; and the outcomes of those races are bound to have an impact on both legislation and regulation in the months ahead. Ulman also covered issues concerning the Affordable Care Act (ACA), labor-management relations and several executive orders.

Giving, Changing and Learning at the CUPA-HR Annual Conference

October 7, 2014 5:48 pm

concurrent_5-cupa-hr-annual-conferenceMore than 900 higher ed HR professionals from all 50 U.S. states and more than 15 countries came together in San Antonio, Texas last week for the CUPA-HR Annual Conference and Expo 2014. Author and Walgreens Chief Diversity Officer Steve Pemberton kicked off the conference with an inspiring message during his keynote presentation.

5 Simple Steps to Improve Performance Reviews

September 30, 2014 3:34 pm

Time for ReviewLack of accountability and leniency bias are common issues in performance evaluations, and they can lead to a situation in which it is difficult to address performance and/or behavioral issues. So what steps can higher ed HR professionals take to improve performance reviews?

Organizational Effectiveness in Higher Ed

September 29, 2014 10:50 am

chro-summit-cupa-hr-annual-conferenceAs chief HR officers joined together during the CHRO Summit September 28 at the CUPA-HR Annual Conference and Expo 2014 in San Antonio, Texas, process improvement and organizational effectiveness were just two topics of discussion that topped the priority list for these professionals.

Day One at the CUPA-HR Annual Conference

September 29, 2014 9:55 am

steve-pemberton-cupa-hr-annual-conferenceThis post was contributed by Justin Harris, human resources generalist at Tennessee State University . This year San Antonio not only hosted a successful basketball championship run by the San Antonio Spurs, but also a championship caliber group of higher education HR professionals who have descended upon the city for the CUPA-HR Annual Conference and Expo 2014.

8 Great Reads on Cultural Change, Diversity, Recruitment and Talent Management

September 17, 2014 10:49 am

A Chance in the World book coverTo prepare for the upcoming CUPA-HR Annual Conference and Expo 2014 in San Antonio, Texas, I thought I’d take the advice Wes Harmon gave in this blog post last year on making the most of your conference experience, so I set about reading a book by keynote speaker Steve Pemberton — A Chance in the World: An Orphan Boy, a Mysterious Past and How He Found a Place Called Home. Pemberton’s story is one that begins with profound abuse and neglect, yet ends (spoiler alert!) in victory with him overcoming his tough situation through hope and courage.

It’s tempting to think that Pemberton’s story is an extraordinary case — one that can’t be applied in an ordinary setting. You hear a story like his and might think, “Hey, that’s great, but my life is ordinary; I don’t have challenges that serious.”

Test Your HR Legal Knowledge: Race Discrimination

August 28, 2014 3:09 pm

test-your-hr-legal-knowledge-CUPA-HRAre you an HR legal expert? Here’s a real court case to help test your HR legal knowledge. Review the facts of the case, tell us which side you think prevailed, and find out if you’re right! The Case: College Tennis Coach Race Discrimination Claim — Minnis v. Bd of Supervisors of Louisiana State University (MD La.,No 3:13-CV-00005, 12/4/13)

The Job Family Approach to Career Development

August 21, 2014 2:51 pm

job-family Looking for a way to motivate your employees? Need some incentives to keep your best people? Struggling with employee engagement? Putting career development front and center can help address all these issues, and one approach to career development that is growing increasingly popular is job families.

7 Terms Unique to Higher Ed

August 15, 2014 3:08 pm

iStock_000015097052SmallOne of the first things many of those new to the higher ed workplace notice are the terms and phrases that are specific to colleges and universities. This “higher ed speak” can be confusing and convoluted to those who have come from the corporate world or are just beginning their higher ed careers. What’s the difference between a chancellor and a president? What are Carnegie classifications? What does IPEDS stand for?

There’s an App for That!

August 7, 2014 11:25 am

Tablet PC with cloud of application icons flying arroundTechnology has been a great addition to the arsenal of the HR professional, and there are many ways in which both software and hardware have been integrated into our everyday work experiences. One of my passions as of late has been mobile apps and how I can utilize them to be more effective in my job.

4 Essential I-9 Resources for Higher Ed

July 24, 2014 12:36 pm

I-9 The devil is in the detail, and nowhere is that more apparent than with Form I-9 compliance. Civil enforcement of I-9 requirements often focuses on form over substance, which means paperwork errors can result in fines of hundreds of thousands of dollars even without evidence of the employment of unlawful immigrants.

Throw in the mergers that have taken place in higher education over the past few years, and the volume of paperwork (and potential for error) can increase substantially. Carolyn Knight-Cole, associate vice president of human resources operations at Rutgers University, recently found herself with thousands of I-9s to review and, in some cases, reverify after her institution merged with another.

A Clear Connection for Two CUPA-HR Members

July 3, 2014 9:11 am

handshakeI recently received a request from someone who wanted to “connect” with me on LinkedIn. This person was someone active in my professional industry who I did not know. I accepted their invitation and was excited about the potential of getting to know them. Unfortunately, that’s where it ended. We were “connected” but we made no connection. Sound familiar?

A New Student Transcript Model Showcases Experiential Learning

June 26, 2014 4:14 pm

blog imageThrough a new student transcript model, Elon University has enabled its graduates to showcase their full college experience to potential employers. By listing not only coursework, but also accomplishments in Elon’s five signature experiential learning programs, the transcript provides a more robust picture of a student’s college education, from academics to in-the-field learning to opportunities to develop as a leader.

4 Tips for Succeeding in Higher Ed HR

June 12, 2014 9:57 am

iStock_000015097052SmallComing in to higher ed HR from another HR industry can be a culture shock. First, there’s the overall culture of higher ed — traditional, conservative, slow to change. Then there are the anomalies of specific types of institutions and their environments, not to mention the many different types of employees who are recruited, compensated and governed very differently. Understanding that working in higher ed is not “business as usual” is the first step to succeeding in this unique environment.

Test Your HR Legal Knowledge: FLSA

June 10, 2014 2:37 pm

test-your-hr-legal-knowledge-CUPA-HRAre you an HR legal expert? Here’s a real court case to help test your HR legal knowledge. Review the facts of the case, tell us which side you think prevailed, and find out if you’re right!

The Case: FLSA and Undocumented Aliens – Lamonica v. Safe Hurricane Shutters, Inc. (11th Cir. No. 11-15743, 3/6/13)

Innovation at Work

May 15, 2014 9:20 am

HiResWould you call yourself innovative? How about your department or team — innovators and change agents, or not so much?

If you answered “no,” take heart! Lisa Bodell, globally recognized innovation leader and futurist and founder of innovation research and training firm futurethink, asserts that we all have the innate ability to be innovative.

Talent Management for Faculty and Adjunct Faculty: Where Does HR Fit In?

March 26, 2014 9:50 am

In recent years the trend to employ part-time faculty has risen sharply. Institutional changes triggered by, for example, the implementation of the Affordable Care Act have institutions considering if hiring part-time faculty should be a continued, pragmatic solution for future success.

And though the hiring of faculty members (full- or part-time) primarily falls under the purview of academic affairs, some institutions are now seeking talent management advice and support from their HR leaders.

IRS Issues Final Regs for Calculating Adjunct Faculty Hours and More

February 11, 2014 10:01 am

irs-logoYesterday, the Treasury Department and IRS issued final regulations for calculating adjunct faculty hours, as well as students in work-study programs, seasonal employees and other employee categories under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for 2015.

We've summarized below, but be sure to read CUPA-HR's full write-up on the regulations for details on how they impact higher education institutions. 

10 Great Reads of 2013

January 15, 2014 8:47 am

great-readsInterested in creating employee resource groups on your campus but don’t know where to start? Looking for unique ways to increase the diversity of your workforce? Need to up your service game? Wondering how HR can contribute to your institution’s academic mission? You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers! Articles published last year by and about your higher ed HR colleagues delve into these topics and many more, so you can learn from their successes, their challenges and their expertise.

A “Campaign for Common Sense” to Facilitate Process Improvement

December 19, 2013 12:33 pm

Higher education institutions (and their people) aren’t necessarily known for their ability to adapt quickly and/or easily to change. But when the change could potentially make everyone’s jobs (and work lives!) easier, people are more apt to get on board.

Using John Kotter’s 8-step change model, the University of Arizona’s HR organization has been successful in leading a grassroots approach to organizational change.

Employment Law: How Can HR Help Avoid Litigation?

December 19, 2013 10:19 am

ira-shepardFor higher education, like many other sectors, 2013 was another year for contentious employment and labor law litigation. HR professionals should be especially alert and vigilant regarding any disputes related to:

  • ADA
  • First Amendment
  • Sexual harassment
  • Religious accommodation
  • Retaliation
  • FMLA
  • FLSA
These areas continue to be the most likely targets of plaintiff employment lawyers in prosecuting employment and labor cases.

Adjunct Faculty as Human Capital

October 29, 2013 7:29 pm

Students in classAdjuncts now make up nearly three-quarters of the higher education instructional workforce, and that number is growing every year. Different types of institutions use adjuncts to varying degrees, and the pros and cons of using off-the-tenure-track faculty are vast and varied, depending on who you ask. In the session “The Role of Adjunct Faculty as Human Capital” at the CUPA-HR Annual Conference and Expo 2013, attendees heard observations on the use of adjuncts from panelists from three different higher ed institutions. The consensus was that since adjuncts are here to stay, we need to find ways to help them succeed by leveraging their unique knowledge and talents and ensuring that they are contributing in a meaningful way to the institutional mission.

Setting the Pace With a Strategic Succession Planning Process

October 29, 2013 5:21 pm

During the CUPA-HR Annual Conference and Expo 2013, Betsy Garti and Bob Lazer of Pace University shared with conference attendees a program that has provided a strategic, planned approach to leadership continuity at Pace University and has helped ensure that the right people are in the right positions when needed now and in the future. HR (responsible for managing and facilitating the plan) began with an organizational review to ask and answer the question: Where are we today and where do we need to be tomorrow? The review took into account the future goals of the institution and helped emphasize the gaps that would need to be filled to move the institution forward.

What Is Good and What Is Right

October 28, 2013 7:19 pm

EthicsThe term “ethical behavior” means different things to different people. Conduct that may be unthinkable to one individual may be “no big deal” to another. And although some individuals certainly commit workplace misconduct and engage in unethical behavior for personal gain or self-promotion, others engage in such behavior for less devious reasons: misguided loyalty; pressure to succeed, meet deadlines or fit in; ambition; or maybe they simply don’t know what “the right thing to do” is in a certain situation. This is why it’s important for institutions to have a code of ethics, and for HR to conduct annual ethics training for all employees.

6 Steps for Resolving Conflict in a Professional Relationship

October 28, 2013 6:36 pm

Rock, paper, scissorsThere’s no getting around the fact that conflict is part of life, and work life is no exception. Conflict and upset in the workplace, particularly the higher ed workplace, can be driven by many things: the many diverse perspectives on campus (and often different cultural and societal norms and expectations), the collaborative nature of higher ed, unmet expectations, lack of communication, resentment and regret … the list goes on.

6 Ways HR Can Improve Staff-Faculty Relationships

October 28, 2013 5:00 pm

Today at the CUPA-HR Annual Conference and Expo 2013, attendees learned about staff-faculty partnerships from concurrent session presenters Susan Christy, Ph.D., Author and Higher Education Consultant and Deborah Orlowski, Ph.D., Senior Learning Specialist at the University of Michigan. If you weren't at today's session, check out the article "Transforming Staff-Faculty Relationships: Progress in Closing the Great Divide." In it, Christy (together with Jacqueline Matthews, Associate Vice President of Human Resources at Lehigh University) provides insight into ways HR can help improve the working relationship between staff and faculty.

How to Improve Performance With Metrics

October 28, 2013 4:24 pm

Georgia Regents University embraced a new approach to fostering organizational effectiveness by creating a metrics-driven incentive pay plan for leadership positions. They shared their story during the CUPA-HR Annual Conference and Expo 2013. The plan was intended to encourage senior leadership to work together around a common set of goals and enable shared impact among leaders on their total cash compensation. The plan included 50 original participants, 2.5 percent investment from the base pay of all participants and no payout unless metric targets were achieved (threshold-2.5 percent; target-5 percent; high performance -7.5 percent). Georgia Regents University.

HR as Integrator, Architect and Coach? 6 Questions to Launch the Transformation

October 28, 2013 1:06 pm

When it comes to HR transformation, one name stands out above the rest – Dave Ulrich, a professor of business at the University of Michigan and a partner at the RBL Group. Over his decades-long career, Ulrich has conducted thousands of hours of research on how HR can best contribute to organizational excellence; in other words, how HR can transform from transactional to strategic.

Exploring Competencies and Creating a Development Plan to Move Up the Campus Career Ladder

October 27, 2013 8:23 pm

20131027.174314During the Aspiring CHRO Workshop at the CUPA-HR Annual Conference and Expo 2013, presenter Mary Anne Berzins of the University of Utah encouraged attendees to find ways to incorporate learning and development into their everyday HR projects. After using the CUPA-HR Learning Framework to identify key competencies of a CHRO — understanding the higher ed business model, ethics and relationship building, among others — attendees created individual development plans with those competencies in mind.

7 Must-Have Policies for Higher Ed Institutions

October 2, 2013 4:05 pm

policyWith the ever-growing list of federal, state and local laws, creating an environment that promotes institutional compliance is a priority and an obligation for HR departments and general counsel alike. HR and counsel often must work together on a wide range of matters, including developing and updating a variety of institutional policies that serve to protect both the institution and its workforce. Here are seven policies that every institution should have in place (and they all need to be a collaborative effort between HR and campus lawyers).

Faculty Retirement 101: What HR Professionals Should Know About Faculty Retirement Transitions

October 2, 2013 4:05 pm

Mature adult business couple talking uid 1In 2011, the American Council on Education (ACE) embarked on an initiative to investigate the latter stages of faculty careers and how institutions could facilitate smooth transitions into retirement for faculty. Given the end of legally enforced mandatory retirement in 1993, it has been difficult for both faculty and administrators to navigate the path for faculty retirement.

Through site visits, focus groups, an invitational conference, and an awards competition for best practices (which contained a faculty survey with 3,283 responses), many trends related to faculty retirement emerged. The themes below highlight the issues that HR pros should be aware of, along with recommendations for solutions.

3 Steps to Starting (or Tuning Up) a Higher Ed HR Career Plan

September 5, 2013 3:23 pm

Right directionWorking as an intern on the learning and professional development team for CUPA-HR, I frequently find my thoughts turning to what’s next for me professionally.

There’s no shortage of online career planning advice, and I’ve found some great information on sites such as HOW. Although its focus is on design careers, they share great advice on setting career goals and creating action plans for achieving them that could be applied to any profession.

4 Questions to Ask When Creating a Risk Management Plan

August 14, 2013 1:01 pm

iStock_000008253527SmallAn earlier blog post this year mentioned the unique challenges faced by the higher education community regarding safety and risk management. It reminded us that we have unique challenges that often have no easy fix or “one catch-all” policy. Campuses were not created equal; therefore, how can our policies be equal?