AP NEWS

UA officials announces reorganization of HR department

May 8, 2019

FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — The University of Alaska has issued lay-off notices to 48 employees as part of an overhaul of its human resources department.

UA President Jim Johnsen announced the changes, which will include downsizing, on Monday. He called the changes a redesign.

“This is not a merger — it is a complete redesign based on best practices in higher education, which will lead to increased efficiencies that ultimately serve you better,” Johnsen wrote in an email to employees. “We want to make our search for new talent more efficient and our onboarding of new employees more effective.”

Laid-off employees can apply for jobs in the reorganized department. Layoffs will take effect in September.

There are 51 HR positions in the university system, said UA spokeswoman Robbie Graham. Fourteen of the people given a layoff notice are at UA Fairbanks.

The university will see cost savings from downsizing the number of directors within human resources and accompanying efficiencies, Graham said. The impetus, however, is a desire to create efficiencies and provide better customer service, she said.

Funding is an ongoing concern for the university. State representatives and senators discussed the operating budget in a conference committee this week. Amid uncertainty, the UA Board of Regents planned a special budget meeting Thursday in Anchorage.

The university’s new human resources structure will change from a traditional office to five specific areas of focus: operations, talent acquisition, transition and benefits, labor and employee engagement, and organization development.

Some position descriptions, and the locations for people to fill them, remain unsettled, Graham said.

“Some will be place-based, but many positions will not be, meaning they can do their job from any location,” Graham said by email.

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Information from: Fairbanks (Alaska) Daily News-Miner, http://www.newsminer.com