The North Carolina College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR) met October 7 – 9 in Cherokee with about a 150 in attendance. It was a pleasure joining our campus HR colleagues, Christy Lennon, Chris Dinkins, Pearlie Patton and Kari Reese for the event. The opening keynoter, Jeffrey Mangum, a Chicago playwright and founder of the Theater-based Learning & Development, shared insight based upon a body of research conducted by Joseph Campbell. According to Campbell, research tells us that there are a set of specific needs that must be met on the leadership journey in order for one to become a “hero.” We learn more through our eyes than we ever will with our ears. We need to take seriously our obligation as leader in supporting those that report to us. Make sure each one feels safe enough around you to give their truest opinion. Each journey begins with a slight imbalance. There is always room to improve our retention, our ability to engage, productivity efforts, and improvement of team effectiveness.
There are six steps on the journey towards succeeding, (1) the call to adventure – most people will say no first, these are the ones you want; (2) supernatural aid – tempering your hero for the trials that come; (3) crossing the first threshold – this is what makes your place unique; (4) the trials – any obstacle that stands between the hero and the prize; (5) the prize – the more clarity you give it the more likely they are to achieve it; (6) the return – this is what the hero gets.
Beth Tyner Jones, from the Womble Carlyle Law Firm gave the HR update. It was during this session that I was reminded of some pending legislature surrounding positions classified as exempt. There are proposed salary changes that could take the current minimum from $23,660 a year to $50,440. Campuses should start now by conducting audits of all exempt positions. Do they meet the established criteria? Some employers may have classified a position as exempt in an effort to reduce overtime pay. Beth also discussed the ACA compliance. It was here that we learned that resident advisers are not counted as FLSA employees.
With laptops, email and the need to be online at all times, Beth asked the audience if we had considered when compensable time starts. Here are a couple of considerations to think about. Do you send your employee an email the night before with the expectation that they read it before they get to work? Does your employee travel to a conference, if so, are they gone more than the 7.5 hour work day?
During the session on the Intersection of Title IX and Human Resources, I was pleased to see that WFU has already complied with the necessary steps as outlined by the presenter. Among those recommendations was the establishment of a dedicated Title IX coordinator, engaging in ongoing efforts to educate students, faculty and staff about sex discrimination and what it means, conducting an assessment of the campus climate and establishing/communicating the grievance procedure.
Chris Dinkins joined a panel of presenters discussing the Higher Education Recruitment Consortium (HERC) for which WFU is a contributing partner. Wake joins ECU, NCCU, Davison and Pitt Community College in this effort. HERC offers the largest database of higher education and related jobs in the world. All jobs are cross posted on the leading job board aggregators. The recruitment and retention of exceptional and diverse faculty and staff are critical to NC Colleges and Universities. Collaborating on strategies and methods to help in the area would be a huge win for North Carolina. Wake actually hosted on November 9 an informational meeting in an effort to recruit other interested NC schools.