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Human Resources launches operational review

By Marcia Porter

The Department of Human Resources has just launched an operational review of its structure, the services it provides, and the way it interacts with its client departments and faculties across the university.

The review is supported and funded by the new Vice-Presidents' Council (VPC). The council is responsible for aligning budget, operations and policy with the university's mandate and its strategic priorities. This includes decision making on how to invest incremental resources and reallocate existing resources most effectively.

"Over the past few years, Memorial University has grown significantly, and there is a need for a new, pan-university vision around human resource planning and management," says Dr. David Wardlaw, provost and vice-president (academic) and chair of the VPC.

"From that vision, the next step is development of human resource services and policies based on best practices applied through the lens of Memorial's core values. Our people are our most valuable resource, and vital to the future growth and success of this university."

A consultant with an international reputation in the field of human resources was selected to carry out the review. The Hay Group has a history of working with post-secondary institutions across the country and understands their unique needs.

"We want to determine how best to align our priorities, processes and services with the university's strategic objectives," said Stephen Dodge, director, Department of Human Resources. "It's vital that we have the support of our senior administration. We look forward to their involvement in this important initiative."

As part of the multi-phased review, consultants from the Hay Group conducted a series of stakeholder interviews with staff in the Department of Human Resources, and some of its client departments during the month of November.
Over the next few months, consultants will work to identify priorities and service gaps, review key processes and compare Memorial's human resource functions with those at other universities in Canada.

A new mission and guiding principles for the Department of Human Resources, along with new structures and service delivery models, are expected outcomes.
Consultants will deliver a final report in April.

The VPC replaces the former Senior Executive Committee and is intended to be responsive to the diverse operational needs of Memorial. It's also aimed at creating greater co-ordination and collaboration among vice-presidential portfolios. The vice-presidential portfolios include Grenfell Campus, research, finance and administration, Marine Institute and academic.

"The operational review in Human Resources is one of the council's first major undertakings," says Dr. Wardlaw. "Though our portfolios are diverse and represent the depth and breadth of Memorial's employment environments, we all recognize the importance of good human resource planning and policy making."