TO: Professional and Scientific Staff
I am pleased to tell you that University staff will benefit in the new fiscal year from several improvements that have been supported by University Human Resources:
The planned restoration of the University’s 10% contribution toward TIAA-CREF was effective July 1, and will be reflected in the earnings statements on August 1, 2011. The reduction to an 8% retirement contribution over the last eighteen months was in response to a significant decrease in state appropriations, and the savings this reduction produced proved to be vital to the University’s ability to avoid widespread layoffs or more staff furloughs. Through strong enrollments and careful stewardship, we have now come through the most difficult economic times and employees can again enjoy the full benefit of the University contribution.
Faculty and staff memberships to the UI Wellness and Recreation Center and the other UI Recreation Facilities have now exceeded 3000! This total represents an increase of over a thousand memberships since January. Employees who complete the Personal Health Assessment in Self Service receive cash ($50 the first year and $65 in succeeding years) and receive a discounted membership to UI Recreation Facilities with the expectation that they use the facilities at least 52 times per year in 2011. A decision about whether this facilities incentive will be extended for 2012 will be made this fall.
A collaboration of UI Wellness, Health Iowa, UIHC Food and Nutrition Services and University Housing has launched the UChoose program to make it easier to make healthy food choices when eating on campus. By increasing awareness of healthy food options and creating an environment that supports healthy food choices, we can all benefit from healthier lifestyles. One way you will recognize the work of this program is by the use of an apple logo on food items in UI food outlets indicating that specific items meet recommended nutrition guidelines. For more information on these guidelines and the UChoose program, go to: http://www.healthcare.uiowa.edu/uchoose/
UI Learning and Development is bringing training on computer applications to the campus this summer, following a very popular series in the spring. These classes are in response to several requests from staff and departments to develop individuals’ expertise in the use of Access, Excel and Word applications. We received very positive reviews on these programs and the benefit staff received.
The Board of Regents has extended the University’s phased retirement program for another five years through 2017. This program is not applicable in all circumstances, but has been a valuable tool for both employees and departments that have used it upon mutual agreement.
The Compensation and Classification Redesign Project for Professional and Scientific staff is moving toward implementation of the new classification system later this month, with implementation of the new compensation framework anticipated in October 2011. This has been a long and meticulous process, building a system that will address many of the flaws that had developed in the old system. Some of these changes require new ways of thinking, and staff will continue to receive more information about the new system and the improvements it brings in the coming weeks. Our project goal is to better support the recruitment, retention and development of staff at the University, and we believe we are well on our way toward meeting this goal.
As always, I want to recognize the hard and valuable work that staff do at the University, and extend my appreciation for your individual contributions. The people of the University make it successful, and I am gratified that University Human Resources can support the staff and faculty who fulfill our mission of teaching, research and service to the State of Iowa.
Vice President for Human Resources
Last Updated July 2011