Fostering a Quality Workplace

Five-Year Goal

UNCSA will attract, develop, and retain an exemplary faculty and staff inspired by a sense of mission, meaning, and purpose.

Objectives & Suggested Strategies

Foster a discernible shift in faculty, staff, and administration relations, including an increase in trust, communication, and willingness to act to achieve the vision.

  • Leadership models and rewards consistent traits that acknowledge systems and culture.
  • Leaders at all levels show and cultivate respect and reward strong communication.

Ensure all major decisions at institution and department levels are transparent (within appropriate human resources best practices).

  • Craft, approve, and implement a decision-making protocol.

2015 – Fall Update


  • Developing and improving healthy, productive campus communications.
  • Increase transparency and build trust.
  • Make better informed decisions.


  • Minutes from Cabinet.
  • Integration of efforts with efforts to improve internal communications through the new website & social media. Added Claire and Elizabeth to team.
  • Began discussing and compiling input for MySA upgrades on website.
  • Investigated what other schools are doing.
  • Began inventory of current communications vehicles.


  • Need to re-envision EFE.
  • Communications and Digital Media spread thin over a very large scope of effort.
  • Current communications are decentralized. Some communications evolved to overcome shortcomings in the old website.
  • Breaks in flow of information from top down and bottom up.


  • Increase awareness and use of MySA.
  • Make MySA the place to go for internal information.
  • Build accountability for effective communications into performance reviews.

Comments from Meeting

  • “Value” disconnect…
  • How to communicate.
  • Few small things? Well placed…
  • Small things to show people we care.


  • Better communication internal & external

2016 – Spring Update

In FY16, through the efforts of many across campus, much has been accomplished. Late last summer we successfully launch our new brand and worked throughout the year to build our brand identity with prospective students, potential audience members and donors. We built a digital media team and launch our award winning new website, while simultaneously relaunching our social media channels. We have seen a substantial increase in visits to and time on our website. 

Behind the scenes, we developed processes and protocols for media and web announcements and implemented more consistency in the look and feel of our digital communications, while being more selective in our use of campus-wide emails.

One of our areas of focus, to improve communications since the launch of the new website, has been to increased awareness and use of MySA. Almost immediately after the launch we began discussing and compiling input for MySA upgrades. We continue to refine MySA to make it more effective for our faculty, staff and students. We also launched our new MySA Monday Minute to replace the Every Friday Email with a more effective platform for disseminating information.

2017 – Update

Working Better Together
Leaders: James Lucas, Katharine Laidlaw, Marla Carpenter, Jim DeCristo

Completed campus-wide ModernThink employee satisfaction survey with over 70% of faculty and staff participating. The results were shared with campus at faculty and staff council meetings and through a letter from the Chancellor. In response to the results, the Quality Workplace Committee developed three campus initiatives (Listening Posts, Lunch on US, paper survey) to increase sharing of information, transparency, and to help faculty and staff better understand the roles and responsibilities of their colleagues in different departments. These initiatives provide different channels for giving and receiving feedback.

A gap identified during our follow up work on the survey results was our lack of institutional values or a values statement to complement our vision, mission and manifesto. After multiple discussion of the topic at QWC meetings, the QWC met with the Cabinet and Deans to begin the process of developing a values statement in June 2017. The plan is to engage the campus in the development this fall with the deadline to have a statement by year end. 

In addition, the Chancellor launched a monthly campus newsletter focused on a single important and timely topic.

2018 – Update

Working Better Together
Leaders: James Lucas, Katharine Laidlaw, Marla Carpenter, Jim DeCristo

Of the three initiatives that grew out of the original employee engagement survey by ModernThink, the “Lunch on Us” initiative has been the most successful. Approximately 70 faculty and staff have participate in these lunches to introduce people from different parts of campus and share information about the workings of each of their areas. The “Listening Post” and “paper survey” initiatives were discontinue as very few people chose to participate and provide feedback through these mechanisms.

Throughout the year, and with input from across campus, we continued to develop workplace value statements. The lack of workplace value statements was identified as a gap from the results of the ModernThink survey. That effort is reaching its conclusion and we hope to release the new value statements at the beginning of this school year.

It should also be noted, that through the BOG strategic plan implementation process a second ModernThink employee engagement survey was conducted on campus this winter. UNCSA had the 3rd highest response rate in the system. We are expecting to receive the results of this latest round of surveying in May or June. The Quality Workplace Committee looks forward to analyzing this new data and comparing it with our earlier survey results to see if we have made progress and where the University System stands as a whole.  We do not anticipate significant change as sustainably changing culture is difficult to achieve in a short timeframe. 

2019  Update

Working Better Together
Leaders: James Lucas, Claire Machamer, Marla Carpenter, Jim DeCristo

UNCSA received the results of the 2018 ModernThink Employee Engagement Survey which showed improvement across many areas and a largely positive trend when compared to our 2016 data. Once again, we had exceptional participation in the survey which adds to its value and validity. UNCSA had the 3rd highest response rate in the system. One area that was identified that needs additional effort is our faculty, staff, and student diversity. Efforts are already underway to improve this finding with work continuing into FY20 and beyond.  

With input from across campus, we developed and released our core institutional values statement. The lack of a values statement was identified as a gap from the results of the ModernThink survey in 2016. The statement reflects our highest aspirations and will guide our work.

Our Core Institutional Values Statement

In an effort to build new relationships across the University in our faculty and staff, we continued our successful “Lunch on Us” initiative and departmental campus tours.  We have now completed tours of all 5 art schools.  In FY20, we are planning tours of the Library and Learning Commons, the Stevens Center, High School academics, and the Welcome Center.


Reward faculty and staff equitably based on responsibilities and performance.

  • Train all supervisors and managers in the new performance evaluation process.
  • Ensure widespread understanding of the key values that all employees are expected to demonstrate.
  • Conduct annual evaluations by supervisors and managers that are thoughtful, fair, timely, and constructive.

Improve recruitment, on-boarding, and professional development.

  • Revise, approve, and implement new recruitment, on-boarding, and professional development processes.
  • Allocate resources for each process.

2015 – Fall Update


  • Improve or replace electronic systems for recruiting.
  • Implement new performance evaluation systems.
  • Plan “Summit.”
  • Get recommendations from sub-committee on rank/reappointment/evaluation.


  • HR has gone paperless to improve efficiency.
  • New performance evaluation system should be approved on February 4, 2016
  • Committees formed.


  • Change mind sets. (We have always done it this way.)
  • Time/Schedules


  • Training
  • Train all of campus on new systems.
  • Emphasize how new systems and training will improve efficiency and make people’s jobs easier.
  • Completing SACS frees up capacity.

Comments from Meeting
Next Steps:

  • Recruitment – Software upgrade + manpower
  • Retention – Onboarding

2016 – Spring Update

Summary of HR Summit
Summary of HR Summit

Human Resources and Academic Affairs hosted an HR Summit with representatives from across campus, who are heavy users of UNCSA’s systems and procedures related to personnel recruitment, on-boarding, retention, and evaluation. The representatives discussed opportunities to enhance and streamline our processes across all areas.

To support this effort, the decision was made to upgrade our electronic system, PeopleAdmin, to the latest version which includes many new and improved features for optimizing recruitment, on-boarding and retention. This upgrade was desperately needed as we were many versions behind and soon our current version would no longer be supported. The goal for FY2017 is to implement the new version while optimizing our processes and procedure to positively transform the applicant and employee experience and simplify it for users.

Over the course of FY16, Human Resources, working with the Office of State Human Resources and UNC General Administration, developed a revised system for employee work plans and evaluations for SHRA and EHRA employees. These new systems will be rolled out in FY2017 with training beginning for the SHRA component in late summer 2016.

2017 – Update

Improving Recruitment, Onboarding, Retention & Training
Leader: James Lucas

Implemented new SHRA performance evaluation system as part of a System-wide initiative to make performance reviews more efficient and effective.  Trained all supervisors in the fall of 2016. Worked with supervisors to develop work plans. Working to close out annual performance evaluations for SHRA employees by June 30.

Under the leadership of Human Resources and in conjunction with the Quality Workplace Committee, we implemented and relaunched our PeopleAdmin software tool for faculty and staff recruitment and on-boarding. The updated version of PeopleAdmin went live in the winter of 2017. Training was performed with the business managers from the schools and departments that are responsible for using the system. All open positions are now on the new system and we hope to complete and close out the last two remaining openings on the previous system in the near future. The new software provides many upgraded capabilities and enhances work flow tracking.  Together, these capabilities greatly improve the process for both the hiring department and the applicants.

To improve the experience of new employees and to make their experience more consistent across departments and schools, we began the implementation of the PeopleAdmin on-boarding module in the spring of 2017. It is currently being configured for our use while we develop the necessary instruction and checklists for its optimum use. We plan to begin training users and launch this new module in summer 2017.

2018 – Update

Improving Recruitment, Onboarding, Retention & Training
Leader: James Lucas

Under the leadership of Human Resources and in conjunction with the Quality Workplace Committee, we continued the implementation of the PeopleAdmin software tool for faculty and staff recruitment and on-boarding. The implementation has gone well.  All open positions are now on the new system.  The result is increased accuracy and efficiency with the new system.

In an effort to prevent work place issues and build a more positive culture, Human Resources conducted for the first time on campus Equal Employment Opportunity and Diversity Fundamentals (EEODF) training for all supervisors and managers.  The training combines web-based modules and in classroom training.  A total of 110 employees received the training.  

New employee EEODF training for non-supervisory personnel starts in the fall along with continued EEODF bimonthly training for supervisors.

2019  Update

Improving Recruitment, Onboarding, Retention & Training
Leader: James Lucas


Hiring of Interim HR Director and successful recruitment of an experienced permanent HR Director effective June 1, 2019.  The new Director, Angela Mahoney, will provide a wealth of HR expertise and sound experience of the NC University System.

Developed a more robust new hire orientation with definitive dates to allow for more enhanced information on the School.  Staff Council will also be involved to take new hires to lunch during orientation.

Discussions with hiring managers on salary equities related to females and minorities.


Conduct a classification study of campus positions to review appropriate classifications, salary inequities, and appropriate FLSA categorization to support our existing employee population and enhance our recruitment efforts.

Implement a Professional Development Program which will include developmental opportunities for faculty and staff along with targeted workshops for supervisors and manager.  Initial offerings will include Time Management, Successful Hiring Techniques, and Employment Opportunity and Diversity Fundamentals (EEODF).  Additional “soft skill” training will be developed throughout the year.

Provide strong new HR leadership to the school with sound HR knowledge and the ability to develop strong relationships with all levels of the campus community.


Future Years

  • Increase success in landing top faculty and staff candidates and improve retention rate.
  • Assess and refine communication flow and tools.
  • Develop teaching and learning center.
  • Move faculty salaries to scale.