UC Berkeley Creates New Human Resources Center

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Correction Appended

Over 3,000 UC Berkeley employees will look to a new human resources unit Thursday, made up of about two newly hired personnel, but campus officials said they are still unsure about what will become of some 51 existing human resources employees.

The new Human Resources Center will consist of 15 full-time equivalent employees - 12 hired so far from the 51 existing human resources employees - and will take over the roles of employees who have been working for the campus administration and the Office of the Chancellor, as well as the roles of employees working for Information Services and Technology as well as the Office of the Chief Information Officer.

Of the information technology human resources team, three employees will transfer to the new center, two will remain in their current positions and one was hired to work at the UC Office of the President, officials said.

The launch of the center comes after a decision was made by the administration in the spring of 2009 to consolidate human resources services for the administration into a single office.

According to Jeannine Raymond, assistant vice chancellor of human resources and a team leader for the Operational Excellence initiative, the center was initially intended to serve only the administration and the departments therein, consisting of nine full-time equivalent employees.

The Office of the Chancellor joined the consolidation effort a few months ago, along with information technology.

Raymond said it is still too soon to determine whether the transition will result in layoffs. The management of the current human resources teams will have to decide what will happen to their employees, she added.

Shelton Waggener, associate vice chancellor of information technology and chief information officer, said it is unclear what will happen to the two remaining human resources employees at the information technology office.

Theresa Richmond, who previously worked with Napa County Health and Human Services, was hired in March to serve as director of the center.

Raymond said the transition to the center is a part of the campus's goal to make human resources more efficient by centralizing the units into a group of more experienced personnel.

"We want to deliver a better service, and we want to be more efficient and reduce costs," she said, "What we're creating in the HR Center is a group of trained HR professionals who do this work routinely."

Waggener added that the center will reduce the number of departments implementing their own human resources units that should be campus-wide services.

"That's inefficient and expensive," he said, "We're trying to reduce that duplication."

Raymond said the center will provide more opportunities for employees to excel by working together.

"One of the values to our own staff of working in a center like this is the professional growth opportunities," she said.

Keith Gilless, dean of the College of Natural Resources and a team leader for Operational Excellence, said the opening of the center could serve as a learning experience for Operational Excellence, a project that aims to streamline and increase efficiency within the campus' structure.

"We're just starting a dialogue on how you might achieve some operational efficiencies," he said. "We want to learn from everything we're doing on campus."


Correction: Tuesday, July 20, 2010
A previous version of this article stated that the Human Resources Center will take over the roles of 50 campus employees and will consist of 12 newly hired employees. In fact, the center will take over the roles of 51 employees, 12 of whom will work at the new center. So far two new employees have been hired.

The Daily Californian regrets the error.

Contact Matt Burris at [email protected]

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