The organization carried out a comprehensive, thoughtful, and open process to gather the input needed for an effective WMP. This report is the result of that process and will be used by NCAR, UCAR management, and the UCAR Board of Trustees in developing a specific action plan to address many of the recommendations.
The process was launched in December 2008 with the formation of a WMP Executive Committee (EC):
Workforce Management Plan Executive Committee
Roger Wakimoto, Chair (also Subcommittee I chair)
Rick Anthes (ex officio)
Eric Barron (ex officio)
Maura Hagan (ex officio)
Bob Roesch (ex officio)
Terry Woods (ex officio)
Helen Moshak (Subcommittee II chair)
Chris Davis (Subcommittee III chair)
Jim Hurrell (Subcommittee IV chair)
Sue Schauffler (Subcommittee V chair)
Jan Wilmesmeier (administrative support)
Subcommittees were then formed to address key areas of the plan. Over 50 managers and staff participated in these very active subcommittees (Appendix A). The Environmental Scan Subcommittee looked at external and internal factors that influence our operations and metrics that document them. A Diversity Subcommittee analyzed NCAR hiring and promotion practices and trends and identified opportunities for diversification of our workforce. The Staff and Visitor Balance Subcommittee reviewed the types of jobs in our current workforce, identifying issues that should be addressed within job groups and the balance of types of jobs needed to address our strategies. Issues pertaining to scientific and research engineering appointments were the focus of the Scientific and Engineering Appointments Subcommittee. A Professional Development and Work Environment group looked at the diverse needs of our employees for workforce development and job satisfaction.
The subcommittees were not tasked with performing cost/benefit analyses for their recommendations. This guidance was provided so that their discussions could focus without constraint on what they believed was the ideal workforce of the future. However, a complete financial analysis is required and will be performed by UCAR and NCAR management as they craft an implementation plan based on the recommendations contained in this report. It is also noteworthy that many of the recommendations are tightly coupled and should be implemented together rather than alone or in piecemeal fashion. For example, the recommendations for changes in appointment policies and practices for NCAR ladder-track scientists are closely linked with the recommendation to tie the number of ladder scientist positions to the NSF base budget.
The WMP EC provided strategic and administrative guidance throughout the process. This included setting milestones to ensure that timely progress was being achieved and sharing best practices for soliciting input, identifying key findings, and providing final recommendations, all in the context of achieving the NCAR Strategic Plan. The WMP EC endeavored to create a process that was transparent, seeking broad input from the staff and providing timely updates. The EC created numerous avenues for continued communication and involvement of staff such as town hall meetings, interviews with individuals or groups, anonymous surveys, and retreats. A website was constructed and EC meeting minutes were posted and distributed via Today@UCAR, the electronic daily newsletter to all staff. The project timeline included scheduled opportunities to inform and seek input from NCAR’s primary stakeholders: employees, UCAR/NCAR management, the UCAR Board of Trustees, and the National Science Foundation (Appendix B).
The Personnel Committee of the Board of Trustees was invited to participate by phone in all WMP EC meetings, and minutes of these meetings were distributed to all UCAR staff and the Personnel Committee. A wiki site served as a source of information and also as a working site for all of those involved with creating the WMP (https://wiki.ucar.edu/display/wmpexec/Home).
The EC believes the process was robust and inclusive. A rich body of work was developed by the WMP subcommittees, and their findings and recommendations are central to the roadmap created to achieve a balanced and successful workforce for NCAR’s future. Recommendations that are both a continuation of and an enhancement to present institutional practices are highlighted in blue. The remaining recommendations are new and, in many instances, major changes to our current system. This partitioning is not precise; it is meant to call out the more significant modifications being proposed.