To Our Faculty and Staff:
When we wrote you last month regarding proposals for modified work arrangements, we noted that these pilot efforts would help inform the university’s review of more permanent opportunities for workplace flexibility.
Today we want to update you regarding the details of that process.
As of this writing, 33 departments and units are operating under approved modified work plans, all of which include qualitative and quantitative metrics to assess the results. The president and provost have created a Staff Hybrid Work Task Force, and named us as its co-chairs (the full membership is listed at the end of this message).
In broadest terms, our charge is to assess how enhanced staff flexibility would affect Case Western Reserve’s ability to achieve its mission of education and research—including its impact on our residential campus experience.
Many of you are familiar with some of the key topics the task force will explore, among them the university’s ability to offer non-exempt staff more flexible work options. Unfortunately, aspects of laws and regulations governing such employees meant that they could not participate in pilot projects. We are committed to examining these limitations more closely to determine whether any creative solutions exist that would allow their inclusion in subsequent efforts.
The task force will consider multiple approaches to flexibility: remote work on certain days of the week; compressed weeks (e.g., four 10-hour days); combinations of part-time jobs to create full-time opportunities; and so forth. In every instance, two key criteria for evaluation are the university’s ability to ensure the models incorporate equity and accountability.
Finally, the group will examine practical factors involved in implementing these models, among them implications for technology and the increased complexity of supervisors’ roles. As we saw during the 2020–21 academic year, poor internet connectivity and related issues affected staff and faculty; how would the university address them if flexibility is a more permanent and widespread practice? Similarly, how does having multiple people on and off campus on different days—and some of them also working varying hours—change or even expand supervisors’ responsibilities?
The president and provost have asked the task force to complete its work by the end of the calendar year, and we will do all we can to meet that timeline. We thank you in advance for your engagement in these efforts, and will continue to update you throughout the process.
Vice President for Human Resources
Task Force Members
- Michelle Arendt, Senior Counsel, Office of General Counsel
- Katie Brancato, Chief of Staff to the President
- Lisa Camp, Chief of Staff to the Provost
- Stephanie Hathaway, Associate Vice President of Human Resources
- Melissa Huff, Dispatcher, Public Safety
- Miro Humer, Associate Vice President of [U]Tech
- Carlier Myers, Associate Registrar; Past Chair, Staff Advisory Council
- Abby Mitchell, Vice President for Development and Strategic Engagement
- Shirley Mosley, Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students
- Clara Rivera, Public Health Manager, University Health and Counseling Services
- Joan Schenkel, Associate Vice President for Research Administration
- Jean Seneff, Director of Academic Administration, Office of Interprofessional and Interdisciplinary Education and Research; Chair, Staff Advisory Council
- Chris Sheridan, Vice President for Marketing and Communications
- John Sideras, Executive Vice President for Finance and Chief Financial Officer
- Rob Solomon, Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Equal Opportunity
- Doreen Thibodeau, Executive Aide, Student Affairs
- Corrie Zimerla, Assistant Dean for Administrative Operations
- Sophie Vilamara, President, Undergraduate Student Government
- Joachim Voss, Professor, France Payne Bolton School of Nursing; past chair, Faculty Senate