FAS Policy Committees

FAS CDA/Personal Communication Devices Policy Committee

Purpose: The FAS Communication Device Allowance (CDA) Policy Committee will evaluate past practices in the Financial Affairs and University Operations portfolios with regards to communication devices and employee allowances for reimbursement for devices and data. The committee will articulate a portfolio-wide philosophy on CDAs that reflect the needs and expectations of the university’s modern workforce and the portfolio’s values of providing excellent customer service. The committee will also consider the needs of departments that currently issue devices to employees. The committee will develop a policy recommendation that conforms to existing university-wide policies and allows for equitable treatment across the portfolio and its various job categories. The final recommendation to the CFO should consider budgetary impact of implementation, issues of employee equity, and retention and business needs.

Meeting Frequency: Bi-weekly with recommendation report due April 1, 2017

Membership: Nine members via nomination by FAS AVPs and CFO, plus Payroll Services.

CFO Liaison: Tara Doolittle

Chair: Ann Nellis

Committee Members
Isidora Sanchez Utilities
Kristen Walker Accounting
Ann Nellis Director of Longhorn Aquatics (Committee Chair)
Alisa Hagan HR (advisory)
Scott Pennington CSC
Ana Thiemer Associate Director of the Planning Division
Catherine Camillone Applications
Vanessa Aguilar (RFP Coordinator)
Advisory: Jimmy Harper Payroll

Committee Process:  The CDA/Personal Communication Devices Policy Committee Met four times between February and April 2017 discussing the role of communication devices in departments that provided CDA stipends and issued devices. Members identified employee confusion with regard to compensation that would include a communication device plan appropriate to handle work outside of regular hours or from their residence (this “allowance” was rolled into salaries of employees who were part of the former Financial Affairs division). The committee benchmarked communication device policies at more than 30 peer institutions.

Summary of Recommendations: The committee found that communication devices are common among employees whether they receive a CDA or not.  With the emphasis of service in the FAS portfolio and the number of services dependent on crisis communication and timely responses, the committee recommended all departments be allowed to offer CDAs using more limiting criteria to allocate device allowances.  Additionally, employees that accept a CDA must sign an agreement that addresses open records requirements, appropriate use and response requirements.

Next Steps: Following the committee’s presentation to the AVPs and directors and the subsequent discussion during that meeting the CFO has directed the following next steps:

  1. Given how common personal communication devices are in the modern workforce (per the committee’s report), the concern is less with providing employees access to such devices and data plans and more about clarifying after hours work responsibilities and compensation. The CFO decided this should be addressed within FAS employee salaries, offer letters, and job descriptions.
  2. Representatives from HR will work with an implementation team to draft template language for offer letters that explain the salary includes compensation for after hours/on call emergency response and the records retention requirements associated with these responsibilities.
  3. Representatives from HR will work with an implementation team to identify FAS positions that will need revised language for the job descriptions to clarify accountability for after hours/on call emergency response.
  4. The CFO will work directly with departments (e.g., UTPD, Facilities Services, Utilities and Energy Management, Environmental Health and Safety, and Parking and Transportation Services) that issue devices (as opposed to using CDAs) for use during the regular work day and after hours to standardize the practice.

FAS Telecommuting Policy Committee

Purpose: The FAS Telecommuting Policy Committee will evaluate past practices in the Financial Affairs and University Operations portfolios regarding telecommuting and flex scheduling policies. The committee will develop a portfolio-wide policy on telecommuting and flexible schedules that reflects the needs and expectations of the University’s modern workforce and conforms to existing University-wide policies. The policy must provide clear guidance that supports equitable treatment across the portfolio with the understanding that telecommuting and flex scheduling is not practical for all job categories. The final recommendation to the CFO should consider the budgetary impact of implementation, retention and business needs.

Meeting Frequency: Bi-weekly with recommendation report due April 1, 2017

Membership: Nine members via nomination by FAS AVPs and CFO, plus Human Resources

AVP Liaison: Mary Knight

Chair: Jim Walker

Committee Members
Stephanie Perrone Utilities
Elvia Rosales Budget
Adriana Rojas BFS associate director
Cam Beasley CSO
Claire Moore HR
Roy Ruiz CSC*
Jim Walker Director of the Sustainability Office (Committee Chair)
Pug Bainter Networking
TBA HR

Summary of Recommendations:

FAS policy recommendations:

  • While eligibility to access a FWA is defined in the current policy at the department level, the committee discussed elevating this authority to the director level.  This will help build consistency and drive culture change.
  • Considerations beyond the position itself and related to specific nature of work and employee suitability should still be made at the supervisor level.
  • The UT Austin campus wide policy needs to be updated to reflect more current technology and common practice.
  • Pending an update to the campus wide policy a FAS specific implementation guide could be adopted.

Implementation recommendations:

  • Several levels of training are needed to change the culture toward increased utilization of FWAs across FAS
    • Most importantly, training is needed for managers and supervisors on how to effectively encourage, manage, and evaluate teleworking employees
    • HR is able to adapt existing training on FWA to more specifically serve managers and supervisors
  • Targeted outreach is needed to specific units to educate both the senior management and employees on FWAs
  • Sufficient hardware and software support exists; no additional technical support is needed beyond what exists for all employees in a unit or is available through software documentation

Culture and communication recommendations:

  • Because of the fractured current state of FWA implementation, communication by the CFO, AVPs, and directors will be needed
    • To reinforce positive practices in those units already utilizing FWAs
    • To encourage new practices in those units with substantial FWA opportunities
    • To encourage basic practices in those units resisting FWA opportunities they may have
    • To provide a forum for discussion in those units without substantial telework opportunity

Next Steps: Following the committee’s presentation to the AVPs and directors and the subsequent discussion during that meeting the CFO has directed the following next steps:

  1. Form a team to develop an implementation plan based on the recommendations of the committee.

FAS Staff Awards Committee

Purpose: The FAS Staff Awards Committee will propose a portfolio-wide staff recognition and awards program. Consideration should be given to the strategic goals and values of FAS. NOTE: A portfolio planning effort will be initiated by the Senior VP and CFO to develop FAS goals and values. The committee will develop a proposal that conforms to existing University-wide policy. The committee should consider the vast diversity of departments, operations, and staff duties in their proposal. The final recommendation to the CFO should consider nomination and selection process, eligibility, timeline, promotion of program, and type of award(s).

Phase I of the committee work should focus on the overall purpose and logistics of the recognition and awards program, such eligibility, process, etc.

Phase II will incorporate the goals and values of the Financial and Administrative Services portfolio into the selection criteria and foundational messaging.

Meeting Frequency: Bi-weekly with recommendation report for Phase 1 due April 1, 2017. Recommendations for Phase 2 tentatively due July 31.

Membership: Nine members via nomination by FAS AVPs and CFO, plus representative from Human Resource Services.

AVP Liaison: Marla Martinez

Chair: Alicia Bogart

Committee Members
Constance Meyer Utilities
Mary Watson CFO-ATS
Alicia Bogart Director of Commons Learning Center (Committee Chair)
Hara Cootes Director of Child Development Center
Alisa Hagan HR
Jimmy Johnson CSC
Butch Kuecks Associate Director for Campus Planning
William (Bill) Bova Systems
TBA HR Advisory

Committee Process: The committee met several times between February and April 2017 discussing former and current awards programs, the benefits of employee recognition, and

Summary of Recommendations:  The committee recommends a recognition program designed to reward employees who exemplify the values of the portfolio, perform exception work in the pursuit of operational excellence, and make significant contributions in support o the mission of FAS and The University of Texas at Austin.

The program should distribute a maximum of 10 awards:

  • Individual Awards (7 potential recipients)
  • Team Awards (2 potential recipients)
  • Leadership Award (1 potential recipient)

Next Steps: The CFO will form an implementation team to take the committee’s program recommendation (which includes recommended eligibility criteria, nomination process, selection process, and awards descriptions) and operationalize it in keeping with the portfolio’s values and developing strategic plan. The implementation team will bring greater definition to “what” we hope to recognize with regard to the values and strategic plan.