U.C. Berkeley Library Web

Proposal for Review and Recruitment of Library Human Resources Director

Michael Rancer
Library Chief Administrative Officer
October 16, 2000


With Janice Dost's impending retirement (she will step down from her duties as Library Human Resources Director on December 22, and will officially retire on April 1), it is timely to review the functions of the position and the organization of the department. Janice has held the position for over 12 years, covering the most difficult times in Library history that anyone can remember. The Library in 2001 will be a very different, and still changing, place from what it was in 1988. The University, its human resources environment and the external employment market are also very different. It therefore seems appropriate to undertake a complete examination of the Library's human resource function in a way that will provide guidance for the recruitment of the director who will manage that function during the transitional decade ahead. Among the expected changes that will affect how we approach the various facets of personnel management are the following:

  1. A large cohort of staff may retire during the decade, presenting the challenge of ensuring Library continuity during a period of unprecedented technological development. The new HR director will participate in defining the qualities needed in the next generation of Library staff, and will carry the burden of recruiting to fill an exceptional number of vacancies, possibly in the face of a continuously tight labor market.
  2. It has been many years since the Library had an aggressive staff training and development program. Yet the technological and functional challenges affecting the library world will require constant training for existing staff so they can stay current with best practices. The new director will have responsibility for helping to design a training program.
  3. The Library's efforts to reŽnergize its culture, combined with the likely arrival of a new University Librarian in the next 6 to 12 months, will thrust the new HR director into the position of advising senior managers on appropriate directions for organizational renewal.
  4. The campus is moving to change its own human resources function, further decentralizing decision making in recruitment and classification, perhaps to a significant extent moving away from fixed classifications and encouraging more flexibility in its personnel administration. The campus is also implementing a new, automated personnel management software package to replace an antiquated, paper-based system. The new HR director will have to be sufficiently computer literate to participate in the implementation of the new system and to revise Library procedures so that they conform to and take advantage of campus opportunities.
  5. UC, at the systemwide level, is experiencing considerable turmoil in its efforts to negotiate contracts with several unions. The ultimate resolution of these efforts will ripple down to The Library, requiring an HR director who is capable of communicating effectively with employees and their bargaining units in a sometimes contentious, sometimes ambiguous environment.
With these circumstances in mind, I propose the formation of a Librarywide committee, comprised of a broad membership capable of bringing diverse voices to the table. The committee might also have representatives of key campus departments, such as Academic Personnel, Staff Personnel or Labor Relations. The committee would be responsible for advising the University Librarian, me, and the other senior managers on likely future areas of focus for LHRD and on the skills and organizational attributes of a redesigned HR director's position. The committee would provide opportunities for all Library staff to offer advice on the relevant issues. To this end, the committee might hold open forums (e.g., Early Birds or Town Hall Meetings), meet with Library units and unit heads and also meet with the current staff of LHRD.

Selection and Composition of the Committee:

I propose a committee of approximately seven to nine members, drawn from throughout The Library. I would not expect committee members to formally represent classification groups, bargaining units or departments though it would be my intention to name as broad and diverse a committee as possible. Nominations for membership would be in response to a call issued to all Library employees. People could self-nominate or they could nominate others. I would review the nominees, and bring a proposal to the Administrative Services Council. The Council would formally recommend committee membership to Cabinet for final approval. At both ASC and Cabinet, members would see the full list of nominees as well as the recommended committee roster.

Charge to the Committee:

I propose the following charge to the committee, with this memo as background:


August 30, 2000 This proposal presented for discussion to Admin
September 13 Library CAO to review the proposal, as amended in Admin, with LHRD staff
September 13 Proposal presented to Administrative Services Council for recommendation to Cabinet
September 14 Proposal presented to Cabinet for approval
September 15 CAO issues Librarywide call for nomination of review committee members, with deadline of September 27
September 28 Proposal presented to Roundtable as discussion item
September 29 to October 6 CAO reviews nominees, develops proposed committee roster
October 11 CAO briefs LAUC Ex-Comm on the proposal and to discuss interim management issues as they affect academic personnel
October 11 Proposed committee presented to Admin Services Council for recommendation to Cabinet
October 12 Committee roster presented to Cabinet for approval
October 13 Committee members notified, first committee meeting scheduled
October 16-20 Committee holds initial meeting this week; recommendation on direction for structure of Interim Director position
October 20 to November 9 CAO initiates appointment process for Interim LHRD Director
October 20 to November 22 Committee fulfills its charge, with report due to CAO on November 22
November 12 - 22 CAO appoints Interim Director to develop transition plan with Janice Dost
November 27 to December 12 CAO begins development of position description, recruitment plan
December 13 Draft position description and recruitment plan presented to Admin Services Council for comment
December 14 Position description and recruitment plan presented to Cabinet for approval
December 22 Janice Dost's last day of work
January 2, 2001 Begin recruitment for permanent Director

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