Strategic Plan - Goal 7 Findings

HUMAN CAPITAL STRATEGIC TASK FORCE FINDINGS 

The Human Capital Task Force makes the following report to the Fairmont State Strategic Planning Steering Council.

Task Force members included:  Steve Roof (chair), Bobbi Dodd, Judy Biafore, Steve Leach

Findings:

  • The term Human “Capital” is offensive to many.
  • The morale among staff and especially faculty is very low.
  • The perception among faculty is that faculty numbers are declining while staff numbers are increasing. The perception among staff is the opposite.
  • The sense of community among faculty and staff is low.
  • Fairmont State is in the middle of a transition from a paper world to an electronic world.
  • An important characteristic of Fairmont State is small class size. When asked to list the positive aspects of Fairmont State everyone contacted (students, faculty, staff) listed small class size as a top item.
  • Based on national surveys three key criteria seem to be involved in determining employee job satisfaction irregardless of what type of job.
    1. Fair and equitable compensation.
    2. Flexibility in the job.
    3. An interesting job that provides opportunities to learn and grow.

Constraints:

  • The level of state appropriations will at best remain constant.
  • Allowable tuition increases will be limited.
  • Student to faculty ratio will most likely increase over time (we will have more students with the same number or even a declining number of faculty).
  • Staff to faculty ratio will most likely decrease over time (we will have fewer staff located in academic unit offices to support faculty).
  • The current staff classification system inhibits the rapid retraining that is necessary in an electronic world.

Given the constraints in funding it seems unlikely that we will be able to directly address the first criteria involved in employee job satisfaction (fair and equitable compensation) by giving everyone a raise. It may be possible to increase the amount of dollars available for salary increases by redefining the way in which jobs are divided (work smarter not harder) or by reducing class sections by increasing class size. However this second approach is not recommended because it changes one of the key distinguishing features of Fairmont State, namely small class size. The potential for damaging seems to outweigh the savings that larger classes would provide.

Contact Information

Van Dempsey
Interim Vice-President, Institutional Assessment and Effectiveness
Hardway Hall, Room 223
Phone: (304) 367-4646
Van.Dempsey@fairmontstate.edu