FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Will staff who are currently teleworking be permitted to continue working remotely once the new structure is in place?
Decisions on work modality (e.g., working onsite or offsite) will be determined as part of Georgia State’s return to campus planning. Any changes to the current expectations will be communicated through university channels and shared through college communications and by supervisors as well. The Georgia State Ahead website is the most up-to-date source for information on university-wide return to campus plans. Ultimately, teleworking arrangements must be coordinated with and approved by an employee’s supervisor. Informal interviews will serve as one opportunity to learn about a team leader’s or department chair’s view on the optimal work modality to perform functions in their unit.
Will staff who are reclassified be placed in a six-month probationary period as is done with new hires?
There is not a probationary period for reclassified staff.
Will there be additional virtual Q&A sessions with the team leaders, similar to the virtual information sessions held in early December?
Instead of holding eight team-specific Q&A sessions, the team leaders encourage in-scope staff to reach out to them directly with questions. This can be done by email, and they are willing to meet individually (virtually) to answer questions, as well. You will find contact information for the team leaders on the position descriptions page.
The job titles for the teams that are posted on the position descriptions page represent our proposed official titles. These titles are pending approval by Classification and Compensation. We expect the position pre-review process to be completed by February. It is possible that the titles could change based on this review. In the case of the departmental positions, the Department Specialist title is a working title, and the official title is Administrative Specialist – Administrative. Our use of this title is also pending approval.
While changes to the college staff structure are driven by budgetary considerations at the dean’s discretion, the college is consulting staff to implement the reorganization. Notably, in-scope staff have been given the opportunity to express their preferences among the available positions in the new structure and participate in informal interviews. Input from staff and other members of the college will continue throughout the reorganization process and beyond. Once the new structure is launched, we will put feedback mechanisms in place to monitor our effectiveness and collect data to help us improve our services to the departments. Of course, we will want to know how the new structure is working for staff as well.
We will be able to share pay ranges once Classification and Compensation has completed its pre-review of the proposed positions, which we expect to occur by the time of the informal interviews in February. Please keep in mind that any salary adjustments will be handled on a case-by-case basis as staff are reclassified.
Staff were placed in scope based on their specific job duties and the relation between the duties they perform and the areas of greatest need in the college’s administrative and academic services.
Department chairs are encouraged to:
- Stay in touch with the dean’s office about your department’s staffing needs
- Provide feedback on the forthcoming draft job description for the department specialist position
- Reach out to the team leaders with questions about the team functions (see Who are the team leaders? above for contact info)
- Prepare to interview staff for department specialist
- Stay tuned for additional information about next steps.
Department chairs and institute directors are asked to review the steps outlined in the email from John Augusto dated Thursday, December 17, with the subject line, “College Reorganization Update.”
If you are notified that your position is in scope, you should:
- Plan to attend the upcoming virtual information sessions (see When will the virtual information sessions be held? for details)
- Update your résumé
- Prepare to discuss your job skills and interests
- Reach out to the team leaders with questions or to learn more about the opportunities in the new structure (see Who are the team leaders? for contact info)
- Be prepared to receive further instructions on next steps.
At your discretion, you are encouraged to keep your department chair or supervisor (if different) informed of your interests and intentions as you are presented with options to be considered for positions in the new staff structure.
All staff who are in scope for the reorganization are directed to follow the steps outlined in the email from Dean Sara Rosen dated Friday, December 18, with the subject line, “Action Needed: Respond to Pre-Interview Form by January 15, 2021.” Please notify Justin Lilly as soon as possible if you were expecting to receive an email and did not.
The college held two virtual information sessions during the second week of December 2020 to present details about the reorganization.
Virtual Information Session #1
This session focused on the academic assistance, graduate services, enrollment services, and faculty review services teams, plus the department specialist role.
Held on Monday, December 7, 2020, 1:00-2:30 p.m.
Virtual Information Session #2
This session focused on budget administration, business services, financial planning and analysis, and human resources teams, plus the department specialist role.
Held on Wednesday, December 9, 2020, 10:00-11:30 a.m.
If I am selected to be reclassified into a team, will I be relocated to a new office on campus to be near my team colleagues?
Due to space constraints on campus, there are no immediate plans to move staff out of their current offices. There may be some opportunities to co-locate staff with their teams on a case-by-case basis. Depending on the status of the COVID-19 pandemic and the university’s return to campus plans, we may launch the new teams virtually while many staff are still working remotely.
Staff who are reclassified into a team will report to the team leader, unless noted otherwise in the team’s organizational chart. Some reclassified staff will report to a staff person who is a direct report to the team leader, per the organization chart. Staff who are reclassified into a department specialist position will report to that department’s chair. The team leaders are listed below, and the list of department chairs is posted here.
|Human Resources||Cassondra Breedlove|
|Budget Administration||Sheadrick Stevenson|
|Business Services||James C. Taylor, Jr.|
|Financial Planning & Analysis||Mamun Rahman|
|Academic Assistance||Shelly-Ann Williams|
|Graduate Services||Amber Amari|
|Enrollment Services||John Medlock|
|Faculty Review Services||Kathryn McClymond|
When will I start working in my new position? If my salary is adjusted, when will my new salary take effect?
Our goal is to launch the new structure at the start of the next fiscal year. Under this timeline, staff will begin working in their new roles (with new salaries, if applicable) effective July 1, 2021.
Will reclassifications under the reorganization be subject to the University System of Georgia critical hire process? What if reclassifications are not approved?
All reclassifications will go through HR review at both the university and USG levels. The college has been in conversation with university HR and the system office as we have developed our reorganization plan. University HR and the USG are aware of the goals of our restructuring plan and will be expecting a large number of reclassifications as part of our plan. Reclassifications not initially approved by either the university or the USG will be handled and dealt with by the dean’s office on a case-by-case basis.
Meetings between the dean’s office and department chairs regarding departmental staffing needs have been ongoing as staff vacancies have amassed. Although the reorganization will shift some staff out of departments to serve across departments, the new team-oriented structure is being implemented for the purpose of serving the needs of all departments in the college. The main difference compared to our current structure is that staff will have more focused job duties in their area of expertise and will in many cases perform those functions for multiple departments. We believe that a team approach has advantages in terms of efficiency, as well as staff training and development, that will enable the college to provide professionalized support consistently across all departments, despite the reduced number of staff overall. Additionally, the new structure includes a department specialist role that will assist the chair and other department leaders in running the department with the backing of the college's teams. Department chairs will continue to work with their faculty and the dean’s office to monitor their staffing needs and make adjustments as the reorganization is implemented.
Upward salary adjustments are possible for at least some staff and will be handled on a case by case basis as staff are reclassified. We will make every effort for reclassifications not to result in a decrease of any individual’s salary. In fact, some staff may receive a pay increase to bring their salary into the range for the position and job responsibilities they are being reclassified into. Again, any adjustments will be on a case by case basis as staff are reclassified.
Can I request to be interviewed for every team or position to increase my odds of being chosen for one of the college teams?
We encourage staff to focus on positions that are best suited to their skills, experience, and career goals. While we will not restrict staff from putting their name forward for every available team or department, it is unlikely that a staff member will be selected to be interviewed for more than two or three teams/departments.
Can I opt out and stay in my current position? What will happen to staff who are not interested in interviewing for any of the new positions?
We understand that some staff have concerns or trepidations about the reorganization and may prefer that things stay as they are now. However, we must require the full cooperation of all staff whose positions are in scope to implement our new structure. Because all current in-scope positions are being eliminated through reclassification, staff who are in scope will not have an option to stay in their current position. These staff members will need to be reclassified into new positions either on a function-specific team or in a department. Therefore, we hope that all in-scope staff will proactively take advantage of the opportunity to express interest in one or more new positions and participate in the informal interview process.
If your position is in-scope and you are not selected to be reclassified into a team, you will be presented with one or more opportunities to be reclassified into a department specialist position. This may or may not be a position in your current department. It is our goal to find the best-fit or closest-fit role for every staff member in the new structure.
Holding an interview process allows staff members the opportunity to identify a potential closest fit to their skills and interests. It also allows team leaders and department chairs to make informed staffing decisions for their units. In addition, it is good professional practice to have an updated résumé and interview for a position.
What will the interview process be like? Who will determine which staff are interviewed and to what team they are ultimately assigned?
Once the new positions are announced, we will ask in-scope staff to submit an updated résumé and fill out the pre-interview form to select the team(s) and/or department(s) they are interested in being considered for. Positions will be available on the teams and in the departments. Based on the pre-interview form submissions, staff will be invited to participate in informal interviews. Interviews for team positions will be led by the team leader for the specific team, and interviews for department specialist positions will be led by the department chair for the specific department. Interviews will also include at least two other panelists. Reclassification selections will be made by the appropriate team leader or department chair in consultation with college HR and the dean.
In-scope staff will learn about the open positions during the upcoming virtual information sessions (see When will the virtual information sessions be held? for details). A full listing of the open positions with descriptions will be announced and posted on the college website by mid-December, along with each team’s organizational chart. At that time, staff whose positions are in scope will receive a pre-interview form to complete. The form will list all teams, departments, and open positions. Staff will be prompted to select the position(s) they are interested in interviewing for.
The new structure includes a department specialist role that will report to the department. Department specialists will assist chairs with day-to-day business and serve a liaison role to the teams. The position description for the department specialist role is under development and will be shared with department chairs for input in early December. The finalized department specialist position description will be announced along with the teams’ organization charts and position descriptions by mid-December. There may be some variance of duties based on the needs of different departments.
Some departments will retain staff positions that are not directly impacted by the reorganization. These positions include research staff such as sponsor-funded professionals and instructional lab staff including coordinators, supervisors, and techs. IT staff in the college were restructured recently and are exempt from the current reorganization. Other out-of-scope staff include those supporting specialized facilities and programs such as research centers and Area of Focus programs.
The general description of duties for the Department Specialist position is posted on the positions descriptions page.
If you are notified that your position is in scope, then your position is targeted for reclassification. In this sense, your position is going away, but you are not, unless you decide to take employment elsewhere. In other words, current in-scope positions will no longer be used in the college’s new staff structure because they will be reclassified into different positions. However, as an employee, you are not being eliminated. The new staff structure includes new positions at the college and department level that in-scope staff will be reclassified into. This means there are no positions to “re-apply” to. Instead, in-scope staff will be afforded the opportunity (and will be expected) to indicate which new position or positions they are interested in interviewing for.
The college is not planning for a reduction in force (RIF) as part of the reorganization. This means that staff will not lose employment through the reorganization process. In fact, one of the goals of the reorganization is to find the best or closest-fit role for every existing staff member – not to further reduce the size of our staff. However, if your position is considered in scope for the reorganization, you will need to be reclassified into a new position. In other words, your job will change. The extent to which your job duties change will depend on the position and team (or department) you are reclassified into.
If my position is out of scope, can I put my name forward to be considered for one of the positions in the new structure?
Our first priority is for staff whose positions are in-scope to be reclassified into positions in the new structure. However, other staff in the college may express interest in an open position. Please contact John Augusto if you are interested in discussing a position. These situations will be handled on a case-by-case basis.
Approximately 60 current staff positions are in scope for the reorganization. The vast majority of these are currently occupied by staff serving at the department level. An estimated 38 positions will be reclassified into eight functional teams to serve the departments, and up to 22 positions will be reclassified into the department specialist role.
See below for a list of current job titles that are considered “in scope” for the reorganization. It is possible that some staff members with these job titles will not be involved in the reorganization, depending on the specific job duties of their position and the unit(s) they support. If your position is determined to be in scope, you will be contacted by the dean’s office before the end of November with information about next steps. This will include an invitation to attend two virtual information sessions about the reorganization (see When will the virtual information sessions be held? for details). If you have a question about whether your position is in scope for the reorganization, please contact Associate Dean John Augusto.
List of in-scope job titles*
Accountant II & III
Administrative Specialist-Administrative, Senior
Administrative Specialist-Student Affairs
Business Manager I, II & III
Student Affairs Operations Specialist
*It is possible that some staff members with these job titles will not be involved in the reorganization, depending on the specific job duties of their position and the unit(s) they support.
Aside from the department specialist role, there are a number of staff positions that will remain in their current unit by virtue of being outside the scope of the reorganization. These include research staff such as sponsor-funded professionals and instructional lab staff including coordinators, supervisors, and techs. IT staff in the college were restructured recently and are exempt from the current reorganization. Other out-of-scope staff include those supporting specialized facilities and programs such as research centers and Area of Focus programs.
All staff who are in scope for the reorganization were sent an email from Dean Sara Rosen on Friday, December 18, with the subject line, “Action Needed: Respond to Pre-Interview Form by January 15, 2021.” Please notify Justin Lilly as soon as possible if you were expecting to receive an email and did not.
An “in-scope” position is one that will be reclassified as part of the reorganization. If you are notified that your position is in scope, you will be a participant in the reorganization process. You will have the opportunity (and will be expected) to identify which of the available positions in the new staff structure you are interested in interviewing for. This is the process that will determine which position you are reclassified into.
The reorganization is in response to a decline in the number of state-funded staff in the college over the current and previous two fiscal years of approximately 20 percent — more than 30 full-time staff. Given the current and future budget outlook, the college does not expect to replace these vacant positions. To continue to support the needs of our academic units, the college is implementing a team structure designed to provide professionalized administrative and academic services to all Arts & Sciences departments.