STATUS UPDATES – Recent Progress & Accomplishments

As part of the HReimagined initiative, the Human Resources Office is making strides in retaining and supporting high-quality employees through strategic efforts:

  • $40 million for faculty and staff pay raises allocated earlier this year, including a minimum wage increase to $14 per hour for regular benefits eligible, non-exempt (hourly) employees earlier this year and a second pay increase to $15 per hour in January 2023. HR is also developing plans for potential wage adjustments for certain non-exempt positions similar to those increasing to $15 per hour early next year.
  • Competitive Hire Rates: Human Resources has been working with departments to allow new hire offers at more competitive pay rates to address recruiting challenges.
  • Paid Parental Leave Benefit: The HReimagined project and the Strategic Plan both emphasize work-life balance with a family leave initiative. In January 2022, UA added four weeks of paid parental leave as a new employee benefit for the birth, adoption or placement for foster care of a child, to support bonding. Parental leave is in addition to other available leave, and both parents are eligible.
  • Improved Orientation and Onboarding: New employees are also seeing improvements to UA’s orientation and onboarding process. New employees now have access to systems on their first day, among other improvements. Respondents have provided overwhelmingly positive feedback on the new hire experience.
  • Flexible Work Arrangements Policy: After a successful pilot, the University has finalized a Flexible Work Arrangements policy, which takes effect Dec. 1. The policy provides guidance for vice presidents and college and division leaders to evaluate positions and employees for flexible work scheduling and location opportunities.
  • New HR Business Partners: The reimagined model for delivering HR services includes adding HR business partners to serve as direct HR advisors for major campus units. Five business partners have been hired so far to support Arts & Sciences, the Culverhouse College of Business, Community Health Sciences, Student Life, Nursing, Graduate School, Advancement, Strategic Communications, Community Affairs, and the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Additional positions will be added in coming years.
  • Compensation Review: In alignment with the 2022 Strategic Plan, the University will continue its ongoing review of salaries and compensation models.
  • Technology Improvements: Recent HR technology improvements include enhancements to the system for managing new hires. The AbsenceTracker online leave management system for employees on Family Medical Leave or military leave was initiated in May.
  • New Performance Review Program: A new performance review program to better link evaluations to job responsibilities is also being implemented, thanks to a campuswide working group.
  • New Management Training: Human Resources has also updated the “UA Essentials for Management” training for new supervisors and is piloting a new Leadership series developed with input from a cross-functional team.

JANUARY 2022 —
Despite the impact of the pandemic on UA over the past year, the HReimagined Initiative has moved steadily forward. Below is a brief synopsis of progress and accomplishments, organized by the subcommittees working on key aspects of the initiative. We also provide a glimpse into ongoing activity and progress expected in 2022.

The HReimagined People Subcommittee:

  • Administered a survey to gauge the amount of time spent on HR duties by employees who do not have an HR background or who do not have HR duties in their job description to determine the impact of newly defined HR Business Partners
  • Created position descriptions for upgraded HRBP and new Senior HRBP roles
  • Identified # of additional HR employees needed both centrally and to fully implement the HR Business Partner model across campus. Also recommended hiring priority for additional employees.
  • A new position was created and filled by Susan Norton to lead HR and the HReimagined initiative: Senior Associate VP for HR. Susan joined UA in October 2021.

The HReimagined Process Subcommittee mapped current HR processes and identified pain points/risks and analyzed root causes for the issues and discussed future process opportunities. Several different process-specific committees were then organized to review/revise high-priority HR processes.

  • Engaged with Gartner HR for advising and tools
  • Completed the Gartner HR Score tool to assess the maturity of current HR functions
  • HR processes/improvements include:
    • Implemented a new recruitment marketing system for building talent pipelines through current marketing technology
    • Created a Position Description Builder on MyBama to assist in the development of position descriptions
    • Selected an employee leave tracking system to remove risk and manual processes to be implemented in 1Q 2022
    • Ramped up Onboarding processes to enhance welcoming new employees via an exciting video. New employees may now schedule in-person onboarding appointments to complete their I-9 and register for orientation which is now held weekly.
    • Submitted project request to automate the onboarding of staff new hires to Banner, and to eliminate the ePA and manual entry to Banner – this project request is pending
    • Implemented Robotics Process Automation (RPA) for the first time in the staff CWID generation process
    • Renovated Employee Resource Center, including the addition of state-of-the-art A/V and Bama Dining Market, for employees to utilize for meetings, retreats, and other gatherings.

The Technology Subcommittee reviewed UA’s current use of Banner HR with Ellucian and determined a few recommendations to reduce risk and streamline processes.

The Facilities & Space Subcommittee identified building and office space for future HR Business Partners.

The Communications Subcommittee ensured that all major campus departments and committees received a summary of the HReimagined model via a new website, town hall meetings, meetings with campus departments and committees, and emails.

  • Implemented an employee mobile app for HR-related services and information
  • Increased campus communication efforts through social media and consistent digital signage messaging
  • Enhanced current HR websites and created additional ones as appropriate to improve user access to information while keeping in mind ease of use

The Financial / Investment Plan Subcommittee developed three-year financial plan to fully implement HReimagined.


The HReimagined Team began its work in mid-September 2019. The team’s first target milestone was to deliver to the project sponsor a draft operational and organizational model and comprehensive plan for reimagining the HR model by the end of 2020. The HReimagined Team proposed a three-year plan to implement the new model by focusing on key operations through these HR Centers of Excellence:

  • Talent acquisition and compensation
  • HR service center
  • Benefits
  • Payroll
  • Learning and development
  • Employee relations
  • HR business partners
  • HR operations