2020 Year in Review

Supporting the university’s people is job #1 for campus human resources professionals. Confronting a pandemic, HR pros embraced their mission with agility, flexibility, and creativity, helping colleagues, addressing budget challenges, and planning for a brighter future.
Download a printable PDF version of the HR Year in Review 2020.

Help for Colleagues in Need

  • Launched Temporary Alternative Work Arrangements and the Temporary Redeployment Program to help employees keep working after campus closures
  • Established UI Child Care Assist to support employees with child care needs
  • Created a child care concierge service—administered by five reassigned staff—to help parents in critical health care roles
  • Administered Jacobson Foundation funds to reimburse patient-facing health care employees for child care expenses
  • Expanded catastrophic leave options for COVID-related caregiving needs
  • Delivered remote forums on mental health and resilience
  • Provided ergonomics training, assessments, and a new remote-work toolkit
  • Increased SPOT awards for exceptional work to $300
585 temporary work arrangements

585 Temporary Alternative Work Arrangements established for employees needing remote or other work

1,789 COVID-related leave requests

1,789 COVID-related leave requests processed in keeping with existing and emergency leave provisions

653 child care reimbursements

653 child care reimbursements to health care employees thanks to support from the Jacobson Foundation

67 child care matches

67 child care concierge service matches for parents in critical patient-facing health care positions

800+ participants in mental health forums

More than 800 staff, student, and faculty participants in online mental health and coping forums

450% SPOT award increase

450% increase in SPOT awards for exceptional staff performance during calendar year 2020

Emergency Operations

  • Adopted federal, state, and regents emergency leave programs
  • Implemented leave, unemployment, retirement, and other provisions of the federal CARES Act
  • Created time-tracking codes to chart COVID-related leave and guided departments and employees through leave reporting
  • Facilitated new processes for completing I-9s remotely, following federal emergency guidelines
  • Developed a temporary furlough extension policy to support P&S staff furloughed in 2020

Cost-Saving Initiatives

  • Developed a suite of options for units challenged to cut budgets
  • Established an HR Employment Committee to ensure consistent practices

Future of Work

Looking forward, University Human Resources and the Office of the Provost established a cross-campus project to apply lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic, reimagine the employee experience at the University of Iowa, and address emerging talent needs and trends:

  • How has the disruptive challenge of COVID-19 affected the university and our strategic goal of remaining a destination university?
  • How do we reimagine work post COVID-19?
  • How do we re-envision high-impact practices to create a highly engaged and inclusive workforce?
  • What does the evolution of HR policies, services, and strategies look like?
Even while responding to COVID-related needs, the HR community pursued strategic priorities, introduced innovations, and enhanced established programs.

Employee Well-Being

  • Created Virtual Weeks of Wellness for units looking to offer wellness programs for remote teams
  • Introduced new chronic-condition programs targeting diabetes prevention and weight management
  • Collaborated on mentalhealth.uiowa.edu, a new web hub with info on campus services and mental health topics
  • Developed video tutorials on grief, loneliness, and emotional aspects for people working remotely
  • Surveyed faculty and staff to evaluate remote work experiences and guide future initiatives to enhance work-life balance
  • Surveyed employees who’d submitted threat assessment reports, finding that 91% would refer colleagues to the program

 

2,500 mental health website users

More than 2,500 unique users of the new mentalhealth.uiowa.edu website since September 2020

1,981 EAP program participants

1,981 staff and faculty participants in 1,613 sessions sponsored by the Employee Assistance Program

36% cut diabetes risk factors

36% of participants in new weight-management program reduced their risk factors for diabetes

950 flexible work agreements

950 flexible work agreements established between employees and departments since summer 2020

Benefits

  • Developed online, on-demand video resources for benefits orientation, eliminating enrollment wait times
  • Conducted virtual open enrollment with 24/7 online resources and daily Zoom question sessions
  • Implemented UISelect, giving employees a second health-insurance option

Supervisor Training

  • Provided new Supervisor Training@Iowa sequence to more than 1,700 UI supervisors
  • Added courses and resources on leading remote/hybrid teams

Efficiency and Service

  • Opened new walk-in Welcome Center at USB
  • Partnered with ENGIE HR to ensure successful transfer of operations to the new company in support of the Utility System Public-Private Partnership
  • Introduced five new batch processes to facilitate lump sum payments to employees
  • Created specialized reports to help Faculty and Staff Disability Services track FMLA and other leave types
  • Continued support for hub service designs, focusing on web resources, training, and standard operating procedures
$2.2B salary and fringe

$2.2 billion in payroll and fringe benefit expenses for University of Iowa employees during 2020

37,324 W2 forms processed

37,324 W2 forms for tax year 2020 processed and distributed to University of Iowa employees

99.2% performance evaluations completed

99.2% of University of Iowa employees received complete performance evaluations during 2020

78,700 transactions processed

78,700 human resources transactions (appointments, status changes, etc.) processed during 2020

Org-Level Innovations

  • College of Law: Introduced weekly email to supervisors that shares resources, and established and HR SharePoint site for faculty and staff.
  • VP for Research and State Hygienic Lab: Provided supervisors with just-in-time training on topics including change management and COVID-19 leave. Enhanced programs and processes to address Working at Iowa survey concerns including supervisor training and career advancement.
  • College of Pharmacy: Developed a shared-recruiter model to improve response times and overall candidate experience during searches. Integrated diversity, equity, and inclusion best practices into faculty searches.
  • Finance and Operations: Completed restructuring of HR functions.
  • College of Engineering: Conducted one of four pilot searches that used strategies outlined in the Path to Distinction to enhance diversity, equity, and inclusion in recruitment.
  • College of Liberal Arts and Sciences: Piloted diversity, equity, and inclusion strategies for faculty searches as a step to wider implementation for all faculty searches in academic year 2020-21. Expanded HR support for graduate students and postdoctoral scholars.
  • Provost: Launched new HR web resources including a supervisors' page and corresponding email with monthly tips, tools, and training. Revamped the student employee appointment renewal process. Began updating P&S staff search checklist to assist new recruiters.
  • Athletics: Implemented new online signing process for coaching contracts, reducing time and and tracking requirements for in-person signing. Participated in BUILD certificate program and provided annual diversity, equity, and inclusion training to all Athletics staff.
Contact Information

Administrative Services

Phone
Fax
319-353-2384
Campus Address
121-10 USB
Mailing Address

121 University Services Building, Suite 10
Iowa City, IA 52242-1911
United States

Hours
The UHR Welcome Center is open 8:00am-5:00pm, Monday through Friday.