Greetings to you all. Below please find a brief update from our department of human resources.
Health and Safety
As you have seen in the regular covid-19 updates and the MassArt COVID-19 Campus Dashboard, we have been doing a good job mitigating the spread of the virus in our community. Thank you for keeping up your defenses: wear a mask, wash your hands, keep physical distances, and stay home if you are sick. Let us know if you have questions about your benefits if you are advised to isolate, quarantine, or become ill.
Our community has done a great job de-densifying the campus to make safe spaces for our students. For those of you working remotely, it seems like the telework agreements are going well. If things come up and you need to revise your telework arrangement or if working at home has become difficult and you would like to spend more time working on campus, please let us know or talk to your supervisor.
Comings and goings
At our last meeting of the MassArt board of trustees, President Pinder and VP Perry discussed the FY20 and FY21 college budget. Our current FY21 budget is a responsible deficit budget that includes 25% minimum reductions across all departments, including reductions in travel, supplies, food, and consultants. We have been keeping many employee positions vacant or parttime to save money and that has continued. We thank all of you for stepping up and filling the gaps in areas where positions have not been replaced immediately. In these uncertain times, we are being very thoughtful about how vacancies are filled. They are prioritized due to their direct impact on the learning, safety, and health of students. These active positions are:
The paused 2019 search in Fashion Design (MSCA) has been re-started and candidates were told that interviews would take place in February.
A launch meeting is being scheduled for the search for the executive assistant to the VP of Student Development (NUP).
A launch meeting is being scheduled for the search of the director of counseling and wellness (APA).
The filling of the custodial area supervisor (AFSCME) vacancy in facilities has been approved and the search process is beginning.
The filling of the maintainer I (AFSCME) vacancy in facilities has been approved and the search process is beginning.
More on searches
One of our goals is to streamline and simplify the search process. We are reviewing the hiring guide and we are trying to make NeoGov easier to use. We are creating a reference library of user guides to make NeoGov processes and functions more accessible: our new and evolving NeoGov User Guides can be found on the MassArt Wiki here.
It’s hard to believe we’ve already had a substantial amount of snow in October. Clearly, winter is on the way. Be prepared! In the event of an emergency on campus or school closing, MassArt uses RAVE-Emergency Notification System for mobile text, voice, or email for notifications. Make sure your information is added or updated to the system by using this link: https://www.getrave.com/login/massart.
Unemployment benefits fraud
A few employees have had questions about unemployment claims fraud. If you believe someone is using your identity for such scams, the Department of Unemployment Benefits has a useful site: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/report-unemployment-benefits-fraud.
Virtual employee lounges
Do you miss walking down the hall and saying hello to a random group of MassArt colleagues? Or talking about your morning to a few friends waiting in line for coffee at Peet’s? Or joining your work friends for a quick lunch? Well, miss it no more!
Every Monday, 10:30am through 11:30am, the optional virtual employee lounge is open. The Google Meet link (and a poem of the day) is on your MassArt calendar.
Every Friday, 12:30pm through 1:30pm, the optional virtual break room is open. The Google Meet link (and a poem of the day) is on your MassArt calendar.
So come and go and say hello.
Working together to enhance our human resources
In October, President Pinder made staffing changes to reflect the unique pressures placed upon certain areas during these uncertain times. These changes include having HR report to the President’s Office and having Payroll report to A&F, although we continue to work together to ensure the smooth workings of the HR department. Currently, we are reviewing HR operations, working with our unions, and considering some potential new projects. We are also working on a posting for a new head of HR as soon as possible.
We are also updating and refining our wiki resource page. Your feedback on this site is welcomed: https://wiki.massart.edu/display/HumanResources/Human+Resources.
On a final note, we wanted to let you know that our HR director of benefits and payroll, Kathryn Oram, is completing her service at MassArt this week. She has been a valued member of our team for the past 18 years and will be missed. Thank you, Kathryn, for your years of service to MassArt, and we wish you much success in the future!
All the best,
Chief of Staff