Senior Change Manger Fredrick Martin and the UVA HR leadership team are tasked with the implementation of Ufirst, a project that will merge more than 70 HR programs and 11 distinct HR offices in both the academic division and the health system into a single, seamless HR. Ufirst will also leverage new technology that will provide self-serve HR to approximately 30,000 employees.
It is an ambitious and complex project for the university, and the first in a new strategic effort to streamline university operations to make them more efficient, less costly, and best in class.
Martin's experience is in the corporate context. Academia presents novel problems because of its complex governance structure. Change in the academic context requires buy-ins from many different stakeholders who could "opt-out, " which could prolong decision-making and derail implementation. Martin and his team must also contend with complex regulations governing hiring and workforce management.
Martin needs to figure out how to support the needed change to a new culture where HR professionals are strategic partners with the people they serve rather than transactional experts. They needed to demonstrate to a large university community the power of collaboration and integration to revitalize HR.