Moving Forward Together

Dear University Staff,

Last week, we took a bold step forward in developing a future vision for our University.  The Bulldog spirit was alive and well during our strategic planning session, and it was energizing to see a room full of staff – over 200 in person and more than 30 virtually – share their thoughts and ideas on our strengths and possibilities.  I also enjoyed the opportunity to attend a session with our Marin colleagues over the weekend.  I am invigorated by your vision for the future of the University of Redlands.

Thank you to everyone who participated!  I would also like to thank URSAA leadership for their partnership in planning this event.  I am continuously impressed by the work of this staff-led organization and appreciate their work to advocate on your behalf, and I look forward to continuing to work with them.

As I have mentioned, one of my goals is to put the “uni” back in university, and your participation in the strategic planning process is necessary to ensure your voice is heard.  It is through this dialogue that we identify ways to improve and bring about positive change.

With that in mind, I’d like to take this opportunity to update you on a few initiatives currently in process on campus, and which we are actively working on to bring to fruition.

  • Salary Compensation Study – The University recently commissioned Buck Consulting to complete a salary compensation study to evaluate our current salary structures.  We have received the initial report and are working on how to implement improvements in the near future.

  • Retirement Plan Changes – In January, the University reinstated its contribution to employee retirement accounts at 2.5 percent and we plan to phase in additional increases to employee retirement accounts as soon as possible.

  • Voluntary Remote Work Policy – We are working to finalize a new policy that will allow voluntary remote work arrangements for appropriate positions.

  • Employee Benefits – We are currently negotiating the terms of our employee benefit package that includes two major changes:
    • A vision/dental plan with enhanced benefits and reduced premiums; and
    • A health insurance plan that keeps premiums flat by having the University absorb the increase in premium costs.  Because of the high inflation for healthcare, however, this plan will include some small increases to out-of-pocket expenses.  We will have more details in time for the University’s Employee Benefit Fair on April 6 – mark your calendars now.

Thank you again for your participation in planning for the future.  I hear you and thank you for sharing your thoughts.

For additional opportunities to provide feedback, please visit my Events page on the website.  We are currently planning activities for 2022, so please check back regularly as we post new events.  You can also reach out to our new Associate Vice President of Human Resources Laura Zamora to share your feedback.

Thank you for all you do!

Krista

Krista Newkirk
President