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Welcome to the Delphi Service

Marc Genty
Delphi coordinator Marc Genty.

UCAR operates the Delphi Service to allow staff to query management about UCAR policy and practice in a confidential manner. Since its creation in 1974, hundreds of questions have been asked and answered through the service.

The Delphi Coordinator, elected by staff every four years, oversees the process. In June 2006, UCAR employees elected Marc Genty as Delphi Coordinator. Employees submit questions to the Delphi Service by contacting the coordinator.

Confidentiality is the key component of the Delphi process. When a question is submitted to the Delphi Coordinator, it should include the name of the questioner; however, before the question is forwarded to an appropriate responder, the name is removed. If you have a question or concern, but aren't certain how to phrase it, the Delphi Coordinator is happy to help. Questions and answers of general interest are published in full. Others are listed by subject in the online Delphi Archive.

Alternatives to Delphi

Staff are encouraged to query management directly whenever anonymity is not a concern. In addition, the UCAR Ombuds Office provides confidential assistance to employees and visitors to help resolve issues related to employment or appointment at UCAR.

Submitting a Delphi Question

There are three options for sending Delphi questions to Marc. Please send your question, including your name and contact information, either

– via interoffice mail in a sealed envelope marked "confidential,”
– via e-mail (this option does not guarantee privacy), or
– to the home address of the Delphi Coordinator (call the coordinator to get address information).

If you would like Marc to correspond with you at home, please include your home address.

Contact Marc Genty at ext. 1210, by e-mail at mgenty@ucar.edu, or at the Mesa Lab, room 44d.

Tips for writing Delphi questions

  • Questions that need not be anonymous or confidential can go to outlets other than Delphi, particularly when they may lack broad interest. Sending routine questions about building maintenance, signage, and flags directly to Physical Plant Services or Safety and Site Services may be more efficient than querying Delphi.
  • In addition, Human Resources has an online index that answers many common HR questions, as well as a “How do I?” page with instructions for everything from finding staff development classes to adjusting the heat in your office. (See “On the Web” for more information.)
  • Include enough details so that the respondent will be able to give you a satisfactory response. Follow-on questions are allowed.
  • While it’s acceptable to make general comments about a situation that troubles you, be sure to include an actual question if you’re seeking a specific answer.
  • At times you may be asked to revise the wording of a question to provide additional clarity, to protect your confidentiality, or to be more in tune with a spirit of collegiality.
  • Avoid giving examples that cite the names of other individuals, unless such names are central to the nature of the question.

 

Delphi Service Policy 1-5

UCAR's policy is to establish, maintain, and foster communication among all employees. The Delphi Service, administered by the Delphi Coordinator, is one means by which any employee may ask a question related to the operation of UCAR and receive an answer, while maintaining anonymity. UCAR Policy & Procedures Manual, Section 1-5, Delphi Service Policy

Provisions

1. Purpose of Service

The Delphi Service is intended to improve institutional effectiveness, employee morale, and working conditions by:

  1. Giving employees the opportunity to obtain answers to questions or concerns about UCAR policy and practice, especially in cases where they believe their personal interests are at stake;
  2. Giving them the opportunity to do so in a way that preserves the confidentiality of the questioner;
  3. Giving supervisors and managers the opportunity to learn more about the concerns of employees;
  4. Giving employees the opportunity to make suggestions for changes in UCAR policy or practice that would improve UCAR’s performance; and
  5. Disseminating to all employees through Staff Notes appropriate questions and answers.

2. Delphi Coordinator

The Delphi Coordinator is nominated and elected by UCAR employees and is expected to perform the service as a one-person function. An employee nominated to be Coordinator should confer with his/her supervisor to discuss how the time and effort required will be accommodated within his/her workload. Supervisors must arrange workloads to allow an employee to serve as Coordinator, if elected.

Any employee with at least four years of UCAR employment, except those holding management positions (i.e., whose salaries are in the management salary structure), and who occupies a part-time or full-time UCAR position may be nominated for Coordinator. Nominations are invited by the UCAR President. They may be made by any person, and the employee may nominate him/herself. Qualifications should include high personal integrity, detailed knowledge of the organization, and the ability to maintain the trust and confidence of employees. The Coordinator serves a term of four years and may stand for re-election for one additional four-year term. No individual may serve as Coordinator for more than eight years.

3. Election of Delphi Coordinator

Secret ballots are sent to all UCAR employees. Election is by majority vote. If no nominee receives a majority, a second secret ballot is taken to choose between the two individuals receiving the greatest number of votes.

4. Process

The process for Delphi Service is as follows:

  1. An employee submits a signed question in a sealed envelope, including his/her home address, to the Delphi Coordinator. The Coordinator acknowledges receipt in writing by placing a note addressed to the questioner’s home address in a public mailbox.
  2. The Coordinator sends a copy of the question, without disclosing the questioner’s name, to the appropriate manager.
  3. The respondent answers the question, or arranges that an answer be provided, coordinating policy-level questions with appropriate management personnel. Answers are due in the coordinator’s office within five working days. If additional time is required, the respondent must so state. Answers must be signed.
  4. If there is no response within five working days, or if the coordinator believes the answer to be inadequate, the coordinator discusses the matter with the respondent and arrives at an agreement as to when an answer will be provided and, as appropriate, what subject matter it will cover.
  5. The Coordinator sends the answer to the questioner at his/her home address, placing it in a public mailbox. If a substantial delay is involved, the Coordinator informs the questioner of the delay and tells him/her when an answer is likely to be forthcoming.
  6. The Coordinator selects questions and answers of general interest to the staff and forwards them to Staff Notes for publication (unless the questioner has specifically asked that this not be done). Questioners’ names are, of course, omitted; respondents’ names are included.
  7. The Coordinator maintains files of questions and answers, but the names of the questioners are omitted from questions so filed. Respondents’ names are included.

5. Information to Staff

Delphi Service information is provided on the Web at http://www.ucar.edu/delphi. The site contains the policy and processes of the service and a chronological list of Delphi questions and answers, plus frequently asked questions designed to assist staff who are considering using the Delphi Service.

6. Reports to Management

The Coordinator informs, as necessary, the President, the Director of NCAR, and the Director of UOP about the questions received; and the adequacy of the responses. The Coordinator may also initiate meetings with the President, the Director of NCAR, or the Director of UOP as needed.

Responsibilities 

  1. The President is responsible for the process of electing the Delphi Coordinator.
  2. The Delphi Coordinator is responsible for handling the Delphi process outlined above and for reporting to the President and the Directors of NCAR and UOP.
Delphi Provisions 11/99, revised 09/08

Frequently Asked Questions 

    1. Why hasn't Staff Notes printed as many Delphi questions as it used to?

Because the questioners have requested nonpublication. Because those questions refer to specific people and/or circumstances, to ensure true anonymity for the questioner and a more substantial, specific reply from the respondent than might be the case if published, Delphi Coordinators sometimes agree to nonpublication in those instances.

The Delphi Archives, begun in 1995, provide the service with more visibility and, we hope, access within the UCAR community, by providing all interested staff the opportunity to see the chronological listing of all Delphi questions submitted to the coordinator.

    1. How can I ask the Delphi Coordinator questions about the question I want to submit?

This can be done easily by calling Marc Genty at ext. 1210 during business hours, or by sending e-mail to mgenty@ucar.edu.  

 

The Delphi Archives

 


 

The following is a historic list that is no longer updated. It includes all Delphi questions from 1995 through June 2008. Questions with published answers include links to those answers; questions without links were answered confidentially. 

 
Question Date Respondent Topic
414* 2-95 FSS Personal mail delivery
415* 2-95 UCAR Pres Party policy clarification
416 2-95 Div/Pgm Dir Personnel matter
417* 2-95 FSS Building maintenance issues
418 2-95 Finance Timecards
419 3-95 HR-Div/Pgm Dir Employment procedures
419A 4-95 HR-Div/Pgm Dir Follow-up to question 419
420 6-95 HR Position description clarification
421 8-95 NCAR Dir Policy clarification
422 1-96 NCAR Dir Position description clarification
423 4-96 FSS Building equipment
424* 8-96 HR Performance appraisal, salary increases
425* 8-96 Pgm Mgr Scheduling outside activities
426 8-96 NCAR Dir Policy clarification
427 12-96 Finance Payroll clarification
428* 1-97 Finance UCAR policy clarification re staff positions
429* 2-97 Finance Follow-up to question 428
430* 2-97 HR Retirement benefits clarification
431 5-97 HR Retirement policies
432* 5-97 FSS Outside maintenance
433* 5-97 FSS UCAR vendor selection and e-mail
434* 5-97 HR Severance pay
435* 7-97 Finance UCAR reimbursement for personal loss
436* 10-97 HR Alternative health care option
437* 11-97 HR Health insurance options
438* 12-97 HR Health insurance provider rating
439* 5-98 HR Home Internet connection
440* 9-99 Facilities Smoking at FL
441* 10-99 HR EAC
442* 11-99 HR Physical Therapy
443* 02/00 FAC Snow Removal
444* 02/00 HR TIAA-CREF
445* 03/00 FAC Speeding at FL
446* 03/00 Cafe Cafeteria Hygiene
447* 04/00 Cafe Lunch Crowds
448* 04/00 FAC Auto-Flush Toilets
449* 03/00 FAC Smoking at FL
Various* 06/00 FAC Great Moments in Delphi History
450* 06/00 Cafe Pearl Street Food Service
451* 06/00 FAC Display of American Flag
452* 06/00 EAC T-Shirt sales
453* 06/00 Exhibits ML Exhibit Noise
454* 06/00 FAC Artwork in ML
455* 06/00 HR, FAC Family leave; tree plaza
456 08/00 Contracts Policy Clarification
457* 08/00 Safety Smoking on the Trails
458* 08/00 Safety FL Bicycle Commuters
459* 09/00 HR Family Leave
460* 09/00 Policy Boy Scouts
461* 09/00 HR Sick Leave
462* 09/00 HR Personal Hygiene
463* 12/00 HR Insurance
464* 01/01 HR Leave Policy
465 01/01 HR Policy Clarification
466* 01/01 IP Policy on the Web
467* 01/01 IP Policy Clarification
468* 01/01 FAC Conference Room
469* 02/01 FAC Recycling
470* 02/01 HR Daycare
471* 03/01 HR Educational Assistance
472* 03/01 HR Insurance Provider
473* 04/01 Cafe Bottled Water
474* 04/01 FAC Tree Plaza
475 05/01 HR Personnel Issue
476* 05/01 HR Evaluations
477* 05/01 FAC Recycling
478* 06/01 Traffic Services Shuttles
479* 07/01 FAC Plaza Watering
480* 07/01 Safety Dogs on Trails
481* 08/01 HR Alcohol Policy
482* 08/01 HR Dress Code
483* 08/01 HR Personal Time
484* 09/01 HR Water Fountains
485* 11/01 Comm NCAR Logo
486* 04/02 HR Insurance Providers
487* 05/02 PPS Lawn Care
488* 06/02 FAC Fountain Plaza
489* 08/02 PPS PAM (Portable Automated Mesonet)
490* 08/02 Cafe

Catering contract

491* 08/02 PPS

Prairie Dogs

492 08/02 PPS PAM
493 10/02 HR Personnel matter
494 10/02 FAC Fountain Plaza
495* 10/02 NETS

Phone messaging clock

496* 11/02 HR Leave Plan
497* 11/02 HR Family Benefits
498* 11/02 Finance Salaries for cleaning crew
499* 01/03 HR Staff Development
500* 03/03 Comm Publications on the Web
501* 05/03 Safety Stolen Car
502* 6/03 CAP Prairie Dog display
503* 6/03 Bus Serv Nap Room
504* 8/03 SASS First Aid Rooms
505* 9/03 IT Online pay stub
506* 10/03 HR Training and employment procedures
507* 10/03 Finance/SASS Facility Rentals
508* 10/03 PPS Ground Maintenance
511* 11/03 SCD web Web Servers
512* 12/03 UCAR Pres

Outstanding Accomplishment Awards

513* 1/04 SASS Foothills Lab Crosswalk
514* 3/04 EAC Spring Fling menu
515 5/04 Finance Property management
516 6/04 Finance Frequently-flyer miles
518* 7/04 PPS ML Fountain
520* 9/04 PPS Recycling
521* 8/04 Facilities CG Fire safety
522* 8/04 SASS CG MERT
524* 9/04 SASS Solicitation
526* 9/04 Finance International Travel
527* 9/04 Finance overhead tax
528* 10/04 HR Cigna ID cards
529* 11/04 SASS Offensive Cafeteria Signs
531* 1/05 HR Pet Care
532* 2/05 SASS Construction Parking
533* 4/05 HESS & LO Moving Office Furniture
534 4/05 F&A Flag Etiquette
535* 4/05 SASS Parking Renovations
538* 6/05 B&P Base Funding Cuts
539* 8/05 PPS Parking at CG1
540* 8/05 Event Services Cafeteria Menu
542* 10/05 PPS Center Green Fire Alarms
543* 10/05 HR HR Policies, Dress Code, Personal Calls
544* 10/05 PPS Office Temperatures
545* 10/05 HESS Driving Through a Stop Sign
546* 10/05 Delphi Confidentiality vs. Anonymity
547* 11/05 PPS Toilet Paper Waste
550* 1/06 UCAR Pres Professional Memberships
551* 1/06 PPS FL Basketball Court
552* 2/06 NETS Phone Solicitations
553* 3/06 SASS Visitor Parking Spaces
554* 3/06 HR Polyamorous Employee
555* 6/06 SASS FL0 Courtyard Public Events
556* 9/06 SASS American Flag at Center Green
557* 9/06 HR EAC Bowling Team Sponsorship
558 8/06 Event Services Cafeteria Music
559 8/06 HR Medical Leave
560* 9/06 PPS CG Fitness Center
561 10/06 SASS CO Smoking Ban
562* 10/06 HR On-Site Massage Therapy
563* 10/06 HR Webhire Formatting Issues
564* 10/06 PPS Non-Renewable Energy Consumption
565* 10/06 PPS FL1 Prairie Dogs vs. Lawn
566 10/06 F&A Non-Staff Event Participation Question
567 11/06 HR TIAA-CREF Problems/Questions
568 11/06 HR On-Call Boundaries/Limits
569* 01/07 Event Services Trans-Fat-Free UCAR Cafeterias
570 01/07 F&A UCAR Closure Questions
571* 01/07 F&A Purchasing Carbon Offsets
572* 02/07 SASS Energy Conservation
573* 03/07 HR TIAA-CREF & Socially Responsible Investing
574* 06/07 PPS FL Herbicides
575* 08/07 EAC EAC Discounts
576* 08/07 F&A Contract Employee Benefits
577* 08/07 SASS Official NCAR Shipping Address
578* 08/07 HR Confidentiality In Hiring Process
579* 09/07 PPS CG Fitness Center (Update)
580 09/07 PPS ML Signage
581* 10/07 HR Vision & Dental Medical Emergency Coverage
582* 11/07 Event Services Minimal Waste & Recycling In ML Cafeteria
583* 01/08 HR Freelance Writing Opportunity & Outside Employment
584* 02/08 PPS American Flag Replacement Criteria
585* 03/08 PPS Exempt To Non-Exempt Reclassification
586* 03/08 HR Hiring Freeze
587* 04/08 HR PayFlex
588* 06/08 NCAR Directorate Space Planning Update
589* 06/08 SASS Severe Weather Alerts

*Published questions and responses