While it appears that UCAR encourages career development for administrative
staff, management and supervisory classes appear to be limited to people
who are presently managers or supervisors. If there are unfilled slots in a
class, administrative staff may be permitted to attend. What is the best
way for an administrative staff person to gain training in management and
supervision? What type of permission/support does that person need from a
supervisor or division administrator? How will such training be evaluated
if an administrative person applies for a management or supervisory position?
Answered on October 14, 2003
UCAR is working to provide managers and supervisors with training to
maximize their effectiveness in working with all levels of employees and to
best advance UCAR's mission and strategic plans. Because of limited
offerings for these classes we must offer participation first to those in
the target audience. However, there are numerous classes in the FY04 Staff
Development Catalog that are appropriate for those working to develop their
UCAR encourages staff to pursue internal and external professional
development opportunities, and many of these are listed on the Staff
Development or Career Planning Web pages. College classes or degree
programs may be funded through UCAR's Educational Assistance Program, and
classes are available through professional organizations such as Mountain
States Employers Council, although these must be funded within the division
or program. The Skills/Learning Exchange at
https://www.fin.ucar.edu/sle/slmainmenu.jsp provides resources for
employees to connect with one another. There are many online learning
sites, books, and videos on professional development topics. Rich learning
can also be provided through exploration with one's supervisor regarding
special project work or other such learning opportunities, with Human
Resources staff on career development avenues, and with those in the field
in which the employee is interested.
The supervisor must provide advance approval if time is to be taken from
work to participate in learning programs. This ensures appropriate funding
and coverage for the work that must be done. A common theme here is that it
is the employee who owns his or her career development. UCAR can provide
resources for that development.
Applicants for a supervisory or management position are evaluated on a
range of criteria such as experience, education, and training, including
education and training both inside and outside UCAR.
Question continued: Several administrative staff have
stated at meetings that while they have taken courses and developed
expertise in an area of interest, e.g., Web design or meeting planning, and
they do quite a bit of such work as part of their jobs, these tasks are not
in their job descriptions and they are not successful in being interviewed
for IT or meeting planning jobs here. What do such administrative people
need to do to become qualified applicants?
Response continued: The resume an employee submits is
reviewed for experience and skills appropriate to the job for which he or
she is applying; the employee's current job description is not a factor.
Therefore, the employee should describe the appropriate skills and
experience in his or her resume. UCAR wishes to gives employees promotion
opportunities, but at the same time the business needs must drive the
selection process. There are many applicants in today's job market and
supervisors select those best qualified to interview for the particular job.
Employees who would like tochange fields or advance to higher levels within
their current field of work are encouraged to prepare a career development
plan. Human Resources staff can work with individuals who would like
guidance in this area.
Question continued: Many administrative assistants have
stated that they do much more sophisticated work or a greater percentage of
such work than would appear from their job descriptions, yet have run into
a brick wall when trying to get reclassified. There is much speculation as
to the causes, from an attempt by the institution to keep wages depressed
to an attempt to keep good people from leaving their positions for greener
pastures. What gives?
Response continued: UCAR does not attempt to suppress
wages; in fact we are considered to be a leading employer. We do, however,
have budget constraints. The employee may have skill sets that exceed his
or her current classification, but the job is classified based on the
actual work performed whether it be in computing, scientific, or
The dynamics of our work world is that jobs change rapidly, especially as
new technologies become available. For example, when computers were
introduced word processing was a new way of doing work and that specialized
skill may have commanded greater pay. However, word processing soon became
the norm and no longer warranted special pay. More recently we have
software that allows many of us to work on Web pages without extensive
knowledge of design and HTML.
We integrate new skills into our jobs on a regular basis; sometimes it
changes the level of the job and sometimes it does not. Employees should
work with their supervisors to update the job description if there is a
significant change to the job content so that Human Resources may review
the changes. If the employee believes the supervisor inappropriately denies
additional review of the job description, the employee may access the
Problem Resolution Policies and Procedures in an effort to resolve his or
her concerns on this or other issues.
Question continued: From reading the list of new hires in
the daily calendar, it appears that not all positions are posted on the
weekly announcement of open positions. How does this system work?
Response continued: All jobs are posted on the Career
Opportunities Web page unless there is an approved waiver of the normal
requirement to post a position, as specified in the Search and Selection
Policy 2-1-3 and Procedures. This occurs infrequently. In addition,
scientific visitors need not be competed through our search and selection
process, but when a visitor is on our payroll he or she is listed as an
-Terry Woods, Manager
-Bob Roesch, Director