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University Human Resources Annual Report

FY 2021-22

In January 2022, University Human Resources welcomed a new associate vice chancellor, Tim Danielson, an HR veteran with more than 20 years of progressive HR leadership experience. Danielson is crafting new goals and an innovative vision for the HR community at NC State while also providing executive guidance on projects UHR began to develop before his arrival.

Before Danielson’s arrival at NC State, UHR was under the excellent interim leadership of Assistant Vice Chancellors Margaret Erickson and Ursula Hairston, and Director of Human Resources Information Management and Analytics Ryan Bernarduci. Under interim leadership for 7 months, UHR worked diligently to help the institution manage ongoing challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic and prepare for the endemic stage of COVID-19. Throughout it all, the UHR team has shown remarkable dedication to NC State, and its faculty and staff.

In fiscal year 2021-22, UHR continued its efforts to transform the HR function at NC State by creating more best-in-class programs for NC State employees while enhancing our existing offerings. We believe those efforts and other accomplishments over the past few fiscal years are among the reasons why NC State was listed as the top large employer in North Carolina on Forbes’ 2022 list of America’s Best Large Employers.

UHR’s fiscal year 2021-22 accomplishments are presented in this annual report. Under Danielson’s leadership, UHR will continue to innovate the HR function at NC State while introducing new programs and improving existing ones to attract world-class talent and retain our current gifted workforce.

NC State at a Glance: FY 2021-22



Average Employee Age


Average Years of Service


Total Years of Service

Staff Highlights and Accolades

Events and Campus Activities

Special Programs and Initiatives

FY 2021-22 UHR Accomplishments

Categorized by NC State’s 2021-30 Strategic Plan Goals

Goal 2: Ensure preeminence in research, scholarship, innovation and collaboration.

  • In partnership with the Office of Faculty Excellence, Learning & Organizational Development designed and delivered the 2nd running of the Faculty LEAD Program for 28 faculty who desired to enhance their effectiveness in leadership positions. This program covers six topics and had a 100% participation rate with all 28 faculty receiving Faculty LEAD certificates. (Also supports strategic goals 4 and 5)
  • In November 2021, NC State partnered with a new vendor, InfoMart, to provide background checks, foreign education verifications, and motor vehicle records checks for the purposes of employment. Concurrent with a vendor change, leveraging automation between our HRIS and our new vendor’s systems, NC State enhanced the HR system to allow for more streamlined entry and processing of background check records through JAR. In addition, the Background Check Program implemented internal process changes focused on improving the speed of review for completed checks. (Also supports strategic goals 5 and 6)
    • Since the beginning of November, more than 4,300 background checks have been completed; and median monthly cycle time (time from the time an applicant submits their consent to the time the the background check team endorses the hire) was reduced/improved by 81% from 8.84 days in July 2021 to 1.67 days in February 2022 and has remained under 2 days each month since February.

Goal 3: Expand and advance our engagement with and service to North Carolina and beyond, defining the standard for a 21st-century land-grant university.

  • In July 2021, International Employment launched a new immigration case management system called Sunapsis. This system is used jointly with OIS to provide one immigration system for all of campus to use for immigration sponsorship. The system allows for more efficient processing of cases and for more secure data storage and security. Eventually the system will also be used for a visual timeline to track case status and have additional auto-communication features. (Also supports strategic goal 5)
    • Since launch, 99 cases have been initiated using the system and the user response has been positive. During FY 21-22, International Employment has sustained a 100% petition approval rate from the federal government.
  • Enhancements are being made to the Paid Parental Leave (PPL) process. The Leave team has added a consultation process when an employee inquires about PPL, which University Human Resources, FY 2021-22 Annual Report July 2022 gives the employee a chance to learn about their options and how to best utilize the PPL benefit. This has reduced the overall number of concerns from employees and supervisors. Additionally, a survey is being sent to all users of the PPL program to gauge overall satisfaction and areas of improvement.

Goal 4: Champion a culture of equity, diversity, inclusion, belonging and well-being in all we do.

  • In collaboration with the Office of Institutional Strategy and Analysis, and the Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity, UHR is in the process of revising the staff exit survey.

Goal 5: Improve university effectiveness through transformative technologies, cutting-edge processes and actionable data.

  • NC State conducted its bi-annual Employee Engagement Survey between March 28 and April 11.
    • UHR developed an Engagement Survey website, and also assisted with campus awareness of the survey through emails and the Howl You Know newsletter.
    • To assist employees with technical limitations, UHR set up several laptop survey stations across campus.
  • Two workgroups of cross campus constituents were created to draft two university regulations: Flexible Work Arrangements for hybrid remote working agreements and Remote Work for limited arrangements working 100% offsite. Flexible work was made effective Oct. 1 and Remote work was effective March 1.
    • UHR developed a website for flexible work arrangements, which included the FWA regulation, supervisor guidance, and a request form which routes the employee request to their supervisor for approval.
    • Since October the website has been viewed over 5,000 times and employees have submitted nearly 2800 form requests to UHR.
  • UHR developed an employee Learning Plan Discussion Guide as an optional resource that managers and employees can use as part of the performance-planning process at NC State. The guide is offered in an abbreviated and a comprehensive version. UHR created this guide to help facilitate a performance-planning discussion that focuses on employees’ professional goals, motivations, talents, strengths and development. (Also supports strategic goal 4)
  • UHR published its 2020-21 annual report highlighting accomplishments during the final phase of the 2018-21 strategic plan.
  • Enhancements are underway to improve and modernize the customer service UHR provides to NC State employees.
    • In November 2021, the HR Service Center was formed through the combination of three separate existing functions–background check program, I-9 program, and the HR front desk–with the intent to increase service capacity of key HR services and enhance service delivery to our customers.
    • In April 2022, the ServiceNow HR Service Delivery platform project kicked off. This cutting-edge software will be the go-to place to get answers to HR-related questions and request HR services. The platform will include a virtual agent and an intuitive knowledge base to help employees get the answers they need. If additional assistance is needed or if an employee needs to request a service, they will easily be able to create a case in the case management system which will route directly to the HR Service Center.
    • In February 2022, the UHR website began Phase 1 of a complete redesign. The purpose of the redesign is to align UHRs website with the current university technology and branding standards, to help promote the university as a premiere destination for prospective employees, to better market UHR services to campus, and to fully integrate the ServiceNow HR Service Delivery platform. Phase 1 was the redesign of the news site and moving our current news to the UComm news platform. This was completed in February 2022. Phase 2 will be redesigning our central site and will commence in September 2022.
  • Two pilot programs were initiated in 2021 to enhance the university’s recruitment efforts, SparkHire and SkillSurvey.
    • SparkHire, a video interviewing partner, offers a platform for one-way video interviews in early-stage candidate evaluation. These one-way interviews, in which a candidate records themselves answering pre-developed questions, may be used to replace real-time early-stage interactions like phone screens and offer selected candidates an opportunity to address pre-established questions in a video format at a day/time of their choosing prior to a deadline. From a hiring manager’s perspective, the platform offers managers an opportunity to interview University Human Resources, FY 2021-22 Annual Report July 2022 more candidates in less time. From a candidate’s perspective, the expanded interview capacity and flexibility offer more opportunities to interview for vacancies at NC State at times convenient to them.
    • SkillSurvey, an electronic reference checking partner, will help to enhance the university’s reference checking process, moving from a phone-based and paper-documented process to an automated, electronic process. This new partnership is expected to increase the efficiency and quality of the reference checking process while also reducing the burden and time required of hiring managers to complete references for NC State opportunities.
  • UHR has partnered with OIT as well as college and division HR leadership to begin development of an electronic performance management system, to replace our current manual paper process. The first phase of this project included the build out of a prototype which is being tested by a targeted group of employees for one trial year. The first half of fiscal year 22-23 will be Phase 2 dedicated to the collection of feedback about the Phase 1 SHRA cycle and the build and testing of the EHRA cycle. The full automated program will launch university-wide in the Spring of 2023.
  • HR Information Management & Analytics began development of online retention and recruitment dashboards. The interactive data visualization dashboards can be utilized by university leaders to make data-driven business decisions related to employees as it pertains to the following metrics: turnover rate, new hire turnover rate, retention rate, time to fill, and vacancy rate. Phase 1 rollout to campus leadership, which includes the retention rate, turnover rate and vacancy rate, is on schedule to meet the August 2022 target date.
  • Learning and Organizational Development enhanced its Leadership Education And Development (LEAD) web page by adding a search feature that is integrated with the REPORTER system. Employees can now search for the professional development categories they are interested in.

Goal 6: Lead in developing innovative partnerships, entrepreneurial thinking and applied problem-solving.

  • Classification and Compensation began implementation of a subject matter expert (SME) operational model The goal of this new model is to reduce the review and approval time for large scale position and salary actions and employ a consultative model that allows for a full review of similar or same positions across the university. (Also supports strategic goals 4 and 5)
    • Phase one of the implementation was completed in May 2022, with the roll out of a consultation process for large scale position and salary actions enabling the class and comp team to perform early assessment and review of position and salary actions for positions across the university.

Goal 7: Elevate the national and global reputation and visibility of NC State.

  • NC State was named Best Large Employer in North Carolina, according to Forbes annual survey. It’s welcome news that NC State employees overwhelmingly endorsed the university as a great place to work. NC State ranked fourth last year and ninth in 2020 among North Carolina companies.
    • In an effort to promote NC State’s ranking, UHR has developed marketing materials to share with our campus colleagues. Printable posters (example below), a digital image for the web and a billboard slide were made available to campus in April.