Ask Your Questions About Career Architecture Project During Town Halls

Ask Your Questions About Career Architecture Project During Town Halls

By Kyle MittanUniversity Communications
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Kelly Delforge is director of human resources strategy and UCAP's project director.
Kelly Delforge is director of human resources strategy and UCAP's project director.

This is the second in an occasional series about the University Career Architecture Project. For more information and updates, visit

Classified staff and appointed professionals who have questions about the University Career Architecture Project will have a chance to ask members of the project team and advisory council directly in a series of town halls.

The project, which will better define nonfaculty job titles, support career progression, and better match compensation practices with those used outside the University, began in May and is expected to be completed in July 2019. The project affects classified staff and appointed professionals, but not faculty. Appointed professionals fall under the larger umbrella of appointed personnel and do not include faculty.

"One of the commitments we’ve made is that we are going to have a strong focus on communication," said Kelly Delforge, director of human resources strategy and UCAP's project director. "In an effort to make sure all employees have an opportunity to come learn about the project, engage in a dialogue and get their questions answered, we're hosting these town halls."

The town halls will be held at UA South on Friday, on main campus on Nov. 2. and on the Phoenix Biomedical Campus on Nov. 6.

The goal of UCAP is to create a more straightforward and easy-to-understand career structure that supports career progression and makes it possible to match UA jobs with jobs in the external market for compensation benchmarking purposes. By the end of the project, classified staff and appointed personnel positions will be categorized by job functions and grouped into "families." For example, the information technology function may have families that include systems support, network engineering and telecommunications. Each job family level will have a market-based salary range.

"While we have been pleased with the positive response we have received so far, we want to be responsive to potential community input," said Allison Vaillancourt, vice president for business affairs and human resources. "These town halls will give us an opportunity to course-correct, if necessary."

Shortly after the project was announced in May, the UA hired Mercer Consulting, which will be strategic partners with the UA in designing and managing the project. That includes market analysis, financial modeling and implementation, plus the development of career frameworks and salary ranges. The company will also develop new salary ranges and help with financial modeling and implementation plans, Delforge said.

Human Resources also launched a website for the project to explain what it is, and to gather and respond to feedback.

The next steps for the project team include finalizing career models for all UA job functions and families and reaching out to subject matter experts to ensure job duties are appropriately described. That process is expected to run into the spring.

External market salary data will then be matched to UA career models and current incumbents, allowing the University to assess market competitiveness and salary equity. This is expected to start in early summer and run through late summer to early fall, Delforge said.

Departments will begin matching positions to the new models in March. The advisory council also is drafting policies and procedures while collecting input from groups like the Appointed Professionals Advisory Council and the Classified Staff Council. The chairs of the UA's three shared governance groups have seats on the UCAP Advisory Council:

  • Sara Knepper, director of academic advising at the College of Education and APAC chair
  • Christina Rocha, senior accountant in Research, Development & Innovation Services and CSC chair
  • Michael Brewer, interim senior information resource officer, librarian and vice chair of the faculty

Employees who can't make it to a town hall are invited to submit questions via the UCAP website, Delforge said. Each question will be answered directly by the project team, and the names of those who submitted questions will be kept confidential. Answers to questions that may be helpful to a wider audience will also be posted under the website's FAQ section. Passing questions or concerns along to APAC and CSC representatives is also a good way to communicate with the team, Delforge said.

Involvement early on in the process is important, she added.

"This project marks a significant change for the University," Delforge said. "We encourage everyone – and especially appointed professionals and classified staff – to learn about it and provide feedback so the process is inclusive and so we can ensure people get the information they need."

The first town hall was held this morning at UA Health Sciences. Three more are planned:

UA South
10-11:30 a.m., Friday, Oct. 27
South Campus, Public Media Room

Main Campus
10-11:30 a.m., Thursday, Nov. 2
Fred Fox School of Music, Crowder Hall
This town hall will be livestreamed.

Phoenix Biomedical Campus
10-11:30 a.m., Monday, Nov. 6
Building 2, Room 2206

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