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Implementation Insights – Shared positions, Part II

December 2023 | Courtney Thornton

In the November 2023 installment of Implementation Insights, University Advancement (UA) and University Human Resources (UHR) partnered with me to highlight shared positions – specifically, the benefits those units have realized and lessons they have learned in creating and supporting shared positions. We clearly peaked your interest, as some have asked, “But how do shared positions really work?” Do financial and other systems make shared positions hard to create? Or difficult to manage?

Tim Danielson, Associate Vice Chancellor and Chief Human Resources Officer, tackles a few of your questions.

Do shared positions have two supervisors in the HR system?

No. One person is identified in the HR system as the supervisor of the position. Another person in a unit other than that of the supervisor can still provide direction to the incumbent. For example, UHR shares a position with Wilson College of Textiles. In that case, the position’s direct supervisor is the Assistant Dean for Human Resources in the WCOT. Work completed in UHR is directed by two Assistant Vice Chancellors. These arrangements for day-to-day direction may be described in Memoranda of Understanding.

On what basis is the supervisor in the HR system decided?

The direct supervisor is determined on a case-by-case basis and could be based on any number of factors, such as the relevant expertise or relative workloads of the partners. It is not an automated decision based on which organizational entity pays the majority of the position’s salary.

How does performance evaluation work for shared positions?

The direct supervisor and other individual(s) directing the work of the incumbent collaborate to complete performance evaluation. This requires effective communication and shared understanding by all parties. Best practice includes collaborating on written feedback and co-participation in performance review meetings. Within the online Wolfpack Performance Program External Link (WPP) system, the supervisor can request feedback from any others directing work of the incumbent. The direct supervisor is responsible for ensuring the required processes are completed in the WPP system.

Are shared positions jointly funded, and if so, how does that work?

Shared positions are jointly funded. The percentage of the appointment funded by the partner entities is determined on a case-by-case basis and in advance of recruiting for the incumbent. Percentages can be adjusted after work begins if necessary.

Many NC State positions are funded from multiple sources. The shared positions described by UA and UHR were established in our technical systems in ways similarly used for many other positions.

Can the person in the shared position supervise staff in an entity outside of their “home” unit?

Yes, if supervision is a part of the position’s duties and responsibilities, then they may supervise individuals. This responsibility would need to be carefully considered in setting up the position to ensure the incumbent has the capacity to devote appropriate time to supervision.

More questions about shared positions? Contact Tim Danielson, Associate Vice Chancellor – Human Resources or Ursula Hairston, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Human Resources Strategy.