2021 Human Resources Conference

July 29 & 30, 2021
Virtual Conference


It is our great pleasure to invite you to the 2021 UW System HR Conference: Resilience and Reinvention: Overcoming Hardships and Reinventing for a New Future. Registration is now open. The tentative sessions for the conference can be found below. Note: We are still working on the timing of the sessions and will share a finalized agenda soon.

Like last year, this year’s conference will be hosted virtually, will be provided at no cost, and is open to all UW System HR professionals. Please register today! The conference will take place on July 29th and July 30th and is scheduled to start in the morning and run through the early afternoon on both days.

The agenda is below. If you have any questions, comments, or conference ideas, reach out to Mason Aumanstal (maumanstal@uwsa.edu).



Thursday, July 29th:
  • Session #1: How Human Resource Decisions Affect Immigration: Almost all HR decisions affect the immigration status of our foreign national employees. This session will discuss how the creation of the position description, the hiring, any changes in the title, duties, job location, and termination of employment affects the employee’s immigration status. (Jennifer Taylor: UW-Madison)
  • Session #2: Your 403(b) Program – Reimagined: Learn about exciting enhancements to the 403(b) program coming January 1, 2022! The University’s vision is to provide a top-tier, low-cost supplemental retirement savings plan for its participants that offers:

    • Leading providers
    • Best-in-class investment options
    • A simple and engaging participant experience.

    Discover how the changes make it easy for participants to enroll, select investments, and monitor performance. Get the answers you need to help your employees understand:

    • What actions they may need to take
    • What will happen if they don’t take action
    • What resources are available for you and your employees
    • Communication that will be sent out and when
    During this session we will also discuss the program name change, the selected recordkeepers, and the investment line-up. And there’s a Q&A session at the end – so you can get your questions answered! (Rose Stephenson and Brianna Greenwood: UWSA)
  • Session #3: Administrative Transformation – Human Resources Transformation Journey: An overview of the Administrative Transformation Program, with a specific focus on Human Resources, the goals and objectives, achievements thus far and change management strategies and suggestions for HR and other leaders. (Patrick Sheehan: UW-Madison and Nick Tincher: UW-Madison)
Friday, July 30th: 
  • Session #4: Managing Pay within the Grade: This has been a difficult point in time for employees and employers, with few or no pay increases over past year. It is a good time to reset your institution compensation program and align it with strategic initiatives. An important practice in the total compensation program at UW System is managing pay within the grade, which describes the placement of pay rates in the salary grade, based on a number of compensable factors, including knowledge, skills, experience, and performance. Consistently following this guidance can help pay be competitive, equitable, and in support of your institution’s strategic vision. (Lauren Bridges: UWSA and Mario Babicic: UW-Milwaukee)
  • Session #5: When Domestic Abuse Comes to Work – Domestic violence has no boundaries, and doesn’t stay at home, it walks in the workplace every day. While HR should not give personal advice or counseling to employees, both HR and managers need to know how to interact with employees on this issue and inform what support and referrals are available. (Faye Zemel & Dawn Sharer: DAIS - Domestic Abuse Intervention Services)
  • Session #6: Principles of Academic Freedom: This session covers the historical and legal foundations of the concept of Academic Freedom.  As campuses come under increasing political focus, controversies that erupt around particular topics require skillful management by campus administrators.  In such cases, Academic Freedom plays a central role in any analysis.  This session will give HR professionals a working knowledge of Academic Freedom principles, as well as a brief overview of this year’s hot topic, Critical Race Theory. (Michael Kent: UWSA)
  • General Address by President Thompson
  • Keynote Address – Dr. Warren Anderson: UWSA Senior Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Officer