The following organizations support personnel functions, referred to as the "personnel department," at the Institute: Benefits and Systems; Disability/Accessibility Services; Employee Relations; Human Resources Practices Design/Development; Team Training and Development. Also reporting to the Vice President for Human Resources is MIT's Medical Department. Members of the staffs in the Medical Department, the personnel department, and the associated offices of the Coordinator of Disability/Accessibility Services, and the Family Resource Center, continue to focus energy on finding ways to provide more effective service to the community, to facilitate the process of change, and to seek a better understanding of the unmet needs expressed in feedback from students, faculty and staff.
The Medical Department is to be commended on achieving, for the second time with commendation, accreditation by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. This achievement is a further recognition of the fine work of members of the department and one of which they can be very proud.
The of Disability/Accessibility Services Office, under the leadership of Barbara Roberts, has experienced an extremely busy year, with a major increase in the number of requests from students for various types of accommodations. The Office has also seen a doubling of requests from employees for help, especially in the area of repetitive strain injuries.
Members of the Benefits Office continue to handle a heavy volume of work. The retirement incentive program provided until September 1996 for faculty and staff to leave MIT. Quite a few members of the faculty and staff took advantage of the additional time to enable a smoother transition in departments. Work needed to be refined and reorganized to ensure that no more than 50% of the administrative, support and service staff positions, vacated as a result of the retirement incentive, were filled. The Personnel Services group worked closely with departments, and with individuals, when the level of stress expressed by employees during the transition period increased as work adjustments were experienced.
The Human Resource Practices Development Team, captained by Patricia Brady, is continuing to work with members of the personnel department, and with the community, to explore and address ways in which work practices can be improved, how certain personnel policies can better reflect employee needs, and to recommend changes in personnel practices that will be more appropriate for our changing work force. The enthusiasm exhibited by the Team is heartening.
I want to take this opportunity to thank all members of the staffs under the Vice President for Human Resources for their dedication, caring, and good humor, and for the help they have given to me and to others during the past year. I want to note especially the work Shelly LaVallee contributed in producing the 1996-97 Affirmative Action Plan.
A number of staffing changes took place. Robert Lewis was promoted to Director of Personnel for Employee Relations , Marianne Howard was promoted to Director of Personnel for Benefits and Systems, Margaret Ann Gray was promoted to Manager of Training and Development, Judy Raymond was promoted to Compensation System Specialist and Toan Mac was promoted to Administrative Staff.
Nancy Collins took advantage of the retirement incentive. Deborah Tyrrell, Cynthia Kam and Sarah Conroy left to pursue positions that provided greater interest.
As of June 1, 1997, of the total of 33 administrative staff in the personnel department, 10(30%) are members of minority groups and 23(70%) are women. (In 1996, of the total of 34 administrative staff in the personnel department, 10(29%) were members of minority groups and 27(79%) were women
As of June 1, 1997, of the total of 20 support staff in the personnel department, 3(16%) are members of minority groups and 15(75%) are women. (In 1996, of the total of 20 support staff in the personnel department, 4(20%) were members of minority groups and 15(75%) were women.
Joan F. Rice
This has been a year of consolidation and retooling in the aftermath of major changes in senior personnel brought on by the early retirement incentive program at MIT. The departure of 17 individuals, 14 in clinically-related activities, was staggered over a period of five months that spanned the prior and current reporting years. At this same time, we were beginning preparations for the visit of the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) surveyors in October 1996.
The Department, through the dedicated hard work of individuals at every level, has done extremely well given the challenges we faced internally alongside an ever challenging and competitive outside environment. The JCAHO visit resulted in an overall score of 96% and Accreditation with Commendation for a second consecutive three-year period. Recruitment of key personnel in a number of vital areas has energized and expanded those services. Especially noteworthy has been the new leadership that has been provided by Laureen Gray, R.N., C.S., Director of Nursing, who has greatly enhanced clinical collaboration between physicians and nurse practitioners and improved administrative/clinical joint planning.
Other noteworthy achievements and initiatives that should be mentioned in this introduction include:
the Psychiatric and Social Services groups into a single Mental Health Service.
In response to complaints from patients about lack of privacy and to facilitate
the work of a merged service, we have begun renovations that will be enabling
for patients and staff.
improvement in the integration and communication of our patient care activities
through an affiliation with Partners HealthCare, especially with services at
the MGH in essentially all areas of medicine and surgery, and technologies not
available in the Department at MIT.
and expansion of medical information system under the very capable leadership
of Mr. John Lightfoot and his group along with representatives from clinical
and administrative areas.
of the first floor renovations during the summer of 1996, providing more
comfort, privacy, safety, access and efficiency for patients we serve and our
staff. Additionally, a triage nurse is now present in the area to assist
patients, who phone in or appear, to get to appropriate clinical providers or
information materials about the Department to improve clarity, emphasize our
uniqueness as an MIT institution, focus on new relationships with Partners
HealthCare System, and inform and market our health care products to MIT
personnel and students
of focus groups, representing our various constituencies and geographic
locations to evaluate the need for alternative satellite locations for
receiving care, a piece of our marketing effort.
Department-wide patient service effort, ComMITment to Care, has been
launched and a multi-disciplinary steering committee formed as part of our
determination to serve our patients and work more effectively among each other.
In concluding this robust introduction, I would be remiss if I failed to emphasize several factors that have contributed to a very significant and productive year. Much of what has been achieved or initiated has been the result of a spirited interdisciplinary effort in which individuals from every level of clinical and administrative responsibility contributed. It has provided a significant momentum that has also been translated into a continuing effort to lower our expenses and improve our revenue. And our commitment to diversity continues as a major goal, realized this past year and currently through the appointment of several providers of Asian background. Without the efforts of the entire Department, but especially with the enormous contributions of Annette Jacobs, Executive Director, and William Kettyle, M.D., Associate Medical Director, this report could not be written with such enthusiasm and pride.
MEDICAL CARE ACTIVITIES
This past year has been one of change and anticipated planning for a combined service with Harvard University's Dental Service. This change has resulted from a combination of factors that included our own planning for the future and discussions with Harvard University's Health Service. As a result, we are looking forward to the future but also have seen changes within the group, namely the retirement of the secretary of many years and the presence of several new dentists. Other than traditional activities of the Dental Service there has been a clinical research effort studying temporal mandibular joint disorder, a common problem seen in dental practices in general and also seen here at MIT.
Several areas within the Medical Services' responsibilities have been addressed during this past year. With the early retirement initiative we were given the opportunity to re-examine the Trauma/Triage area and also the Urgent Care appointments' scheduling. Working with the nursing service, a nurse practitioner for this area was hired and, in addition, a second nurse with competence as a triage provider was added. Both moves have represented an improvement in our ability to serve patients. In addition, we also have instituted nursing coverage for immunizations and certain other routine procedures. Finally, in February, the Department welcomed a new internist, an accomplished infectious disease and general physician, Howard Heller, who had served at the Massachusetts General Hospital for the past six years.
The relationships with the MGH have continued to evolve. Our internists now cover and care for hospitalized patients at the MGH when admitted to the general medical service and we continue to benefit by having a tertiary cardiologist, Dr. James McFarland, provide care for patients with acute cardiology problems. Direct access to MGH patient computerized data has been achieved and is now directly available in physicians' offices here at MIT.
A program to evaluate internists' contributions to the clinical and extra clinical work of the Department was introduced by Dr. William Kettyle, Associate Medical Director. Many areas are included in this evaluative instrument which also provides a program for monitoring activities on the clinical care service. Our internists are now HMO Blue providers and this will enable the Department to negotiate better rates with outside hospitals. We are also in preparation for a Senior Plan which we hope to have in place this next year which will allow us to receive Medicare reimbursement for patients who are hospitalized in our Inpatient Unit.
In addition to these activities, as well as ongoing patient care activities, the majority of internists and nurse practitioners participated in an Advanced Cardiac Life Support course that was given for the MIT and Harvard University Health Services and hosted here at MIT. Other educational activities continued as before with weekly primary care conferences, attended by both physicians and nurse practitioners, as well as at least a monthly educational luncheon conference.
In summary, despite a number of changes and transitions in the Medical Department, the internists continued to strive to deliver high quality personalized health care while being ever mindful of the need for efficiencies and cost reductions in caring maximally for our patients.
After Hours Service
Emergency and urgent care services are provided on a 24-hour basis in the After Hours Service, now staffed by a roster of department physicians, nurse practitioners, and a group of part-time internists and pediatricians from the major teaching hospitals in the greater Boston area. Over the past year, the volume has stabilized, but patient waits have been significantly reduced by introducing a same-day appointment system and by focusing staff during peak patient hours. Focused quality assurance reviews of common medical problems seen in the service, updating of equipment and medications, re-educating staff in emergency procedures including advanced cardiac life support, all continue as efforts to improve the standard of care we offer our patients. In the late spring of this year, Dr. Howard Heller began a transition to take over the duties of the After Hours Service which will be eventually relinquished by Dr. Firn at the beginning of July 1997.
Inpatient Medical Service
The Inpatient Unit continues to play a vital role in the care and management of MIT patients. There were 789 admissions encompassing 2560 patient days this year and included students, dependents, affiliates, health plan members, Medicare recipients and a number of others who were here on a fee-for-service basis. Efforts are continuing to designate the Inpatient Unit as a Part A Medicare provider and we are quite hopeful that this will be realized in the upcoming year.
The Clinical Research Center had 414 inpatient days and we are currently working with the CRC to find alternative methods so that funding for inpatient research can be increased beyond its current level. Renovations are planned for July of 1997 in two inpatient rooms that will facilitate sleep study research which is an ongoing activity in the Clinical Research Center.
Obstetrics and Gynecology Service
The statistics for this past year were essentially unchanged from the prior report with approximately 7500 patient visits, 166 deliveries, a very low Caesarian section rate of 12% for primary and 3% for repeat, and GYN surgeries that were slightly increased to 57 from 52 the prior year.
The major staff changes this year were the retirement of our certified nurse midwife Barbara Merrifield and the imminent resignation of Dr. James Marquardt who served as a full-time physician on the service for one year. We have identified an obstetrician to join the service in August, 1997, and our primary care nurse practitioner, Dolores Vidal, has taken on a larger responsibility to fill in for the departed individuals. Our full-time physicians continue to have full admitting privileges at both the MGH and Brigham and Women's Hospital and this eases continuity of care on those occasion when patients are admitted to the MGH rather than to our primary OB/Gyn, Brigham and Women's Hospital.
Of interest has been regularly scheduled meetings with Dr. David Acker, Chief of the Brigham's Obstetrical Service. The hospital Caesarian rate is in the low 20% percentile and our service consistently has one of the lowest rates at the hospital and this is especially true because of our low percentage of repeat Caesarian sections with many patients having the ability to add a trial of labor with 90+% being successful for a second pregnancy. All of our practitioners continue to participate in community activities including IAP lectures, premedical advising, MEDLinks advising and the HST program introducing first year HST students to clinical medicine. The group also mentors Harvard Medical School primary care residents and supervises residents at the Brigham and Women's Gyn clinic.
Administratively the Pediatric Service has been effectively reorganized thanks to a major effort of our nurse practitioner coordinator, Pat Bartels. The streamlining of the service has allowed for greater efficiencies and also the ability to take on Harvard Medical students in a primary care pediatric practice rotation. In addition, the MGH has selected our Pediatric Service as a continuity clinic for its residents.
Several research projects were initiated during this year that will benefit the entire MIT community, but especially the student sector. One project is studying the epidemiology of whooping cough (pertussis) to determine whether one antibiotic treatment or an alternative is more appropriate in this population. The second project is examining the epidemiology of acute and persistent cough problems in the community and has been initiated because of the upswing of cases of whooping cough that ordinarily have been thought of as being due to some other pathogen in individuals who have a record of prior immunization. Another area that we are looking at relates to cross cultural issues that stand in the way of students' recognizing mental health symptoms in themselves and at the same time to examine more broadly barriers that the students perceive in seeking services of the Mental Health group at MIT.
During the year we have had a number of meetings of the Student Medical Advisory Council and through the council it has been made clear that communication between the Medical Department and the student body was not optimally effective especially as regards services that are available. As a result, there has been a significant revision, with student input, into the program materials that are provided for students who have already matriculated or are matriculating at MIT.
At the same time that the Psychiatric and Social Work services have been joined to form the Mental Health Service of the Department, we had to sadly say farewell to two outstanding social workers, Maria Rodriguez, M.S.W., and Jackie Buck, M.S.W., both of whom took the early retirement after many years of productive service.
The retirement of three members of the Psychiatric Service and the departure of our child psychiatrist has been followed by some changes that should add back considerable strength to the Service. Kristine Cha, M.D., a graduate of MIT and a child and adult psychiatrist has been recruited to take over responsibilities in both areas and, in addition, Dr. Lili Gottfried with Dr. Cha have become full-time members of the Mental Health Service.
Utilization of Psychiatry and Social Work services remained essentially unchanged as compared to the preceding years. Hospitalization days declined somewhat, and length of stay fell dramatically in response to the pressures of managed care as well as better management within our own service. We are welcoming a new group of trainees in Psychiatry and Psychology for the upcoming year. Members of the Mental Health Service continue to be very active in community services on an individual basis as well as in courses delivered at IAP. Dr. Margaret Ross has provided significant input into the work of the Health Education Service.
Planning has been completed during the past year to merge the social work service with the psychiatric service.
The Surgical Services have undergone a significant change this past year with the retirement of Dr. Healey and the affiliation of the Department with the MGH. We have developed a new relationship with the General Surgical Services including the participation here at MIT of two senior surgeons, Ashby Moncure, M.D., and Carlos Fernandez, M.D. These individuals along with their general surgical group and Dr. Geoghegan provide night and weekend coverage on a rotation basis. All general surgery, inpatient and day cases, are now performed at the MGH with the exception of those patients who have had previous relationships at other institutions. We are currently working in a multi-disciplinary group to review and improve the services that we provide for patients with complex problems such as breast cancer.
The Nursing Service continues to provide clinical care through its nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and registered nurses throughout the Medical Department and at Lincoln Laboratory. A new nursing role was recently added to the Department, namely a triage nurse functioning to facilitate timely and appropriate care for the patient population that requires health information via phone or links between patients and MIT Medical services. Community service continues to be a major focus of the nursing group and this included coordinating and screening several hundred patients in the dorms following a case of tuberculosis on the campus in the fall of 1996. Several of the nurse practitioners precepted graduate nursing students for advanced practice from the MGH Institute of Health Professions and Simmons College. Nursing continuing education committee organized three successful educational events on a variety of clinical and professional topics during this past year. An effort is under way to build a collaborative practice between physician and nursing groups where the skills and expertise of each discipline can come together to improve patient care.
Clinical Research Center
The CRC NIH grant is in the second of four years of funding at the end of which cycle we will have been supported for a total of 37 years. Studies done at the CRC continue to focus on human nutrition and metabolism, neuroscience and brain function. The CRC continues to relate clinically to the Medical Department and houses inpatients in the Medical Department Inpatient Unit. Representatives from the CRC serve on all of the major committees of the Medical Department including the Medical Executive Committee. The CRC is currently examining its relationships with other CRCs in the greater Boston area including Beth Israel Deaconess and the Massachusetts General Hospital.
Environmental Medical Service
The Environmental Medical Service related intimately in its patient care activities to the Medical Department where clinical evaluations, medical surveillance for exposures, and anticipation of various environmental hazards are undertaken. The Chief of the Service also has an appointment through Massachusetts General Hospital's Pulmonary Service where consultations on occupational lung disease and other occupational ailments are reviewed. In addition to the direct relationships to the Medical Department, EMS administratively is overseeing a group of 50 professionals serving in various occupational environmental health disciplines that include biological safety, industrial hygiene, and radiation protection. Our educational efforts have included participation in IAP activities, lectures on campus including the Sloan School of Management, and to administrative offices and personnel at the Lincoln Laboratory. Training of occupational medical residents from local programs has also been overseen and has led to a number of publishable papers on projects done at MIT.
Our industrial hygiene group, led by Lou DeBernardinis, Industrial Hygiene Officer, had a number of accomplishments during this past year which have included close to 3,000 laboratory analyses, several applied research projects concerning areas such as laboratory chemical hood characteristics, as well as exposure assessment of laboratory personnel. The group has participated in academic courses in the Chemical and Mechanical Engineering Departments and has worked with the audit division to be sure of the Institute's compliance with OSHA laboratory standards. Finally improved communication with the MIT community has included a Web page to provide information and resource guides, and also training to over 1,000 Institute personnel on subjects which have included ergonomics, asbestos, noise and hazardous materials.
The Biosafety Office, ably led by Claudia Mickelson, Biological Safety Officer, continues to offer training and education to a large number of MIT groups each year. They continue to assist the formation of departmental safety committees including the physical plant safety learning and performance committee which was formed this past year. The Biosafety Office trains over 1,000 MIT employees annually up from 750 the year before. Membership on the Institute Animal Care and Use Committee has been an important factor leading to animal research biosafety standards as well as the inspection of the animal research laboratories and facilities at MIT. The laboratory is participating in the AIHA certification program for environmental microbiology laboratories and most members of the Biosafety Office serve on varied professional committees both at MIT and outside. Education and research are two other areas that are actively pursued to the benefit of the Biosafety group as well as MIT and its affiliated institutions.
The report from Frank MassÈ, Radiation Protection Officer, involves a review of the divisions on campus, the Bates Lab, and Reactor. All of these maintain training, personnel monitoring, radiation survey, radioactive waste management, record keeping, authorization review, radiation committee support and emergency response programs throughout the year.
Health Education Service
The Health Education Service has expanded in many areas during the past year including the collection of reference books, videos, and brochures that reflect the growing demand of the MIT community. With guidance from the Health Education Advisory Group and the Medical Department administration, special emphasis was placed on selected areas including preventive medicine (wellness), diabetes, and cancer. Fall and spring health promotion programs led tirelessly by Sally Ciampa have focused on nutrition, exercise, and stress management techniques. The anonymous evaluation forms distributed to all workshop participants this year were returned with a 99.9% positive review, with the dissatisfaction rating due to cold weather.
Annual IAP Medical Department calendar showed 81 sessions, an all-time record high, with a focus on information for those in the community affected by diabetes and highlighted with a diabetes open house that attracted significant attention. All programs received high marks. In addition to campus activities, Health Education contributed substantially to the Draper Lab Benefits Fair and International Open House at MIT.
Efforts in Health Education for students continued under the dedicated leadership of Tracy Desovich focusing on community development and strategies for education. The MEDLinks program allowed 60 new individuals to complete at least one 20-hour training session, continuing education was offered each month to the entire group of 120 MEDLinks students on topics which included date rape, pertussis, stress management, fitness and nutrition. As peer advocates in the living groups, MEDLinks facilitated expanded programs and activities which included 200 personal contacts with students and over 700 students in health education workshops. Campus wide events were held to increase community awareness in World AIDS Day, in Keeping Intimacy Safe and Sensual, and the Spring Health Expo.
A Staying Healthy resource binder was developed, covering nine topics central to student health. These binders, sponsored by the Dean's office, were given to Housemasters, graduate resident tutors, MEDLinks, and several medical department providers. Successful coordination and cooperation with many ongoing working groups on campus have continued enriching student health initiatives and the MIT student community in mutually beneficial ways.
Finally, a health education prescription pad designed and distributed to all providers in the Department has led to better communication between providers and patients. Along with newly renovated and brightened space, the Service has become more attractive and useful to members of the community and our visibility has also been increased with regular written sessions in health@mit and MIT MED News.
Lincoln Laboratory Medical Service
The Clinic continues to play an active role in the care of Lincoln Laboratory employees, visitors, students, subcontractors, and special program participants. The Clinic serves a vital function directly and also through its ability to solve or triage major and minor medical and surgical problems. The Clinic also supports the Department by offering phlebotomy for laboratory tests, prescription delivery service for MIT Health Plan members, and performance of electrocardiograms which can be faxed along with other pertinent clinic information to the MIT primary care provider. A planned effort at re-initiating educational programs for Lincoln Laboratory population is under way.
Clinical Operations and Administration
Implementation of the affiliation with the Partners HealthCare Network continues to be a major administrative project. Although the transitions required by this affiliation have forced us to sever long-standing relationships, the process is going smoothly and our new association with the staff and services of the Massachusetts General Hospital has been both rewarding and exciting. The transitions have also allowed us to rethink and revise the procurement of professional and hospital based services for our patients. Maintaining and even improving quality, while at the same time decreasing cost have been the outcome of several new arrangements fostered by our Partners affiliation.
New contractual arrangements that will enhance our Dermatology, Orthopedic and Urology Services have been negotiated and will go into effect during the 1997-1998 year. New technologies have been added in the laboratory (automated blood cell counter and coagulation evaluation systems) and in the surgical subspecialties (flexible, fiberoptic cystoscope) that will improve our clinical care system within the Medical Department.
To improve patient access to care and to make maximal use of our physical plant, an evening hours program has been implemented. Staying open until 8 pm on Tuesday evening with both scheduled appointments and nearly all ancillary clinical services available has been popular with our patients. A total of 1,524 patients were seen during these evening hours for the period July 1, 1996 through June 30, 1997.
In addition to the JCAHO (Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations) accreditation with commendation received during the year, both the laboratory and the mammography services of the Medical Department received certification or accreditation by the appropriate surveying agency.
The information system group at the Medical Department, together with a group of clinicians and administrators, is working to identify a software system that will facilitate clinical operations and provide both improved patient care and better information with which to make administrative decisions.
MIT Health Plans
The MIT Health Plans, for the first time in years, saw the total membership fall slightly below 50% of the total MIT employee base in the Traditional and Flexible plans. Even though the overall employee base at MIT is smaller, it is imperative that the Health Plans strive to retain current members and gain new members to ensure their long term viability.
Newly published marketing materials emphasize the unique aspects of both plans; focus groups and a telephone survey of members and non-members gathered information on many issues of concern regarding location, premiums, benefits currently offered and benefits members would like to see offered.
In response to requests, the Health Plans is in the development phase of a senior plan affiliated with one of the local senior plans. The Health Plans staff is working with a consulting actuary on the financial aspects of a senior plan, as cuts in the Medicare program present new questions about the Department's assuming this type of financial risk. The Health Plans will present this new venture to the Medical Management Board in the fall.
Last fall, the Health Plans managers successfully negotiated very favorable rates for outside services with BlueCross-BlueShield. However, continued cost pressures for outside services, demand for competitive premiums and enhanced benefits for our members will once again challenge the management team during this year's open enrollment period.
Administrative Operations and Management
Many of the activities that have been undertaken in the past year are interdisciplinary. We are working diligently to continue to improve our services as exemplified by the JCAHO accreditation with commendation and an initiative, ComMITment to Care, which we consider a major department activity.
In addition to a great deal of time spent early in the year in preparation for the JCAHO visit, the affiliation with Partners entered its second year and for the most part the relationship is running very smoothly. We continue to look for ways to reduce costs and increase revenues and are evaluating a number of areas to see if by reassignment of staff and flexible scheduling we can meet patient needs at lower expense.
Recruitment and training of new staff have been a major focus, part of an ongoing effort to improve people's understandings of their jobs and ensuring that good communication is occurring between mangers and staff. In that spirit, we have rewritten all of the job descriptions in the administrative area into a performance based format which is now the basis for employee evaluation. We have also formed a number of interdisciplinary, administrative and clinical staff committees within the Department and are working to address issues to improve our services.
We are investigating the possibility of a satellite facility in one of the areas where some interest has been shown by ongoing market research. The bottom line of all our efforts is to provide low barrier, quality care to all of our patients, enhance our bottom line through efforts at cost containment, and recruiting individuals to become members of our health plan.
The Medical Department experienced a busy year of consolidation -- strengthening relationships with our Partners affiliation, concluding a highly successful survey by the JCAHO, and integrating new hires in positions of leadership and in basic areas while maintaining quality and low barrier care. True to our principles, we continue to serve the MIT community in many ways beyond traditional medical care as health educators, advisors for faculty and administration, pre-medical student advisors, contributors to formal and IAP courses, service on various committees of the Institute, and providing a range of interventions in individual and family personal matters through our employee benefit and mental health services. A major ongoing priority, best described as interdisciplinary and committed, is to improve our fiscal situation through greater efficiencies as we market a health product that we consider outstanding.
Arnold N. Weinberg, M.D.
The Training & Development Programs office in Personnel sponsored courses offered to all MIT employees as well as specific courses tailored for departments, laboratories, and centers. Over 1200 people attended these programs. There were a variety of topics to provide knowledge and skills for employees to use in the workplace. These topics included negotiations and conflict, team building, resilience during change, communications, interviewing, and leadership. Most courses in the fall generated waiting lists, so these courses were repeated during the spring semester.
The office continued the support of the performance appraisal training begun last year. The course in how to give performance appraisals was offered quarterly and the one in how to receive them was offered monthly. New employees were encouraged to attend by their management. In addition, a course on team performance appraisals was developed, piloted, revised and taught to several work teams.
In support of the major changes taking place at MIT, the Training & Development Planning Team served as internal consultants and worked within a variety of areas to provide expertise about the training needs resulting from redesigns. Such areas included Student Services, Information Systems, and the Publishing Services Bureau. The team began to define their roles to become performance consultants as well as trainers. This step helps to make training an investment with measurable results.
In addition, Margaret Ann Gray served as a member of the Human Resources Practices Development Team. (See the separate report about this team and its work.)
Margaret Ann Gray
The Disabilities Services Office (DSO) is responsible for providing effective disability services and programs for students, faculty, and employees at MIT. These services include physical and communication access, academic accommodations for students, and the identification and implementation of reasonable accommodations for employees.
Over the past year, 13 different presentations were delivered to the MIT community on their responsibilities during the hiring process to ensure that persons with disabilities are a) provided necessary accommodations when seeking employment; b) are treated consistently and fairly; and c) that position descriptions do not impermissibly screen-out persons with disabilities. Work has continued with individual departments developing procedures for rewriting job descriptions to properly identify essential job functions.
Disabilities Services works with the personnel officers, departments heads, immediate supervisors, and outside agencies to provide employees with disabilities an interactive process in identifying appropriate reasonable accommodations. A total of 35 employees, including 4 Lincoln Laboratory employees, identified themselves as individuals with disabilities and requested accommodations.
In addition to providing academic access to students with disabilities in the form of course material translation, the DSO has focused on the creation of administrative forms and a set of Institute policies and procedures to provide accurate guidelines for students and faculty requesting/receiving services.
With input from numerous people in the MIT community and with the approval of the Faculty Council, the DSO has developed a guideline titled "Policies and Procedures For MIT Students with Disabilities." This guide outlines MIT's commitment to individuals with disabilities and the philosophy of the DSO. It clearly defines the processes used by our office for requesting and obtaining reasonable accommodations in order to balance the student's right to access with our obligation to protect the integrity of the Institute programs and services.
In developing this policy, it has unified the entities providing academic access at MIT by defining a more efficient and consistent system for obtaining services. These entities would include the DSO, Adaptive Technology for Information and Computing (ATIC) Lab, the Learning Disabilities Specialist, and the Office of Undergraduate Academic Affairs.
The HPRD team, sponsored by the Vice President for Human Resources, was convened in June 1996 to evaluate current human resource practices at the Institute and to recommend changes to support the changing needs of the Institute. The Human Resource Principles adopted in 1994 provided the foundation for the team's work.
Members of the design team from June through October 1996 were: Patricia Brady (Center for Real Estate), Team Leader; Richard Brewer (Undergraduate Education and Student Affairs); Jennifer Combs (Physical Plant); Margaret Ann Gray (Personnel); Alyce Johnson (Personnel); Anne Maynard (Dept of Aeronautics and Astronautics); Peter Narbonne (Financial Aid Office); Jeff Pankin (Information Systems); Barbara Peacock-Coady (Leaders for Manufacturing); and Tia Tilson (Resource Development).
The human resource practices within the scope of the design study were career pathing, career planning, classification, compensation /recognition /other rewards, hiring, individual and team development, job design, planning and appraisal, and succession planning.
The design study methodology included data-gathering across campus (through interviews, focus groups, and community-wide events involving 10% of the campus); benchmarking with other universities and research-focused companies; and classroom instruction and learning for team members.
In the draft design study presented to the Reengineering Steering Committee in October 1996, the team made broad recommendations for changes in the areas of classification; compensation; rewards and recognition; hiring and transfer processes; performance planning and assessment; training and development; career development; and strategic planning.
Additional comments and suggestions from the Academic Council and the five school councils helped to better define and clarify the draft recommendations and set the stage set for work to begin with departments, labs and centers to test and evaluate new or revised practices.
Five members of the design team (Brady, Gray, Johnson, Narbonne and Peacock-Coady) reconvened and with the addition of Melissa Damon (Project Administrator) and Steven Wade Neiterman (Information Systems), began work as the development team in February 1997. Also joining the project in March as the liaison for implementation of new practices was Cynthia Vallino (Personnel).
The next phase of the ongoing development of human resource practices will focus on classification and compensation; recognition and rewards; training and development; generic roles and competencies; and performance planning and assessment.
Patricia A. Brady
Employee Relations consists of three areas within the personnel department: Personnel Services, Labor Relations, and Compensation.
The primary mission of the Personnel Services section is to provide a full range of employee relations services to both employees and supervisors within the various organizational units. These include staffing assistance, job counseling, policy interpretation, performance evaluation, salary administration and conflict resolution. This group consists of seven Personnel Officers and two full-time and one half-time staff assistant. Additionally, we received authorization to hire two Personnel Generalists to give us greater flexibility in providing assistance in re-engineering projects.
During the year we continued to work closely with several of the reengineering teams advising them on the human resource implications of planned redesigns. Two Personnel Officers were assigned to reengineering teams on more or less a full-time basis, Alyce Johnson to the Human Resources Practices Design Team and Maureen Wolfe to the Student Services Reengineering Team. We were also actively involved in counseling employees affected by the closing of Graphic Arts and the Design Services Office, as well as the spin off of the Office of Facilities Management Systems as a separate entity from MIT. We continued our efforts to expand and improve the practice of giving and receiving performance evaluations with several Personnel Officers involved in ongoing training. We revised the Institute's policy statement on the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which continues to be a complicated law to administer in conjunction with existing MIT leave and benefit provisions. We improved our applicant tracking system so that all resumes and applications are scanned into our database, and have set up a computer in our reception area with direct access to several job search web sites to assist employees with their job searches.
We also represented the Institute before the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination and the Cambridge Human Rights Commission. During the fiscal year, 8 claims were filed with these agencies and to date, neither Commission has found probable cause in any of these cases.
Personnel Services also provides support in the processing of job listings, applicant materials, employment advertising, and unemployment claims for Campus employees. The group is also responsible for the reception area activities for the Campus Personnel Office.
During the past year approximately 11,000 applications for positions were received and processed, 734 persons were hired for positions listed in the Personnel Office, of whom 117 were MIT internal applicants who were seeking employment alternatives for either promotional opportunities or other reasons. Kenneth Wolff, Employment Officer, reviewed 1,430 applications for support staff positions, interviewed 120 candidates and assisted in filling 180 positions.
Personnel Services was also very much involved in the upgrading of the applicant tracking software, Restrac. Some of the features of this system are: resume scanning, tracking applicant activity and searching the resume database to match skilled candidates to open positions.
Some 185 unemployment claims were processed this year for former Campus employees. We work closely with the representatives of the Massachusetts Department of Employment and Training to provide timely information to employees who terminate and may be eligible for benefits, including individuals in departments impacted by funding or staff restructuring related to re-engineering efforts. We continue to partner with Manchester Partners International to provide employees with outplacement and career counseling assistance.
The Office of Labor Relations is responsible for negotiating and administering the collective bargaining agreements covering approximately 1,400 MIT employees in five bargaining units. Labor Relations also represents MIT in grievance arbitrations and, in some cases, before administrative agencies in employment-related cases.
On July 10, 1996, the Institute signed a new agreement with the Security Officers' Independent Union (SOIU), the Union that represents the security guards at Lincoln Laboratory. The wage increases in the agreement are consistent with MIT budgetary guidelines.
Four Agreements expire on June 30, 1997: the Agreements with the Service Employees' International Union, Local 254 (for two bargaining units, Campus and Lincoln Laboratory/Haystack Observatory; the Research, Development and Technical Employees' Union (RDTEU); and the MIT Campus Police Association. Negotiations for successor agreements continue as of the date of writing.
The number of grievances fell in comparison with the previous year, though the decline was less steep than the decline from 1995 to 1996. Four Arbitration cases were settled prior to arbitration. One case will require additional days of hearing before testimony is complete. Five grievances have been filed to arbitration and have yet to be heard.
During the year, the Office of Labor Relations also handled six cases brought before the National Labor Relations Board. Of these, two cases were resolved in favor of MIT, one was settled prior to going to the Complaint stage and three were deferred to arbitration.
In addition, this Office provided advice and counsel to departments, centers, and laboratories contemplating business design changes that impact on collective bargaining issues, and continued to work closely in support of various reengineering efforts.
The mission of the Compensation Office is to establish and implement fair, equitable and competitive compensation programs for the Institute's faculty, research, administrative and support staff, in accordance with the Institute's reward philosophy and strategy.
This year, the Compensation Office participated in 37 external salary surveys conducted by universities, associations, and consulting groups from across the country. As in previous years, the Office conducted two major surveys with approximately 30 participants each. The survey results continue to provide us with a solid basis for determining our market position, and in developing our review allocation proposal to the Executive Committee.
Nine salary reviews covering approximately 6,600 Campus employees were conducted this year. As part of our continuous effort to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the annual salary review processes, we continue to use electronic review sheets for the faculty review which were used by the Dean's Offices; and for the research, administrative and support staff review, electronic review sheets were provided to the Personnel Officers. All of the electronic review sheets provide meaningful summary statistics which enable management to assess the financial impact of review recommendations. The feedback from users continues to be most favorable.
A total of 122 administrative positions were classified or re-classified this fiscal year. This is higher than in the recent past mostly due to the reengineering efforts and reorganizations that have been taking place at the Institute. The process to request classification of new or existing positions can now be done electronically, which not only reduces the amount of paper flow, but more significantly, reduces the duplication of effort and time needed to record job descriptions. The classification of new or existing positions is currently done by the Personnel Officers using an electronic template. They then bring the classification request before a classification review committee for discussion and review. This new process has received favorable feedback from the Personnel Officers and their departments. In addition, we use an electronic job description index, which provides quick and easy access to the library of over 1,000 job descriptions which currently exist in our electronic system.
During this period, Cynthia Kam, Manager of Compensation, resigned. A serious search for her replacement is on going. William Cain and Lianne Shields were hired and Maureen Wolfe rehired as Personnel Officers. Mary Files, Administrative Assistant, transferred into the office from Physical Plant. We were successful in meeting our Affirmative Action goals for women, with women comprising 65% of the Employee Relations group. We need to improve our efforts at diversifying our group as presently 15% of the group is represented by members of minority groups.
Robert J. Lewis
The Personnel Office was reorganized in November 1996. The Benefits Office, Faculty and Staff Information Services (FASIS) and the Family Resource Center were realigned under the supervision of the Director of Personnel for Benefits and Systems.
Faculty and Staff Information Services (FASIS) has the responsibility to acquire, maintain, and provide employment information about faculty, staff and other persons affiliated with MIT and to ensure the currency, privacy, and accuracy of this information. In addition this office serves as the department liaison with computer support groups in the development of long-range personnel computer systems.
The Office continues to process approximately 14,000 transactions for appointments and changes. In addition, the office continues its role in the processing of salary reviews, in the servicing of data requests received from within the Personnel Office and the MIT Community, in responding to external employment verification requests, and in the production of the staff telephone directory.
There are two main computer systems in the Personnel Office. The Cyborg Human Resource System and the Restrac Employment Management System. Both systems were upgraded this fiscal year. The Cyborg system was upgraded to Cyborg/Oracle in the test environment. Steps have been taken to upgrade Cyborg/Oracle in production. This upgrade will be completed in the next fiscal year. The Restrac system had several major upgrades. Restrac was first upgraded to the Oracle/Novell platform. The second major upgrade was the migration of Restrac from Oracle/Novell to Oracle/Unix. This included the purchase and installation of a DEC Alpha Server. Finally, Restrac was upgraded from version 2.0 to its current version of 3.1.1. The new version has many features that will simplify the resume tracking process and requires less customization. These new features will be made available in the upcoming fiscal year.
Other upgrades included P. C. upgrades to pentium processors and software upgrades to windows 95, windows NT, and Microsoft Office.
This fiscal year data and process enhancements included the development of an automated electronic feed of home-address updates to Payroll and the development of electronic feeds to the health carriers. In addition numerous data files and listings were generated to support the data needs of the Personnel Office.
This fiscal year we have begun to design web pages for the Vice President for Human Resource. We will continue to gather information that is pertinent for this website.
We continue to work closely with Information Systems to improve the The Query Facility application. This application was modified and deployed to several departments.
During the past year, the Benefits Office conducted a review of its internal administrative procedures which resulted in improved communication with employees and more efficient work flows. In addition, the staff has focused on its own training, cross-training and development by participating in a series of updates covering government compliance, administrative issues and recent legislation affecting employee benefits.
A new third party administrator was selected for the Long Term Disability Plan following a review of plan objectives. Proposals were requested of several vendors prior to awarding the contract. The Benefits Office has worked closely with Personnel Officers, the Disability Services Office and the Safety Office in a continuing effort to develop an integrated approach to disability management.
In response to a decision by Blue Cross and Blue Shield to discontinue Bay State Health Care Plan, the Benefits Office reviewed the Institute's health plan options and recommended a new Blue Cross product called Blue Choice to replace Bay State and the Blue Cross Option II Plan. The Benefits Office communicated directly with members of both plans in advance of the annual open enrollment period to allow them ample time to review their health care needs. Several informational meetings were held that allowed plan members opportunities to speak with Blue Cross and Blue Shield representatives.
During three weeks in late November and early December, approximately 2,000 employees made over 3,000 changes to their benefits using the BenChoice telephone enrollment system. Employees used the phone system to make 1,000 changes in health coverage and 1,300 individuals elected to save taxes on medical and dependent care expenses in 1997 by enrolling in FRAP. More than 200 employees took advantage of tax-deferred retirement savings opportunities by increasing their contributions to the Supplemental 401(k) Plan. Use of this telephone enrollment system helped the Benefits Office to provide improved service by dramatically decreasing the amount of staff time devoted to processing benefit changes and increasing the time available for the Benefits Office staff to counsel employees about the various options available to them.
The Benefits Office expanded its efforts at providing retirement planning and investment education services by sponsoring or co-sponsoring 6 series of seminars and workshops on investment fundamentals, estate planning issues, and retirement lifestyle concerns. These were attended by more than 1,400 employees and retirees.
The Benefits Office completed the counseling and collection of benefits elections associated with the Special Retirement Incentive Program. In addition, we continued our efforts at reengineering our operations by simplifying processes, and by adapting Special Retirement Incentive Program automated processes for ongoing, routine use.
We began a comprehensive review of MIT Retirement Plan operation and provisions in an attempt to simplify the plan, increase member understanding of their benefits and options, improve service delivery, and decrease plan expenses. This review will continue through 1997-98.
We are currently in the implementation phase of a project to send benefits enrollment data electronically to our health and dental carriers. This project will result in savings for MIT and streamline the enrollment process for employees.
The Benefits Office web site has undergone further development including information on current benefits provisions, benefit related events, such as the IAP retirement presentations and open enrollments.
This year the Benefits Office provided data to the Strategic Review of Benefits committee for use in the evaluation of the MIT benefit programs.
The Benefits Office and FASIS currently are working together to develop a self-service application to allow employees to make their benefit elections using either the phone or the web. Future uses of this application will allow employees to update their personal information on the personnel system.
During the year, Scott Runkle joined the Benefits Office. He had previously worked as a Retirement Counselor during the Special Early Retirement Program. Toan Mac was promoted to Administrative Staff.
The Family Resource Center offers faculty, staff and students a broad range of services to assist with child care and schooling, normal parenting concerns, family relocation, and balancing work and family. In addition, the Center participates in a number of institutional, local and national work/life initiatives and makes available information and research on these issues.
This year, services offered by the Center included approximately 1200 office consultations, plus 25 informational "briefings", 30 workshops, and 4 ongoing discussions groups; approximately 600 members of the MIT community attended workshops and groups.
As an internal resource on work/life issues, Center activities this year included contributions to supervisor training efforts and discussions of faculty leave policies. Externally, once again the Center played a leadership role in national professional organizations, including the creation of a professional organization for the field of parenting education, called the National Parenting Education Network.
Adding to efforts to publicize services within the MIT community, the Family Resource Center's new web page now provides an on-line overview of Center offerings plus resource information and a calendar of Center-sponsored events.
This year too, the Family Resource Center received national recognition as a model university-based work/life program, contributing to MIT's placement within the nation's top-ranking "family-supportive" campuses, based on the results of a national study conducted by the Families and Work Institute and the College and University Personnel Association.
With respect to physical facilities, planning has continued on the design of the Center's new, significantly enlarged space in Building 16, with the move scheduled for the spring of 1998.
The Center has actively sought to achieve minority representation on its staff of three. Although unable to implement any plans with respect to staff hiring this year because there were no openings, we have actively worked to strengthen our resources to support minority recruitment and employment at the Institute.
In a new development this year, the Center co-administrators now report to Marianne Howard, Director of Personnel Benefits and Systems.
Kathy Simons, A. Rae Simpson
MIT Reports to the President 1996-97