University of Minnesota
Office of Human Resources

P&A Working Group Process

The P&A working group went through an intensive year-long process that performed a comprehensive examination of the current situation of the P&A employee group and looked at data and information from literature, P&A employees and managers, deans and directors, and other universities. Specific research included:

Training and Backgrounding

The P&A Classification and Compensation Study working group came together with varying levels of knowledge about classification and compensation. The team worked together with experts to get everyone "onto the same page" and begin identifying guiding principles.

Fishbone Diagrams

The working group spent time performing a comprehensive examination of the current classification structure and issues. The group used fishbone diagrams, a tool that offers a systematic way of looking at the effects and the causes that create or contribute to those effects. Specifically, the team examined the historic perspective, definition of classification, classification structure, classification system, decentralized system, compensation/total rewards, and University culture.

P&A Employee and Manager Focus Groups

The P&A working group conducted 15 focus groups with P&A employees on the Twin Cities, Duluth, Morris, and Crookston campuses. Employees provided information on what they liked about being P&A, what they thought could be improved about the classification, and other issues.

Dean and Director Interviews

The P&A working group conducted 16 interviews with Deans and Directors on the Twin Cities, Morris, Duluth, and Rochester campuses. The Deans and Directors provided insight as to the strengths and weaknesses of the P&A classification system, as well as how they utilize P&A employees.


The P&A working group conducted benchmarking interviews with appropriate contacts at Big Ten and top 10 research universities. The team also gathered information from the employee-leaders of organizations equivalent to the Council of Academic Professionals and Administrators.

Literature Review

The team conducted a literature review of current classification and compensation trends.

As a result of this work, the working group has compiled its preliminary findings and will continue its work. The preliminary findings will be scrutinized in more depth with an expectation that this group will provide detailed final recommendations by the end of 2007.