Historical influences on the development of non-academic personnel departments at academic institutions of the University of Texas system
Durrett, Robert Duane
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The primary purpose of the research study was to relate the major influences (i.e., state and federal regulations, labor unrest, and management policies) which encouraged the establishment of non-academic personnel departments in two academic institutions in Texas. The study was restricted to the first two academic components of The University of Texas System. A secondary purpose of the study was to relate the major influences on the establishment of personnel departments in industry and the federal government. The study addressed the internal and external influences that were exerted on university administration that encouraged the formation of nonacademic personnel departments. The study records the historical development of the non-academic personnel department as a function of higher education administration. The methodology employed in this study was similar to that for a developmental case study- The primary sources of information included the minutes of The University of Texas board of regents, university administrative handbooks, budget documents, by-laws of the board of regents, and rules and regulations for the government of the institutions, bulletins of the colleges, and memoranda and correspondence of the president. In addition, interviews were conducted with the first full-time personnel directors of the two non-academic personnel departments. The research revealed several major influences which encouraged institutions of higher education to establish non-academic personnel departments. These influences included the shortage of labor, high turnover of employees, low pay, union pressure, rapid increase in enrollment and rapid increases in the size of the non-academic workforce, and the need for a centralized office as a contact for applicants. The major factors which led to a study of the personnel practices at The University of Texas at Austin and eventually hastened the formation of a non-academic personnel office included a rapid increase in enrollment and the concurrent increase in non-academic employees which resulted in a time-consuming volume of hand-posted personnel transactions, and the inability of the university administration to accurately determine the amount of funds to request from the legislature for salary increases. The University of Texas at El Paso non-academic personnel department was established after several years of encouragement by the System Personnel Advisor.