TitleHuman Resources - relocation Request Date2012-11-30
DepartmentHuman Resources
RequestorDennis R. Defa Phone406-994-6332
Campuses Bozeman Billings Havre Great Falls FSTS Extension MAES
Cross Depts All MSU employees and departments
Proposed Dates Start: December 1, 2012 End: February 28, 2012
We are requesting one-time money to pay for the Human Resources department (HR) to relocate from the first level of Montana Hall to the Nopper Building in the Tech Park.

To accomplish this move, we request funds for the following:
Renovation – this will include moving some walls, rewiring, and carpeting.
Moving – this will cover the actual costs of moving files, computers, and other office items
Furniture – this will pay for new, efficient work stations and training/conference space
This request supports the university’s strategic initiative by providing responsible stewardship of university resources. According to the MSU Strategic Plan of 2012, the primary goal of stewardship states: “As steward of a land-grant institution, MSU will responsibly manage its human, physical, economic and environmental resources in an open and sustainable manner.”
HR has accepted new challenges in the last year, and has no space to accommodate either additional employees or to adequately serve clients. Stewardship is being supported in several ways:
 HR is not requesting any space that could be academic space
 This new space better serves all employees
 The new space better serves the HR staff
 The remodel was carefully designed to control costs. All the physical changes to the space are designed to improve and facilitate efficiencies within and between HR departmental workunits
 The furniture that will be left in Montana Hall will be reused to support the next group that moves in
 It would be inefficient to move the labor and employee relations HR staff members so they will remain in the office of the VP of Administration and Finance. This eliminates unnecessary expenses.

While this move does not directly improve the environment for students, it will positively impact the faculty and staff on campus, which will make it easier to attract and retain strong, talented employees, in all employment classes.
This new space is accessible for employees who may have disabilities that impact their mobility. The current space limits access, which does not encourage inclusivity or diversity in our employee base.

HR will maintain a service center/welcome desk and a meeting room in the existing space in Montana Hall, so that anyone who requires assistance can get help without having to leave the main campus. HR representatives can make arrangements to come to Montana Hall as needed.
Funding Type: One-Time Only Funding Base (3-yr Recurring) Funding
  FY13 FY14 FY15 Base ($) OTO Startup ($)   FTE;
Materials & Supplies 150000             
Contracted Services 150000             
Other Operations              
TOTAL 300000     
Please comment, if necessary, regarding cost and requirements.


As listed above, we are requesting $150,000 for the remodel, and $150,000 for the furniture.  These costs incorporate everything listed above, including the rewiring and the moving costs. 

Other costs have already been considered and paid for, so the architect has developed working plans, and the lease has been prepared

Describe the Proposal

The primary scope is the physical moving of the HR office resources.  HR is currently housed in the first level of Montana Hall.  This space as it is, is inadequate, and presents obstacles to workflow and navigation.  Several options have been considered.

-        The space was reviewed, but the age of the building and the structures needed to support the rest of the building make it impossible to re-configure it to meet the needs of HR. 

-        The workflow of HR was reviewed, and efficiencies were leveraged, but there was no way to sensibly restructure HR to make it fit the available space. 

-        The rest of Montana Hall was reviewed, but there was no reasonable space that could accommodate HR and relieve the inefficiencies.

After reviewing these internal options, the proposal was put forward that HR be moved to another building.  A search was made for potential space.  The Nopper building was identified as the best option, since it is non-academic, flexible space, and easily remodeled.  This plan was provided to the President and the Board of Regents.  They have reviewed the overall plan, and given their approval. 

An architect was hired to review the space and recommend changes to improve work flow.  This review has been finalized and the remodel costs identified.  The terms of the lease have been approved.  In short, everything is ready to move forward, but is on hold pending confirmation of funding.

The scope is broader than just moving people from one building to another.  For potential/new employees, the intent is to create an accessible gateway, extend a welcome, and assure that their first introduction to the university is positive.  For our current employees the intent is create a space where they feel comfortable working with HR representatives on any matter.

Describe the broader impacts and benefits of this proposal

This move to a new space provides the following impacts and benefits:

Improved confidentiality – our employees come to HR to talk about highly sensitive information – their benefits, their retirement plans, and health situations that may be impacting their work life.  It is critical that HR safeguard the confidentiality of this information.  The new space is designed to provide areas where employees may discuss sensitive information in complete safety.

Improved access – it is important that the university be seen as welcoming to everyone, even those with physical challenges.  The current space is very difficult to navigate, and is anything but welcoming. The new space is much more accessible, and laid out so that individuals with physical challenges will not have to overcome obstacles just to meet with their HR representatives.

Improved training facility – providing training is a key component of HR.  The current space is usable, but limited in the number of employees that can be accommodated.  The new space has a larger, better equipped training room, which benefits everyone who receives training.  In addition, this new space offers a well-appointed conference room that can seat a large number of participants, is on the edge of campus, and can offer free parking.  This could be very useful for groups who want to conduct meetings with individuals from off campus. 

Free parking – this is a valuable asset for individuals who are coming to campus to look for work or meet with HR.  This makes it easy for them to come check the job postings, or meet/consult with HR reps. 

Increased efficiency – the new layout is designed to allow the various departments in HR to work more efficiently.  The current floor plan is broken and disjointed, and creates a sense of distance.  The new space assures a better, more cohesive, environment.  This will assist HR in increasing their productivity, and making work flow more smoothly.  

Providing space for other functions which would be better served by being in the heart of the campus – as HR moves out, other support areas can expand into this space.  

Implementation Plan

As noted earlier, this plan has been under review/consideration for many months.  The President and the Board of Regents have both signed off on this plan, with the understanding that funding would need to be provided.  All of the preparatory work has been completed, and we are ready to hire a contractor, have Facilities Services move ahead, have IT re-wire the space, and finalize the furniture.

If we receive funding, we would like to take advantage of the downtime that IT has coming up, and have them handle the re-wire in mid-to-late December.  The remodel work would ideally occur during winter break, and move in would be planned for no later than mid-January.  This would be the best timetable to minimize disruption of services from HR to the employees.  To accomplish this we need to order the furniture as soon as possible, as it takes about 6 weeks to get the furniture delivered, and we are approaching the holiday season.

The service center will be created using the existing space and furniture. 

The implementation plan has been drafted to address potential concerns.  One item that has been heavily discussed is the challenge presented when employees come to this space for meetings, trainings, etc., and then have to find parking when they return to the office.  We have identified three options to help us alleviate this obstacle.

-        Training times will be adjusted to make it as easy as possible for employees to attend training and minimize parking issues. 

-        The Community Streamline Bus service has a stop at the Tech Park, and that information will be shared. 

-        HR staff will travel to the service center to meet with employees one-on-one.  This will save them the inconvenience of trying to get to the Nopper building and better utilize their time. 

Assessment Plan

The assessment plan will have several key pieces, and it is our intent to implement this assessment plan after HR has been in the space for 12 months.  We want to wait that long so that everyone has an opportunity to get used to the new space, and to discover and resolve any unexpected issues. 

Internal survey – we will survey the HR staff regarding the physical space itself and the work flow processes, including a comparison to the prior situation in Montana Hall. 

External survey – this will be sent to all employees on campus to provide them an opportunity to voice any concerns or obstacles they may have experienced due to this move.

Survey results will drive our next steps.  It is likely that we will have to make some adjustments.  We can then repeat the surveys and get updated feedback.

If assessed objectives are not met in the timeframe outlined what is the plan to sunset this proposal?

The lease for the space in the Nopper building is negotiated for five years.  If our reviews indicate that there are insurmountable issues associated with having HR at the edge of campus, we will begin looking for more convenient space during the fourth year.

Dean/Director: Dennis Defa (
Executive/VP: Terry Leist (