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You Asked:  A few colleagues have recently been invited to participate in a series of focus groups to provide feedback on the services of other departments, specifically HR and Risk.  Can you tell be what the meetings are all about, and how the invitees are selected?


The Expert Answered: Thank you for your timely question. In my dual role at Middlebury, I help manage Human Resources and the Office for Risk and Compliance. I have developed two initial overview sessions with a group of managers and employees across Middlebury in both Vermont and Monterey.

On the HR side, we are discussing ways in which our HR team can meet the institutional and departmental objectives – both long and short-term. The HR team is focused on defining and implementing workforce development plans across the College, defining an employer brand, and developing plans and strategies to become a strategic partner.

Our initial Risk overview sessions also include managers from across the College. The goal of these sessions is to begin the dialogue about Risk and to introduce the idea that managers can identify their potential risks, assess them, put controls in place to manage them, and consider how they might monitor risks moving forward.  The belief is that department managers and staff are really the experts in their potential risk and should manage them at the department level. The risk office will be here for support and to manage risks at the ‘enterprise’ level.

There will be follow-up sessions to both HR and Risk, and there will also be materials on our internal websites that will be available to employees in the coming months.

-Karen Miller
VP HR and Chief Risk Officer

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