Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Here are some FAQs about the NMSU Staffing Study. Questions and answers will be added periodically through the study period. Click on the question below to see the answer.

Who do I contact if I have questions?

Will the environmental aspects of the other peer institutions be considered? Example: We are not in the same environmental zone as the other peer institutions.

The taskforce will help to contextualize the information.  The AVP for Facilities is an active participant in this survey.

What differentiation is being made between soft and hard funded positions?

The staffing survey includes all positions regardless of funding. The budget office is providing information to Deloitte Consulting and there will be analysis at the end of the processes where funding will be considered.

Are all of the processes preset in the activity survey?

Yes, there are approximately 150 listed functions. If you don’t see a function that encompasses the process please contact

Does the survey account for holiday/vacation leave?

The survey instructions utilize the standard of 52 weeks per year and 40 hours per week. A regular NMSU employee with a 1.0 FTE is on a 100% full time equivalency position. The position has leave accrual and holiday accrual factored as part of the 100% full time equivalency; in other words NMSU does not reduce a 100% full time equivalency by the leave or holiday accrual. Therefore, we will not reduce for this process.

What is the overall purpose of the survey? What conclusions do we want to draw?

This survey will identify organizational improvement opportunities. We may also be able to identify best practices at the other peer institutions.

Will the peer institutions data be averaged together?

No, we don’t find that helpful in the process. After the survey information has been validated, the aggregate data will be utilized to indicate deviations and identify areas of potential efficiency and effectiveness improvements.

What do we do if our survey does not contain the correct positions?

Please note that the data for the survey was pulled from Banner on June 8. Changes not processed (centrally) by that date, may not be reflected in this data. Also, managers with less than three (3) direct reports will all be assigned (the manager and direct reports) to the next higher level manager.

Do the peer institutions receive the same survey?

The peer institutions will receive a similar survey tool based on the taxonomy developed by NMSU.

Are we reporting on our perception of the position in the Activity Survey? Does this impact error?

With the time limit we have available we have elected to roll up the surveys to the managers. You may engage the employees to help complete the survey.

How are we going to capture outsourcing at the other peer universities?

As a part of the peer institutions survey we have included questions designed to capture information regarding outsourcing.

Does the survey list academic functions in the taxonomy?

All staff positions are included on the survey as they were reported in IPEDS. There are a set of research and educational related processes listed on the survey for research and educational staff positions.

With the budget reduction process our unit will be eliminating vacancies. Are these vacant positions listed in the survey?

Yes, in order to answer the question posed by the BOR and Chancellor Carruthers, we will be reviewing current data. The FY16 budget reduction process plans have not been completed/approved, but the data is available for comparison at the conclusion of the study.

How do we categorize “Other duties as assigned?”

The percentage of time these duties are being performed should be listed under the closest matching functional category and process.

Is it okay to have a positions time divided up in many categories?

Yes, you are not limited in the number of functions.

Do we pay for the peer partners to participate in the staffing survey?

No, NMSU has contracted with Deloitte Consulting to conduct the survey.

Will the results of the survey be made public?

The results of the survey will be made available.  More information about how the results will be made public will be available towards the end of the process.

Is the 10 week project considered a difficult timeline?

No, the ten week schedule is achievable. In fact other industries have a shorter timeline.

What criteria were used to select the five peer institutions?

The Presidents Academic Council (PAC) selected land grant institutions.

Once I have submitted the staffing survey can I go back and edit?

Managers have the ability to save the data so they may return to complete at a later time. However, once the survey is “submitted” the survey data is final.

Is it inappropriate to consult with the employee in the position to complete their survey?

No, we encourage you to work with the employee.

What is IPEDS data?

IPEDS is the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System for NCES. The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) is the primary federal entity for collecting and analyzing data related to education in the U.S. and other nations. NCES is located within the U.S. Department of Education and the Institute of Education Sciences. NCES fulfills a Congressional mandate to collect, collate, analyze, and report complete statistics on the condition of American education; conduct and publish reports; and review and report on education activities internationally.

How is this study different from the Mercer study we did a few years ago?

The study being conducted by Deloitte Consultants is a staffing study designed to analyze the staffing on the Las Cruces campus in order to identify opportunities for efficiencies allowing for the achievement of operational expenditure reductions and resource reallocations. The assessment of the NMSU Las Cruces campus will support the best alignment of non-faculty staffing with the core mission of the University and Vision 2020 Strategic Plan within available financial structure. The Mercer study conducted in 2008/2009 was a salary market analysis, which included a restructure of NMSU’s classification system.