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An early interest in psychology led Ron Puskarits, the new Director of Compensation for UIC HR, to DePaul University where he earned a degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology. The field of psychology, some might quip, is a perfect area of study for transition into the world of Human Resources work. But Ron takes a more practical approach; “I appreciate the psychology of business,” he says.
Ron, who holds the designation of Certified Compensation Professional (CCP), comes to UIC after spending nearly 11 years at the Chicago Transit Authority. As a manager on a wide variety of HR projects and initiatives he developed and implemented a compensation plan based on a philosophy that he defines as “market driven.” Additionally, he managed the annual performance review and merit increases to ensure that performance was linked to organizational goals.
Ron’s education and years of public and private-sector experience have prepared him well for the challenges ahead. The Job Analysis project that Ron inherits midstream is among his first priorities. While with the CTA he developed and managed programs to analyze and evaluate jobs that produced accurate and highly effective job descriptions.
Another major priority for Ron is implementing an effective compensation program and corresponding policies. Ron says that his method of work can be summed up as “collaborate, create and develop while being consistent.” With the CTA Ron audited their existing compensation and classification practices and developed and implemented equitable and competitive pay structures.
Along with working for the CTA, the breadth of his professional tenure includes considerable private sector experience. Before working for the CTA, Ron was employed as a Senior Compensation Analyst at Navteq, providing global analytical support to the Human Resources department, utilizing his full range of compensation, management and technological expertise.
As an internal consultant at Aon, one of the largest insurance brokers in the world, Ron supported various business units, executing market analysis, building compensation structures, developing job descriptions and developing and implementing broadbanding within a large business unit. Additionally, he managed expatriate and foreign national compensation programs.
During his time at EVEREN Securities Ron received the company’s Consistency in Excellence Award.
In addition to reinforcing UIC HR’s mission to support the Campus through Human Resources expertise, Ron sees his role as helping the Colleges and functional units attract, retain and motivate the best employees possible, building positive relationships, and communicating various Compensation programs and policies to the UIC community.
Growing up with a south side Mom (a White Sox fan) and a north side Dad (a Cubs fan), handling difficult situations is not unfamiliar to him. UIC is a large and highly-complex environment, and navigating it will take patience and persistence. Like the CTA (and his family’s baseball allegiances), UIC is a diverse environment. Ron says that this diversity is one of the things that attracted him to the Campus.
In the short time Ron has been on Campus he says he’s been impressed by the way staff members have stepped up and how dedicated they are to the duties of the department. Ultimately, Ron sees HR as a strategic business partner to the University, “guiding them through” the intricacies of various processes and strategies. “HR tends to be involved in the center of a lot of the action” that occurs on Campus, he says. “There is an intrinsic value in public sector work. It is easier to see how everyone’s efforts have a direct, positive impact on the community.”
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