Karon Fuller receives CUPA Midwest Award

Karon Fuller receives CUPA Midwest Award Karon Fuller, director of Human Resources at The University of South Dakota, recently received an excellence award at the joint Southern and Midwest regional conference of College and University Personnel Association (CUPA) in Myrtle Beach, SC.

She was awarded the CUPA Midwest Individual Award of Excellence in Human Resource Administration.

"I was thrilled Karon was recognized for her accomplishment, hard work, and dedication to the Board of Regents system. The recognition is long overdue," said Lisa Sorenson, USD Human Resources assistant and one of the peers who nominated Fuller for the award.

Fuller began her career at USD as a secretary in Personnel Services in 1971. While working and raising a family, Fuller earned a bachelor of science degree in business administration from USD in May 1978. Later that September, Fuller was named director of personnel and continues to serve in this capacity.

Her duties encompass the employment process, encompass and classification, employee relations, benefits administration and training.

Fuller was instrumental in the development and implementation of a classification and compensation plan in 1995 for USD non-faculty exempt employees which include administrative and professional staff.

"We were the first Board of Regents institution in our state to create such a system," said Fuller, noting USD hired an outside consultant to help research, design, and institute the new system. "We brought in an outsider to avoid internal bias and thus lend more credibility to the system. Despite the changes that were made, little resistance and much support was given across the board at USD."

"As a result of the changes made, many salaries were increased. Funds were allocated to bring these positions up to par," Sorensen said.

"For example, many research positions at the USD medical school received pay increases as a direct result of the new policy structure," Fuller added.

To date USD and SDSU are the only two Board of Regents (BOR) Institutions with such programs.

Fuller was also instrumental in the development of an appraisal system, which ties performance to pay, which was created in 1999 for these non-faculty positions.

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