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UCPB on UCOP Restructuring July 2008

UCPB on UCOP Restructuring July 2008

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Published by: Chris Newfield on Jul 08, 2010
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1Re: UCOP Restructuring;Fr. UC Systemwide Academic Senate Committee on Planning and Budget (UCPB)Dt: Spring 2008
This memo seeks to make the case that Academic Council should articulate its ownexpectations for the outcome of the epochal transformation of UC¶s Office of thePresident that is genreally known as ³restructuring.´ Over the course of this year, UCPBhas repeatedly reviewed a range of restructuring documents, and has consulted on manyoccasions with a range of principal architects that includes Dan Greenstein, Rory Hume,Katie Lapp, and Michael Reese. Our lead finding is that the restructuring process,though generally positive, has strayed from its framing principles as outlined in threemajor documents, ³The Blum Memo,´ the ³Monitor Report,´ and the ³Roles Report.´Our recommendation is that the Senate formally request that the President insure that OPrestructuring reflects the careful and systematic implementation of the principlesembodied in those guiding documents, defined as follows:Academic Council should request that the Senate Chair communicate to the Presidentour views on UCOP restructuring as follows (note that all ³Principles´ are defined inthe text that follows this list of recommendations):1.
Council endorses the three documents¶ emphasis on making UC planning andmanagement more proactive, communicative, well coordinated, and long-term(Principles I and II).2.
Council endorses the general spirit of improved effectiveness behind therestructuring, including reorganization by function (Principle V). But it also believes that restructuring will succeed only if UCOP¶s culture moves in thedirection of ³open collaboration´ with various constituencies, including campusadministrations and all levels of the Academic Senate (Principle IV).3.
Restructuring planning should not be driven by short-term budgeting. Whilequantitative measures are crucial benchmarks, they cannot substitute for functional analysis and design. In addition, care should be taken to supportUCOP employees during the transition, and to support UCOP¶s human resourcesin keeping with the values of humane treatment that universities generallyespouse.4.
UCOP should recognize that ³Systemwide Support Functions´ are
at least as
 important to the campuses as are ³Presidential Support Functions.´ Councilrecommends that UCOP see these functions as often intertwined. Council thusdoes not endorse Principles VI and VII, which put systemwide support in asubordinate position. UCOP should consider retaining and improving these, inkeeping with much of the language of the Roles Report.
to final decisions about service restructuring, UCOP should solicitsystematic advice from a broad cross-section of the service-users of the campuses(and not only from their senior managers) as to which services should or shouldnot be devolved, and how, and to what extent. Systemwide support should bedevolved, cancelled, spun-off, downsized, or outsourced only in carefulconsultation with the current users of those services.6.
UCOP should not direct academic planning, but should focus on finding anddeveloping resources to support the specific goals and the common ambitions of the campuses, and to coordinate and synthesize bottom-up goals across campuses.Given UCOP¶s recent difficulties with playing constructive, supportive,coordinating roles with its academic programs, it should consider devolving allacademic affairs to campuses, with UCOP¶s role being taken over by a designatedlead campus.
 The UCOP restructuring process began as an effort to reduce administrative costs byaround $20-30 million a year while also improving operations. For many reasons,restructuring escalated into a rethinking of the entire function and status of UCOP, hasresulted in operational cuts, a voluntary separation program, and layoffs, and is in the process of spinning off what had long been regarded as core service functions such as pension and benefits administration to third-party vendors or to individual campuses.Many, perhaps most, of the restructuring changes are highly desirable. Examples of goodchanges are the consolidation of business support functions such as accounting andcomputing support, and the redesigning of the capital projects operation to reflect astreamlined, modernized capital projects approval process. Every campus has a longlitany of complaints about the ineffectiveness and obtuseness of the old OP, and UCPBendorses the general practice of intelligent redesign of UCOP operation, as well as itstimely implementation. We have also made every effort to offer ³real-time´ feedback toUCOP as part of our role in shared governance. In general we affirm the overall goals of UCOP restructuring, and see the dark clouds surrounding the University as having asilver lining of enabling new economies, new effectiveness, and new thinking in UC¶scentral administration.But other aspects of the change have not been so obviously positive. As noted above,UCOP has issued a Request for Proposals to farm out Benefits to a 3
-party vendor, andwe have been unable to obtain any indications of service complaints or major operating problems that would justify the RFP: to the contrary, Benefits is an OP success story,highly popular with faculty and staff. It is not clear to us why UCOP would keep HumanResources ± which gets less favorable reviews ± while getting rid of Benefits. Similarly,sending Continuing Education at the Bar to Berkeley Law School gets 197 staff FTE off UCOP¶s books but saves no money for the UC system through a program that was in anycase financially self-sustaining; the change was not accompanied by any academic
3rationale or operations analysis that we know of. To take another example, UCOP issending its own HR operations to UCSF, again with little obvious opportunity for costsaving or new efficiencies.In addition, the process itself has posed problems for the Academic Senate. The changesnoted above were announced as accomplished facts prior to any feedback from therelevant Senate standing committees. The possibility that changes in InstitutionalResearch will reduce information for Senate standing committees¶ below current levelswas not carefully considered. UCPB is also very concerned about the loss of highly-experienced and well-qualified personnel, and about widespread reports of the loweredmorale of the OP workforce that has resulted not simply from organizational change, butfrom a change process that has often appeared non-consultative and political. We havenoted further than any problems with spin-offs and push-downs that are discovered later will be very difficult to reverse: these include the outsourcing of Human Resources andBenefits, and the delegation of a not-yet-clarified bundle of systemwide services to thecampuses with possible new cost burdens for campus budgets. In keeping with theabsence of advance notice, UCOP has not solicited formal review from the AcademicSenate on the rationales, the processes, or the outcomes of the elements of an epochaltransformation of the University¶s structure. Academic Council has not yet offered aformal comment. Since UCPB has considered this issue in virtually every meeting thisyear, we now offer our overview of the process.
The structuring process was defined by in three major documents, ³The Blum Memo,´the ³Monitor Report,´ and the ³Roles Report.´ In what follows, we identify a series of  principles that were articulated by these documents as a group.
Blum M
 The first document was Regent Blum¶s memo on making UC ³Strategically Dynamic´(August 2007). Its most critical points are the following:I.
Planning and budgeting need to be more systematic, proactive, and orientedtoward multi-year time horizons.II.
Decision-making needs to be removed from its organizational ³silos.´ Chains of command need to be more clearly defined, while communication andcoordination among them are rapidly improved.These two principles were signaled by the memo¶s key phrase, ³strategically dynamic,´in which ³strategic´ means ³undertaking clear, multi-year, and integrated planning,´ and³dynamic´ means ensuring an administrative infrastructure that is lean, nimble, andresults-oriented, and . . . able quickly to adapt to changing circumstances.´

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