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Andrew Szeri’s Response to the BFA Memo of 7/2/12 on Campus Shared Services

DATE: August 10, 2012

 

FROM: Andrew J. Szeri, Faculty Head, Operational Excellence Program

TO:      Chris Rosen, Co-chair of BFA, Haas School of Business,

Louise Fortmann, Department of ESPM,

Gregory Levine, Department of the History of Art

 

CC:       Robert Jacobsen, Chair, Academic Senate

Christina Maslach, Vice-Chair, Academic Senate

Elizabeth Deakin, Alex Bell Co-Chairs, CAPRA

Panos Papadopoulos, incoming Chair, CAPRA

 

RE:      Response to your memo on Campus Shared Services, July 2, 2012

 

Thank you for your constructive memo regarding shared services dated July 2. It is my pleasure to respond on behalf of the OE Executive Committee and the Campus Shared Services (CSS) Implementation Team. I will address as many of the specific points as I can.

 

Financing: The OE budget for CSS implementation has been approved. There is an executive summary of the budget on the OE website. The financial model (how shared services will be paid for in operations) is still under development, in close consultation with academic and administrative leadership.

 

Monitoring and evaluation: The new shared services website has comparative information on shared services at other institutions. Units that wish to receive help in re-structuring after the many OE changes are in place will have Transformation Support Services to call upon (proposal approved yesterday). Also useful for monitoring and evaluation will be the data from our Service and Technology Survey. This was conducted to establish a baseline. It was sent to all staff over the summer, and a version (we are working on with Academic Senate leadership) will be sent to all faculty members in the fall, with repeated administration of the survey in the future.

 

Decision-making: The 4th Street location was among many studied. However, space considerations, seismic safety, costs to renovate, suitability for technology infrastructure, and amenities for staff made it the clear choice. There was no space on or contiguous to the campus and available for rental or purchase that met these important goals. We will benefit from highly valuable distributed space opening up on the central campus that we expect to be repurposed from administrative use towards teaching and research; additional space is a matter of keen interest often brought up by academic departments. Information about which members of staff will make the transition to CSS—and when—is forthcoming.

 

The shared services center: Faculty issues with research administration are being addressed in working groups that include the VCR, VCAF and leadership from schools and colleges with intensive externally funded research programs. In addition, “tiger teams” will support the new structure; these will be tasked with addressing urgent issues concerning research administration on an accelerated basis. No environment is static, and therefore the changes that will accompany the transitions to UC Path are being carefully integrated into CSS planning, as well as CalTime implementation.

 

More generally, faculty concerns about governance and quality of support may be addressed in the governance documents on the website. It is especially important that we have built in appropriate avenues for feedback about service quality. Finally, in your letter, the suggestion is made to establish another committee concerned with planning. There are more than 15 workgroups (of primarily staff) having input into the design of shared services. The CSS implementation team and the OE Program Office work closely with CAPRA on such things as the faculty survey that will be launched in the fall. We have also worked with senate leadership (and the deans) to constitute a faculty committee to provide input on research administration in shared services, as this is a particular area of faculty interest and expertise.

 

Thank you again for your constructive letter. There is great care being taken in the design of high quality shared services for the Berkeley campus. This takes time, so not all questions have immediate answers. The Operational Excellence Program leadership welcomes your continuing input.

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