Process Streamlining Task Force Minutes fron New Comers, Meeting September 29, 2010
Part I: Questions for the Provost
l. The Academic Plan and additional charges provided to this Task Force are extensive, coupled with the fact that there are various com’ittees within the Unilersity working on many of these issues; could you focus us on your priorities and expectations for our group?
2. What are you intending to do with our recommendations? In other words. do they
need to be specific enough for implementation?
3- The heads of the unions at the university are a significant group of stakeholders who should be involved in these discussions. Is there a reason why they were not
appointed or did they decline to participate in this Task Force?
Part II: Additional Comments and Recommendations
1. Our culture at the university can best be described as, “survival mode”. It would be preferable if instead we have a “service culture”. All employees need to be
service oriented but how can we make this happen in the current budget environment? We need to find ways other than financial compensation; to reward good employees as well as ways employees of various groups,i .e. faculty, administrative staff, clerical staff, can all get along and become a team. Best practices from other universities, colleges and for profit businesses need to be reviewed and discussed i.e. Employee Resource Groups.
2. There are two systemic issues at the University regarding process streamlining. One is the actual paperwork and the other is people. Because of the budget issues that have plagued the University for a number of years we now have significant staffing issues. In addition, since the University is encoumbered with antiquated job descriptions, salary structures, and union intervention, it is virtually impossilbe to reorganize the “flow of functions” necessary for streamlining the administrative process and automating papwerwork. Examples were given by various Task Force members of significant work being done, to the point of getting the issues before the General Assembly, only to see the effort get blocked in the final hour. This creates a very frustrating environment in which people just give up on effectuating change. High priority of the University should be to seek independence from the State. If that is not possible a “plan B” needs to be developed—but what?