UIC Administrative Review and Restructuring Task Force (Internal)
Since FY02, the state budget of the University has experienced a significant decline. Revenue projections for Illinois do not suggest the trend will change in the near future. Like many states, Illinois has a gap between its revenue and its expenditures that has been only partially closed using temporary measure and debt financing. These circumstances call on us to radically rethink how the university is meeting its mission and expectations academically and administratively. We must envision how UIC will achieve its mission and operate with much less dependency on State general revenue fund support. It is an opportunity, born of crisis, to re-imagine UIC and how it should evolve for a different environment.
Interim President-Designate Ikenberry has charged a university-level task force on Administrative Review and Restructuring (ARR), to “rationalize the organization, improve performance and reduce costs of administration.” The task force is asked to “review and make recommendations to me to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of our administrative organization and services” for action “over the next 12 to 18 months.”
UIC will benefit from a simultaneous examination of our own administrative functions, allowing us to articulate with the university-level study. As you will see from its charge, the university task force is asked to consider a group of functions that all three campuses and the university have in common. Any discussion of these functions will naturally raise questions of what improvements could be realized through consolidation across layers of administration: university, campus, college/unit, etc. UIC must consider its particular role within the larger context for each function. In addition, page 3 of the President’s charge specifically asks, “How can the organization of administrative functions at the campus level be improved?” This calls for UIC to take up at the campus the issues being addressed at the university level.
Two UIC Task Forces will examine the administrative functions below for new vision as to how they should be provided. The functions assigned to each task force are divided by the constituencies they serve, internal or external:
|Task Force 1: Internal||Task Force 2: External|
|Energy Procurement and Consumption||Communications/Public Relations|
|Facilities and Services||Development|
|Business and Finance||Alumni and Corporate Relations|
|Human Resources||Governmental Relations|
|Capital Programs||Economic Development|
The Internal Administration Task Force is to focus on functions and processes that primarily affect and serve those who are members of the internal UIC community, recognizing that in most instances they do interconnect with the general public and/or the University Administration. The task forces are to consider de novo whether the unit organization’s have a well-constructed portfolio, whether the organizations have mechanisms for receiving feedback and assessing and improving their deployment of resources and their own processes, and whether there are opportunities for redesigning interactions and assigning responsibilities that might reduce operating costs over time, and whether the functions are essential or might be eliminated without noticeable impairment to the conduct of UIC’s affairs. The topics listed for these two Task Forces mirror and expand upon those to by covered by the university’s ARR Task Force, and both UIC Task Forces are invited to work in parallel with the ARR Task Force and suggest ways in which effectiveness might be improved by changes in interactions with UA or the two other campuses.
In addition to these two task forces, other committees are being commissioned in concert to review how information technology is supported on campus, how records are managed, the organization of the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Administrative Services, and the academic directions that UIC will emphasize in a future where UIC must be less dependent on state support. These efforts are intended to inform one another, and their recommendations will be viewed collectively. The work of all Task Forces on the campus will be coordinated and inter-articulated by an overarching Steering Committee.
Task Force Charge
Specifically, the Task Force shall consider for each administrative function:
- What are the important functions carried out by each of the units identified? How does each support the mission of UIC?
- Are the functions needed and essential? Can they be redesigned and simplified? Can they be eliminated altogether, and if so, with what consequences?
- What is the annual cost of carrying out the function? Is the cost commensurate with the impact?
- Where can the process steps involved be carried out in the most cost-effective manner (university, college, campus, outsource, etc.)? Why and how? Does the organization recommended have mechanisms for gathering feedback and assessing and improving its own performance?
- What steps can be taken to improve the interface between campus and central administration functions?
In discharging its duties at the campus level, the Task Force should gather necessary data and consult with the leadership and key users of the services of each unit under its charge. The Task Force should apply the reasoning laid out in the university-level ARR task force charge, and acknowledge the President Designate’s pertinent specific questions regarding university wide activities as laid out in pages 2 and 3 of his charge to the ARR Task Force.
As the President’s charge points out, many of these areas have been the subject of some previous, if not recent, study or reorganization. The previous efforts and their results should be considered in this examination.
- A preliminary report should be prepared by June 1, 2010, and submitted to the Chancellor and Provost for further campus discussion and review.
- A final report, incorporating concepts and ideas reconciled with the recommendations of the ARR Task Force, should be completed by Dec. 31, 2010, and submitted to the Chancellor and Provost.