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UIC Administrative Review and Restructuring Task Force (External)

Background

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
Auxiliary Operations Extension
Purchasing  
Research Administration  

The External Administration Task Force is to focus on functions and processes directed toward the external UIC community, covering units that interact with audiences external to UIC, such as donors, investors, or media, but which also produce outcomes of great importance to internal audiences.  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:

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.

Timeline

UIC Administrative Review and Restructuring Task Force (External) Phase 2 Charge

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 measures 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 necessity, to re-imagine UIC and how it should evolve for a different environment.

President Hogan and the Board of Trustees are considering significant structural changes in response to the report of a university-level task force on Administrative Review and Restructuring (ARR) charged by Interim President-Designate Ikenberry to “rationalize the organization, improve performance and reduce costs of administration.”

Earlier this year, the UIC Administrative Review and Restructuring Task Force (External) delivered its Preliminary Report, focusing on functions and processes directed toward the external UIC community, covering units that interact with audiences external to UIC, such as donors, investors, and media.  In Phase 2, I ask the Task Force to develop specific recommendations concerning each UIC unit whose mission is external, as well as external functions within colleges.  The recommendations should address whether the units have well-constructed portfolios, whether they have mechanisms for receiving feedback and assessing and improving their deployment of resources and their own processes, whether cooperation and collaboration is sufficiently strong, and whether there are opportunities for redesigning interactions and assigning responsibilities that might reduce operating costs over time.  I also ask the Task Force to assess whether the functions are essential or might be eliminated without noticeable impairment to the conduct of UIC’s affairs.

Specifically, the Task Force should consider the questions and issues laid out in Section 4 of the Preliminary Report, and recommendations and proposals as they are formulated by groups at the University Administration level.--R.M. Tanner, Dec. 21, 2010

Membership


Phase 2 Report of the Administrative Review and Restructuring Task Force (External)

 


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