UIC Academic and Administrative Task Forces
I am writing regarding the convening of five task forces to review the administrative and academic structures at UIC.
As you are now well aware, the State of Illinois and consequently its universities are confronting one of our greatest fiscal crises since the Great Depression. Our strategies for dealing with this situation are manifold. We are urgently reaching out to our alumni, to the people of Illinois and to our elected representatives to remind them of the importance of higher education as an economic generator for the State. Internally, we have pursued furloughs and a hiring freeze, with the intention of preserving the current workforce and minimizing layoffs. The colleges and administrative units have been asked to reduce costs immediately, and to prepare plans acknowledging the possibility of state budget reductions in the next fiscal year. And we continue to aggressively pursue the Brilliant Futures Campaign to build our endowment.
The University of Illinois is also studying its organizational structure for changes that would simultaneously reduce costs and improve how we meet our multiple missions. Leading this charge, President Ikenberry has convened a University-level, multi-campus Administrative Review and Restructuring task force to “review and make recommendations…to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of our administrative organization and services” for action “over the next 12 to 18 months.”
In the same spirit of rethinking what we do, UIC has now convened the following five task forces:
- UIC Administrative Review and Restructuring Task Force (Internal) (Final Report posted)
- UIC Administrative Review and Restructuring Task Force (External) (Phase 2 Report posted)
- UIC Academic Directions Task Force
- Task Force on Information Technology at UIC (Final Report posted and ready for comment)
- UIC Records Management Task Force (Final Report posted and ready for comment)
The efforts of these five task forces will be coordinated by a Steering Committee comprised of their chairs and co-chairs. The membership and charge of each task force is available at the following website: http://www.uic.edu/depts/oaa/taskforces.html
The task forces each follow an aggressive timeline; reporting preliminarily by May, June or September; with all final reports due by December. The specific projected timeline for each committee is contained within its charge.
On January 6, the Chancellor and I wrote to the campus community stating that, despite our resilience and talented workforce, “without adequate resources, we will not pretend that we can continue to carry out business as usual.” Each of these task forces will help us to imagine how UIC can creatively evolve and endure by conducting our business differently. We must ask how best to affirm our missions with much less dependency on State support. UIC must envision a future in which providing access to excellence, and success, is achieved with greater focus on outstanding strengths that are well aligned with our missions, even if those strengths are concentrated within a smaller scope.
Each task force will be reaching out to various members of the UIC community and the external community as it undergoes its work. If you have any questions or suggestions for the task forces, you may submit them using the links provided at the website. The preliminary and final reports will be made available to the campus community when they are ready.
R. Michael Tanner
Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs