January 6, 2016,
The meeting began with the approval of meeting notes from the last meeting. The group then broke out into four subgroups to begin to lay out a series of recommendations for the Chancellor. The groups were to work through the materials that they have so far so that they can put it in complete format and then start to get it out to the full group so they can look at the report as a whole to see what is missing or what they still need to do. Do we have the right tone? Are we useful for the campus?
(Question 1) If we had to take a guess, where are we at with the cuts right now based on these 3 ideas?
(Answer 1) We believe that we can make the original figure that we were given, but right now, we don’t know what it is yet. There are things that are moving around that we have to factor in, system initiatives, activities within academic units that are happening already. If these things are implemented to the degree to which they can be, we will be able to make the numbers. We need to keep the structure of reports the same, for ease of communication. We need to be as clear as we can.
There were three subgroups (position control, administration, and academic reorganization) but a fourth group was created to work on the “Parking Lot”. The Parking Lot are ideas the group wanted to make sure to take into consideration as well so that no ideas are lost even though they are still smaller scale ideas.
The groups then came back to discuss their summaries. The co-chairs announced that they would like to get a brief draft report out to both the Primary Team and Support Team next week.
- Position control. We focused on putting the information together based on the following questions we had with our template. We put a couple of different drafts together, looked at strategies for position control, and talked about factors that would have to be considered if it will be implemented. We emphasized shared governance in the process as well. What we do with position control will have short term as well as long term savings. The driving force behind this has to do with living within the budget and if necessary having a salary savings target depending on where the unit’s budget is from year to year.
- Administrative Organization & Balance. This is a little different. We may not be able to nail down all the questions on the agenda because the administrative side is different than the academic side of things. Our basic ideas are relatively straight forward. We need to measure things and be transparent about what we are measuring as well as have conversations about what an appropriate level of administration is and if it is relative to instruction based or outcome based. We need to get the numbers out there to have the conversation, not only at school and college levels but at the central level. We need all of those numbers. The numbers will really focus on the key word: effectiveness. Effectiveness needs to be the key with everything that we actually do. We need to use metrics to position units to operate more effectively. Measuring is part one. The second part is accelerating the implementation of integration support services. This will save about $2 million. The idea here is to improve effectiveness and reduce risk. We need to reduce the risk of a catastrophe. We need to build an environment where the staff morale is actually improved. The third part is to gather all the aspects of the student academic trajectory under one line. Admission, advising, bursar’s office, career services, and the exit point all need to be under one line to make certain everything is operating together as effectively as it can. We want to give the student the best bang for their buck. This way, there will be a consistent view point of what is going on. This offers relatively modest savings, however it is primarily a revenue generator. It will create a better student experience. It is a longer term idea, but when you look at other universities, this is the thing that did the job or got the ball rolling. (Question 2) Would advising be removed from all units? (Answer 2) No, in this model, the student is the focus though so there would need to be a way for information to flow. If a student moves from college to college, we need a more effective way of handling that. The fourth thing we need to do is define a way to implement merit effectiveness and efficiencies. How do we reward employees? We need to figure out our household budget. There are two ways of doing it. 1. We spend our money and then invest what we have left over at the end. 2. We set off our investments and then operate with what we have left over. We are operating as the first one right now. We need to find some way to give people bonuses. We need to build a system that will incorporate merits internally somehow. The fifth thing that we need to do is to take a look at the overall administrative burden. UW-Madison has 11 FTE Chancellor and Vice Chancellors, UW-Milwaukee has 14.5. That number should come down. We need to look at shrinking it somehow given we are seeing an overall 10% reduction in budget. (Question 3) The original interim report says we will be able to save $5-9 million with this idea. Can we actually get there? (Answer 3) I think we can, this next week is to really nail down the numbers. $5 million is a more likely number than $9 million.
- Academic Reorganization. We came to idea that we won’t save much money short term. Reorganizing right now might enhance revenue down the road but we don’t see much savings. We are looking at recommending combining schools and colleges into 3 or 4 clusters that would share their services to find savings there. Also, at the faculty level, if there are units that want to merge together, we will encourage that then. The amount of money we would save vs. the pushback to force units isn’t a battle that we would win. Also individual schools and colleges can combine depts. to become more efficient. There are great conversations going on right now about synergy but the amount of effort of making a change that doesn’t yield much money probably won’t be effective. The clustering will also depend on what the administrative organization does because we can’t double dip to save money. Some kind of reorganization will be good for our outsiders. If we are the same structurally as when we finish, there are some creditability issues there.
- Parking Lot. We are working through ideas that have come up that are smaller scale ideas and opportunities for the future. This is the holder for all ideas. We wanted to reflect everyone who had an opinion. If you have comments, please let us have them so we can make this as full of a document as we can.
The meeting concluded by discussing the timeline. The co-chairs are meeting this week and then will get everyone a draft of the report by next Tuesday hopefully. Both groups will then meet again together next week at 3:00 pm. All groups will be meeting every Wednesday through January. The sooner we get this done, the sooner changes can happen.