CCOET Primary Team Meeting Notes, Dec. 16, 2015

Primary Team Meeting,
December 2, 2015, 3-5 p.m.,
Regents Room

Next meeting: Primary and Support Teams will meet on

  • Approval of minutes from prior meeting.
  • The co-chairs provide a summary and overview of CCOET’s work to date.
    • In October and November the committee was collecting data. Now the committee has moved into a planning phase where three ideas are being looked at more closely. They are Position Control, Administrative Organization and Balance, and Campus Reorganization. The goal of the committee is to provide useful information to the chancellor so that he can then work with various governance groups to make decisions.
    • The Support team has been gathering data and looking at best practices, drawbacks and benefits of proposed ideas, impact on mission, etc. Incentives are being explored to encourage collaborations and efficiencies. There is a desire for changes to be at the grassroots level. Units will take great risks in reconfiguring. Incentives will encourage groups to consider taking risks and making changes.
  • Question was posed: “Please share the data collection process for the recent reorganization survey and how the data will be used. Also, what is the methodology? How will this be framed and used in the future? Some members didn’t feel comfortable with the survey.” Response: the survey was meant to have a qualitative use to better understand many of the suggestions that came in through the website. CCOET wanted to identify where there were pockets of interest for greater collaborations. They found that there was a lot of interest in the sciences and health sciences. The intention of this process was not to focus on the individual department level, but for some units this was necessary because the units were so different (i.e. journalism and psychology). Thus, for the sake of consistency, they included departments for all units.

Groups broke out into subgroups of reorganization, position control, and administrative restructuring.

The subgroups returned to report out to the larger group:

Position Control:

This subgroup shared that they spent a lot of time trying to identify what position control meant and would look like. The subgroup believes that it should be managed centrally for the next 2 years. They are concerned about the costs of managing it centrally. They are asking the Support Team for more information. The subgroup also expressed interest in including position control in the annual budget building process. They recommended that units address: How much do we need to save to balance our budget? Then, units can hold positions open to help us balance the budget. The subgroup recognizes that this is not a long term solution. Each area would have to make their budget/salary savings target. They acknowledge that there would always be exceptions and critical hires. They team shared that there must be an accountability component to position control. Additionally, there must be a public relations component to help the campus understand that these initiatives are.

The subgroup made a general remark that they all need to do a good job informing campus and explaining the issues and the possible solutions. The CCOET’s work should be the strongest clearest narrative of what we’re doing and what the process is to get it done. They also stated that they should engage governance groups.

Campus Administrative Reorganization: This group posed the question: how can we make sure that we have an organizational structure that meets our students’ needs? They are suggesting an alternative administrative reorganization structure to achieve greater success. The structure that is being recommended aligns with the mission of the institution. Some of the questions that the subgroup is asking is: How can we make student success embedded into our organizational structure? The team will continue to move this forward and explore models for consideration. The subgroup will take the org chart beyond the top levels (by looking more closely at units) to see how all of the pieces could fit together. The committee also talked about metrics. The subgroup posed the question: how do we implement a process to collect data to demonstrate how we are achieving metrics? When comparing ourselves to peer institutions, our metrics our not strong. We have lower degrees to completion per 100 students compared to our peer institutions. How do we change this? We also were very low with regards to campus funding. The subgroup desires to push forward to be more data driven so that we can make better decisions and provide more information to our stakeholders.

Academic restructuring: There currently is a lot of collaboration and good ideas among units. They team acknowledged that there are challenges with merging schools and colleges because the process is lengthy and it would be difficult to shift the responsibilities of the deans. The team has concerns about frustration among faculty and staff on campus. On the other hand, the subgroup is hopeful about opportunities to share services, improve services to students, and develop programs that attract more students (multidisciplinary). The committee is exploring inter/multidisciplinary clusters to help build interest, momentum, and collaboration. The Committee looked at other institutions to consider estimated savings of up to 500,000 per unit if schools and colleges combined. Concerns were shared about maintaining the identities of the programs so that the programs are still visible to students and to the public. In order to encourage schools to work on more collaborative efforts, they are looking at incentives so that units could take some chances without having to feel a direct budget crunch. Also, faculty/staff would want a guarantee that if they do lose a job in this process that they could be moved to a new position. Although it wouldn’t lead to strong cost savings right away, it might help incentivize innovation. The committee is interested in exploring organizational clusters that can be marketed to students and partners.

Concerns were brought up that upper administrators were being taken off the table by not looking at consolidating schools and colleges. The top of the organizational chart would not feel the impact of the cuts. The subcommittee responded that clusters could also lead to reductions in positions at the associate and assistant dean level. Ultimately, the chancellor will be running this by other groups on campus and additional recommendations may prevail. Combining schools and colleges still is being considered, they just recognize a number of challenges to implementing this.

Closing discussion:

Should we meet on the 23rd and the 30th?

The committee decided that they would continue to collect and gather data and then meet on January 6th. Both primary and support teams will meet on the 6th of January. Many individuals will be on vacation within the committees and across campus. The committee doesn’t want to host meetings that seem exclusive to those who are interested in participating. During this break, the subgroups should continue to gather data, benefits, drawbacks, and possible implementation plans. Then, the co-chairs will compile this into a cohesive document. The co-chairs will create a singular document that the committees can review, identify holes, issues, and modify as necessary. The committee wants to get ideas to the greater campus community as soon as possible.

A suggestion was made that a fourth group should be formed to think of ideas that help grow revenues. The fourth group will be created. It will be the parking lot subgroup and growth ideas could be a part of that.

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