UWM is facing a precarious fiscal situation that requires our campus to act and think differently than we have in the past. Several historic factors are at work that destabilize our long-term plan, including the recently enacted state budget cuts and tuition freezes and enrollment declines from our peak enrollments of 2010. We face the difficult task of bringing recent initiatives to final fruition. Those include our recent building expansion, and the new programs they made possible. Meanwhile, we will maintain our tradition of quality instruction, our access mission, and our research goals.
These issues have led many of us to conclude that now is the time to examine how our campus is organized, our processes, and operating (including budgetary) effectiveness, and develop clear, actionable paths forward. For example, beyond the Chancellor’s Budget Planning Task Force’s recommendations that we are implementing to address the short-term effects of the budget cut, they also recommended that I form a group to examine more substantive issues—larger ideas, structures and processes that will enable us to better meet the challenges. Similarly, faculty, staff, deans and students have indicated a strong interest in pursuing these ideas.
In this context, I am forming a group to develop recommendations and a coherent plan that will improve the organization and operational effectiveness of our campus, in light of the challenges we face. I would like this group to first make recommendations on a process for how the campus can be engaged in developing this plan. Once I have approved the process for developing the plan, the group (supplemented as needed by a group for research, liaison, and operational support) will be responsible for carrying out the planning process that will result in identifying and recommending options. Once the plan is approved, the campus will fulfill the recommendations, beginning during the 2015-16 academic year and continuing, in collaboration with faculty, staff, and students (both through governance groups and with individuals).
I will rely on this group as we make decisions about the future. Hence, it will be of paramount importance that the group work in concert with faculty, staff, and student governance and administrative groups for input and guidance as the recommendations and plan are formed and implemented. The group will also operate in parallel with the Chancellor’s Biennial Budget Planning Task Force (CBBPTF) and the Budget Model Working Group, and will share membership with these groups and governance members. Items to be incorporated by this group include our administrative practices (in all units), organizational structure, employee development and careers (including compensation and faculty and staff reviews), and related matters. I recognize that there are groups already engaged in improving some of these items, so it will be important to incorporate and build upon this work—to both reinforce momentum and close gaps in the planning.
CCOET Meetings are held every Wednesday from 3-5pm in the Regents Room on the second floor of Chapman Hall. All meetings are open to students, faculty, staff, and administrators. CCOET Primary and Support Teams rotate with each team meeting during this time every other week.
Charges and Schedule:
- Develop recommendations and a coherent plan that will improve the organization and effectiveness of our campus to (a) better serve our students, Southeastern Wisconsin and beyond, and (b) better position us to achieve our campus objectives in student success, research excellence and community partnerships and engagement. These strategic directions are important, and will also ask the team to advise on our work on culture and climate as well as visibility, brand and image. As part of this plan, I ask the team to:
- Propose meaningful large-scale efficiencies, structural, or budget reduction recommendations or confirm those already underway at the School/College, Divisional, and overall campus levels that will provide significant assistance in closing a $25-$30 million ongoing structural deficit (the combined impact of previous enrollment declines, large biennial budget cuts and a 4 year tuition freeze) in a realistic time frame in light of significantly reduced reserve balances;
- Develop recommendations for consolidating organizational units, potentially including combining schools and colleges; deleting functions; shrinking the size of departments, offices, and activities; and
- Outline any other key areas of improvement and priorities needed in organizational effectiveness and administrative processes (in all units). Some key areas of improvement and priorities are already underway, in which case this Team may emphasize or confirm that this work continues to be a priority for UWM.
- The initial task is to make recommendations on a process for how the campus can be engaged in developing this plan.This process should include a timeline and address the charges listed The initial draft proposal is due Thursday, October 1, 2015 (tentative). Feedback will be given and I ask that the plan and recommendations be completed by February 15, 2016.
- Responsibilities thereafter will include making recommendations needed to advance the campus’ organization, structure, and processes as outlined in 1.a-1.c.
- There should be mechanisms developed whereby suggestions will be gathered from faculty, staff, and student governance groups and individuals for consideration as recommendations are In addition, important inputs include the draft campus strategic plan and the Panther teams that have been formed to advance plans in each of these and other areas. In addition, having a call for ideas, as well as engaging a wide variety of campus constituencies, both within and across campus units and disciplines, and community partnerships, donors, alumni and numerous others are examples of expected avenues to pursue.
- CCOET Co-Chairs will provide at least bi-weekly updates to the sponsors, as well as monthly updates to the campus on a webpage and through a formal report. The Co-Chairs and sponsors will determine specific roles of the team and support team and schedule for work completion.