December 2, 2013
Topic: Human Resources
To the university community:
In response to the concerns expressed by the campus community, and in consultation with President Coleman, we are pursuing the following next steps regarding the Administrative Services Transformation shared services initiative:
We need to directly address the issues that have surfaced over the past few weeks. We will bring faculty into the process immediately to evaluate the timeline and to ensure the establishment of a shared services program that is structured to meet the needs of our faculty and our students while achieving necessary cost savings. Each school and college will work directly with its faculty so the ultimate outcome is one that provides adequate support for teaching and research.
In order to accommodate these discussions, staff moves will be delayed beyond April. However, during the next two weeks, staff members slated to move to the center are scheduled for interviews to discuss their skills and preferences. That process will continue as planned. We recognize that the uncertainty is challenging for employees who want clarity regarding their future work assignments, and we ask that the units be supportive during this time by continuing to treat all colleagues as important departmental contributors.
This is a time of great change for higher education and we are hearing more about the impact of these changes every day. In our discussions with many members of the faculty about issues relating to the Administrative Services Transformation project, the passion and concern for the university’s future direction is palpable. We appreciate the faculty’s strongly expressed willingness to work together with us to address the financial and other significant challenges we face, while continuing to emphasize our core academic strengths and values.
Beyond the AST initiative specifically, Provost Pollack will establish a set of faculty-led committees to undertake a deep analysis of the biggest challenges facing U-M today: growing pressures on faculty productivity; diversity and campus climate; and financial challenges and cost containment. These will be complemented by the task teams on the future of teaching that were announced at the recent Provost Town Halls on engaged learning. These committees will begin just after the start of the new year.
The university’s academic and administrative leadership are committed to protecting the academic mission and enhancing affordability for students. Together we must continue to find the cost savings necessary to achieve those essential goals while reflecting the values our community holds dear.
The executive sponsors of the Administrative Services Transformation initiative:
E. Royster Harper
Vice President for Student Life
Martha E. Pollack
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs
Timothy P. Slottow
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer