Restructuring UCOP Could Alter Campuses
By Vic Cox
Buried in the 2008-09 appropriations request for the Office of the President, which contain the previously reported proposed cuts and layoffs (see the March 31 issue of 93106), are sections that, if approved by the Regents, could result in the unveiling of a new organizational structure as early as this coming May.
The new structure, according to the proposal submitted by Provost Wyatt R. Hume last month for discussion, would move a number of “low-priority” functions to individual campuses, remove services from UCOP departments to create new “systemwide service centers,” and “reduce redundancy within the central administration.” The proposal identifies examples of how streamlining UCOP and making it more effective could be accomplished.
The changes include transferring to campuses some student financial services, alumni merchandise sales, conference support, and selected data reporting. Systemwide service center candidates include the self-supporting Continuing Education of the Bar program and other “dedicated management units,” in the words of the proposal, like the Education Abroad Program.
Suggestions for eliminating redundancies focus on consolidating services from individual departments into “single UCOP-wide units” that are “organized and staffed in order to broadly serve” the entire UC system. Information technology consolidation—an effort already underway—is mentioned.
“The restructuring initiative will also pursue entirely new business models for the central administration,” the proposal says. To illustrate what this means, the document, which can be downloaded at <www.universityofcalifornia.edu/regents/regmeet/mar08/j1attach2.pdf
>, adds, “The most immediate candidate is the administration of retiree benefits for all systemwide annuitants…”
This would dramatically alter UCOP’s Department of Human Resources & Benefits, which currently devotes around 120 FTEs and $22 million to pension administration, accounting, retirement counseling, and operating a customer service center.
Third party vendors are a suggested alternative. Indeed, a RFP (request for proposals) along such lines is planned to be issued this month. A vendor selection process could be completed in fall 2008.