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DRAFT Rev. 11402: Bruce Sorte 541-737-5909

Presented to the Faculty Senate January 10, 2002

Considerations - Administrative Service Center


Save administrative time and resources, which can be devoted to programmatic planning and initiatives.

Increase timeliness and effectiveness of administrative decisions and bring decision making closer to those who are impacted by the decisions.

Current Landscape:

Given the current University, OUS, state, and federal requirements and processes there is very little administrative redundancy.

Most of institutional knowledge and ability to apply programmatic knowledge to administrative decisions resides in the units.

We have few if any examples of large-scale service centers that realize significant cost savings without disproportionate reductions in service.

Centralizing administrative functions without the support of the affected faculty and staff can create high opportunity costs as some of those faculty and staff spend less time on programmatic responsibilities and more time doing their own administrative tasks.

Basic Building Blocks of a Service Center:

The service center has final decision-making authority for at least 80% of the decisions it processes or considers.

There is some disciplinary relationship or thread amongst the units that are included in the service center.

There is reasonable geographic proximity amongst the units that participate.

Policy level guidance of the service center is shared amongst the units, college, and central levels. Daily supervision is provided on a rotating basis by the units.

Initially, at least for the first year, the service center will be more expensive. It will be costly to develop the service center and implement new business practices. Time for transition and training existing staff is critical.

A pilot test, with sufficient resources to carefully monitor, adjust, and report the outcomes is essential to build campus-wide support and avoid shadow systems or the inefficiencies of circumventing the service center.

We should give the pilot test six months from start-up and then be prepared to abandon the project, if it cannot demonstrate clear progress towards the goals.

Savings may be possible in the 30% range of current non-academic administrative costs and 50% of the time necessary to act on a request. The cost savings could be distributed to the unit, college, and central expenditure levels. Some portion of the savings could be utilized for future service center start-ups or entrepreneurial opportunities within the existing service center(s).

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