Reorganization of the Manoa Chancellor's Office
3:00 pm Moore Hall 551
Present: Robert Bley-Vroman (SEC Liaison), Thomas Bopp, Shana Brown, Matt McGranaghan, Torben Nielsen, Robert Paull, Amarjit Singh, Jim Yates, Sylvia Yuen.
Guest: Rodney Sakaguchi, Vice Chancellor for Administration, Finance and Operations, UHM
The meeting was convened by committee chair McGranaghan at 3:07. The sole item of discussion was the proposed reorganization of the Manoa Chancellor's office as described in the documents released September 27, 2004 and on the web at http://www.manoa.hawaii.edu/mco/initiatives_issues/mco_reorg/ .
Vice Chancellor Sakaguchi provided a brief historical context for the current proposal. In January of 2001 the Board of Regents approved a conceptual outline for the organization of the Manoa Chancellor's office as part of the separation of Manoa from the System. That plan proposed a Chancellor and five Vice Chancellors for Manoa, with the detailed functions to be specified at a later time. The Board also specified that overall, the reorganizations of the System and Manoa were to be cost neutral.
The System reorganized first, under new President Dobelle. For various reasons the reorganization proposal for Manoa has been delayed until now. This delay is among the recently expressed concerns of WASC, which has scheduled a special visit for the Fall of 2005.
The current proposal is comprehensive. It is not cost neutral, and will require reallocations from the System (about $1.5M), additional appropriations from the legislature (about $1.5M), and additional reallocations internal to Manoa. This proposal also includes major reassignments of current positions and functions within Student Affairs.
The remainder of the meeting was an informal discussion of the proposal between the Vice Chancellor and the committee members. The following were among the comments made:
The proposal places the UH Press under the VC for Administration, Finance and Operations. There is some sentiment that in view of its academic mission, UH Press should report to Academic Affairs.
There is concern that in some areas the proposal may "make more messes than it cleans up." This may be particularly true in the area of IT, where the proposed 6 positions for UHM (compared to 123 for the System) may be just enough to create confusion and ambiguity in who does what. More generally, in those areas (such as IT, Human Resources, and Institutional Research) where there will be a continuing activity at both the System and the Manoa levels, it is absolutely imperative that clear statements be developed to assign responsibility as unambiguously as possible. A further question is whether the Bookstore should be a System function.
In the Human Resources (HR) area, Manoa has the responsibility to classify positions but has no resources with which to carry it out. There are a number of areas like this, where Manoa has responsibility but no authority or ability to control events. The current implementation of BANNER was mentioned as an example.
There was agreement that UHM needs to have increased resources in the areas of research services and grant management. The staffing and reporting lines for ORS currently bypass the Manoa administration.
The current Office of Student Affairs is being reorganized. In general, the current OSA functions that can be described as "student life" will be assigned to the VC for Students. The admissions and records functions will be reassigned to the VC for Academic Affairs as a part of the new office focussing on enrollment management and policy.
A few general observations also emerged. Several of the proposed new reporting lines do not appear to make sense. Among these are a degree granting school (SOEST) reporting to the VC for Research. Another is the Law and Medical Schools reporting directly to the Chancellor. The proposal seems to halt (or even reverse) the former trend of placing ORU's such as HIGP and HIMB within schools, to report to a Dean. It seems unbalanced, for example, for HIGP to report to a Dean while IRC or WRRC report directly to the VC for Research.
One of the problems of the current organization is the large number of direct reports to the Chancellor. However, this proposal appears to address that problem by overloading the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. The addition of direct school and college reporting lines to an already enlarged set of functions for this Vice Chancellor should be carefully examined.
A further general concern is the possible continued fragmentation of academic advising. The athletic advising program currently administered by Arts & Sciences appears now to report to the Chancellor, and the Arts & Sciences student services office appears to have had its already lean staff further reduced. The lack of adequate undergraduate advising has long been a concern of the Senate, and this proposal appears to exacerbate the problem
Looking ahead, near the top of page 6 of 8 of the proposal's summary document is the following statement: "Also, it is anticipated that over the next two years, changes will be made to streamline management and administrative functions at campus operating unit levels. Excess support staff expected to result from these changes will be redeployed to further implement the proposed organization." This jargon appears to mean that positions will be taken from the schools and colleges and reassigned to the central administration. This needs to be done with great care.
A closing comment addressed the question "Will this improve things?" We have no way to go but up. Currently we have essentially no structure at all in place to address many of these important functions. The time to address the situation is now.
In other business, the minutes of the CAB meeting of September 8, 2004 were approved as circulated. Torben Nielsen will check that the UHM-MFS-CAB listserve is working. He will also set up a private web site for use by the committee.
Bley-Vroman reported that Acting President McClain is proposing a further reorganization at the System level. The URL for the documents will be forwarded to CAB.
Meeting adjourned at 4:55 pm.
Thomas T. Bopp