Chancellor Douglas A. Girod

Message: Announcing the Changing for Excellence business cases

Friday, November 4, 2011

Dear Colleagues,

KU is dedicated to being recognized among the top-tier public international research universities. To achieve this goal, we must transform our institution in terms of effectiveness and efficiency. Our resources should be carefully dedicated to meeting our mission of educating future leaders, building healthy communities, and making discoveries that will change the world.

Six months ago, I announced KU commissioned the Huron Consulting Group to review the university’s administrative processes and procedures, an effort we have called Changing for Excellence. Under the leadership of KU Medical Center Executive Vice Chancellor Barbara Atkinson and Lawrence and Edwards campus Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Jeffrey Vitter, the entire university has worked to identify areas of opportunity and then to develop business cases and implementation plans.

There are inefficiencies in our administrative processes, and in many cases these inefficiencies are compounded by limits placed on our talented staff members. In the town hall meetings I’ve attended, it has been evident to me there is a commitment to excellence among our faculty and staff. On behalf of the executive committee, I want to thank you for your contributions and assure you we will be addressing the inefficiencies and removing the limitations.

We have engaged in the difficult discussions. Now, it is time to begin the hard work of transforming the way KU does business. As we put the business cases into action, your input will continue to be critical. This will remain a collaborative and open process.

The executive committee has selected the business cases to be implemented. Today, those business cases are being posted on the Changing for Excellence website. Of the 12 areas identified for Phase II, eight have been selected to be implemented with assistance from Huron.

The Lawrence campus and KUMC Kansas City campus will each host meetings to give faculty and staff the opportunity to meet with the individual champions for each business case and representatives from Huron. The meeting at KUMC will be on Monday, November 14, with additional details to come.

The Lawrence meeting is this Monday, November 7, in the Kansas Union from 9:00-11:00 am. Each business case has been assigned an individual room in the Union. Presentations will be given in 30 minute sessions, with a 5-10 minute break between sessions to allow you to visit up to three rooms. I encourage you to attend and ask that supervisors allow time for staff members who wish to attend. I’ve listed the locations below, and linked to the individual business cases:

  1. Budgeting process (Lawrence/Edwards), International Room on 5th floor
  2. Campus construction (All campuses), Regionalist Room on 5th floor
  3. Creation of business centers (Lawrence/Edwards), Big 12 Room on 5th floor
  4. Enrollment management – Domestic & International (Lawrence/Edwards), Malott Room on 6th floor
  5. Facilities maintenance and upkeep (All campuses), Alderson Auditorium on 4th floor
  6. Human resources (All campuses), Kansas Room on 6th floor
  7. Information technology (All campuses), Centennial Room on 6th floor
  8. Procurement (All campuses), Regionalist Room on 5th floor

Four business cases will not involve further work with Huron – Libraries, Research administration for both KUMC and Lawrence/Edwards, and Administrative support at KUMC. Efforts already underway in each of these areas to increase efficiency, accountability, and service to students, faculty, and staff will continue but will not be part of the Changing for Excellence process.

Libraries and research administration have completed their individual strategic plans and will continue implementing them. They are committed to the same goals identified by their work groups and Huron.

For business case being implemented, a calendar is being developed with steps necessary for mobilization, design, deployment and optimization. In some cases, work on mobilization has already begun while other cases will move slower to ensure staff are not overwhelmed. We anticipate most business cases will be implemented no later than the end of 2014.

Each business case includes projected fiscal benefits for each of the next five fiscal years. The potential savings and revenue enhancements will allow us to utilize our resources to educate leaders and make discoveries, not to generate unnecessary paperwork and processes.

Thank you again for the effort that has gone into the thorough evaluation of KU as an organization. While change certainly involves uneasiness, the fact that we can look at ourselves this intensely and have the courage to transform is also cause for excitement and for pride. Your continued involvement will ensure our success, and I look forward to joining you as we realize our full potential as a world-class university.

Bernadette Gray-Little

One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
5th nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets: Colleges," Military Times
Chancellor's Vision

The mission of the University of Kansas is to lift students and society by educating leaders, building healthy communities, and making discoveries that change the world.

We will do that by raising the expectations we have for ourselves, the aspirations we have for our state, and the hopes we have for our world.