Launching Shared Services Planning

by Cathy Sandeen, UAA Chancellor  |   

Dear UAA Community,

In the spirit of transparency, I am writing to inform you of a significant planning initiative that will begin this summer.

As you know, UAA continues to confront major budget challenges, including an $8 million reduction to our state revenue for fiscal year 2021-22. We also anticipate a decline in tuition revenue in the next year.

Concurrently, I have received feedback from many of you that UAA could make improvements to better align with best practices in the areas of fiscal, administrative and research administration services. UAA expanded rapidly, creating a highly distributed organization. In light of our current context, now is a good time to evaluate that structure. I believe we can provide better and more consistent service — as well as achieve some efficiencies and savings — by developing a well-designed shared services unit in these key areas.

To explore this idea, I am establishing a Chancellor’s Task Force on Shared Services that will consider our current state, shared services strategies, best practices and initial organizational design for shared fiscal, administrative and research administration services. This plan and design will be shared widely in the fall for input prior to potential implementation. The goal is to implement during FY21. While cost savings drive this initiative, I am equally motivated by the need to provide consistent, timely and high-quality service to the UAA community in these key areas.

I have asked Associate Vice Chancellor Christi Bell and Interim Vice Provost for Research Aaron Dotson to co-chair this task force. Both have expertise in developing streamlined and efficient processes while improving customer service. Task force members will provide broad representation across the institution. Deans and directors will be invited to provide input and advice at key points of the process.

The task force reports, findings and recommendations will be shared widely in the fall. UAA is committed to being solution-oriented. Please join me as we collectively work toward innovative ideas that support UAA’s mission through modern, streamlined approaches to our budget challenges.

Cathy Sandeen
UAA Chancellor

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