Appointment of Shared Services Implementation Task Force

by Bill Jacob, UAA Interim Vice Chancellor for Administrative Services  |   

Dear UAA Community,

Chancellor Sandeen and I are committed to transparency as UAA moves to a shared services model for fiscal management and associated administrative services. To that end, I will be sending regular updates on progress and periodic announcements about opportunities for you to provide input.

This week, the UAA Shared Services Implementation Task Force, comprising two teams, was appointed. These teams will guide the formation of a shared services model for UAA throughout FY21.

The structure and membership is as follows: 

Core team (detailed task force analysis, recommendations and implementation):

  • Bill Jacob (Chair), Interim Vice Chancellor for Administrative Services
  • Ryan Buchholdt, Interim Budget Director
  • Finance Business Leads: Heather Paulsen, Amanda Yauney, Becky Jackson, Geeta Kolean, Lexi Hill, Chrissy Wilson
  • Steve Wildeck (Advisor)
    • Note: Steve Wildeck is an expert in administrative shared services in higher education and has 30 years’ experience as CBO in higher education, most recently at the University of Wisconsin. We will leverage his expertise for guidance through our transformation as it relates to UAA shared services.

Extended team (governance, key support experts):

  • Gail Ealy, UA Human Resources and Labor Relations
  • Ben Shier, UAA Interim Chief Information Officer
  • Austin Osborne, UAA University Relations
  • Soren Orley, UAA Faculty Senate
  • Dawn Humenik, UAA Staff Council
  • Additional fiscal personnel as needed

As chair of the Shared Services Implementation Task Force, I will lead the process and ensure the implementation of the new model. However the task force members themselves will play significant roles in driving this progress for UAA.

As stated by Chancellor Sandeen in the Task Force Charge, UAA Shared Services will vigorously pursue the following benefits:

  • Timely and accurate data and reports
  • Financial advising for unit heads and managers
  • Strong customer service, to units and end users
  • Shared long-term savings; giving back time and money to UAA units

The creation of a shared services unit is a critical step for UAA, and one that follows a national trend as universities aggressively seek ways to make investments into their primary missions. Given the certainty of reductions in state funding for UAA, it is essential that we continue to lower our administrative costs, increase our administrative efficiency and deliver dependable, high-quality services to our colleges and departments.

Units included in initial scope:

  • Office of the Chancellor
  • Office of the Provost
  • Office of University Advancement
  • College of Business & Public Policy
  • College of Arts & Sciences
  • College of Engineering
  • College of Health
  • Community & Technical College
  • UAA/APU Consortium Library

The work of the committee will occur in three major phases in FY21 and FY22:

Planning (September - December 2020)
Activities in this phase include: scope refinement, current state analysis, identification of UAA shared services staff based on current state analysis, approach and plan for shifting reporting lines to Shared Services. Current state of work will be maintained as is (lift and shift).

In addition, we will work with departments and staff to understand any work left behind and how to manage that successfully.

Implementation (January - June 2021)
Activities in this phase include: shifting reporting line of in-scope positions to UAA Shared Services (target date Jan. 3, 2021), identifying best practices, designing/developing process and policy improvement, standardizing forms and processes, determining organizational structure and alignment and establishing service-level standards.

Operational (July 2021 - June 2022)
Incremental scope expansion and continuous improvement.

Please join me in thanking the task force members for participating in this important work for UAA. I join them in looking forward to an inclusive, productive process ahead that will yield progress for UAA and all of our stakeholders.

Bill Jacob
UAA Interim Vice Chancellor for Administrative Services
Chair, UAA Shared Services Implementation Task Force

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