UAA Shared Services update

by Bill Jacob, Interim Vice Chancellor for Administrative Services  |   

Dear UAA Community,

I am writing to provide an update on UAA’s new Shared Services unit.

To afford more time to manage details related to the transition and ensure strong customer service, we are pushing back the start date by a few weeks. I will communicate the new start date for UAA Shared Services no later than Jan. 11, 2021.

We previously communicated a UAA Shared Services start date of Jan. 3, 2021. On that date, some individuals will begin working for the new Shared Services unit, mostly continuing their same work under current processes. As some staff members begin the transition in January, our goal is to minimize change as much as possible for the units we serve while leveraging the expertise of our new UAA Shared Services colleagues in discussions about process improvement and standardization.

Implementation Task Force
The Shared Services Implementation Task Force has met every week since Oct. 14. During the planning phase, the committee focused its attention on documenting the amount of time UAA administrative staff spend performing work in four main areas: finance, travel, procurement and human resources. Ninety-seven UAA employees were asked to complete a detailed questionnaire to help us gather accurate information about the nature of their responsibilities and the estimated amount of time they spend on each major work activity. I am proud and pleased to report that all of the questionnaires were completed on time in helpful detail. I want to publicly thank everyone who was asked to complete this important questionnaire. The pride you take in your work is apparent, and we appreciate having accurate information about the work currently being performed.

The Future
We have been meeting with deans and other unit leads and analyzing data from the questionnaires to identify UAA professionals whose duties and skills best align with the mission of UAA Shared Services. Organizational change is never easy. Many UAA employees wear so many hats and have diverse job responsibilities. In order to maximize the benefit of UAA Shared Services, some jobs will need to change and become more focused on fiscal-related work while others will no longer perform fiscal-related work. Discussions continue with all employees who are likely to be directly affected by these changes. I continue to be impressed by the ability of our UAA colleagues to see the benefits that shared services will bring while diligently supporting our employees through this transition. 

Feedback and Communication
Earlier this fall, I announced the UAA Shared Services Implementation Project website. I hope you had the opportunity to explore it. On the website landing page, you will see general project information, frequently asked questions, communications and a project timeline. Please visit the website often to remain up-to-date on the Shared Services Implementation Project.

UAA is a community of dedicated, attentive and hardworking professionals, and your feedback matters. You may submit your questions, concerns or general feedback in the following ways:

Thank you for your continued engagement as we move forward. Best wishes as we move into 2021!

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

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