May 17, 2004
First phase of Service Center consolidation expected
By Louise Donahue
UCSCs 26 service centers are likely to be pared to about eight
by the time classes begin this fall, Vice Chancellor of Business and
Administrative Services Tom Vani said at an Executive Budget Committee
forum last week.
Job losses due to state budget cuts may not be as extensive
as originally expected, said Vice Chancellor of Business and Administrative
Services Tom Vani and Bill Hyder, assistant chancellor for operations.
That reduction will be the first step in a continuing effort to move
away from UCSCs current decentralized service center system.
Within a year of the first consolidation, most financial transaction
processing will be consolidated further, to a single centralized unit,
though some functions will remain at the divisional level.
Vani joined Larry Castro, Financial Administrative Services Transformation
(FAST) project manager, and Kirk Lew, assistant vice chancellor for
financial affairs, at the May 12 Staff Advisory Board-sponsored forum
on the FAST project. FAST is one of the projects addressing business
functions as part of UCSCs budget-driven transformation
Castro and Lew explained that the FAST project approach is to make
the changes in phases, to allow adjustments as needed and get input
from the divisions. We want to be able to identify problems as
we go along, said Castro.
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Still to be decided are which functions will be kept on the divisional
level and which will be handled in the central office. In general, however,
work involving sponsored projects appears likely to remain in the divisions,
with more transaction-oriented functions moving to the central office.
Many forum participants were concerned about the impact on jobs, and
asked whether the transformation process has a specific savings goal.
While there is no set savings target, we should be able to get
a lot of economies of scale by going in this direction, Vani said.
Vani and Bill Hyder, assistant chancellor for operations, noted that
job losses due to state budget cuts may not be as extensive as originally
expected. The projected staff impact reflected in unit planning documents
(excluding business services and outreach) estimates a potential reduction
of approximately 80 staff FTE, Hyder explained, but approximately 50
of those positions are now unfilled, meaning about 30 positions could
There are going to be some layoffs, but there are certainly not
going to be the large numbers that weve been fearing, Hyder
said. We do not know the numbers for financial transactions, but
it appears that attrition may reduce the potential impacts as well.
The FAST project team is working to come up with a baseline staffing
level for each function, and plans to have the completed analysis of
survey data now being compiled in June. We want this to be as
data-driven as possible, said Castro.
While every effort will be made to make cuts through attrition and
redeploy people to other parts of campus, we just dont have
the information to give that guarantee, said Castro.
Several issues remain unresolved at this stage, including the location
of the consolidated centers and the name to be given to the units remaining
in the divisions.
Staffers concerned about the possibility of pay cuts if an employees
job responsibilities change were assured that is not part of the plan.
I know that people should worry, but they shouldnt worry
about losing salary. There is no intention of changing any salaries,
While much of the transformation focus is on cost savings, the team
is also taking a critical look at various financial procedures, to see
if every time-consuming process is really needed. Were trying
to make this work over the long haul, said Lew.
Additional information on the project is available online at http://www.ucsc.edu/finaff/cc/slugbert/slugSEMay04.htm
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