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April 18, 2005

Business Transformation forum offers preview of changes to come

By Louise Donahue

The successful implementation of UCSC's Business Transformation initiative will mean more efficient delivery of services--in everything from purchasing to staff hiring to time sheets.

That was the word at an April 13 forum about the multiyear consolidation and modernization process that includes elimination of 26 service centers. The forum was cosponsored by the Staff Advisory Board and the Business Transformation Program.

“This is about handling our campus today, and handling our campus tomorrow,” Tom Vani, vice chancellor for Business and Administrative Services told the gathering at the Music Center Recital Hall.

The initial impetus behind the BTP initiative is to provide basic campus business services with $1.1 million less in annual funding than what has been spent to provide the same services in the past.

Business transformation covers a wide range of services, and will include these changes:

• Purchasing will be streamlined using a system dubbed CruzBuy, with a web-based shopping-cart system familiar to those who shop online.

• The hiring process will be speeded up, allowing applicants to check the status of the hiring process online. An e-mail will be sent to applicants notifying them that their application has been received, and hiring managers will be notified by e-mail when a position has been posted.

• Timesheets will be filled out online, with an option for face-to-face contact in case of problems.

• Policies and procedures will be more consistent, and more consistently applied.

Employees were expected to be notified last week about where they will fit into the new structure, with relocation planned during August. Campus controller Kirk Lew said it does not appear the restructuring will require any layoffs.

The new, centralized offices—which may be located off campus—will be supplemented by a small number of satellite offices on campus, so students, staff, and faculty will be able to access services easily.

While the transformation will bring major changes—and a greater reliance on technology—efforts are being made to retain working relationships.

Under the new structure, a team of employees will serve a group of divisions, with staff members moving to new groupings that include the division they worked with before. “We’re trying to maintain a consistency from the former service center system,” said Larry Castro, project manager for the Financial Administrative Services Transformation.

The larger units will offer some benefits to staff, such as increased opportunities for internal training and advancement, and more backup available when a staff member is on vacation or on leave.

Detailed information on the Business Transformation process, including a confidential feedback option, is available online at

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