• Home
  • About Us
  • Guest Posts

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Staffing the Downsize

As the many comments by staff members to the post Did I miss Something? make clear, the task force on pensions and UCOF are only one strand of the ongoing restructuring of UC.  In multiple departments and offices, especially at Berkeley, staff jobs are being eliminated and downsized while faculty are away, and the attempt to cut costs on the basic organization and staffing of the campuses are taking their toll on members of staff and their ability to perform their jobs.  While Bain, to take only one example, is taking home its profit for swooping in and deciding which human workers are necessary and which are disposable, the people who actually support faculty offering instruction and performing research are facing both overwork and a loss of job security.

Unfortunately, this information tends to be localized.  Do people have data on job losses, or information on staff restructuring and consolidation etc?  The more that people know the better.

102 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm not willing to be first to mention my department, in case it makes me identifiable, but this document will be of interest to people who are wondering whether or not they are expecting major change:

http://www.ucop.edu/atyourservice/administrators/docs/soea_mastercontracts_1007.pdf

UCOP has a host of "change management" firms on a list, to be pre-approved and called upon at a moment's notice.....

Bronwen Rowlands said...

Anonymous 9:42:Thanks very much for the Systemwide OE doc. It's VERY helpful. Got more?
Michael Meranze: Thank you for focussing on staff in this piece. I'd be surprised (but glad) to see "data on job losses...etc" because there's no central source of staff information at UCB, certainly not about this shadowy, cowardly restructuring. The M.O. of the change managers/UCOP is to withhold information from staff; to isolate us and pick us off one by one. To make us invisible. We aren't even numbers! You can see that we're scared for our jobs. We hear about assistance with "outplacement", "workshops to prepare employees for re-entry into the job market", "Opportunities for existing staff" in new configurations, but no real solid information about what to expect. It's clearly an intentional strategy to keep us in line,and it's heaven for petty tyrants.

Anonymous said...

You heard it here first: Complete reorganization of UC Berkeley staff, all departments except for Police. The university is looking at those charts that Bain had that showed how many people are supervised by one person. Current average is 3.3 staff per supervisor, goal is 6 staff per supervisor. Stage 2 will be looking at reorganization of IT, HR, Financial Services, all starting at the academic department level. No kidding, you heard it here first!

cloudminder said...

i was in the city yesterday and had to take BART - a group of staff people from UC were on the train talking about UC stuff- so I recognized the conversation- two of the people were enraged and one was in tears and a couple others were trying to console.

i just observed it quietly

but, it is clear to me

UC is an UNHEALTHY workplace

I value my degrees because i make a concerted effort to associate them with the faculty and GSIs and GSRs I studied under -not the institution itself. I don't recognized Cal, the UC system, in what is happening today. It is some warped version of itself. I send my thoughts out to those who are suffering.

I also send my complaints and concerns to my local govt representatives-that is the least I can do.

cloudminder said...

i forgot to say one additional thing - specifically directed to the comment Michael made about "staff jobs are being eliminated and downsized while faculty are away"

- my point in my first comment - in the previous post "Did I Miss Something- was about Operational Excellence and faculty serving on it. Operational Excellence has always been identified as a downsizing effort- some faculty have lllooonnnggg known that, and some have attached their names to it- that was the point I was making.

and the Deans and Directors latest meetings also made it clear- in case any faculty could not put the pieces together.

the fact is : there is a segment of faculty who support the downsizing and these are the same people who also support keeping other faculty out of the loop.

the illusion of community, shared governance is just that - an illusion.

Bronwen Rowlands said...

Anonymous 12:25,
Thank you for the very valuable information. Is it likely that dept offices will be closed, workers laid off & invited to apply for fewer jobs in shared service centers? (Any or all of the above?) What's the timeline?
Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

Fall for stage 1, new organizations to be in place by January. End of spring for stage 2, the details of which are somewhat dependent on what happens in stage 1.

cloudminder said...

how can Pisano say ""This is not an exercise in which a plan is written far away, then forcibly pressed upon people," stresses Pisano. "This is really a case where the constituents — faculty, staff and students — are being engaged in the process." The plans will come "from the field, from the people doing it day to day. My job is to help avoid collisions among the plans."
in this latest press release:

http://www.berkeley.edu/news/media/releases/2010/09/02_pisano.shtml

when we have evidence that they are entering into major vendor agreements with change (your employment status) management consultants and hiring many transition (-ing out of the university) coordinators up and down the state?!

here is the final diagnostic report if you need a refresher on what all this is about:

http://www.berkeley.edu/oe/phase1/phase1-full.pdf

cloudminder said...

please also remember that the UCB HR Services Center example is one that the administration at UC and at UCOP heralded as being an example that should be followed and implemented throughout the rest of the university.

Now, they will do that with the academic depts FIRST- rather than doing it with central administration across the board first... how interesting.

TB said...

Wow. I am reading these comments and keep wondering whether we live in the same universe. While I have no confidence that the upper level of the UC bureaucracy can do anything (including downsizing) right, I see a *lot* of incompetence at the middle and lower administrative levels on pretty much daily basis. I could go through a loooong list of examples and personal anecdotes of how trivial issues become a major waste of time because of basic incompetence and a general culture of risk aversion on the part of some staff members. Should I mention that the time so wasted could be used far more productively for teaching & research (something, I'd like to believe, I'm actually paid for)? And yes, we have many competent and efficient staff members, but we also have enough of those who should be let go. Which brings me back to my having no confidence in our upper management. Instead of using the crisis to clean the system, in their ultimate wisdom they forced everyone to take the same furloughs. Guess what: I saw some of the really competent staff members leave for greener pastures -- after all these are the marketable ones -- while the people I would love to see go are still around. If Bain can help our spineless administration clean the system, I am all for it. Not keeping my fingers crossed though.
And yes, I know what I'm talking about: I worked for an industrial research laboratory and a private university. After those, the UC administrative culture is suffocating, to say the least. And yes, this culture is not god given -- it is perpetuated by many UC employees at various administrative levels. Fire them. Reshuffle them. Do something, or the cancer of bureaucratic incompetence will eat the system.

Bronwen Rowlands said...

TB: "Clean the system"? Would you listen to yourself? Don't worry. As a UC faculty member you'll feel a little pinprick of inconvenience as the staff are butchered, but soon your every little need will be met. And I do mean little.

Anonymous said...

TB: you sound like someone who demands things of staff who work for a multitude of people other than yourself and then you are miffed that they don't drop everything and do what you want them to do first. Or perhaps you expect them to do something that they know the auditors wouldn't approve of and so they become hesitant and, in your eyes, "inefficient". Yes, do give us some examples.....and then provide your staff an opportunity to tell their side. It should proven enlightening.

Bronwen, what are you doing up at 4, worrying about work? My hours of worrying last night were 2 to 3:30; now I'm up at 5:45 to start my day.

Faculty in general: remember, staff are not abstractions, people you can fit into your theoretical ideal staff to management rations and do away with the rest; we will be the ones waking up in the middle of the night wondering whether or not we will be laid off in this wretched economy. Real lives, real miseries. We need your support and respect.

Anonymous said...

As a staff member who has been in the UC system for 20+ years, I believe we are all products of the economic times. When times are good, our Chancellors, Executive Vice Chancellors, Deans, etc. are proposing all sorts of new programs and the campuses are spending like drunken sailors. When times are bad, “change management”/”simplification”/”efficiencies” come into play…(all key words for: get ready, there are going to be layoffs or major gaps caused by attrition. One minute we are working on building up a department/unit or special program and the next minute, we are cutting staff and telling those that remain they could do a better job by being more efficient. It’s getting old, really old. Sigh.

Anonymous said...

Represented Staff should find this interesting.
They are coming after us. Posting in two parts are it is too many characters.

Labor Relations Rep 3, #11288
Job ID:11288
Location: Main Campus-Berkeley
Full-Time
Department Op Excellence- Project Office
Temporary

Departmental Overview
This is an exciting opportunity for HR professionals interested in working at the epicenter of
organizational change at UC Berkeley.

The University of California, Berkeley, is the preeminent public research university in the country and one of the leading employers in the San Francisco Bay Area. We are building a team of 3-4 experienced HR professionals who will assist university managers achieve the organizational staffing changes necessary to meet their goals over the next 12 months.

Operating under the supervision of campus HR managers in the central units, this team will be deployed on an as needed basis. Members of the team will be seasoned professionals with collective knowledge and experience in labor relations, employee relations, compensation, organizational development and change management. The team will address labor, policy, and legal issues related to changes in employment status. They will anticipate communication and change management needs, and assist with appropriate planning. They will work in close collaboration with other campus resources.

The successful candidates will be people who work best as a team that is nimble, able to find creative solutions within policy and legal requirements, and can anticipate the needs of managers who are trying to find ways to improve efficiency and service while reducing cost and risk. This support team will have a strong service orientation with a focus on identifying the goal, recommending options, assessing risks and advantages.

This position involves establishing and maintaining satisfactory labor-management relations, including monitoring and ensuring adherence to contract provisions, identifying solutions that avoid grievances and concerns of a specific group of union employees. Highly service-oriented and focused on finding solutions in a timely manner, and able to identify opportunities that may cross organizational boundaries.

This is a 12-month contract position with the possibility of a 6 month extension depending on the duration of unit planning efforts.
Responsibilities
50% - Advisory to campus managers
• Identifies options and recommends appropriate solutions to campus managers
• Provides advice and counsel to client groups according to established human resources and employee relations policies and procedures
• Prioritizes work assignments, conducts analyses of employee relations issues and trends, and develops resulting recommendations.
• Recommends staffing solutions.

35% - Administration of policies and procedures
• Applies employee relations policies and procedures to resolve a variety of complex employee relations issues.
• Maintains sensitive employee records and confidentiality
• Administers and interprets labor/union contracts and policies

10% - Works with team to find solutions
• Works in a collaborative manner with other team members and resources in central HR, COrWE and elsewhere
• Triages problems and makes appropriate referrals to other resources
• Identifies policies or procedures that inhibit our ability to increase efficiency and reduce cost

Anonymous said...

Job Title:
This will be interesting to Represented Staff. They are coming after us. Read the entire job description at Career Home on BLU.


Labor Relations Rep 3, #11288
Job ID:
11288
Location: Main Campus-Berkeley
Full/Part Time:
Full-Time
Department
Op Excellence- Project Office
Regular/Temporary:
Temporary
This is an exciting opportunity for HR professionals interested in working at the epicenter of
organizational change at UC Berkeley.

The University of California, Berkeley, is the preeminent public research university in the country and one of the leading employers in the San Francisco Bay Area. We are building a team of 3-4 experienced HR professionals who will assist university managers achieve the organizational staffing changes necessary to meet their goals over the next 12 months.

Operating under the supervision of campus HR managers in the central units, this team will be deployed on an as needed basis. Members of the team will be seasoned professionals with collective knowledge and experience in labor relations, employee relations, compensation, organizational development and change management. The team will address labor, policy, and legal issues related to changes in employment status. They will anticipate communication and change management needs, and assist with appropriate planning. They will work in close collaboration with other campus resources.

The successful candidates will be people who work best as a team that is nimble, able to find creative solutions within policy and legal requirements, and can anticipate the needs of managers who are trying to find ways to improve efficiency and service while reducing cost and risk. This support team will have a strong service orientation with a focus on identifying the goal, recommending options, assessing risks and advantages.

This position involves establishing and maintaining satisfactory labor-management relations, including monitoring and ensuring adherence to contract provisions, identifying solutions that avoid grievances and concerns of a specific group of union employees. Highly service-oriented and focused on finding solutions in a timely manner, and able to identify opportunities that may cross organizational boundaries.

This is a 12-month contract position with the possibility of a 6 month extension depending on the duration of unit planning efforts.

Anonymous said...

Represented Staff. Go to Career Home on BLU and read this job posting. They are coming for us and they are prepared. Tried to post the entire job description but is too many characters.

Job Title:
Labor Relations Rep 3, #11288
Job ID:11288
Location: Main Campus-Berkeley
Full/Part Time:Full-Time
Department Op Excellence- Project Office

Anonymous said...

oh, sorry I multi-posted. Kept getting error message.
So there it is folks.

TB said...

Examples? Things like purchasing equipment that I could easily do online without involving anyone else have to be handled by the purchasing people instead. They take weeks and then end up paying more (the funds come from my grants, naturally) even in the cases when I give them the exact price quotes. The list goes on and on.
Auditors? I would buy this argument have I had not worked for a private university doing research supported by the same federal grants. Why, may I ask, the administrative support people over there did not sweat about auditing (or if they did, we did not feel it). I have not heard the word "compliance" used by any of them often, if at all; over here it is an overriding concern. It is this proliferation of "cover my ass first, everything else being a distant second" culture that drives me nuts here. And what's even more troubling is that people who worked here for ages or have not worked in other places think that this is actually normal. I do feel that some changes (and trimming) are badly needed, and yes, I understand that such changes always cause a certain amount of human misery. And once again, I have no confidence in the ability of the powers that be to implement the changes that are actually meaningful. If anything, their track record is exactly the opposite.

Bronwen Rowlands said...

Anonymous 11:27, etc., w/ the labor relations job listing:

Thank you for this. It is such a relief to see this information exposed,I can't tell you.
Thank you.

Anonymous said...

On my UC campus the drive to reduce admin is resulting in cuts first and foremost to the academic departments. They are getting rid of the staff that actually work with the faculty. People higher up the food chain are protected. Our faculty protested bitterly to our Dean but he didn't listen. His share of the financial and staffing pie will actually substantially increase under the downsizing plans.

Anonymous said...

TB: I will hazard a guess that the situation you mention involves a certain research supporting department that has already been reorganized, along the lines that are now being promoted for the rest of us. They have been understaffed for some months.

I can assure you, that these are not the kind of people who will be trimmed; those are the ones who will be promoted. And many of the changes in recent years at UCB have been dictated by the need to pass federal and state audits. This is not the fault of the lower level staff that you are dealing with, who are told to follow procedure at the risk of losing their jobs.

Other people's misery is always more acceptable than one's own, eh?

cloudminder said...

the Research Enterprise Services center (now reorganized) is also down on its operational knees and has been for months!! due in large part to major failures of the BFS Upgrade- a 3 MILLION DOLLAR BFS upgrade!!!!!!!!
and many of those managers responsible for the disastrous BFS upgrade are now serving on Operational Excellence so they can decide if YOU are excellent enough - or not...

oh the hypocrisy...

Anonymous said...

I'm curious, who were those managers involved with the BFS "upgrade"? I'm thinking of starting a trading card series of notable higher level UC management.

cloudminder said...

re: RES and BFS debacle - here are some docs on background etc:

http://res.berkeley.edu/res/news.cfm

https://wikihub.berkeley.edu/download/attachments/15665291/01-BFSv9Implementation-FY09-10.pdf?version=1&modificationDate=1254437439220

and here are some of the appointment announcements:

http://cloudminder.blogspot.com/2010/09/organizational-simplification-os-might.html

http://berkeley.edu/oe/news/huston.shtml

cloudminder said...

and you can also find info here:

http://bustechsolutions.berkeley.edu/BFSv9.htm

Anonymous said...

You are right, I see quite a few names listed both places. My little exercise was to look up previous years' salaries for the "staff" on these OE committees. With rare exceptions, almost all of them earned over 100,000 last year; some considerably more. Many were not furloughed last year, for some reason, and they almost all have this category of extra income that must come in handy come time to pay the bills. They also have a habit of being reclassified at a significantly higher pay level most years instead of languishing as most of us do. We obviously don't know the right people!

cloudminder said...

yes, very astute observations

it is remarkable how one can double their income in under 10 years without earning a more advanced degree or certification-- or even more management responsibilities

and yet this fortunate group -that rolls out crap on top of crap- has that wonderful experience over and over

and now they will decide
who stays
and
who goes

life lottery
livelihood russian roulette
sick

Anonymous said...

I'm feeling like these people have won.....I'm fed up and sick of the whole thing and am only hoping to stick around because I can't afford to retire and dread looking for a job in this sucky economy. And, yes, for those people who see this as a sign of a cynical, worn out, inefficient staff person who needs to go, only a few years ago I was going above and beyond the call of duty, initiating innovative projects, engaging my fellow staff members in improvements, etc. etc. But all this effort was for what? The Chancellor's annual report to staff and his genial smile and his wish that the campus could do a bit more for us hard-working staff? UC's appreciation and support of staff, its dedication to "excellence," is nothing but empty words.

Anonymous said...

Our campus has an "Organizational Excellence" group. So far they haven't streamlined or improved ANYTHING. All they do is figure out ways for other people to lose their jobs. The faculty may not care...much...but in these re-organizations staffing and $$ are moving away from the faculty. So faculty - if you feel upset about admin now just think what it will be like when all the admin is located away from your department and your Chair's authority to direct the staff to accomplish something useful for the department. With the reorgs the obsession with compliance will only get worse as the staff will be isolated from faculty.

Anonymous said...

This is what they want, the staff to be isolated from the faculty. I have often heard the financial higher ups talk about what a problem it is that departments are their own little fiefdoms. Staff will do questionable things, compliance-wise, because it suits the immediate needs of their chair and faculty, who are quite grateful for this accommodation. The university feels this is out of control. They want financial staff to be directly supervised by central financial entities; the same for HR. So, yes, these new centralized staff units will answer to a different master.
Don't forget, this is only the Organizational Simplification people having their way with us. We've yet to see what "High Performance Culture" has in mind for staff. A much tighter kind of carrot/stick control. Don't forget, staff, BFS, HCM, Travel/Entertainment all have ways of tracking your processing patterns. It's just that the central offices haven't had anybody working full-time just to keep track of these things. That will probably change.

cloudminder said...

i think the big one is student services

it used to be that i as a student could go directly to my dept and the staff would work with the faculty in my dept on any problem

now that will not be the case
the staff will be far more removed from the staff and that can be big problems for staff, faculty and student

everyone becomes nameless and faceless
think about it.

Anonymous said...

And while we are doing a bit of research, yes, on university time, take a look at our new OE director, Peggy Huston.
Could this Peggy Huston
http://www.linkedin.com/pub/peggy-huston/3/979/9a4
be related to this Peggy Huston:
http://www.linkedin.com/pub/peggy-huston/17/338/551
This may or may not just be a coincidence, though it should be noted that both jobs started in 2007.
And take a look at what lovely services are provided by one of the companies that one(?) of the Peggy Huston's works for:
http://www.ameritconsulting.com/human-capital-solutions/staffing-services.html

Coincidence? You decide..... (and hopefully someone will do a bit more research and find out for sure; I really am not sure by the evidence I've dug up so far).

Anonymous said...

I think we all thought of getting rid of "administrative bloat" was a great idea. But the People Up Top seem to have redefined that into getting rid of the people who interact with students, handle faculty grants, make the computer systems work etc. BTW one of the colleges on our campus had 13 Associate Deans at least count.

cloudminder said...

wow, anonymous 3:55

that is some interesting digging-
doing those two jobs while getting an MBA at Cal State Hayward, that would be interesting huh?

someone mentioned to me that they were wondering why she suddenly was at BPAWG (Business Process and Analysis Working Group) and why that staff organization was suddenly an arm of administration. - now i get what they were talking about

http://www.ustream.tv/user/bpawg/videos


the topper was Khira Griscavage's BPAWG presentation on Operational Excellence that was not allowed to be recorded...

the staff orgs at Cal have completely changed from what they used to be- they were intended for social interaction among staff - now they are for the "company hacks"...and we've been wondering why some of the other staff organizations were suddenly being headed up by other "darlings" of administration

can't they allow regular staff to interact without big brother infiltration?

there used to be diversity in these groups and interesting programs - now they are far less interesting and vibrant and just being ruled as if by the invisible hand...

Anonymous said...

Yeah, check out her meteoric pay raises over the years. I was at the BPAWG meeting that couldn't be streamed. Bain presented their usual thing, staff for the most part reacted with hostility (with some notable exceptions) and one of the Bain folks muttered with some hostility himself that he should be allowed to address each objection as it came up to prevent any misconceptions (he was not allowed to do so and he left in a huff midway through the meeting). The staff present made some decent suggestions; none of which I recall Bain considering in their report. I think it was a difference in interpretation of the word "efficiency": we were talking about how to make various university systems work better for staff so we could do our jobs better, they were talking about elimination of staff in order to promote overall financial "efficiency". It was again, all for show, so they could report that "staff were consulted".

Anonymous said...

Well UC has to get rid of staff, a lot of staff, to both cut costs and hopefully shift money to the faculty side. In my department faculty merits are cranking along full bore. Last year in my department all the faculty regular merits, all the one-year accelerations, and all but one of the two year accelerations were approved. A couple years of that and it wipes out all the money they saved by reducing our department's staff. But it does help to retain faculty.

Anonymous said...

Amen Anon. 6:49. I don't begrudge the faculty for their merits and promotions but I do begrudge a system which hasn't given thrown the staff a (merit) bone in what 3 or 4 years? Well, with the new plan to drastically reduce retirement benefits effective 2013, we will be seeing a massive exodus of faculty and staff retire and that will be a huge saving. The remaining staff (and supposedly faculty) will be left to do take up the slack as supposedly new hires will be kept way down.

As regards to consolidation of duties, this was done at my campus about seven years ago in some major departments and things have been in one heck of a mess for those massive merged admin units since then. The faculty complain all the time about what they've lost.

Thank you Michael Meranze for this outlet.

Gerry Barnett said...

Matthew Stewart's The Management Myth comes to mind. The illusion of efficiency. If UC wants to chart a course for the future as contraction, fine. Announce that and contract programs. But don't be in denial that one can keep all the programs, just quietly dump the staff needed to run them. It may be the reputation of a university is a function its faculty, but its quality--both in research and instruction--is very much a matter of its staff as well. And, oh, by the way, why not have senior admin salaries drop as a % of drop in the number of people in their units?

Anonymous said...

It seems to me this whole scenario is playing out as another battle in the long war between Administration and Faculty. Faculty have been crying out for years "Get rid of administrative bloat!" "Make faculty salaries equitable with other major research universities!"

So Administration says fine - we will cut the bloat - by taking away your academic departments' staff - maybe entirely - and creating service centers and clusters and blah-blah. This is happening now.

One day soon the Faculty will realize their department staff - and budget - are gone, and they are more isolated and powerless than ever. Meanwhile the Administration can dream up endless new policies and procedures for their service centers which are "efficient" and "in compliance" but have nothing to do with the research and teaching goals of the Faculty.

But on the bright side (for Faculty) dumping 30% or so of the Staff frees up money for the annual faculty merit cycles.

So each side wins - Administration destroys the funding, staff and influence of academic departments, but the Faculty gets more money for continuing salary merits.

Anonymous said...

I came across a useful phrase in an article on wage differences last year: "sympathy gap": the less your budget and your lifestyle are like someone else's lifestyle, the more difficult it is for you to empathize with them. In the way that I don't truly "get" what it is like to live in the inner city on welfare, never knowing if my kids will make it home safely at night, the faculty with their merits and their housing allowances and retention bonuses do not truly "get" what life is like for the people who work side by side with them. Faculty may start out with salaries that are in the range of 20 year staff, but they do not stay there for long at all once the merits start to arrive. These privileges serve effectively to divide faculty from staff.

Faculty are offered special things that they are not willing to sacrifice even if it meant there was more money to support staff. This past year of furloughs is the first year I have spent any time resenting what faculty are given. It's part of the unspoken faculty/staff agreement for staff to recognize the need for these perks as they serve the greater need of the campus to keep good faculty. During the past year of furloughs this has worn a bit thin. The university has always implied to staff that they will be rewarded, somehow, some day, when things are "better", for their loyalty. We are starting to understand what we have long suspected: this is all empty rhetoric. It's not clear, when all this comes to a head, if faculty will actually be willing to sacrifice anything in support of staff.

Anonymous said...

My co-workers keep asking how many people are going to be lost to this organizational simplification. Given that HR is hiring 3-4 people to specialize in union issues, I suspect this Org Simp plan is the union-busting wolf in the efficiency-lamb's clothing.

Anonymous said...

Its interesting that this blog is entitled "Remaking the University". Its being remade all tight, but the remaking is all being done by the People Who Don't Get It (PWDGI), who have never actually done academic research and teaching.

While faculty and staff glumly express themselves on this blog and other forums the PWDGI are having the time of their lives laying off lecturers, firing staff, and constructing their new administrative kingdoms.

Its happening right now people and while freedom of speech in blogs etc is wonderful I can't see anything reversing the debacle.

Toby Higbie said...

I would be interested to read the opinions of staff about the relative strength/utility of the staff unions in resisting these changes. It seems they had some success in stopping furloughs. What would it take to get the rank and file collectively mobilized? (I'm faculty)

anonstaff said...

I'm no longer in a union but I once was in CUE. Years ago CUE seemed pretty CUEless, though there were brief periods of relevance when it seemed that CUE was actually paying attention to what was going on with staff. I just looked at the CUE website and there is absolutely nothing about OE or reorganizations or even the pension, that I could find. I looked on the UPTE site and they are covering the pension issue.

Lacking an active union, and lacking some sort of organizations for staff who are not part of unions (BSA is just a recording device, it expresses no opinions that might offend anyone higher up), staff have no way of communicating and planning any kind of resistance. I'm not even sure how many staff know about this impending reorganization.

Anonymous said...

A bit more "required reading" for staff if you want a clearer picture of our future.

http://evcp.chance.berkeley.edu/documents/Spotlight/DeansChairsRetreat201011Handouts.htm

Anonymous said...

Broken link

http://evcp.chance.berkeley.edu/documents/Spotlight/DeansCh

Anonymous said...

right you are. Try this:
http://evcp.chance.berkeley.edu/documents/Spotlight/DeansChairsRetreat201011Handouts.htm

Anonymous said...

right you are. Try this:
http://evcp.chance.berkeley.edu/documents/Spotlight/DeansChairsRetreat201011Handouts.htm

Anonymous said...

meh, the system keeps cutting it off. Bloggered!
Go here and then click on Spotlight: Deans and Chairs August 19 annual retreat handouts.

http://evcp.chance.berkeley.edu/

Bronwen Rowlands said...

I'm a member of the clerical union CUE. CUE caved in to the furloughs in Dec. 2009. There is definitely an anti-union sentiment on campus now, as there is in the general populous, and the corporatist juggernaut on the campus, in the UC system, in the state, in the country, globally,is actively seeking to kill unions and worker protections in general. Though CUE has recently allied itself with the Teamsters, I have yet to see any local support from them. Only boilerplate.

Hell yes, strong unions would be useful in this crisis. By my calculations, AFSCME is the most useful campus union locally.

We can't count on the clerical union. They are all but destroyed, and this massive re-org will put them under. UC has had a team of union-busting lawyers for years.

There will be no collective mobilization of the rank and file. The unions have fought valiantly, but we are on the cusp of a very dark age.

(See Truthdig: Chris Hedges on "Moral Courage," but not before you've had a still drink.)

Bronwen Rowlands said...

Make that a STIFF drink. A double.

Michael Meranze said...

Dear All,

You can find Anonymous' link to the Dean's and Chair's retreat in the blog's "Transparency Project" section.

Anonymous said...

http://tiny.cc/c1led

here's a tiny url to the link. Lord have mercy on our souls.

Anonymous said...

I'll save it for tonight....I could get fired for drinking on the job. :-)

Bronwen Rowlands said...

Heard any good jokes lately?

Anonymous said...

So there was some major reorg of CNR, yes? Is that the model so Gilless is on this committee?

Who recalls the exent of damage to staff ?

------
ORGANIZATIONAL SIMPLIFICATION
Initiative Manager:
Moira Perez, Chief Administrative Officer, Grad
Division
Sponsors:
Keith Gilless, Dean, College of Natural Resources
Frank Yeary, Vice Chancellor
There are two components to Org Simplification:
1) To streamline our existing organization on a unit by unit basis to create flatter, more effective
organizations with well-defined roles and career paths for individual contributors and supervisors
2) To determine the optimal delivery of common administrative functions (e.g., HR, finance and IT) and
combining operations of small units to create scale and improve effectiveness

Bronwen Rowlands said...

Yes, UCB's College of Natural Resources (CNR) was "re-organized." I don't have the whole picture, but I know that a graduate student affairs officer who'd been on the job for 28 years was laid off, and his position was eliminated.

Anonymous said...

It very much seems if you have been successful as an administrative "generalist" in a small department that you had better be prepared to hang up your cleats and retire. I can't find the exact quote now, but somewhere there was a note that the employee of the future will have specialist skills. So those of us who once served the university's purposes by taking on any additional and unrelated duties that were handed down from central offices (because "local control" was good back then) will now pay the price.

This little blogger give and take is the closest to a staff-wide (with friends) conversation on these matters that I have yet seen. It's a large gap between these little asides on Remaking the U. and Sproul Plaza filled with staff and supporters chanting "Whose University? Our University!", which is something I should like to see before I am laid off or retired.

Bronwen Rowlands said...

I'm sorry now that I mentioned the Chris Hedges "Moral Courage" speech. It's very grim and it's not relevant to this conversation.

Plus, it's 40 minutes long.

Anonymous said...

From a press release on CSU Hayward Web site:

Peggy Huston appointed OE Program Office director
July 23, 2010
Albert Pisano, UC Berkeley Operational Excellence Program; July 23, 2010
Dear Colleagues:
Vice Chancellor Yeary and I are pleased to announce the appointment of Peggy Huston to the position of Program Office Director for Operational Excellence (OE). After a competitive search, Peggy was selected for her deep knowledge of the Berkeley campus and her expertise in large-scale project management, making her an ideal choice for this important effort.

Peggy has over 20 years of leadership and project management expertise, and has been working at UC Berkeley for 10 years. Most recently, Peggy served as the Interim Director for the Technology Program Office (TPO). One of her key contributions included developing the TPO for the Office of the Chief Information Officer (CIO) to improve the effectiveness of the resources invested in Information Technology (IT) on campus. Peggy's experience also includes business process analysis in support of the reorganization of Information Services and Technology (IST), and serving as the Project Manager for the Berkeley Financial System (BFS) version 9 implementation project.

The OE Program Office will oversee and support the Operational Excellence Program, a campus-wide effort launched by Chancellor Birgeneau last Fall to design and implement specific initiatives to improve and streamline operations. As OE Program Director, Peggy will be working with me to lead the operations of the OE Program Office, while supporting multiple, cross-functional initiative teams to successfully deliver large-scale transformational change.

Peggy holds a BS in Business Administration and Computer Information Systems, as well as an MBA in International Business from Cal State East Bay. She is PMP certified and holds a Project Management Certification from UC Extension. Peggy has also undergone the UC Berkeley Leadership Development and IT Leadership programs.

Vice Chancellor Yeary and I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Khira Griscavage for her tremendous work as Interim OE Program Office Director. She has been instrumental in launching the OE Program Office and advancing the OE effort into the design phase. Khira and Peggy will work closely over the next few months to ensure a smooth transition.

Please join me in thanking Khira for her efforts and welcoming Peggy to her new role.

Best regards,
Albert ("Al") P. Pisano, Faculty Head
Operational Excellence Program Office
http://berkeley.edu/oe/

Professor
Department of Mechanical Engineering
http://www.me.berkeley.edu

anon_staff said...

So you have to admit they are clever and putting those Change Management MBAs to good use. I guess the corporate world has given them a lot of practice over the past few years. In Phase 1 departments do the hard work of figuring out how they can combine and lay off staff with the least possible change in functionality. Somehow coming up with the magical 6 staff to 1 supervisor ratio while figuring out what services can be done away with (as obviously something has to go: you can't reduce staff who are working with the same inefficient systems without reducing services as well).

Then, once departments have provided this service, these carefully crafted ratios will be cast aside as HR, IT, Financial Services and Student Services are plucked from their midst. So all this BS about ideal staff ratios is just a framework for the first round of layoffs and saves the Powers that Be the trouble of trying to understand how departments actually work. Phase 2 gives you buildings full of drones where everyone does the same thing in some measurable fashion. This paves the way for future layoffs, as the remaining staff will be "plug and play." My guess is that there will not be nearly the increase in processing system efficiencies that they are now implying there will be, since this will involve replacing somebody's pet project, like BFS, with something that actually works. As always, the burden will fall on the front-line units to find a way around the bugs in these systems.

But what is left for the academic departments after Phase 2? Who will be the friendly face in the "main office", who will be the department-based SAO who knows how to match a potential graduate student with the faculty member who has similar research interests? Who will deal with the local building issues that constantly arise and interfere with research and teaching? Who welcomes the departmental visitor and helps them get set up for their special seminar presentation? Perhaps all of this can be taken care of in one central office with web cams; indeed, there must be a way this can be outsourced to another country even. But that is a Phase 3 level improvement!

Anonymous said...

Yes Anon Staff at 7:28, you nailed it. An Admin merger (one of many) happened at my campus years ago in my academic department and the departments/chairs and faculty were powerless. Some staff were laid off, and those that remained were given triple the workload. Naturally, those that could retire, retired. Several who were slated to remain and not of retirement age took lateral jobs or even downgrades just to get out. This left the new admin unit in shambles. We lost so much history, knowledge, and most of all, we lost "family". Faculty were up in arms, some even cried. One faculty member left for a new position out of state. One staff member had a nervous breakdown. A new Administrator was brought in and several new staff. The Administrator (an MBA) couldn't even begin to make sense of what he was dealing with and parted under very bad terms. The few of us staff who remained after the downsizing and merge felt a feeling of hopelessness that is very hard to describe. We tried to make it work. Financial statements weren't going out to the faculty; they had no idea what kind of money they had. Things were a mess. Slowly, the Dean's office started adding more staff to the unit just to try to fix the problem. They assigned an Administrator from another unit to help find the problems. They assigned a financial person from another unit to help fix the problem. All of this is of course came with additional stipends. And the new staff started trickling in. Higher titles, more salary expense. In the end, they have more staff with higher titles now than we had prior to the merge. I got out before it killed me. The faculty still complain. Not just the "old school" faculty, but the younger ones too.

You are right, there is noone who "owns" the department. Who looks out for the faculty, who goes the distance for the faculty or the students. The Dean sure "simplified" things. Oh btw, he (the Dean) got the heck out of Dodge shortly after that fiasco.

Fellow staff members, I know it's easy for me to say in these times, but if you hear these words: "merge", "consolidation", "reorganization"...update your resumes, find your contacts, look for any other unit which might be "safe" from such a hit. Take a lateral move if you have to. Don't stay, don't tough it out. I can tell you first hand that it isn't worth it.

Unknown said...

Anon @ 8:27 AM you have hit the nail on the head. The bean counters and outside "experts" have no insight on the human interaction that make departments work. As faculty, I know that without our excellent dept staff team run by an extremely experienced office manager, we would be unable to function. The problem with the downsizers is that they read "cuts to education" literally, without realizing the huge support system that goes into making the educational mission of the university work. Do the powers that be think that by exploiting staff further and not giving a hoot for employee morale (where is the talk of community when you need it; it's only trotted out for furloughs when we are required to sacrifice?) that they are saving the educational and research mission of the university?

Anonymous said...

Here is the kind of mindset we will be dealing with:
http://changingminds.org/disciplines/change_management/change_management.htm

In case this truncates, go to changingminds.org then disciplines, then change management. Take a side trip to "resistance to change" and find yourself among the Resistance Zoo. I find myself to be some cross between a mole and an owl. This is the kind of respect we will be given during this process.
Rest assured that UC is ready and willing to help you with this process:
http://uhs.berkeley.edu/facstaff/care/copingtools.shtml
(uhs.berkle.edu faculty and staff services, CARE, coping tools)

Anonymous said...

From UCSB:

ANNOUNCEMENT: Administrative Restructuring for Humanities Departments and Programs in South Hall 7/28/2010

The staff supporting the Humanities Departments and Programs of English, Philosophy, Linguistics, ESL, and Writing in South Hall will be relocating on the days of September 9th through September 14th as part of an administrative restructuring. During this time, advising and academic services for the associated departments may be unavailable. After the 14th, support services will be available at the new Humanities South Administrative Support Center:

Anonymous said...

I'm Anon. staff member from 8:27am. Thank you Prof. Jenny. That's the way I felt; we had such a strong group of talented people who worked so hard for our department. We were already paired down from previous budget cuts over the last few decades. The downsizing turned it into a three ring circus.

Anon. 12:46pm at SB: well, I hope you all have a coping tools website like Anon. 9:19 has at Berkeley! Maybe that was our problem at my campus, no "caring" website. (tongue in cheek).

We actually all understood at the time that cuts had to be made, but it was the way in which they were made and the "change is good" mantra that was used on us. I honestly tried to make it work...I wasn't digging in my heels (I wasn't happy with what was happening but I still tried.) Staff were so depressed; I remember well one staffer who just graduated from college and went career with us after a great experience with us as a work study student. Prior to the downsizing and merge, she was so youthful acting with that glimmer in her eye. After the merge, her whole physical being changed. She was slumped, her voice was barely audible, and she had constant neck aches. At the time I was trying to make it work, I was working my fanny off and losing sleep over it as well as losing hair and getting splitting headaches. We started keeping a list of the revolving door of staff who were hired and then resigned...it was a long list and just kept growing. People are still unhappy there.

Sadly I think that entire exercise caused more staff to stop thinking as a team and start thinking and looking out for themselves. People stopped caring about issues outside of their area.

They just can't keep cutting what has already been cut to the bone and telling us how we need to simplify and prioritize. The only way it will work now with all the downsizing is if they cut programs and faculty. Then students.

If there is one more survey on campus morale or one more committee to improve morale led by Administrators and carefully hand picked staff after all this, I may just vomit.

Anon_staff said...

Anon 1:44PM:
Yes, why do they always treat us like we are so stupid during these reorganizations. They trot out their empty catch phrases ("Operational Excellence"), they imply that anyone who questions what they are doing is showing a bovine tendency to be "resistant to change" as they herd us into little pens. Do they think they have reached their exalted positions only because of their genius and we are where we are due to our stupidity? Or is it to provide them with some distance from the reality on the ground: layoffs of staff during a terrible economy, disruption, the overwork and stress that affect the "fortunate" staff who remain? While they remain safe behind their efficiency theories and their business-speak committee titles ("High Performance Culture", "Organizational Simplification" and the like). I guess they are the smartest guys in the room.

cloudminder said...

also see Birgeneau and Breslauer's comments on Operational Excellence and other issues in this article:

http://www.dailycal.org/article/110289/interview_with_chancellor_robert_birgeneau_part_1

-- now, I have to go clean off my boots which are caked over up to the knee after going through the BS responses in the Daily Cal interview I just read. 'night folks.

Anonymous said...

I had some time this weekend so I read the reports that Bain & Co did for both Cornell and UNC. They pretty much read just like the report for UCB so seems they have a template they apply to these studies and they just fill in the blanks with the local names and language.

But in all three reports include this caveat:

In general, organizations rarely achieve 100% of identified savings; 60-80% is more common
due to implementation challenges and potential overlap between opportunities

• Many opportunities identified are difficult to implement and will require significant time, investment, and strong campus support in orderto be successful

That explains to me why they go after staff first. We are easy pickings.

Anonymous said...

The Center for Organizational Workplace Effectiveness,is one of several entities sponsoring a workshop on the technical aspects of information presentation. Not quite my field, but still of some interest. Seating is limited, so you would expect they would list some criteria for participation such as prior experience in the technique described, or having a pressing need for this technique in your current position. And they do mention these things. But first comes "Employee is considered high potential with the possibility of further advancement on campus". I mean, aren't we ALL high potential with possibility of further advancement? Wasn't that what Career Compass was all about? Who will screen potential participants for this quality of "high potential"? What is the metric that will be used? Are they saying they don't want to waste any resources on less deserving staff who will be laid off soon anyway? What does one need to do to join this exclusive club of high potential employees?

Anonymous said...

The Bain report claims they can achieve $100M in savings through re-organization, i.e getting rid of lots of staff. Is the $100M an annual savings? If one assumes an average staff salary of $50K, that's a reduction of twenty thousand employees!

Anonymous said...

oops 2,000 staff. Sorry its too early.

Anonymous said...

According to a presentation to ABOG made on August 5, they are expecting to save $40-$55 million through "Organizational Simplification", and an additional $15-$20 through "Student Services", so that makes it a potential range of $55-$75 million. So maybe 1,100 to 1,500 staff? I doubt they have any other method of savings in mind for these two areas other than staff layoffs. And I'm guessing a decent number of those staff will be at salaries below $50K.

browlands said...

Anonymous 8:47:
I believe that ABOG (Academic Business Officers Group?) is for
office managers and above on the management ladder; in other words, some people who attend ABOG meetings are the immediate supervisors of staff who are about to be laid off and otherwise hornswoggled. What can you tell us about how much UCB managers know now? Do they already know who's getting the Kiss of the Bear?

Anyone?

cloudminder said...

remember:
generalist SUPERVISORS will also be replaced by "function specific" sups and leadership

Anonymous said...

Another thing to keep in mind with the focus on specialization is that it may be a good way to keep people locked into dead-end jobs and thus keep salaries down. In the good old days (like last week) someone could take an entry level position as say a purchasing agent in an academic business office but over time start to work on and learn things like payroll, academic personnel, grants, etc. Thus s/he would learn a variety of useful skills and be able to advance in their career, maybe end up as a manager with broad responsibilities.

Now in the planned purchasing service center in our college you will have some Admin Asst IIs (ie entry level positions) spending all day long entering POs into the system. They will never learn anything else. They can't move up, they can't move out. The campus can keep them as AA-IIs until the day they die - thus saving money. A shared purchasing sweat shop.

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:11pm: Gaaaaa!!! Good point. They're making drones now out of the staff. Now it seems they are hiring more and more Accountants to be the Managers or Administrative Officer. Accountants who often only see black and white and not what the needs of the faculty and students of the department are. Who died and let the Accountants be boss? On our campus, the head Accountant (VC of Budget) rules the roost. She even heads out other Admin sections such as HR. Scarey. People (faculty and Administrators included) are afraid of her.

cloudminder said...

are they fully credentialed CPA (certified public accountant)?

or are they the new wave of banksters who have come to UC in the last 2 years after they destroyed the housing market and country...

Anonymous said...

Be assured they will get rid of mid-managers as well as rank-and-file employees. This is being done in some cases on my campus by combining units, and then laying off managers or classifying them downwards.

Its a weird time: mid-managers are pondering who they will lay-off while people higher up the ladder are planning to get rid of the mid-managers and ....

Anonymous said...

I have seen another way to cut payroll and get rid of more highly salaried people. This is a real example from a coupe months ago. Say you have an Analyst IV. Lay this person off. Re-classify the position down to an Analyst II and hire someone new. If your Analyst IV was in the upper salary quartile and the Analyst II is at the bottom you have saved a bundle. Now the job responsibilities in the position description are no doubt different but does anyone really think the actual job will be different?

Anonymous said...

The OE people are implying that those of us who are left standing after all this is over will see significant pay raises. My guess is that we (assuming I am among that "we") will get one pay raise of 3 to 4%, and that will be it. But meanwhile they are hoping to win cooperation by dangling hypothetical money.

Browlands: I was at that ABOG meeting, and the managers in attendance were uniformly hostile to what was being suggested. They were pretty scarce on details, just telling us how great it would be when we all had jobs where we could concentrate on just one area and become "experts". Yeah, or sit in cubicles and become drones.....

The details didn't start to come out until last week, and then no specific departments were mentioned; we were just told that there are division-wide goals that must be met. It's up to us to make our local department arrangements for shared staff over the next few months; then central offices will take control of the various levels of staff that have been controlled at department levels for all these years. I can't imagine how they are going to accomplish this without creating a whole new level of upper management: Associate Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs, say, and a new set of office staff to go with this position. So we will replace a multitude of low paid individuals with a new, select, cadre of highly paid individuals. Want to bet we break even?

browlands said...

Anonymous 6:12:
That's enormously helpful information. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:12: When you say "make our local department arrangements for shared staff" do you mean decide which staff to lay off? And does "central offices will take control of the various levels of staff that have been controlled at department levels" mean that, for instance, all Admin Assistant and Student Affairs Officer positions on a given campus would be removed from the depts?

Bronwen Rowlands said...

I'm so glad to be wrong! The Teamsters ARE taking action for UC clerical workers:

http://tinyurl.com/2ekckxq

cloudminder said...

here is the link on the teamsters comments on cue

http://classic.cnbc.com/id/39200284

it was great to see their presence at Mission Bay - but it freaked out some folks - they have to get over it

its how they roll...

P.S.
and they need to let more people know about those petitions, they would likely have many alumni, other staff etc willing to sign them if they got the word out to us

Bronwen Rowlands said...

Posted on UC Berkeley's "Operational Excellence" website Friday night (always a good time to post dicey items):
http://tinyurl.com/23cwpb9

My favorite line is:
"The transition will also be bumpy, and for some, personally painful."

Anonymous said...

yeah, personally very painful for some, but not, one can assume, the people orchestrating the whole thing.
Re question for Anon 6:12.....OE at this point is very vague on these matters. The statement that was quietly added on Friday is similarly vague, except for the threat of pain. Practically speaking, I don't see how they are going to "rapture" employees out of their department space.....there is not spare space on this campus. So you might have employees spread throughout the campus who answer to a different master than the department chair of their residential department? And what is going to happen to employees who have a variety of duties and get some, but not all, taken away?

I really don't think the OE people know either at this point. But when they do decide, it will be done in a similar manner: Deans, and then managers and chairs, will get notification once the decision has been made. It's also interesting to note that even this newest document makes no concrete mention of talking to lowest level staff. The grayed out box mentioning "other advisory experts" does not indicate anyone other than "MSOs, CAOs, future customers (??), central SMEs, Academic Senate, etc." will be consulted. So how are they to create all these simplified processing instructions (which would indeed be a great thing) if they aren't actually consulting with the people who will need to use them? This is why HCM and BFS are so incomprehensible to most staff.

cloudminder said...

the sad fact is the people who gave UC Oracle's "Human Capital Management" (HCM) and "Berkeley Financial System" (BFS) --which are indeed "so incomprehensible to most staff"-- never bear the brunt of any of the "bumps in the road, pain"

they just continue to complain of not being paid "market rate"- yet, their own budget requests state they do not currently have the "market rate skills", see this paragraph in the $3 million dollar funding request:

"The change of technical platform will not only greatly reduce the cost to the campus
to run the financial systems, but through retooling, it will provide the opportunity for some existing
staff to gain more modern marketable skills."
they are talking about IT people- yet those folks in the last two years received huge reclass and raises-- locally at Cal that is IST division and BTS unit... and many of the business managers currently on Operational Excellence worked with them on BFS and HCM. Why would UC leaders then make those responsible for so much present day operational mediocrity the judges of future operational excellence?- it is silly season at Cal.

astonishing when you consider the UC wide incidents posted here:

http://www.adamdodge.com/esi/taxonomy/term/62/all

and here is funding request info as reference:

https://wikihub.berkeley.edu/download/attachments/15665291/01-BFSv9Implementation-FY09-10.pdf?version=1&modificationDate=1254437439220

Bronwen Rowlands said...

I realize now that the "personally painful" line in my previous post is a horrible echo of Argentine investigative journalist Rodolfo Walsh's "Open Letter from a Writer to the Military Junta" in 1977:
"...It is in the economic policy of this government where one discovers not only the explanation for the crimes, but a greater atrocity which punishes millions of human beings through planned misery..." How DARE UC and its hired guns announce to us that they are planning to devastate our lives? What are we letting happen here?

Anonymous said...

Oops, I posted this to the wrong blog post -- so here it is again.

From a 9/17/10 email to colleagues from Gilless and Yeary, the following:

"The organizational design exercise we are undertaking this Fall is phase one of the work we have committed to in this area. It has two necessary outcomes:

1. To design more sustainable organizations specifically by addressing our management structures

2. To realize lasting annual savings.

Our goal is to achieve $20M in savings through the unit restructuring which translates to approximately 200 fewer positions. These positions will be eliminated through a combination of attrition, retirements and layoffs. We expect to finish the design of this restructuring by mid-November; notification of the restructuring to impacted employees will likely take place next year.

To put these numbers in perspective, our analysis includes ~12,500 employees (head count) which translates to ~9,500 FTE; this figure excludes faculty, graduate and most undergraduate student employees. Just under 2,000 FTE are in a supervisory position with at least one person reporting to them."

Anonymous said...

Berkeley Chancellor posted the almost identical memo to campus community last night as 9/21, 7:45 pm got from GIlless & Yeary.

This is starting to feel like how the Republican Party keeps its members on message by writing the talking points for everyone.

Bronwen Rowlands said...

To Anonymous 6:54:

Exactly.

Anonymous said...

What I am hearing is the data given to (some, maybe all?) units to use in coming up with their "plan" for restructuring is mostly unusable as this point because it is "comtaminated." By that I mean, the data is not accurate. I heard a story that one unit's data included data from another, very unrelated unit. This will make it almost impossible for some to meet their mid-Nov deadline.

Also, the software they are to use to look with the data is can only be on PCs. Units that are Mac OS environments are having to scramble to find compatible software to work with the data (once, of course, they get it cleaned up). The campus is about 21 Mac OS.

In the meantime, Birgineau sends out his lastest announcement on OE, which is just some PR talking points fluff that apparently has been written to keep everyone on message.

Anonymous said...

The UC Berkeley Operational Excellence FAQ has been updated (as of 9/23/10).

http://berkeley.edu/oe/phase2/qa.shtml

Anonymous said...

Including this little gem:

Q. What does it mean for a supervisor to be reassigned as an individual contributor? Does their classification change? Will their title change? Will salary change? added 9/23/2010
A. What this means is that people who had relatively few direct reports will be able to focus solely on their work. Their classification may change only if they were previously classified as supervisors. The details of how reassignments will be made are still in process of being planned in consultation with Human Resources. Individual contributors who did not have a supervisor classification should not experience a change in their classification or pay scale.
*******
So, if you are first talking about a category of employees who are "supervisors", and you are saying that they will now become "individual contributors" because they are no longer supervisors, and their pay will be lowered ONLY if they were previously classified as supervisors, then it can be assumed that in reality all such employees will have a pay cut. Right? So why word it in this weaselly double-negative fashion? Plus I have been to a meeting where we were assured that there would be no pay cuts for individuals, no matter what they were reclassified as.

Anonymous said...

Plus FAQ is a misnomer: these are not frequently asked questions by actual faculty and staff but leading questions so OE can say what it wants to say. Provided by Pisano himself, I've been told.

Bronwen Rowlands said...

Note the UCB Council of Deans Sept 21 meeting notes: http://tinyurl.com/y979cfs. I laughed out loud when I read that Operational Excellence's "communications specialist" has already quit.

Re the UCB OE (downsizing) updated FAQ. (It went to deans, chairs and managers on Sept 23, was posted to OE website on Sept 30.):
Where to begin? How to countenance a rambling, barely coherent document full of skanky jargon that is unsigned? It's more of the same from OE. No accountability, no morals.

Where do they get off making up new job classifications? "Individual contributors." Under the aegis of Prez Yudof's special little powers?
Weenies.

Anonymous said...

Just added to OE Web site

Staff Equity and Inclusion Considerations for the Operational Excellence Design and Implementation Phases. Professor Gibor Basri VC E&I 20 September 2010


http://tiny.cc/82d53

Anonymous said...

10/20 11:47

Try this link


http://tiny.cc/b90oo

Bronwen Rowlands said...

Re "Staff Equity and Inclusion Considerations":
Here's a breath of fresh air: "In some cases this may also address issues of simple social justice." And then, in the next sentence, the use of the word "pipeline" to describe future employees. I really hate the managementspeak use of industrial imagery that dehumanizes workers: pipeline, backfill, etc.

Under "Staff Participation": "Communicate that OE and campus leaders value and respect staff and seek their input as difficult changes occur." And boy, do I hate that fear-instilling language they've been using for over a year: "difficult changes,"personal pain," Delightful! Google "change management using fear," see what you find. It's a strategy. Manipulating our fear is a strategy.

More fresh air: "The implementation of restructuring and layoffs should be conducted with highest priority for dignity, respect, and gratitude for departing staff..." Not. Bloody. Likely.

Oh, and the SWOT team (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats)[what?? to whom?]for "potentially sensitive topics." I wonder what those could be?

Anonymous said...

Lord help us all. Operational Excellence and Reimagining ourselves and "Fulfilling the Promise" has come to UC Riverside. There's a whole workshop series going on and guess who is coming today--Peggy Huston from UCB.

Chris Newfield said...

could you let us know what happens? this year OE is finally being investigated by the Berkeley Senate.

Join the Conversation

Note: Firefox is occasionally incompatible with our comments section. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.