Chancellor Milliken begins implementation of Board of Regents’ Task Force Report on System Administration
Following an organizational assessment of The University of Texas System Administration led by a task force of four regents, Chancellor James B. Milliken has begun implementation of the task force recommendations.
The task force, led by Chairman Kevin P. Eltife, also included regents Ernest Aliseda, Janiece Longoria and Rad Weaver.
The task force called for streamlining and rethinking some administrative functions, with the goal of improving effectiveness and efficiency. Its report was presented to the full Board of Regents in August 2018, and Milliken was asked to develop an implementation plan when he began his duties as chancellor in mid-September. At the regents’ meeting in November, Milliken offered an interim report, indicating that he had carefully reviewed the report, analyzed the recommendations and suggestions for departments needing further study, and intended to develop a plan to implement its recommendations by early 2019.
The task force, assisted by a national management consulting firm, reviewed 16 departments, constituting more than half of the system’s workforce. It proposed that while immediate reductions in staffing and operations in some departments could be implemented without a negative impact on services to campuses, a further review and analysis was required in some large departments to ensure that any planned reorganizations were implemented carefully and over time to prevent harmful disruptions in critical service to institutions. The four departments undergoing this additional review are the offices of Facilities Planning and Construction, Employee Benefits, Shared Information Services and General Counsel.
In his November report, Milliken told the board he embraced the task force’s recommendations and adopted the philosophy and approach of the task force by extending the review to an additional 16 departments, constituting approximately 40 percent of the System Administration’s workforce.
Notification of affected employees started on Monday, Jan. 7, and the process of deeper reviews of the four large departments is underway.
“I share the goals of the Board of Regents that are reflected in the task force report—to meet our legal and fiduciary responsibilities, to provide the system level leadership and oversight necessary and appropriate, to add as much value as possible to our 14 institutions and best position them for success, and to conduct our activities with the highest level of integrity and in the most cost-effective matter,” Milliken said. “The thoughtful work of the task force was both invaluable and timely to me as a new chancellor.”
The estimated cost-savings and reduction of personnel will not be determined until the additional reviews are completed over a period of several months. While the workforce was reduced by approximately 65 employees this week, final numbers will likely exceed the task force’s identification of approximately 70 to 110 full-time equivalents (FTEs), that upon deeper investigation could be considered for reduction or realignment.
“I am pleased that Chancellor Milliken has begun implementation of the task force’s recommendations, and I look forward to continuing to work with him to meet our shared goal to operate the UT System Administration in a manner that is cost-effective and in the best interests of our state,” Eltife said. “Our focus is on providing the highest quality of services and support to UT’s 14 institutions. The more efficiently we operate our administrative functions, beginning with the System Administration, the better we’ll be able to directly pass resources along to educate students and enhance the lives of patients who depend on us.”
About The University of Texas System
For more than 130 years, The University of Texas System has been committed to improving the lives of Texans and people all over the world through education, research and health care. With 14 institutions, an enrollment of more than 235,000 students and an operating budget of $19.5 billion (FY 2019), the UT System is one of the largest public university systems in the United States. UT institutions produce nearly 59,000 graduates annually and award more than one-third of the state’s undergraduate degrees and almost two-thirds of its health professional degrees. Collectively, UT-owned and affiliated hospitals and clinics accounted for more than 7.8 million outpatient visits and 1.6 million hospital days last year. Across UT institutions, research and development expenditures total $2.7 billion – the second highest among U.S. public higher education systems – and the UT System is regularly ranked among the top 10 most innovative universities in the world. The UT System also is one of the largest employers in Texas, with more than 21,000 faculty – including Nobel laureates and members of the National Academies – and nearly 85,000 health care professionals, researchers, student advisors and support staff.
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