Dana Cloud (associate professor, communication studies) and Snehal Shingavi (assistant professor, English) submitted the following resolution to suspend the implementation of Shared Services. It will be presented to the Faculty Council at its meeting on December 9, 2013. Final approval resides with the Faculty Council with formal notification to the president.
Dean Neikirk, Secretary
General Faculty and Faculty Council
RESOLUTION TO UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS FACULTY COUNCIL
SUSPENSION OF SHARED SERVICES
WHEREAS, we join with the University of Texas Board of Regents and Central Administration in seeking to deliver excellent education at affordable cost in an era of reduced state appropriations; and
WHEREAS, the administration of financial, procurement, information technology and human resources at the University exists to further the mission of the University by serving its faculty and students; and
WHEREAS, the implementation of Shared Services will displace locally dedicated staff from their home units to a “call center,” hindering the productivity of faculty in conducting teaching and research-related activity; and
WHEREAS, the design and development of the Shared Services program was performed and will be implemented in part by external consulting firms without due disclosure of benefits to these private consultants, namely Accenture, a company whose history of fraud and misuse of state funds puts the University at risk; and
WHEREAS, the plan as specified by the Administration requires the loss of at least 500 positions across the University; and
WHEREAS, the published projections of its profitability are erroneous and overstated; and
WHEREAS, the faculty of the University of Michigan have passed a resolution against a similar plan on their campus, concluding that Shared Services "amounts to a dehumanization of the workplace" and that the job savings would come disproportionately from female staff and staff of color; and
WHEREAS, the Administration has undertaken Shared Services with insufficient disclosure of financial data, and therefore, with insufficient evaluation by concerned faculty, resulting in inadequate consideration of the consequences and costs of the program;
BE IT RESOLVED that the University of Texas at Austin Faculty Council request full disclosure of financial details of the plan, including the role and compensation of Accenture; endorses the immediate suspension of pilot Shared Services implementation; and endorses the suspension of the further implementation of any part of the Shared Services Plan until quantitative data for all projections is disclosed, and its impact on the educational and teaching missions of the university can be fully considered and properly evaluated in light of the diverse and often specialized needs of various academic disciplines and units across campus, and that such deliberations include volunteer representatives of central faculty governance.
Posted on the Faculty Council website
on December 9, 2013.