MINUTES OF THE REGULAR FACULTY COUNCIL MEETING OF
FEBRUARY 17, 2014
Return to main minutes
||Discussion of Kevin Hegarty’s report to the Faculty Council.
Chair Hillary Hart gave a brief summary of Vice President Kevin Hegarty (chief financial officer) response to the resolution on Shared Services endorsed by Faculty Council on January 27, 2014. She reminded members that six requests had been made of Mr. Hegarty in terms of information. His report responds to each one, and explained that it was still too soon for some of them to have been completed, such as the plan for piloting Shared Services. Dr. Hart added that there were eleven units currently involved in some form of Shared Services or had expressed a desire to participate as a volunteer, but none had yet been selected. She encouraged Council members to sign up for Shared Services updates via the Transforming UT website saying that it was an easy way to stay informed.
Dr. Hart provided information about Accenture’s two contracts with UT, one of which had ended, the other one would probably continue through the end of the month. She added that the documents used by the Committee on Business Productivity would be posted on the Transforming UT website no later than the following day. She then opened the floor for discussion and questions.
Professor Beckner asked what it meant to be a pilot project and how were units to be selected? Did it mean that the selected unit would engage in Shared Services within their own unit or would staff be reorganized outside the unit? Vice President Hegarty responded saying the College of Liberal Arts and the McCombs School of Business had already engaged in very deep Shared Services initiatives, and some lesser ones such as the chief business office. He added that one aspect would be to study what already exists on campus, and gather the data over a pilot period, which is likely to be one year. He said another aspect would be to engage units that have expressed interest in participating in Shared Services activities in a dialogue and determine, with the people in the department, whether they would join forces with one of the experiments already ongoing or keep the project strictly within their own college—that would have to be determined. Mr. Hegarty shared his vision of Shared Services where there would be “pockets of people doing similar activities, but some activities have to be very close to the unit that they service,” not just a group of 500 people, all in a building separated from the campus. He admitted that he could not give the specifics of a pilot because that information would be determined in large part by the unit as they begin to plan.
Professor Linda E. Reichl (physics) asked who gets the money that is saved, the participating unit, or does it drift upwards? Mr. Hegarty explained that one reason Dean Diehl initiated Shared Services in the College of Liberal Arts was that any money saved would stay in the college. Mr. Hegarty said he continues to encourage units to engage in Shared Services and said he recognizes that we would end up with different solutions for different needs across campus; that our activities include a wide conglomerate of activities; that one size, one solution would not fit all. He stressed that certain activities have the potential of saving more money if the campus community is willing to aggregate more of that activity to one particular spot. Mr. Hegarty explained that it does take a lot to run this campus and cited some centralized or shared activities such as ITS as an example where savings could be made. He gave a hypothetical example where at some point in the future, colleges or units would “have an election where you can either go into the Shared Service and pay for the Shared Service, or you can do it on your own but still pay for the Shared Service. Again a lot of combinations and permutations yet to be discussed and worked out.” He explained that this was one reason why his office had listed the schools already engaged in Shared Services activities, to understand what they are doing, what seems to work well and what doesn’t.
Dr. Hart thanked Mr. Hegarty and announced that Professor Liz Gershoff (human development and family sciences) had been appointed to represent he Faculty Council on the Shared Services Committee, chaired by Professor Edmund (Ted) Gordon (African and African diaspora studies).