The division of operations and finance will implement several changes this semester to realign functions and strengthen how its units work together and serve the campus community. The initial changes include creating two assistant vice president positions (operations and strategic initiatives; real estate and capital planning), changing the reporting line for a handful of units and tweaking the names of the functional areas to reflect those changes.
Following a division assessment and recommendations this spring by the business advisory consultant, Grant Thornton, senior vice president for operations and finance Shawn Norman shared the changes with division employees last week. Norman said the changes will improve the efficiency of operational processes and are consistent with best practices in higher education.
"The intent is to bring together people doing similar work who, in the past, were on different teams," Norman said. "It's really about aligning our service functions to better serve the campus."
Norman said a search is underway for a new assistant vice president for operations and strategy. This leader has responsibility for administrative operations, change management, communications, the divisional budget, process improvement and projects within the division.
Norman said he is working with university human resources (UHR) to create another leadership position, assistant vice president for real estate and capital planning, and begin that search later this fall. This new functional area essentially aligns the many services in the previous facilities planning and management (FPM) into two groups.
- The leader in the new position will oversee campus master planning, capital planning, real estate management, space planning and management, sustainability and the university architect. This unit will manage pre-planning and the approval process, while the renamed facilities management will manage construction.
- The facilities management unit retains the capital projects oversight and design and construction functions, as well as care and maintenance of buildings and grounds: campus services, custodial services, facilities services, and utility services.
"These two groups really have a different purpose," Norman said. "One is maintaining what we have and the other operates more in the realm of what could come to fruition if funding is available."
Also by late fall, Norman said a search will launch for a permanent vice president for facilities management. Wendy Kisch, director of operations for the Student Innovation Center with previous experience in FPM, is serving in this leadership post for the interim.
New reporting lines
The transition process is underway for two units, logistics and support services and postal and parcel services, to report to the associate vice president of facilities management. Formerly, they were part of auxiliary enterprises.
On Sept. 1, these reporting-line swaps will take effect:
- University controller will report to the associate vice president of finance, Heather Paris.
- Accounts receivable and the ISU Card office will report to associate vice president of financial planning and analysis, Bonnie Whalen.
Norman said he has asked the division's associate and assistant vice presidents to consider changes within their units that would further improve efficiency within the division and, ultimately, service to the campus community.