Units from Financial Affairs and University Operations will transition to one consolidated portfolio beginning January 2017. Combining these two groups is a collaborative effort to explore and implement the best ways to work together and serve The University of Texas at Austin faculty, staff, students, and visitors going forward.
- Why are we transitioning the University Operations and CFO organizations into one consolidated portfolio? After 26 years of service to the university, Vice President for University Operations Pat Clubb will retire Dec. 31, 2016. President Fenves has asked Darrell Bazzell, senior vice president and chief financial officer (CFO), to oversee the units in University Operations as part of a consolidated portfolio that will include university finance, administration and operations. Mr. Bazzell successfully led similar organizations during his tenure with the University of Wisconsin. President Fenves is confident that joining these functions will deliver numerous ways for the thousands of dedicated staff members to build on the excellence they provide every day.
- With the transition of organizational units into one consolidated portfolio, will staff roles be impacted? The majority of staff members will not be immediately or significantly impacted by our combining into one organization. Their current jobs and related responsibilities will not change. That said, some staff members (primarily in the executive offices of the two vice presidents) may experience some changes in duties related to the CFO’s assumption of additional responsibilities. Ultimately, our goal is to bring about a smooth transition that integrates our leadership, minimizes disruption to our customers and our employees, and establishes a cohesive organization of units with a shared vision and identity.
- Who will oversee the transition? Mr. Bazzell has appointed Marla Martinez, Associate Vice President for University Operations, and Mary Knight, Associate Vice President for Finance, as co-chairs to assist him in the transition. Together, they will determine short-term and long-term plans to ensure a successful consolidation. Ms. Martinez and Ms. Knight will be conducting meetings with senior leadership and unit directors from both portfolios over the course of the next few weeks. Their guidance will help plan for the short-term (before Jan. 1, 2017) and the long term.
- How will this integration be accomplished? Most of the work for this transition will be overseen by the leadership and management teams within the University Operations and Financial Affairs. These teams will determine how we integrate our leadership and unify under a broad, portfolio-wide strategy. Our staff within these two valued organizations can support transition work by continuing to deliver excellent service on a daily basis to students, faculty, staff, and visitors.
- Will the transiton to a new consolidated portfolio be completed by January 2017? How will different components of this consolidated portfolio work together? While we will not complete a full transition before we come together as one portfolio in January, there are some things that must happen before that date in order to deliver excellent service daily to our campus customers and colleagues. For instance, the recent phase-out of the Central Business Office (CBO) required some immediate adjustments in order to ensure units internal to the Office of Financial Affairs could continue hiring, purchasing, and paying the University’s bills. In October, two service units from University Operations (UO Human Resource Services and Business and Financial Services) began supporting our internal units in the areas of human resources, and payments and procurement. Office of Accounting is assisting with financial reporting and inventory of the existing CFO internal clients that were utilizing the CBO’s services. The staff on these respective teams have been accommodating our needs in a timely manner, and we are grateful.
- What are the next steps? We are committed to timely and transparent communications regarding any process, business or organizational changes. In addition, we will continue to explore and assess the university’s structures and administrative processes to ensure operational efficiency continues without interruption and serves the growing needs and changing environments across campus. We are focused on developing a unified, organizational strategy.
- Where can we find updates or ask additional questions throughout this transition? Where can we find updates or ask additional questions throughout this transition? Related updates that are devoted to documenting the transition’s progress will be posted here. We also welcome your feedback, email: firstname.lastname@example.org