LIS Re-org Update: Sept 2008

submitted by Mike Roy

I’m writing to provide an update on what’s happening with the plans I announced in August about re-organizing LIS.

1. Our goal is to have in place by late December/early January a solid definition of what the main areas of LIS should be, and in general, what services and functions will be associated with each area. As discussed at the all-staff meeting in August, we will likely expand the current number of areas.

2. Once we have these areas defined, we will initiate searches to find directors for any new areas that we intend to create.

3. After the new directors are on board, we’ll review, clarify, and detail workgroup responsibilities, relationships, and membership, taking into account our new areas.

4. We will also launch a set of cross-functional teams, and will be soliciting ideas for such teams via a private LIS blog that we’ve set up for this effort. We are also working with Human Resources to understand what is involved in supporting the work of such teams, and how to manage the workload of belonging both to a workgroup and a team.

5. We are asking each workgroup and each area director to develop SWOT reports [Strength-Weakness-Opportunities-Threats] for their workgroups and area. While some directors and workgroup leaders may choose to approach this differently, I have asked that all staff be consulted and have input into this process. These SWOT reports will be read by the LIS management team (Mike, Carol, Jeff, Tom, Mary, Terry, and Doreen), as well by some members of President’s Staff, and a small team from Human Resources that is supporting our efforts. We have found some resources on how to do SWOT and have posted these on the blog that we’ve established for this project. If desired, we can also put together a brief workshop to help demystify the process. Please ask for help if you need it!

6. We are collecting examples of organizational charts from other colleges and universities, and will be sharing those via the blog. We ask that any of you who know of interesting and successful organizational models to also post them to the blog. (If you don’t know how to post to a blog, just send them to me and I’ll post them.)

7. We will be doing an external review of our enterprise systems; we’ll also pick up on the review from last year of our academic technology/library liaison/reference program. This activity will involve bringing in external consultants. As details of these reviews are developed, we’ll let everyone know what the plan is.

8. As we begin to collect ideas for teams, to find interesting organizational models from elsewhere, and to formulate our thoughts about new areas, we will hold a series of open meetings (one of which will take place during an evening) to allow everyone in LIS to contribute to our analysis. We will hold those in late October and November.

9. We will also be working with Human Resources this spring on a more extensive process to look in more detail at our various business processes within and among our workgroups and areas. We will invite them to come to a staff meeting to talk about what that process might entail, and to hear about how a similar process was developed for College Advancement.

10. My hope is to be as transparent and open in this process as possible, while also recognizing that a certain amount of discretion is needed in order for some people to feel free  to express themselves completely honestly. If you have concerns about this process, or ideas about how else we can be more inclusive in hearing from as many voices as possible, please feel free to let me know. And while I encourage everyone involved to be as open as they can in the process, and to not be afraid of public disagreement and debate, I also want to make sure that I hear from those who might not feel comfortable expressing themselves in this manner. To that end, if you feel you need to express your concerns confidentially, you can always direct them to me or to Deborah Francis, our HR Generalist.

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