Message from Sr. Assoc. Dean Adam Daniel Regarding Budget and Finance Changes
I wanted to take a moment to write you all to address some issues relating to changes in the world of budget and finance, both at the University generally and within A&S.
There are many such changes afoot, and they are significant — the University’s Finance Transformation process, the appearance of a new University Budget Office tool, the impending retirement of long-relied-upon reporting systems, and the continuing efforts to adapt staff roles and responsibilities to the new University Financial Model. Some of these changes have appeared with little notice or A&S involvement, while others are part of multi-year, ongoing initiatives. Candidly, it’s often unclear (even to us in the Dean’s Office) how all the pieces fit together. Though this may be cold comfort, we are often struggling with them as much as our colleagues in the departments and programs.
We know that, to manage through all this change, we need to work together to build a stronger partnership between the Dean’s Office and the departments and programs. Over the coming months, the Dean’s Office plans to work with the Core Leaders on a more intensive basis, and to seek additional modes of engagement beyond those we’ve pursued to date. We are, for example, taking several immediate steps to improve communication and provide more opportunities for exchange (the first two were announced at last week’s Core Leader meeting):
- In the next week, I will be appointing a Core Leader Advisory Group consisting of 7-8 Core Leaders from across A&S to serve as a conduit for departmental administrative concerns and suggestions to the Dean’s Office, and as an expert advisory body as new systems, policies, and processes are being developed.
- The Dean’s Office Finance Team has begun hosting a series of weekly drop-in lunch sessions for Core Leaders to come and ask any questions they may have — or to offer any suggestions — about anything relating to finance, budget, or whatever else may be on their minds. We have held one so far and it was both well-attended and productive. We plan to continue them for the foreseeable future.
- Elissa and I will attend one of the first Chairs and Directors meetings this fall to provide an overview of the various finance projects that are under way at the University level and within A&S, and to listen to whatever concerns or questions C&D’s have.
Thanks for your understanding as we work together to manage all these changes, and I look forward to following up with you all in various venues over the coming weeks.
Senior Associate Dean for Administration and Planning