Update on organizational change process

Email to faculty and staff from Judith Burstyn (Department Chair)
Update on organizational change process

Dear faculty and staff,

I am writing to update you on the process of changing our department organizational structure. If we adopt the proposed change at our February 12 meeting, the implementation process will take place in stages over several years. Enacting this change will require collaboration and input of everyone in the department. The proposal under consideration for February addresses only the top-level organization, which will set in motion this change process.

The component structures will be established through a collaborative effort over the course of several years. To support this process, we will engage with new external consultants who are experts in work systems design.

Where we are now: Darin Harris, of Office of Strategic Consulting, developed a new department organizational plan. In developing this plan, Darin benchmarked us against peer departments, gathered input from specific department employees, and coordinated with the Finance Committee. We discussed a draft version of this new setup at our December department meeting. This plan has evolved in the interim, and we are holding lunchtime information sessions, to keep you up to date and gather feedback. The current plan is a work in progress and there will be many opportunities for you to have input into the final design.

Take part in the process: There will be many additional steps to make sure that the ultimate design is the best for our department. We value all ideas and suggestions, we welcome your thoughts and questions through several venues. To prepare for the February department meeting, discussions facilitated by Kayla, Matt, Pat, Char and myself will be held in room 1129 of the Business Office at noon on the following dates: January: 15 (Matt), 16 (Pat), 18 (Char), 23 (Pat), 24 (Judith), 28 (Matt), 29 (Judith), 30 (Char), 31 (Judith). Kayla will take notes at most sessions. We will have the most up-to-date versions of the draft organizational plan to discuss. This plan differs from that presented to the Dec. 11 department meeting in some respects.

Going forward, there will be retreats and discussion opportunities for faculty and staff, held by employment group and by business function. These events will be facilitated by our consultants, who are experts in change management. You may be invited to participate in more than one session, because your input is needed in different contexts. For example, the faculty will engage with our consultant tomorrow in a conversation about evolving our research community.

You may also submit your ideas or concerns through multiple venues. You may use the anonymous suggestion box online at: https://suggestions.chem.wisc.edu/.  There will be an anonymous, locked suggestion box that will be placed in a easily accessible location (probably the mail room), and we will alert you once this box becomes available. You may email your input or concerns to Department Chair Judith Burstyn, Department Administrator Pat Egan or Human Resource Specialist Char Horsfall.

Department meeting, Feb. 12, 2019: We will hold an open discussion of the top-level plan during the February department meeting, which is described in the PDF attached. Afterwards, because the changes have fiscal implications, the executive committee will vote to determine if we will move forward with the highest level of the proposed organizational structure.

Your input is extremely valuable and you are an integral part of this process. Please feel free to contact me, Pat or Char with any concern.

Judith N. Burstyn