6/5/2019 ReOrg Update

Email to faculty & staff

From Judith Burstyn, Chair <chair@chem.wisc.edu>
Subject: Dept ReOrg Update: Progress to date

Dear Chemistry Faculty and Staff,

I’m writing to update you on the progress of our reorganization efforts. I will be sending periodic updates as things move forward, at least once per month, sometimes more often.

As you know, last fall we began working with Darin Harris from the Office of Strategic Consulting, to look into reorganizing the structure of the department. Some of you were involved in this first phase of the project or have heard me talk about it.

With Darin’s support and guidance, the Finance Committee put forward an ambitious departmental reorganization, with the aim of increasing our capacity to serve a growing number of students, nurturing innovation within our research program through administrative changes, and better communicating our work through enhanced outreach programming.

The department completed our work with Darin in February. We are grateful for the support we had from the Dean’s office to collaborate with him. We are excited about the new structure we are moving toward, even as we continue to develop and define it together.

In March, the department voted to move forward with the proposed reorganization efforts. That month, our leadership team met with our Board of Advisers to apprise them of this bold, new vision. They enthusiastically offered to support us both, by lending their insights and expertise and with monetary contributions toward the project.

The finalization and implementation of our plan begins this summer with our administrative team and the department’s research and graduate programs. At the May Executive Committee meeting, the department approved the first of the proposed changes: 1) creating two new positions (a financial specialist to assist with purchasing and a student services specialist for the graduate office), and 2) making changes to faculty teaching obligations, so that we can appoint the new Associate Chairs. Through the summer, we will work on job designs for these and other parts of the administrative, graduate program, and research support areas.

In 2020, we intend to iterate the implementation processes with our undergraduate program. We ultimately hope to expand this implementation to encompass our outreach activities.

Knowing how important it is to implement our proposed structure as efficiently and sustainably as possible, I hired consultants to support the department using resources generously provided by our board. They will help us design realistic and health-promoting positions and ensure that our people feel prepared and supported as they assume new and/or changing roles.

You may have seen or heard about our consultants, Kathy Sanders and Karen Konrath. I will share with you more about their work and roles with the department in a future message.

Kathy and Karen will help us shape these changes through an interactive, participatory process. I will share more information about how you can stay involved and provide us with input all along the way. As a starting point, these updates will be posted https://www.chem.wisc.edu/content/department-organizational-development-… – so you can check the status of the project as you have time.

As a first step in the implementation process, I created a Reorganization Leadership Team. The ReOrg Team will guide the design and implementation of this plan. Their work will begin this summer and continue through our implementation process. I’ll send you more information about this team and its charge in my next update.

Judith N. Burstyn
Professor and Department Chair
Irving Shain Chair of Chemistry
Department of Chemistry
University of Wisconsin
1101 University Avenue
Madison, WI 53706