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To: University Faculty, Academic Appointees, and Staff
From: Daniel Diermeier, Provost, and Ivan Samstein, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Subject: Update on Administrative Modernization
Date: February 27, 2018
 
As the University of Chicago continues to improve administrative services, we are writing to update you on recent developments.
 
  • The Faculty Working Group on Administrative Service Improvement was established in the summer. Subgroups have been formed and have begun to advise on administrative service issues raised by faculty and staff. Three priorities currently being explored with Provost Office and other staff support relate to institutional review boards, appointments and promotions, and research services. We will be sharing more on the Group’s work later in the academic year.
 
  • The Shared Services Office (SSO) is open and providing support for routine human resources, payroll, and procurement transactions, as well as operating a help desk and providing training resources. Although we have received considerable positive feedback on the SSO, there are also improvements to be made. Evaluation is an integral part of the SSO design and our offices are working closely with SSO leadership responding to evaluations and other feedback.
 
  • Until recently, the University has provided central administrative support and oversight of research grants through two separate organizations, University Research Administration (URA) and Sponsored Award Accounting. The responsibilities of these two offices have been combined within URA in the Office of the Executive Vice President for Research, Innovation, and National Laboratories. This change eliminates process inefficiencies and will result in more timely and streamlined services provided to faculty and departmental administrators. More information about the merger can be found here.
 
  • Last month the University launched a new Workday Recruiting tool to replace UChicago Jobs as the staff hiring portal. We aim for this change in systems to streamline human resources workflows and provide a single location for managing staff employee data, and would appreciate your feedback.
 
  • This month, we will update BuySite, the University’s procurement system. These changes should not affect most users, but aim to improve the approval structure and tools for frequent buyers. More information about the update can be found here.
 
We welcome your input on current efforts and ideas for other areas of improvement via email to Vice Provost Melina Hale or Interim Associate Vice President of Human Resources Ronn Kolbash.