The Faculty Working Group on Administrative Service Improvements reviews administrative rules, policies, processes, and practices that faculty consider to be onerous, outdated or otherwise interfering with academic efforts without clear need or benefit, and works with the administration to find ways to simplify, change, clarify or eliminate them. It periodically convenes subgroups around common issues that have a high degree of complexity and/or that may require more long-term work to address.
 
To submit an issue or concern for the Working Group's attention, please use this form.
 
Currently active subgroups:
  • Subgroup on Institutional Review Boards
    • ​Members: Omri Ben-Shahar, Diane Lauderdale, Jeanne Marsh
    • Charge: Driven in part by the proposed changes to the Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects (the “Common Rule”), the IRB Subgroup is reviewing protocols for different categories of human subjects research and ways to streamline the process.
    • 2019-2020 Updates:
      • Fall 2019: After extensive work over the summer to upgrade related systems and improve processes, Cheri Pettey and the Office of the Provost are working with IT Services to consider how to make the changes recommended by the IRB subgroup and IRB staff.
    • 2018-2019 Updates:
      • Spring 2019: Cheri Pettey’s (Director of the Social and Behavioral Sciences IRB) and the IRB subgroup’s work has spurred several process/system enhancements and ongoing collaboration between the IRB Directors and URA. For example, the process of creating the exemption tool pilot has helped drive AURA system upgrades, IRB application revisions, and identification of specific reporting needs. Read the full progress details here.
      • Winter 2019: Cheri Pettey (Director of the Social and Behavioral Sciences IRB) has worked with Omri Ben-Shahar to develop the structure of a pilot self-determination tool, and has also created a longer report on potential improvements to IRB processes. Discussions around next steps and possible implementation paths are underway.
      • Fall 2018: The group submitted a memo proposing a web tool that would allow for self-determination of certain exempt protocols. Over the rest of the 2018-19 academic year, Cheri Pettey (Director of the Social and Behavioral Sciences IRB) will work with the subgroup to develop the framework for this tool as well as other opportunities to simplify IRB submission and amendment processes. 
  • Subgroup on Appointments & Promotions
    • ​Members: Dan Black, Elizabeth Grove, Theo van den Hout
    • Charge: The subgroup on appointments and promotions is advising on administrative support for appointment, promotion, and tenure processes, including for short-term, repeated appointments and compliant searches. The group is also advising on academic hiring systems.
    • 2019-2020 Updates:
      • Fall 2019: The subgroup’s primary consulting project, the Academic Recruitment and Careers System (ARCS) implementation, has progressed to its final phase. The group has participated in several workshops and will continue to provide faculty-focused input as the third module, Review, Promotion and Tenure, is implemented across the University. Members of the subgroup have also help provide training for fellow search committee members who are using the Academic Recruitment module for the first time this fall.
    • 2018-19 Updates:
      • Spring 2019: The group continues to advise the ARCS implementation, and has met with the project team to provide early input on potential concerns, ideas, and directions for the next module, Academic Career Activities. The module will support data management and reporting for academics, and the subgroup's faculty perspective will be an important influence on the module's configuration.
      • Winter 2019: The subgroup has consulted on the implementation of the first Interfolio module focused on academic recruitment, which will host training and a pilot period for Spring searches in the March. The group will continue to play a key role in the configuration and rollout of the remaining modules in the Academic Recruitment and Careers System (ARCS).
      • Fall 2018: The group will serve as faculty advisors on the implementation of Interfolio as the new system for managing academic hiring, promotions and tenure, and activity reporting. Efforts to clarify and document appointment processes will continue.
  • Subgroup on Research Administration
    • ​Members: Heinrich Jaeger, David Meltzer, Stuart Rowan
    • Charge: The subgroup meets regularly with University Research Administration to provide feedback on changes to the research administration structure and support model. A current focus area is faculty priorities for post-award grants management.
    • 2019-2020 Updates:
      • Fall 2019: As the launch of the Financial System Transformation (FST) project gets underway, the Research Administration subgroup will return to consult and provide further input. The FST project will also seek participation from other groups identified in the subgroup’s recommendations.
    • 2018-2019 Updates:
      • Spring 2019: The subgroup met with key leaders in early May, including the provost, vice provost for research, CFO, and the head of University Research Administration, to discuss their memo and next steps to be taken in response. The group will be involved long-term in the new financial system project and will help facilitate additional engagement with faculty and staff; other recommendations on improving status tracking, change communications, and best practice sharing will be addressed immediately outside of the system replacement.
      • Winter 2019: The group developed a memo outlining recommendations and requirements for improving post-award grants management and submitted it to Provost Diermeier and other University leadership in January. Discussions around next steps are underway and engagement with the discovery process for a new financial system will continue.
      • Fall 2018: The subgroup facilitated five faculty and staff forums on post-award management, a critical part of gathering requirements for a future financial system replacement, and will prepare a memo for the provost based on the input received.
  • Subgroup on Communication of Benefits and Other Resources
    • ​Members: Fred Donner, Mark Hansen, Will Howell
    • Charge: This new subgroup will review existing and proposed content related to benefits and other University resources, and makes recommendations on how to best communicate these resources to faculty and staff. The group will also evaluate gaps in University communication practices in this area and propose solutions for improving visibility and transparency of resources.
    • 2019-2020 Updates:
      • Fall 2019: The subgroup developed a memo and met with the Provost’s Office to discuss key recommendations. They also met with University Communications to provide advice on improvements to internal communication systems and will continue to consult on related projects this year.
    • 2018-2019 Updates:
      • Spring 2019: The subgroup is developing a memo for the provost that will outline key issues in benefits/resources communication and recommendations for improving both how we approach communications to academics as well as the mechanisms for doing so. As part of this process, the group is continuing to review and advise on in-progress and potential projects in IT, Shared Services, and Communications.
      • Winter 2019: The subgroup is consulting on in-process redesigns of key University websites related to HR and Finance & Administration.