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President Kaler to preview external "spans and layers" report during Friday Board of Regents meeting

March 4, 2013

The University of Minnesota Board of Regents will review preliminary results from an external review of the management structure of the U’s central administration during the 9:15 a.m. to noon meeting Friday, March 8.

President Eric Kaler will update the Board on the university’s Operational Excellence initiative and progress to date, including a final draft of the progress report on administrative cost analysis requested by the Legislature.

The university hired Sibson Consulting in late January to analyze the layers of decision-making from top to bottom and the number of employees that directly report to each supervisor. The spans and layers analysis aims to help determine whether the U’s organizational structure can be simplified, costs reduced and effectiveness improved. As well, the U is retaining a consulting firm, at the Legislature’s request, to benchmark four key operational functions: human resources, information technology, procurement and finance.

Sibson is a leading independent benefits, compensation and human resources consulting company. It has had previous experience working with the U on its job classification restructuring, which is currently underway and is an additional component of the U’s efforts to standardize and find efficiencies across the organization.

President Kaler will present the report to the Minnesota Senate Higher Education and Workforce Development Committee on Tuesday, March 12.

Also Friday, Vice President and Chief Information Officer Scott Studham will provide an overview of the university’s information technology landscape and highlight some of the opportunities and challenges ahead.

The U’s newly appointed McKnight Land-Grant Professors will be recognized, as well.

Exploring first-hand the U’s largest college: College of Liberal Arts

On Thursday, Regents will immerse themselves into the College of Liberal Arts to gain insights into the strengths and challenges in teaching and research at the U’s largest college.

"The University of Minnesota’s mission is carried out through the great work of our students, faculty and staff, so it is important to connect directly and better understand how the U is evolving to meet Minnesota’s needs," said Board Chair Linda Cohen. "This visit allows Regents to gain a fuller understanding of the university and equips us to be as effective as possible in our governance role."

Thursday’s sessions with the College of Liberal Arts will include:

  • A welcome from College of Liberal Arts Dean James Parente and an overview of the college from 1:45 to 2:45 p.m. in the InFlux Space, Regis Center for Art, 405 21st Ave. S., Minneapolis.
  • A program that will focus on the excellence of research, creative activity, and teaching in CLA from 3 to 5 p.m. in the InFlux Space, and the lobby and room 100 in the Barbara Barker Center for Dance, 500 21st Ave. S., Minneapolis. This program will include faculty mini lectures, a poster session with CLA graduate students and students from CLA’s Freshman Research and Creative Award Program, as well as dance and musical performances that highlight diverse creative approaches.

Prior to spending time with CLA, Regents will attend a workshop on equity and diversity from 10:45 to 11:45 a.m. in room 2-207 Carlson School of Management, 321 19th Ave. S., Minneapolis. The session allows regents to learn about the educational work of the Office for Equity and Diversity (OED), including how equity and diversity is framed in OED workshops and trainings. Regents will discuss the role of the Board in creating an accessible and inclusive university.

For the agenda and related docket materials, go to and click on Board Meetings.


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