Realignment and Reorganization of Administrative Units

A message from the Chancellor | Aug. 27, 2015

Realignment and Reorganization of Administrative Units within the University

Early this summer, we issued an all-campus announcement indicating that several divisions in the university would undergo restructuring to make our external relations functions work more effectively. Vice Chancellor Robert Cramer also issued a message detailing changes taking place within Administrative Services. This message is to provide more specific and additional information about these and other changes the university is undertaking.

While there are a variety of reasons for these changes, the overarching purpose is to allow us to manage the budget reductions effectively and run our university operations as efficiently as possible while maintaining adequate staffing to achieve our mission. To begin, in every instance where it is at all practical, new positions will not be created, instead, current staff will be restructured. For example, Vice Chancellor Cramer has consolidated a number of assignments in his division so that he can absorb the significant cuts to administration and to minimize the impact on academic units.

The former Advancement division (Alumni Services, Advancement, and University Information and Communications) has been renamed External Relations. The restructuring is designed to accommodate the budget cuts and to create a division that can coordinate communication, marketing, advocacy with the broad range of constituencies including internal audiences, donors, government officials, alumni, prospective students, and business and industry.

Chancellor’s Office

Within the Chancellor’s Office, the chief of staff position will remain vacant. Support for the Chancellor’s communications will be subsumed into the work of the University Information and Communications department which eliminates a position. What follows is some more specific information about the changes and administrative realignments.

External Relations

Interim Vice Chancellor Rose Smyrski heads the External Relations department. This reconstituted division includes:

  •     University Information and Communications

UIC encompasses photography, publications, public relations, and Pioneer Printing and Postal Services.

  •     Development and Alumni Engagement

 Development and Alumni Engagement will serve as liaisons to not only donors and alumni but also to the foundation and alumni boards.

  •     Corporate Relations

Corporate Relations will build and enhance relationships with companies

  •     Government Relations 

    Government Relations will serve to improve communications with elected officials at the state and federal levels, advocate on behalf of the university, and work to inform legislation that impacts UW-Platteville
  •     Newly formed Event Services

Event Services will bring together existing functions to provide a single service point that will take the lead in planning and executing events. The reorganization will streamline our efforts and make them more efficient.

The functions married under the External Relations unit have existed on our campus for at least the last 10 years acting independently or affiliated with an administrative unit (e.g. government relations and event services) or were a part of the former Advancement unit (e.g., UIC or Alumni Services). Corporate Relations activities were formerly integrated into the responsibilities of Advancement.

Office of Corporate Relations

The University of Wisconsin-Platteville has a history of maintaining relationships with companies in partnerships that are philanthropic, and others that forward academic and research interests. Non-philanthropic university industry relationships have gained increased importance as higher education has been asked to adapt to the changing higher education financial landscape.

The newly established UW-Platteville Office of Corporate Relations allows a narrow focus on corporate development to enable the university to maximize our corporate relationships, develop new partnerships, and identify ways that we can increase efficiencies and conserve resources. Using the newly formed Pioneer Foundation as the vehicle through which revenue will be generated, Corporate Relations will achieve its objectives by serving as a liaison and resource for both the university and business communities. As the touch-point for businesses, this office will assist our corporate partners in finding the right avenues to contract with the university for profit and philanthropically, to recruit our students, sponsor campus research, and to create and provide corporate training and opportunities. All of these methods are designed to enable comprehensive interactions for the benefit of both the university and the business communities.

The Office of Corporate Relations will work closely with the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs in order to maximize funding opportunities. ORSP works to help large and small businesses, corporations, and organizations tap into the expertise of our faculty, and the skills and interest of our students and alumni, i.e. the wealth of human capital located on our talent-rich campus.

Administrative Services

The division, led by Vice Chancellor Cramer, has implemented several changes to reflect staffing and budget decisions. These reduce the number of administrative positions and move functions within and between divisions. The changes include eliminating the director of the project management center and assigning the group to Assistant Vice Chancellor Sue Traxler, eliminating the executive director of Auxiliary Services position and reassigning the departments in that area. These changes eliminate a planned compliance officer position, and a vacant supervisory position in facilities management and they result in the reassignment of campus planning to facilities management.

The division welcomed a number of new employees recently including Dr. Janelle Crowley as director of Human Resources and Jessie Decker as risk manager. Jason Williams is interim chief of University Police. Finally UW System reorganized the internal audit function; as a result Patrick Fitzsimmons is now reporting to UW System and is a UW System employee.

Academic and Student Affairs

In the academic and student departments, led by Vice Chancellor and Provost Dr. Mittie N. Den Herder, restructuring and reassignment have resulted in fewer full time administrative positions and have created greater efficiency. Each department has worked to downsize, to combine or reallocate responsibilities to contribute to a decrease in the costs associated with delivering academic services.

  • Assistant Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Dr. Joanne Wilson

Two positions that were previously the First Year Experience director and the WATR (writing center) director were combined into a single position and retitled director of retention initiatives. Karen McLeer was hired into that position. The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs was reduced by a single position. The associate registrar position is not being filled. The library staff has been downsized and a new administrative model is being constructed although not yet finalized.

  • Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Dr. Laura Bayless

    Academic and Career Advising Center has been reduced by two positions when two offices (Academic and Careers Center; Career Center) merged. Parts of several other positions have been moved from General Purpose Revenue dollars to Program Revenue dollars generated through revenue from the Career Fair.

Student Centers has been moved back to Student Affairs to merge once again with the Pioneer involvement Center and Campus Activities. Those three departments are now one under the name of the Markee Pioneer Student Center. As a result one director position has been eliminated.   

  • Executive Director for the Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Assessment Nettie Daniels

The Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Assessment has expanded by three positions to accommodate the functions of Institutional Research, and Institutional Evaluation and Assessment. Nettie Daniels was hired as executive director in place of the single institutional researcher position. John Schliessman is the assistant director, James DiNardo is research analyst, and Robin White is the administrative assistant. Roger Jones remains as the functional program analyst.

  • Dean of College of Liberal Arts and Education Dr. Elizabeth Throop

With a variety of retirements, resignations, and reductions in reassigned time, by the end of this academic year, the College of LAE will have returned approximately 5.5 FTE to the central university budget. Over the last several years, the College of LAE has returned over $800,000 to the university to meet budget lapses and budget cuts, taking close to a 10 percent overall cut to the college budget from June 2012-June 2015.

  • Dean of College of Engineering, Mathematics and Science Dr. Molly Gribb

New Dean Dr. Molly Gribb was hired. Prior to her hiring the number of assistant deans was increased from one to three although the total FTE was only increased by one as two of the positions are half-time.  

  • Dean of College of Business, Industry, Life Science and Agriculture Dr. Wayne Weber

An additional assistant dean was added but this represents a total of 1.25 FTE as both are part-time appointments. Because the Department of Media Studies has been transferred to the School of Business, BILSA will also eliminate the Media Studies program assistant position upon the retirement of Becky Troy effective January 2016.

  • Director of Graduate Studies and Special Projects Dr. Dominic Barraclough

The Teaching Learning Center and ICET were collapsed into one Center to address teaching and technology needs which reduced these programs by one-half position. A half-time LTE was hired as administrative assistant to help with Higher Learning Commission preparation.  

  • Executive Director of Alternative Delivery Systems Dawn Drake

The three areas covered by Alternative Delivery Systems include: Distance Learning Center, Instructional Center for Educational Technology, and Office of Continuing Education. The director of ICET was combined with the Director of the Teaching and Learning Center, which will oversee the combined centers, thus eliminating one position.

OCE had one retirement and two resignations and has not filled those positions as we review the future directions of the office. The director of OCE will be retiring in 2016, so we want to make sure we have reviewed all possible scenarios before making new hires. The DLC has restructured several positions in the office and not hired two new positions established last year and two that were scheduled to be hired this year.

Additional campus expenses were covered by the DLC as revenue increased, the PALS program was funded, and the purchase of Camtasia was made. A one-time contribution of $300,000 was taken from carryover to address other budget issues. Growth continued to occur with the online programs during this time. The amount of students served and the services provided continues to increase.

Admission and Enrollment Services

The Admission and Enrollment Services team led by Assistant Chancellor Angela Udelhoven continues to transition in an effort to offer new and continuing students an efficient and quality student service.

The Prospective Student Services office merged with the Admission office last year and is now located in one area. All students and guests now check-in through the Admission office. A complete process/workflow review was completed this year and has allowed the area to continue to recruit and process applications with 2.5 fewer FTE/positions. The implementation of a Constituent Relationship Management system offers improved marketing, communication and social media opportunities with prospective and admitted Pioneers. The CRM also has saved over $5,000 in mailing expenses and this savings is expected to grow.

The Financial Aid office implemented Image Now in the last year and will kick-off fall 2015 with paperless processing. Again, this technology has saved on mailing expenses, improved communications and decreased the processing time for financial aid for new and continuing students. Processes with scholarships have been reviewed and refined resulting in an increased pool of scholarship applicants and more scholarship funds being fully disbursed.

The financial aid team continues to work closely with the Development and Alumni Relations and scholarships in order to increase the number of scholarships offered and accepted. Financial literacy and communication with students for financial planning is a key goal for the financial aid team in 2015-16. The team will be coordinating with Residence Life, OMSA and other academic areas to roll out a financial literacy program.

As the campus employs more students, the financial aid team and Human Resources office continue to review student payroll processes and areas for improvement. The two offices will be streamlining processes into one office in an effort to offer student employees a one-stop-shop for their paperwork and information.

The Admission and Enrollment Services team continues to review the options of transitioning the Financial Aid team into the same building and/or suite. This option is being reviewed in an effort to cross train due to work cycles, grow professional development, and offer the prospective and enrolled students another service in one stop.

The committees and councils will continue to meet this fall on strategic enrollment management. Communication with the deans will be critical as the academic plans are being completed. The tenth day and sixth week enrollment summaries will be posted on a web page for review by the campus. The enrollment team has been coordinating with OIAE and with the BI team in an effort to roll out a new format of reports over the next year.

Institutional Strategy and Planning

Effective Aug. 1, 2015, there was a change in responsibilities for Assistant Chancellor Dr. Jennifer deCoste. She will oversee the Division of Institutional Strategy and Planning. This division includes those units that constituted the former Office of Diversity and Inclusion:

  •     International Programs
  •     Center for Non-Traditional and Veteran Students and Patricia A. Doyle Center for Gender and Sexuality
  •     Student Support Services and Services for Students with Disabilities
  •     Affirmative Action, ADA and Title IX, Office of Multicultural Student Affairs

Our campus expended significant time and energy to develop a framework for our strategic plan and to get the plan approved by the Board of Regents. To ensure that our investment bears fruit, I have asked Assistant Chancellor deCoste to apply her expertise in strategic planning and project management to coordinate and oversee the implementation of the plan. A core part of this assignment is to work with the colleges (deans and faculty) and administrative units and their leadership to support their internal strategic planning.

Assistant Chancellor deCoste will work to make sure that internal planning aligns with our overall plan, develop metrics to assess our progress; serve as a consulting resource to the colleges and divisions on campus as part of the process; and coordinate diversity initiatives as a part of our campus-wide strategy. DeCoste will apply her expertise in project management to align our enrollment and financial strategies with the plan, to improve communication among diverse sectors of the university, and minimize redundancy.

Through December 2015, Assistant Chancellor deCoste and her team will be focusing on linking strategic priorities to current practices. This will include gathering perceptions of the strategic plan, identifying current practices, developing a balanced scorecard approach, connecting the strategic plan to all constituents, and identifying plans to expand current practice. You will be hearing from her and her team extensively throughout this process. In addition, diversity and inclusion will be integrated into our planning process as central to the mission of our university.


Chancellor Dennis J. Shields
University of Wisconsin-Platteville

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