Administrative Reorganization Update

Friday, March 10, 2023, 10:30am

TO: All Employees
FR: Ming-Tung "Mike" Lee, President

I write today to share plans for administrative reorganization, which are a result of staffing changes occurring over the past two years due to attrition, as well as the early exit and voluntary separation programs. This memo contains information I want you to know in advance of the Spring Budget Forum on March 16.

Please note that while I made the final decision on many of these changes, I did so with appropriate consultation and with a keen focus on our goals for reorganization:

  • Student success,
  • Maintaining and supporting our world-class faculty and staff,
  • Academic excellence, and 
  • Enhancing services and redistributing workload through shared services.

The Voluntary Separation Incentive Program (VSIP) ended with a total of 47 participants, of which 7 were faculty and 40 were staff. The salary and benefits associated with VSIP and vacant positions added up to $4.3 million to use for the operating fund deficit minus any rehires that I authorize. Our goal was $9 million from all personnel reduction, and with attrition and VSIP, we have reached $5.2 million, covering less of our deficit than we anticipated. To continue the process of addressing the deficit, we have identified a very limited number of faculty and staff positions to hire. Most vacant positions will not be refilled, so shared services and new approaches will be critical. We will also minimize MPP rehires and explore reorganization possibilities to further reduce administrative expenses.

Two other initiatives for budget reduction involve some changes in building use and shared services. To address Facilities staffing shortages, reduce utilities cost, and maintain a reasonable level of cleanliness for programmatic use, we are repurposing space in several buildings, and developing a plan for which buildings to repurpose. Building access and utilization will be determined in consultation with staff and faculty members who are working and teaching in those buildings.

Shared services involve a single unit supporting functions across the institution for multiple stakeholders. The benefits of shared services include reassigning and relieving workload in overtaxed units, improving services, and increasing efficiency. We will effectively communicate to all who will be impacted and ensure that end users understand how the changes will affect them.

Two units will shift from one division to another to better align services for students, staff, and faculty. Athletics will move from Administration and Finance to Student Affairs, and the Athletic Director will report to the Vice President for Student Affairs. The Office of Information Technology (IT) will move to Administration and Finance, and the Chief Information Officer (CIO) will report to the Vice President for Administration and Finance. Instructional or Educational Technology will remain in the Center for Teaching and Educational Technology (CTET) and report to the Provost’s Office as it does now.

While our campus is moving diligently and thoughtfully in reducing our staffing and realigning critical programs and services, decisions about other restructuring possibilities and process or program enhancements are still in process. This memo addresses the decisions made at this point in time. Of particular note, we are still exploring and thinking about academic school reorganization and will be talking with the faculty, staff, and administrators more in the coming weeks. I look forward to providing periodic updates as we seek to ensure that SSU is right-sized, while optimizing student success and faculty and staff excellence. We are all in this together, and I thank you for all you are doing to meet these goals.