Comprehensive Administrative Report FAQs - 2018

CAR Report Frequently Asked Questions


Added Sept. 12, 2019
 
What is the status of the CAR Action Plan?

Georgia Tech leaders, with the support and guidance of the CAR Working and Decision Groups, are working with the USG Office of Institutional Effectiveness to finalize an action plan that meets the expectations of USG while also ensuring that any changes will have a positive impact on our students, faculty, and staff. We are expected to deliver a revised action plan by late fall 2019. Here is a summary of our current situation with regard to CAR:

  • We are heading for more clearly defined centralized coordination of services with distributed effort.
  • We are working to achieve organizational excellence while also creating an action plan that will be accepted by the system office.
  • Four functional leaders are driving the improvements with input and involvement from the campus community in the areas of HR, IT, Communications, and Finance.
  • These efforts are integrated with new enterprise system implementations (especially in human resources and finance).
  • The action plan we submit in late fall will be iterative.
 
Georgia Tech has been developing the CAR action plan since September 2018. Why is the plan not finalized yet?

The CAR Working Group and Decision Groups prepared earlier draft plans and submitted them for informal review to the USG. The USG indicated agreement with our overall direction to improve efficiency and effectiveness through automation and process improvements. However, they asked Georgia Tech to provide more specificity regarding changes to services, structures, and roles. They have also asked us to increase Institute-wide coordination and consolidation of key administrative functions.

We are giving additional, thoughtful deliberation to make sure that any changes we make will result in measurable improvement for the Institute. This is particularly important given the number of related and intersecting changes already taking place across the Institute. Key considerations include our pace of growth, our new enterprise systems, and transitions in key leadership roles. The timing and sequence of actions we take to address the CAR assessment must align and coordinate with these other major Institute changes.

 
Are we still focusing on the same 4 improvement areas?

Yes. Our focus for improvement remains on talent and people management (human resources), communications, information technology, and finance. The only change is that the USG has asked us to take a broader look at aligning financial functions across the Institute instead of focusing solely on procurement, travel, and expense management. They have also challenged us to look beyond improvements in the central units and look across the Institute for more efficient ways to deliver services, structure resources, and manage cost.

While our efforts to improve processes and Institute wide alignment are focused in these four areas, other departments and units are also expected to look closely for opportunities to redirect resources for greater student benefit.

 
What direction are we going in for each of these four areas?

Georgia Tech’s approach is more than just formulating a response to the system-wide assessment effort. We see CAR as an opportunity to shift our mindset in support of achieving organizational excellence. It is a process of making needed improvements to support our continued growth and success.

Georgia Tech Executive Leadership team has articulated a set of foundational tenets to guide the improvement actions for each of the four areas. The general direction is to increase central coordination while maintaining necessary levels of distributed effort. The tenets and actions to mobilize them for each area are as follows:

  • Excellence in Information Technology
    • Foundational Tenets: Unification and campus-wide coordination through a defined IT Governance structure and its guiding principles:
      • Greater consistency in terms of systems and tools.
      • Reduced duplication of services, software tools, and programs.
      • Better service delivery to faculty and researchers through community engagement, information-sharing, and collaboration.
    • Enabling Actions:
      • Well-defined IT governance structure.
      • Implementation of an Institute-wide system for receiving, tracking, and responding to service requests and managing knowledge on key service areas (ServiceNow).
      • Strategic sourcing to reduce spending on goods and services.
  • Excellence in Finance
    • Foundational Tenets: Unification and cross-organizational alignment to ensure consistent, Institute-wide compliance with governing financial policies, procedures, rules and regulations.
      • Greater consistency in terms of training, knowledge, and expertise.
      • Improved staff development and opportunities for career progression.
      • Enhanced distributed knowledge through training and community engagement.
      • Better service delivery to faculty and researchers through community engagement, information-sharing, and collaboration.
    • Enabling Actions:
      • Functional, cross-organizational alignment within administrative, academic, research, and other operating units.
      • Full implementation and utilization of Workday and ServiceNow, including process efficiencies.
  • Excellence in Human Resources
    • Foundational Tenets: Unification and cross-organizational alignment to ensure consistent, Institute-wide compliance with governing Human Resources policies, procedures, rules, and regulations.
      • Improve service delivery focused on Institute needs and voice of the customer.
      • Align people and reporting structures to strengthen and better leverage central units while improving unit service delivery.
      • Clear identification of roles, responsibilities, competencies, and performance standards.
      • More consistent and efficient processes across the Institute.
    • Enabling Actions:
      • Functional, cross-organizational alignment to support objectives and business process requirements of oneUSG Connect HCM for successful implementation and system stabilization.
      • Excellence in HR Program – service delivery, organizational structure, roles.
  • Excellence in Communications
    • Foundational Tenets: Increasing awareness of the Institute’s academic excellence, groundbreaking research principles and unique campus life to all key stakeholders.
      • Support information sharing to and among faculty and staff.
      • Include the right balance of policy, governance, and support combined with inclusivity and collaborative frameworks for the colleges, units, and affiliates.
    • Enabling Actions:
      • Align Institute Communications purpose and communications strategy to better support GT priorities and associated narrative.
      • Structure to support strategy, enhance centralization, and provide development and growth opportunities.
      • Optimize efficiency, impact and collaboration with improved processes and policies.
 
How will we achieve a CAR action plan that will be approved by the USG?

In the coming weeks and months functional leaders will partner with people who are involved in these administrative areas (those who do the work and those who are customers of the work) to define the following:

  • Improved service delivery approaches across the Institute
  • Organizational structures that align people across the Institute
  • Clear definition of roles and responsibilities for those who perform the work
  • Transition plans for changes that will be needed to roles, structures, and reporting relationships
  • Process improvements to support service delivery that is coordinated and organized more centrally
  • Preparing the organization for changes and managing the change
  • Measuring improvement and refining plans where needed
 
How will the CAR action plan impact the number of staff we have at GT?

Due to our significant growth in enrollment, increase in sponsored programs, and expanded support needs for research and academic faculty, our draft plan did not include changes in our overall staffing levels beyond reinvestment of funds from vacant positions toward more student centric roles.

We do expect that some positions may be added, some may be eliminated, and some may change due to new work. Before we make position-level decisions, we need to be clear about how we will coordinate services more centrally, define how to best structure and align people, and then identify role-level changes. When we know what changes will impact individuals, we will let those people know. In the meantime, it is important to maintain a focus on high quality service, and to look for ways to improve the connection, consistency, and cohesion of these services across the Institute.

 
How do spans of control work?

The span of control analysis included in the CAR assessment provided guidance for the number of direct reports a supervisor or manager should have. It recommended that 6-8 direct reports per supervisor is common for an efficient organization. That is just a general guideline but there is much variation. We are reviewing our spans of control as we look at organizational structures while considering the kind of work performed and what makes the best sense from a quality standpoint.
 

What progress has been made to achieve greater central coordination and consistency in the areas of HR, IT, Finance, and Communications?

We are working to create administrative structures and processes to strengthen central coordination and consistency while continuing to have staff who work at the unit level across the Institute. We recognize the need for units to maintain knowledgeable administrative support as close to the work as possible.

The Institute has made progress to consolidate and centralize some administrative functions. For instance, Dr. Abdallah and Dr. Bras have created a new administrative unit to share administrative resources that serve the needs of the Office of the EVPR and Office of the Provost.

During our Collaborative Solutions Workshop we gathered input from people who perform work in these areas about what activities and functions would be best organized centrally and those activities that should be performed at the unit level. We will use those inputs as we design new service delivery models and facilitate more consistent approaches to performing the work.

At this point we are still in the early design of these models and they will vary across the functional areas. Any decisions to change reporting relationships, roles, or organizational structures will involve direct conversations with affected individuals in advance of those changes.

Some changes to how the work is done will also be influenced by our new finance and human resource management systems. The configuration of approval workflow, self-service capabilities, and policy requirements are key considerations we are examining now as we look at making changes to the organizational structure.

 
So far, I have seen changes related to cost reductions, such as the elimination of some vacant positions. When will we begin making internal changes to existing units (re-org, task reassignment, etc.) that may not be budget-focused?

Georgia Tech has been working to improve the organizational structures and work processes across the Institute. Additional service delivery and process improvements are being defined for each of the four functional areas. The leaders for each of these areas are working to determine the proper alignment of people to deliver the services in the most effective, timely, and consistent way. That may involve new structures, reporting relationships and changes to the tasks people are assigned to do.

The changes defined over the next several weeks will take time to implement. As Georgia Tech is on a journey of continuous improvement, it is expected that changes to processes, structures, and service delivery will be iterative and ongoing.

 
Are there any HR Business Partner Model (Centralized) or Unit HR Model (Decentralized) recommendations that will be addressed and implemented based on the Comprehensive Administrative Review?

The HR business partner model was noted in the CAR assessment as an area of opportunity for improvement. This is largely due to the inconsistency in the services delivered, the quality of service delivery, and the variation in the knowledge, skills, and capabilities of the individuals in those roles. However, these results were not exclusive to the HR business partners. In some units we have HR directors, HR managers, and HR representatives who perform many of the same functions as the HR business partner. There is a great deal of variation across the Institute in the work, capability, and capacity of individuals in these roles. Our CAR Action Plan, through the Excellence in HR efforts, will include ways to better standardize the work and increase the quality and greater Institute consistency while maintaining effective support at the unit level.
 

When you say the USG is driving for more centralization, are you talking about USG centralization or centralization within Georgia Tech?

Both. Greater centralized coordination and consistency of the work might occur at the system level and at the Institute level. For instance, some of the changes that will occur with the new OneUSG human capital management (HCM) system will move some work to the USG shared services center in Sandersville. Other changes will better align how certain activities and functions are performed across the Institute. In those cases, the central administrative units will likely play a larger role in coordinating and creating greater consistency and quality. 12.

 

Who are the key influencers in making recommendations?

The CAR Decision Group will make the final approvals to the action plan before it is sent to USG. That Decision Group includes Ángel Cabrera, president; Rafael Bras, provost; Chaouki Abdallah, EVP of Research; Jim Fortner, Interim EVP of Administration and Finance; Lynn Durham, vice president of Institute Relations; Joe Hughes, Chair of the Faculty Executive Board and professor in ECE; Maryam Alavi, dean of the Scheller College of Business; and Tina Clonts, Staff Council representative and director in the Institute Finance Support Team.

The functional leaders across the Institute are responsible for shaping the design of services, structures, and change plans. Each of them have been working in partnership with their colleagues from across the Institute. Kim Harrington, chief HR officer is leading the area of Human Resources. Renee Kopkowski, VP of Institute Communications is championing communications. Jim McGarrah, interim chief information officer, is leading the Information Technology improvement section. Jennifer Hubert, interim associate VP of Institute Planning and Resource Management is leading development of the financial action plan section.

 
What are the (final) recommendations?

The final recommendations have not yet been developed.
 

Is there a specific implementation date for the CAR recommendations?

We expect to have a detailed plan for our operating models, organizational structures, and specific organizational changes by late fall 2019. Changes will largely be implemented in the spring 2020 and timed to correlate with other changes (such as the implementation of the new HCM system). Some changes are needed to ensure successful implementation of the new OneUSG system. Those changes will need to take place before that timeframe.
 

If positions are eliminated, will that happen all at one time?

Any individuals in filled roles whose jobs are changing will be given advance notice of when the change will be implemented and supported through the transition process to find new roles, seek training, and manage the impact of the change.
 

With all of this in mind, are we still operating business as usual? Are we still hiring, filling our job openings?

We must maintain focus on continuing to deliver high quality services during this process. Our students are our priority and so we must keep their needs at the forefront. With regard to filling job openings, it is in the best interest of the Institute and the individuals in these roles to be very deliberate and intentional before filling any open positions. We want to avoid changing the roles after a person is newly hired. This is particularly important in the functional areas we are focusing on. At the same time, we have work to be done. If you have a hiring need, you should talk to your division/unit leader about the implications of filling the role and the potential intersection with CAR.
 

Are the HR representatives going to be empowered to do their jobs?

The people who perform HR work will be engaged to provide input on the future service delivery model and organizational structures. This process will not impede the ability of individuals to perform their jobs. However, as we implement new ways of working HR professionals may need to perform the work differently. This is a journey of improvement and we all must be ready to grow, improve, and learn.
 

As Georgia Tech experiences all of this change, are we looking at the retention rate? Are we losing employees?

Retention is a concern that we will work to mitigate as we move through this process. There is, and will continue to be, plenty of work to be done across the Institute. As roles shift or are consolidated, new opportunities will be created. The jobs may change but the demand for talent will continue to grow. We trust that through open, transparent dialogue we can retain people who are willing to be flexible and contribute in new ways.
 

How have the CAR recommendations changed?

The general direction for the CAR action plan has not changed. We have always had a plan for first focusing on delivering high quality services and structuring the organization to support those services. What has changed is that we must provide more specific information about the personnel changes we will make. The plan the USG will approve must be more fully developed than our earlier drafts.
 

We have hired people over the last few weeks/months. How do we make certain they are doing OK and understand the changes occurring on campus?

As leaders, it is important to maintain two-way interaction with your employees including those who are new. Engage in discussions with them about what is happening with CAR and where we are going as an Institute. If you are faced with questions that you don’t have the answers to, you can submit them to askcar@gatech.edu.

 



frequently asked questions

Last updated Dec. 13, 2018.

Below are common questions about the Comprehensive Administrative Review. The questions and their answers are divided into the following categories:

To submit questions to the working group, please email askcar@gatech.edu.

frequently asked questions

Value of this Process

What is the benefit of this process for Georgia Tech?

This is an opportunity for Georgia Tech to examine and address practices, processes, and policies that relate to our mission. Through this process, we will strengthen the aspects of our operations that are working well, and make changes where needed.

This process will focus on strengthening the education, research, and economic development activities that directly benefit our students.

The report reflects where Georgia Tech administrative processes are working well, and where we have opportunities to improve.

Why did the USG start this program?

Chancellor Steve Wrigley initiated the CAR in the spring of 2017 to achieve the following objectives:

  • Refine how USG and its institutions are structured to enhance our mission of teaching, research, and service.
  • Develop a more effective and efficient organizational model that is sustainable for a multi-campus, diverse university system in the 21st century.
  • Identify how to be more administratively effective and efficient at all levels of the organization.
  • Identify administrative cost savings that can be redirected into the System’s core functions of teaching, research, and service.
What did the CAR assessment entail?

As part of the assessment, Huron Consulting, on behalf of the USG, collected organizational data for the Institute as a whole. In addition, they asked employees to provide input through three methods:

  • An activity assessment that includes input from 3,500 Georgia Tech employees who perform administrative functions. This assessment was designed to understand the tasks and activities performed across the Institute.
  • Participation in the assessment was expected for the selected individuals. Supervisors reviewed and validated the responses from their direct reports.
  • An opportunity identification survey was completed voluntarily by approximately 1,000 Georgia Tech supervisors, managers, and leaders across the Institute. This survey was designed to understand which functions and processes work well and where there are opportunities for greater effectiveness.

Finally, focus groups and interviews were held with selected individuals and groups to explore the results of the activity assessment and opportunity identification survey.

Back to the CAR Report website

How is student benefit defined?

Student benefit refers to investments that can be made to enhance or expand the learning experience, provide student support services, or reduce or avoid increasing student costs. These are the three major objectives of the action plan with regard to redirection of administrative savings.

Back to the CAR Report website

What does Student Services mean?

Student Services refers to any service provided to students that assists them in succeeding academically or in having a positive, high-quality experience outside of the classroom. They include but are not limited to: advising, counseling, career assistance, diversity and inclusion programs, and mentoring.

Back to the CAR Report website

Is CAR an effort to “homogenize” Georgia’s 26 institutions of higher education irrespective of their uniquely focused missions?

No. This is not an effort to homogenize all 26 institutions. While the assessment methodology has been consistently used across all of the schools, each institution will develop a customized action plan specifically responsive to its own strengths and opportunities for improvement. At the same time, we have an opportunity to collaborate with other schools that have challenges similar to our own. In addition, there may be functions and activities that would be better performed at the system level (e.g. benefits administration) to achieve consistency and economies of scale. In those instances, the system office will work with representatives from each institution to determine the cost/benefit of any such changes.

Back to the CAR Report website

Has the USG considered the fact that state funding to higher education has decreased, resulting in tuition costs increasing?

Actual state funding to Georgia Tech has increased, and in FY19 we received our largest state allocation ever. However, when compared per FTE it has not recovered to pre-recession levels. The intention of this effort is to reduce the cost of performing administrative functions and direct any saving to the academic function of the Institute. At Georgia Tech, we have the opportunity to define how and where those savings can be achieved and redirect those resources toward investments with direct student benefit.

Back to the CAR Report website

What is the target set by USG for administrative savings at Georgia Tech?

The USG has not articulated any specific savings target or goal. In fact, no specific numbers have been mandated or provided. We are expected to make every effort to create a meaningful action plan that will redirect administrative spending towards the academic enterprise. Any savings will remain with the Institute to be redirected as appropriate. This is not a “cost reduction exercise” it is an “efficiency improvement exercise.” Through the action planning process, the working group will identify monetary and non-monetary benefits that can be achieved through more efficient and effective administrative operations. The action plan will be updated as we achieve realized savings and as we gain new insight through implementation.

Back to the CAR Report website

What is the expected timeline to achieve meaningful redirection of administrative spend?

The action plan will be developed for an initial five-year period. Some savings will be achieved within the first six months, while other efforts may take a few years to reach fruition. For instance, efficiencies that will be achieved through implementation of our new ERP systems will not be measurable until after those new systems are effectively utilized by the campus community.


The Report

Where can employees access the full report?
What did the report indicate?

There were three primary areas noted in the report:

  • Organizational Layers and Spans of Control
    Although there is no “right size” that fits all organizations, too many or too few spans or layers can affect organizational and operational effectiveness. Georgia Tech has 11 layers of administrative staff hierarchy (levels of reporting) in our structure. Current spans of control average 3.7 employees for every supervisor. In both spans and layers, the guideline is between six and eight. The working group will closely examine each layer and areas where span of control is higher or lower than necessary.
  • Alignment and Distribution of Administrative Functions
    The results suggest that similar work is performed both in the units across campus and also within centralized functions. Four key areas noted were information technology, communications, human resources, and procurement/expense processing. A detailed review of subdivisions and departments will focus in these areas to determine whether efforts are misaligned and duplicative, or if the division of labor is intentional and supportive of the Institute’s mission.
  • Best in Class and Room for Improvement
    Select processes within information technology, communications, and human resources were noted for best-in-class operations. Other processes in human resources, communications, purchasing and travel, and information technology were commonly identified as opportunities for improvement. The working group will determine where a positive impact can be made.

While the report presents a variety of analyses and data, our “unit of analysis” at this stage in the process is the individual department. Put another way, the action plan response team will consider the inputs relative to a specific department in light of the three primary areas noted above and in relationship to that department’s mission.

Back to the CAR Report website

Regarding Spans and Layers, does the size of the college matter?

Spans of control refers to the number of direct reports that a supervisor has, and layers refers to the number of reporting relationships in the chain of command at all levels of the organization. The size of the college may be relevant as we understand the optimal number of direct reports that a supervisor should have based on the nature of the work performed. In any case, the working group and the decision group will work with leaders in each area to determine the appropriate response to the spans and layers analysis.


Action Planning Process

What is the action planning process?

Action planning is a process to understand, interpret, and develop a focused response to the results of the CAR report. As part of this process, the working group will prioritize where it can make the most progress in supporting the chancellor’s four objectives. The action plan will be a multi-phase plan of action that will be updated on a regular basis.

Who is leading the action planning process?

With the guidance of the USG, a working group and a decision group have been formed. Members of the working group include:

  • Sandi Bramblett, Assistant Vice President of Institutional Research and Enterprise Data Management (bringing an Institutional Data Perspective)
  • Robert Foy, Senior Director, Institute Finance Support (bringing a strategic finance perspective)
  • Rusty Edwards, College of Engineering (bringing an academic unit finance perspective)

Responsibilities:

  • Perform deeper analysis of the CAR data, including any other relevant information available.
  • Engage with leaders and subject matter experts from across the Institute.
  • Identify immediate, emerging, and longer term opportunities for efficiency.
  • Document conclusions and creatively develop options for action.
  • Meet with the decision group monthly to share progress and early conclusions.

Members of the decision group include:

  • Ángel Cabrera, President
  • Rafael Bras, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs
  • Chaouki Abdallah, Executive Vice President for Research and Associate Vice President for Research
  • Jim Fortner, Interim Executive Vice President for Administration and Finance
  • Joe Hughes, representing the Faculty Senate
  • Tina Clonts, representing the Staff Council
  • Maryam Alavi, Dean, College of Business
  • Lynn Durham, Vice President for Institute Relations

Responsibilities:

  • Set the prioritization of data analysis for the working group
  • Review, discuss, and make decisions based on the analysis of the working group.
  • Ensure decision support is sufficient and conduct additional discussions where needed.
  • Challenge assumptions and push for bold actions.
  • Be a champion for this process across the campus community.
  • Meet with the working group at least once per month for status reporting and initial conclusions.
  • Help lead the mobilization of actions based on final decisions.
What areas will the action planning focus on?

While the opportunity identification survey and activity assessment revealed several areas where things are working well and where we have room for improvement, the data reflects four key areas where the working group will focus their attention:

  • Talent and people management processes and alignment of those functions
  • Information technology functions at the central and distributed levels
  • Communication, events, and marketing functions across the Institute
  • Finance

The working group is also exploring the opportunities for improvement noted in the report about facilities and space management. In addition, the working group will review organizational structures in response to the spans of control and organizational layers analysis results. This will involve examining organizational structures across the Institute.

What’s the timeline for this process?

The major activities for this planning process include the following target timelines:

  • October-November 2018
    Working group analyze assessment results and discuss with functional leaders (central and distributed)
  • December
    Working group to engage functional subject matter experts from across campus to provide suggested solutions for consideration in the action plan
  • January 2019
    Working group prepare the draft action plan
  • February
    Decision group decide which recommendations of the draft action plan to accept
  • March
    Decision group to advance the action plan to Georgia Tech president and USG chancellor for review and comment
  • November
    Georgia Tech submits its action plan
Does the CAR process consider the fact that Georgia Tech is a Research I university?

Yes, the University System appreciates the unique characteristics of a research institution. At the beginning of Georgia Tech’s involvement with this process, we helped develop the assessment tools to reflect the unique functions, characteristics, and challenges of an R1 institution.

In addition, the CAR Steering Committee includes multiple members who currently serve in a variety of roles at each of the four research institutions within the University System of Georgia.

It also is relevant to note that the feedback and data in the report almost exclusively reflects the feedback from employees and stakeholders of Georgia Tech.

Will this process address issues associated with unproductive employees?

No, this process is not intended to address individual performance issues.

Back to the CAR Report website

Why doesn’t the working group include anyone from research?

The working group is composed of members who bring perspectives needed to assess changes in administrative costs – budget and finance, enterprise data, human resources, and risk management. Although the group is small in number, they are actively engaging people from the academic, research, and administrative units. While some units are not directly represented in the working group, the process will engage all facets of Georgia Tech through ongoing, interactive discussions. Specific to research, the decision group is composed of senior leaders including Chaouki Abdallah, the executive vice president for research.

Back to the CAR Report website

Does the CAR recognize that student research and instruction are intermingled?

Yes, the working group has been engaged in discussions with people from the academic and research units and recognize the inter-relationships and inter-dependencies of these important activities on campus. The decision group and working group recognize both academics and research as central to the mission of the Institute and all the ways that students benefit through research projects that augment their classroom experiences.

 


Impact of this Process

Is the CAR process expected to generate immediate cost savings?

While some cost savings may be realized immediately, others will be realized over the course of several years. Cost tracking is a component of the action planning process and will be communicated as part of the multi-phase plan of action.

How will the CAR change Georgia Tech’s organizational structure?

The results of the CAR action phase will likely result in some new or modified organizational structures and processes. The analysis of spans of control (the number of reporting to a supervisor or manager) and layers (the number of levels of hierarchy) indicates Georgia Tech may need to adjust its structure to be more efficient and effective.

In addition, the activity assessment reveals that similar functions and activities are performed by people across the Institute – both in central administrative units, and in the academic and research units.

There are good reasons for this, as the academic and research units need to have the right levels of responsive support available when they need it. At the same time, there are activities that could be performed more effectively and efficiently if organized differently.

How will the CAR process change our work processes?

The opportunity identification survey results indicate that some processes and procedures may need to change to be more efficient and effective. As the working group engages with people who perform administrative functions across the Institute, they work to identify new models to address operational challenges.

How will the CAR process change jobs at Georgia Tech?

Through this process, it is expected that some administrative roles will change. Responsibilities may be combined, adjusted, or distributed differently. Some positions (vacant and filled) may no longer be needed.

How does this process impact current efforts to reorganize units, reclassify roles, or hire additional people?

Due to the organizational changes resulting from the CAR action plan, all reorganizations, reclassifications, and new positions should include an additional review for potential intersection with the CAR results. This additional review is not intended to impede critical business decisions or actions, but is necessary to ensure personnel actions are not reversed or changed again when the action plan is implemented.

This additional review applies to reorganizations, reclassifications, and new positions that involve administrative staff positions. The following positions are not included in this additional review:

  • Faculty positions
  • Research positions
  • Roles related to ensuring campus safety and health
  • Roles that support or deliver direct student services
  • Tech temp positions to bridge departures and seasonal workloads
  • Positions already posted and in the search process
Should the mission of our departments be re-evaluated?

Due to the potential changes that may result from this process, significant changes should be avoided.

Will this process address BOR/USG expectations and requirements that create inefficiency at Georgia Tech?

The working group and decision group may offer recommendations to the USG about ways that they can assist us in being more efficient through modifications of expectations or requirements.

Back to the CAR Report website

Is this CAR process going to lead to massive layoffs?

Massive layoffs are not expected as part of this process, nor are they the goal. Rather, the goal is to achieve administrative savings by improving the efficiencies of the existing processes and structures. In some cases, this may result in a reduction of roles and positions needed to perform these functions. It may also result in situations where tasks or activities are realigned or reassigned. These decisions will be weighed carefully and with consideration for the Institute’s longer-term workforce needs.

The CAR working and decision groups will work with campus leaders to look for opportunities for position realignment or redirection of administrative costs through vacancies and attrition first. Positions that become candidates for redirection will follow the Georgia Tech and Board of Regents Reduction in Force policies and procedures related to notifications and support services. In all instances where individual roles or occupied positions are affected, a thoughtful discussion with the affected employee will take place in advance of the change.

For additional information as it relates to BOR Reduction in Force policy, please visit https://www.usg.edu/hr/manual/reduction_in_force/. The Georgia Tech policy on Reassignment and Reductions in Force can be found at https://policylibrary.gatech.edu/employment/reassignment-and-reductions-force.

Back to the CAR Report website

Will the CAR lead to smaller staffs in the colleges and units?

The action plan may lead to instances where colleges and units are able to reduce some administrative activities and centralize functions. This does not necessarily mean that the positions in those units will be moved or eliminated. By freeing up college and unit staff from performing activities that could be provided as a service elsewhere, it can create capacity to focus on more program-specific work while providing room for programmatic growth.

Back to the CAR Report website

Are all administrative functions going to be centralized and removed from the colleges and research units?

Given the complexity and specialization of our operations across Georgia Tech, complete centralization of administrative functions is not a likely solution. However, there may be activities being performed by many units across the Institute that could be more efficiently and effectively performed by consolidating those activities to a focused group or unit. This group or unit might be located at the level of the college, EVP area (e.g. academic, research, or administrative), or at the Institute level. There are leading practice models of transactional consolidation where the results show improved quality, timeliness, career ladders for administrative staff, better workload distribution, and other benefits.

At this time it is too early to determine the right solution for Georgia Tech. These are the discussions that the working group is having with functional leaders and will be discussed in the upcoming Collaborative Solution Workshops.

Back to the CAR Report website

Will the CAR look at student retention and the money lost if/when a student is not able to make it to graduation due to staff reductions from the CAR?

For every option under consideration, the risks and disadvantages will be considered, including any potential impact on programming. The goal of this process is to achieve administrative efficiencies without any degradation of quality to the student experience or impingement of student success; in fact, greater degree attainment is a primary goal of both Georgia Tech and the University System of Georgia and any CAR recommendation will be assessed with that goal in mind.


Existing Improvement Efforts

How can we build on past or current efforts to become more effective and efficient?

There are many improvements that have already been made in administrative functions across the Institute. Where improvement efforts are in progress or have already implemented, the action plan can build on those successes.

Georgia Tech may be able to scale or replicate practices that are working well. These improvement projects should be shared with the working group for potential inclusion in the CAR Action Plan recommendations.

How will this process impact the new ERP Financials and Human Capital Management system projects?

The new financial and human capital management systems are expected to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of administrative processes across the Institute.

Some of these improvements will not occur until after the systems are implemented (July 2019 for financials and December 2019 for human capital management).

To align the CAR action plan with these projects, the working group is working to identify how the new systems will address the CAR results and ways to include those improvements in the action plan.

My department has already implemented several cost saving initiatives. Should I begin tracking those savings?

Yes. We can highlight practices that have already been implemented and track and report ongoing cost savings associated with those improvements.

Cost tracking is a component of the action planning process and will be communicated as part of the multi-phase plan of action.

If you have cost saving efforts that are ongoing, you can submit those documents to askcar@gatech.edu.

Back to the CAR Report website

Can we get credit for things that we've already put in place?

Yes. There are a number of cost-saving initiatives that were already planned and launched before we began the CAR process. If those efforts will be continued and additional savings are expected, those actions should be communicated to the working group for inclusion in the CAR action plan where appropriate.

Back to the CAR Report website

Have unit heads within departments been asked how they would control costs and achieve administrative cost reductions as part of the CAR?

Yes, several unit leaders have been actively working with their teams to identify ways to control costs, redirect administrative savings, and operate more efficiently and effectively. Where these leaders are proactively engaging in this planning, we ask that they inform the CAR working group of their efforts so that all savings are integrated into the CAR action plan. The working group has already received several ideas from unit leaders about ways they can reduce administrative costs in their units.

Back to the CAR Report website


Community Involvement and Input

Who will be involved in the process?

More than 3,500 Georgia Tech employees have contributed through the activity assessment, opportunity identification surveys, and the focus groups and interviews.

Everyone at Georgia Tech is invited to submit ideas to askcar@gatech.edu. Please provide a reference point from the report (page number preferred) along with your suggestion.

The activity assessment and opportunity identification survey results identified opportunities for improving structure, process, and support in four areas.

Those who have functional responsibilities in these areas will be asked to provide input to the action plans through focused collaborative workshops. The workshops will be held for the following functional areas:

  • Talent and people management processes and alignment of those functions (held Dec. 12, 2018)
  • Communication, events, and marketing functions across the Institute (held Jan. 7, 2019)
  • Information technology functions at the central and distributed levels (held Jan. 8, 2019)
  • Finance (held Jan. 9, 2019)

Due to the large number of people who have responsibilities in these areas, it will not be possible to include everyone in these workshops. However, the working group will identify and engage a representative sample of people who have insight about these areas and who can focus on solutions for the future.

Will people who perform other administrative functions have a voice in this process?

At this time, the working group is only planning collaborative workshops for the four mentioned functional areas. Individuals who work in other areas can provide suggested solutions at askcar@gatech.edu.

How will academic and research faculty have a voice in this process?

The chair of the Faculty Executive Board, Joe Hughes, is a member of the decision group and will arrange opportunities to gain input from faculty. Faculty members are also invited to provide input through the askcar@gatech.edu inbox.

How can ideas from people across the Institute be considered for the working group and the decision group?

Membership for the working group and decision group is set. However, input can be provided through the collaborative workshops and at askcar@gatech.edu.

Will the working group gather input from academic and research leadership?

Absolutely. The working group has already been engaging functional leaders from the academic and research units in the first set of discussions about the detailed CAR assessment data. Next, people from across the academic and research units will be engaged through Collaborative Solution Workshops to provide input to the action plan.

Will there be a Collaborative Solution Workshop for Facilities and Capital Planning and Space Management?

The working group recognizes that this functional area was noted in the CAR report. However, since the Facilities and Capital Planning and Space Management units have recently participated in organizational review and have an action plan in place that looks at each of their respective roles for the Institute, there will not be a CAR collaborative solutions workshop for this functional area. However, it is expected that those functions will show progress on the actions plans already in place for those areas.

Will there be a discussion group to talk about the organizational structure of Facilities or Capital Planning and Space Management?

At this time, a discussion group around this topic area of the report is not planned. However, if anyone in Facilities or Capital Planning and Space Management would like to recommend a discussion group, it will be considered by the working group.


Contacts

Where can I get more information?