Chancellor's Message

Chancellor Katehi

Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi

I have launched the Organizational Excellence initiative to create an administration that is lean, effective, transparent, service-oriented and innovative. This effort builds upon the great talent of UC Davis staff to foster an efficient administration that supports our core teaching and research mission. Through this effort, we are creating a better future for UC Davis.

Organizational Excellence encompasses several strategies, some already familiar to our campus, such as administrative unit reviews and risk assessments, and some new to our campus, particularly shared service centers for administrative activities. Several renowned research universities have launched initiatives similar to Organizational Excellence. However, our approach is unique to UC Davis. Utilizing our Budget Advisory Committee recommendations, comments received from the campus community and other internal assessments, we have identified the highest impact opportunities for strategic change and service improvement. We are selectively utilizing outside consultants and experts from outside higher education, but Organizational Excellence is truly a UC Davis-driven response to long recognized issues and opportunities.

Here are some details about key focus areas of Organizational Excellence.

Administrative Unit Reviews

I have asked for three administrative unit reviews to be conducted immediately: Office of Research, Information and Educational Technology, and the Offices of the Chancellor and Provost.

  • The Office of Research administrative unit review will build upon the work of the Blue Ribbon Committee on Research and the Blue Ribbon Committee on Technology Transfer which are recommending strategies and goals for growing and focusing our research activities over the next five years. This administrative unit review will help the Office of Research align its resources and structure to implement the specific strategies identified by the Blue Ribbon committees.
  • The IET administrative unit review, conducted in two phases, will clarify the mission and role of IET in supporting teaching, research and service at UC Davis and then identify strategies to align IET resources with this newly defined mission.
  • Although not identified in the Budget Advisory Committee recommendations, I have requested an administrative unit review of my own office and that of the provost with the goal of streamlining our staffs and reducing operating expenses.

Additional administrative unit reviews will be conducted as part of the Organizational Excellence initiative. These three are of highest priority because of the scope of these units and their roles in supporting the transformative vision we hope to pursue in the coming years.

Shared Service Centers

Shared services consolidate and streamline administrative functions in areas such as human resources, payroll, accounting and technology, resulting in a lower cost, more efficient and effective service delivery system. Shared service centers focus on leveraging economies of scale and streamlining business processes so that high quality service can be maintained.

I have asked that a pilot shared service center be implemented on an ambitious schedule -- by Winter 2011. This timetable is possible because of groundwork that has been ongoing since Fall 2009 and also because of the unit-based shared service initiatives that provide models and learnings for this larger scale implementation.

The initial pilot will support Administrative and Resource Management, Student Affairs, University Relations, the Offices of the Chancellor and Provost, and IET. Within approximately six months of the pilot launch, the Office of Research will join the shared service center. A process analyst is being recruited to assist in streamlining work and reducing unnecessary redundancies in primary business processes. In addition, a shared service center manager is being recruited to oversee the new shared service center.

A consultant team from ScottMadden management consultants is completing a comprehensive analysis of our existing administrative systems in the areas of HR, select accounting activities, technology, research administration, development, communication and gift processing. These consultants will also assist with the design and implementation of our shared service center. ScottMadden group's consulting fee for a three-month assignment is $420,000, including all ancillary expenses. The details of the ScottMadden contract are included on this website. 

The SSC Governance Committee and Chief Operating Officer Subcommittee have been established to provide oversight to the campus shared services implementation.  The Governance Committee consists of the vice chancellors, vice provost and chief operating officers of the five administrative divisions participating in the initial implementation of the SSC.  Karen Hull (SSC Project Leader) acts as facilitator of the group and the remaining members of the OE Shared Services Team and AVC Kelly Ratliff provide staff support. 

Your Feedback is Welcomed

I encourage you to submit questions, suggestions and ideas. All feedback will be reviewed, and responses will be shared via this website to inform further discussion and creative thinking regarding administrative synergies, efficiencies and service improvements. Your contributions to this initiative are much appreciated.


Linda Katehi


Photo by Robert Durell for UC Davis