Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Stewardship as our Guidepost and Simplification as a Value

During the 2013-14 academic year, I launched a “Stewardship as our Guidepost and Simplification as a Value” model.  Three core elements underlie this model:

1) Stewardship - We must be good stewards of the resources entrusted to us by our students, tax payers, and donors. This includes being stewards of our time, which in and of itself has a cost. We need to ensure team members are able to focus their time on supporting the core mission of our campus, as opposed to spending time processing forms or seeking approvals that are repetitive and not value-added.
2) Empowerment and accountability - We must create a culture of empowerment within BAS to ensure our team members feel engaged and valued.  At the same time, we need to ensure accountability mechanisms exist to ensure we are operating in accordance with UC policy and operating with the highest of ethical standards. 
3) Risk - When our division has differing policies or additional requirements beyond UC policy, it actually adds risk as opposed to minimizing risk.  This is due to the fact that differing or additional policies that are BAS-specific add confusion for our service units and create unnecessary delays.

This framework is not a one-time initiative, but rather a continual way to approach our work in BAS.  One critical aspect of this framework is ensuring our incentive systems reward those who advance stewardship and simplification in our division.  To that end, we gathered at the University House for the first annual BAS Simplification STAR awards ceremony. I was thrilled to be surrounded by colleagues from across the campus as we the celebrated the achievements of 14 BAS team members who have advanced the value of simplification in their work. Simplification can seem elusive in our complex organization, but the award recipients are evidence that simplification is possible. In the call for nominations for the Simplification STAR awards, I stated:

“Simplification is a value that can sometimes seem elusive in our field. Our work requires us to abide by and operate within a multitude of policies, laws, and regulations. These are value-added and serve a critical role in protecting our university, our campus community and our resources. We must ensure we adhere to them and our campus remains in compliance. It is incumbent upon us to ensure we have mechanisms to support accountability and that we operate with the highest of ethical standards. However, it is critical to look beyond these value-added policies and requirements to identify other areas where we add steps in our processes that are not value-added, do not reduce risk, are cumbersome, and add confusion and error. Our students sacrifice so very much to be here. Our time is not without cost to them, and we must ensure our team members are able to focus their time on serving our core mission. Stewardship of the resources entrusted to us must be our guidepost and simplification is one of the many values that helps advance stewardship.”

The 2014 recipients of the Simplification STAR are: Bethany Hecht, Dan Miceli, Diane Lallemand, Donna Rispoli, Ed Moran, Emerson Murray, Jutta Perry, Karianne Terry, Katie Lindsay, Kay Hill, Michelle Kinney, Mike Steele, Nancy Nieblas, and Rob Jarvis.

I would like to thank the award committee (Barry Long, Frank Trueba, Susan Willats, Theo Diamantopoulos, Wendy Wurster and Toni Porath) for their work in reviewing all of the nominations and selecting the recipients. I also want to thank our colleagues in the Chancellor’s Office and Campus Dining who assisted in setting up the award ceremony at the University House.

We have only scratched the surface on our Stewardship as our Guidepost and Simplification as a Value model. I look forward to partnering with my colleagues as we continue to advance this important model.

A slug I am,


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