President Janet Napolitano held a town hall May 11 with staff at the UC Office of the President to discuss the recent state audit and other topics.
She made opening remarks, then answered questions for 30 minutes. Video of the meeting is available here.
Napolitano highlighted the unique strengths of the UC system and her focus on implementing measures that ensure the careful management of resources, transparency and accountability in the university’s work and continuous improvement of UCOP operations.
While she said that she was disappointed with the overall tone of the audit report and believed many of the assertions about UC practices were misleading and wrong, she thought it offered helpful recommendations that the university has agreed to implement — many of which she said were already in alignment with UC’s ongoing efforts to continually improve.
Napolitano announced that Rachael Nava, executive vice president and chief operating officer at UCOP, will lead an internal task force responsible for implementing the audit recommendations, although everyone would be involved.
Specific areas of focus include:
- Enhancing the Office of the President budget process and revamping the budget presentation to the regents, which will begin with the Board of Regents meeting, today through Thursday (May 16-18).
- Reviewing and establishing a policy regarding financial reserves.
- Reviewing funds restricted as part of UC policy.
- Reviewing external benchmarks used for compensation and benefits programs, as well as reimbursement policies and salary ranges.
- Developing additional guidance and tracking for systemwide and presidential initiatives, including workforce planning in the division strategic planning efforts that are underway and this latest budget development cycle.
Updates and details on these and other changes will be provided, Napolitano said.
She also provided further details about the comparisons of UC salaries with state positions and other areas where UCOP disagreed with the audit report. See UCOP news release, “UC Responds to State Audit Report on University of California Office of the President,” and related information.
The day before the town hall, the San Francisco Chronicle published this Napolitano op-ed: “UC President Responds to Critical Audit.”
SURVEY OF NONREPRESENTED STAFF UNDERWAY — UC launched its third systemwide engagement survey on May 15, seeking to learn more about the experiences, views and needs of its nonrepresented (policy-covered) staff. About 20,000 such staff members — selected randomly — are being invited by email to take the survey (you might think it’s spam, but, really it’s not; the subject line is “2017 Staff Engagement Survey Invitation” and the sender is “UCStaffEngagementSurvey @ willistowerswatson.com”). The survey is completely confidential; individual responses and personally identifying information will not be shared with UC. The Council of University of California Staff Assemblies (CUCSA) developed the survey in collaboration with systemwide Human Resources and Willis Towers Watson, which specializes in work force opinion research and is conducting the survey. Read the UCnet article.
UPDATES TO FAMILY MEMBER ELIGIBILITY RECERTIFICATION — UC has extended the deadline to June 1 for faculty and staff to submit documentation to verify that certain of their family members — spouse, domestic partner, grandchild or legal ward — are eligible for their UC-provided health benefits. Also, whereas the university originally announced that retirees would be part of the recertification project, that is no longer the case. Retirees will not be contacted. Read the UCnet article.