The UI Facilities and Services Division has been added to the Stewarding Excellence @ Illinois review list and its director says he's ready for the scrutiny.
"Since we have spent the past three years looking at ways to improve our processes and cut our costs, we have a lot to share with campus," said Jack Dempsey, F&S executive director, in a February message to employees.
"The timing is right because we have undergone reorganization to improve our efficiency and effectiveness and are currently working with customer groups to improve processes and working relationships," he said.
The charge letter to the new committee, led by James Coleman, the head of the electrical and computer engineering department, asks members to answer questions about the department's funding levels, effectiveness and efficiency, new strategies, and whether the current $41 million budget is sufficient.
"As we enter a period of declining General Revenue Fund appropriations, how can this organization's budget be reduced in ways that protect its ability to serve the campus community?" asks the final question submitted by interim vice president and chancellor Bob Easter and Richard Wheeler, interim vice chancellor for academic affairs and provost.
However, the administrators said that doesn't necessarily mean there will be cuts to F&S.
"It is critical to emphasize that this review is a complete and open process that does not begin with a predetermined aim of withdrawing or reducing resources or concluding activities," the administrators said.
In fact, they mentioned prior F&S studies prepared by an outside consultant that showed "the Urbana campus is below average, compared to our peer institutions, in the amount of money we invest in maintenance," and that deferred maintenance at the UI is backlogged by more than $500 million.
Dempsey said he understands the importance of the Stewarding process and his department will assist the committee in its work.
"It is now our turn," he said. "As the review process completes its step-by-step assignment, F&S will continue to focus on customer service and satisfaction. We will do what is expected of us and do it well."