Update on Operational Excellence @ Illinois
May 25, 2022 11:01 AM

Dear Colleagues,

At the start of the Operational Excellence @ Illinois initiative in May 2021, we set out to answer a critical question: How will we maximize our missions through operational excellence and steward resources to achieve our vision of institutional preeminence? In January 2022, we updated you that we were moving forward with organizational redesign in five administrative categories (budget & procurement, information technology & data, human resources, physical space, marketing & communications) and hiring Huron Consulting Group to collaborate with us on this effort. Thanks to the energy and dedication of our task force, executive sponsors and work teams, we have identified a path to move forward with specific suggestions and recommendations.

After combining the work team recommendations with interview, focus group, survey and benchmarking data, the university has identified human resources and information technology support as the two most critical areas of need. Huron Consulting Group will be engaging these two areas with specific design teams to plan and better define services, roles and responsibilities for a new operating model. With HR and IT efforts as a model, design team formation and operating model design efforts for remaining functions will move forward in a phased approach throughout 2022 and into 2023.

To ensure sufficient investment to and success for all functions, we are dedicating resources to formalize the Operational Excellence Office, which will include a project management team dedicated to the initiative. The establishment of this office and dedicated team, which will report to Mike DeLorenzo in his role as Vice Chancellor for Administration and Operations, is a crucial first step in committing sustained resources to support Operational Excellence @ Illinois immediately and other strategic initiatives in the future.

With this structure in place, tactical opportunities identified by all Operational Excellence @ Illinois work teams as quick wins or already underway will move forward. Corresponding investment decisions will be made by a shared governance process with the support of the new project management team. In the coming months, we will be sharing more specifics about this process.

I am incredibly excited and energized by the beneficial impact of this initiative. Our response to the COVID-19 pandemic has clearly proven that we have extraordinary capability to collaborate and innovate. It is my sincere hope that this initiative helps us rethink business as usual to maximize our missions and excellence.


Robert J. Jones

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