Strategic Planning


Are there opportunities to streamline and make more efficient our business practices?  Are there policies that should be developed to ensure that we use best practices and are efficient in all of our work?

For example, what should our student faculty ratio be and why?  Should we routinize and facilitate more joint appointments for faculty between Schools with memoranda of understanding?

  Emergent Ideas of the Streamlining Working Group

Email the Streamlining working group or add a comment below.

Bob Bruner Chair
Brian Cullaty Working Group Staff Lead
Lee Baszczewski Working Group Staff Member
Carolyn Callahan Faculty, Curry School of Education
Ari Dimas       Graduate Student
Eileen Edmunds Alumna, College, Law, Darden
Katie Estep Undergraduate Student
James Fang Alumnus, Engineering
Larry Fitzgerald Assoc. VP, Business Development
Mark Hampton Assoc. Dean, Admin/Planning, Curry School
David LeBlang CLAS, Politics
Ryan Nelson Faculty, McIntire School of Commerce
Kristin Palmer Staff, Information Technology Services
Joe Poon CLAS, Physics
Jack Prominski Undergraduate Student, McIntire School
James Wilson Parent, CLAS



Submitted by Michael McCabe,... (not verified) on

One two-part streamlining issue that ought to be addressed is:

Which courses, above those that are truly essential, should (continue to) be taught [as the University cannot teach everything].  Of these, which can be shaped by, taught by, and credited to more than one department?  [This number should be reasonably maximized.]

Another streamlining issue that ought to be addressed is:

Given that the University will choose to increase (and perhaps reasonably maximize) its participation in distance/on-line education, how can the on-line courses and the in-class courses be developed and presented as similarly as possible with as little extra effort and duplication as possible?

These two topics could be covered under "synergies".  I have suggested they be covered under "streamlining" because to me synergies implies having elements work better together without necessarily reducing anything, while streamlining requires reductions and could, as well, [and perhaps should, in this context] include a more synergistic effort.  All possible ways to reduce costs and effort should be reviewed.

Submitted by Bob Bloodgood, ... (not verified) on

The charge to this group is to identify opportunities to streamline our business practices. Then two examples are cited: 1. student-faculty ratio and 2. joint appointments of faculty across schools of the University.  These two examples are not "business practices" but rather critical academic and educational issues that affect the quality of education and research performed by the University.

Submitted by Frank Dukes (not verified) on

Members of the Streamlining Working Group


The University & Community Action for Racial Equity (UCARE) is pleased to be able to respond to the call by President Sullivan to “consider the issues we are facing and offer advice.”

The Streamlining group has a challenging task: to find efficiencies in ways that contribute to rather than detract from the University’s mission.

As you approach this task, we urge you to consider how your task might affect issues of race and equity. We are deeply concerned that public statements accompanying the strategic planning process have ignored these important issues. Issues of equity may easily be displaced when we focus on business practices, efficiency, and routines, but this is precisely when deliberate attention must be paid to the former.

In UCARE’s May 2012 Report and Call for Reflection and Action, we describe the legacy of slavery, segregation, discrimination, and efforts to fight those wrongs. We are attaching a copy of our Report to each member of the Streamlining group. We invite you to look carefully at the ideas for actions that have come from several years of authentic dialogue among the University and the surrounding community. We would be most pleased to speak with the group or individual members to explore common ground and to answer any questions.


Respectfully yours,

Frank Dukes, Ph.D.

Submitted by Kristin Palmer (not verified) on

Hi Everyone - As a staff member that has the honor to be on this group, I just want to extend a thank you to everyone who is participating in these discussions and commenting on this site.  Your input, concerns and ideas are very much being considered and integrated into our work.  Thank you! - K

Submitted by Medical School ... (not verified) on

We need medical school representation on this group. The issues of collaboration, efficiency, and competing interests may be unique in our area. Please consider.

Submitted by Raul Baragiola (not verified) on

Efficiency:  * let's discuss what the graduates need to know and then, allowing for redundancy, limit the number of courses that are offered. * Esamine if all majors require 4 years - likely not. * Subscribe to the best-online courses to free up faculty time -- then a faculty member can afford to teach 4 courses a semester and still be able to discuss with students face-to-face..  

Diversity: UVa has a lot of redundant diversity offices, all managed by African Americans, ignoring that Hispanics are the main underepresengted minority group.  The main physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics and astronomy departments in the US have Hispanic faculty, but not UVa.  This stains UVa's reputation.

Eradicate cronyism: it is the #1 obstacle to fair representation of women and minorities in the higher ranks and non-conventional thinkers in committees. Have strict rules against conflicts of interest.

360 degree evaluations

Submitted by Audrey KOcher (not verified) on

Which of the reps are hosptial staff?  Since I do not recognize any, perhaps that is a sign it is not representative enough. 

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

Larry Fitzgerald is the associate vp for business development and finance of the UVA health system.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

Having online classes is challenging, and it would be helpful to have more university support for structure and implementation strategies to make online education the best it can be.  By this I don't mean technology necessarily, but effective strategies for students to feel included and motivated. It is a fertile area for growth.  While collab is a good system, is it the best?  How does UVA support its faculty to teach online?  See Michael McCabe's comments above.

Submitted by astonished (not verified) on

among foundational principles for a 21st century University:

1. equal pay for equal work:

Staff are treated and compensated very differently depending on their 'location' in the University.   This is expressly unfair, and may be illegal.  For example, considering the salaries and years of service of those with my job title: My salary was greater than $2000 less than the next lowest salary in the cohort.  My salary was greater than $15,000 less than the highest salary in the cohort.  My salary was greater than $5000 less than the median salary of the cohort.  The cohort's median years of service was 8.5 years.  Years of service appeared to have no association with the spread of salaries in the cohort: the highest salary in the cohort had 9 years of service (near the median years of service but highest salary); of the salaries closest to the median salary, one staff had 6 years of service and another had 12 years of service (a considerable difference in service, but at the same level of salary); the staff with the most years of service - 21 - had next to lowest salary.  My salary was lowest  - greater than $5000 below the median - with 13 years of service - nearly 5 years beyond the median years of service.  When the VRS (VA Retirement System)  does its analysis about my retirement, the analysis predicts aged poverty!   Does this seem fair?  Staff all over the University can repeat  such stories. 

2. create systems that share resources effectively

Many resources are burdened with so many University-created regulations that, even if the 'owner' wanted to share them, they could not.    Further, because of uncertainties and inequities in the University's support of its units, resources that might be shared, are instead trapped in 'turf' protection. These dysfunctional patterns - system-driven, and human behavior-driven - are legacies of archaic centuries

3.  grow productive parts of the University

instead, administration is growing - e.g. Human Resources this and that positions are proliferating, at very high compensation (compared with other positions)

4.  respect the communities of the University

our primary consumers/customers are students and alumni, as well as the local communities around and within the University; so treat the local communities as well as students and alumni

and it goes without saying that employees should be treated as whole communities or whole persons, not widgets; faculty - particularly once tenured - are much less likely to be treated as widgets, while staff are routinely treated as widgets

Submitted by equally astonished (not verified) on

Everything said by astonished about staff salary is also true about faculty salary. Those hired most recently seem to have the highest salaries. salaries are not uniform across departmetns.

Submitted by Joe Jamerson (not verified) on

While it is indeed nice to see staff represented on this group, it doesn't feel like representation reaches too far beyond the higher level offices.  Faculty and students are well represented here, but actual "staff" is woefully missing.  For this to truly be a well rounded group, it would be in the groups best interest to bring staff in from somewhere other than the vice-president or provost's office. 

The University functions as three parts of the same circle.  Without students, the faculty and staff wouldn't have a reason to be there.  Without faculty, the students wouldn't get the education they're here for.  Without staff, the faculty and students wouldn't get the environment required to facilitate the educational process.  Too often, decisions are made that benefit only the faculty and students.  I believe that a greater representation of staff would go a long way for including a voice for that often forgotten piece of the circle.  

Submitted by Will Martin (not verified) on

Oracle provides us with the infrastructure for the Integrated System, and requires us to use Java (another Oracle product) in order for the Integrated System to run. Java has known security problems for which the product is often patched, but the Oracle Application side of the company requires us to use older, unpatched versions of Java, known to have active exploits. This means that in the real world, malware exists that looks for these older versions of Java running on a PC or a Mac and attack the computer using Java as a vector. Well secured machines become vulnerable because of this old version of Java.

Every Mac or PC at UVa that runs the Integrated System is required to use an obsolete, insecure version of Java.

I suggest that Oracle's attitude toward security is obsolete. We should seek a replacement for it before we make headlines with a security episode for which we were vulnerable because of our investment in Oracle based software.

Such an episode could easily cost us more than we might save by streamlining processes here at UVa.

Submitted by Bill Pearson (not verified) on

I can't believe that UVa still prints and distributes phone books.  I can't believe they are used more than once a year, on average.

Submitted by Phone Facts (not verified) on

The distribution of phone books provides advertising revenue which helps pay for other telephone system costs which would otherwise be charged to departments. They are made of recycled paper, and most are recycled when they are no longer needed. They are distributed to departments according to that department's request. That being said, the quantity published goes down each year, and eventually it will die a natural death.


Submitted by Patty Clare (not verified) on

Would love to see operations at the hospital become more streamlined and user friendly.   Too many calls have to be made just to understand who supplies certain items or services much less actually receive them.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

This is a small thing, but over time it adds up to a significant amount. In our department, all 16 memebers of our team are actively encouraged to attend our national conference each year. Within our group of 16, there are 3 main teams of people who do the same thing. I think it would make much better sense to rotate attendance each year and have those who attend come back and report what they learned. Last year, the conference was in Seattle. Our supervisor almost treats it as a perk. Flying 11 people there and putting them up for days was not a good use of our resources. One staffer who went was leaving our department the next month!  Other people commented that we should sign up to attend just to get our tickets to the west coast paid for by the school and then vacation from there! As with any large conference, some of the topics were good, but many weren't worth the trip or the expense. It just isn't a good use of the school's money or time. Please consider coming out with a strong recommendation that people thing about conferences more strategically. These conferences are not "rewards"  or perks. Thank you.

Submitted by Jenny Terjesen (not verified) on

This board is a perfect example of internal social media sparking debate and providing a brainstorming function.  Applications like Yammer could also assist in making communication within and between UVA organizations much more efficient, engaging, as well as providing a valuable search tool.  How many times do we ask the same questions?  Wouldn't it be easier if we could do a keyword search for those answers?

In the health system, we also use many wet-signature based approval processes to complete onboarding of providers.  However, we have a very inefficient courier mail system.  That means tracking down those very busy chairs and department heads to sign a document.  We waste a lot of valuable time driving from here to there in the health system, figuring out parking, or arranging to meet with administrators in the backs of buildings in order to route a document.  Use of electronic signatures or approvals could eliminate this entirely. 

Submitted by year after year (not verified) on

UVA has been pushing more monies for recruitment, what about us: the staff.  We support all these new people coming on board.  Seems to me that the medical center- SOM-DOM and hospital are the only ones on grounds that offer staff raises based on proformance or additional duties.  I have been on this side for the last 2 years, it seems like evaluations are pointless.  everyone get a 3 no matter, just to get these completed- no thought or effort put into the process.   People retire, no new hire, just added duties to other people in the office increasing workloads. More monies saved to hire management at big bucks.

just waiting to see how much of an increase we are going to see for parking this year.... I carpool-was in cavpool way too much of a headache to deal with,  same attendent never looked for dashboard permit- dont have time to wait over at PT for a ticket to be resolved.

Health insurance we already know that next year we are going to see an increase.... 

GLAD TO HAVE A JOB....  even though we get hit everytime we turn around with something else.

Submitted by why (not verified) on

what is the comprehensive cost (materials, fees, venues, vendors, labor, personnel time away from official duties) to the university of the University of Virginia Community MLK Celebration - a month long series of events?

Submitted by Lois Fulks (not verified) on

Implement a dual program that trains both community and acute care nurse practitioners so that upon completion of the program, an NP could get a job either in the community setting or in the hospital setting.  This streamlines the academic program at UVA, makes for a more marketable NP, and better meets the needs of patients as a health-focused illness-prevention model in the community as well as hospitalist-focused care.

Submitted by JK (not verified) on

Would like to see an online support community for staff who work in finance, HR, purchasing, SIS, IT support, etc, with an active online searchable forum/bulletin board. I would love to be able to ask a question on a forum that would be answered by other end users in the field who may have already solved whatever problem I have encountered.  Forum could be broken into sub-forums for different systems, and must be searchable.

I find answers to many questions and solve problems in online forums. Best solutions and practices come from other users, and there is no online community of systems users at UVa.  There is a mailing list for LSPs (for example) and that is a helpful resource, but I think that a forum that can be searched and browsed for solutions is most useful.



Submitted by Equal Pay Please (not verified) on

Staff salaries are not fair. People who are hired recently get higher pay. Some University Staff get raises (undeserved) so they make almost as much as long time classified staff. It's not fair. We work hard and deserve raises too.

Submitted by NotsoSure (not verified) on

Sorry, but there are SO many long time staff who think they deserve a raise because they show up every day.  Long term staff are often the biggest obstacle to getting anything done. and no one has the courage to fire them. Of course this does not apply to many long term staff who are fantastic employees, but there are many many many state employees at UVA with a sense of entitlement and that resist any kind of change, innovation, or even just being required to DO THEIR JOB

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