Update on Central Business Office (CBO) Pilot Program
When I arrived in April as UT Austin’s senior vice president and chief financial officer, I was asked by President Fenves to focus on ensuring that University resources effectively support our core missions of teaching and research. To accomplish this, I began an in-depth review of the University’s structures and administrative processes to determine whether we are meeting the demands of this dynamic campus as efficiently as possible.
This included a review of the Shared Services pilot program, which is intended to provide centralized support services to individual colleges, schools and units through the Academic Technology Support (ATS) and the Central Business Office (CBO) units. I have determined that the CBO pilot program has not produced the savings and efficiencies initially anticipated when it was launched in 2014.
For this reason, it is necessary to phase out the CBO in its current structure.
Moving forward, we will continue exploring new methods and programs that serve the CBO’s remaining clients across campus and assess whether that should be done through centralized business units or provided at the local level.
Beginning this month, my office will work with colleges, schools and units to define their needs and evaluate whether current CBO staff positions may be repurposed to serve these needs. We may phase out up to 30 positions and will work closely with those CBO employees to place them in other jobs on campus whenever possible. I met with this staff this morning. Employees who perform similar business roles within individual colleges, schools and units but are not part of the CBO will continue in their roles. ATS employees also will continue in their current roles.
Although there is no set timeline for this evaluation, I understand the concerns that such assessments bring and will provide regular updates to our staff members. The FAQs linked below will help provide answers to initial questions you may have. These are now posted on the current Transforming UT and CBO websites, where you will also find regular updates on this process.
Thank you for your support and patience as we remain focused on our core missions and work to ensure effective and efficient administrative services across the University.
Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer