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June 29 2012 – Consolidation and Realignment of Business Services

To NC State Faculty, Staff and Students,

The Recommendations for Strategic Realignment to Increase Organizational Efficiency, which I accepted on March 11, 2011, included the consolidation and realignment of the university’s business services. The specific recommendation was to create consolidated Business Operations Centers (BOCs) on the campus to improve institutional effectiveness and strengthen NC State’s culture of service by ensuring that support activities and business processes are of the highest quality and lowest cost.  A Steering Team comprising academic and administrative leaders from a cross-section of colleges, departments, divisions and units was charged with developing a framework for establishing these BOCs.  The Steering Team’s final report was submitted to Vice Chancellor Charles Leffler on April 12, 2012 and then distributed for campus-wide input.

Following a review of the report and additional input received from the campus, Vice Chancellor Leffler provided his recommendations to me, and I have accepted them.  The recommendations are broad, pertaining to the organizational structure, staffing process, service delivery and implementation of BOCs. An Implementation Team will be charged with overseeing the transition and the overall planning, design and implementation of BOCs. The primary recommendations follow; however, I encourage you to read the Vice Chancellor’s recommendations as well as the Business Operations Realignment Steering Team report for additional background information. Complete information on the realignment of business services, including these two documents, can be found on the new University Business Operations website at boc.ncsu.edu.

  1. No more than seven regionally distributed all-in-one BOCs will be created to support finance and human resources transactions, with customer service tailored to the unique needs of each college, division, and department being served. To the extent possible, multiple approval steps will be eliminated and BOCs will have significant approval authority for transactional activities.  Preliminary BOC groupings have been suggested and will be used as a starting point for implementation discussions; however, as strategic realignment continues to reshape the institution, those changes will be reflected in how units are grouped in the BOCs. Some select services may be better provided by Specialty Service Centers that serve the entire campus with enhanced services in specialized functions.
  2. BOCs will be staffed using a combination of an internal competitive search process for management positions and a “match and shift” strategy for staff positions. Positions and people will be realigned into BOCs as determined by a college/division transition team and University Business Operations. Any vacancies not filled by current NC State staff will be openly advertised. University Business Operations will provide clear pathways for staff to progress professionally within the organization.
  3. Although quality service and customer satisfaction are the highest priorities, administrative cost reductions are an important goal of the business operations realignment effort. To the extent possible, efficiency measures and normal attrition will reduce costs over the initial years of operation.

I have asked University Business Operations to develop Service Level Expectations that will describe the specific services to be provided and the manner of delivery. Service Level Expectations will establish a mutual understanding and will include the roles and responsibilities of the BOCs, the units and the central offices. Regular updates on the BOC implementation will be provided for various standing organizations, and the implementation effort will have a dedicated web presence with frequent updates.

Initially, some Business Operations staff may continue to carry out their duties in the customer units they are now serving.  After the college/division’s internal transition phase is completed, and as space is made available on campus, each BOC will be consolidated into a single location that will facilitate service.  The Implementation Team will develop and manage a phased implementation schedule that is as aggressive as possible, with the first two BOCs targeted for full implementation in 2013.

The implementation of shared services here at NC State affords the campus a significant opportunity to design an organization that will be able to provide high-quality business support well into the future.  At a time when many public and private organizations are reacting to shifting external pressures, BOCs will provide an opportunity to avoid the continued erosion of administrative and business staff and capacity at the college/division level, and will proactively support the mission of the campus.

I would like to commend the exemplary work of Vice Chancellor Charles Leffler, Scott Inkley and members of the Steering Team.  These individuals contributed a great deal of time and talent in determining the best courses of action.  I appreciate their thorough work and commitment to efficient business practices at NC State.

For more details, I encourage you to read Vice Chancellor Leffler’s recommendation.

Thank you for your support of this transition.

Randy Woodson
Chancellor
NC State University