Chancellor Announces Planned Elimination of Roughly 200 Jobs

Initiative a Component of Operational Excellence Effort to Save $20 Million Yearly

Read Chancellor Robert Birgeneau's Letter »

Chancellor Robert Birgeneau's Update on Operational Excellence

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Correction Appended

In a letter sent to faculty and staff Tuesday, Chancellor Robert Birgeneau announced that some 200 positions will be eliminated beginning in January 2011 in order to save $20 million annually as part of the UC Berkeley's Operational Excellence campaign aimed at saving a total of at least $75 million.

Birgeneau said in the letter that the positions would be eliminated through attrition, retirements, voluntary separations or layoffs. This reshaping of the campus structure - as part of the organizational simplification component of Operational Excellence - will "significantly flatten our organization and eliminate layers of administration" to attempt to achieve the millions of dollars in savings, he said in the letter.

"We cannot continue with our current administrative structures and operations and be the best run public university in the country," the letter reads. "In addition to crafting a somewhat smaller workforce, our goal is to rationalize policies and procedures such that staff jobs become more interesting and less frustrating."

Birgeneau acknowledged that while the transitions would be "difficult," one of the ultimate goals of Operational Excellence is to have a new organizational structure that would allow the campus to have a more sustainable position as it copes with the ongoing budget challenges. Staff may have different jobs or different supervisors or may become "individual contributors."

The diagnostic phase of Operational Excellence identified seven initiatives for optimum operational performance on campus: procurement, organizational simplification, information technology, energy management, student services, an improved financial model for campus and a high-performance culture. Currently, all seven initiatives have begun the design stage of the program.

Correction: Wednesday, September 22, 2010
A previous version of this article stated that all seven initiatives have begun the implementation stage. In fact, they have begun the design stage.

The Daily Californian regrets the error.

Katie Nelson is the lead academics and administration reporter. Contact her at [email protected]

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