CAR Report & Conclusions

Dear Staff and Faculty:

As you know, the USG launched a major initiative two years ago to enhance Administrative efficiency and effectiveness across all USG colleges and universities, known as the Comprehensive Administrative Review (CAR), and aided by the external Huron group as consultants and report writers. During the summer of 2018, a large number of MGA employees (especially administrative) and students launched our participation in the CAR review process. In fact, 346 employees participated in an Activity Assessment (designed to identify the primary activities undertaken within a particular job position), 90 employees participated in the Opportunity Identification Survey (designed to elicit employee feedback on opportunities for enhancing administrative efficiency and effectiveness), and a further 46 employees and students participated in focus groups and interviews about our CAR opportunities at MGA. I thank every one of these individuals for their role and participation which has directly impacted our CAR program at MGA.

Our MGA program, designed to identify areas where we could improve operational efficiency within administrative areas, has reached its conclusion after nearly one year of investigation and study, and our analysis of the MGA report produced by Huron.  The on-campus CAR Working Group, along with the University Cabinet and other members of the campus community, have begun moving forward with a number of changes that will not only improve our efficiency and make us better stewards of the limited resources we have at our disposal, but also improve our effectiveness, and leave us better able to fulfill our mission of educating the people of Middle Georgia.

From the beginning the project, guidance from the University System was clear – money saved was to be redirected to core mission activities.  The total re-direction resources for FY19 and FY20 for MGA is estimated to be at a total of $722,000, with nearly $475,000 of that figure being redirected already in FY19.  Additionally, and as significantly, we have been able to make changes to our organizational structure and our operating procedures.  I am pleased to announce that while we have been able to realize significant budgetary savings through this process, we have been able to do so without requiring a single layoff.  I am also pleased to announce that we have in all cases been able to redirect to our core mission the savings that we have realized.

Among the CAR committee’s final recommendations were the following items:

·         Elimination of seven positions at MGA.  Employees in these positions were eligible for reassignment to other roles at the University or these were budgeted position that were not currently occupied.

·         The Center for Excellence in Teaching has been restructured to better serve students as well as faculty.

·         The Enrollment Support Team (Call Center) has been realigned with the Office of Financial Aid, to better support the area where most student questions originate.  Two positions from this unit will realign to the Admissions Office and to the Office of the Registrar.

·         The responsibilities of academic administrative leadership are being reviewed with an eye to improving efficiency within Academic Affairs.

·         The Payroll department has been realigned with the Office of Human Resources to reduce duplication of effort between those units.

·         All Vice Presidents have been tasked with succession planning in FY20 to ensure that departures and changes at the VP level have more limited impact on operational effectiveness.

·         Continuing Education will be offering leadership classes for MGA employees to help improve leadership effectiveness across the University.

·         A framework and unit will be established to improve coordination between campuses, reducing unnecessary overlap in operations, including assigned senior staff to oversee coordination.

·         Automic software will be implemented in the offices of the Bursar and Financial Aid, to improve efficiency in these student-oriented areas.

·         The work-order system will be standardized across all MGA campuses.

·         Marketing of the Hatcher Conference Center will be enhanced, increasing community usage of this valuable space on the Macon campus.

·         Software to manage facility reservation will be purchased and implemented, increasing the efficiency of the use of space across all campuses.

  •  MGA will begin transitioning in FY20 of campus telephones from a PBX- to a VOIP-based solution to allow for more efficient operation.

The CAR report has been a useful planning tool, and it will become a regular, well-used tool in our budgeting process moving forward.  It is important that we internalize and institutionalize the lessons gleaned from the CAR initiative.  In all things we do, we must evaluate and assess – both on the basis of effectiveness and on the basis of efficiency.  As population shifts occur in Georgia and in the nation, we will continue to face new challenges, and only by remaining watchful of our processes and policies can we ensure that our students are still receiving the high quality of education that they have come to expect from Middle Georgia State.

It’s also important that we remember that efficiency is not simply a question of dollars and cents, but also one of time.  The old adage, “Work smarter, not harder,” is a convenient shorthand for remembering that we should be constantly reviewing how we do our work, and remain open to new ways of working.

Finally, I would like to thank all who participated in the CAR initiative, from completing the review surveys to serving on panels, for your time and dedication to this effort.  I would also like to thank all of MGA’s employees for your commitment to our institution and to our goal of educating tomorrow’s leaders.  And lastly, I would like to highlight the CAR Working Group for its diligence and commitment over the past year.  The members of the CAR Working Group, to whom we owe a collective respect and gratitude, were:

  • Dr. Kevin Cantwell – Associate Provost
  • Ms. Julie Davis – Executive Director of Development
  • Ms. Amanda Funches – Executive Director of Budgets & Auxiliary Services
  • Ms. Laura Gay – Director of Facilities Administration
  • Mr. Martin Keyhayes – Chair of the Department of Aviation Maintenance & Structural Technology
  • Ms. Lee Ann Kirkland – Director of Financial Aid
  • Mr. Jeff Marshall – Director of I.T. Services
  • Dr. Debra Mathews – Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies
  • Dr. Michael Stewart – Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs
  • Ms. Vicky Smith – Executive Director for Human Resources (Chair of the CAR Working Group)

I look forward to us using our CAR report and conclusions as we build our work increasingly with principles of efficiency and effectiveness.

Thank you.

President Blake