Stewardship as our Guidepost and Simplification as a Value
In the 2013-14 academic year, the Business and Administrative Services (BAS) division implemented a new framework by which to guide operations. Three values underlie this effort.
- Stewardship - We must be good stewards of the resources entrusted to us by our students, tax-payers, and donors. This includes being stewards of our time, which in and of itself has a cost. We need to ensure team members are able to focus their time on supporting the core mission of our campus, as opposed to spending time processing forms or seeking approvals that are repetitive and not value-added.
- Empowerment and accountability - We must create a culture of empowerment within BAS to ensure our team members feel engaged and valued. At the same time, we need to ensure accountability mechanisms exist so that we are operating in accordance with UC policy and operating with the highest of ethical standards.
- Risk - When our division has differing policies or additional requirements beyond UC policy, it actually adds risk as opposed to minimizing risk. This is due to the fact that differing or additional policies that are BAS-specific add confusion for our service units and create unnecessary delays.
Over the course of the year, the framework became known as “Stewardship as our Guidepost and Simplification as a Value”. Simplification is a value that can sometimes seem elusive in our field. Our work requires us to abide by and operate within a multitude of policies, laws, and regulations. These are value-added and serve a critical role in protecting our university, our campus community and our resources. We must ensure we adhere to them and our campus remains in compliance. It is incumbent upon us to ensure we have mechanisms to support accountability and that we operate with the highest of ethical standards. However, it is critical to look beyond these value-added policies and requirements to identify other areas where we add steps in our processes that are not value-added, do not reduce risk, are cumbersome, and add confusion and error. Our students sacrifice so very much to be here. Our time is not without cost to them, and we must ensure our team members are able to focus their time on serving our core mission. Stewardship of the resources entrusted to us must be our guidepost and simplification is one of the many values that helps advance stewardship. The ideas needed to maximize stewardship and serve the mission of the campus will come from all levels of the organization. We must ensure that team members within BAS feel empowered and that avenues exist to hear, consider and implement their ideas. We also must ensure we have mechanisms to engage our clients and apply their feedback into our work.