Uni Melb admin: once improved, now being re-set

Management does not want many ways to do the same thing, but not necessarily just one

Back in 2013-14, the University of Melbourne community endured, sorry enjoyed, the Business Improvement Programme, which was supposed to decentralise services to reduce admin costs and improve admin support for students and staff. It was also intended to reduce the need for some hundreds of professional staff positions.

Times change and now there is the Pandemic Reset Programme, which is “examining the extent to which transactional and advisory services should continue to be delivered by individual divisions as opposed to via the shared functions.”

What re-centralising things? Heavens no, maybe, perhaps.

Provost Mark Considine and DVC R James McCluskey tell staff, “put simply, this means extending shared services so that we don’t have multiple ways of doing the same thing. However, this is not about moving to a centralised services model in which all services are necessarily standardised or homogenous.

“The model is being designed to take into consideration the differing needs of our academic and business divisions, and the process of developing an effective and lasting design of our professional shared services is being underpinned by a commitment to a high level of collaboration.”

The complex explanation must put the B in baroque.