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SMART Questions and Answers

What is the SMART Initiative?

SMART stands for Strategic Management and Administrative Resource Transition. This initiative is a proactive response to the effort that the Berkeley campus is undertaking to increase efficiencies and effectiveness across the entire campus. 

This work provides Student Affairs with a unique opportunity to be proactive while developing and re-deploying our services with the best alignment to meet the needs of the Student Affairs and University communities.

The process will focus on how best to support the staff of Student Affairs to sustain excellent service and operations.

What is the focus of this initiative?
The primary focal areas are Human Resources, Budget and Finance, and General Administration.

What are the goals of this initiative?
Vice Chancellor Harry Le Grande has asked a team of Student Affairs managers to look at how we can best cluster the Human Resources, Budget and Finance, and General Administration. He has charged the team with:

  • Creating an integrated Student Affairs that improves how we work and the services we provide
  • Balancing resource allocation to under-served mission-critical program
  • Reducing service duplication and increasing service levels
  • Organizing and streamlining administrative functions to create efficiencies and savings

Who are a part of the implementation teams?

There are seven committees working to implement the SMART strategy.

SMART Steering Committee- Jodie Rouse, Susan Roach and Lance Page

SMART Directors- Jodie Rouse, Steve McCabe, Eddie Bankston, Joan Shao, Flori Ramos and Susan Roach

Metrics- Jodie Rouse, Shannon Lee and Tom Devlin

Space Planning- Bruce Miller, Jennifer Beston, Millie Calingo and Mimi Chin

Human Resources- Javier Gonzalez, Gary Lee, Shannon Lee, Susan Roach, and Cindy Yoshimira

Communications- Monica Hastings Smith, Bob Patterson, Sam Gordon, Lance Page, and Anne De Luca

Process Mapping- Lance Page and Susan Roach

For general questions about the initiative, please contact Jodie Rouse.

What are the Four Clusters?

The A&E Cluster

  • Undergraduate Admissions
  • Office of the Registrar
  • Financial Aid and Scholarships Office
  • A&E Immediate Office

The LHS Cluster

  • Curriculum Development & Implementation
  • Leadership in Science & Teaching
  • Mathematics Excellence and Equity
  • Research, Evaluation & Assessment 
  • Resource Management
  • Technology Innovation
  • Director's Office
  • Public Science Center
  • Resource Development Center 

The RSSP Cluster

  • Cal Dining
  • Cal Housing
  • Office of Student Development
  • Conference Services 
  • Early Childhood Education Program

The Student Life Cluster

  • Campus Life and Leadership
  • Career Center
  • Development Office-SA
  • Ombudsperson for Students
  • VC's Immediate Office
  • Systems 2012

Is this a budget reduction strategy?
No, although some budget reductions may result.

Our long-term strategy is to maximize resources, increase efficiencies, and enhance the knowledge base of those involved in these activities. There are no short term plans to reduce administrative staffing. The Vice Chancellor will be providing the staff with periodic updates on this project as well as seeking your input into this process.


Is Student Affairs the only division doing this?

The Campus is looking for efficiencies in all departments and in the Campus-wide functions.

This review is consistent with measures being taken by the Office of the President and responds to President Yudof’s request that all campuses increase efficiency and reduce serve duplication.

What do we mean by efficiency?
Efficiency means getting more done for a given amount of labor. “Efficiency” is often used to mean doing things well. And doing things well is related to efficiency.

But the real meaning of efficiency is how much labor it takes to get a certain amount of work done. For example, suppose a person working manually can process five documents per day. If a new software tool enables them to process 10 documents per day, the person is now working more efficiently, twice as efficiently in this example.

This does not mean the person is working twice as hard. Or that their work ethic is now twice as good. Or even that the process is cheaper: the software might be expensive, or it might be complicated enough that a higher-paid employee would be required to do the task.

But it does mean that if the workload doubled at the same time the software was installed that the doubled workload could be handled without adding new labor costs.

We had division reductions in staff and services at the first of the year and a second round in January, both for the current fiscal year. Did the administrative clustering initiative have any part in those reductions?
Only to the extent that all administrative vacancies are being carefully reviewed in light of the fact that the clustering initiative is in progress.

How is this expected to help with the 2010-11 budget?
The Student Affairs division has not been mandated by the Campus to reduce administrative expenses by any given percentage or dollar amount. Nor have we volunteered such a reduction. It is always possible that some administrative positions will be reduced for the 2010-11 budget. And this process may identify such possible reductions.

Will these changes mean layoffs?
There is no way to tell until recommendations are finalized.

But the primary goal of this effort is to establish ways to provide more efficient and responsive administrative services, not to reduce FTE.