12/2/13: Emerging Themes

Through focus group conversations and on-line suggestions, some important themes are emerging. 

Belief that we value compliance more than innovation

There is a sense among some that getting an A+ in compliance is our top priority


A perception that we are willing to spend ten dollars to save a dime

Related to the broader theme of compliance, some members of our community question the resources we expend to ensure that every penny is accounted for. One person asked, could we use a metaphorical penny jar when accounts are off by a few cents or maybe just a few dollars?  


Policies and structures that assume we are untrustworthy

Everyone seems to appreciate the need to use resources wisely, but some have questioned the degree to which we must prove that we are doing so. For example, asking for a MapQuest printout to document mileage to several sites for a daytrip strikes some focus group participants as excessive.  


Worries that RCM2 will inhibit interdisciplinarity

The UA is known for collaborative teaching and research, and concerns have been expressed that our move to responsibility centered management might discourage collaborations across departments or colleges.


Confusing organizational structures

Organizational structures tend to evolve over time and some of ours might be due for a review.  In some cases, it’s not clear which department does what. As an example, one focus group participant noted that if she drops a bottle of chloroform in a classroom, she is supposed to call one department. If she drops a bottle of chloroform in her lab, she is supposed to call a different department. Is that true? We’ll need to investigate.  


Undocumented rules and protocols

Sometimes the procedures listed on websites are no longer in force and in other cases, we rely on institutional knowledge rather than good documentation.


A failure to invest in institutional solutions that result in costly and uncoordinated unit-level approaches

Examples include individual, rather than institutional, purchases of Sharepoint and bulk email systems.


A habit of not reviewing ideas and interfaces with end users

There is a general sense that people who design systems see the world differently than the people who use them.