Our last two KH Know-How newsletters addressed two controversial topics: increasing student fees and increasing faculty load. Similarly, colleges and universities find changing management and classified staffing configurations and workload hard to do. But austere times require new ways of working – and some of these staffing changes organizations should do because they are good business practices.
Broaden supervisory and management spans of control to at least 8 to 12 incumbents
Review secretarial workload in light of new technology and adjust staffing accordingly
Establish clerical pools to equalize workloads and provide better service
Replace some clerical positions with students on work-study
Establish tutorial volunteer programs to replace paid employees wherever feasible
Allow departments to share support staff
Have paid student workers perform custodial tasks at college
Promote better cross-use of personnel
Increase or decrease work week of classified staff and adjust pay accordingly
Investigate abuse of lunch or rest breaks
Establish stronger supervisory controls over classified staff and clarify reporting relationships
Reduce number of classified supervisory positions
Limit new or temporary classified employees assigned to instruction and hire (rehire) based on need for college semesters or terms
Restructure classified positions to better balance workloads and reduce overlaps
Yellow cat, black cat, as long as it catches mice, it is a good cat.
- Deng Xiaoping
KH Consulting Group (KH) started this Know-How site in 2009 to create a forum for sharing ideas on effectively enhancing revenues and containing costs in higher education in the near and longer term.
KH has posted more than 500 ideas. You can join the forum at:
Note: The ideas shared are not prescriptive and will not work in all situations or at all institutions. Some of the ideas are tactical – quick victories to save money in easy ways. Others are strategic, requiring careful analysis before implementing.