College of Arts and Sciences to revamp staff

By Melody Bailiff

The College of Arts and Sciences, the largest college on campus, is about to undergo a major reorganization that will cut eight positions and require current staff members to reapply for new jobs.

The reorganization efforts, which began last May, focus on the administrative services in the college’s departments.

The college, which currently has a budgeting officer for each of its 20 departments, is making a move to have only four budgeting officers.

The goal is to have more specific positions opposed to having staff required to be a jack-of-all-trades.

“This is a really big change and we are trying to go about this cautiously,” said Mark Kornbluh, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “The plan goes into effect after the semester and we know we will make adjustments over time. We do not expect perfection the first time around and we are asking staff and faculty for feedback.”

Kornbluh also said they have looked at other universities that have undergone reorganization, such as the University of Washington.

Kristen Turner, assistant dean of Arts and Sciences, said they do not foresee massive layoffs and the purpose is to change structure; not staff.

In the current cycle of reorganization, 110 will be affected and there will be 102 new jobs that staff will apply for, according to Sheila Brothers, UK Staff Senate trustee.

The College of Arts and Sciences is doing their very best to make this as fair and as painless as possible, Brothers said.

The discussion of reorganization began in an effort to find ways to provide better service in an increasingly difficult environment for staff and to provide more depth than breadth in the college.

Kornbluh and Turner said this is a matter of creating a different culture amongst staff and they hope to provide a richer support for students when they come into the office.

The reorganization also hopes to provide more opportunities for students to work.

We have worked closely with HR and the provost to get information on how to go about reorganization in the best way for the staff, Turner said.

According to Turner, a move to a new budgeting system requires departments to talk to each other in new ways and to look at the college holistically. This will bring about a need to have more specific positions to understand data analysis.

This reorganization may help retain students and improve graduation rates, Brothers said.

“All the people in the college affect students,” Brothers said. “Even though these jobs may not be actively touching students, they are part of this university and their work affects the education of students.”