Monday, January 29, 2018

Hard to walk in her shoes

University of California President Janet Napolitano is considering a potentially sweeping overhaul of her office in the wake of sharp political criticism over its size, cost and budget practices. An extensive outside review of the office provided to The Times found relatively little fat in its oversight of the most complex university system in the nation — a $33-billion operation of 10 campuses, five medical centers, three national laboratories and global research.

But the review suggested streamlining the office in what could amount to a 50% budget reduction. Suggestions for those potential savings include spinning off the UC medical and health system to a new statewide network, moving some programs to campuses and eliminating others, such as the UC-Mexico Initiative. The proposals by Huron Consulting Group Inc. mark the latest of more than 10 reviews of the Office of the President in the last decade, including one last year by the state auditor. Another outside assessment is set for completion this spring.

"Part of that is the continual search for the Holy Grail, which is to run the best OP office one can imagine — the most efficient, the most streamlined, the most effective that contributes the most value to the university," said Napolitano, explaining the serial reviews...

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