March 23, 2012
Since my return to the University, I have spent a lot of time thinking about what the Division of Finance and Administration (DFA) must do to support the strategic goals of the institution. DFA leadership needs to be strategic in our thinking, responsive to the campus community, and capable of delivering workable solutions.
I believe 2012 will provide us with the opportunity to meet these challenges and to forge a new strategic direction for the DFA. It is my intent to lead my organization in the direction of process improvement, with a strong emphasis on customer service and collaboration. To this end, I have challenged my direct reports and business unit leaders within the DFA to focus on six strategic areas over the next three years which I believe will position us for the challenge.
Six Areas of Strategic Focus
- Create a Strategic Learning Organization in which the system develops mechanisms to learn from itself and discover cutting edge competitive practices.
- Develop Strategic Thinking and Performance Driven Leaders capable of designing both individual and business unit goals that can be measured and will support the overall University goals.
- Establish and Embed a Continuous Quality Improvement Methodology into The University of Idaho culture where members at all levels of the institution can design, change, and measure quality improvements.
- Facilitate Strategic Planning in all Strategic Business Units within the DFA and train each unit on how to self-sustain the Strategic Planning process.
- Design DFA Strategic Direction which establishes the vision and mission for all Business Units inside the DFA to follow.
- Converge all prior efforts into the Design of the Balanced Scorecard structure to allow for a standard way of setting and measuring our efforts.
These steps will also allow every staff member the opportunity to actively participate and contribute to achieving them; it will take all of us working together in order to be successful.
Since the start of the New Year, we have been actively working towards our initiatives. We have launched a process improvement program to train team leaders on continuous improvement. We have started our leadership training that will eventually drive how we recruit, train, and reward staff. In the upcoming weeks, each business unit will conduct strategic planning events designed to build collaboration and drive innovation, customer service, and continuous improvement. In May, we will begin hosting university-wide best practice forums where new ideas are shared with all of campus.
I have already begun meeting with each business unit to discuss our new direction in detail and to answer any questions regarding our vision. This is an exciting time for the DFA and I look forward to the challenges ahead.
Vice President for Finance and Administration