What is Operational Excellence?

by margaret zhou
Operational Excellence
(OE) is a program designed to reduce the cost and size of on-campus
administrative operations/offices, with the proposed mission to “ensure that
the excellence of UC Berkeley’s administrative environment matches its research
and teaching, and to direct the maximum level of resources to our core mission
of teaching, research, and public service.” OE is lead by a steering committee
and is staffed by about 40 campus leaders and sponsors.


To save money in the
face of California’s $500 million cut to the budget of UC; UC Berkeley expects
to take 15% of the $500 million cut


The input of OE staff
lead to Chancellor Birgeneau’s hiring of Bain & Co., a business consulting
firm. The combined advising of Bain and OE has lead to decisions to cut
administrative staff positions and consolidate campus programs and departments,
to raise tuition by 8% in 2011-2012, and to increase the admission rate of
out-of-state students in order to cash in on non-resident fees. In addition,
the OE program is implementing strategies that have been developed over the
past several years to increase privately obtained income through investments
and donations, in order to decrease dependence on State funding.


Chancellor Birgeneau
estimates that OE efforts to date will reduce expenses on campus by $30 million
annually. He also estimates that, if all the strategies suggested by OE are
implemented, expenses will be reduced by $75 million annually.

UC Berkeley is paying
Bain & Co. $3 million.

280 positions have been
eliminated as of January. Of those, 150 employees were laid off. Only one
quarter of the eliminated positions were salaried at $100,000 or more.
Chancellor Birgeneau’s email on the 2011-2012 budget sent out on Feb. 1 spoke
warmly of his investment in faculty recruitment and retention, and mentioned
that 70 new staff positions are being recruited this year.

2011-2012 tuition will
go up by 8%

Non-resident admissions
increased by 30% last year as compared to the year before. This year, that rate
is expected to increase again.

$500,000 of the money raised from increased
tuition fees and increased non-resident admission will be allocated to add
about 30 foreign language courses and sections, as well as to accommodate about
500 more students.