Finance and Administration Restructured
The Finance and Administration division will be restructured effective July 1. Four positions will be eliminated, a few new or expanded jobs have been created and some responsibilities will shift to other employees.
The organizational chart will no longer include the following: associate vice president for business services and facilities; director of plant operations/facilities; facilities specialist/planner; and assistant director of employment in Human Resources.
“As some employees near retirement, we have an opportunity to review our operations for changes that would allow the division to adapt to the university’s evolving service demands and invest in the recently announced ‘Road Map to 2015’ initiatives,” said Gavin Leach (Finance and Administration, pictured). “We encourage other departments to do the same as they work toward their own Road Map goals and we would be willing to sit down and work with them. This reorganization will save more than $160,000 per year. Initially those funds will be used to cover needed equipment and supply purchases campuswide. As we move ahead with the co-generation plant and other projects, the savings will give us the flexibility to add relevant positions as needed."
Kathy Richards will take over a majority of the facilities duties currently performed by Carl Pace as she assumes the new and expanded role of associate vice president for engineering and planning/facilities. A new “project manager” position created to assist with construction and renovation projects will report to Richards and has not yet been filled. Russ Tripp will absorb some of Mike Hellman's responsibilities related to utilities. Jim Thams will oversee the grounds area and Esko Alasimi will handle the buildings area, both assuming some of Dennis Cieslinski's current duties. Bob Ryan will oversee the heating plant and the combined heat and power cogeneration project previously handled by Hellman. Tom Argetsinger will be the quality assurance project manager. Brandon Sager will lead facilities-related sustainability initiatives like the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED designation.
Art Gischia will become associate vice president for business and auxiliary services. His oversight will include the University Center, Bookstore, Dining Services and Purchasing. A search is in progress for a Dining Services director. Kaylie Anthos is being promoted to associate director of Purchasing, leaving her former buyer position vacant. Several positions that used to report directly to Leach will now report to Gischia.
In Human Resources, director Ann Sherman will assume the labor relations duties of Lynne Sundblad. Janet Koski will become the equal opportunity specialist May 5, reporting directly to Sherman instead of the Office of the General Counsel. A search is under way to fill a new Human Resources generalist position. Leach said the savings generated in Human Resources will support professional development and training for university employees, a priority identified in both the Road Map and in responses to an online customer satisfaction survey initiated by Human Resources.
Individuals occupying the eliminated positions will be eligible to leave Northern under the Reduction in Force (RIF) program. The severance program was implemented in the wake of 2003 university-wide budget reductions and has been applied periodically since then to departments that have strategically analyzed their staffing and come up with innovative ways to realize increased efficiency and significant cost savings.
“These structural changes give us some flexibility that will allow us to increase efficiency and adapt to changing demands,” Leach said.” We’ve also managed to retain talented staff and give highly qualified individuals who’ve already proven themselves a chance to exercise greater responsibility. I’m very confident moving forward with these changes in place. At the same time, I know the NMU community joins me in thanking the four staff members who will be leaving for their dedication and contributions to Northern over their several decades of combined service. They have been outstanding employees."