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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Will there be layoffs?

No. In fact, one of the goals of this initiative is to protect existing jobs and position Franklin College for long-term financial stability, in addition to creating new opportunities for advancement for existing staff. Salary increases are limited during this process; however, Franklin College is committed to no negative salary impacts.

How will this benefit faculty and staff?

Faculty and staff in departments will benefit from access to a team of business experts cross-trained on core processes as well as individuals with specialized knowledge. For example, researchers will have a dedicated point of contact who specializes in research administration. Plus, if a staff member is away for vacation, illness, or moves to another position, other team members will be able to step in to keep things going. If you are a business services team member, you will have enhanced professional development opportunities and expanded paths for career advancement. Further, you will have the opportunity to work with a team of peers sharing common interests, expertise, and goals. This model facilitates sharing of best practices between business services staff, which improves support for departments.

Will I still have a dedicated contact who understands my unique needs?

Yes, each department will have dedicated contacts who assist with your research, financial, personnel and payroll, and transaction processing needs. Further, the entire business team will serve as backups to support team absences, turnover, etc.

What are the project priorities?

The Phase I: Business Services Model will have three concurrent priorities:

  • Establish a business services leadership team
  • Evaluate staff positions, focusing on business services duties
  • Develop a framework for business services

Establish a business services leadership team:

The first priority in transitioning to a business services model is to hire and establish a new leadership team, who will gain first-hand experience in their new roles by cross-training with existing college-level colleagues and addressing needs in departments with business staff position vacancies. The college has submitted critical hire requests to post five new positions that will be a part of the new business support structure. These new positions will be critical in shaping the standards and practices for each functional area and providing leadership and guidance to future team members.

All positions will be posted on UGAJobs. Please visit the Org Chart to see how each position is situated and to read a description of each functional area within the Franklin Business Services Office.

Evaluate staff positions, focusing on business services duties:

The Franklin College has teamed up with in-house experts in organizational effectiveness to conduct an independent review and evaluation of all staff positions. The initial review will focus on positions with business services duties affected during Phase I. The evaluation will seek position title and description alignment opportunities and identify potential service and support gaps caused by staffing changes. The outcomes of this review will assist the project team and advisory committee in prioritizing future project phases.

Develop a framework for business services:

The project team will work collaboratively with members of the advisory committee, implementation team, and the business services leadership team to develop and implement service delivery approaches that are customer-centered and elicit best practices departments have come to expect.

When will changes occur?

Phase I, focusing on the business services model, is active now. We anticipate the implementation will begin in late Spring 2021 with the full transition expected to be completed by December 2021.

Will current Franklin College business staff be eligible to apply for leadership positions?

Yes, Franklin College business staff are encouraged to review and apply for leadership positions. All new positions will be posted on UGAJobs as they become available.

Will faculty and staff have an opportunity to provide input?

Yes, there are multiple opportunities for engagement. The project team has a Share Feedback button, which links to a Qualtrics form where you can provide direct and anonymous feedback to the project team and advisory committee. Additionally, the advisory committee is made up of faculty and staff representatives from each of the five academic divisions in the Franklin College.

For Phase 1, we are inviting all employees who are in Administrative and Business Staff BCATs to participate in small focus groups to share their work responsibilities and account for unique department needs. This will ensure we hear from everyone and account for all of the work performed across departments as part of the position evaluation process.

What are the objectives of the Position Evaluation Process?
The focus of the position evaluation will be to identify the following:

  1. Common tasks across departments
  2. Tasks missing from existing job descriptions or tasks that need to be revised to more accurately reflect the actual work
  3. Unique work needs within each department (what work responsibilities does Franklin need to keep local)
  4. Technical/functional skills needed to perform critical technical tasks

Am I being evaluated as part of the Position Evaluation Process?
No. We are documenting the work performed in our departments to identify common tasks and account for unique needs within departments. This is focused on entirely on what work is performed and what technical skills are needed to perform that work. We have no interest in this process in how skilled people are in performing their work or how well they are performing their work.

What are some questions I will be asked in the questionnaire and/or focus group?
Most of the focus group will be spent reflecting on and documenting your work tasks. We will achieve this by facilitating the completion of the online questionnaire during the focus group. These are the main questions:

  • What tasks do you perform in your job on a daily, weekly, monthly, or annual basis?
  • How often do you perform each task, relative to your other responsibilities?
  • What software or systems do you use to perform each task?
  • Which tasks do you feel require the most understanding of the unique needs within your department?
  • What tasks do you typically support across your department?

How much time should I expect to dedicate to this PEP process?
No more than two to three hours total. This consists of up to one hour in the focus group and time completing the online questionnaire prior to and after (if needed) the focus group.

When will the focus groups be conducted and how many people will be in each?
The focus groups are scheduled to take place between April 7th and April 30th. We are conducting 19 focus groups during this time. Most groups will have 6 to 8 participants.

When should I expect to receive the online questionnaire?
You will receive a link to the questionnaire and instructions 5 to 7 days prior to your focus group. We ask that you begin completing the questionnaire prior to your focus group. Reflection on the content in the questionnaire will prepare you for the focus group where we will cover the same content but in more detail.

What is the role of the advisory committee?

The advisory committee is made up of faculty and staff representatives from the five academic divisions in the Franklin College. Members of the advisory committee will supplement the project team's skills and abilities to help guide and organize the initiative. Specifically, the committee will:

  • Serve as an advocate for the initiative
  • Review information presented by the project partners
  • Provide feedback and recommendations for consideration at key decision points
  • Assist with project review and assessment following implementation
What is the difference between Phase I and Cohort 1?

The first phase, or "Phase I," of the Franklin Works initiative is a project focused on transitioning to a college-level business services model and central office. You'll see "Phase I" and "Phase I: Business Services" used interchangeably, but it is very different from Cohort 1.

"Cohort 1" describes the group of departments whose business staff will transition into the Franklin Business Services Office first according to the timeline. More information about cohorts is listed in the next FAQ.

In which cohort is my department assigned?

In response to unit feedback and in alignment with recommendations from the advisory committee, Cohort assignments were updated to adopt a step-wise approach, onboarding units with vacancies and early adopters first in order to begin developing workflows before taking on more complex units. Additionally, these adjustments provided the college and units more time to work together to address unit-specific administrative needs where local support challenges exist.

Cohort 1 reflects this change, onboarding departments with vacancies that needed immediate support along with units that volunteered to be early adopters of the Franklin Business Services Office (FBSO) support. Cohort 2 includes units that volunteered to transition into the FBSO, units whose business operations are less complex, and units that did not have added have local support challenges for administrative needs. Cohort 3 includes units with complex business operations and those who needed more time to work with the college to address unit-specific administrative needs.

Start dates for each Cohort are listed below; however, the implementation timeline is a department-specific discussion based on Cohort assignment, department needs, and college needs.

Cohort 1 - beginning August 1:

  • Fine Arts
    • Art
  • Humanities
    • Comparative Literature
    • Latin American and Caribbean Studies Institute (LACSI)
    • Linguistics
  • Life Sciences
    • Biochemistry
    • Genetics
  • Physical and Mathematical Sciences
    • Chemistry
    • CCQC
    • Computer Science
    • Mathematics
    • Statistics
  • Social Sciences
    • Communication Studies
    • Criminal Justice 
    • Geography

Cohort 2 - beginning September 1:

  • Fine Arts
    • Dance
    • Theatre and Film Studies
  • Humanities
    • Institute for African American Studies
    • English
    • History
    • Romance Languages
    • Institute for Women's Studies
  • Life Sciences
    • Cellular Biology
    • Marine Sciences
    • Microbiology
    • Plant Biology
  • Physical and Mathematical Sciences
    • Institute for Artificial Intelligence
    • Physics and Astronomy
  • Social Sciences
    • Anthropology
    • Psychology
    • Regents Center for Learning Disorders (RCLD)
    • Sociology

Cohort 3 - beginning November 1:

  • Fine Arts
    • Hugh Hodgson School of Music
  • Humanities
    • Institute for African Studies
    • Classics
    • Germanic and Slavic Studies
    • Philosophy
    • Religion
  • Life Sciences
    • Biological Sciences
  • Physical and Mathematical Sciences
    • Geology

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