Senate of the Urbana-Champaign Campus

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February 15, 1999


General University Policy
Senate Council; Budget; Campus Operations


GP.99.04 Senate Resolution on "Support Services Strategy" (S3) Report

Whereas: The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Senate has inherent interests and rights in academic policy and governance on this campus, which include monitoring, reviewing, and approving all modifications in the University's policies and procedures that affect academic policy and governance, and

Whereas: The implementation of academic policy is to a considerable degree dependent on the manner in which the University is administered, and on the nature and quality with which the various administrative arms of the University provide services to the core functions of the University, and

Whereas: The University administration has launched a project known as the "Support Services Strategy" (S3), which culminates in a report outlining a series of actions whose implementation will lead to a centralization of the organization of the support services, and

Whereas: The project has been developed without the participation of the academic community, with virtually no faculty and absolutely no student participation in the teams that developed the report, and

Whereas: The report's recommendations have been severely criticized by the Campus Advisory Teams representing each of the three campuses of the University of Illinois, and

Whereas: It is clear that there is at present no support in the academic community on the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus for the recommendations and approach of the S3 team,

Therefore Be It Resolved:

  1. That the Urbana-Champaign Senate strongly concurs with the campus critique of the S3 report as set forth in the letter from Chancellor Aiken to President Stukel dated January 12 1999;

  2. That the Urbana-Champaign Senate calls for further campus-level review, with appropriate faculty and student participation, of the details of the "strategies" set forth in the report and the "priorities" discussed in the response;

  3. That the Urbana-Champaign Senate deems unacceptable the imposition of any of the recommendations of the S3 report with which the campuses of the University of Illinois do not concur, and deems imperative their consultation, involvement and concurrence in the adoption, elaboration and implementation of any of the elements of the "strategies" recommended in that report;

  4. That the evaluation of support services and the development and implementation of a support services strategy be carried out with due sensitivity to the nature and diversity of scholarship and instruction in our diverse academic communities, and to the importance and relevance of shared governance, unit autonomy and decentralization as key elements of the attained quality of our three campuses. The Senate views with concern the attacks on these values that are explicit and implicit in the S3 project;

  5. That the teams charged with evaluating support services and developing and implementing a support services strategy (including the further review, assessment and determination of "priorities") be restructured to include a substantial number of faculty; and that such representation be determined with the advice and consent of the three Senates; and

  6. That this resolution and its explanatory documents be communicated to the other two campus Senates, to the University Senates Conference, and to President Stukel.


In December of 1997 the following message was sent by Vice President Craig Bazzani:

To: Faculty and Staff of the University of Illinois
From: Craig Bazzani, Vice President for Business and Finance
Subject: Strategic Planning Project

Let me tell you about a major new initiative just under way: a University-wide strategic plan for administration. We call the project S3: Support Services Strategy ("s-cubed"), emphasizing three campuses and three functional areas in administration, namely, human resources, business and finance and information technology. S3's purpose is to establish directions and approaches to best manage processes, systems and organizational relationships for administrative services. With everyone's help--and good-will--we expect to develop a strategic plan and a set of recommended actions to make the plan work.

S3 fits into President Jim Stukel's vision for the University. One goal within that vision is to make the University of Illinois more efficient in its business and management practices, with savings reinvested into the core academic areas. The vision relies on strategic thinking and team management--and so does S3. The other recent changes to some of our business and personnel practices--the P-Card, electronic standard time report, electronic change of status, for example--were selective changes. This project is more comprehensive.

Operationally, a Business Team composed of representatives from the campuses and the functional areas of human resources, business and finance and information technology, will plan and conduct the day-to-day project activities. Additionally, each campus has appointed an advisory team, composed of representatives from faculty, colleges and departments, auxiliaries, hospital, human resources, business and finance and information technology, to help develop the administrative vision for the University. (The list of members of both teams follows.) Meanwhile, the Human Resources and Administrative Management Team, which I chair, will serve as the steering committee for S3. Finally, to augment these teams, subject matter experts from within the University will provide information and insight about specific administrative processes being looked at.

The consulting firm of Arthur Andersen has been engaged to assist the University. The consultants will act as members of the team, providing expert advice and analytical help. The consultants also will help organize and conduct meetings, help prepare interim reports and communications and help create the final strategic plan. The project set-up for this effort is now complete. The teams are in place, the project workplan and schedules are done and we're reviewing our current ways of doing business through interviews and questionnaires. Once we know--in an organized way--how we operate today, we will begin the challenging task of creating new directions. The majority of the work should be done next April. The plan itself is due on May 1.

We will send updates to everyone as this project continues and will post regular progress reports to our website at If you have questions regarding this project at any time, please contact Rick King, the project director. Rick is available at 217-333-6600 and/or (

Strategic Planning Business Team
Jennifer Bates; Greg Bedell; Steve Bock; Ann Borelli; Peter Czajkowski; William Demille; Tony Graziano; Ryan Guillen; Anne Hicks; Mary Jordan; Jack Kamerer; Drew Kendall; Rick King, Project Manager; Carl Long; Cindy O'Connor, Project Manager; Annette Paciga; Edgardo Pappacena; Jim Roth; Michael Schlueter; Richard Traver; Naj Uddin, Project Manager; John Wanat

Campus Advisory Team ~ Springfield
Michael Bohl, Chair; Donna Dufner; James Korte; Carl Long; John Munkirs; Allan Woodson

Campus Advisory Team ~ Chicago
Gene Ruoff, Chair; Allan Anderson; Robert Abrams; Richard Davidson; Stan Delaney; Mark Donovan; Anthony Ferrara; Michael Harms; Sharon Hogan; Ahmed Kassem; Richard Lim; Robert McAuley; Judson Mitchell; Linda Padera; Michael Provenzano; Steven Weaver

Campus Advisory Team ~ Urbana
Chet Gardner, Chair; Gene Barton; Don Perrero; Denton Brown; Leigh Estabrook; Howard Thomas; Tom Conry; Denise Hendricks; Kathy Kral; Kathleen Pecknold

The result of this effort was a report recommending a "Support Services Strategy" for the entire university. A preliminary report on this effort was made to the Senate at its February 1998 meeting by Alexis Tate, Associate Director of the University Office of Public Affairs, on behalf of the University Administration. A draft of what came to be known as the "S3" ("S-cubed") Report was produced late last spring. The "Campus Advisory Teams" (CATs) for each of the three campuses then developed reviews of it, which were appended to the body of the Report and included in its final version.

This final version of the S3 Report was given to the chancellors of the three campuses by President Stukel in October 1998, with the request that they respond expeditiously, with a view to an early initiation of implementation. It was made clear that responses were expected by or soon after the end of the calendar year. Chancellor Aiken's response, on behalf of the administration of this campus, was forwarded to the President in January 1999. The President was informed that the Senates of the three campuses might wish to respond as well, but that they could not be expected to do so prior to their first meetings after the resumption of the academic year. This has been acknowledged by the President.

During the weeks following the official release of the Report to the campuses, a variety of meetings were held to consider what might be done to prepare these responses. The Chancellor sought the assistance of the Campus Advisory Team (CAT) from this campus and of members of his cabinet, and consulted with Senate Council. A subcommittee of staff experienced in the delivery of support services from the Urbana campus CAT was constituted by the parent CAT, to examine the Report in detail and prioritize the recommendations. At the same time, the Report was referred by the Provost to the Council of Deans, and by the Vice Chancellor for Research (VCR) to two committees advisory to him. Senate Council referred the matter to three Senate committees: Budget, Campus Operations, and General University Policy (GUP).

All of these groups have now reported. The response submitted to the President by the Chancellor incorporates and reflects the reactions of the CAT and its subcommittee, and of the Provost and advisory bodies to which the Provost and VCR referred the Report. Each of the three Senate committees also developed a report; and GUP further drafted a resolution. The final version of this resolution, jointly sponsored by the three Senate committees and Senate Council, emerged from discussions among members of its sponsoring bodies, and is herewith submitted to the Senate for action. The three committee reports follow, together with the Chancellor's response and its appended documents (to which the resolution makes reference).