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Efficiency Review: Starting the new year right!

The Efficiency Review Work Group (ERWG) is pleased to announce a number of exciting and positive changes for 2016.

First, congratulations to the three new ERWG members: Amal Smith, director of Business Resource Center; John Blake, learning and development specialist, Local Human Resources; and Siena Sarmiento, system-wide talent acquisition program specialist, Human Resources Talent Management. Each brings an abundance of energy, enthusiasm and new ideas that will help the ERWG continue to respond effectively to your suggestions, which number nearly 900 so far.

Most Efficiency Review ideas submitted by staff fall into one of several broad categories. In response, the ERWG has created five subcommittees for these major focus areas so that we can identify long-term goals and strategies. If you are interested in volunteering on one of these subcommittees, please contact the subcommittee’s lead identified below:

Employee Development and Training

Members: Brad Niess (lead), Vini Bhargava, Heather Kopeck, John Blake

This group is working to increase opportunities for staff development. We have collaborated with local HR to expand the UCOP Staff Development Program, which launches in January 2016, and to pilot a Supervisor Certification Program, which will be offered quarterly beginning in February 2016.

“Go Green” Carbon Neutrality Initiative

Members: Dan Scannell (lead), Michael Annas, Siena Sarmiento

This group is focused on implementing the President’s Carbon Neutrality Initiative, developing the UCOP Green Floor Certification, partnering with related projects (such as the Cool Campus Challenge), and completing other projects that save energy, reduce waste, increase recycling and promote environmentally sustainable business practices. In addition to the environmental benefits, many of these completed projects have saved the university a significant amount of money.

Accountability and Decision Making

Members: Garen Corbett (lead), Heather Kopeck, Yvonne Tevis, Brad Neiss, Amal Smith

This group collaborates with senior leadership to streamline routine approval processes where it is appropriate to do so. The goal is to encourage sound business decisions, promote accountability and ensure adherence to policy while also better meeting our organization’s objectives and day-to-day business needs. These efforts are intended to help reduce the administrative burdens of staff, department heads and senior leaders while supporting enhanced decision-making.

Access to Data

Members: Shirley Bittlingmeier (lead), Emily Rader, Vini Bhargava

This group is working to develop a long-term strategy for major sources of the university’s institutional data, including how they are either currently incorporated or will be incorporated into existing systems (such as the UC Infocenter) and how the resulting datasets can be configured for optimal usage and dissemination. Issues that will be addressed as part of this strategy include governance structure, effort size and scope, and effective development of reporting structures for different target audiences.

Paperless Initiative/Document Management

Members: Yvonne Tevis (lead), Garen Corbett, Heather Kopeck

This group is researching options for e-document management for UCOP departments, including clarifying the benefits and limitations of e-document management systems. Based on the findings, a recommendation will be presented to management about potential uses and solutions for UCOP.


The ERWG is also working with the Leadership Development Program on a project to be completed by late February that will help us identify metrics (time and money saved) related to staff’s Efficiency Review suggestions. We know that your implemented ideas have saved the university significant amounts of both money and staff time, and we look forward to developing a uniform reporting system to track those savings.

Finally, many thanks to outgoing ERWG members Shirley Bittlingmeier (former co-chair) and Karen Arnold for their invaluable participation and key contributions during the past two years.


Please keep your Efficiency Review suggestions coming! We look forward to hearing more of your ideas. You can submit them at: The ERWG website is regularly updated with our progress on the 900+ suggestions made by staff to date.

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