The final decisions about how CBS’ Programme Administration is to ensure the best possible Student Services in the future are just about ready to be presented. Two things were already settled before the last hearings in mid-January: the establishment of One Point Entry for the students – physically as well as virtually – and a moved up schedule for the Program planning.
Final hearings about CBS’ Programme Administration’s reorganization
CBS’ new president held his New Year’s reception around the middle of January. At the same time there was opened up for the final hearings about how to restructure CBS’ Programme Administration and Student Services. This in the form of hearings with the stakeholders and two concluding workshops where the employees had a final opportunity to affect the outcome of the long process before the new Program me Administration takes its form.
Throughout 2011, CBS’ Programme Administration has been subject to intense scrutiny with an aim reorganization to reorganize it, this in order to better be of service to the students. Through the spring, a series of work groups took on rethinking how the Programme Administrations tasks were to be handled with a special focus on establishing a student front desk, sorting out the back office functions, handling course credit transfers and exam-planning, which led to a solid analytical output.
Over the course of the summer, hearings took place among the affected employees, departments and Study Programme Directors, after which a new workgroup took over. This new workgroup’s suggestions to CBS’ senior management were ready in November, and the final decisions regarding their implementation were the reason for the new hearing.
Long process towards new effort
At the two hearings, Dean of Education Jan Molin stressed the fact that the large amounts of material from both work group-rounds and the parallel restructuring of the central administration that has especially affected the departments, has formed the foundation for the next steps in the process. It should now be possible to find a solution that works for as many as possible, but even though many stones have already been turned in the process, many more still need to be.
The restructuring of the Programme Administration is a three-stage plan in these areas:
- Student Services as One Point Entry
- Organizing the planning-schedule for courses and classes
- The interfaces between Program and Teaching Administration
Two final decisions were made in advance – One Point Entry…
The inquisitive staff members that had made their ways to the hearings were met by the message, from Dean of Education Jan Molin and University Director Hakon Iversen that two decisions had been made in advance and were not up for discussion; one was the establishment of One Point Entry (OPE) for the students, both physically and virtually.
- We will definitely have an OPE, where the students can contact us physically, and this will be on two locations on campus; one in Dalgas Have and one at Solbjerg Plads, said Jan Molin and made it clear that the intention is to stick to the main principle of ensuring that the staffing of and handling of tasks in the OPE will be strongly focused on high quality service to the students.
The tasks handled by the OPE will include communicating course and exam scheduling as well as academic regulations, rules and guidelines. Student related self-service facilities will also be possible to access here.
At the very top of the student’s want list was a virtual OPE, which Jan Molin promised to deliver on. This in the shape of a web-based counterpart to the physical OPE in the form of e-campus’ successor, which will give the students better access to helping themselves regarding all sorts of issues, such as getting grade transcripts and handling semester registration as well as providing an overview over the different sets of rules that CBS operates under.
It is worth mentioning that both OPEs will be implemented in phases as the new, strongly improved Programme Administration IT-support unfolds and creates improved conditions for delivering the optimal service to the students.
... and an earlier Study Program organization
The other decision made beforehand by CBS’ senior management was the advancement of deadlines on many of the activities related to the course and class planning. In practice, this will mean that the Study Boards will have to start screening their curriculums much earlier than they do today, deciding whether or not these should be changed and which examinations and electives to offer. An advancement of the deadlines like this will ultimately lead to greater flexibility and the freeing up of resources, which in the end will benefit the students.
Jan Molin was aware that the counter-argument could be that moving up the planning-schedule could be detrimental to the creative contribution from the teachers and the work of the Study Boards supported by the present distribution of tasks over the year. The end that justifies the means is that a standardization of various procedures will free up resources that can be used for handling other, more demanding processes better, such as finding better solutions to CBS’ problems in regards to capacity.
Greater tasks lie ahead
The final step of the plan, structuring the interfaces between the Student Services administration and the Study Programme Administration, is not quite in place yet. Here, the two types of tasks need to be defined more clearly, and more time is needed to find pragmatic solutions that greatest number of people can live with. It’s a complex area that affects the very backbone of the different study programs and the existing cultural differences in CBS’ administrations, which is why time is needed to find the optimal structure.
Jan Molin stressed the quite significant point that a sensible solution will result in better, more uniform service for both students and employees. The hearings and the two workshops in mid-January resulted in recommendations to the final shape, which according to the plan has to be ready for presentation in the beginning of February.