Speaking of change, you ve probably noticed that we now, for the first time in Boston College history, have a bearded vice president. Sure that beards would be prohibited, I ve checked the by-laws. But, I guess it s okay.
When I came to BC as an Assistant Professor in August of 1970, one of the first faculty members to introduce himself was Jack Neuhauser. Since then we have been both close friends and colleagues. We ve even been th rough a few skirmishes together. That s twenty-nine years. I share with the university community an enormous admiration for Jack as an exemplar of the best of human qualities as a Dean whose metric of success is demonstrated, in the quality and loyalty o f his faculty and as a university citizen whose years of service belie any concept of selfishness.
Joining us in August as Associate Vice President for Human Resources is Bob Lewis. Bob has extensive experience as an HR professional. He joins us from MIT, where he had been a senior member of the HR staff.
I would like, too, to acknowledge the work of Sean Rowland and the Irish Institute which over the past year has successfully delivered programs in Ireland, Northern Ireland, Britain, the European Union, Israel, The Middle East and North Africa in the areas of economic, political and community development.
Most notable, though, is the selection of the Institute to provide a number of programs for the new Northern Ireland Assembly. Marc Landy and his colleagues have done a superb job of developing a curriculum and programs for assembly members with political views and sensitivities as extremely opposed as you can find in today s world.
Finally, let me welcome Joe Comerford. Joe joined us in January to assist me in the management of all major construction and renovation projects. Joe has spent over 30 years of his professional life in the construction business. Among other things, he was project manager for the building of the Hynes Convention Center and when we hired him last December, project manager for the $800 million Millenium project on Washington Street in downtown Boston.
A year ago at this Convocation, I spent a good deal of time discussing changes that had just been made in the IT organization. It was a difficult and traumatic time for all involved. Dealing with on-going operational problems within IT and the turmoil created by my announcements, made last Fall an exceedingly difficult time.
You will recall how bad it was, when I remind you that I was to be the interim Chief Information Officer. Fortunately for both the IT organization and the university, that never happened. During the Fall semester four people agreed to serve as a management team to run the day to day operations of IT . They dealt with personnel issues, organizational changes, project management, service problems, technology issues, etc., etc. Each of these areas was laden with problems. Last Fall seems a long time ago and it s easy to forget. But today I would like to commend and thank that team for their contributions, the late hours, time away from families, their dedication to Boston College and their collective wisdom and courage in addressing and in solving many difficult and complex problems.
Rita Owens is working at home today, to be with her Dad who has health problems
Paul Dupuis, after many years of notable service to B.C., left B.C. two weeks ago to join a technology start-up
Jack Spang, (Director of Enterprise Computer Services)
Denis Walsh, (Director of Internet Business Services)
In the course of that turmoil, there was some confusion and misunderstandings that directly but unintentionally hurt a number of people in the IT organization. People who had been giants in their contributions to Boston College's successful technology strategy for decades. Chief among these is Bernie Gleason. I expect my own lack of clarity in distinguishing between problems of operational leadership and the strategic leadersh ip that Bernie had provided was at least, in part, cause for the confusion. I am sorry for that.
Kathleen Warner joined us as Vice President for Information Technology on January 1 . And while challenges remain, you have to be impressed with her decisi veness, forthrightness, and the organizational and technological expertise she has demonstrated in effecting fundamental changes so quickly. Equally impressive is the caliber of people she has hired... not only for their experience and expertise but also for the enthusiasm they have for being a part of Boston College family.
Kathleen s vision for IT is to transition all technology to the web and as that infrastructure is developed, to make a wireless campus a reality, so that we can access e-mail, the int ernet, BC systems, Agora anytime and anyplace on campus.
Project Delta is ongoing.
Let me mention just five projects:
Technology Consultants were hired and deployed just after the first of the year. Our plan is to continue to train them in order to upgrade their technical skills obviously so they can be of more service to you.
Student Services Organization was established last October.
These folks are unsung heroes and deserve your praise and recognition. Not only did they experience a major reorganization involving
(some moved from More Hall to Lyons to Vanderslice [during renovation of Lyons], back to Lyons, all in the space of 10 months.
Think about that.
But here, too, you can see an example of the problems we face in effecting change. These folks went through all that I just described at the same time they were carrying out their ongoing jobs and responsibilities... .Registration, Drop-Add, Student Records, Financial Aid Awards, Student Loan, Student Employment, ID s, parking permits, etc.
I have already thanked them. Let me now publicly recognize and congratulate them.
I am happy to report, too, that the Student Services organization is now back in totally renovated space in Lyons. That project transformed the first level of Lyons and I invite you to visit it.
We believe that by assembling a group of highly trained experts in our administrative systems, that we can remove some significant amounts of administ rative work from departments and improve service levels to them. To that end, we are now designing a generic model for a Local Service Center. In order to inform the design team, focus groups with department Chairs, ex chairs and department administrat o rs were held during July and August. This month that generic design will be completed. During this semester, the team working with the Science Department Chairs and professional staff, will customize the design to serve the four science departments. Th e sciences were chosen as pilots because of their complexity, transaction volumes, and the unique opportunity to prove the LSC concept by dramatically improving service for their sponsored research activities.
The plan is to pilot the science LSC during the Spring semester, and assuming it is successful, modify it based on what we learn and then create customized LSC s for deployment elsewhere in the university.
Departmental Self Studies
Let me give you just two examples of studies just completed:
$77,400 in savings
13.1% of Mail Services budget
$928,000 to bottom-line Cost savings
On sales of $11 million
HRS project is making its deadline to install PeopleSoft and make our HR system Y2K compliant; massive training effort on the new system begins in a couple of weeks; HR Service Center begins operations later this month.
Delta will officially end on June 6, 2000
It s important, I believe, that Delta end so that we can all breathe a sigh of relief especially me. BUT , don t get too comfortable because the work of Delta will continue.
I estimate we are about a year behind schedule for two reasons:
In 1996 we expected that by now, web based student inf ormation system software would be available to support the paper driven back office functions of the Student Services organization. Such products are still in the development stages by the major vendors.
Carrying out the departmental self studies, working to get buy in for the LSC s and carrying out organizational change with training etc. is just more difficult and taking longer than we had anticipated.
I expect that the implementation of a Student Information System, the completion of departmental self studies and the full roll out of the LSC s will carry us through AY 2002. Then as with every Delta project there is an implementation plan. These typically run out 18 months to two years. So, in the Bookstore example I just gave if we accepted all 19 recommendations today, it would take about two years before we realized the full $928,000 impact. That means that we are looking at 2004 before we can expect a 100% wrap-up.
I would like to say a few words about change and suggest how you might be of help.
Rosabeth Moss Kantor, a Harvard Business School guru, says that people are most happy at the beginning and end of change efforts. At the beginning because there is a vision, anticipation about improvement and a rush associated with taking on new challenges. At the end because it's finally over, and everyone can breathe a sigh of relief. In the middle everything can look like failure , says Professor Kantor. It's bad, it's tough, it's extraordinarily hard work, and the world seems full of cynics and critics.
How can you help? We at BC are in a community of people trained and educated to be critical. And I mean that in a most positive way. There is, however , one step that must come before criticism. Knowledge of the facts, information. With facts and information you can provide us with informed criticism. I welcome that.
It is somewhat less than helpful for one of the over 200 people who have worked on Delta to receive an e-mail such as this:
That tendency is further reinforced by the destructiveness, demoralization, and havoc wreaked by the absurdity of Project Delta, an imbecilic notion foisted on the university by people who have not the foggiest idea on how it works.
I hope that Associate Professor is here I d like to suggest that he use his considerable skills in writing to enhance his career by contributing to the scholarly journals in his field. And, by the way, yes, we did lose your applicati on for a parking permit. We do have a trace on it though. It s in Kosovo.
A community simply won t work without the respect of each member for every other, including faculty for dining
service employees and accountants for custodians, students for receptionists, and on. Among other things that s what it means to be a responsible member of this community.
I would like to close by commenting briefly on some significant changes to the university's capital plan.
You ve probably noticed some changes on the lower campus.
Recplex We have, over the past four years, developed two plans to replace the Recplex. These were in the $50-60 million range. Ultimately, we were persuaded to spend $7-8 million to install 3 _ acres of new roof, a nd totally refurbish the interior of the building. When Phase II is complete, a year from now, once inside the building, you will be in one of the newest, most modern and most inviting athletic clubs you will find. We will, though, have to endure the exterior for 10 or so years.
The other most notable change is the plan to build an office building behind the O Neill Library. About 18 months ago, we began to consider contingency plans, in the event the Middle Campus Project was further delayed. We hope to have the judge s decision in the Fall. We don't know how the City of Newton will react. They might appeal and, depending on that outcome, either BC or Newton can appeal to the Supreme Judicial Court.
A reasonable assessment of all probabilities indi cates that Monan Hall might well not be ready for occupancy until 2005 and that the renovation to Carney Hall might well not be completed until 2009. Given the extreme space problems in Carney and problems in McGuinn, Campion, and Fulton, coupled with tr a ilers and ongoing plans to convert houses to office space, I estimate we are now short about 350 offices. We should gain 250-300 offices in this new building. I would like to start construction next spring and bring the building on line for the Fall of 2001.
In order to start construction, we will require BRA (Boston Redevelopment Authority) approval of a new 5-year master plan for all the properties we own or plan to build in Boston. That, in turn, will require the endorsement of the group of citizens who make up the Allston-Brighton Master Planning Task Force. They insist that we provide on-campus housing for some of the 1500 undergraduates who now live in their neighborhoods. So, we are also working on plans to add 400 to 500 beds to the upper and lower campuses.
In any event the goal is to use this office building to directly or indirectly relieve the office space problems every department I know of is now experiencing.
Time does not allow for a full discussion now, but also under consideration are:
a small addition to Robsham Theater
a small athletic building annexed to the north end zone of the football stadium.
Let me close by thanking you for your attention, and by wishing you a happy, successful, and respectful new year.
Jack, you may speak last today but don t forget I ll be first at next year s Convocation.
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