reenginering! Mike McCallister 11 Jul 1994 07:56 EST

God save you from reengineering!
I know that this "process" has saved several companies, etc.
 a lot of money and increased productivity.  I was at a
 large research foundation, however, thatdropeed major
 thousands of dollars in a this stuff, tore itself
 asunder, and is now (due to leaving the same out-moded
 adminsitrators in place) quickly reverting to its
 original form.  It was a bummer for the staff.  It is
 true that some changes have taken place, but it is also
 true that the commitment to really change the
 organization was not.
 I agree with the concept of flattening the organization,
 shared decision-making, and so forth, but if the leaders
 are not willing to take on some of the pain, too, then
 your change is doomed to failure.  Half implementations
 of these processes just breed more camels where horses
Spankye desired.
--------------------------- Original Message ---------------------------
Dear resadm-l collegues,

We are currently planning a reorganization our office of technology
transfer (we have a serparate office for sponsered program like grants).
We currently handle pre and post award research contracts with government
and industry, patenting, licensing, institutional policies,
university-industry relations etc...

The basic idea is this. We are looking at the possibility of
decentralizing to the dean of the faculties the authority to sign some
research agreements and contracts . This would mean that our office would
provide standard agreements for our deans and PI's to use in their
negociations. Any major changes in the agreements would have to be
validated through our office and we could train someone at the dean's
office to take care of the minor negociations. Major problems would be
referred to us. Our office would keep the responsability of administring
the major programs. Faculties would also have to report back to us the
agreements they sign to be entered in our data bank.

We are hoping from this change to reduce the time-consuming discussions on
overheads with PI's and faculties by giving them the responsability and
authority to negotiate this issue. Guideslines would of course be provided
to all for that sensitive issue! Our office could then be spending more
time on tech transfer, making contacts with industry, working with PI's to
look for funding etc... We realize that we would have to spend more time
training certain people in order for the faculties do this extra job.
Needless to say, we expect that there will still be exceptions that we
will have to deal with.

We would like to receive yours comments, experience of your institution
on this issue. We are interested to know what is the tendency right now in
your institutions i.e. centralizing vs decentralizing. You can respond to
the list if you want to share the info with everybody or directly to me if
you wish your information to be kept confidential.

Thanks in advance

Robert Masella
Office of technology transfer
Universite Laval
Quebec, Canada
tel:(418) 656-2692
fax:(418) 656-7785

P.S. Going on holidays and hoping to read you all again in august!