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Case Study #19: A Multi-Disciplinary College in a Public Research University

Project: Consulting and facilitation assistance for academic re-definition and administrative reorganization of departments

Two academic departments in a large College in a public land-grant university were facing deep-seated organizational challenges that prevented them from achieving their full potential. One department was challenged by a divisional staffing structure based on divisional lines that was ineffective as well as academic competition between divisions that prevented integrated planning of programs and faculty resources. The other department suffered from internal division over central academic mission and conflicting visions for the future, as a result of which its reputation in the field and within the university has eroded. A new Dean determined to address these challenges and help each of the Departments go through a process of organizational change to help them achieve higher levels of internal shared vision, academic and administrative integration, and operational functioning.

Work with faculty and administrative staff of the departments to guide and facilitate academic and administrative change.

Over a period of two years, CMCT worked closely with the leadership of each of the two departments to bring about the needed academic re-definition and administrative reorganization. In both cases, the process of change was a long-term intervention, carried out in a politically complex environment, working within the faculty and staff governance processes of a higher education institution and in a cultural environment of limited trust and receptivity to change. CMCT carried out interview-based and structural organizational analysis, facilitated group leadership processes and the development of consensus around vision for the future, facilitated internal communications among divergent interest groups, advised individuals in academic and staff leadership roles, assisted in the drafting of alternative academic and administrative scenarios for change, anticipated and helped deflect crisis moments when the change processes could have been derailed, provided guidance to the groups and committees working on the change issues, facilitated the process of arriving at key decisions, and provided hands-on recommendations and support for implementing the changes.

Both departments developed a clearer and more integrated vision of their identity, changed their academic planning processes to a more collaborative model, and made major structural and operational changes that helped them function in a more effective way. Their internal cohesion improved, with a positive effect on external perceptions and reputation within the university and beyond.

Key Disciplines:
Organizational Needs Assessment, Change Management, Organizational Culture, Organizational Structure and Design, Human Resource Strategy, Group Process Facilitation, Strategic Consultation, Leadership Coaching.

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For more information, contact CMCT, write to info@cmct.net, or call 510-525-9222.

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