With the school year underway, I know we all continue to feel the strains at work and at home. I want to bring to a close some important organizational changes that are positioning our organization for success and also affect our friends and colleagues. Over the summer, we’ve been responding to the economic disruptions created by the pandemic and the directives from the university and state for budget reductions. The following changes were implemented this week:
- As part of our commitment to traditional and non-traditional digital learning opportunities that we offer now and plan to expand in the future, we are embarking on a function audit to ensure top quality and compliancy standards across the organization. To date, 10 positions have been realigned to the Digital Learning unit. The college has invested in five new positions to increase faculty training and support, and provide excellence in the delivery of online education within academic departments. Additional information on the future structure of the Digital Learning unit is forthcoming.
- Based upon recommendations provided by MGT Consulting, we are creating a centralized structure for marketing and communications so that communicators report in through a single professional service unit. The independent analysis revealed that centralizing the marketing and communications function would reduce administrative burden for units, enhance the quality and efficiency of marketing and communications services for AgriLife, and allow for additional opportunities for professional growth and advancement for professional staff. As part of this centralization, a number of positions with the new AgriLife Marketing & Communications professional service unit have been posted online. Marketing and communications support positions within departments and programs were eliminated, and these individuals have been encouraged to apply for newly posted positions. We have communicated closely with the unit leaders affected by these changes and we are confident that the new structure will allow the AgriLife Marketing and Communications professional service team to more efficiently and effectively highlight accomplishments of our faculty, students and staff across the organization, ensure consistency and cohesiveness in messaging, and elevate the AgriLife brand.
All affected employees have been provided a 60-day notice period. These individuals have been given flexibility to search for new positions and have been encouraged to apply for newly posted positions. The intent is to fill these open positions as soon as possible.
We recognize these changes are difficult and come at a time of such uncertainty. These changes seek to strengthen our organization for long-term sustainability and effectiveness in achieving our shared mission. We do not foresee any additional major organizational changes or reductions in force at this time. As I have said before, I am so proud of the resiliency and outstanding work of our employees as you all have adjusted and adapted throughout this challenging time. I also appreciate your patience and understanding.
I continue to work with agency and college leadership to ensure that you have what you need to be successful within our organization. Our mission is unique and important not only to our students but also to the entire state of Texas. I know we will continue to rise to the challenges thrown at us, as only Aggies do, with grace and greatness to reach every Texan.
Patrick J. Stover, Ph.D.
Vice Chancellor, Texas A&M AgriLife
Dean, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Director, Texas A&M AgriLife Research