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The U is paying Sibson $48,000 for its work. Officials expect to spend $495,000 more for the cost comparison, the report says. Pelowski, DFL-Winona, questioned that price tag: “You’re going to spend half a million dollars more to tell you something you should already know?”
‘Foot on the gas’
Regents on Friday praised the report, as well as the work Kaler has done to streamline the U. “We know, and the president knows ... we still have significant opportunities for improvement,” Regent David Larson said. “But ... we have made some significant improvements.”
Reforms will require “tough decisions,” Kaler said, which will be made “in a transparent and fair way.” But he doesn’t want to spend several years on that process, he said. “We will put our foot on the gas.”
The University Libraries recently undertook a workforce analysis as part of a reorganization shifting its focus from books to content and technology. Before, nearly two-thirds of supervisors had fewer than five employees reporting directly to them. By restructuring, they cut that group by 43 percent, while also reducing the number of supervisors. Before, 20 supervisors oversaw just one employee. After, 10 supervisors did.
University Libraries had made $3 million in cuts over three years, “so leading up to the reorganization, we had already done a lot of trimming,” said Prof. Wendy Lougee, university librarian. Former supervisors were retrained to work in new areas.
“We said at the outset that we’re not doing this to cut costs,” she said. “We’re doing this to put our resources in the right places.”
Jenna Ross • 612-673-7168
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