Thursday, October 3rd, 2013
Northwestern's Culture of Decentralization:
How to successfully navigate it, and use it to your advantage
Guest Speaker: Jake Julia, Associate Vice President & Associate Provost of Academic Initiatives
Norris University Center, Big Ten Room, Evanston
Jake Julia, Associate Provost for Academic Initiatives and Vice President for Change Management, led a well-attended, lively discussion on “Navigating Northwestern’s Decentralized Structure”. Dr. Julia described NU’s organizational structure as being more of a hybrid between centralized and decentralized, although it is a school-based university with twelve schools and additional centers and institutes. The advantages to this organizational structure include that it allows for more flexibility and greater autonomy. One of the disadvantages to employees is that it can be confusing to figure out the roles and functions of other departments. Dr. Julia encouraged the staff in attendance to learn more about the structure of the university and how our roles as employees fit within the university and how our work may impact on units beyond our departments. He suggested staff learn the functions of the central administration and schools to do this, as well. Dr. Julia explained that to navigate NU more effectively staff should form and utilize personal and professional networks and participate in NU committees, task forces or work groups that bring together staff from other departments. One of the benefits of NU having a decentralized structure is the ability of staff to have greater flexibility in their career paths. He encouraged staff to pursue their interests and aspirations at NU.
Summary prepared by Susan S. Hammerman
NU Library: Resources for Staff
Chris Davidson, Librarian, User Experience Department
The University Library has over 5 million books and even more articles, but it’s not there just for the students. Librarian, Chris Davidson, provided an informative presentation reviewing the many library resources available for NU staff.