Department Reorganization Project

Project Communication:

The latest version of the Org Chart, updated 2/20/19, is here.

Use the completely anonymous online suggestion box to contact the ReOrg Leadership Team here.

  • 08/29/2019 10:00 a.m.
    Badger Chemist News Alert email sent to entire department

    Click to view the email in your browser.

  • 07/03/19 12:46 p.m.
    Badger Chemist News Alert email sent to entire department

    Click to view the email in your browser.

  • 07/01/19 5:52 p.m.
    Email to faculty & staff
    From Judith Burstyn, Chair <>

    SubjectReOrg Update: Listening Session & Badger Chemist News Alert

    To keep everyone in the department up to date on the progress of our reorganization efforts, in addition to my email updates, we will be holding regular listening sessions for faculty and staff. These sessions will be opportunities for you to engage in person with the ReOrg Leadership Team. You are welcome to submit suggestions or questions to the team members or through the anonymous suggestion box:

    Our first listening session will be held Wed. July 24, noon – 1:00 pm, in room 9341. Feel free to bring your lunch. Kayla and I will provide coffee, tea and dessert.
    We will periodically invite individuals from our 20-person Leading Change team to tell you about their work and answer questions. The Leading Change team is presently engaged in their job analysis activity, which was designed by Pat, Char and Kathy Sanders, our consultant. The team will have completed this project by the time of the first listening session, and team members will share their experience.
    Tatum has created an email news brief for monthly internal communications. This visually-oriented message will provide short updates on the ReOrg process, highlight critical upcoming issues in the building (of the type that can be anticipated with a month’s notice), and safety. There will be links to department resources, including the department calendar. This brief is intended to supplement our email newsletter and enhance our internal communications. Expect the first edition this week.
    I will be inviting a cohort associated with our undergraduate program to participate in a self-paced, on-line professional development program called Be Aware. A number of individuals from our ReOrg Leadership and Leading Change teams participated in Kathy Sanders’ BeEffective Series programs (Be Aware, Be Healthy, Be Change) in preparation for this reorganization process. The department is also offering programs geared toward health and wellness through the Wellness and Professional Development Committee. If you are interested in participating in such programs, please reach out to Kayla.
    Why launch health-promoting programs in tandem with the reorganization efforts? As we undergo these changes, we want to be sure the department’s new and existing positions and structures are designed to promote the health and wellbeing (and, thus, sustainability) of everyone in the department. Instead of ‘driving change’ we are going to co-create change while increasing our leadership capacities.
  • 06/27/19 12:37 p.m.

    Email to faculty & staff

    From Judith Burstyn, Chair <>

    Subject: ReOrg Update: Design and Implementation, First Phase

    In mid-June, a group of 20 faculty and staff, including the ReOrg Leadership Team, began working to design and implement new structures for the administrative enterprise and the graduate program administration.
    To support this process, this 20-person team is participating in an online program Leading Change, custom designed for our department by our consultants (see details below.) Leading Change includes information on health-promoting work so that we can design our new structure and examine our current jobs through the lens of employee health and sustainable productivity. Leading Change also features leadership development research and activities to support our faculty and staff in increasing their own leadership capacities and self-awareness.
    This team is comprised of faculty and staff involved in the first phase of the reorganization efforts. The team is organized into peer partnerships for their work on this project, as listed below:
    • Judith Burstyn & Clark Landis

    • Pat Egan & Char Horsfall

    • Arrietta Clauss & Cheri Barta

    • Hailey Johnson & Cecilia Stodd

    • Matt Sanders & Alan Silver

    • Thomas Brunold & Jeanne Hamers

    • Jim Weisshaar & Steve Burke

    • Kayla Driscoll & Tatum Lyles

    • Tim Kachel & Marc Willadsen

    • Jeff Nielsen & Chad Skemp

    About the Consultants
    As you know from my previous updates, I have hired consultants to assist in our department’s reorganization. In addition to supporting our Reorganization Leadership Team as we create and lead an implementation process, they also will help us ensure we design realistic and health promoting positions, and ensure that our directors and other personnel feel prepared and supported as they assume new and/or changing roles. Here is more information on their expertise and their role in our reorganization efforts. Some of you may have previously participated in Kathy’s online leadership programs BeAware, BeHealthy and/or BeChange.
    Katherine Sanders, PhD earned her doctorate from UW–Madison in industrial and systems engineering and specializes in the research about the ways work systems impact employee health and productivity. I brought Kathy on to help us design a plan that helps us focus on sustainable, fulfilling and healthy working lives. Kathy supports me and the ReOrg Leadership Team, and co-teaches the custom, six-month online program, Leading Change.
    Karen Konrath, ACC is a leadership coach and former HR executive who specializes in supporting executives as they lead organizations through changes. She supports me and is co-teaching our custom leadership program, Leading Change.
  • 06/25/19 5:07 p.m.

    Email to faculty & staff

    From Judith Burstyn, Chair <>

    Subject: Re: Dept ReOrg Update: ReOrg Leadership Team

    Link update: Sadly, a change we made on the website disabled the links in this message and my previous message. Use the link below to find copies of all my ReOrg communications.
    You may also find these materials by clicking on the department “INTRANET” on the top breadcrumb list on our main web page. The first link on the INTRANET page is Department Reorganization Project.
  • 06/18/19 3:10 p.m.
    Email to faculty & staff

    From Judith Burstyn, Chair <>
    Subject: Dept ReOrg Update: ReOrg Leadership Team

    As I stated in my June 5 update, I have assembled a team to lead the reorganization implementation process. Beginning this summer and continuing until we have stabilized our new structure, the ReOrg Leadership Team will guide the process of implementing our department’s reorganization plan.

    This team will be focused on the overall effectiveness and efficiency of the department, as well as on ensuring that the jobs we are asking our people to do are as health-promoting as possible. That is, we will strive to design jobs that are fulfilling, with reasonable demands and sufficient support.

    Part of the charge of the leadership team is to systematically share information and solicit input from the department to address your concerns and to ensure your insights inform the process as we go.

    The ReOrg Leadership Team members are senior leaders in the department and all will serve on the 2019-2020 Finance Committee. Moving forward, the Finance Committee will consist of the chair, the associate chairs, the department manager and two at-large faculty members. The Finance Committee, the Department Committee and the Executive Committee continue to serve as the decision-making bodies for all department business, including the reorganization.

    The members of the ReOrg Leadership Team are: 

    • Judith Burstyn (current chair)

    • Pat Egan (department manager & Director of Administration)

    • Clark Landis (incoming chair & transitional Associate Chair for Undergraduate Program)

    • Matt Sanders (current executive director, position slated for elimination upon Matt’s retirement)

    • Jim Weisshaar (former chair & transitional Associate Chair for Research)

    • Steve Burke (current chair of Graduate Curriculum Committee & transitional Associate Chair for Graduate Program)

    • Thomas Brunold (current chair of General Chemistry & transitional Director of Undergraduate Instruction)

    I will continue to share periodic updates about the reorganization process via email, and my messages will be posted in chronological order on our department INTRANET at As documents are created, I will make them available through Box in this folder: Right now, only the most recent edition of the proposed Org Chart is in that folder.

    How to get involved: We welcome your questions and feedback through our anonymous electronic suggestion box: The ReOrg Leadership Team will be added as one of the groups to which suggestions may be directed. You may also send non-anonymous suggestions directly to the leadership team members by email.

    As we move forward, the Reorganization Team will host open meetings to talk about the proposed changes and solicit questions and feedback. I will email the dates as they are scheduled, and they will be posted on the project INTRANET site.


  • 06/05/19 3 p.m.
    Email to faculty & staff

    From Judith Burstyn, Chair <>
    Subject: Dept ReOrg Update: Progress to date
    Dear Chemistry Faculty and Staff,

    I’m writing to update you on the progress of our reorganization efforts. I will be sending periodic updates as things move forward, at least once per month, sometimes more often.

    As you know, last fall we began working with Darin Harris from the Office of Strategic Consulting, to look into reorganizing the structure of the department. Some of you were involved in this first phase of the project or have heard me talk about it.

    With Darin’s support and guidance, the Finance Committee put forward an ambitious departmental reorganization, with the aim of increasing our capacity to serve a growing number of students, nurturing innovation within our research program through administrative changes, and better communicating our work through enhanced outreach programming.

    The department completed our work with Darin in February. We are grateful for the support we had from the Dean’s office to collaborate with him. We are excited about the new structure we are moving toward, even as we continue to develop and define it together.

    In March, the department voted to move forward with the proposed reorganization efforts. That month, our leadership team met with our Board of Advisers to apprise them of this bold, new vision. They enthusiastically offered to support us both, by lending their insights and expertise and with monetary contributions toward the project.

    The finalization and implementation of our plan begins this summer with our administrative team and the department’s research and graduate programs. At the May Executive Committee meeting, the department approved the first of the proposed changes: 1) creating two new positions (a financial specialist to assist with purchasing and a student services specialist for the graduate office), and 2) making changes to faculty teaching obligations, so that we can appoint the new Associate Chairs. Through the summer, we will work on job designs for these and other parts of the administrative, graduate program, and research support areas.

    In 2020, we intend to iterate the implementation processes with our undergraduate program. We ultimately hope to expand this implementation to encompass our outreach activities.

    Knowing how important it is to implement our proposed structure as efficiently and sustainably as possible, I hired consultants to support the department using resources generously provided by our board. They will help us design realistic and health-promoting positions and ensure that our people feel prepared and supported as they assume new and/or changing roles.

    You may have seen or heard about our consultants, Kathy Sanders and Karen Konrath. I will share with you more about their work and roles with the department in a future message.

    Kathy and Karen will help us shape these changes through an interactive, participatory process. I will share more information about how you can stay involved and provide us with input all along the way. As a starting point, these updates will be posted – so you can check the status of the project as you have time.

    As a first step in the implementation process, I created a Reorganization Leadership Team. The ReOrg Team will guide the design and implementation of this plan. Their work will begin this summer and continue through our implementation process. I’ll send you more information about this team and its charge in my next update.

    Judith N. Burstyn
    Professor and Department Chair
    Irving Shain Chair of Chemistry
    Department of Chemistry
    University of Wisconsin
    1101 University Avenue
    Madison, WI 53706

  • The org chart has been updated. Find the latest version, as of 2/20/19, here.

  • Find the org chart, as of 2/1/19here.

  • Email to staff from Kayla Driscoll
    Additional Listening Sessions
    Hi Everyone,
    We have added three more listening sessions in room 1129, from 12-1pm. 
    Monday, February 4th: Judith Burstyn
    Tuesday, February 5th: Char Horsfall
    Thursday, February 7th: Matt Sanders
    We hope to see you there! 
  • 1/31/19 (5:18 p.m.)
    Email to faculty and staff from Judith Burstyn (Department Chair)
    Existing organizational charts of department

    As I have been talking to many of you about a possible new organizational structure of the department, I realized that it may not be entirely clear what the current structure is and how what is being proposed might be similar to and different from that current structure.

    Bob McMahon created organizational charts of the department in 2016, which while not entirely up to date, are attached. There are multiple pages, each of which depicts one aspect of the department. These pages are labelled with what is depicted. These current organizational charts are also posted on our department web pages via the Intranet. On our home page, click on Intranet in the top red bar, and then look under Department Information in the grey box on the left.
    Because we missed several of the open forum meetings due to the cold weather closures, we will reschedule and add some more opportunities next week. Large hard-copy editions of the proposed new organizational structures, which are a work in progress, are available in Matt’s office. Pat, Matt, Char, Kayla, Tatum or I are available to come to talk to any group who is holding a meeting and would like to learn more about these plans.

    Reminder: All communications related to this organizational redesign process are available online and will be continuously updated at:


    You must put in your Department of Chemistry password and check the box to say that you are a human to view this page. Please let Comphelp know if you need assistance with sign-in.
  • Email to faculty and staff from Judith Burstyn (Department Chair)
    Update on organizational change process

    Dear faculty and staff,

    I am writing to update you on the process of changing our department organizational structure. If we adopt the proposed change at our February 12 meeting, the implementation process will take place in stages over several years. Enacting this change will require collaboration and input of everyone in the department. The proposal under consideration for February addresses only the top-level organization, which will set in motion this change process.
    The component structures will be established through a collaborative effort over the course of several years. To support this process, we will engage with new external consultants who are experts in work systems design.
    Where we are now: Darin Harris, of Office of Strategic Consulting, developed a new department organizational plan. In developing this plan, Darin benchmarked us against peer departments, gathered input from specific department employees, and coordinated with the Finance Committee. We discussed a draft version of this new setup at our December department meeting. This plan has evolved in the interim, and we are holding lunchtime information sessions, to keep you up to date and gather feedback. The current plan is a work in progress and there will be many opportunities for you to have input into the final design.
    Take part in the process: There will be many additional steps to make sure that the ultimate design is the best for our department. We value all ideas and suggestions, we welcome your thoughts and questions through several venues. To prepare for the February department meeting, discussions facilitated by Kayla, Matt, Pat, Char and myself will be held in room 1129 of the Business Office at noon on the following dates: January: 15 (Matt), 16 (Pat), 18 (Char), 23 (Pat), 24 (Judith), 28 (Matt), 29 (Judith), 30 (Char), 31 (Judith). Kayla will take notes at most sessions. We will have the most up-to-date versions of the draft organizational plan to discuss. This plan differs from that presented to the Dec. 11 department meeting in some respects.
    Going forward, there will be retreats and discussion opportunities for faculty and staff, held by employment group and by business function. These events will be facilitated by our consultants, who are experts in change management. You may be invited to participate in more than one session, because your input is needed in different contexts. For example, the faculty will engage with our consultant tomorrow in a conversation about evolving our research community.
    You may also submit your ideas or concerns through multiple venues. You may use the anonymous suggestion box online at:  There will be an anonymous, locked suggestion box that will be placed in a easily accessible location (probably the mail room), and we will alert you once this box becomes available. You may email your input or concerns to Department Chair Judith Burstyn, Department Administrator Pat Egan or Human Resource Specialist Char Horsfall.
    Next steps: All communications related to this process are available online and will be continuously updated at: You must put in your Department of Chemistry password to view this page. Please let Comphelp know if you need assistance with sign-in.
    Department meeting, Feb. 12, 2019: We will hold an open discussion of the top-level plan during the February department meeting, which is described in the PDF attached. Afterwards, because the changes have fiscal implications, the executive committee will vote to determine if we will move forward with the highest level of the proposed organizational structure.
    Your input is extremely valuable and you are an integral part of this process. Please feel free to contact me, Pat or Char with any concern.
    Judith N. Burstyn


  • What's being decided on at the February meeting: 
    Org Chart top level


    The Department of Chemistry will vote to see if we will move forward to adopt this new structure, thereby creating the positions below. The discussion and vote will take place at the February 12, 2019 department and executive committee meetings.

    If we adopt this plan, enacting the change will require collaboration and input of everyone in the department. The proposal under consideration for February addresses only this top-level organization, which will set in motion a change process. The component structures will be established through a collaborative effort over the course of several years. To support this process, we will engage with new external consultants who are experts in work systems design.

    Please view and follow communications on the Department Organizational Development Project webpage here: You must sign in with your Department of Chemistry username and password. Contact comphelp for access assistance.

    Proposed Structure:


    > ASSOCIATE CHAIR for RESEARCH - The Research Director, a faculty member, would support the department’s research efforts and would oversee the research facilities.

    > ASSOCIATE CHAIR for GRADUATE PROGRAM DIRECTOR - The Associate Chair for Graduate Program Director, a faculty member, would support the graduate program and its students.

    > ASSOCIATE CHAIR for UNDERGRADUATE PROGRAM DIRECTOR - The Associate Chair for Undergraduate Program Director, a faculty member, would manage the department’s undergraduate education program.

    > DIRECTOR of ADMINISTRATION - The Director of Administration, a staff member, would manage the business office and all associated functions.

    > DIRECTOR of CHEMISTRY OUTREACH - The Director of Chemistry Outreach, a faculty member, would manage all outreach programs for the department.

  • 12/21/18 (1:57 p.m.)
    Email to faculty and staff from Kayla Driscoll (Assistant to the Chair)
    Open meetings to discuss the prototype organizational chart

    I want to thank everyone that has attended the discussion sessions this week, I hope they have been helpful.
    I will be out of the office until January 14th on vacation, and the discussion meetings will continue when I get back.
    During the meantime, Tatum and Judith will be working together to create a communication plan for how to best communicate more transparently and effectively with everyone about the ongoing process, project timeline and address frequently asked questions and concerns.
    Please feel free to bring your questions and concerns to Judith, Matt, Pat and Char, they are here to listen to you and provide guidance through this uncomfortable process.
  • 12/17/18 (5:42 p.m.)
    Email to faculty and staff from Judith Burstyn (Department Chair)
    Context for duscussions of prototype organization chart

    This message summarizes the information that I presented at the department meeting. Most of this material is directly from what I said or showed on the screen but was likely hard to absorb in the meeting context.

    The focus of our current discussion is at the top level of our department organizational structure. The proposal before us for discussion is whether we adopt the proposed structure at the highest level: the lower levels are not yet fleshed out and it is not our goal at this time to address those levels.

    Please focus your attention on the major categories of function and the structure to enable us to manage those functions. The primary changes that are envisioned in the new structure as presented are: elimination of the position of Executive Director and dispersal of the functions of that role among the undergraduate program, graduate program and administrative enterprise. Each of these categories of function will be overseen by an executive level director, Associate Chair for Undergraduate Program, Associate Chair for Graduate Program and Director of Administration. All three of these individuals would report to the department chair. The Associate Chair for Undergraduate Program would work with the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, the Director of Undergraduate Instruction (new), and the Undergraduate Office Director to administer the undergraduate program. The Associate Chair for Graduate Program would work with the Graduate Curriculum Committee and the Graduate Office Director to administer the graduate program. The Director of Administration will oversee the administrative functions, including new capacity in accounting and purchasing.

    If the Executive Committee adopts this high-level structure at our February department meeting, then Darin Harris, our organizational consultant, will guide us through a full design and implementation process. At that time, we would be looking to all of you to work together in designing the most effective structure to enact the mission of each enterprise within this scheme.

    Why are we undertaking this exercise? What are we trying to address or solve?
    - Many lines of supervision are disconnected from job functions. Consequently, some supervisors don’t have firsthand knowledge of critical job duties. As an example, several reports assigned to the Executive Director don’t make functional sense but have been accreted over time. Some job functions report to places less centrally located although they serve the entire department.
    - Major committees are not associated with or connected to the organizational chart. This situation is confusing, and produces role redundancy, inefficiency, and duplication of effort.
    - The current Associate Chair position serves the department in an inconsistent and sub-optimal way.
    - The Chair position oversees far too many functions without the direct assistance of a faculty-driven executive team.
    - Budgeting is a ‘black hole’ that is unknown to all but a few and lacks critical expertise to rigorously track department expenditures. The new structure adds a budgeting and forecasting specialist, whose role is to account for and manage department resources.
    - The administrative roles for paths conflict with a need to manage instruction at the department level. Consequences are inequities in workload and challenges in assigning and managing teaching assignments and covering lab oversight.

    What was the process used to get to this point?
    - Interviews were held with as many of the key individuals as possible who hold oversight functions in the department including: Executive Director, Department Administrator, Chair, Lab Directors, Path Chairs, and personnel supervisors.

    - The organizational structure of comparable chemistry departments was solicited through the Midwest Chairs and Chemistry Department Administrators networks, to benchmark models for departments of similar size and mission.
    - A report was produced outlining strengths, issues and recommendations based on the compiled interview results and benchmarked departmental structures.
    - The resulting report was shared with Finance Committee, feedback was gathered, and approval gained to create a working “prototype” of a revised structure based on the recommended changes.

    - The prototype mock-up was shared with past Chairs and the Finance Committee for initial review and feedback.
    - A final working prototype was produced to reflect the changes reviewed in this overview document.

  • 12/12/18 (5:05 p.m.)
    Email to faculty and staff from Kayla Driscoll (Assistant to the Chair)
    Open meetings to discuss the prototype organizational chart

    Hi Everyone,

    Judith recently sent out a message regarding the process for providing input on the prototype organizational chart.

    If you hold a regular meeting during which you would like the prototype chart discussion to be held, please let me know when those meetings will take place. I will work with Judith to arrange the ideal moment for us to come your meeting.
    In addition, anyone is welcome to join a discussion of the prototype chart at the following times.
    All discussion meetings will take place in room 1129, from 12-1pm.

    Open Meeting Dates:

    December: 17th, 18th, 21st
    January: 15th, 16th, 18th, 23rd, 24th, 28th, 29th, 30th, 31st

    Feel free to bring your lunch!
    The feedback that is given at these meetings will be passed on to Judith, the Finance Committee and our Consultant Darin Harris for further discussion.

  • 12/12/18 (4:10 p.m.)
    Email to faculty and staff from Judith Burstyn (Department Chair)
    Follow up on prototype organization chart

    I am writing to follow up on yesterday’s departmental presentation of the prototype organizational chart. This prototype is a work in progress. It is by no means a final product and we invite feedback and comments. The goal is to bring an updated and near-final plan to our department meeting two months from now on February 12.

    I want to provide some details about the process for providing input. Between now and February 12, we will be soliciting as much feedback as possible. We cannot provide access to the actual document; it is in a proprietary program to which only Kayla, myself and our consultant Darin Harris have access.

    To offer you the opportunity to explore the chart in more detail and to give feedback, Kayla and I would like to come to meetings that you hold regularly or invite you to join open meeting times that Kayla will be scheduling.

    If you hold a regular meeting during which you would like the prototype chart discussion to be held, please let Kayla know when those meetings will take place. She will work with her schedule and mine to arrange the ideal moment for us to come your meeting.

    In addition, Kayla will send out a set of times when anyone is welcome to come to join a discussion of the prototype chart.

    We welcome all feedback in the process of thinking through an organizational design that will serve our department for the future. The idea of change may be uncomfortable. It is important that everyone engages in the process, discusses it freely, and expresses their concerns.
  • 12/10/18 (2:32 p.m.)
    Email to everyone from Judith Burstyn (Department Chair) Subject: Agendas for Department and Executive Committee meetings, 12/11/18

    Item listed in attached meeting agenda under
    Business: Prototype department organizational structure (Burstyn)