Administration and Finance Makes Changes to Improve Service

February 20, 2007

The University of Houston Division of Administration and Finance has reorganized to streamline its resources and improve service to the campus community.

Under the new structure, the Department of Human Resources reports to Jim McShan, associate vice president for finance. Dave Irvin, associate vice president for facilities and plant operations, chairs the university’s Emergency Management Committee.

The change in HR came after Karl Sparks resigned the assistant vice president position, which reported to John Rudley, vice president for administration and finance. Later, Rudley decided to eliminate the position and move HR under McShan.

“Payroll and human resources are intertwined in their day-to-day activities, so the change allows the departments to work more efficiently together,” McShan said. “The other reason for the reorganization is that many of the areas that report to me have processing roles. The expertise in these areas will help enhance the process function in HR. We also are providing the department with additional support.”

The reorganization also was made possible because of the strong leadership skills of Joan Sigler, HR executive director, McShan said.

“Although Joan has been here a short time, she has proven she can work with the university community and that she will be successful in leading the department in its day-to-day operations,” he said.

The administrative change will not cause any disruption of service to faculty and staff, McShan said.

The second aspect of the reorganization is the selection of Irvin as chair of the Emergency Management Committee, which is charged with reviewing and implementing UH’s official Emergency Management Plan.

Rudley said Irvin is an excellent choice to replace him as chair because of his extensive experience with campus crises, including Tropical Storm Allison.

Irvin had been at UH less than a month before the storm barreled across the Houston area in 2001 and forced administrators to close the campus for 10 days. Since then, Irvin has been knee-deep in emergency preparedness and has been a committee member since its inception.

“The committee looks at how we handle emergencies, such as hurricanes, to evaluate what we would do if we were hit with anything from the bird flu to terrorist attacks,” Irvin said. “At UH, we have a team that is uniquely ready to respond to almost any emergency. We were tested during Tropical Storm Allison. We refined the plan after hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Many of our colleagues at other institutions are not as nearly as prepared as we are.”

Francine Parker