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Administrative Structure Update

May 16, 2011
Recently, as part of the plan to redesign our central office administrative staff, we posted the new position of Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources and Administrative Services.  This position will replace the current position of Assistant Superintendent of Business Services and also cover the duties of the Director Human Resources position that was vacated last year due to a retirement.  Districts use different titles and formats as it relates to administration.  Many use a series of Executive Directors, Directors, Managers, Specialists, etc. to accomplish the same and similar tasks.

In speaking to staff and community members about the redesign, the question of actual “administrative costs” for Saline Area Schools was discussed. One of the methods we use to evaluate the cost effectiveness of our administrative structure is to use Bulletin 1014.  The State of Michigan publishes this annually – you can download it here –,1607,7-140-6530_6605-21514–,00.html This report ranks all Michigan Public Schools and Charter Schools on a variety of information they collect through the mandatory State reporting program.

This report shows that Saline has one of the lowest administration costs per pupil in the State (755 out of 780).  We spend $816 per pupil on business & administration.  Some comparisons, Dexter spends $1,009 per pupil, Hartland $975 per pupil, Novi $899 per pupil – which are also in the lower half of the State listing.

It’s important to note that only looking at specific titles doesn’t given the full picture related to administrative overhead.  I would also like to highlight the fact that the administrators we have on staff are working very hard to provide a quality level of service while being a member of a lean administrative structure.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. david zimmer permalink
    May 17, 2011 12:02 am

    Given the grave nature of our financial condition, many people within the community are very nervous about accurate and competent leadership in this area.

    Can you share with us how the financial reporting and analysis work will be handled with this new administrative structure? For example cost projections, revenue projections, budget modeling and similar activities are normally handled by the Financial Officer, not the HR Director. Will you have a financial officer (in addition to this HR position) or is this HR person responsible for this body of work as well? If so, will this person be a CPA or have similar financial credentials?

  2. May 17, 2011 6:47 am

    I agree – the need for accurate, credible and timely financial information is critical, now more than ever. The position is posted and we have listed both HR and financial skills as desired qualifications. It is possible that the person will be a CPA or possess a similar financial credential/background.

    The structure calls for financial reporting and analysis to be led by the newly created position. The process and staff used will be developed as part of our planned implementation of this structure. It is very true that we are asking a lot from this position, as we are from all of our central office personnel.

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