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Office of Strategic Consulting: New name, enduring mission

February 1, 2018 By Doug Erickson

The name is new, but the services available through the Office of Strategic Consulting on campus will be familiar to many.

The office, located in Bascom Hall, was formed last August by the merger of Administrative Process Redesign (APR) and the Office of Quality Improvement (OQI). Its new name took effect Jan. 1.

Both former entities worked to make UW–Madison run more effectively and efficiently. That mission endures with the new office. Its services include strategic planning, process improvement, project management, and organizational design and redesign.

Jenny Faust

“We’re here to serve UW–Madison by partnering with our campus colleagues to build organizational excellence and capacity,” says Jenny Faust, who became director of the office at the time of the merger and is associate vice provost for strategic initiatives.

The two prior entities had parallel but slightly different focuses, Faust says. OQI served largely the academic side of the university with a focus on strategic planning, facilitation services, and organizational design. APR served the administrative side and primarily focused on business process improvement.

“What we realized on either side of the merger is that projects are rarely just one thing,” Faust says. “Someone might need strategic planning services, but they also might have some departmental culture or climate challenges. What we find is that having a unified suite of services is better for our clients.”

There was no reduction in staff due to the merger, other than going from two directors to one. Two new positions have been created: a project and fiscal coordinator (added in November) and a portfolio manager (to be hired). The office will have 15 people when fully staffed.

The office currently has more than 70 active projects. They include: working with leadership and a variety of stakeholders to enhance the learning environment in the School of Medicine and Public Health; conducting an inventory of campus business processes; and assisting the Office of Human Resources to revise graduate student employee policies and procedures.

The office also is supporting the team that will be working on an environmental sustainability rating for the campus and the transition committee that is working on the reintegration of Cooperative Extension with UW–Madison.

Plans to relocate the merged office to 445 Henry Mall are still in the works, now likely in 2019.

Academic and administrative units can learn more about available services at or by contacting project and fiscal coordinator Alyson Pohlman at