UC Resilient is a new, online tool that can be used by departments across the UC system to create departmental continuity plans. Launched in May 2012, it will be used alongside UC's existing continuity planning tool, UC Ready.
UC Resilient and UC Ready share the same goal: to increase (via department-level planning & action) the likelihood that the university will be able to continue delivering our core mission of teaching, research, healthcare, and public service during & after any potentially-disruptive event.
UC Ready will remain our mainstay continuity planning tool; it can be used by any type of department on a UC campus or in a UC hospital. Developed in-house and launched for systemwide use in 2009, UC Ready is now the de facto standard for higher-education continuity planning; offered for annual subscription by the Kuali Foundation in partnership with UC, UC Ready is now in use at more than 80 universities in the U.S., Canada, and Australia.
Our new UC Resilient tool (also developed in-house) provides a streamlined approach that is suitable for certain types of departments, as explained below.
UC Resilient is a newly-developed sister-tool to the UC Ready tool. While UC Ready is a very flexible continuity planning tool that can be used by any type of department, the new UC Resilient tool is more streamlined and focuses on the continuity issues faced by certain types of departments only. A department should employ one tool or the other (but not both).
To choose which tool is more appropriate for your unit, please consult the continuity planning staff at your own UC location (pdf). UC Resilient is highly configurable, and each UC location's continuity planning staff adapts the tool to local needs; hence the types of departments for which the tool is suitable will vary.
UC Resilient is designed for use by departments whose major continuity hurdles (and strategies to overcome those hurdles) are fairly well-understood.
Continuity planners in the decentralized environment of higher education face a challenge: it is often unclear to the departmental outsider (and sometimes to the insider) exactly what are the core functions of a unit, and how the staff of the unit operate the processes that accomplish those core functions. The Registrar's Office at one university may be very different from the same-named office at another. The same holds true for the Purchasing Department, the Library, the Student Housing Department, the Lab Animal Care Department, and so many others.
Our older UC Ready continuity planning tool (now the standard throughout higher education) meets this challenge by asking its user to identify the critical functions of his/her department, and to provide some detail about how these functions are performed. The tool then leads the user through a structured questioning process to decide how those core functions can be made resilient enough to continue in the face of disruptive events.
There are, however, certain types of units for which this questioning process can be bypassed. Examples are instructional departments (regardless of discipline), research labs, and clinical units in hospitals. Each campus (or hospital) has many of each; and once we have questioned a few units within a type, we discover that (a) the core functions of each unit resemble those of its sister units, and (b) the practices that would increase resilience are also common.
The new UC Resilient tool uses this phenomenon to greatly streamline the preparedness process. Once a department is identified as (for example) a research unit, the tool produces a list of 10 to 15 practices that, if followed, are known to increase the resilience of research units. It asks the user to rate (on a scale) how well his/her unit follows each practice. Depending on the user's rating for each listed practice, the tool offers the opportunity to create an action item for improvement. The tool then tracks the accomplishment of each action item.
This approach provides a continuity planning process that
- is brief, straightforward, and easy to do
- produces trackable outcomes
- can be used by a group in a meeting
- is designed to engage faculty (the "holy grail" of preparedness in academic institutions).
For those units for which the UC Resilient methodology is suitable, this tool offers a remarkably easy-to-use approach to preparedness.
All ten UC campuses actively participate in the Mission Continuity Planning Program, as do two UC Medical Centers (Davis and Los Angeles), the Division of Agriculture & Natural Resources, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and the UC Office of the President.
To access the UC Resilient tool for your location, use the links below: