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Board hears administrative review report; approves process to move forward


Christian Basi

ST. LOUIS, Mo.— Today, UM System leadership, with the support of Pricewaterhouse Coopers, presented a report to the University of Missouri Board of Curators that reviewed administrative functions at the University of Missouri-Columbia campus and the UM System central office. Additionally, the board approved a plan to move forward, including an activity analysis that will be given to every administrative staff member in the UM System, including all four campuses.

“I’m excited about what this means for the future of the University of Missouri,” said Curator David Steelman, chair of the finance committee on the board. “President Choi and his team have done an excellent job out of the gate. Saying that, the real test will come once we have made the necessary budgetary decisions. I’ll look forward to working with the UM administrators as we move forward with tough decisions.”

As an outcome of the Fiscal Year 2018 budget process where UM leaders identified more than $100 million in savings from the UM System and its four campuses, administrators and an advisory committee of faculty and staff contracted with PwC to complete a thorough review of several administrative functions, including finance, human resources, facilities and information technology. Over 8 weeks, four teams performed more than 70 interviews with leaders and key stakeholders. Overall, the report found the University had implemented visible cost savings, but additional savings could be found by looking at administrative functions across the entire system and within academic departments instead of individual budget areas.

As a result of the work, the University will engage every administrative employee and conduct a work survey. The survey will assess the workload and processes of each employee, with the goal of identifying where the University can improve efficiencies and reduce the administrative burden on the University. The University also will expand the work to the UMKC, Missouri S&T and UMSL campuses and integrate it with work already underway at those campuses.

“We’re excited to start this process,” UM System President Mun Choi said. “We have already taken several bold steps that we believe will put the UM System on the path to a sound financial future, but we still have much work to do and some difficult but necessary decisions to make in a short amount of time. The upcoming work survey and other actions will allow us to complete a detailed analysis into how we perform administrative functions. We will identify where we can make changes to become more efficient and to become a stronger university and a key asset to the state of Missouri.”

The report anticipates the University could identify potential savings of between $27 million and $44 million annually during each of the next three years. From January to March, University officials will gather data through the work survey. From April to June, plans for any changes will be developed, and implementation will begin July 2018.

Reviewed 2017-12-08