Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little

Frequently Asked Questions

Background Information:

Is this study confined to the KU Lawrence campus?
It encompasses the entire university — Lawrence, Edwards, and Medical Center campuses.

What is the timeline for this study?
Phase I – Assessment and Analysis, began late April and will end late July.
Phase II – Business Case Development, which will involve identifying opportunities that are achievable and implementable, including cost/benefit assessments and implementation action plans, will begin in August and end mid-September.

What are the anticipated benefits of this study?
The goal will be to streamline processes and increase efficiency to free up money for investments that advance the university’s mission. Imagine the following: standardization among the university campuses; not having to tolerate endless paperwork just because systems don’t talk to each other and are not electronic; not having different IT hardware, software and servicing across campuses, departments and schools; like-minded departments sharing enhanced business experience; new opportunities to contribute to the mission and success of the university.

How much is KU paying Huron?
The contract award is available under Additional Resources on the Changing for Excellence website.

How is the consulting company paid?
Private funds.

Review Process:

How were the people on the KU Advisory Committee selected?
The individuals were carefully selected to ensure a broad representation of all areas of the campus community.

Who have the consultants interviewed?
A complete list is available under Interviews and Focus Group Meetings on the Changing for Excellence website.

How can I make suggestions or provide feedback on the KUCFE review?
You can provide anonymous feedback via the Feedback link on the Changing for Excellence website. Or, you can send email directly to any member of the Campus Advisory Committees or Huron team. A list of these individuals is available on the website.

Who did Huron use for benchmarking during Phase I?
The following peer institutions were used for the majority of their benchmarks:

  • Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis (IUPUI)
  • Iowa State University (ISU)
  • University at Buffalo (UB)
  • University of Cincinnati-Main Campus (UC)
  • University of Colorado at Boulder (CU)
  • University of Iowa (UI)
  • University of Missouri-Columbia (MU)
  • University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL)
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC)
  • University of Tennessee (UT)

Review Outcomes:

When will final recommendations be made and shared with all of KU?
Huron will be presenting initial opportunities to the Executive Committee for review on Tuesday, July 26, 2011. The Executive Committee will review these opportunities and will determine which opportunities are potential candidates for further study. The Executive Committee will solicit feedback from the campus community and the campus Advisory Groups. Huron will immediately begin Phase 2, which involves working on selected opportunities with the KU community to develop full business cases for these opportunities, including robust cost/benefit assessments and implementation plans.

What is a business center and specifically what areas (finance, IT, HR) will be targets for becoming business centers?
It is anticipated that a service center/business center would be comprised of multiple individuals who are specialized in a single area such as travel, invoice payment, purchasing, HR, etc., removing the burden that’s currently placed on individuals in small offices who are expected to know everything about each of these areas. Targeted areas will not be fully identified unless this is selected as an opportunity to explore during Phase 2.

Does the term "service centers" mean one huge campus wide service center for each function (business, admissions, etc.) or does it mean unit service centers — such as a business center in the School of Education, a service center in the Law School, etc.?
Service centers/business centers could mean many things including those described in the question. Centers could be shared by various units and strategically placed throughout campus. Some functions could potentially be handled more efficiently in one central unit. The design of service centers/business centers that would work for KU will occur during Phase 2, if this is a selected opportunity.

If I have to go through a business center for some function I need completed compared to the fact that I previoulsy had my own staff person that would do it, can I expect to have the same level of timely support?
Yes. Individuals in the service centers/business centers would be specialized in specific areas, which should improve the turnaround time on requests and the level of support.

Will this study result in layoffs or people losing their job?
A reminder of what this initiative is really about: Changing for Excellence is not about reducing the workforce. It is about making KU more efficient, streamlining processes, and making everyone’s mission easier to accomplish.

As we streamline, there may be situations where we need fewer people than we need now. In most situations, it is likely these reductions will be met by managing vacancies and through attrition. In any instance where it is determined fewer people are needed, every alternative will be explored before there are layoffs.

In addition, there will likely be new kinds of positions emerging from the initiative, and we will give first priority to current staff members who apply; training will also accompany changes, thus providing new opportunities for staff development and upward mobility.

The University will be scrupulously attentive to all relevant employment policies as changes in the ways we perform administrative services are redesigned.

Also, if layoffs do occur, how much notice will employees be given? Will there be any compensation packages? Any early retirement incentives?
Should layoffs occur, the University will follow all relevant employment policies. At this point it is not known if layoffs will occur; if there will be any compensation packages or early retirement incentives.

 

 

 

 


Chancellor's Vision

The mission of the University of Kansas is to lift students and society by educating leaders, building healthy communities, and making discoveries that change the world.

We will do that by raising the expectations we have for ourselves, the aspirations we have for our state, and the hopes we have for our world.

KU is in the midst of a comprehensive effort to ensure the university is ranked among the top tier of public international research universities.

Through Bold Aspirations, our strategic plan, we're changing the way we prepare students for success. We're fostering research and scholarship across all disciplines. And we're sharing the benefits of a flagship university with our state and world.

This effort is supported by Far Above: The Campaign for Kansas, as well as our initiative to reduce administrative costs, Changing for Excellence.

 

One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
Nearly $290 million in financial aid annually
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
—ALA
23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times