Regents, Deloitte give overview of university transparency review


Photo: Suit Yee/Iowa State Daily

(From left to right) Board of Regents President Pro Tem Bruce L. Rastetter, President Craig A. Lang and Executive Director Robert Donley lead the Board of Regents meeting in the Sun Room of the Memorial Union. Issues regarding Iowa students and universities were discussed in the March 13, 2013, meeting.

Danielle Ferguson

The first public forum for the Iowa Board of Regents Transparency, Inclusive Efficiency Review held at the University of Iowa provided an overview for the review’s schedule, process and goals.

The efficiency study will look at academic and administrative areas of each regent university — Iowa State University, University of Iowa and University of Northern Iowa.

The board agreed to pay the chosen consultant company, Deloitte, about $2.45 million for the study. Phase one is estimated to cost about $1.4 million. Phase two is estimated to cost about $1.05 million. Phase three is undetermined.

The team from Deloitte will visit each regent university’s campus for an initial public information forum open for questions and comments.

Representatives from the board, regents Larry McKibben and Bruce Rastetter, Sally Mason, president of University of Iowa and Deloitte presented to the University of Iowa on March 28.

Rastetter, president of the Board of Regents, said a goal of this study is to focus on student debt. He said state support, over time, has gone from 70 percent of the cost of education to about 30 percent support today.

“That additional cost of education has been inverted to tuition increases and the cost to the students,” Rastetter said.

Rick Ferraro, director of Deloitte Consulting and a project manager of the review, said a point of this study is to find ways to creatively fund innovation.

He said savings found from the study will be reinvested into the institutions. 

Virginia Fraser, another representative from Deloitte, said they were in phase one of the review.

Phase one is an information gathering and analysis phase, she said. Deloitte has been and will continue to collect and analyze data. Fraser said this is a time to identify university strengths, challenges and start to look for opportunities to increase efficiency within the universities.

Phase two, Fraser said, would be narrowing down opportunities. She said this would also be a time of “engagement with campus communities.”

Fraser said phase three of the project is yet to be determined. The board must decide to go forward with recommendations made by Deloitte in order for those suggested ideas to begin.

Regent Larry McKibben was chosen to be chair of the committee from the Board of Regents and has attended all three of Iowa’s public universities.

“We’re in a study that I believe is transformational,” McKibben said. “I’m not going to be part of a study that fails.”

Throughout the next week, Fraser said they will conduct about 200 interviews at the University of Iowa. These interviews will include faculty, staff, students, administration, members from the union and research administration, she said.

The team from Deloitte is scheduled to be on the Iowa State campus the week of April 14.

While on campus, they will hold meetings with multiple stakeholders on campus such as faculty, staff and students said Miles Lackey, associate vice president and Iowa State’s representative to the review committee.

Representatives from Deloitte and the Board of Regents are scheduled to be on campus at 10 a.m. April 1 at Howe Hall Auditorium.